April 29, 2007
Faith in Christ is not the procuring cause of our justification, but only the instrument by which the righteousness of Christ is received. It is not our believing, but the One we believe, Christ, “who of God is made unto us Righteousness.”
· Grace Baptist Church in Jacumba, California will host a Bible conference — May 18-20. Speakers: Todd Nibert, Gene Harman and Don Fortner. Bro. Bob Harmon is the host pastor.
Behold, How Good A Thing It Is — Don Fortner
(Tune: Majestic Sweetness #52 — CM)
1. Behold, how good a thing it is
For God’s dear saints to dwell
Together in sweet unity,
And love each other well!
2. How sweet it is to be forgiv’n
When I by sin offend;
But sweeter far it is to be
Forgiving to a friend!
3. The gentle, kind, forgiving hearts
The thoughtful, caring hands,
That help me through this troubled life,
Belong to you my friends.
4. The love and unity we have
(Sweet bonds of holy peace!)
Are gifts of God upon His church,
The bounty of His grace!
5. Our Father, we rejoice that You
Have given us this peace;
Let each of us cherish this gift
And each the other please.
6. Give us the mind of Christ our Lord,
Who bought us with His blood.
Let each of us his neighbor serve
And seek his neighbor’s good.
Seeking the Lord’s Sheep
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:14-16)
Our business singular as a gospel church is the business that completely consumed our Savior’s heart, mind, time, and energy throughout his days upon the earth — seeking his sheep. We have no other work to do. We are seeking the Lord’s sheep. That is why we do everything we do as a congregation. That is why you send your pastor somewhere almost every week to preach the gospel. That is why we hold Bible conferences, support missionaries, send out pastors, build churches, and send tapes and literature around the world. — We are seeking the Lord’s sheep.
I am fully aware of the fact that the things we believe and preach place us in direct conflict with the religious world around us. That really should not surprise us. When our Lord Jesus told the religious leaders of his day the things we believe and preach, they started grabbing rocks to stone him to death. So we must never be surprised when lost religionists get upset with us for preaching the gospel.
We make it our business to proclaim throughout the world who God is (sovereign, holy and just), and what man is (dead, depraved, and deserving God’s eternal wrath). We proclaim to all that the Lord Jesus Christ is God incarnate, the eternal Surety of his elect, the righteous Representative of his chosen, the justice satisfying Substitute, effectual Redeemer, and omnipotent Savior of sinners, our unfailing Advocate and Great High Priest in Heaven. And we plainly assert that salvation is by grace alone, without works, efforts, or conditions of any kind to be met by the sinner. Election, redemption, regeneration, sanctification, preservation, and glorification are the works of the Triune God alone. As Jonah put it, “Salvation is of the Lord!” It is entirely by the grace of God. Human works, human effort, and the will of man have absolutely nothing to do with it.
Fallen men violently object to these things. Preachers everywhere deny them. Proud men are offended by them. But I am not running for political office. I speak the truth to eternity bound sinners for the glory of God. That which we have heard and learned of the Father, we must declare. We must be true to God, true to the Scriptures, and true to the souls of eternity bound sinners.
We are not trying to get everyone saved. We are seeking the Lord’s sheep.
Those false preachers whom our Lord describes in this chapter as hirelings, thieves, and robbers, those wolves who have come in sheep’s clothing to steal, kill, destroy, and devour the souls of men, the world’s religious leaders have told three lies so often, for so long, that they are almost universally received as the truth of God. We do not follow the cunningly devised fables of men, which declare that (1.) “God loves everybody,” (2.) “Christ died for everybody,” and (3.) “The Lord wants to save, tries to save, and wills the salvation of everybody.”
Those things simply are not so. The fact is God almighty loves his elect, sent his Son to die for and redeem his elect, and effectually calls his elect to life and faith in Christ by the irresistible grace and omnipotent power of his Spirit. These elect ones are spoken of throughout the Word of God as “his sheep.”
Let men fuss and argue as they may, I assert, in the plainest terms possible, upon the authority of Holy Scripture, that the Triune God is concerned for, seeks, and accomplishes the salvation of his sheep, only his sheep. To say otherwise is to make the holy Lord God a pathetic, frustrated failure. Is that, or is it not the language of our Savior? (John 10:11, 14-16, 27-28; 17:9, 20)
Seeking the Sheep
In preaching the gospel, we are not trying to convert the world. We are not trying to get everybody saved. That is not our purpose, our aim, or our goal. We are seeking the Lord’s sheep. We do not know who the Lord’s sheep are. Neither does anyone else. So we preach the gospel to every creature, just as our Lord commanded us. Some will not believe; but, blessed be our God, some will! As many as were ordained to eternal life believe, all of them and none but them (Acts 13:48). The Lord knows his sheep. They will hear his voice. They will follow him. And they shall “never perish.”
Here are five facts revealed in the tenth chapter of John about the Lord’s sheep:
1. Christ has a people in this world called his sheep.
2. The good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ, laid down his life for his sheep.
3. The Shepherd will call all of his sheep.
4. The Lord Jesus will preserve and keep all his sheep.
5. The good Shepherd will bring all of his sheep safely into his heavenly fold.
Yes, it is the Shepherd himself who seeks, finds, and brings home his lost sheep. He promises, “As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep, so will I seek out my sheep, and bring again that which was driven away” (Ezekiel 34:11-16). The restoration of the lost sheep is his work alone; and we rejoice to have it so. He does not wait for his sheep to return to him. He seeks his sheep, finds his sheep, and carries his sheep all the way home on the broad shoulders of his omnipotent grace!
April 29, 2007
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service
Television Broadcasts in Danville
Channel 6 - Sunday Morning 8:00 A.M.
Channel 6 - Wednesday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 7:00 P.M.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com