GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #495




                Pastor Don Fortner

                Grace Baptist Church of Danville

                2734 Old Stanford Road

                Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438


What can you learn from a whale's belly? I only know of one man who can tell us, Jonah. Jonah went to school at WHALE'S BELLY SEMINARY. The Lord had sent the whale to swallow up Jonah. Now, while he was in the whale's belly, Jonah realized that he was hopelessly and helplessly lost. His only hope was in the power and grace of God. And he cried, "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD" (Jonah 2:9). It would be well for us if every preacher went to WHALE'S BELLY SEMINARY and truly learned the gospel of Christ. We have not learned the gospel until we have learned the whole of that work whereby men are saved from their sins and translated into the kingdom of God is the work of God alone. This is the only cure for man's pride. This is the only message which magnifies the work of our Lord Jesus Christ and the wondrous grace of God. And this is the only message that sets forth the glorious sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD." There would be no such thing as salvation had God not purposed it and accomplished it.


"Salvation is of the Lord", because man is TOTALLY DEPRAVED. All men, by virtue of Adam's fall in the Garden are sinners. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." No matter what color your skin is, your heart is black with sin, before a holy God. Your sins have separated you from God. "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we do all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." All men are thoroughly corrupt and depraved at heart. There are no exceptions. All men by nature are spiritually dead. We are unable to save ourselves. "Salvation is of the Lord?", because God has undertaken the initiative of salvation in UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION. God the Father chose a great multitude of sinners in Christ before the world began, and determined to save them. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." Eternal election is simply God's free, loving, and unalterable determination to save his people. "Salvation is of the Lord", because the Lord Jesus Christ, God's own Son, accomplished the redemption of God's elect in his LIMITED ATONEMENT. Christ's atoning sacrifice was limited in its design and purpose to the salvation of God's elect. He did not die in a futile effort to save every person in the world. But it is written, "For the transgression of my people was he stricken". All of God's elect have been particularly and effectually redeemed by the death of Christ on the cross. In other words, Jesus Christ is a real Savior. He came to "save his people from their sins", and he has accomplished that salvation. "Salvation is of the Lord", because it is effectually applied to the hearts of God's elect by the IRRESTIBLE GRACE of God the Holy Spirit. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profitteth nothing." "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." The Holy Spirit does not try to bring sinners to Christ; he does it by almighty, irresistible power, creating life and faith in them. And "salvation is of the Lord", because it is God alone who keeps his people unto everlasting glory by his PRESERVING GRACE. All of those who are chosen, redeemed, and regenerated are "kept by the power of God" and "preserved in Christ Jesus". God will not allow any of his elect to perish. It was truly a blessed thing which Jonah learned from the whale's belly. May it please the Lord God to teach you this blessed gospel truth - "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!"