WHY CHRIST CAME?
Jesus Christ came into the world not only to reveal the Father, but to redeem the sinner. He came not as the President of our country would go into a disaster area to look upon the poor, helpless victims, but to redeem victims of depravity whom the Father gave Him in the covenant of redemption.
Christ came not to redeem by appointed methods, but by Himself. He came not to stand by and prescribe, but to minister and provide the means of salvation. The Savior came not only to provide salvation, but to be that Salvation. (I Peter 1:18; Revelation 1:5)
—Pastor Scott Richardson (1923-010)
What a man hopes for in heaven reveals the state of his heart. If he perceives heaven and its glories in terms of colonnaded mansions, golden streets and pearly gates, then it reveals a heart filled with the things of this world. But, if heaven is perceived as the privilege of being with Christ, beholding His glory, singing praises to Him and growing in the knowledge of Him forever, then it reveals a heart made alive to spiritual things.
The closest thing to this experience on earth is the worship of the assembled church of God, for in her worship; the church meets with Christ, listens to a message of His glory, sings praises to Him and grows in the knowledge of Him. If you do not like church worship here, you will not like heaven, for heaven is simply the realization of all that the church longs for here! —- Pastor Joe Terrell
What makes mistaken men afraid
Of sovereign grace to preach!
The reason is, if truth be said,
Because they are so rich.
Why so offensive in their eyes
Does God’s election seem ?
Because they think themselves so wise
That they have chosen him.
Of perseverance why so loath
Are some to speak or hear ?
Because, as masters over sloth,
They vow to persevere.
Whence is imputed righteousness
A point so little known ?
Because men think they all possess
Some righteousness their own.
Not so the needy, helpless soul,
Prefers his humble prayer;
He looks to him that works the whole,
And seeks his treasure there.
His language is, Let me, my God,
On sovereign grace rely;
And own ’tis free, because bestowed
On one so vile as I.
Election ! tis a word divine;
For, Lord, I plainly see,
Had not thy choice preceded mine,
I ne’er had chosen thee.
For perseverance strength I’ve none,
But would on this depend…
That Jesus, having loved his own,
Will love them to the end.
Empty and bare, I come to thee
For righteousness divine :
0 may thy matchless merits be,
By imputation, mine.
Thus differ these; yet hoping each
To make salvation Sure.
Now most men will approve the rich,
But Christ has blessed the poor:
–by Joseph Hart
HEARING THE WORD
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves” (James 1:17-22).
How should we hear the gospel when it is preached? God gives us some excellent instruction on how to hear the Word in the book of James (James 1:17-22)
1. HEAR THE WORD EAGERLY! “Let every man be swift to hear.” Since the preaching of the gospel is the means God ordained to call out the sheep, to give us life in Christ, to comfort and feed the sheep, let us grasp every opportunity to Hear the Word (Prov.8:32-36).
2. HEAR THE WORD QUIETLY! “Slow to speak, slow to wrath.” No one has ever learned anything by talking. Don’t hear the word with a critical spirit, but rather with an open heart and a closed mouth asking the Lord for understanding (Ecc.5:1-2)
3. HEAR THE WORD ATTENTIVELY! “Lay apart all filthiness.” Lay aside that which would hinder and keep you from hearing the gospel; pride, self righteousness and all fleshly appetites that would distract your attention. “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them. (1Tim. 4:15)
4. HEAR THE WORD REVERENTLY! “Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul. “Hear it as the Word of God and humbly receive it as God’s truth which is able to set us free in Christ Jesus (John 8:32)
5. HEAR THE WORD OBEDIENTLY! “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.” The Word of God is to be heard, believed and obeyed “Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). My encouragement to all of us is to hear the Word, believe it, receive it, rejoice in it, respond to it, and to obey it. May God be pleased to give us needed grace to hear Him speak.
—Pastor Tom Harding
“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40: 1-2