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Faithful pastors are men who “labour in the Word,” seeking by diligent study and prayer to rightly understand the Book of God. And they labor in “doctrine,” teaching and preaching the gospel. They are not loiterers, but laborers.
Š I am preaching today for Millsite Baptist Church in Cottageville, WV, where Bro. Mike Walker is pastor. You are privileged to have Bro. Marvin Stalnaker here to preach the gospel to you in my absence. Bro. Stalnaker is pastor of Katy Baptist Church in Fairmont, WV.
Š I am scheduled to preach Friday night in the conference at College Grove Grace Church, College Grove, TN, where Bro. Chris Cunningham is pastor. Other speakers are: John Chapman, Clay Curtis, and Todd Nibert.
Proclaim Free Grace the Globe Around — Don Fortner
(Tune: #77 — Sun of My Soul — LMD)
1. Let everlasting glories crown
Our God and Savior, Christ the Lord.
`Tis He Who brought salvation down,
Proclaim throughout the earth His Word.
2. Proclaim free grace the globe around,
To every tribe in every land!
In Christ alone salvation’s found,
Salvation wrought by God’s own hand!
3. The blood of Christ alone can give
The guilty, trembling conscience peace;
And guilty sinners made to live
By grace alone give God all praise.
4. In Christ God’s truth, and mercy, and
His grace and justice all agree: —
God’s just in justifying men
For whom Christ died upon the tree!
5. How well His blessed truths agree!
How wise and holy His commands!
His promises, how firm they be!
How firm our hope and comfort stands!
6. Should all the things that men devise
Assault my faith with treach’rous art,
I’d call them vanity and lies,
And bind the gospel to my heart.
“Ordained of God”
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4)
When we read such a passage as this and see it fulfilled before our eyes, we often ask, — “How could this have happened?” That is because we fail to give proper consideration to the most significant words in Jude 4 concerning the heretics who infiltrate gospel churches.
Jude tells us that these serpentine preachers “were before of old ordained to this condemnation.” Their infiltration is by divine design. They could not find their way into Zion if the Lord our God did not wisely ordain it for good reasons. One of those reasons is stated plainly in 1 Corinthians 11:19. When heretics come among us, the Lord makes manifest who are his. His sheep hear the Good Shepherd’s voice and follow him. They hear not the voice of strangers.
They creep into the church and worm their way into people’s affections by pretense and insinuation (2 Timothy 3:1-7). They claim to promote righteousness and truth. Yet their doctrine is so corrupt and their motives so vile that they know their success depends entirely upon deceit. It is no marvel that Paul wrote as he did in 2 Corinthians 11, warning us to mark those who seek to destroy our souls with their beguiling doctrines.
Our most dangerous enemies are not godless politicians, but godless preachers, subtle enemies inside the church (2 Peter 2:1; 1 Timothy 4:1-3). In the night, when men sleep, Satan sows his tares among the wheat, that he might corrupt the church. His messengers creep into the church unsuspected, under falsely professed faith (Matthew 7:15; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
No Harm Done
Yet, there is no cause for alarm. They shall cause no real harm. The church and kingdom of Christ, God’s elect, are kept safe and secure. God’s purpose is not overthrown, or even hindered by our foes, but only served. Everything about them, including their work and their end, is according to the determinate counsel and eternal purpose of our all-wise and sovereign God.
Jude tells us that these false prophets “were before of old ordained to this condemnation.” Heresies and errors do not fall out by chance, but according to the certain and eternal purpose of our God. Nothing can come to pass without his will; and nothing can come to pass against his will. And nothing will injure his church and kingdom.
“Zion stands with hills surrounded;
Zion, kept by pow'r divine.
All her foes shall be confounded,
Though the world in arms combine.
Happy Zion, Happy Zion,
What a favored lot is thine!
“Turning the Grace of Our God into Lasciviousness”
Against whom does Jude lay this charge? Who is it that turns the grace of God into lasciviousness? Read Jude’s short Epistle again, and you will see that he says nothing to imply that these were men of flagrant immorality, using the grace of God as an excuse and covering for acts of licentiousness.
Those who turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness are those work-mongers and religious legalists who assert that the preaching of absolute free grace, the believer’s absolute freedom from the law and freedom from all possible condemnation, will open the flood gates to sin and lead people to live in decadence. The ungodliness by which Jude tells us they are condemned is their imaginary righteousness, their self-righteousness by which they deny “the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” — All who claim a righteousness of their own deny their need of Christ, who is “the Lord our Righteousness.”
But legalists and will-worship Arminians are not the only ones who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. Sanctimonious, self-righteous hypocrites, who vainly imagine that they are holier and wiser than God, do the same, refusing to preach plainly revealed gospel truth for fear that the truth of God might encourage sin! I’m not beating the air. Just recently, a preacher sought to justify denying the two natures of God’s saints (Adam and Christ, sin and holiness, that which is of the devil and that which is born of God), saying, “I don’t want to preach anything that might encourage the Lord’s children to sin.” What horrid pride! What base ungodliness!
Many assail the plain statements of Holy Scripture and matters that are at the very heart of the gospel in the same way. Though substitutionary redemption is the very heart of the gospel, and the Scriptures plainly declare that Christ was made sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21), I hear men say, “Preaching that will cause people to think evil of the Son of God.” Though God the Holy Ghost tells us plainly that all who are born of God are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), that that new man in us is “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24), and that that in us which is born of God “cannot sin” (1 John 3:9), I am told, “If you preach that it will give people an excuse for sin.” Like papists, these modern Korahs attempt to hide the Word of God from their followers so that they will be their followers, not the followers (disciples) of Christ.
Beware of such men and such doctrine. It creeps into churches under the guise of godliness and true holiness; but the Spirit of God here asserts that it is ungodliness. That which turns you away from Christ and teaches you to look to (to trust in) yourself is ungodliness. If God has, by his grace, put us into union with his dear Son, Jesus Christ is all our Wisdom, all our Righteousness, all our Sanctification, and all our Redemption; and we glory in him alone (1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 3:3).
The Grace Bulletin
October 13, 2019
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 576-3400 — E-Mail email@example.com
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