12-14-2014    

Straight Arrows

“For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even unto the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)

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PREACHING IN THE SPIRIT’S POWER

 

PREACHERS either preach the Gospel in the Spirit’s power or pervert the Gospel by their own opinion. To tell a wicked sinner that all he has to do to be saved is to “just accept Christ” is not true, because God’s Word is plain that sinners must repent and turn from their wicked ways (Isaiah 55:6-7; Luke 13:3-5). When you look at the lives of the average converts today as the result of modern preaching, you see no degree of spiritual discernment whatever, because such unsaved religious church members decided because they were told God loved them, and Christ died for them and all they had to do to have a full pardon for all their sins and to escape Hell was just to make up their minds that they would accept Christ. Such teaching, apart from repentance and faith as brought on by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, is a complete perversion of the Gospel in the name of orthodoxy, and all who do it preach themselves in Christ’s name (Galatians 1:6-12).

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is not something set apart and unrelated to other Scriptures, and neither is it independent of God’s revelation of His inexorable justice against sin. God’s justice is not relaxed against sin and neither is His standard of holiness lowered. The Gospel then properly and scripturally expounded presents Divine demonstrations and Scriptural proof of the unchanging justice of God and His infinite hatred of sin.

People everywhere have rushed in to try to expound the Gospel and devote their spare time to “evangelistic work” so-called, and the overwhelming percentage are not qualified, because too many of them don’t even know what it’s all about. Fleshly pride rushes many incompetent ones into so-called religious work, and the multiplicity of novices and would-be preachers constitute a woeful situation confronting us because churches are largely filled up with their converts, and the whole situation is unscriptural and worldly to the nth degree. The Gospel never makes light of sin and never contradicts God’s Law but shows how unsparingly God deals with sin (Romans 8:31-32, 3:31)

God’s hatred of sin was never more demonstrated than when you look at the awe-inspiring scene of Calvary’s cross which answered the sin question for time and eternity. The Gospel is not magnified and God is not glorified when you go to worldly people and tell them they might be saved this very minute by simply accepting Christ as their personal Saviour, when the matter of fact is they are wedded to their idols and they are married to their sins, and God’s Word is too plain to be misunderstood in Mark 1:15, “Repent ye and believe the gospel,” and Luke 13:3, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” God’s plan of Holy Ghost conviction, heartfelt repentance and salvation by grace through faith can never be changed. Man’s need is the same today as then (read Ephesians 2:1-18).

—A. Reilly Copeland, 1889-1982, in An Angel of Light, 1955.

What is the Gospel?

The Gospel is a Person, John 14:6

The Gospel is the Message of the Cross, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

The Gospel is the Revelation of the Grace of God,
Through Which a Holy God Can Save a Guilty Sinner,
Romans 3:24-26, Acts 20:24

The Gospel is an Invitation, Matthew 11:28-30

The Gospel is a Promise, John 6:37

The Gospel is a Command, Acts 17:30-31

The Gospel is the Power of God, Romans 1:16

The Gospel is the Wisdom of God, 1 Corinthians 1:20-24

The Gospel is an Entreaty to Sinners to be Reconciled to God, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

The Gospel is God's Way of Delivering Sinners from their Sins,
Matthew 1:21, Romans 6, John 8:31-36

Click Here to read the article, "What is the Gospel?" by Loraine Boettner

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies.
If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees.
Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”Charles H. Spurgeon

The Humbling and the Exaltation
of the Lord Jesus Christ

Philippians 2:5-11

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15)

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Believers at the
Judgment Seat of Christ

(See also the article, "Will Christians Be Judged?" by
Rev. Richard D. Phillips)

According to the Scriptures, the Lord Jesus Christ will judge both born-again believers and lost sinners, but in separate judgments. We find a reference to the judgment of believers in 2 Corinthians 5:10:

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

Similar references to the judgment of believers only are found in the following passages:

"For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:8-12)

"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." (1 Corinthians 4:5)

"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." (Hebrews 13:17)

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Though the true child of God, the genuine disciple of Christ, will not be condemned with the rest of the world for his sins (I Cor. 11:32), we learn from these passages that this judgment will be a time when conduct toward fellow-believers will be scrutinized, labor in the name of the Lord will be tested, motives closely examined, and rewards given for faithfulness. It will be a judgment before the crucified, risen, and exalted Lord Jesus Christ, whose omniscient gaze is like His Word,

"...piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Referring to this judgment of God of believers, the Apostle Peter wrote these words:

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God, and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-18)

Is Knowledge of God's Word Enough?

"Some bless themselves that they have a stock of knowledge, but what is knowledge good for without repentance? It is better to mortify one sin than to understand all mysteries. Impure speculatists do but resemble Satan transformed into an angel of light. Learning and a bad heart is like a fair face with a cancer in the breast. Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell." (Thomas Watson, "The Doctrine of Repentance")—copied from Truth for Today

The Universal Depravity
and Guilt of All Mankind

It matters not who you are, my friend, or what title or position you may hold in this life, you are included in the description given below of fallen mankind in the state of sin:

Romans 3:9-19, Psalm 14:1-3

Ephesians 2:1-3

“Sudden Death” and “The Reality of Hell”
(Messages by Evangelist Rolfe Barnard)

But there is hope for you in the wonderful grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ

God's Remedy for the Guilt,
Penalty, and Power of Sin

Click below to read these messages by C. H. Spurgeon:

“The Heart of the Gospel”

“Death for Sin and Death to Sin”

“Dead, Yet Alive”

May He take away your rebellion, and lead you to "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).

The Right Attitude Toward Others:
Ephesians 4:31-32

Profanity a Sign of Rebellion Against God

Lost sinners daily spit out their rebellion against God by taking His name in vain, not realizing that it is only the mercy of God that gives them their breath to blaspheme Him. God's mercy and longsuffering is intended to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4-6); if it does not—judgment and everlasting punishment is sure to follow for those who do not come to "repentance toward God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).

Click Here to read "The Curse Removed," by C. H. Spurgeon

"Christ died for us when we were enemies (our attitude), ungodly (our character), sinners (our practice), and without strength (our condition)."—Romans 5:6-11—From The Voice of Truth Magazine

 

God's Eternal Purpose: An Unbreakable
Chain of Sovereign Grace

(Romans 8:28-30)

Every one of God's elect will be saved—not a one will be lost! Every sinner of Adam's fallen race whom God the Father chose by sovereign election (Ephesians 1:3-12), back in ETERNITY PAST will be effectually called and justified in TIME, and glorified in ETERNITY FUTURE. These blessed truths are clearly set forth in Romans 8:28-30, which is expounded and illustrated by a diagram in a chapter in the book, “Man's Ruin . . . God's Remedy.”

Click Here to read

Tongue Control

How can we gain control of our tongues? Only by submitting our minds and hearts to Christ. We speak what we think. Therefore, if the Lord Jesus is to be magnified in the way we use our tongue, He must be magnified in the way we use our mind also. Paul writes of Christians “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Paul knew that there could be no purity of speech apart from a genuine purification of our minds. The Lord Jesus also taught this truth when He said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). If our hearts are daily surrendered to the Lordship of Christ, we will be meditating upon His Word and cleansed by that Word (Psalm 119:9, Ephesians 5:25-27)—and as a result, we will seek to be a sympathetic encouragement to other believers, rather than participating in backbiting and gossip about others. See Colossians 3:1-3.

Christian Humility

“You know, there's something true about a humble person and that is this, they see their own sin as worse than everybody else's. That's a mark. If you are more critical of other Christians than you are of yourself, you lack humility. It is pride that allows you to crawl up out of your own hole and condemn others. And I'm not talking about evaluating truth, I'm not talking about being discerning, I'm talking about being preoccupied with criticizing the sins of others. That's hard to do when you're overwhelmed with your own. When the sins that most offend you are yours, when the sins that most grieve you are yours, when the sins that you would want to prevent are yours, and when the effects of those sins that impact the church are your sins and not somebody else's, you have a measure of humility and you're able to do what it says here...regard one another as superior to you.”—John McArthur, comments on Philippians 2:3, in his study on “Humility.”

At age 82, John Newton (1725-1807)—English pastor and author of the popular hymn, “Amazing Grace”—said, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.”

Click Here to read “Humiliation or Humbling?” by Pastor Joe Terrell

Satan—The Arch Counterfeiter

While Satan is certainly the "god" of the witchdoctor who practices voodoo in the jungles, he is also active in many pulpits all across America. He is the practiced counterfeiter of Truth, having his own "ministers of righteousness," who preach his own "false gospel," setting forth and proclaiming "another Jesus," through the aid of "another spirit," or demon spirits, rather than the Holy Spirit of God—2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15.

The Apostle John warns,

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:1-3)

See also: "Another Gospel," by Arthur W. Pink

The Danger of the False
"Carnal Christian" Gospel

"The false teaching of carnal Christianity has so permeated our churches that no one ever questions his interest in Christ, no matter how he lives. People are told that if they have believed, that is all that is necessary, and therefore all is well with their souls. But the Holy Word of God declares no such teaching, but in fact declares just the opposite! For we read in Hebrews 12:14, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Yes, holiness must characterize our lives, "for God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness" (I Thess 4:7). "He hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love" (Eph 1.4). Again, He "hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling" (II Tim. 1:9). This is the same One Who says to be "obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation, because it is written, be ye holy, for I am holy" (I Peter 1:14-16).—Pastor L. R. Shelton, Jr., Pensacola, FL, quoted from his booklet, "The True Gospel of Christianity versus the False Gospel of Carnal Christianity"—available from Mt. Zion Online

Salvation by God's Mercy and Grace To Be Followed by Good Works

"Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."—Titus 3:1-8

“Little White” Lies?

There is nothing "little" or "white" about a lie! Is it ever right to tell a lie? What does the Bible say? Click on the Scripture references below to find out.

Ephesians 4:25, Colossians 3:8-10, Revelation 21:8, 22:15

Recognizing Christ as your Lord is much more than merely saying the words, "Lord, Lord"—it means submission to His authority by obedience to His commands.

"Old-Fashioned" Altar Calls?

What about the so-called "old-fashioned altar calls"? Is this practice really Scriptural, or "old-fashioned"? Click Here to read a chapter on this subject in James E. Adams on-line book, "Decisional Regeneration."

See also: "The Altar Call: Is It Harmful or Helpful?" by Pastor Fred Zaspel

The Importance of Preaching
“Christ crucified”

Click Here to read brief excerpts from the writings of
C. H. Spurgeon, Arthur Pink and Robert A. Morey

“Be holy!”

“I would say to you, members of this church, “Be holy!” Whatever you are, do seek to be holy. And if you will not be holy—if you have a mind to keep your sins—do us the favor to lay down your profession. If you will have your sins, and go to hell, you can do it so much better outside the church than you can inside. I cannot see why you must needs do Christ the double ill-turn to be his enemy, and yet profess to be his friend. Get out of the church, ye that are hypocrites!”—C. H. Spurgeon, “Our Position and Our Purpose,” a sermon on 2 Corinthians 7:1.

Click Here to read a quote from

“God's Way of Holiness,” by Horatius Bonar

Receiving Christ as Lord

It is striking to notice that the title of “The Lord Jesus Christ” never appears before the ascension, and that it occurs some eighty-one times afterwards. There is a tendency today to declare the Saviour's death on the Cross for sinners and that alone! While the essential basis of the true Gospel appeal must ever be “Christ crucified,” it must never leave the hearers with a crucified Christ. . . . The atoning sacrifice of Calvary and the shedding of His precious blood is the foundation of our salvation, but it is the RISEN LORD and He alone which saves. The New Testament Gospel message includes, by presupposition, that Calvary opened up a way whereby a holy God could justify a hell-deserving sinner: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).

It must not be overlooked that when Jesus is received as Lord, He must be received as a crucified Lord. The One Who is now exalted in the midst of the throne” is represented as a Lamb as it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6). It is not as though He was Christ only in His sufferings for us, and is now Lord since His exaltation. No, He was the Lord of glory” when He was crucified; and it is as the Lamb that was slain” that He now receives the worship of the redeemed in Heaven (I Cor. 2:9 and Rev. 5:11,12). So then it is as the crucified Lord that He must reign in our hearts now. To receive the Crucified One as our Lord means to be despised and rejected with Him. We must bear the stigma and the reproach of the Cross of Christ. The acceptance of Christ as Lord means also the crucifixion of the old life of selfishness and sin. “They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24). If the Crucified One is Lord of our lives, the hand that rules will be a nail-pierced hand. He, as the Captain of our Salvation, will lead us in a path of crucifixion and shame. That is what it means to receive Christ as Lord.”—James A. Stewart, The Lordship of Christ”

Click Here to read Arthur Pink's booklet, “The Cross and Self,” a message on Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any will come after Me let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Click Here to read a quote from Arthur W. Pink's tract, “Another Gospel.”

Biblical Separation

True Biblical separation (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1) is described in J. C. Ryle's message, The World (Click Here to read).

Why does the natural man, whether he be in the pulpit, the pew, or the world, find the Cross offensive?

Spurgeon answers this question in his message,
"The Offense of the Cross"

Click Here to read

 

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