We learn very early in life to escape our fears by hiding or lying. As we grow older nothing really changes. Men’s hiding places are no more secure than a child’s blanket. Their lies are no more convincing to God than a child’s quick and sheepish denial of guilt.   God says: “judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” Is 28:17. Oh, that Christ would be our hiding place, and that our love for The Truth would save us from that strong delusion, lest we believe the lie.                                                                           ~GE


Naturally, we are quick and committed to do whatever is necessary to care for the needs of our flesh. When hungry, we eat. When sick, we seek medications and doctors. When weary, we rest.   Oh, that the Lord would give us such a concern for our souls.  If He does, we will be quick to feed on the Bread of Life to satisfy our hunger and thirst for righteousness. We will seek the Great Physician and look to the Balm of Gilead for our sin sick souls.   We will rest our weary souls in the Only One who is able to satisfy God’s holy law and justice by the sacrifice of Himself.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Jn. 3:6.                                                                                        ~GE


Always Two Natures

Child of God, if you come away from listening to a man preach thinking; “that’s not my experience. I guess I’m not as spiritual as he is.” Fear not, truth is, it’s not his experience either, and he’s not as spiritual as he wants you to think he is.  The problem is that most people will suppress those impressions and join the preacher in his hypocrisy. There is no liberty in pretending to be something we’re not. As long as we are in this world the body of death will be strapped to our backs. There is no place this side of heaven where we can reach some sort of spiritual euphoria that looks and feels like sinless perfection. We are sinless and sinful at the very same time. We will always cry; “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief”. Mk 9:24. As long as we have two natures, our rejoicing will be mixed with Rebekah’s lament; “Why am I thus?” Gen. 25:22. Where then is our rejoicing? Where is our liberty? Oh, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 7:24-8:1. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our rejoicing                      ~GE


Quicken Me

To be “quickened” is to be brought from death to life. We who are by nature dead in our trespasses and sins must be quickened together with Christ. In Psalm 119, David asked the Lord to quicken him. The great mystery and paradox of grace is that only those who are alive will ask to be quickened. David asked the Lord to: 1) quicken him in the way, v. 37; 2) quicken him in Righteousness, vs. 40; 3) quicken him according to God’s word, vs. 154; 4) quicken him according to God’s judgments; and 5) quicken him in God’s lovingkindness, vs. 159. It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. Lord, quicken us.       ~GE

In 1808 a lawyer made this accusation against Robert Hawkers Christ centered preaching. “His preaching encourages sin in that it makes a man rely fully on Christ so that he does not strive to mend his own unrighteousness.” I love Mr. Hawker’s reply. Only in finding Christ have I been taught the lesson of ‘denying ungodliness and worldly lust, and living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.’                                                       ~GE

Dying Grace

For the child of God, saving grace extends to and strengthens in the hour of death. In Acts 7, Stephen was called on by God to endure a cruel and painful departure from this world. Yet, the Lord gave him: 1) a good confession; 2) a fresh filling of the Holy Ghost; 3) eyes of faith to see heaven open and Christ standing as his Advocate; 4) the grace to ask for grace; and 5) a spirit of forgiveness. May the Lord grow us in His grace and in the knowledge of Christ until the day of our departure when we shall “fall asleep”.                                                                         ~GE

Blessings and Curses

To God’s elect, everything is a blessing. Everything is purposed by their Heavenly Father for their good and for His glory. Through faith, they can be thankful in all things, knowing that “all things” are the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning them. To the reprobate, nothing is a blessing. All the privileges, benefits, and goodness of God they enjoy in this world will only add to the weight of judgment they will suffer for not believing on the One who provided them.                                                                      ~GE

Everlasting Righteousness

“Thy Righteousness is an Everlasting Righteousness…”

Ps. 119:142a.

The Righteousness of God is everlasting because God is everlasting. It is immutable because He is immutable. It is Holy because He is Holy. Christ Jesus the Lord is the Righteousness of God. Lest we are found in Him, we have no Righteousness. Our heavenly Father has made Him to be all our wisdom, Righteousness, sanctification and redemption. All OUR Righteousnesses are as filthy rags. The reason men go about trying to establish their own Righteousness is because they are ignorant of the Righteousness of God. We do not frustrate the grace of God, for if Righteousness come by the law then Christ died in vain. Even as Christ was raised from the dead and ascended to His rightful place in glory, we wait for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth Righteousness. There is laid up for us a crown of Righteousness which the Lord, the Righteous Judge shall give us in that day. And so, Everlasting Righteousness began in eternity past and shall continue in eternity future.                                  ~GE


Contrary to what we hear from the false prophets of free will religion, Christ did not die on Calvary’s cross to make an offer of Salvation to man. He died as a sin offering TO His Father FOR His elect. The Father saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied. Is. 53:11. Faith is a work of grace in the heart causing us to be fully satisfied with the One with whom the Father is satisfied.       ~GE  

The Holy One of Israel

When we read in the scriptures of the Wrath of God, Eph. 5:6; or the Zeal of God, Ps. 69:9; or the Hatred of God, Rom. 9:13; or the Love of God, Rom. 8:39; let us not err in thinking these are emotions like we experience. Our feelings are influenced by our circumstances and are full of our sin. Every aspect of God’s nature is Holy. That means that He is “OTHER” than we are. He is altogether lovely and separate from sinners. When Christ Jesus the Lord (the fullness of the Godhead bodily), stands in our stead, not only does He satisfy God’s justice by the sacrifice of Himself once for all, but He also presents every aspect of His Holy character as our righteousness before God. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. For both He that sanctifieth (Holy) and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them His brethren. Heb. 2:11.           ~GE

Justice or Mercy

All men approach God in one of two ways. One pleads His mercy. The other demands justice. The poor and needy, the weak and wounded, the fallen and fearful, will come pleading for mercy. Their hands will be open and empty. The self-righteous, the proud, the strong, will demand justice based on something they bring in their hand. Those pleading mercy will know that the only thing that satisfies the justice of God is the sacrifice Christ made on Calvary’s cross. They will pray with David; “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies…” Those demanding justice will try to obligate God with something they have done. Their voices will be heard to say; but Lord, have we not done many wonderful works in they name? Justice demands reward based on works. Mercy looks in faith to Christ for grace. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Rom. 4:4-5.               ~GE

Good Works

“We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10. Yet, as soon as a work is seen by the performer as “good”, it ceases to be a “good work”. Those whom God has made to be fruitful in every good work (Col. 2:10), believe themselves to be unprofitable (useless, good-for-nothing) servants (Luke 17:10). They take no notice of what they do either as the cause or evidence of their salvation. Christ Jesus the Lord is all their hope and He is all their glory. Howbeit, what profit they are to others, especially those of the household of faith.                                          ~GE

Who is Your Surety?

A Surety is one who makes another sure. For the believer, Christ is the only One that can make them sure before God. Also, He is the only One that can speak peace to their hearts as to having a sure hope. Why do our religious friends and family members desperately need to find some common ground with us? Why do they insist on calling us “brother” and expect us to delight with them in their religious activities? The answer is simple. Not having Christ as their Surety, they are looking to men to make them sure.

“He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it…” Ps. 11:15.~GE


Christ Came to Save Sinners

The real problem men have in believing the gospel is that they do not see themselves as sinners. The only reason men do not believe themselves to be sinners is because they have not met Christ.  Men by nature compare themselves to themselves, and being deceived believe themselves to be getting better.  Or, they compare themselves to others and proudly conclude themselves to be better. If the One who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and higher than the heavens, ( Heb. 7:26) ever shines his lovely face on them, they will agree with Job, “Behold I am vile” (Job 40:4).  This is why we must always preach Christ and him crucified.  As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so must the Son of Man be lifted up.  Oh, for the grace to join our voice with John the Baptist in declaring; “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” Jn. 1:29.                 ~GE


The Judgment of God

A group of religious leaders are currently (Sept /2020) engaged in a nationwide “turn-or-burn” campaign. They are threatening men with the judgment of God lest they turn from their evil ways. The irony of it all is that THEY are the judgment of God. God has sent false prophets to send men a strong delusion that they might believe the lie.  Their call for moral reformation will have some benefits on society. Some marriages will be saved from divorce. Some lives will be saved from self-destructive addictions. But, not a single soul will be saved from their sins unto eternal life. If anything, moral reform will only harden men in their self-righteousness and blind them of their need for Christ.             ~GE



Faith is not believing you are saved. Faith is believing that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the sovereign, successful, savior of sinners, and that your only hope of acceptance before a Holy God is to be found in Him, not having your own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ. Phil. 3:9. Assurance of salvation is relative. Faith on the other hand, is always fully persuaded that what God promised, he was able also to perform. Rom. 4:21 ~GE

Ask the Right Questions

Someone contacted me recently and wanted suggestions of some questions they could ask to stimulate a discussion in their marriage counseling group. I was happy to respond and sent them these three questions. 1) Who is Christ? 2) What did He accomplish? 3) What is the gospel? I do not think this is what they were looking for, but I know it is what they need. The full answer to these questions, answers all other questions. The answers to these questions are not short. It takes all of scripture to answer these three simple questions. When the answers to these questions are believed, they settle all controversies and move the heart in love, and grace, and forgiveness, and hope and joy. For what more could a married couple ask? ~GE

False Accusations

When the religious accuse us of being lawless, what they are really saying is; “If I believed what you believe, I would be lawless.” They would have nothing to restrain their sin. Being under the law, they know nothing of the constraining love of Christ. 2 Cor. 5:14. Being in the flesh, they know nothing of the power of the Spirit of God. Rom. 8:12-14. Being under the judgment of the law, they know nothing of the law of liberty. James 2:10-12. Their accusations are not based on what they see in the believer’s life, but rather on what they fear in their own lives. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 1 Pet. 3:15-16 ~GE

Blaming God

Just because our God brings good out of evil, does not mean that evil is good. The responsibility for sin always lies squarely on the shoulders of the sinner. Nowhere in scripture does God relieve us of our guilt by saying; “It’s OK, I ordained it.” Neither does He say; “you are just a sinner, you can’t help yourself.“ Nor does He allow us to justify the means by the end. Yes, our omnipotent, sovereign God brings good out of evil for his people. That is seen most clearly at Calvary. Yet that never makes evil good. Nor does it justify disobedience. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. James 1:13-16

If we “confess” (say the same thing) our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I Jn 1:9. Take sides with God against yourself, and rest in Christ for all your justification and righteousness. ~GE

Forgiveness and Trust

Charles Spurgeon once wrote; “Let us go to Calvary to learn how we may be forgiven; and then let us linger there to learn how we may forgive.” Truly, forgiveness is the supernatural result of being forgiven. If we are unable to forgive, it reveals a fatal flaw in our own forgiveness. The forgiven child of God will not, cannot, harbor long a bitter unforgiving spirit. However, forgiveness and trust are two different things. If you have proven yourself to be untrustworthy, do not interpret your brother’s lack of trust as an unforgiving spirit. Through confession and faithfulness, work to earn that trust back. If you are unable to trust someone due to repeated violations of that trust, do not let anyone accuse your rightful mistrust as an unforgiving spirit. Forgiveness is a gift from God. Trust must be earned. ~GE

The very message that gives the sinner hope, robs the self-righteous of theirs. The righteous rejoice that Christ gets all the glory in their salvation. The self-righteous are greatly offended. ~GE

When I See the Blood

The beginning of the exodus of Israel from the taskmasters of Egypt, was when the rod of Moses touched the river and turned all the waters of Egypt into blood. The last plague brought through Moses in Egypt was the destruction of the death Angel. The firstborn of all those NOT behind the blood of the lamb were slain. The first miracle the Lord Jesus performed was to turn water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. The last act of our Lord Jesus Christ was to offer Himself to God as a lamb without spot, slain for the sins of His people. Surely, that which was done in type by Moses was fulfilled in reality by that Prophet whom God sent, “like unto thee” Deut. 18:18. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” Jn 1:17. It all began and ended with blood; for without shedding of blood is no remission. Heb. 9:22b. ~GE


A Tragic Ending

A man worked all his life preparing for retirement. He was faithful to send a portion of his earnings to the bank every month. The day came for him to retire. Proudly he went to the bank to withdraw his savings and enjoy his time of rest. Having identified himself to the teller, he was asked to wait a moment for the bank president. After the bank president confirmed the man’s identity, he promptly turned to the bank guard and instructed him to lock the door. Further, the president told the guard to cuff the man and call the Secret Service. “This is the man that has been sending us counterfeit money.” What a tragic day it will be when so many are heard to say; “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” Matt.7:22-23. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;...” Is 64:6. “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Rom 10:3-4 ~GE



Christ is ALL

“Christ is all, and in all.” Col 3:11. Christ is only ALL, when He is ALL you have.  Christ is ALL we have in salvation.  He is ALL our wisdom. God has made the wisdom of the world foolishness unto us that Christ may be ALL the truth of God.  He is ALL our righteousness. We cannot look anywhere else but to Him to fulfill the demands of God’s holy law.  He is ALL our sanctification. We cannot look to any progression of holiness in our life to see the hope of our salvation. Christ Jesus Himself is ALL our sanctification.  He is ALL our redemption. We cannot look anywhere else but to His sacrifice of Himself to put away ALL our sins and satisfy God’s justice.  If He’s ALL you have, He’s ALL you need.                                                                                       ~GE


The Message

It seems like the entire focus of the “Christian” message today only concerns temporal matters. Men turn to the Bible to find principles and precepts that will improve their life in this world. (Oh yeah, you have to be saved from your sins, but that is merely a means to a greater end.)  The real draw of the message is completely carnal.  How can I experience a happier, fuller, more peaceful life NOW?  The Bible is being used by men to fulfill the “American dream”, “life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  May God deliver us from such fleshly pursuits.  May the Lord set our affections on things above, not on things of the earth. Let us say with the apostle Paul, I have not yet apprehended, but this one thing I do, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:-12-14. Christ Jesus the Lord Himself is the prize. Gen. 15;1. Let those who walk after the flesh mind the things of the flesh. Rom. 8:5. By God’s grace we will mind the things of the Spirit and be determined to know nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I Cor. 2:2. When Christ, WHO IS OUR LIFE, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. Col. 3:4.                                                           ~GE


Much Assurance

For the gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost, and in MUCH ASSURANCE. 1 Thes. 1:5

How do we know if the gospel has come to us in power, blessed by the Holy Ghost?  Much assurance. Assurance about what?  That you’re saved? Every honest child of God must admit they are not always perfectly sure of that.  The only time they gain peace from God concerning the salvation of their own soul is when they think on the things of which they are always and absolutely sure. 

They are sure the Bible is the inspired Word of God. When the gospel comes in power, you know that every word of God’s Word is true.  They are sure that God is ordering all things, great and small, after the counsel of His own will for the glory of His grace. They are sure that Jesus of Nazareth is the sovereign Son of God, the successful Savior of sinners. They are sure that He is the Christ, sent by His Father in the full power of the Spirit of God to accomplish the salvation of His chosen people.  They are sure that God the Father is fully satisfied with Christ redemptive work for His people. They are sure that the proof of this is seen in what the Father did when He raised His Son from the dead.  They are sure that the Lord Jesus Christ was received by His Father back into glory and is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high until God makes all His enemies to be His footstool.  They are sure that they are sinners, devoid of anything in and of themselves that would recommend them to God.  They are sure that if the Lord Jesus Christ does not stand in their stead before God Almighty, they have no hope of acceptance or salvation.  They are sure that if their sins are to be atoned for, it will be ONLY by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  What sweet assurance the Holy Ghost gives when He sends His word in power.                               ~GE


The Fear of God

“There is no fear of God before his eyes” Psalm 36:1.

Only regenerate sinners have any true fear of God.  They fear the thought of standing before Him without the Lord Jesus Christ as their only Righteousness and Advocate.  Whenever they are tempted to walk in this world by sight, the loss of His peace and power grips their hearts with fear and drives them to look to Christ and resume their walk of faith. When they approach Him in worship, they fear the irreverence of any fleshly means that would quench the Spirit of true worship.

The unbeliever knows nothing of this fear. He thinks he is going to make his case for acceptance before God by something he has done. Never having truly walked by faith, he only knows what he sees and feels, and so judges everything by his experience. If you want to see the worst example of, “no fear of God before his eyes”, look at the foolishness of man-made religion.  They think the smoke and mirrors of their formal ceremonies and rituals will impress God. Or, they engage in some sort of fleshly irreverent entertainment and call it worship.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding” Prov. 9:10   May the Lord cause us to fear Him with understanding.                                  ~GE



An advertisement for an investment opportunity concluded with this disclaimer: “past performance is no guarantee of future returns.” I can only think of one “past performance” that absolutely guarantees a future return.  The work that the Lord Jesus Christ performed on Calvary’s cross guarantees that everyone for whom he died will be with him in Glory...NO exceptions. It guarantees His glorious return as the Savior of His church and reigning Sovereign of all His creation. It guarantees the ultimate, infinite, and eternal glory of His Father. We have a written and signed copy of this guarantee in the Word of God. “Believest thou this?”   ~GE


The Offense of the Cross


Whose work do you want to hear about? It is quite telling to see how the same message will offend some while encouraging others. If the message is about what men do for God, believers are offended and the self-righteous are encouraged. If the message is all about what God in Christ has done to save sinners, the self-righteous are offended and believers are encouraged. If we preach circumcision (works of the law performed by the hands of men) then is the offense of the cross ceased (Gal. 5:11) and believers are left with no hope for their souls. What do men really mean when they say: “you need to spend more time in your preaching telling us how to live”? What they really mean is, tell other people how they should live, so I can glory in how I live.                         ~GE


A Change of Heart

     “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Ps. 51:17

     Man can change his own behavior, his attitude, or his appearance. Only God can change man’s heart. The Lord receives a “broken and contrite heart”, because He only accepts that which He provides. The two means by which the Lord changes man’s heart is prayer and preaching. May the Lord move us to pray and cause us to hear, for out of the HEART proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man. Matt. 15:18-19.                                                                                    ~GE


“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints”

 Ps 116:15

We often hear this verse quoted at funerals. But, are there not other times the death of God’s saints is precious in His sight? Death is the penalty for sin and the means by which sin is atoned. Gen. 2:17. Rom. 5:10-12. God has always seen his people in Christ.  Is 66:22.

  1. It was precious in the sight of the Lord when Christ (and all those in him) were slain as a Lamb in the covenant of grace from the foundation of the world. Rev 13:8.
  2. It was precious in the sight of the Lord when the God-Man, bearing the sins of His people (and they in him) died on Calvary’s cross. Is 53:10, Gal 2:20  
  3. It is precious in the sight of the Lord when God’s elect are brought by the Spirit of God to die to their own righteousness, and be made alive through faith in Christ.  Rom. 7:9.
  4. It is precious in the sight of the Lord as all of God’s elect are renewed in faith day by day, to reckon themselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:11. 
  5. Finally, it is precious in the sight of the Lord when the mortality of Gods sheep is made immortal, and their corruptible is made incorruptible, and so shall they ever be with the Lord.  1 Cor. 15:54                                                                 ~GE


Faith is not believing you are going to get something from God. Faith is believing that God gave his Son everything HE asked for. Faith is to believe that your only hope to receive anything from God is to come into his holy presence looking to the shed blood of Christ for all your justification, and his perfect obedience for all  your righteousness.                                                                  ~GE


Who Gets the Glory

“Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory...” Ps 115:1.

    There are many messages in the world that promise salvation. Only one gives to God ALL the glory.  The gospel of God’s free and sovereign Grace in the glorious person and accomplished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the only message that will cause a sinner to declare, “not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory...”. 

    Truly, salvation is of the Lord and his people love it that way.  The Lord gets all the glory in ELECTION having chosen us for no other reason than his own good pleasure and will. He gets all the glory in REDEMPTION, having by himself purged our sins with his own precious blood.  He gets all the glory in REGENERATION, arresting us on the road to destruction and making us willing in the day of his power.  Our God gets all the glory in SANCTIFICATION, keeping us from falling away and causing us to be renewed in faith day by day. He gets all the glory in GLORIFICATION, by presenting us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.  Every other message contrived by man robs God of his glory and credits it to man. “Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be (ALL) the glory...”.                                                                                        ~GE

Is the Bible Enough?

Good communication captures an idea in the fewest of words. Eternity will not be sufficient to reveal the fullness of God’s glory and grace toward us. For now, the Holy Spirit has condensed all we need to know in the sixty-six books of the Bible. For men to try to capture the message of the Bible into a creed or a confession of faith is to say that they are more precise with words than the Holy Spirit.  How blasphemous is that?  May the Lord keep us faithful to declare the whole counsel of God. And, might all controversies be settled with, “what saith the Scriptures”.                             ~GE


Poor and Needy

“He raiseth the poor out of the dust and the needy out of the dunghill” Ps 113:7.

    Do you believe yourself to be poor and needy? Not, do you feel or understand the depth of your poverty and need? That experience belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you BELIEVE yourself to be poor and needy? 

    Notice the poor are raised out of the dust. Dust represents death. “You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins” Eph 2:1. The “poor” have no life outside of Christ. Christ Jesus the Lord IS their resurrection and life.  Notice the needy are taken out of the dunghill. Dung represents all our righteousnesses outside of Christ. The “needy” count all the things that were gain to them DUNG that they may win Christ and be found in him not having their own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ. Phil 3.  Believest thou this?            ~GE


Promise and Call

“The PROMISE is unto you and to your children, and to all that are a far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall CALL.” Acts 2:39.

Both the promises of God and the call of God are necessary for his glory and for our salvation. The promises of God, without the call of God, would make God a liar and it would make us disinterested. The call of God, without the promises of God, would make God mutable and it would give us nothing in which to place our hope. Oh Lord, call us by the gracious Spirit and enable us to place our hope in thy precious promises which are all yea and amen in Christ.                                                                                                 ~GE

Saving Faith

What do we know about true Saving Faith?

1) Without it no man can please God. Heb. 11:6.

2) It is the gift of God. Eph. 2:8.

3) It comes by hearing the gospel. Rom. 10:17.

4) Believers WALK by faith not by sight. 2 Cor. 5:7.

5) Saving Faith is the opposite of works. Rom. 3:27.

6) Saving Faith is to believe on the person and accomplished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. II Tim. 1:12.

7) Saving Faith is not measured by its size or strength. Saving Faith is measured by its OBJECT. Matt. 17:20.

8) God honors Saving Faith because Saving Faith honors Christ. Matt. 9:28-29.                                     ~GE

True Humility

...Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Pet 5:5-7.

What a beautiful sign of grace true humility is. I sense that men in general are being “humbled” by the trial of this pandemic God has sent.  A less arrogant and self-sufficient attitude in the world is a good thing for us all. But, it is not true humility.   When the mighty hand of God is removed, most will go back to the same way they were. But, when the Spirit of God causes the child of God to “cast all their care upon Him that careth for them”, then we see the evidence of true humility.  Not just one who acknowledges their dependence upon God for temporal needs, but one that bows to God and looks to Christ for all their righteousness. Oh, may the Lord give us the spirit of true humility.                                     ~GE

Usually a habit can be broken by just stopping the activity for awhile.  When this quarantine is over, it will be sad to see how many were going to church out of habit.                                 ~GE

Uncertain Times

Many have referred to these days as, “uncertain times“. It is a sad testimony to man’s unbelief that we have to experience such trouble before we see our lives in this world as “uncertain“.   The Lord tells us not to be ;“highminded, nor trust in UNCERTAIN riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” 1 Tim 6:17  It is a good thing to be reminded of how uncertain are the riches and comforts of this world.  “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is CERTAIN we can carry nothing out.” 1 Tim 6:7. Oh, but what hope we have in those things which ARE certain.  The eternal purposes of God are certain. The accomplished work of Christ is certain.  The Word of God is certain.  All God’s promises are yea and amen in Christ.  The irrevocable gift of faith is certain.  Life in this world as we know it will always be uncertain to us.  That is a good thing if it causes us to rest our hope in the only One who changes not.                ~GE

God’s Judgment for Sin

If someone tells you that the Coronavirus is God‘s judgment for a sinful world, just say; “they wish“. Whatever troubles men are having adjusting their lives to this pandemic is truly a minor inconvenience compared to the judgment of God. No doubt, like everything else, God sent this trial, and God will remove it when He sees fit. But, is it His judgment for sin? No. God’s judgment for sin is only satisfied in two places. First, Christ sacrifice of Himself satisfied God’s judgment for the sins of his people. Second, God’s judgment will be seen when all unbelievers are cast into the eternal lake of fire...in the last day. The Lord said; “I came not to judge the world but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him IN THE LAST DAY”.  Jn. 12:47-48. The world has, is, and will suffer many things as the result of sin. We live in a fallen world and sin has within itself its own consequences. To say that the consequences of sin are the judgments of God is to minimize the true nature of sin and the true nature of Divine holiness. The eternal judgments of hell are not sufficient to uphold these things. Only the cross can reveal them.

Truth is, the troubles God sends in this world are his mercies, not his judgments. They expose man’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. They humble the pride of man, which is always a good thing. Though we all enjoy the absence of conflict, peace and prosperity usually result in presumption and pride. Easy is not necessarily good, and hard is not necessarily bad. To the contrary, it is most often just the opposite. Hard is good, easy is bad. May the Lord use all the trials and afflictions of this life to make us more aware of our dependence of Him. And may he comfort our hearts from any fear of his fierce judgment, knowing that cursed for us was He that hung on the tree.                                                                       ~GE

True Nature of Sin

Someone recently referred to the Coronavirus as the “invisible enemy”. Like a virus, sin itself is invisible. What we see of sin are its symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms are worse than others, but we are all infected and we are all symptomatic. The difference is that sin has a 100% death rate. Oh, that men could be as concerned about sin as they are with this virus. The ultimate consequences for sin are infinitely worse. Only the microscope of the Holy Spirit through the light of the gospel can diagnose and expose sin for what it is. The glorious hope for sinners is that the diagnosis and the cure come at the same time. “For He (The Father) made Him (The Son) sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” II Cor. 5:21. Men mistake the symptoms of sin as their problem. The true nature of sin is seen most clearly at Mount Calvary. The Lord Jesus Christ never manifested outwardly any of the symptoms we see in ourselves caused by sin. Yet, He bore all our sins in His own body on the tree. (I Peter 2:24). He put them away by the sacrifice of Himself, and hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.” Ps. 106:8.                                       ~GE

Where is the Chair?

The one piece of furniture most conspicuously missing in the Old Testament tabernacle is a chair. There was no place to sit down because the priests’ work was never finished.  The one piece of furniture most conspicuous in heaven is a chair. It is a throne on which the Son of God, our Great High Priest, has taken his rightful place.  Having finished His work of redemption, through the one offering of Himself, He has “sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Heb. 10:12-14.                                           ~GE

Wit’s End

In Psalm 107:27-28 the Lord tells us that men cry unto Him when they are at their, “wit's end”.  When is a person truly at their “wit's end”? We often use that phrase when we are frustrated with our circumstances. But the fact that we’re really not at our wit's end is evident in that we’re still scheming a way out.  We are only at our wits end when we have no other option available to us. There is no other strategy, no other plan, no one else to help, no other way out. We are brought by the miracle of grace to our “wit's end” when the glorious person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation.  Then, and only then, does the Lord bring us out of all our distresses.                                                          ~GE


Sinners are pitiful. Apart from the grace of God they have nothing, they know nothing, and they can do nothing. They are truly poor and needy. Their only hope is that the Lord is full of pity. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust”. Ps. 103:13-14. Show me a sinner who has gone before the Lord for pity and I’ll show you a person who is quick to show pity towards others, but does not need to seek pity from man. “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that He may set him with princes…” Ps. 113:7-8.                          ~GE

Godly Sorrow

When the Holy Spirit convicts of sin He does not leave us doing penance by wallowing in our guilt and shame. That is worldly sorrow that worketh death. (2 Cor. 7:10). That kind of sorrow is both hypocritical and self-righteous. It is hypocritical in that it pretends to be contrite, denying the fact that our sin is much worse than we think.  It is self-righteous in that it confesses a potential worthiness for salvation. No, when the Holy Spirit convicts of sin He always delivers the sinner from bondage by leading them to Christ. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor. 3:17. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you are free indeed. Jn. 8:36.                                                                              ~GE

For those who might wonder why, “bad things” happen to “good people”.  Only once in the history of the human race did something truly bad happen to someone truly good. When men with their wicked hands crucified and slain the sinless son of God, true evil was done against true goodness. Even this ultimate act of evil, purposed by the determinant counsel and foreknowledge of God, resulted in the greatest good the children of God could ever know. “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee.” Ps 76:10.  As for the injustices Gods children may suffer in this world; let us say with Joseph; “you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.“  Gen. 50:19  For we know that our God works all things together for good to them who love him, to them that are the called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28. The great mystery of grace is; “why good things happen to bad people”.                                        ~GE

Confession of Sin

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I Jn. 1:9. First of all, confession of sin is not the cause of forgiveness.  The grace of God by the shed blood of Christ is the cause of forgiveness. Like faith, confession of sin is the means to forgiveness.  So, what is it to “confess”? The scope of true confession is much broader than feeling sorry for particular sins. The Holy Spirit inspired the penman of Scripture to use the word Homologio to express confession. It is a conjunction of two words that most people know. “Homo” which means: (same or together); and the word “Logos” which means: (word or speak). In short, to confess is to “speak the same word” about our sin that God speaks. It is simply to agree with God. It is to take sides with God against yourself. Which leaves us with one final question. What does God say about my sin? God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen. 6:5. When Christ is revealed to our hearts through the preaching of the gospel, the only conclusion we can come to is that everything about us is sin, for it all falls short of His glory.                                                                             ~GE




Many people suffer the “tormentors” (Matthew 18:34) of an unforgiving heart.  When the suffering becomes unbearable, they search the dark dungeons of their already enslaved heart for the ability and virtue to forgive.  They may temporarily escape their prison cell only to be captured and returned. The problem is that the power to forgive cannot be found in a sinner’s heart.  The ability to forgive is very simply the result of being forgiven.  Look not on the offense, or offender you are trying to forgive. Rather, look at the offense of your own sin towards God, and His grace to forgive YOU through the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Forgiving will be easy in light of your own forgiveness.                                                                         ~GE

A Glorious Paradox


Believers on the one hand are nothing but sin, and on the other hand they have no sin. This is one of the great mysteries of the gospel that keeps God’s people humble, yet hopeful. It causes them to cast all their care on the One that cares for them. It leads them to have no confidence in the flesh, yet to come boldly before the throne of grace. It is the reason they can mourn and rejoice at the same time. It shows them their inability to satisfy any part of God’s law, and it frees them from the condemnation of the law. It causes them to bow in humble worship as mercy beggars, yet they hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. They are nothing, yet have everything. They are hell deserving, yet heaven bound. They are in abject poverty, and they are infinitely and eternally rich. To the natural man, these things are a contradiction. To the child of God... they are his life.            ~GE

The Church

Also called The Bride of Christ, Rev 21:19; The Body of Christ, Eph 1:23; The Brethren of Christ, Heb 3:1; The Children of the Kingdom, Matt 13:38; The Church of God, I Cor 1:2; The Daughter of the King, Ps 45:13; The Family of God, Eph 3:15; The Flock of God, Acts 20:28; The Friends of God, James 2:23; The Habitation of God, Eph 2:22; The Temple of God, I Cor 3:16; The Treasure of God, Ps 135:4. God speaks of nothing else in this world with terms like these. She is the object of His love and grace. She is the only reason God has not brought an end to this world. She is the target of satanic attacks. She is strong, yet fragile. She is permanent, yet transient. She is exalted, yet lowly. She must be preached to, prayed for, and protected at all cost.                  ~GE

Saving Faith

Saving Faith is not believing that you are saved; it is believing that Christ Jesus the Lord is the One and only all sufficient, successful Savior. Saving Faith is not believing that you are elect; it is believing that you are a sinner completely dependent upon Christ for all your righteousness. Saving Faith is not believing that God will do something in the future; it is believing ALL that God has said and done. Saving Faith is not believing in the sovereignty of God; it is believing in a God who is absolutely sovereign. Saving Faith is not believing in the resurrection of the dead; it is believing that Christ Jesus IS the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  Jn 11:25-26.                                                                             ~GE

Why have a Bible Conference?

 Our annual Bible conference in many ways is the highlight of our year for at least three reasons.

  1. We are able to have a format of concentrated worship and gospel preaching over a three-day period that glorifies our God by exalting the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of our souls.  
  2. It provides us the edifying experience of fellowship with each other and our brethren from sister churches.
  3. It gives us an opportunity to extend a “special invitation” to lost friends and family in hopes that the Lord will do for them what he did for the Samaritans.  “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ the Savior of the world.” Jn 4:40 ~GE 



Ever since sin entered into the world, men have known the intimidation and bondage of fear. Like Adam in the garden, this slavish fear causes men to hide from God and cover their nakedness with the fig leaves of their own works. When a poor sinner is brought by the blood of Christ into the presence of God, the fear that once held them in bondage is changed to another kind of fear that sets them at liberty.  This new “fear of God” is a miracle of grace. Unlike sinful fear, this new fear drives us into the presence of God to love and worship him.  “... I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” 

Jer. 32:40.                                                                             ~GE 

“Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!”

Is. 45:9

Shameful as it is that we would ever murmur over our circumstances, believers do not “strive” with their Maker like other men.  While the whole world wrest the Scriptures and stand in judgment of God, the believer believes and bows in worship of his Maker.  While men set themselves up on the throne of God, the believer sits at his footstool. While men rob God of his glory by taking credit for what they have, believers know they are what they are by the grace of God.  Some strive and contend; others yield and rest.  The former have nothing to look forward to but God’s Woe. The latter have the hopeful expectation of His glory.                                                              ~GE 





“... Abound in this Grace also.”  2 Cor. 8:7


Dishonest preachers will tell people if they give their money to the church, God will bless them. Truth is, having a willing heart to give cheerfully, regularly, and sacrificially, IS the blessing.  It is a work of grace in the heart. What greater blessing is there than that?                                                                              ~GE


No Servant Can Serve Two Masters

Luke 16:13

There is nothing inherently evil about money. Money can be used for evil or it can be used for good. Money will control men as a master, or it will be a non-threatening friend. (Luke. 16:9-13). Coveted after, it will cause one to ere from the faith and pierce themselves through with many sorrows. (I Tim. 6:10b). Held loosely and given freely, it will be a treasure of grace laid up in heaven with eternal consequences. (Matt. 6:20-21).  Where then is the evil relating to money? Clearly, it is in man’s heart. “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” I Tim. 6:10a. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Col. 3: 1-4.                                                                                    ~GE



The gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in the glorious person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is plain enough to comfort the simplest, and profound enough that eternity will not be sufficient to plumb its depths.               ~GE

Our Immutable God

An old Greek philosopher once said; “the only constant is change”. He was never able to find any purpose behind this ever-changing world and ended up taking his own life. Truth is, everything is in constant flux, but not without purpose. The Lord changes not (Mal.3:6). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb.13:8).  He controls all things in heaven, in the earth, and under the earth.  His nature, purpose, and covenant promises cannot change. His mercy is everlasting and his truth endureth to all generations. (Ps.100:5) We are often confused by and attempt to control our circumstances in this ever-changing world.  Remember, it is our immutable God that shakes the things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain (Heb. 12:27) There is a Rock, smitten by the rod of God’s justice, out from which flows rivers of living water. He follows us through this dry and thirsty land. I Cor. 10:2. The house built on this sure immutable foundation will not fall.                                                                         ~GE

The Myth of Unconditional Love

Men love to talk about God’s “unconditional love”. God’s love for his children is eternal (Jer. 31:3), and it is immutable (Mal. 3:6), but it is not unconditional.  The righteous Lord loveth righteousness Ps 11:7. Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is IN Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:39).  Christ Jesus the Lord is the condition by which God is able to love us.  Because He is the lamb slain before the foundation of the world, and because He is the same yesterday today and forever, we need never to fear the loss of God’s love. We are secure not because God’s love is unconditional, but because The Condition cannot change.                                ~GE


“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast”. Rev. 3:11

How often the Lord says to his children, “BEHOLD”.  The word is an urgent call to see, look, discern, or understand. So often we are like a child consumed with our toys oblivious to the voice of our Father.  At which point, He takes our face into the palms of his loving hands, brings us in focus to his tender eyes and affectionate voice, and says; BEHOLD... look... listen to me.  This is most important.  

If we only knew how urgent is our need, how few days we have in this world, how good and merciful is our God, how sufficient is Christ for our every need, how weak and sinful we are, our hearts would be filled with nothing but faith, love, gratitude, humility, and grace.                                                                    ~GE

Love and Justice

Someone may ask; “How could A loving God send someone to hell?” God has never, nor will He ever, send anyone He loves to hell. The problem with that question is twofold. First, it assumes God loves everyone.  That simply is not true. There is no sense in which God loves everyone.  His love is perfectly holy, eternal, and immutable. I am the Lord and I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Mal. 3:6.  I have loved thee with an everlasting love Jer. 31:3  His love is particular for His elect. Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated. Rom. 9:13.  Most important, His love is only found in Christ.  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:39

The second problem with that question is that it ignores God‘s justice. Truth is, a loving God would never send someone to hell, but a JUST God will and must. He will by no means clear the guilty Ex. 34:7. His justice must be satisfied.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 Jn. 4:10


God requires an acceptable sacrifice, and God promises a reward for that sacrifice.  Jesus Christ the Lord is both the sacrifice and the reward. Truly He is all in all.



What Do We Believe?

What do believers believe that unbelievers don’t believe? First, Believers believe themselves to be sinners. All the righteous believe themselves to be unrighteous. All the unrighteous believe themselves to be righteous.  Second, Believers believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. They believe that He could not fail and is not discouraged in His accomplished work of redemption.  They believe on Christ for all their righteousness and justification before God.  The unbeliever may honor Christ with their lips by using His proper names and titles, but in listening to their definitions it is clear that their hearts are far from Him.  In short, believers believe themselves to be great sinners, and they believe Christ to be a great savior. Unbelievers believe neither.


Believer or Unbeliever

What is the difference between a Believer and an Unbeliever? The only sure and never changing answer to that question is found in the question. One is a believer, and the other is an unbeliever. The one thing that manifest belief from unbelief is the preaching of the gospel.  The believer, when hearing of the glorious person and accomplished work of Christ, responds with Amen and Amen. They clearly have a need for, and love of the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ. Whereas, the unbeliever is either disinterested or in disagreement.  In short, Believers believe. Unbelievers don’t.                                                        ~GE

The Miracle of Hearing

God-called gospel preachers spend a lot of time in prayer and preparation of the Word. They are deeply concerned with being clear and faithful to preach Christ and Him crucified. “How shall they hear without a preacher” Rom. 10:14. Paul asked rhetorically, “who is sufficient for these things”? I Cor. 2:16. All that being so, the real miracle in preaching is in the hearing. The most well prepared and well delivered sermon can have no effect on the hearts of men, while a message labored through can be used of God to the glory of Christ and to saving of mens’ souls. It is not the voice of a man that speaks to the heart. It is the voice of God. The real miracle in preaching is in the hearing. Let him who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.                                                                 ~GE



Many people when they hear the gospel try desperately to make it fit into
their preconceived notions about God and salvation. It is like watching a
small child trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. One of three
things will happen. They will either give up on the round hole realizing
that they’ve been going in circles all their life. Or, they will simply
cast away the square peg.  Thirdly, they will cut the sharp edges off the
square peg to make it fit the round hole.  When you hear men say; there is
a sense in which God loves everybody, or the death of Christ is sufficient
for all but efficient only for the elect, or Christ died for everyone who
believes, or we’re not under the law but the law is our rule of life,  they
are cutting the offense out of the gospel to make it fit their false
notions.  There is only one gospel and it does not need to be changed. It
is the heart that needs to be changed to fit the gospel.  That is a miracle
of grace performed by the Spirit of God.

Quid Pro Quo

We have been hearing a lot about this in the news lately. A fancy Latin phrase that means “something for something”. Imagine, a politician using his political power for personal gain. Oh, if they could hear, “let him who is without sin cast the first stone”. They would all have to walk away. But they can’t hear, and they will continue in their hypocrisy. So what’s new?

There is a quid pro quo practiced by men that makes what the politicians do look honorable. The natural man has a quid pro quo gospel. A something for something way of salvation. In his self-righteousness he thinks he can obligate God to save him by something he offers God. It is the ultimate expression of man’s pride and hypocrisy to think God’s hands are tied until he offers Him something.

It is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy. He is the Potter we are the clay. He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy.

Only One was able to obligate God with something for something. When the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world, He fulfilled all the conditions of the covenant He made with His Father in eternity past and offered to his Father His own precious blood for the purchase of His bride.  God saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied. The only quid pro quo full of honor and glory.                                                                                         ~GE

Loving the praise of man more than the praise of God, the Pharisee is only concerned with how others see him in this world.  They need the affirmation and praise of other men in order to shore up their false hope.  The believer, on the other hand, is concerned with being found in Christ.  The only time they are able to find true rest for their sin sick soul is when they hear the Lord say; “there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus”.                                                                    ~Greg

“He that is spiritual judgeth all things”. I Cor. 2:15

Oh, how quick and committed we are to do whatever necessary to care for the needs of our flesh. When hungry we eat. When sick we seek medications and doctors. When weary we rest.   Oh, that the Lord would give us such a concern for our souls.  If He does, we will be quick to feed on the Bread of Life to satisfy our hunger and thirst for righteousness. We will seek the Great Physician and look to the Balm of Gilead for our sin sick souls.   We will rest our weary souls in the Only One who is able to satisfy God’s holy law and justice by the sacrifice of Himself.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Jn. 3:6 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jn 6:63.               ~Greg

We desire the preaching of the gospel to make men glad. We want them to rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh. However, if the Lord is not pleased to make them glad, let them get mad.  Let the gospel strip them of their righteousness, offend their pride, and impure their dignity.  At least then we know they’ve heard something.                   ~Greg

Fear God 

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Pr. 9:10. To fear God is to believe God. It is to trust God. It is to rest all ones hope on the glorious person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to fear the thought of standing in the presence of a Holy God without a sufficient Advocate. It is to worship God. It is to beg God for mercy, knowing that it is His sovereign right to have mercy on whom he will have mercy. A proper fear of God delivers the soul from the fear of death and wrath. It sets one free from all threats of condemnation. “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father.” Rom. 8:15.                                                                         ~Greg


We learn very early in life to escape our fears by hiding or lying. As we grow older nothing really changes. Men’s hiding places are no more secure than a child’s blanket. Their lies are no more convincing to God than a child’s quick and sheepish denial of guilt.   God says: “judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” Is 28:17. Oh, that Christ would be our hiding place, and that our love for The Truth would save us from that strong delusion, lest we believe the lie.                                                                 ~Greg

When a sinner is brought by the Spirit of God to look on the Holy, Harmless, Undefiled and separate from sinners, Son of God, all they can do is bow in worship and conclude that there is NOTHING in them like Him.                                                           ~Greg




Nothing but The Blood

 What does God consider when it comes to the saving of a sinner’s soul? Does He examine the depth of their sorrow? Does he regard the sincerity of their confession? Does he inspect the degree of their sacrifice, or the amount of their service? Does he take into account the diligence of their study, or the scope of their knowledge?  No... No... a resounding NO. 

 If these are the requirements for our salvation, then the gospel is not good news. No honest person can find any comfort in these things. Let the hypocrite pretend to have done them right. The child of God needs a more sure word of testimony for their hope.  And God has given it. “... The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” 1 Jn. 1:7.  “When I see the Blood I will pass over you.“ Ex. 12:13  “...without shedding of Blood there is no remission” Heb. 9:22.   When our High Priest went into the holy of holy‘s it was, “not without Blood”. Heb 9:7.   When John saw the saints in glory dressed in the white robe of Christ righteousness, he was told that these; “have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb” Rev. 7:14.   

 Child of God, our God is taking one thing into consideration when it comes to our salvation. It is the precious Blood of His Darling Son shed for you. We have boldness to enter into his presence “by the Blood of Jesus” Heb. 10:19.  We are justified; “by His Blood” Rom. 5:9.   We are redeemed; “by His Blood”. Heb 9:13, Rev 5:9.   He sanctified us; “with His own Blood“ Heb. 13:12.    What can wash away our sins? NOTHING but the Blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? NOTHING but the Blood of Jesus.                                                                          ~Greg

Peace is Better

“The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7

I used to think this passage meant that God’s peace could not be explained or understood.   I’m sure there is some truth to that, for the peace of God is a miracle of grace in the heart ministered by the Holy Spirit.   However, in the context of this whole passage, what causes us to fear is our sinful need to understand and control our circumstances. The word “passeth” in this verse means to be higher than, better, or more excellent.   The Lord is telling us that in Christ Jesus there is something better than understanding.   Truth is, we don’t fully understand anything the Lord is doing.  “How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out”.  Rom. 11:33. Oh, for the faith to “be careful for nothing”. For the faith to “rejoice in the Lord always.”  Lord, give us grace to trust you in all things, and give us in Christ Jesus that peace which far exceeds any understanding.                                                                                             ~Greg


Prayer, Patience, Province and Peace

How do we discern the Lord’s will concerning those matters in life that are not already commanded, or forbidden by scripture? Do we “put out a fleece” and asked for a sign?   Be careful, “an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” Matt. 12:39.  The disciples erred in casting lots for Judas’ replacement.   Had they waited until the very next verse of Scripture (Acts 2:1), they would have had the Holy Spirit to guide them.   

Discerning God’s will is a spiritual work of prayer, patience, providence, and peace.  Ask the Lord to direct your steps. Ask in faith, nothing wavering Jam. 1:6. “Say, if the Lord will, we shall live and do this and that” Jam. 4:13-15.  Patiently wait for the Lord in His providence to provide an answer.   When he does, the Holy Spirit will give you peace to press forward.  

How often times we’ve prayed amiss that we may consume it up on our own lust. Then, impatiently press forward without peace to make a decision that brings much trouble. Take comfort child of God, that too was in our Lords good providence to teach us to; pray, wait patiently for his good providence, and enjoy his peace.  ‘These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season’ Ps. 104:27.                                            ~Greg






Many people suffer the “tormentors” (Matt. 18:34) of an unforgiving heart. When the suffering becomes unbearable, they search the dark dungeons of their already enslaved heart for the ability and virtue to forgive. They may temporarily escape their prison cell only to be captured and returned. The problem is that the power to forgive cannot be found in a sinner’s heart. The ability to forgive is very simply the result of being forgiven. Look not on the offense, or offender you are trying to forgive. Rather, look at the offense of your own sin towards God, and His grace to forgive YOU through the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ. Forgiving will be easy in light of your own forgiveness.         ~Greg


“Grace, Grace unto it” Zech. 4:7

Free Grace does not lead to fatalism. Grace leads sinners to Christ. (He) called me by His grace. Gal. 1:15. Grace does not excuse or encourage sin. Grace exposes sin. And where sin abounds, grace doth much more abound. Rom. 5:20. Grace does not negate good works. Grace is the cause of good works. It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Phil. 2:13.

We are justified freely BY His grace THROUGH the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Rom. 3:24. The covenant of grace established by the will of God did require One thing. God’s Holy Justice demanded that sin be paid for. To seek grace by any other means than the shed blood of Christ is to frustrate the grace of God and make it no longer grace.                                                        ~Greg


I Will and They Shall

God’s word is full of; “I Will and They Shall”. The man of sin who has proudly set himself on the throne of God reverses the order. Man says, “I will have faith, and God shall save me”. God says, “I will save you, and you shall have faith”. Man says, “I will repent, and God shall forgive me”. God says, “I will forgive you, and you shall repent”. Man says, “I will serve God, and He shall bless me”. God says, “I will bless you, and you shall serve me”. God’s “I WILLS” is His purpose, and God’s “THEY SHALLS” is His performance. What He has purposed, He shall also perform.       ~Greg


Miracle of Grace

Paul likens the new birth as; “Christ be formed in you” Gal. 4:19. Then in Col. 1:27 he speaks of, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. In 2 Cor. 13:5, we are admonished to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith, “how that Christ is in you, except you be reprobates”.

Christ being formed spiritually in the heart of a sinner is no less a miracle than Christ being formed physically in the womb of a virgin.  Like Mary we; “knew no man”. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadowed thee”.  The “Holy Thing” in us was conceived by the Holy Ghost.  Just like Mary, God sent an angel(messenger) to inform us of his favor. “Hail thou art highly favored”. Like Mary, we are “troubled” to know how this could be for us.  To which God says; “with God nothing shall be impossible”. Like Mary, we rest our hope on the word of God. “Be it unto me according to thy word”. Luke 1:26-38                         ~Greg


What is the difference between faith and intellectualism? Faith believes what it does not understand. Intellectualism pretends to understand what it does not believe.                                   ~Greg

Who Gets All The Glory?

What men call worship in modern day “christianity” reminds me of the celebration a winning team has at the end of a sporting event.   The star player is lifted up on the shoulders of his team members to receive the glory for the win. Then, when the media interviews that player he rightly deflect the glory to his team, knowing that there was no way he could have done it without them.   It is an accurate illustration of the false gospel. Men hold up their jesus as the star player, but everybody knows he could not have gotten the victory all by himself.  He needed the cooperative effort of his team. 

 This is not our Victor. Oh no; “Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, and upholdeth all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Heb.1:3. “Thanks be to God which GIVETH us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. 1 Cor.15:57.  In a sporting event even the spectators take some glory for having cheered their team on to victory. We, on the other hand, “look upon him whom we have pierced”. Our voices are heard in the crowd; “crucify him”. The salvation of sinners is not a team sport. Our Lord gets ALL the glory.   ~Greg


 Humility is a beautiful quality to have among men. It is kind, considerate, self-effacing, unpretentious, easy to be around. Sadly, we are often proud, easily offended, and self-promoting.  May the Lord forgive us and teach us to be more humble among men. 

On the other hand, humility is an absolute necessity before God. If a person stands in the presence of God proud, you can be sure that the god they are standing before is not the God they will meet in the final judgment. “God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble.” I Peter 5:5.                                                                ~Greg

Are You Qualified?

If being a sinner is the qualification of those whom Christ came to save, no one is more qualified than me; the chief of sinners. If being poor and needy is the qualification of those whom Christ came to save, who is in more spiritual poverty and in need of mercy more than me? If it is true that God hath chosen the foolish, the weak, the base, and the things which are not, that no flesh should glory in His presence; who has less reason to glory in themselves than me? Are you qualified?                                                  ~Greg

Not in Vain 

The false gospel says that not everyone Christ died for will be raised to everlasting life. They say Christ died and was risen for everybody. But…most of the people He died for will not be raised to everlasting life. To which the Lord says; “If there be no resurrection from the dead then Christ is not risen: and if Christ be not risen then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain”. I Cor. 15:13-14. You cannot have the resurrection of Christ without the assurance that everyone for whom He died will also be raised from death to life. If what they say is true, then Christ died in vain (without cause), our faith is in vain, and we are still in our sins. No, everyone Christ died for, died in Him, and were risen in Him. There is nothing vain about the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He accomplished exactly what He came to do; save His people from their sins and give to them eternal life.                                                 ~Greg



Contrary to popular opinion, true faith is not the courage, strength, fortitude, and power of its possessor.   True faith is what God gives to the poor and needy. True faith is the only hope the fearful, the weak, and the helpless have.   True faith is the admission of one’s total inability. True faith is the acknowledgment of one’s total dependence. It does not boast of its confidence.   True faith is humble and quiet. It cannot be judgmental of others while it stands in such doubt of itself.   It dare not act outwardly religious and pious, in fear that the true nature of its own weakness be exposed.   The Lord said; “my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” To which the child of God says; “most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me... for when I am weak, then I am strong.”                                 ~Greg



God’s grace always acts from itself, to itself. No merit can warrant it, and no unworthiness can prevent it. It is a pure act of God’s favor without any consideration as to the worthiness or unworthiness of it’s recipient.   It is unprovoked, unmerited, undeserved, and unearned by its heir. Its sole cause is found ONLY in the will, pleasure, and purpose of the heart of God.   Humbled believers may often be brought in their bewilderment, to ask; “why me”.   Be careful child of God. It could be that hiding in the shadows of that question is the notion that you might be more worthy if you were not so sinful.   No, no, no, it is God’s free and sovereign Grace. It always acts from itself and to itself.  Period.  Therefore, it is always to the praise of the glory of His grace.                                                                                 ~Greg

Living the Dream

(He) “waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.” Zech. 4:1

“Living the dream” is a statement we hear men say as it relates to their life here on earth. If they only knew how true they spoke. What is a dream? A dream is not real. A dream is nothing more than the fanciful imagination of the mind. At some point you wake up and discover it was, “only a dream”. For most, that awakening will be too late.  Only in the day of judgment will they discover what they gave in exchange for their soul was, … but a dream. 

Oh Lord, wake us from our slumber now. Cause us to; look not on the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18. Give us eyes of faith lest we walk by sight and confuse the dream for reality. Enable us to set our affections on things above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God as a successful Savior of sinners. Cause us to know that to live is Christ, for He is our life, and, that to die is gain.  Only then will we be fully awake from this dream.   ~Greg


Recently, I was typing on my computer an article for our Sunday bulletin. In the article was the phrase, “Christ’s particular redemption”. The grammar checks on the computer flagged the phrase and suggested I drop the word “particular” in order to make the sentence “more precise”. Immediately, I thought, wow, even my computer hates the gospel. To take out the word “particular” would do just the opposite of making the sentence “more precise”. We hear this same objection from men. They are offended by the precise language of the Gospel. They want our words to be ambiguous enough to accommodate their own interpretation. May the Lord enable us to be so clear as to take away man’s choice and shut him up to The Truth.               ~Greg

The Mystery of The Gospel

What is the appeal to the many “secret societies” that have risen up over the history of mankind? Simply put, “knowledge puffeth up”. I Cor. 8:1. Man, in his pride, loves to think he has come to understand something that is hidden from others. He will boast in his ‘special’ status, and glory in his advantage over other men.

When men hear what we believe about God’s electing grace, and Christ’s particular redemption, and the Holy Spirit’s irresistible call, they will falsely accuse us of this pride. Nothing could be further from the truth. First, we know nothing as we ought to know. I Cor. 8:2. Second, God hath chosen the foolish, the weak, the base, those things that are not, to bring to naught the things that are; that no flesh shall glory in His presence. I Cor. 1:27-29. Third, we know who maketh us to differ from another so that we cannot glory in what has been received. I Cor. 4:7.

The church is not a secret society. We proclaim as clearly as the Lord enables us, everything we believe in hopes that men will hear and believe on Christ. The Gospel however, is a mystery hidden from the natural man, revealed only by the Spirit of God to His chosen people.                                                       Greg



Men destitute of the truth suppose that gain is godliness, but godliness with contentment is great gain. I Tim.6:5-6. The world measures God’s favor with outward signs of gain. They suppose that a gain of material wealth, or a gain in popularity with men, or a gain in personal power, is evidence of God’s favor on them. The Lord said: “from such withdraw thyself”. Many who have been seduced by the values of this world have; “erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows:” I Tim. 6:10.


Oh, to be content with Christ Jesus the Lord as all our righteousness. Oh, to be content with His precious blood as all our justification. Oh, to be content with His good providence for all our needs in this world. That my dear brother and sister is the GREAT GAIN that this world knows nothing about.                     ~Greg

The Truth of Thy Salvation

We come into the presence of God only according to the, “Truth of Thy Salvation” Ps. 69:13. So, what is the truth of God’s salvation? Perhaps the alliteration will give us some hooks on which to hang our thoughts.

1.      God is SOVEREIGN in Salvation. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy…Rom 9:15-16.

2.      Christ is SUCCESSFUL in God’s Salvation. You shall call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins. Matt. 1:21. It is finished. Jn. 19:30.

3.      Christ is SUFFICIENT in God’s Salvation. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my defense… Ps. 62:2.

4.      Christ is the SUBJECT of God’s Salvation. …the gospel of God…concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 1:1-3.

5.      Christ is the SUBSTITUTE of God’s Salvation. God will provide Himself a Lamb. Gen. 22:8

6.      Christ is God’s SATISFACTION in Salvation. He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied. Is. 53:11a.

7.      Christ is the SHINNING of God’s Salvation. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. II Cor. 4:6.

We bear these truths to be clearly set forth in the Word of God. Any attempt to approach God on a message of salvation contrary to these will surely fail.                                                     ~Greg



Faith and Works

There are many who call themselves Christians who would say a man is not saved by works. They then turn around and make a work out of believing or look to their works as evidence of their salvation. If by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace Rom. 11:6a. Grace and works cannot be mixed for our salvation. So, what sayeth the scriptures about good works? First, those who are trusting Christ don’t look to their works as the cause or evidence of their salvation. (Matt. 25:37-39.) Grace is the only cause of our salvation and faith is the only evidence. (Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 11:1). Second, good works are ordained of God that we should walk in them Eph. 2:10. Third, it is God that works in them causing them to will and to do of His good pleasure Phil. 2:13. And fourth, believers are zealous for good works Titus 2:4.  They are careful to maintain good works, knowing that these things are good and profitable unto men Titus 3:8.  At the  end of the day, they believe themselves to be but, unprofitable servants Luke 17:10.

May it be said of us what the Lord said to the woman who broke open the alabaster box of precious ointment. She hath wrought a good work on me, for she hath done what she could Mk. 14:3-8.                                                                                                                                                          ~Greg 


God is My Judge 

“Don’t judge me. God is my judge”. I fear that those who make such statements have no idea of the standard by which the Judge of all the earth measures His judgments. “Thou shalt judge the people righteously.” Ps. 67.4. The Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Judge (Acts 10:42), but He Himself is the standard by which all men shall be measured. God’s Holy nature demands all sin to be punished. “He will by no means clear the guilty.” Ex. 34:7. If He finds one infraction to His law, even in the secret recesses of man’s heart, He must condemn that person to eternal separation from Him. “If thou, Lord shouldest make iniquities, Oh Lord, who shall stand”? Ps. 130:3.

Oh, child of God, let us say with the Apostle Paul; “with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you (man)…” I Cor. 4:3. We delight in knowing that God is our Judge. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration 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.” Titus 3:5-7.       ~Greg

What About Good Works?

Why is this so often the response of the religious person who first hears the gospel of God’s free grace in the finished work of Christ? Why do they automatically conclude that we are advocating lawless living? If their accusations are not because of our behavior, why do they come to this conclusion? One simple reason. They are looking to their own “good works”, either as the cause or the evidence of their salvation. The message of the gospel strips them of their righteousness. It robs them of their only hope.

Do God’s children have good works? The scripture says that we are, “His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which He hath ordained that we should walk in them” Eph. 2:10. Is it possible for God to “ordain” something, and it not come to pass? One thing is for sure about true good works. The person through whom God is doing them is completely unaware of them. (Matt. 25:32-46). The minute you think you have done a good work, is the very moment it ceases to be a good work. May the Lord keep us looking only to the person and work of Christ for all the hope of our salvation.                                                ~Greg

When I hear people talking about their “church”, it’s all about “community” and their influence on society. They could trade their purpose statement with the local Lions Club and no one would know the difference. Let that person believe the gospel and see how their “community” holds up.  As for their influence on society, let’s say they have some success in improving the behavior of some folks. What is that going to do for the salvation of their souls? Actually, the demons of religious morality are seven times stronger than the demons of irreligious immorality. (Lk. 11:24-26). So what is the purpose of God’s church? Simply put, it is to Glorify God by the saving of sinners through the preaching of the gospel. May the Lord keep us focused and faithful.                                                                                  ~Greg

The Kingdom of God is not a capitalistic democracy whereby its citizens get a vote and are rewarded according to their work. No. The Kingdom of God is a benevolent theocracy whose citizens love their King, and oh, how much more He loves them.     ~Greg

The Perfect Man

“When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” I Cor. 13:10

When the “Perfect Man” comes, only then shall we see Him as He is and be made like Him. In the meantime, our faith is mixed with unbelief. Our love is mixed with selfishness. Our understanding is mixed with ignorance. Our sorrow for sin is shallow. Our worship falls so far short of its mark. Our experience of peace is fraught with fear. Our joy is mixed with sorrow. Truly;  “Now we see through a glass darkly…” 

Here is our hope brethren. Faith does not look to our experience in these graces for the hope of our salvation. Oh no! Faith looks to that Perfect Man in whom all these spiritual graces are full and complete. May we rest the hope of our salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ who stands in our stead before Almighty God. “Wherefore, He is able to save them to the uttermost (perfectly) that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Heb. 7:25.                                   ~Greg

“He shall not fail, nor be discouraged…” Is 42:4

The same people who say Christ died for everybody, will also say that ninety percent of the people He died for, are not, nor will not be saved. How can you trust your soul to a failure? You would not trust your car to a mechanic that had a success rate of ten percent. I know you would not trust your life in the hands of a surgeon who lost ninety percent of their patients. Truth is, they are not trusting anyone but themselves. It’s their will and their works that they are trusting. For them, it’s not the sacrifice that saves but rather their acceptance of the sacrifice that saves.

Our Christ; “after He hath offered (to His Father) one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Heb. 10:12-14.                                                     ~Greg

Who Maketh Thee to Differ?

“He was numbered with the transgressors” Is. 53:12

The two malefactors Christ hung between on Calvary’s cross, represent all of mankind. They are also called thieves. A transgressoris a law breaker. A malefactor is an evil-doer. And the worse thief of all is one that would rob God of His glory. Yes, this is the natural state of all the descendants of Adam. Both men reviled Christ. Both were receiving the “due reward of their deeds”. One had a change of heart and ended up with the Lord in Paradise. The other died in his sins and went to eternal judgment. So, it is with every man. There is no middle ground.

What, or rather Who, made the difference? Who made the difference between the one dying IN his sin from the one dying TO his sin. The ONE dying FOR sin. He is still giving sinners a “change of heart”. When He does, THAT transgressor pleads for mercy and rests his hope in the One dying FOR sin.            ~Greg


Addictions are not so much enslaving because of the pleasure derived from them, but rather from the expectation of a pleasure that never comes. The flesh of man is addicted to this world. Never content, his expectation for a better tomorrow drives his pursuit for happiness from worldly things.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (I Tim. 6:6-7) Being content with Christ is a miracle of grace in the heart. Content with Him as all our Righteousness before God. Content with Him as our Redeemer, and His shed blood as our justification before God.

Oh, child of God, all the expectations of the flesh will leave you wanting. But Christ will never disappoint. The expectation of faith will never be able to imagine the fullness of the glory that shall be revealed in us. “My soul, wait thou upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation” (Ps.62:5-6) “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed.” (Phil.1:20)                                                                            ~Greg

“Vain is the help of man”. Ps. 60:11b

All men derive “their” truth from one of three sources: conscience, tradition, or scripture. Another way to say the same thing is that every person either looks to themselves, or they look to others, or they look to God for truth. Man, in his pride does not know that his conscience is both fallible and limited in its ability to know the truth. Yet, he continues trusting himself for life, both temporal and eternal. Those who are unsure of themselves lean on the opinions of others. They trust the traditions of men established in social mores or religious confessions and creed for their truth. Many in this group will say “sola scriptura” (only scripture) and then turn around and test the scriptures by their man-made, handed down traditions.

Then, there are those who have no place else to go other than the Word of God. By God’s grace they have been made to believe every word. By God’s grace they have been brought to see Christ, the Living Word, on every page of His written Word. By God’s grace they have come to believe, “vain is the help of man”.                                                                                             ~Greg

Come, but you can't

Is it contradictory to tell someone to come and drink from the River of Life freely, but then tell them they are unable? Should we just tell men to come to Christ and leave out the part about God’s sovereign election and man’s total inability? Many would say we are just confusing the message and restricting men from coming.  Why is it necessary when commanding men to come to Christ to tell them they can’t? Why are total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, and irresistible grace essential elements of the gospel? One simple reason.  Without these truths, men will make a work out of coming.  Without these truths, men will be led to believe that God has done His part, now it is up to man to do the rest.  No, men must trust Christ for their coming also.  If you bring anything to the table of salvation, even your coming, then grace is no longer grace and you are left in your sins. Salvation is of the Lord. All to the praise of the glory of His grace.                                                                            ~Greg

“I will cry unto God most high, unto God that performeth all things for me”. Ps. 57:2

In foreknowledge, He performeth all things for me in that He loved me with an everlasting love, before He caused me to love Him. In predestination, He performeth all things for me in that He chose me before the foundation of the world. In redemption, He performeth all things for me in that He purchased me with His own precious blood. In regeneration, He performeth all things for me in that He sent His Spirit to open the eyes of my understanding and make me willing in the day of His power. In sanctification, He performeth all things for me in that He gave me a holy nature and continues to work in me causing me to look to Christ for all my righteousness. In glorification, He performeth all things for me in that He is seated at the right hand of the majesty on high, and I am in Him waiting for the redemption of my body. Thanks be to God who hath done all things well.                                                                            ~Greg

“…Wisdom and spiritual understanding” Col. 1:8

Which comes first, understanding or believing?  Most would assume you cannot believe that which you don't understand.  This reasoning puts man as the standard of truth.  He judges what is worthy to be believed by what he is able to understand.  Adam’s fall in the garden was motivated by a temptation to be God.  Nothing has changed.  Men are still standing in judgment of God, putting their reason above God's revelation.  God says; If you will not believe, you shall not “be established” (understand) Is. 7:9b.  Truth is, nothing we believe can be fully understood.  However, the understanding God gives us only comes after the heart is brought to bow in submission of faith.  God’s prophets and preachers have never been called on by God to prove anything to men.  They are called of God to preach, proclaim, herald, declare, "thus sayeth the Lord". God's sheep, when given a heart to believe, hear His voice and follow Him.   The “potsherds” (shards of broken clay pots) of the earth will always strive with their Maker. Is. 45:9. The vessels of honor will always be pliable clay in the hands of the Potter.                                      ~Greg

Two Funerals

Is a person’s life measured by the glory men give them at their departure from this world, or by the glory God gives them at the entrance to the next? The whole world observed today (December 5, 2018) the funeral of George H.W. Bush. It was an impressive ceremony of precision and pomp fit for a king. The setting was the austere National Cathedral. The participants were made up of some of the most powerful people in our world. Every step and word were choreographed to maximize a dramatic effect on the hearts and minds of all. No doubt (by man’s standards) President Bush could be called a “good man”. No doubt he was loved by his family. No doubt he was instrumental and influential in this world. But, if Mr. Bush’s hope for the salvation of his immortal soul was reflected by the empty pious platitudes spoken at his funeral, I fear that the glory of his departure far exceeded any glory he has now.

Five hundred miles away on the backside of an Indian reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina, there was another funeral this week. The body of the sister laid to rest was taken from her death bed, and in less than twelve hours was respectfully placed in a pine box and returned to the earth from which it came. There were no news cameras, no dignitaries, no flowery speeches of her accomplishments; just her grieving husband and a few family members and friends. The words spoken at her graveside were of the Successful Saviour of Sinners Laverne Land trusted for the keeping of her soul. The hope we have for our dear sister in Christ, is that the Glory she received from God infinitely exceeded the glory she got from man. “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God”. Jn. 12:43                     ~Greg

Where Does Grace Lead?

Some people would have us believe that if we preach pure grace it will lead people to licentious living. They say if we remove the law as a guide or motivation for Christian living, people will have nothing to keep them holy. They say to tell a person to just follow Christ doesn’t provide enough structure and will lead people to careless living. Is that where the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ Jesus leads? Grace preachers have always been, and always will be, falsely accused of this devilish lie. The apostle Paul spent most of his time defending the gospel of grace against this lawmongers view of self- righteousness. “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Rom 6:15 No, grace does not lead to sin, grace leads to Christ.  Truth is; “The strength of sin is the law.” 1 Cor.15:56. Show me a man preaching the law, and I’ll show you a people with no hope for their sin.                    ~Greg

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned…” Ps. 51:4

The severity of a crime is judged in large part by the innocence of the victim. A child abused by a trusted caretaker would be a much worse crime than a prison inmate being abused by a prison guard. Sin is the most heinous crime because it is committed against The Most Innocent.                                                ~Greg


Many people suffer the “tormentors” (Matt. 18:34) of an unforgiving heart. When the suffering becomes unbearable, they search the dark dungeons of their already enslaved heart for the ability and virtue to forgive. They may temporarily escape their prison cell only to be captured and returned. The problem is that the power to forgive can not be found in a sinner’s heart. The ability to forgive is very simply the result of being forgiven. Look not on the offense, or offender you are trying to forgive. Rather, look at the offense of your own sin towards God, and His grace to forgive YOU through the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ. Forgiving will be easy in light of your own forgiveness.         ~Greg

The True Measure of a Man

Someone sent me a quote that read: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at time of challenge and controversy”. Truth is, men in times of “challenge and controversy” usually become temporarily humble and prayerful.  It is in times of “comfort” (when there seems to be no apparent outward need) that he shows his true nature of pride and independence.  He becomes confident, not knowing that where he is standing is shifting sand.  His true nature, or “ultimate measure” is exposed in the times of ease not controversy.

Knowing we are this way; the Lord is merciful to keep His children in constant trouble.  Not always with their circumstances, but always with their sin.  This way, their “ultimate measure” is seen before God as humble, prayerful, and dependent.  The only safe place the child of God can find to stand, in comfort or controversy, is in Christ.                ~Greg

“Grace Gospel Church”

Twenty-two years ago today, the Lord called us out and separated us to the gospel of His free and sovereign grace in Christ. We did not choose to come out. We were not looking to “start a church”. The Lord shut us up to Himself and gave us a need to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The beginning of this work was all of grace and all to His glory. Since then, the Lord has been gracious to add to the church such as should be saved. He has been merciful to keep us faithful to the gospel. Had He not kept us, we would all have fallen away. If we have grown in His grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (and I believe we have) that too is a testimony to His grace. “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6. However long we have in the days to come, we will become more and more aware of our dependence on our Great God for His mercy and grace.

Grace:             A free and sovereign act of demerited favor.

Gospel:           The Good News that ALL the work of Salvation is accomplished once and for all in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Church:          The called-out ones. God’s elect, faithful in Christ Jesus.                                                                ~Greg

Assurance of Salvation

Every child of God believes with all their heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.  In believing on Him, they know without any doubt that He was successful in putting away ALL the sins, of ALL God’s elect, ALL by Himself.  They believe that none for whom Christ died will ever suffer the wrath of God.  They know that God saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied.  These things are never in question for a child of God.  However, one thing every believer questions is: “did Christ die for me?” Were My sins put away once and for all?

Only the Holy Spirit can calm our fears and comfort our hearts.  He (the Holy Spirit) does this, NOT when we look for some evidence in ourselves.  To the contrary, the more we look for evidence in ourselves, the more we are caused to doubt.  No, the peace of God that passes understanding is the result of having your heart and mind kept on Christ Jesus.  When I look to Christ, the dove of peace flies into my heart.  When I look for the dove of peace, He flies away.                                                             ~Greg

“Gird Thy Sword upon Thy Thigh”

Ps. 45:3


May the Lord be merciful to answer this prayer. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Eph. 6:17. When John saw the vision of Christ in Revelation 1, he said, “out of His mouth went a two-edged sword”. Then in Hebrews 4, the Lord tells us that His Word is “quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged Sword”.

The thigh is a picture of strength. The Lord touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh and made him to ‘halt on his thigh’ the rest of his life. Jacob, like all of us, had to learn that his strength came from his weakness. 2 Cor. 12:10. Then when the Lord Jesus Christ is seen in Revelation 19, His name, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, is written on His thigh.

So, when the bride of Christ prays, “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh”, she is praying for the Lord to speak to her heart with the irresistible power and truth of His Word. Let us join our hearts in offering that supplication to our Lord this morning. Add to that, “Lord give us ears to hear”, and we will leave this place having heard from God Almighty.                                                        ~Greg

Everybody is trying to figure out who they are and what they’re supposed to do. The answers to those two questions are very simple. Who you are: “Every man at his best state is altogether vanity” Ps. 39:5. What are you to do: “This is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another” I Jn 2:23. There it is. The secret to life is not found in who you are and what you should do, but rather in who He is and what He has done. Trying to figure yourself out is like going down in a well. The deeper you go, the darker it gets. The Lord did not say; This is life eternal that they may know themselves… Oh, no. He said, “This is life eternal that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ who thou hast sent” Jn. 17:3.  Figure out who He is and what He has done, and you will know all you need to know. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” Matt. 6:33.                                          ~Greg

How Sorry Do You Have to Be?

A sincere apology must convey to the offended party that you are able to empathize with the pain you have caused. Only then can true forgiveness be experienced. I hear people define repentance as being “truly sorry” for your sins. Only when the Spirit of grace and supplication is poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem are we able to look upon Him whom we have pierced and mourn after Him. Zech. 12:10. But, even then we cannot know the full extent of what our sin has cost God. That is why Christ prayed from Calvary’s Cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. It is also why David speaking prophetically of when Christ would be “made sin,” said; “I will declare mine iniquity, I will be sorry for my sins”. Ps. 38:18. Yes, a sinner must be “truly sorry”, and that can only happen as Christ stands in their stead. What God requires, God must provide.         ~Greg

EVERYTHING that God requires, God MUST provide; and God ONLY accepts that which He provides.                               ~Greg

Assurance of Salvation

Are you sure you are saved? Now before we cause more unbelief and lack of assurance than already exist, let us considers the premise of that question.’  The truth is, it is a bad question.  The honest soul will have nothing but doubts trying to answer
it.  Knowing their own capacity to deceive themselves, they will be caused to say with the disciples; ‘Lord is it I.’ Only the religious find comfort in this question because it takes them back to the very thing they are trusting in for their salvation.  A decision they made, a prayer they prayed, or an experience of some sort.

God’s means of comforting and assuring His children are found in a completely different question. Do you believe that Jesus (God does all the saving), is The Christ (sent of the Father to successfully accomplish His purpose), The Son of The Living God (sovereign over the armies of heaven and all the inhabitants of the earth)?  Are you persuaded that He is able to keep that which you have committed unto Him against that day?  Do you believe what the Scriptures clearly set forth about the glorious person and completed work of Christ?  “These are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name”. True assurance of salvation is found not in what one believes about themselves, but rather in what one believes about Jesus Christ.                                                                                           ~Greg

Commitment vs. Need

Shame and the promise of reward are motivations used to bolster commitment. Man-made, free will, works religion is all about commitment. The more committed you are the less shame you will have, and the more rewards you will enjoy in this life and the life to come. In sixty-six books of inspired scripture, the word “commitment” is nowhere to be found. What is found over and over are the words, “poor” and “needy”. Show me someone using shame and the promise for a reward to motivate commitment, and I will show you someone putting men under the law. Show me a man preaching Christ, and I will show you a congregation of poor and needy sinners who will, “commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing” 1 Pet 4:15.                                         ~Greg

Regeneration and Faith

Regeneration (the new birth) necessarily precedes faith.  Not in time. Chronologically they happen simultaneously. But in sequence, or order of events, regeneration must precede faith. “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Faith is to spiritual birth what breathing is to physical birth. In both cases, they are the evidence of life, not the cause of it.           ~Greg

Is the Gospel Fair?

Our God delights in showing mercy. Micah 7:18. At the same time He is of immutable holiness that demands judgment against all sin. He will by no means clear the guilty. Ex. 34.7. Christ suffered the full wrath of the judgment of God to satisfy Divine justice for His people. There can be no mercy without justice. When the unbeliever responds to the message of the gospel (as they often do), with “that’s not fair”, we know that in the truest sense of the word “fair”, it is the only message of salvation that is equitable to God and man.                                              ~Greg

Conviction of Sin


All men have the moral law of God written on their hearts. Romans 2:14-15. All men know there is a God with whom they must do. Romans 1:19-20.  Consequently, all men suffer some pangs of conscience when they violate God’s law. The severity of the violation and the tenderness of the conscience determines the depth of the conviction. This is everyone’s experience. One need not the Holy Spirit to have this kind of conviction, shame, or sorrow. It’s called a guilty conscience.

So, what is the conviction of Sin? Not feeling guilty for bad behavior but seeing that the best thing you’ve ever done is iniquity before God.   When the Holy Spirit makes us see our sin, we come to believe that sin is what we are, not just what we do.   This conviction only comes when we see ourselves compared to the Holy One of Israel. The One who is Himself holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.  Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ must make Himself known.  When He does we will join Isaiah in crying, “Woe is me”.  We will join Job in declaring, “Behold, I am vile”.  We will agree with Daniel who said, “My comeliness was turned in me into corruption”.  We will rest all the hope of our immortal soul on the Lord Jesus Christ for all our righteousness before God. That, at least in part, is the conviction of Sin.  ~Greg

Minding the Flesh

“They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh”. Rom. 8:5. This explains why when the religious (who have not the Spirit of God) talk about their god, it is always in relationship to this fleshly life. They speak of the need to believe in something bigger than themselves. They speak of a need for a higher power to help them with the trials of life. They talk about a ‘jesus’ who gives them peace. For them, god’s purpose is to improve their life in this world. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and the flesh profited nothing. Never do you hear them express a need to be delivered from the wrath that is to come. The forgiveness of sin is at best a secondary concern for them. They are unable to set their affections on things above because all they can see are the things below. Only they that are after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit.  ~Greg

Have you heard God say, “I have numbered your kingdom and finished it”? All men are born into this world in rebellion against God. They will not have Christ reign over them. When we hear Christ say, “It is finished”, not only do we rejoice to know everything God requires for our salvation was accomplished on the cross, but we also rejoice to have our self-reign finished. All men attempt to atone for their own sins by putting the false weight of their will and works on the balance. Only when Christ is revealed do we see ourselves ‘found wanting’. Only then do we trust the “Perfect Stone” Prov 11:1 for all our righteousness before God. All men are born into this world with a fleshly Adamic nature. They cannot understand its sinfulness until they receive a new and “pure” (Persia) nature in the new birth. Like Rebecca, they will struggle with two nations in them, and spend the rest of their days crying, “why am I thus”? Gen 25:22-23.

The handwriting is on the wall. Only God’s elect will hear it before it’s too late.                 ~Greg

The Handwriting is on the Wall

Only believers will heed its warning. The blasphemous king of Babylon was judged by God for taking the holy things and using them in his pagan worship of idols. Daniel 5. The message of judgment was 1) God hath numbered thy kingdoms and finished it; 2) Thou art weighed in the balance and art found wanting; 3) Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. In essence, these same words of judgment will be spoken by God to ALL men. For His elect, they will be spoken in the day of their calling. For the reprobate (like Belshazzar) they will be spoken in the day of their damnation.

Have you heard God say, “I have numbered your kingdom and finished it”? All men are born into this world in rebellion against God. They will not have Christ reign over them. When we hear Christ say, “It is finished”, not only do we rejoice to know everything God requires for our salvation was accomplished on the cross, but we also rejoice to have our self-reign finished. All men attempt to atone for their own sins by putting the false weight of their will and works on the balance. Only when Christ is revealed do we see ourselves ‘found wanting’. Only then do we trust the “Perfect Stone” Prov 11:1 for all our righteousness before God. All men are born into this world with a fleshly Adamic nature. They cannot understand its sinfulness until they receive a new and “pure” (Persia) nature in the new birth. Like Rebecca, they will struggle with two nations in them, and spend the rest of their days crying, “why am I thus”? Gen 25:22-23.

The handwriting is on the wall. Only God’s elect will hear it before it’s too late.                 ~Greg

Young Parents

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6

Young parents: Raising children is not easy. It requires wisdom, patience, consistency, and most importantly, love. Many mistakes will be made along the way. No honest parent can look back without many regrets. I have heard it said that it is the most important job with the least amount of training one can have. Yet, as believers, we do have a perfect example in our loving Heavenly Father.  May the Lord give us the grace to follow Him.

There are three things children will not learn unless they are taught. Our loving Heavenly Father teaches each and every one of His children these same three things: 1) respect for authority; 2) take responsibility for their actions, and 3) be considerate toward others.  Jails are full of men and women who have never been taught these three basic lessons. The ultimate form of respecting authority is to bow in submission and worship to our sovereign and omnipotent God. The ultimate form of taking responsibility for one’s self is to be made a sinner. No excuses, no exceptions. When the Spirit of God makes one a sinner they have no one to blame but themselves.  And, the ultimate form of being considerate toward others is the unfeigned love the Lord puts in our hearts for all the brethren. This love is manifest not in word but in deed and in truth. 1 Jn. 3:18.

Though we will fail many times in training a child in the way he should go, our God has never failed. When we are brought to see, in the preaching of the gospel, what the Lord has done for us in Christ, we will bow in grateful submission, we will willingly confess our sin, and we will love God’s people.  To our young parents: do you see why it is vital to have your children under the preaching of the gospel?  It is the only place for them to be taught of God.               ~Greg

The King's Matter

“…thou hast made known unto us the KING’S MATTER.” Dan. 2:23

A death sentence had gone out from King Nebuchadnezzar for Daniel and his friends. The only way their lives could be saved was for the Lord to reveal the mystery of the king’s dream. So, it is with us. The wages of sin is death. None of the magicians, astrologers or sorcerers of our day can interpret the King’s Matter. The truth of the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ (which is the King’s Matter) can only be known by divine revelation. If the Lord doesn’t open the eyes of our understanding, we will die.

Oh Lord, show us our total inability. Show us the glory of thy beloved Son. Enable us to cast all our care on Him who cares for us.                                                                                     ~Greg


Grace has been defined as “unmerited favor”. Certainly, grace is by its very nature unmerited. Oh, but it’s so much more.

Suppose you rolled down your car window at an intersection and gave a dollar to a beggar. That would be unmerited favor. Now, suppose that same beggar had murdered your only child. Suppose you opened your door and brought him into your car. Suppose you drove him to your house, gave him his own bed, fed him and put him in new clothes. Suppose you took him to your bank and gave him unfettered access to all your assets. Suppose you drove him to the courthouse and signed all the legal documents to adopt him into your family.

That would be much more than “unmerited favor”, don’t you think? Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me… Oh, the praise of the glory of His grace wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved.                                                                                              ~Greg

The Schoolmaster

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster (to bring us) unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster.” Gal. 3:24-25. Fortunately, the King James translators put words that were not in the original text in italics. “To bring us” was added erroneously to the text. The law doesn’t bring us to Christ. The Holy Spirit brings us to Christ, through the preaching of the gospel. This passage of scripture is declaring that prior to faith we were under the authority of the law, which the Lord likens to a schoolmaster.

So, what was a schoolmaster? A schoolmaster was the most trusted and beloved servant in a wealthy man’s estate. The master of the home put the schoolmaster in charge of his children. The master set down the rules for the house and trusted the schoolmaster to teach and enforce them to his children. The children were instructed by their father to obey the schoolmaster. They were under his constant supervision. He was their rule of life. The schoolmaster was answerable to his master for the raising of the children. Once the children were of age, they became heirs of the estate. They were no longer under the authority of the schoolmaster. So what kind of relationship would the grown heir have with the beloved servant that guided and protected him in his foolish youth? No doubt there would be a special love and appreciation for his now, friend.

What is the believer’s relationship to the law? “Great peace have they which love thy law”. Ps. 119:165. We do not have an adversarial relationship with God’s holy law. The law of God is our friend.  It is no longer our rule of life. Christ has satisfied all its demands and made us joint heirs with Him. Christ Himself is now our rule of life. Looking unto Jesus as the author and finisher of faith, we are no longer “under” the law but “under” grace.                                                                ~Greg

What is a Blessing?

When an unbeliever speaks of being blessed, I fear the things they are looking at as a blessing will end up being a judgment against them. Why? Because they are looking at their favorable circumstances as evidence of their favor with God. “Blessed” means “Happy”. They are happy without Christ.  Their “blessings” cloud their need for Christ.

True blessings are contingent upon grace. “Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ”. Eph. 1:2-3. For the child of God, everything is a blessing. Yes, everything. They look to Christ for all their “favor with God”. The only time they experience true happiness is when they are resting all their hope in Christ. Often, they find their greatest blessing, or happiness in the hardest of circumstances.                                                         -Greg

Blessing to Overcomers

  1. Eat the tree of life. Rev 2:7
  2. Not hurt in second death. Rev 2:17
  3. Eat the hidden manna. Rev 2:17
  4. Power over the nations. Rev. 2:25
  5. Clothed in white raiment. Rev. 3:5
  6. Made a pillar in Temple. Rev. 3:12
  7. Sit with Christ in His throne. Rev. 3:21


The Faithful Man

“Most men will proclaim everyone his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” Prov. 20:6

The Lord tells us in this proverb that men by nature are on a self-condemning path of self-righteousness and self-atonement. He is always looking for some evidence of goodness in himself to recommend him to man and God. He doesn’t know that what he is proclaiming as “goodness”, God calls “filthy rags”. Christ said, “there is none good but one, that is God”. Mark 10:18. Please notice that this proverb begins with “Most”… not all. Who can find a faithful man? Those who find (or are found by) The Faithful Man.                                                                                 -Greg

Absolute or Progressive

Many believe salvation is progressive. They would say that no one can be sure if they are saved until it is too late. Very sadly, they keep hoping they have done enough. No, no, salvation is an absolute. Either you are, or you are not saved. And that has everything to do with whom you believe, not what you’ve done.

Others would say sanctification is progressive. They look at their lives and deceive themselves in believing they are getting better. They compare themselves to others and convince themselves they are ‘Holier than thou’. Or, they compare themselves to the law and take pride in thinking they are keeping it better than they used to. Like Salvation, sanctification is an absolute. Either one is holy in Christ, or they are still in their sins.

So, does the Bible teach us that any part of our faith is progressive? Yes, faith itself is progressive. “Lord, ‘INCREASE’ our faith.” Revelation is progressive. Love is progressive. Knowledge is progressive. “I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in judgment” Phil. 1:9. Growth in grace (seeing more and more of our need for grace) and growth in the knowledge of Christ will progress until we see Him face to face and be made like Him.      -Greg

Sovereignty and Responsibility

One might ask, “how do you reconcile God’s sovereignty with man’s responsibility”?  The answer is simple. They don’t have to be reconciled because they are already friends. Please don’t misunderstand. I did not say, “sovereignty versus free will”. Those two things are mutually exclusive. God cannot be sovereign if man determines the destiny of his own soul.

The Word of God clearly teaches that our God is absolutely sovereign over all the free and uncoerced thoughts and actions of men.  The Word of God also teaches that every person is fully responsible for every choice they make. To deny God’s sovereignty, will lead to legalism. To deny man’s responsibility, will lead to fatalism. “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain”. Acts 2:23. – Greg

By Grace Through Faith

Faith is the means of Grace. It is the only means of grace. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. To make anything else a means of grace is to have a works gospel. Whatever is not of faith is sin.

So where does that leave The Preaching of the gospel, Prayer, Worship, the Lord’s Table, the fellowship of the saints, Scripture? These things are means to faith. Thank God for them. He uses them to give faith. When True faith comes through these means, it does not rest its hope in the means. It rests completely in the glorious person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is given to us by God’s free and sovereign grace.         -Greg

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty

The narrow road to heaven has a dangerous precipice on each side. On one side is legalism. The self-righteous Pharisee falls over on this side. He prides himself in being a stoic but in fact he’s completely off the road. On the other side is lawless, licentious living. To their destruction, the epicurean, antinomian falls off this side. Most people, like a drunk driver, swerve from one side of the road to the other. What is the only way to avoid these pitfalls? Remain sober, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. The only way to avoid lawlessness and legalism is looking unto the perfect law of liberty. -Greg

Restraining Grace

What is of more profit to a child? For their father to provide them with an abundance of material things, or for their father to grab them by the hand and pull them back from running out into traffic? Some of the greatest blessings we receive from our loving heavenly Father are the things He restrains us from. Like a child, we will never know how much we have been saved from certain peril.

A Paradox

False humility takes pride in being humble. The truly humble believe themselves to be proud.
· The fools believe themselves to be wise. The wise believe themselves to be fools.
· The blind think they can see. Those who can see, believe themselves to be blind.
· The unfaithful believe themselves to be faithful. The faithful believe themselves to be unfaithful.
· The dead believe themselves to be alive. Those who are truly alive, reckon themselves to be dead.
· All the unrighteous believe themselves to be righteous. All the righteous believe themselves to be unrighteous.
· Every person believes themselves to be either, “Holier than thou”, or “Chief of Sinner”.

Dogs are Beggars

Dogs are beggars by nature. They are not embarrassed to beg. You can’t offend a dog for begging. The only thing that stops a dog from begging is the threat of punishment. Knowing that there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, God’s dogs are never ashamed of, nor deterred from begging. They happily wait for the next crumb that falls from the Master’s table.

When is a sinner saved?

Men have debated this questions for millenniums. Most of the controversy stems from man’s effort to reconcile the temporal to the eternal. Living in a world of time and space, he tries to define the when in this question as a single event! Scripture settles all controversies. So, what sayeth the scriptures?

1. God’s elect were saved in the covenant of grace established by God in eternity past. II Timothy 1:9; Is. 45:17; II Thes. 2:13.

2. God’s elect were saved when Christ bore their sins on Calvary’s Cross 2000 years ago. Rom 5:9-10; Jer. 23:6.

3. God’s elect are saved when they hear the gospel as the gospel and are made willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Titus 3:5; Eph 2:8; Rom. 10:9-13.

4. God’s elect are continuing to be saved as they are kept by the power of God to keep coming in faith to Christ. Is. 64:5; I Peter 2:4.

5. God’s elect will be saved when they are taken to glory to see their Savior face to face and be made like Him (sinless). Rev. 12:10; II Peter 3:12-15; I Peter 1:9.

All five of these glorious truths (Election, Redemption, Regeneration, Sanctification and Glorification) are necessary for a sinner’s salvation. Let others speak of when they “got saved”. We don’t hang the hopes of our salvation on one subjective experience in time. Our faith is in Him who does all the saving. We have been saved; we are being saved; and we shall be saved. “And being made perfect He became the author of ETERNAL SALVATION unto all them that obey Him.” Heb 5:9.

– Greg

The Pharisee

What is the motive behind men who say to the preacher: “you need to preach more of man’s responsibility”. Are they truly concerned about how other men live? I think not. Are they sincerely wanting to know how they should live? No, they already know that. They are wanting their own lives validated. They want their own righteousness affirmed. It’s not that they need to know how to live. It’s that they want others to know how they live. “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men”. Lk 18:11.


Tares Among the Wheat

The solution to “easy believism” is not “hard believism”. The solution to a life inconsistent with the gospel is not to look for proof in one’s outward behavior. Is the walk of faith “hard” on the flesh? Most definitely. Does true conversion consume every part of a believer’s life? Yes.

Men speak of having a “commitment to the Lordship of Jesus”, in an effort to expose and oppose those who are not committed. Usually those same men will imply that they are the standard of true commitment. Is it possible to have the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and not Lord? Absolutely not. Are there pretenders in the church? Yes. Are there tares among the wheat? The Lord said there is. He also said not to root them out lest we damage the wheat. Whenever we point men to evaluate their salvation by themselves, all we do is bolster the self-righteousness of the unbeliever and cause the true child of God to doubt their salvation. Let us preach Christ in the whole counsel of God. He’ll take care of dividing the sheep from the goats.


A Loving Husband

It is easy to submit to someone who loves your sacrificially. For a man to insist that his wife submit to his authority without earning her respect by putting her needs before his own, can only cause resentment. The Lord proved His love for His wife by giving Himself for her. He always speaks kindly to her. He is always tender and patient with her. He reminds her constantly how precious she is to Him. She in return, delights in submission to His loving authority. “Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.” Eph. 5:22-33.


"Behold Me"

We come into this world crying for attention, literally. As we grow older and more independent, our desire for the eyes of men only gets worse. We have perfected the art of calling attention to ourselves with modern day social media. It all goes back to our perverted desire to be like God. (Gen. 3:5). For God says, “Behold me. Behold me.” Is. 65:1. What is the difference when God says, “look at me” and when we say it? For us it is a desperate attempt to shore up our feelings of insecurity with the approval of men. It is filled with pride and self-righteousness. When God says, “Behold me”, it is a gracious call for sinners to be saved.                                                                                      -Greg

Prevenient Grace

What is Prevenient Grace? It is grace before grace, or that which is pre (before) convenient (purposed to an end)? In fact, it is everything, (yes, everything) a child of God experiences in life and thought prior to being effectually called to Christ by the Holy Spirit. Our Heavenly Father knows each one of His children perfectly. He has ordained a perfect set of circumstances for each one of them to be able to hear the gospel and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In the hand of our merciful, loving Father, it really is… “All Good”.

Because the reprobate enjoys the benefits of living in a world where God is providing for His people, some speak of God’s “common” grace. There is nothing “common” about God’s grace, and there is no such thing as grace that is not saving grace. Only God’s elect receive God’s grace, and everything they receive is by God’s grace. “I know the thoughts I have for you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jer. 29:11. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28.


The offense of the cross

Let us not confuse Brashness with Boldness. What some want to believe is the offense of the gospel is just their own offensive personality. A martyr mentality is another form of self-righteousness.

Now, that being said, the gospel of God’s grace in Christ is offensive to the natural man. The unbeliever is always looking for affirmation of their own righteousness. The gospel not only withholds affirmation, but it declares all men’s righteousness as filthy rags before a Holy God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the “Rock of Offense”. He is the “Stone of Stumbling” which the builders rejected. I Pet. 2:7-8. The offense of the cross is to preach Christ in such a way as to give men nothing else to glory in. Gal. 5:11.

If the self-righteous are not offended at our message, we are seeking to please men rather than God, and we are not the servants of Christ. Gal. 1:10.                                                 -Greg

'Holier than thou' or 'Chief of sinners'?

The Lord judges the self-righteousness in Is. 65 for believing themselves to be “Holier than thou”. In contrast, the Apostle Paul confesses himself to be the “chief of sinners”. The truth is that all men believe themselves to be one or the other. Which one we believe ourselves to be… depends on the standard by which we judge.

Those who compare themselves to other men can always find someone they are ‘holier’ than. Those, who by God’s grace have seen Christ, are brought to cry, “woe is me”. The Pharisee in Luke 18 was proud of how he measured up to ‘other men’. The Publican could only cry, ‘be merciful to me the sinner’! The Lord was very clear on which one went down to his house justified.

Now, here is the hope of this truth. How God sees men is just the opposite of how they see themselves. God says to the ‘holier than thou’ group: ‘you are a smoke in my nose’. And to sinners He says: “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” I Jn. 3:9 All the righteous believe themselves to be unrighteous, and all the unrighteous believe themselves to be righteous.                                                                               -Greg

Training a child in the way they should go

The “Experts” tell us that the way to build our children’s self-esteem is by telling them how wonderful they are (even when they’re bad), always rewarding them (even when they are lazy); and withholding discipline (even when they disrespect authority). It should be no surprise that we have raised a generation of self-absorbed brats with an entitlement mentality. Truth is, self-esteem is the by-product of good decisions, hard work, and showing a genuine interest in and respect for others. Teach your children by example, precept, and correction to choose right over wrong, to respect others (especially authority), and to work hard. Then, they will grow up feeling good about themselves. Parenting is hard work. It will keep you on your knees. Reject the wisdom of this world. May the Lord give us the grace to do it His way.

In the end, ‘the way they should go’, is to Christ. Here is where our God given responsibility must not falter. If the Lord is pleased to save our children, He will use the preaching of the gospel to do it. There is no greater thing we can do for our children than to have them in public worship. May God give us the grace to make this THE priority in our homes. Don’t wait for your child to want to come to church. Train them from infancy and trust God that they ‘will not depart from it’. Remember, “faith comes by hearing”. Always have them where they can hear and pray the Lord will give them ears to hear.


"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" Heb 12:2

If one looks to their works, either as the cause or the evidence of their salvation, they are not looking to Christ.                      -Greg

The is-ness of God

All men by nature create in the idol factory of their darkened imagination a god who is not. It is nothing more than a figment of their imagination. Whatever are the particulars of any man’s idol, it always ends up being a god he can control.

“He that cometh to God must believe that He is…” Heb. 11:6. The word of God reveals four things about the IS-NESS of God.  1. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of host. We dare not approach a Holy God without the blood of a spotless Lamb. 2. God is Spirit Jn. 4:24. We can not worship Him without the Holy Spirit revealing the truth about Christ. 3. “God is Light” I Jn. 1:4. In Him is no darkness at all. We can only know God in the Light of the gospel of His free grace. 4. “God is Love” I Jn. 4:8. The everlasting, infinite love of God can only be known in Christ.

The summary of these four aspects of God’s essential nature or IS-NESS of God is: I AM. The Sovereign, First Cause and Sustainer of all things is Jehovah. May He give us the grace to believe that He is.                                                         -Greg

"His mercy endureth forever". Psalm 136 (All 26 verses)

Why so much repetition? Because, “His mercy endureth forever”. Often when we pray for mercy (as we ought), we are looking for the evidence of that mercy in our circumstances. Our God is full of mercy (James 3:17). He delighteth in mercy (Micah 7:18). Mercy is all He has for His children. His mercy is seen not in what He does, but in how He enables us to trust Him in whatever He does. “His mercy endureth forever”.                                  -Greg

No Mercy Without Justice

“Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other”. Ps. 85.10

Holy justice demands every sin be punished to the fullest extent of the law. “He will by no means clear the guilty.” Ex. 34:7. What does the law require? Death!

So where has the truth of Divine Justice met with mercy? Where has righteousness and peace kissed? How can God be just and at the same time justify guilty sinners? Only at the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. “For He (Father) hath made Him (Son) sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” II Cor. 5:21.

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. When did this peace happen? Notice the verb tense in our text (Ps. 85:10) Are and Have. Those are past tense verbs. All for whom Christ died were justified by His death on Calvary’s Cross. How do I know if He died for me? Only those for whom Christ died will trust Him alone for all the hope of their salvation.

– Greg

Complicated or Contrary

The gospel is not COMPLICATED. It is a simple message declaring that, “Salvation is of the Lord” Jonah 2:9. It declares all the sons of Adam as sinful, unable and unwilling to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It declares Jesus Christ as the Sovereign, successful Savior of His elect people. The gospel is wholly of God’s free and sovereign grace. It does not require a superior intellect, or even a good knowledge of the Bible to understand.

So, why is it so hard for men to hear? The Lord said, “Light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” John 3:19. The gospel is CONTRARY to everything men by nature believe to be true. Rather than forsaking all his ways, he is desperately trying to reconcile what he is hearing to what he has already decided is true.

One cannot have faith (believe) without repentance (changed mind). Both are a work of grace without which the natural man will continue to complicate the simplicity of the gospel.



Many people are given to believe conspiracy theories. Whether it be politics, medicine, education or science, they are convinced that there is a cover-up led by a select group of powerful people deceiving the masses for their own profit. First, the problem with conspiracy theories is that men are not that powerful. They can never anticipate all the unintended consequences of their scheme. Second, secrets are almost impossible to contain beyond a couple of people. Whatever lies are told, are eventually exposed.

So, why is the biggest lie ever told believed by so many for so long? The lie? “Man has a free will.” Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. For this cause, GOD SHALL SEND THEM a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie. II Thes. 2:10-11.

What God conspires against man, will not be exposed until the judgment. Who are the only ones not deceived by this “conspiracy”? “Surely, they are my people, children that WILL NOT LIE: so, He was their Savior.” Is. 63:8. “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” I John 2:21.


The Most Believed Lie

There are many soul damning lies being told about our Lord that are believed by most. There is, however, one big lie that is more unanimously believed than all the others.

It is that man has a free will. Men pride themselves in believing that they can override the power of God with this all powerful “free will”. This lie claims that in the final analysis man decides the destiny of his own soul, and that God has made himself subject to this irresistible force.

If by “free will” man believes that he is free, when given two or more options, to choose the one he wants, that is without dispute. As a matter of fact, that is always the case. We could even go so far as to say that it is impossible to select an option that is not your preference. When given an opportunity to select from among two or more possibilities we always choose the one for which we have the greatest desire. ALWAYS! Man’s will is not free. It is subject to, yes in bondage to, his natural inclinations.

Therein lies the problem. It is not in man’s fallen, sinful nature to desire salvation God’s way. John 5:40 “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” In choosing what he wants he always chooses against the light. John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” It is impossible for man to force his choice against his own will. He is in desperate need of a new nature; one that is born from above. One that has as its only inclination a desire for coming to the Christ of scripture. John 3:7 “Ye must be born again”. Some will attempt to honor God by agreeing that He must give us a new heart, only to dethrone Him by saying that you must be willing to let Him. John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”.

But doesn’t the Bible say, ‘whosoever will’…? Yes. But the problem is not with the whosoever, it is with the will.


A Bloody Warrior

“Who is this that cometh from Edom with dyed garments from Bozrah” Is. 63:1

Bozrah (fortress) was a city in Edom.  Edom was the land inhabited by the descendants of Esau.  Esau is clearly a picture of everything which is at enmity with God.  The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to set the captives free.  The gates of hell could not prevail against Him.  He invaded the fortress of Satan to deliver His people.

Isaiah 63 is a glorious picture of a warrior coming home from battle.  He is covered in His own blood, but He is not dragging His sword, exhausted or struggling to put one foot before the other.  Oh no, He is declaring to His kinsmen, “It is finished”.  I have single handedly defeated the enemy.  Your warfare is accomplished. Your adversary has been conquered.  The law has been fulfilled.  Justice has been satisfied.  The grave has lost its power.  Death is swallowed up in victory.  Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Federal or Seminal Head

Many commentators in their attempt to explain imputation will refer to Adam as our “Federal Head”. By “Federal”, they mean “Representative”. When Adam, as our representative sinned, God charged or imputed the guilt of that sin to all mankind. “By man came death…” “In Adam all died”. I Cor. 15:21-22.  I believe the truth of imputation goes further. Just as Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek because he was in the loins of Abraham, Heb. 7:9-10, we were in the loins of Adam. It is not “Federal” headship, it is “Seminal” (seed) headship. We were there in the garden physically in our Father according to the flesh. If these new DNA tests could go back far enough, they would trace every man’s ancestry to Eden in Mesopotamia. Death was not just charged to us, it was experienced by us. We actually died in Adam. “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”. Rom. 5:12.

In the same way (spiritually not physically) all God’s elect were placed by God “in Christ” before Adam. We are His seed. When it pleased the Lord to bruise Him and make His soul an offering for sin, God saw His seed. Is. 53:10. He did not just bear our sin, He bore us. Christ suffered at the hand of His Holy and Just Father the punishment we deserved… and we died in Him.

Read Rom. 6:3-11 “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed…”

Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ” Gal. 2:20. Then he said in Phil. 3:10, that his hope was to know Him and the fellowship of His suffering. When Christ died, He did not just own our sin to satisfy Divine justice, He owned every one of His people. We were “IN” Him. The just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. Federal Head speaks to legal imputation. Seminal Head speaks to the glory of Christ and our real spiritual union with Him.


Why do God's Preachers Preach?

When God calls a man to preach the glorious gospel of His free grace, He puts in his heart a hope behind his preaching. Like his Master, he has been sent to, “preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, recover of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” Luke 1:18. He preaches in hope that the Lord will minister grace and mercy to men’s sin sick soul. If he is called of God, he will remain faithful to preach Christ in season and out. He will not adjust his messages based on the response of men. His heart will be set to comfort God’s people until the cities be wasted without inhabitants, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate.

Some hearers will get angry, some will remain silent, some will try to correct him, others will even praise him. None of these things will deter him from hoping that some will hear and be saved. All that being true, preachers are fail men that need to be encouraged to know if someone has heard God speak to their soul.

Lord willing, in a couple of weeks, two of God’s preachers will come to preach the gospel to us. Pray for them as they prepare the messages we need to hear. Pray for the Lord to anoint the services with His Holy Spirit. Pray for God to give us ears to hear. If the Lord speaks in power to your heart, let them know. I’m not suggesting you pretend to be blessed if you weren’t. Oh, but if you are, their hope will be increased by knowing your hope has increased.


One Medicine for the Soul

What if there was a doctor that prescribed the exact same medication for every one of his patients? It didn’t matter if you had a broken leg, heart disease, were blind, or had terminal cancer. This doctor always gave every person the same medicine. Your first reaction might be that this doctor was not very capable. He obviously didn’t understand the complexity of the human body. You would not trust such a doctor with your health. Now, what if every patient that took this doctor’s prescription was healed, regardless of their situation? Immediately, your attention has shifted from all thoughts and concerns for the doctor to this amazing miracle drug. What is it? How can I get some? What does it cost? Then, you find out that it is absolutely free –

You see it really doesn’t matter how sin has manifested itself in your life. Its outward effects differ for each of us. Unbelief is the sin that doth so easily besets us all, and it remains the same for us all. The one and only cure for our sin sick soul is the Balm in Gilead, Jer. 8:22. The leaves on the Tree of Life are the only medicine for our souls, Ez. 47:12.

A doctor once told me that ninety percent of medicine is treating the symptoms until the body heals itself. Make the patient as comfortable as possible while the good living cells multiply and the bad cells die. Man-made religion operates on the same philosophy. Man thinks his sin problem is that which manifest itself outwardly. So he goes about treating symptoms, not knowing that the real problem is unbelief. The sin sick soul cannot heal itself. There is no part of it that is good or alive. It is completely dead. It doesn’t need reformation, it needs regeneration, and that is a miracle of grace that only God can do.

Don’t look, even in the Bible, for precepts to address the symptoms of sin. Look unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith. His glorious person and accomplished work is sufficient for every need. Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound, and grace comes through faith. Oh Lord, increase our faith.


A Tragedy Made Worse

The confusing and heartbreaking tragedy of a mass murder is only made worse by the explanation the “religious experts” give. The question people ask is always the same. “How can an all-powerful, all loving God, allow so many innocent people to suffer?”  There are three assumptions in this question: 1) God is all powerful; 2) God is all loving (by that they mean that He loves everyone); and 3) People, or least some people, are innocent. As stated, this question is impossible to answer. The assumptions are clear contradictions.  They cannot be reconciled.  To answer the question, one or more of these presuppositions must be changed.

It ought not surprise us that the false prophets would change the only assumption that is true. They always answer the question by denying the fact that God is all powerful.  They try to comfort people by saying that God has abdicated His throne to the free will of evil men or to Satan.  The unbelieving public swallows this lie hook, line, and sinker.  In man’s desperate attempt to have a god they can control, they would never consider the possibility that God doesn’t love everybody, or that no one is innocent in His presence.  These “hard sayings” are just too offensive Jn. 6:60-61. A God who is absolutely sovereign and men that are totally sinful, turns their world upside down.

“Our God is in the heavens, He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands” Ps 115:3-4.  Faith does not question God.  Faith bows to Him and says with the Psalmist, “Not unto us, Oh Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake” Ps 115:1.

Greg Elmquist


For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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.  II Corinthians 10:3-5

It is indisputable that every born again child of God, and every faithful preacher of the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ, has a God given desire to honor the Lord with their lives.  Truly, it is God that works in them, causing them to will and to do of His good pleasure.  They genuinely loathe their sin.  Never do we excuse sin or suggest in any way that disobedience is of minor importance. If, however,  I preach in such a way as to draw the attention of my hearers to look at their works to get the assurance of their salvation, I have caused them to look away from the very source of their obedience.  I have brought them under the bondage of the law,  for the law is the only standard by which they can measure their success.  I have armed them with carnal weapons to fight a spiritual warfare.  They are doomed to failure.

If I emphasize “their obedience” as the grand and final goal of the gospel, I have, in so doing,

de-emphasized the “obedience of Christ” as the glorious end of all things.  I have made the salvation of a sinner a mere stepping stone to the greater end, their obedience.  Looking to my obedience as proof of salvation is no different than looking at it for the cause of my salvation. If you want me to obey God, tell me about Christ.  Tell me about His accomplished work of redemption.  Tell me about His love for me.  Tell me about the Father’s satisfaction with Him. Tell me about His fulfilling the whole law for me.  Tell me about His intercession for me.  Tell me about my acceptance before God in Him.  Tell me about how His shed blood completely covers all my sin.  Tell me about His power to save to the uttermost those who come to God by Him.  Point me to Calvary. Please don’t send me back to Sinai.  I will either be crushed by its impossible demands, or I will pretend before men and lie to myself, exposing my self-righteousness before God.  Your attempt to make me holy will only cause me to be guilty of the worse sin of all.

Seven Sacred Cows

What do we believe about the presuppositions of manmade religion?  What are the sacred cows of paganism that need to be put to death in order to hear the truth? To answer this question properly, much needs to be said by way of introduction. However, for the sake of time, allow us to outline the difference as simply as we can.  We will only make three brief introductory points. First, what we believe is rooted in WHO we believe. This is not an intellectual or academic exercise. It is a living relationship with Jesus, THE Christ, the Lord of glory, our Savior.  That is the reason we refuse to allow our desire to be a witness for Him to be reduced to a debate. Second, the differences in what we believe are not a matter of theological emphases. Denominations have been created over one doctrine or tradition being emphasized over another.  The difference in what we believe and what most believe is the difference in eternal life and eternal death. Third, we understand from scripture and from personal experience, that the only way to savingly see the difference between the truth and a lie is by the free and sovereign grace of God. He is the only one that can make us to differ from another. So, what are the differences? Don’t sacrifice the truth to protect your sacred cows.

  1. We do not believe God loves everybody.  We believe the love of God is only to be found in Christ, and that was determined by God before the world began. Eph.1:4
  2. We do not believe Christ died for everybody.  He laid down His life for the sheep not the goats. It is not for us to try to figure out which one men are. His sheep will hear His voice and they will follow Him. Christ purposed to save His elect, and He fulfilled all He came to do. Jn.10:26-27;  Is.42:1-4
  3. We do not believe God, in any way, wills all men to be saved. God is God. His will is always accomplished. If He willed all men to be saved then all men would be saved.  The purpose of God according to election will stand  Rom.9:11, 8:28
  4. We do not believe man has a “free will”. Man’s will is in bondage to his sinful nature. It is not free to choose Christ. Man left to himself is unable to believe. God must make him willing through the miracle of the new birth. Jn.3:3
  5. We do not believe the gospel is an “offer” of salvation to be accepted by man. The gospel is the declaration of the “good news” that Christ has DONE everything necessary to secure the salvation of His people. God is not waiting for us to DO something to make what Christ did work for us. 2Tim.1:9 “It is finished!” Jn.19:30 This message of grace is irresistible to the elect.
  6. We do not believe our faith is the effectual cause of our salvation. The Faith OF Christ is the only faith that makes us accepted before a holy God.Gal.2:16 Our faith is a gift of God given IN, not FOR salvation. Eph.2:8-9
  7. We do not believe the Bible is a rule book for Christian living. We believe it is in its entirety a revelation of the glorious person and accomplished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He Himself is our rule of life. Lk.24:44-45
  8. In short, we believe that “salvation is of the Lord”. He gets all the glory for saving a dead dog sinner such as I. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. God, our Heavenly Father, purposed the salvation of His chosen people in the covenant of grace before the world began. Christ, the Son of God, accomplished everything necessary for Righteousness and Justice on behalf of those chosen. The Holy Spirit, at the appointed time, gives the elect ears to hear and hearts to believe. He then keeps them in Christ until their sojourn in this world is over. At that time, they will see Christ in all His glory and be made like Him.We know there are some who will want to argue these points with verses of Scripture they think refute what we believe.  Remember the first point in the introduction.  We will not shame Christ by making Him the subject of a debate. “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”  If you have an interest in this gospel we would encourage you to listen to the gospel preached by a faithful gospel preacher.  The Lord uses the preaching of Christ crucified to save them which believe. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

One Pressing question

Every time I get into a discussion with a person over the differences in our faith it inevitably comes down to the same question; “What is the gospel?”.  In short, the gospel is a Person.  The content of our faith is completely tied to the True Person and True Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Who He is and what He did is everything in the gospel.  The Word of God is our only source of light and truth in answering this most pressing question. ‘Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.’ Jn. 17:17 God’s word is a revelation of the person and work of Christ.  However, using biblical terms to answer these questions is not sufficient IF one is guilty of changing the meaning of those terms.  Truth is, if words have meaning, and they do, God’s word must be believed for what it means. To say I believe all men are sinners because the bible says so, and then give those same men the ability to accept Christ by their own free will, is to deny what a sinner is.  To say I believe that Jesus is the Christ because the bible says so, but then to deny His success in accomplishing the full salvation of all Israel is to change the title Christ to ‘Christ wannabe’.  To say I believe that Christ kept the law of God perfectly because the bible says so, and then to use that same law as a standard to prove men’s salvation, is to deny that Christ is in fact the end of the law for righteousness.  To say I believe salvation is of grace and not of works and then to make the accomplished work of Christ contingent on something I do, is to change grace to works.  To say I believe Christ raised from the dead because the bible says so, and then to suggest in any way that there is something left for us to do in order to secure our salvation, is to change the glorious truth of the resurrection from a declaration of Divine satisfaction to a mere historical event.  We could go on to every precious truth declared in God’s word about the Lord Jesus Christ.  Only when Christ is preached according to the scriptures does the gospel become the power of God unto salvation. God has never used a false prophets preaching to effect the salvation of one of His children. Satan is a counterfeiter by nature.  The Lord said he was a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, an ‘angel of light’ a ‘minister of righteousness’.  We ought not to be surprised that he would use God’s word to spread his lies.  All he has to do is change it’s meaning a little.  A little leaven leaveneth the whole loaf.  Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. It destroys the gospel.

Look to Christ

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” John 3:14

      There can be no hope of salvation apart from the Lord Jesus Christ bearing the sins of His people in His body on the tree of Calvary.  There was no other way to put away sin. The son of man MUST be lifted up.  He bore all the sins of all God’s elect of all ages, fully satisfying Divine justice once for all.

      The serpent is obviously a picture of God making Him sin for us who knew no sin….  Those stung by the fiery serpents of sin MUST look to the serpent on the pole to live.  Num. 21:8-9.  Yet, in spite of God’s promise many Israelites died from the serpents. I can only think of one reason why anyone in the camp of Israel would not look to the serpent on the pole. They were too busy looking at the serpents on the ground and the wounds they had caused in their flesh.  Grant it, poisonous snakes around your feet would be an alarming sight.   But, God did not say; ‘try to avoid the snakes’, or ‘tend to your wounds’. No, He said look to the One on the pole and you shall live.

     Do we not do the same thing today.  We wallow in the guilt and shame of our sin, rather than looking to Christ.  We try to mend the wounds of our sin, rather than looking to Christ. We set but rules and regulations to avoid the serpents on the ground, instead of looking to Christ.

      So how do we view our sin?  All we need to know about the evil of our sin is seen in what it took God to redeem us from it. There is no greater evidence of how God sees our sin than when He sheathed the sword of His Divine justice into the heart of His beloved Son. Herein is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Oh, that we could simply look to Christ and believe that in Him we are, ‘INDEED dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord’.

Spiritual Prostitutes

The Lord calls Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, the Great Whore. (Rev.17)  The mystery of Babylon is that her citizens do not see her or themselves as spiritual prostitutes. Spiritual prostitution is committed anytime and every time anyone tries to pay God for His favors. The glorious person and accomplished work of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our only and full ground of acceptance before God. Anything else offered to barter God’s approval, whether it be in hand or heart, is of that great whore Babylon. If we attempt to approach God with our good works or our good intentions we are committing spiritual prostitution and proving ourselves to be the offspring of the Mother of Harlots. Add anything to Christ, ANYTHING, and you are on a futile mission to allure Him into the fornicating land of Babylon. He will not go there.

Coming to Christ with nothing but our sin, leaving all our righteousness behind requires a miracle of grace in regeneration. It remains a mystery to the natural man. Someone might say; ‘but my sin is too great’. This too is nothing but Babylonian self-righteousness veiled in false humility. Would you be more fit for salvation had you not committed such a grievous offense? No, my friend, you would not. Another may think; ‘I don’t know if I am committed enough’. Again, spiritual prostitution. You will never win God’s favor by the depth of your commitment. Come to Christ just like you are. Come with all your hypocrisies, all your shallow insincerities, and all the ugliness of your sin. It’s all you have.

Our commitment will deepen, our love will grow, and our faith will mature only as we see that these things have absolutely nothing to do with our acceptance before God. Our acceptance is found only in the Beloved.

Don’t be seduced by the harlot of Babylon. She is the ‘strange woman’ of Proverbs 5. She is full of deceit. “Remove thy way far from her and come not nigh the door of her house. Her end is bitter as wormwood”. In contrast to this great whore is the chaste bride of Christ, a virgin. May God be pleased to show us and make us to differ.


Someone asked me recently what my goals were for our church. I told them, to remain faithful to the gospel. I don’t think they understood, but I trust you will. Our Lord said, it is required of a steward that he be found ‘faithful’. It is not up to the servant to decide or try to determine what the Master will be pleased to do with his faithful service. Now, you know that the hope of our salvation rest wholly on the faithfulness of Christ. He is the only One that pleased the Father with perfect faithfulness. Oh, but what a high calling it is, for a follower of Christ to be found faithful. Not only is it all we CAN do, it is all we should set our goals TO do. And, it will require all we can find in our Lord’s merciful grace to achieve. There is no greater success to set our ambitions toward. I challenge you to make it your goal. Be the most faithful member of your church you can be. Be faithful in worship services. Be faithful in prayer. Be faithful to encourage your brethren. Be faithful to bear one another’s burdens. Be faithful in giving. Be faithful in witnessing. I pray it could be said of us what Paul said of the house of Stephenos, they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints’. I Cor.16:15 What greater reward is there, than to hear Christ say, “well done good and faithful servant”?

The One Pearl of Great Price

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls.
Who when he found One Pearl of Great Price, went and sold all that he had
and bought it”
Matt. 13:45-46
Over the years men collect a jewelry box full of pearls.  In one drawer
they keep the pearls of “good works”.  These pearls come in various sizes
and shapes.. depending on the sacrifice they made for them. Some were given
to them by the people they helped…but most of them they awarded to
themselves.  So many men are hoping to trade with God their valuable little
pearls…in exchange for eternal life. The problem is these pearls are
strung together on the rotting thread of self-righteousness. When tried by
fire in the day of judgment this thread will break and all the pearls will
be lost forever.  Their value is only in our imagination, for the scripture
says:  All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and that which is highly
esteemed among men is an abomination to God.

Another drawer is full of equally worthless pearls…the pearls of
“religious experience”. These pearls are all polished to a brilliant shine
by constant handling. They are often taken out to admire…especially in
times of doubt.  There is the pearl of warm feelings and emotions
experienced at a time of past religious dedications. There is the pearl of
verses memorized, and doctrines learned.  There is the pearl of baptism,
church membership, and faithful attendance.  These gaudy trinkets are often
taken out and worn in public by their owners to impress other men with their
knowledge of God.  Like the dangling phylacteries off the robes of the
Pharisees these pearls are used to intimidate the less spiritual.  To those
who posses the One Pearl of great price, these people look as foolish as a
senile old lady overdressed with cheap outdated costume jewelry.  One says;
‘But my mother and father gave me these pearls.  Why they have been in the
family for generations. They have very great sentimental value. They’re
heirlooms. What will my family say if I get rid of them?’

Dare we open another drawer? Here we find a collection of pearls that have
great value in this world, but like the others are worthless in the next.
Here are the pearls of “worldly pleasure, popularity, power, and
possessions”.  Thy give great contentment to the flesh. They indulge the old
man with much enjoyment, but he can never get enough of them.  In the end,
they addict him to the world so that he becomes unconscious to the Spirit of
God and has no interest in the One Pearl of Great Price

All these pearls must be sold to posses the One Pearl of Great Price. You
can not wear the One Pearl of Great Price even as a center piece around
which other jewels are enhanced. No, it will be owned and displayed as a
solitaire, or it will not be worn at all. This pearl can not be the “center”
of attention.  Oh no.  He must get “all” the attention.  The wise merchant
gladly sells all he has to buy the One Pearl of Great Price.

What do you believe?

The prophet Isaiah asked the question every enlightened child of God wonders at.  “Who hath believed our report?”  When those that know the Truth consider what men believe ( and what they once believed ),  they stand amazed at the lunacy of the human race.  Men will believe a lie before they will believe the truth. Their darkened minds will embrace nonsense with such conviction as to rest the salvation of their eternal soul on it.  Men will believe in Aliens from outer space before they will believe in the need of an alien righteousness imputed to their account.   Men will believe in reincarnation to a cow before they will believe in the resurrection of the Suffering Servant to the Successful Sovereign Savior.   They will believe in the hocus-pocus, smoke and mirrors of religious ceremony before they will worship Christ in spirit and in truth.  Worse yet, they will put the hope of their salvation in a god so small that he can be bribed by their works, outwitted by their wisdom, or overpowered by their will.  They will not see their works as filthy rags, their wisdom as foolishness, or their will in bondage to sin.  One need not look far to find sufficient and convincing evidence that the entire human race has fallen headlong into utter darkness.   When the believer in Christ Jesus the Lord considers what natural men believe to be true, and when they observe the quick and complete rejection of what really is true, they are made to feel like the only sane person in an insane asylum.  They truly are not of this world.   How can one convinced of nonsense be made to believe the truth?   The answer is found in the same passage of scripture.  “To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”  Truth comes only by Divine revelation.   The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.   Oh, to fellowship with those that have a love of the truth.  We are bound to give thanks to God for you brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

Abusers of Grace

Some will hear the gospel of God’s Sovereign Grace in Christ Jesus and give lip service to it.  They will, for one reason or another, (usually to keep peace in their family) attend services and associate themselves with the true church. They may even prefer the message of grace because they think it gives them liberty to sin.  For lack of true saving faith, they are unable to enter into spiritual worship or any meaningful fellowship with other believers.  Most, in time, will lose whatever motivation they have for coming and eventually give up on the charade.  “They went out from us for they were never of us”.  It will be evident that they believed in vain.  The tendency is to say they believed in their head but not in their heart.  The truth is they never believed in their head or their heart but as natural liars simply espoused with their lips something they never understood.

Those closest to these poor souls know all too painfully the gross inconsistency between what they say they believe and how they live.  They know better than all other believers the inability the false professors have to rejoice in Christ or demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit.  The heartfelt desire for the believer in this case is for the spurious faith of their loved one to be exposed so they can see their need for true faith in Christ Jesus.  The thought is that if we could show them how inconsistent their life is with true saving faith they will give up on their false security and turn in humble submission to Christ Jesus the Lord.

The problem with that idea is twofold.  First, it is the Holy Spirit alone that is able to give repentance and faith to dead sinners.  Any attempt we make to expose or manipulate an unbeliever is sure to fail.  Second, if we preach to expose abusers of grace all we end up doing is discouraging and defeating true believers.  The inconsistencies every true believer has in their struggle between the flesh and the spirit becomes the focus of attention.  Trying to shame unbelievers with the law will only serve to cause the true children of God worldly sorrow.  It will take away their joy by turning their attention away from the accomplished work of Christ to their own works, or lack thereof.

Anytime the pure and simple gospel is preached there will be abusers of grace.  Did the Lord not say there would be tares among the wheat?  Did He not also say, not to try to root them out?  He knew that in doing so we would damage the wheat.  In spite of how men might abuse it, we must remain faithful to preach grace.  We should pray for those who are yet strangers to it and trust the Lord to either save them or separate them in His time.

Sovereign or Superior Grace?

Many, I have found report to believe in Sovereign Grace. They speak of their love for a God who sovereignly elected a people, a Christ who sovereignly atoned for those particular people alone, and a Spirit who sovereignly and successfully regenerates the same chosen people. In their confessions, they boldly and uncompromisingly speak of the “doctrines of grace” as gospel truth. Using scripture, reason, and history, they can debate their position quite convincingly. They seem to stand firm in their belief that ‘Salvation is of the Lord’. They write eloquently about the old paths and gather for Bible conferences to promote a restoration of sound doctrine. I am sure you can tell by my tone thus far that I believe there to be a fly in the ointment. There is, and it stinks to high heaven. The truth is that many of these supporters of “Sovereign Grace” really only believe in a superior grace. Their refusal to declare a man-centered, works religion as soul damning heresy tells me that what they mean by sovereign is really only superior. Their belief that a person can know the Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of a lie tells me that what they mean by sovereign is really only superior. Their unwillingness to renounce their experiences in arminianism as bogus tells me that what they mean by sovereign is really only superior. Words are only as good as the definitions we attach to them. If salvation is only by the sovereign grace of God in Christ Jesus, then truly no lie can be of the truth. John 17:3  And this is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Many “sovereign gracers” need to repent of two things. The pride of thinking that they have superior truth when really they have not known the Truth at all, and the fear of separating themselves from less fortunate “brethren” who are really not brethren at all.

What is the Gospel?

After all the logic, after all the reasoning, when the smoke blows away and the dust settles we are left finally with this piercing question. We know that, “The gospel is the (only) power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes…” “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” So, what is the content of this gospel and what is the message contained in this name? When the apostle Paul said; “we preach Christ crucified”, he did not mean, we’re going to affirm the historical facts surrounding a man named Jesus that died upon a Roman cross. Neither did he mean, we’re going to present the theological foundations and the Biblical dogma supporting the idea of a Savior who died for sinners. Though our gospel is solidly historical, profoundly theological, and consistently Biblical, the message of our gospel is far too personal and powerful to be reduced to a mere proposition. No, we are to proclaim and believe a Jesus who is in all His attributes the anointed One of God. A Jesus who sovereignly secured the salvation of His people by satisfying all the demands of God’s holy law and laying His life down as a Substitute, atoned for the elect of God once and for all. There are those who say; “yes, I believe that is the content of the gospel”, yet they refuse to denounce the freewill Arminian gospel they were “saved” under. They are unwilling to say that the content of THE one and only gospel that has the power to save is NOT in the message of the popular jesus. I can only come to one conclusion. They don’t really believe the gospel. Not savingly. The message you believe you were “saved” under is the message you believe the gospel to be. Again I ask you, “what is the gospel?”

What DO we believe?

In times past some of us have recited what has been known as the “Apostles Creed” as a declaration of our faith. I have no interest in reviving this practice or writing an addendum to this document. But, I do want you to see that the very heart of the gospel is no where to be found in the content of this popular creed. The reason that everyone from Roman Catholics to reformed Presbyterians can agree with the statements contained in it is because the offense of the gospel is completely absent. Someone might ask; “Isn’t this what Christians believe?” My answer is yes… but oh, we believe so much more. As is usually the case, the problem is not with what is said, the problem is with what is not said. Read it, you’ll see what I mean.

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. The third day He rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the universal church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.”

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ fully and finally accomplished redemption for all of God’s elect when He died on the cross of Calvary. We believe that when He died as our Substitute under the wrath of God that He fully and finally satisfied Divine justice by paying the sin debt and thereby secured salvation for all for whom He died. We believe that Christ through the Holy Spirit will also succeed in effectually calling and bringing all that He died for with Him into everlasting Glory. We believe that any gospel that robs our Lord of this, HIS glory in the finished, successful, accomplished work of salvation, is another gospel…. which is no gospel at all. Now, there’s the real offense and power of the gospel. Do you believe that?

What do we miss when we miss church?

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” Heb. 10:25, is clearly a warning against apostasy, as is 1John 2:19, ( They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.) No child of God will be able to remain detached from the body of Christ. Their estrangement from the world, their genuine love for the brethren, and their hunger for the gospel, causes them to long for the fellowship of God’s people. However, a believer can become slovenly in their attitude toward the assembly of the saints in public worship. A warning against this carelessness is in order.

First, each of us needs to remember our responsibility to the rest of the body. What a discouragement it is to pray, plan, and prepare for public worship only to have members of the body conspicuously absent. Each member of the body feels less than whole when the body is not complete. Let us take seriously our responsibility to one another to be an example, “be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1Tim.4:12)

Second, and perhaps the most devastating result of missing public worship is, Who me miss and the unbelief that it causes. The Bible does not tell us what Thomas was doing or where he was when The Lord appeared to the other disciples. All we know is that he was not there. “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.” Because he was not there when Jesus came to them, Thomas demanded proof and declared his unbelief. But he said unto them, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) Oh, don’t you know how Thomas regretted not being there. Being GOd, the Lord Jesus is omnipresent. However, He is very particular about where He has promised to manifest His glory and His grace. Public worship is one of those places he has promised to come and be known in a special way. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” We are sad to say that under the best of circumstances we are all plagued with the temptation of unbelief. To miss public worship when we could have been there, is to aggravate that which needs to be mortified. Next time you are tempted to be careless about public worship, remember Who has promised to be there. The Lord gave us Thomas as an example NOT to follow.

What's wrong with the question, "When did you come to the Doctrines of Grace?"

Before exposing the eternally fatal flaw of such a question, let me say uncategorically that I love all the truths defined in what is popularly known as the “doctrines of grace” or the “five points of Calvinism”. I will say up front that all these wonderful truths stand or fall together and should be referred to as the doctrine of grace. Remove or deny any one of its points and grace is no longer grace. Show me a so-called four point Calvinist, and I will show you one who is trusting in the works of the flesh for their salvation. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” Galatians 5:9. “If by grace then it is no more of works otherwise grace is no more grace…” Romans 11:6. As far as the term `Calvinism’ is concerned, it only supports the idea that this precious truth is nothing more than an inhouse debate; nothing more than a different perspective held by brothers; some of the Arminian persuasion and some of the Calvinist persuasion. This falacy reduces the gospel to a never ending feud of ideas and opinions. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what Calvin or any of his adversaries thought. The only thing that matters is, “what sayeth the Scriptures” about God’s gospel. Which brings us back to my original question, what is wrong with the question, “When did you come to the doctrines of grace?”

This question not only implies, but usually affirms that one can come to Christ and know nothing about grace. Recently I received a written testimony of a man from India. I quote; “I am a Hindu convert. In the year 1972 the Lord saved me. It was in an Arminian church. I entered the ministry in 1981. In the year 1984 I was introduced to the amazing word GRACE. It was the starting point of my search for the doctrines of grace.” Another letter came the very next day asking me some questions about myself. Two of the questions were, “when were you converted?” and, “when did you come to the doctrines of grace?” Often you even hear a testimony that goes something like this: `After I was converted, I heard about the doctrines of grace. My first reaction was unbelief or even utter hatred. However, after a prolonged studious struggle over these disturbing issues, I came to embrace them and am now convinced they are true.’ Most of these Arminian converts to Calvinism believe their primary mission from God is to convince their less fortunate brethren to cross over the river of higher learning and breathe with them the less polluted air of a better doctrine. They say they believe in Sovereign Grace, but in reality, they believe in Superior Grace.

“The gospel of Christ is the only power of God unto salvation” Rom.1:16. If a person can be converted apart from knowing anything about the sovereign, effectual, accomplished work of Christ, then what does a sinner believe to be saved? Is the gospel nothing more than an account of some historical events, or is it a message of a Savior that satisfied all God’s demands for righteousness on behalf of His people? Remember, “He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel” Ps.103:7. Most everybody knows the acts of God, only the elect know His ways. Salvation is not just in believing what God has done, but why He did it. And that, is the divine revelation that breaks a sinner’s heart and brings him to faith in Christ.

Grace or Works?

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then id it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Is the whole of our salvation accomplished by the finished work of our Holy Substitute? Or, is there something else that man can do to make himself more fit, qualified, holy, or otherwise more acceptable in the sight of God? Can man establish his righteousness more securely by his supposed performance of the law? Or, is the righteousness of Christ our all and only means of acceptance before a Holy God? The message of free and sovereign grace is an offense to men’s pride because they refuse to admit that they are totally incapable of doing anything good (Rom. 3:10-12). Men, refusing to find their satisfaction in the righteousness of Christ, go about to establish their own righteousness (Rom. 10:3). Though they often succeed in impressing other men, most especially themselves, God is worse than not impressed. He is infinitely offended by their attempt to rob Christ of His glory.

God says works and grace are mutually exclusive. Grace by definition means the total absence of works. Once you introduce works into grace you no longer have grace but only works. A little bit of leaven leavens the whole lump. You can not mix works and grace any more than you can mix oil and water. Regardless of how hard you shake the bottle the heavier water gravitates to the bottom and the lighter oil to the top. So it is with works and grace. The living water of God’s grace will be completely covered by the oil of man’s works, so that if one attempts to find refreshment from that glass they will ingest nothing but sickening oil. Not only will it not satisfy, it will cause them to loose even what they have.

How do I choose a "church"?

With a religious meeting house on most literally every corner, how does one choose which to attend? The answer to this question will be determined by our reason for attending church in the first place.  Many choose the church (I use that word very loosely) that provides the most interesting and entertaining programs for their family.  Much like you might choose a health club or a sporting event.  Others choose a church because it is consistent with what they have always known; the same denomination, style of services, and familiar surroundings.  Really, this is no more a choice than we have in choosing a family.  We are just stuck with what we have.  Some choose the church to closest to where they live.  This is a good reason to choose a convenience store, but do associate with a church for convenience? Many are looking for that subjective “good feeling”.  They can’t put their finger on anything specific except to sy, ‘I’ll know when it feels right’. This may be a good way to decide on a flavor of ice cream but does it really work in finding a church? Most, they tell us, go to the place where they know and feel comfortable with another person or persons.  This sort of “fellowship” makes for a nice civic club, but is it the criteria one should use in associating with the place that is to care for their soul? Finally, many choose a church because the charismatic delivery of the preacher keeps them awake. One can not but wonder if the apostle Paul whose ‘bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible’, would have any success at all in pastoring today.

Well, the answer to the question; ‘why do I go to church?’ is inseparably linked to what I see the purpose of the church to be. If the church’s reason for existence is to serve man, then all these reasons are very valid. If, on the other hand, the true church exists to serve God and His purposes, then we best look to God’s word to see what He says about His church. Paul sums up the true church when he says to Timothy; “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”. I Tim. 3:15 We would do no violence to the word of God by paraphrasing this verse to read; the true church is the place where the living God meets with His called out ones who hold up, on firm ground, the person and work of Christ Jesus the Lord. There is only one question to ask to determine if the church I am attending is the right church. Is the Christ of scripture being fully preached, worshipped, and followed? Many men lie about our Lord by saying things of Him that are not true. Others lie about Him by not saying things that are true. If Christ is fully preached, the content of truth will be preferred over delivery, sweet and satisfying fellowship will be in Him, the joy will be incomparable to all entertainment, the consistency of scripture will be far superior to that of my past experiences, and no distance or barrier will be too great an obstacle. To get the right answer you must ask the right question. Choose carefully!

Don't Believe it, He's not there

The twenty-forth Chapter of Matthew has been the source of much speculation by men trying to predict the time of the Lord’s return. The tragic irony is that most of the discussion and debate has been by the very ones our Lord was warning us to avoid. Right in the middle of this glorious prophecy is a description of the “false christs” and “false prophets”. In verse twenty-six, the Lord said, “if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth, behold he is in the secret chambers; believe it not”. Here is the standard of measure we can use to try the spirits. All false gospels declare Christ to be either in the desert or in the secret chambers. Don’t believe it. He will not be found in the desert of law keeping, the arid landscape of ceremony, or the dry lifeless soil of free-will. Nor will He be found in the secret chambers of higher knowledge, deeper life, or an “anointed” charismatic experience. No, when our Lord returns it will be just like when He comes to one of His elect in salvation. The very next verse says, “like the lightening coming out of the east and shining to the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” He comes suddenly, sovereignly, and surely. Look for Him in His free, sovereign, simple gospel of accomplished substitution and full satisfaction. That is the only place He will be found, and He will be found there.

Unconditional Love

“God is love” I John 4:8. He defines love. He is the source of all true love. Any ‘love’ that is inconsistent with His love is no love at all. So, where did man get the notion of “unconditional love”? Well, obviously from his perverted view of God. For the God that is, knows nothing of unconditional love. Our God loves Righteousness and hates iniquity, Heb. 1:9. The Lord loves The Righteous, Ps. 147:8. There is one huge condition on God’s love…Absolute Perfect Righteousness. To say God loves anything or anyone else is to blaspheme His Holiness. The Lord Jesus Christ (and by imputation those that are in Him), is the only object of God’s love. ‘…the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ Rom. 8:39. Those who talk of unconditional love deny God’s glory in salvation by denying the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The essence of His nature (Righteousness), and the purpose of HIS death (Substitution and Satisfaction), was so that God’s condition for love would be met. Mark it down, those who talk of unconditional love do so to cover up and excuse their own sin. It may fool men but God is still angry. And what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of an angry God.

Not even an accusation

Suppose you had to stand as a defendant before a judge whose responsibility it was to enforce the law. You would hire the best advocate you could afford. Suppose you were guilty without any defense. You would plead for the courts mercy. Now, suppose you were an habitual offender that had committed nothing but crimes that were all so heinous they were punishable only by death. And, suppose the prosecutor, who had never lost a case, had such irrefutable evidence against you that your attorney could not so much as cross examine the witnesses. Add to that a judge who was well known for always exacting perfect justice. One who by no means would clear the guilty.

Though men rarely see themselves ever having committed a crime punishable by death, and though they rarely see the Judge of the universe as perfectly just to His law and Holy in His character, this is in fact where all sons of Adam are. Is there any hope? Can God be just and justify sinners at the same time?

Well, suppose the Judge himself willingly became the defendant. Suppose He came down from His lofty and rightful place of honor and took on Himself the very guilt and punishment of your crime. Then, after having satisfied all the demands of His perfect law He ascended back to His majestic throne of justice to stand as your Advocate. What cause would be so desperate, in which such an Advocate, if He will plead, will not prevail? What rightful claim would the law have against you now?

Poor sinner, admit your guilt. And rather than presuming upon the benevolent mercy of a consenting god, trust in the righteousness of a substituting Saviour; the only One in Whom the Judge of the universe is satisfied.

Guilty but Forgiven

Suppose you had to stand as a defendant before a judge whose responsibility it was to enforce the law. You would hire the best advocate you could afford. Suppose you were guilty without any defense. You would plead for the courts mercy. Now, suppose you were an habitual offender that had committed nothing but crimes that were all so heinous they were punishable only by death. And, suppose the prosecutor, who had never lost a case, had such irrefutable evidence against you that your attorney could not so much as cross examine the witnesses. Add to that a judge who was well known for always exacting perfect justice. One who by no means would clear the guilty.

Though men rarely see themselves ever having committed a crime punishable by death, and though they rarely see the Judge of the universe as perfectly just to His law and Holy in His character, this is in fact where all sons of Adam are. Is there any hope? Can God be just and justify sinners at the same time?

Well, suppose the Judge himself willingly became the defendant. Suppose He came down from His lofty and rightful place of honor and took on Himself the very guilt and punishment of your crime. Then, after having satisfied all the demands of His perfect law He ascended back to His majestic throne of justice to stand as your Advocate. What cause would be so desperate, in which such an Advocate, if He will plead, will not prevail? What rightful claim would the law have against you now?

Poor sinner, admit your guilt. And rather than presuming upon the benevolent mercy of a consenting god, trust in the righteousness of a substituting Saviour; the only One in Whom the Judge of the universe is satisfied.

"Blood and Water"

John 19:33-34 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

God in His providence, would not allow any of the bones of His sinless Son to be broken. It was pictured in the Pascal Lamb (Num. 9:12) and prophesied in the Psalms (Ps. 34:20). There must be no doubt among us that Christ is not divided; nor can He be, or will He be, received in part. Our only hope for holiness before a righteous God is the whole sacrifice of the spotless Lamb.

There is another reason God would not allow the legs of Christ to be broken. The miracle of blood and water from the side of Christ must be accomplished to further testify the purpose for which our Lord died. The wicked act of this frustrated soldier was planned and used of God to publicly declare an accomplished redemption. God requires an atonement of precious blood, innocent blood, to justify guilty sinners and satisfy the demands of His holy law. From the innocent animal that God Himself slew in the garden to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness, all the way through the history of His people, the shedding of sacrificial blood was given to picture what was now once and for all accomplished by Christ upon the cross. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. But with it; oh, with it…, there is now no condemnation. None! Glory to God for His unspeakable gift.

What about the water? Man is not only in need of atonement and justification but he is also in need of holiness. Without holiness no man will see God. We must be cleansed from the filth that defiles us. We must be sanctified in the sight of a holy God for His eyes are too pure to look upon sin. Some would tell us that we go to the blood of Christ for our justification and then to the law and our good works for sanctification. The flow of blood and water from our Lord’s side tells us that we go to Christ for both. Everything we need is found in the person and work of Christ Jesus (I Cor. 1:30).

The Lord Jesus likened spiritual birth to physical birth when he said to Nicodemus, “you must be born again”. What is present at the birth of a baby? Lots of blood and lots of water. From our entrance into this world as the sons of Adam, we are told of our need to be justified and sanctified. From the. testimony of our Lord’s pierced side we are told…”It is finished”.

God's High Priest

Some time ago I spoke to a man who told me he was a member of the “Order of Melchizedek”. He seemed to be very proud of the fact that his group has discovered some deep mystery that was known only to themselves.  Their leaders has written some books that gave them insight into these lost ancient secrets.  It was clear to me that this man was infatuated with a hard to pronounce name that had the sound of profundity.  However, it was also clear that though he thought he understood all mysteries, he was, in fact, clueless.

Isn’t that the way religious people are? They aquire a vocabulary that makes it sound like they have uncovered the deep meaning of life while blind and ignorant to the most basic truths.

So, who is Melchizedek and what does His name tell us? Hebrews 7:2 makes it clear that His name means: 1) King of Righteousness, and 2) King of Peace. The two things men can never do for themselves, Righteousness and Peace. Melchizedek was a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s High Priest. Only as He intercedes for us with His perfect righteousness, can we enjoy peace with God. The only way to be of the “order of Melchizedek” is to be “in” Melchizcdek. When that is done, men don’t boast of their knowledge. They boast of their Lord.

Should we mention the doctrine of election to the unbeliever?

Some have told us that this great Biblical truth is an “in-house debate” and should not be brought up to the unbeliever.  We should them at the place of their responsibility and never mention their inability we are told.

First, let me say with no uncertainty, the doctrine of election is not a “debate”. It is a biblical truth that is uncatagorically essential to the marvelous gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace. To deny election is to dethrone God. The gospel of “man’s free will” is another gospel. Read Galations 1:6-10 to see what God says about that. The doctrine of election is not a “deep truth” that requires the exercised intellect of a trained theologian to comprehend. It is a simple truth that all of God’s children rejoice to believe.

Second, the scriptures give plenty of examples of this great truth not being “in-house”. Let me briefly mention just two. The first is none less than our Lord’s own evangelistic ministry. In Matthew 15, and Luke 7, we have recorded Jesus encounter with the Syrophenician woman. After pleading with the Lord for mercy on her demon possessed daughter, Jesus told her that He came for the lost sheep of Israel (the elect), and that He could not take the bread from the children and give it to the “dogs”. The Bible says, “she worshipped Him”. The Lord declared the doctrine of God’s sovereign election to bring this woman to understand her only hope was to bow in humble submission to the One who alone could save her. The second example is the conversion of the apostle Paul in Acts 9. God sends a disciple by the name of Ananias to confirm the gospel to this last and greatest (or least as he saw it ) apostle with the message of election; “he is a chosen vessel of mine” v.15.

The modem evangelistic appeal, devoid of God’s sovereign election, in essence, invites the unbeliever to “make a decision” without confronting them with the Sovereignty of God. It presents them with an “invitation”, an r.s.v.p… let them decide if and when they are ready. It feeds the pride of man. The true gospel message is one of sovereign grace that humbles the sinner to beg for a crumb of bread from the Master’s table. God gives grace to the humble. .’.He resists the proud.

Twelve and Seven?

Mark 8:13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side. Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

In reading this passage recently I found myself in the boat with the disciples experiencing their bewilderment. What did the Lord mean when He used the number of baskets left over from the miraculous feedings to explain the warning about leaven? When He said, “How is it you do not understand?” I was forced to confess my own dullness and brought to ask Him for discernment.

In both the feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand Jesus gave His disciples an opportunity to feed the people before He performed the miracle of multiplication. He obviously wanted them to see their own inability and conclude that He alone is the Bread of Life. But, now they did not even bring enough bread for themselves. They concluded that the Lord’s warning about leaven was a veiled rebuke for their lack of preparation. No, the one loaf they had with them in the boat was quite sufficient. Any more would have been too much. The Master Teacher was showing them, and us, a truth about salvation that must not be missed.

First, let us remember that once a little leaven is put into the bread it eventually leavens the whole loaf. No amount of leaven is acceptable. Our Lord said the leaven of the Pharisees is illustrated by the twelve full baskets left over after the feeding of the five thousand. Twelve is a number used often in the Scriptures to illustrate complete perfection. Most of the references to the number twelve in the Old Testament are to the twelve sons or tribes of Israel. Most of the references in the New Testament are to the twelve apostles. We see in Revelation that God’s elect gathered in glory are pictured in multiples of twelve times twelve thousand. Also, the heavenly Jerusalem, the place of the Lamb’s unmitigated glory, has walls built on twelve foundations, each measuring twelve furlongs, separated by twelve single pearled gates, and guarded by twelve angels. So, what is the correlation between the twelve baskets of leftovers and the leaven of the Pharisees? God gave His perfect law to the twelve tribes of Israel. The twelve apostles preached Christ, the only law keeper, whose substitutionary atonement provides for His people eternal salvation in the City of God. The Pharisees were guilty of self-righteousness. In their blind hypocrisy they recommended themselves to God as having completed the perfect demands of the law through their own religious zeal. Jesus is telling us that when we have done all we can do to keep the law there are still twelve full baskets left over that no man can consume. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5). The One Loaf in the boat is all we need.

What about the number seven and the leaven of Herod? Herod is the epitome of licentiousness. His attempt to find satisfaction and ultimately life in the indulgence of fleshly pleasures ends in a horrible picture of judgment and death. Seven is the number for creation. All that God made in the material universe was accomplished in seven days. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and looses his own soul…” The leaven of Herod is any attempt to find our life in the temporal things of this world. The flesh refuses to be gratified. When it has done all it can do to satisfy its hunger there will always be seven full baskets left over. Enjoy what God gives you, use it for His glory, but find all you need in the One Loaf. He is our all in all!

Four Unanswerable Questions

There are four lies being told in Orlando today. Modern, man-centered, Christ dethroning religionist would have us believe; God loves everyone; it is God’s will for everyone to be saved; Christ died for everyone; and the Holy Spirit draws the saved and condemned alike. These are well established suppositions, rarely questioned for their truthfulness. To call them into question is to unmask the faulty foundation of a false gospel and kindle the wrath of those desperate to protect their traditions.

1) “What sayeth the Scripture?” “The Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness” (Ps. 11:7). “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated” (Rom. 9:13). God’s love is a holy love. He can no more love unrighteousness than He can cease to be holy. God’s love is for Christ, in Christ, and through Christ. Everything outside of Christ is under the condemnation and wrath of God. He has loved His elect with an everlasting love, having chosen them in Him before the foundation of the world.
Question #1: If God loves all men, those who receive eternal life as well as those who suffer eternal damnation, what does the love of God have to do with anyone’s salvation?

2) What does the Bible say about God’s will and salvation? “Having predestined us according to the good pleasure of His Will” (Eph. 1:5). “Having made known to us the mystery of His Will according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.” “I will have mercy upon whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion upon whomever I will have compassion. So then it is not of him who wills, or of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. Therefore, He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens” (Rom 9:15-18). “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He wills (Jn. 5:21).
Question #2: If God wills for all men to be saved, what does the will of God have to do with anyone’s salvation?

3) What do the Scriptures say about the purpose of Jesus’ death on the cross? Did He die for all men? “I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:11). “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people” (Titus 2:14). “who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4). If Christ purposed to die for all men1 did He not have the power to accomplish His purpose? God forbid! Did He die to make men savable or did He die to accomplish the salvation of a chosen people?
Question #3: If Christ shed His precious blood for all men, what does the work of Christ on the cross have to do with anyone’s salvation?

4) What does God say about the work of the Holy Spirit in redemption? Are sinners dead (Eph. 2:1) in need of regeneration, or just sick in need of a little reformation? “He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). “The written code kills, but the Spirit gives life”(II Cor. 3:6).
Question #4: If the Holy Spirit draws the saved and the condemned alike, what does the Holy Spirit have to do with anyone’s salvation?

The Truth: Salvation is of the Lord! Don’t believe a lie, it will damn your soul.

Exclusive and Inclusive

The gospel of God’s grace in Christ Jesus is both exclusive and inclusive. It is a double-edged sword. It cuts people out and it cuts people in. The exclusivity of God’s gospel will not allow a person to be saved while believing another gospel. One’s complete hope and trust must be in THE Christ revealed according to the Scriptures. He is The Way and He Is God’s Way. To deny Him is to be excluded by the sword of the gospel. Just as the door of your home is used to keep out unwelcome guest, so Christ stands at the entrance of the sheepfold to keep out those that would rob Him of His glory.

But, never let us forget that God’s gospel is also inclusive. Put the positive side of two magnets together and they will repel one another with an irreconcilable force. When we come to the positive righteousness of Christ with any amount of our own righteousness we are repelled. But, turn the negative side of that magnet to the positive side of the other and they will be attracted with a force irresistible. So it is with Christ. The only condition for salvation is to repent of your righteousness (which is altogether filthy rags) and trust in the Christ of true righteousness as your only Lord and Savior. It matters not who you are or what you have done. Whosoever will may come. If we are kept out it is because we refuse to come on God’s terms. Jesus said, you are not willing to come to me. Again He said, Light has come into the world but men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. The gospel includes everyone who is willing. No man can say, “I was willing to come but He was unwilling to save me”. Unregenerate men are by nature unwilling. You can not be more willing to be saved than God is to save you. Thy people will be made willing in the day of Thy power (Psalm 110:3). “Oh Lord, make us willing.” Can you say with the hymn writer, ‘He included me?’

"Can God use me?"

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me… ” Acts 1:8

Why did God choose to use human instruments as His witnesses? Is it a denial of His power or His glory to say He always uses one man to communicate the gospel to another? Would He not be more glorified by using a more miraculous and unaided means to accomplish His purpose? Is God dependent on men to perform His will? Let me try to illustrate the answer to these questions. I am currently in the process of building a boathouse in my yard. I am no professional carpenter and possess no unusual skills. What I do have (borrowed mostly) is all the best tools money can buy. I have a skill saw, a saw zaw, a jig saw, a chain saw, an air compressor, nail guns, and more. If you came to my work site you would be impressed, not with my vast collection of high quality tools. There would be no way for me to accomplish my job without them. Oh yea, all the wood was given to me also. I can’t even take pride in how much money I spent on this project. Now, compare that to the way the Amish would construct a barn. No power tools. No modern technology. From the cutting down of the trees and hewing out the timbers, to boring the holes for perfectly fit wooden pegs, the entire job is done with archaic hand tools that would be worse than useless in my hands. If you visited that work site you would say, ‘wow, what craftsman, what skill, all that beauty and look what they used to build it’. The more backward and broken an instrument is, the more glory goes to the builder for being able to use it. If God ever in ever uses you or me in any way, it will be categorically in spite of us. The greatest miracle of all is that God can and does take an instrument that is nothing in itself but sinful defilement and uses it to produce a new creature that is perfectly holy. 1 Cor 1:27-29 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” Do you qualify?

Where Does Grace Lead?

Some people would have us believe that if we preach pure grace it will lead people to licentious living. They say if we remove the law as a guide or motivation for Christian living, people will have nothing to keep them holy. They say to tell a person to just follow Christ doesn’t provide enough structure and will lead people to careless living. Is that where the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ Jesus leads? Grace preachers have always been, and always will be, falsely accused of this devilish lie. The apostle Paul spent most of his time defending the gospel of grace against this lawmongers view of serf-righteousness. “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Rom 6:15 No, grace does not lead to sin, grace leads to Christ. He is able by the law of love and faith to restrain our flesh and make us His workmanship.

“…saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”

“from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Jer.6:14

Nothing has changed. The false prophets are still declaring peace when there is no peace. Notice they heal the hurt of the people `slightly’. Can you think of one time the Lord Jesus performed a miracle of healing that was anything less than total? No. When Christ speaks peace there is reason for rejoicing. `My peace I leave you’. Why do people so gladly listen to a message of false peace? For the same reason people take pain medicine rather than undergo radical surgery. They want to just feel better rather than be put under the care of the Physician. Doctors who freely pass out anesthetics and placebos become popular and wealthy… but their patients die.