January 31, 2006

What is election by Eric Wilson

Whatever is done was foreordained and decided before time by the council of His own will (Eph 1:11). I had two concerns when addressing this subject. First we are told that great harm may come from declaring the truth of election, because it may offend someone who is searching. Second I thought I should defend my doctrine to questions I receive from those who don’t believe. As for the second, we should never consider it as defending that which is unconditional and by God’s revelation. We must understand that it is not our doctrine that they hate; it is the doctrine of God (John 7:7). In addition I fear when it becomes “I” or “My” we lose sight of Him. Let us then look only to the scriptures. For it is impossible to believe the scriptures to be the Word of God and not believe that salvation is of His own will. This may be my opinion but I believe there are more passages that deal with God’s sovereignty and election than any other theological topic I covered. This easily answers my first concern, for any one to believe that God was not the best judge of what or how much is to be known denies God’s providence. For “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).

I must stress that this is not mine or simple a Calvinistic doctrine, but God’s (Eph 1:11). Election stands on God is absolutely sovereign. A conditional sovereignty is to say a limited sovereignty. You have not chosen Him but He has chosen you (Jhn 15:16). Election is eternal, taking place before time (Eph 1:4). An Election routed in the foreknowledge of a god assumes you have anything to contribute and gives man power of God’s decrees (Rom 9:11). Election is an unmerited gift of the giver (Rom 11:5). If you add or contribute anything it is not of grace and if not of His free offer and so then it is not election it is dept. “knowing brethren beloved your election of God “ (I Thes 1:4). Election is unto salvation (II Thes 2:13). Many have a false impression of a god standing at the door to heaven rejecting some and permitting others to enter. Dear reader we know that He does not turn away any who seek and knock. The problem is no one is banging down the door. It may be better if one visualizes everyone going to hell deservingly and willfully. And out of pure mercy, and with God’s sovereign electing grace, He pulls some away to the praise of His glory (Eph 1:6).

Oh I pray we make election a savory meat that feeds our soul. Election is a fact that brings Christians assurance and encouragement (Rom 8:33). Prize this truth and hold it firmly. Thank Him that you are a partaker. That the sovereign electing grace of God choose you a sinner while you were dead in sins to repentance, to faith, and afterwards to holiness of living, to Christian service, and a zeal for Him and devotion in His Word.

January 30, 2006

My sheep by J. C. Ryle

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27)

This verse gives the character of true Christians.

1. God's children, His real believing people, are compared to sheep, because they are gentle, quiet, harmless and inoffensive; because they are useful and do good to all around them; because they love to be together, and dislike separation; and because they are very helpless and wandering and liable to stray.

2. Jesus calls them "My sheep," as if they were His peculiar property. "Mine," He would have us know, by election; "Mine" by purchase; and "Mine" by adoption.

3. Christ's sheep hear His voice, they listen humbly to His teaching, they take His word for their rule and guide.

4. Christ's sheep follow Him, they walk in the narrow path He has marked out, they do not refuse because it is sometimes steep and narrow--but wherever the line of duty lies they go forward without doubting.

by J.C. Ryle

January 24, 2006

The Mighty Breaker by Charles Spurgeon

"There brake He the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle." --Psalm 76:3

Our Redeemer's glorious cry of "It is finished," was the death-knell of all the adversaries of His people, the breaking of "the bow and the battle." Behold the hero of Golgotha using His cross as an anvil, and His woes as a hammer, dashing to shivers bundle after bundle of our sins, those poisoned "arrows of the bow"; trampling on every indictment, and destroying every accusation. What glorious blows the mighty Breaker gives with a hammer far more ponderous than the fabled weapon of Thor! How the diabolical darts fly to fragments, and the infernal bucklers are broken like potters' vessels! Behold, He draws from its sheath of hellish workmanship the dread sword of Satanic power! He snaps it across His knee, as a man breaks the dry wood of a fagot, and casts it into the fire.

Beloved, no sin of a believer can now be an arrow mortally to wound him, no condemnation can now be a sword to kill him, for the punishment of our sin was borne by Christ, a full atonement was made for all our iniquities by our blessed Substitute and Surety. Who now accuseth? Who now condemneth? Christ hath died, yea rather, hath risen again. Jesus has emptied the quivers of hell, has quenched every fiery dart, and broken off the head of every arrow of wrath; the ground is strewn with the splinters and relics of the weapons of hell's warfare, which are only visible to us to remind us of our former danger, and of our great deliverance. Sin hath no more dominion over us. Jesus has made an end of it, and put it away for ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end. Talk ye of all the wondrous works of the Lord, ye who make mention of His name, keep not silence, neither by day, nor when the sun goeth to his rest. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

by C.H. Spurgeon

Gleaned from brother Doug Eaton’s site at Godward Thoughts

January 19, 2006

I am a very dull scholar in Christ's school by William Tiptaft

My dear brother,
I find this sickness profitable to my soul. It has, I trust, meekened and humbled my spirit, and I have been brought down to lie passive in the Lord's hands. I deserve many such, and much more severe chastisements for my daily sins and iniquities. I feel this sickness to be a rod that I needed. If we escaped such trials, we would wander farther from God after idols and the vain delights of our wicked hearts. What trials, afflictions, and sorrows are required to separate us from the world! How hard, carnal, and selfish does a man become, who has nothing to soften him! We need daily crosses and daily trials to keep us in any way alive to eternal things, and to maintain a spirit of prayer and watchfulness. I trust I can say that my sickness has proved profitable to me; but I am a very dull scholar in Christ's school, and need line upon line and precept upon precept. I have to lament a heart full of wickedness, vanity, and folly. I feel a strong inclination to avoid every cross. But I am sure, nevertheless, that crosses are daily needful. How we cleave to the world! What pride, vanity, flesh-pleasing, and worldly conformity are manifest in us!

Psalm 119:71 "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”

Yours affectionately and sincerely,
William Tiptaft

January 16, 2006

Water and Weeds by Chris Cunningham

"The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head." Jonah 2:5

God in His eternal, sovereign mercy, bring sinners to this blessed place. Blessed place, where waters compass and weeds are wrapped? Oh, yes, for this is the place where sinners look up at last, and there is hope.

It should be our intent, when preaching, teaching or speaking to sinners who know not the Saviour, to compass them about with waters and wrap weeds around their head. This is just another way of saying, "We must shut men up to the Lord Jesus Christ!"
When the sea of our sins floods in upon us and the weeds of our vileness before God settle about our head like a crown of shame, then we shall most certainly cry out with a voice that God is sure to hear. Jonah 2:2 I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

Men's problem is that they are high and dry in their self righteousness. By nature, we are oblivious to the fact that, like Jonah we are running as fast as we can from the presence of the Lord" (1:3), and that shipwreck and violent death is our portion for it (1:4).

The only remedy is for God to bring us to "the belly of hell" (2:2) that we may see our deplorable condition in His holy sight, our utter inability to heip ourselves and that the blood of Christ alone can wash our vileness. Only then will the waters of affliction become unto us a fountain of grace and the weeds be exchanged for a crown of life. by Chris Cunningham

January 09, 2006

Salvation by J. C. Philpot

And they were shouting with a mighty shout, "Salvation comes from our God on the throne and from the Lamb!" Revelation 7:10

The sweetest song that heaven ever proclaimed, the most blessed note that ever melted the soul, is salvation.

Saved FROM . . .
death and hell; the worm which never dies; the fire which is never quenched; the sulphurous flames of the bottomless pit; the companionship of tormenting fiends and all the foul wretches under which earth has groaned; blaspheming God in unutterable woe; an eternity of misery without end or hope!

Saved INTO . . .
heaven; the sight of Jesus as He is; perfect holiness and happiness; the blissful company of holy angels and glorified saints; and all this during the countless ages of a blessed eternity!

What tongue of men or angels can describe the millionth part of what is contained in the word salvation?

by Joseph Philpot

January 05, 2006

Who then can be Saved by Henry Mahan

Matt. 19:25-26
The disciples asked, "Who then can be saved?" Our Lord replied, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:25-26). The first real difficulty in conversion is for a person to realize that he is a LOST SINNER. There are plenty of weak people, even sinful people; but only the Holy Spirit can produce a LOST SINNER who will cry, "O God, be merciful to me, THE SINNER."

The second difficulty in conversion is to teach that sinner THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. He must be taught of God (Jn. 6:44-45) that Christ's blood and righteousness enable God to be just and justify those who BELIEVE. The gospel of free grace and mercy comes to the helpless sinner without any return on his part. Salvation, eternal life, is THE GIFT OF GOD. Even our repentance, faith, works of faith, and labors of love are produced by His presence in us, not by any merit on our part.

The third difficulty in conversion is to bring a believing sinner TO REST all his days in the same love and grace that begat him. "As we have received Christ, we walk and rest in Him." We are chosen, called, and KEPT by His free grace.

"A sweet resting place is Jesus Christ to me, The fulness of grace, sovereign, rich, and free."

by Henry Mahan

January 03, 2006

Numbering our days by John Calvin

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Teach us so to number our days As Moses perceived that what he had hitherto taught is not comprehended by the understandings of men until God shine upon them by his Spirit, he now sets himself to prayer. It indeed seems at first sight absurd to pray that we may know the number of our years. What? since even the strongest scarcely reach the age of fourscore years, is there any difficulty in reckoning up so small a sum? Children learn numbers as soon as they begin to prattle; and we do not need a teacher in arithmetic to enable us to count the length of a hundred upon our fingers. So much the fouler and more shameful is our stupidity in never comprehending the short term of our life. Even he who is most skillful in arithmetic, and who can precisely and accurately understand and investigate millions of millions, is nevertheless unable to count fourscore years in his own life. It is surely a monstrous thing that men can measure all distances without themselves, that they know how many feet the moon is distant from the center of the earth, what space there is between the different planets; and, in short, that they can measure all the dimensions both of heaven and earth; while yet they cannot number threescore and ten years in their own case. It is therefore evident that Moses had good reason to beseech God for ability to perform what requires a wisdom which is very rare among mankind. The last clause of the verse is also worthy of special notice. By it he teaches us that we then truly apply our hearts to wisdom when we comprehend the shortness of human life. What can be a greater proof of madness than to ramble about without proposing to one’s self any end? True believers alone, who know the difference between this transitory state and a blessed eternity, for which they were created, know what ought to be the aim of their life. No man then can regulate his life with a settled mind, but he who, knowing the end of it, that is to say death itself, is led to consider the great purpose of man’s existence in this world, that he may aspire after the prize of the heavenly calling. by John Calvin

January 01, 2006



What are Sovereign Grace Bible conferences?

As I am aware or find information on conferences I will make them available. If you know of any I have neglected please contribute and e-mail the inforamtion @ Sovereign Grace Word

July 27-30, 2006
Hosted by: First Baptist Church – Almont, Michigan
Jim Byrd, Pastor – Telephone (810) 798-8034 E-mail Jim Byrd

August 9-11, 2006
Hosted by:Buck Mountain Baptist Church - Roan Mountain, TN
Gary Perkins, Pastor – Telephone 423-725-2969

August 11-13. 2006
Hosted by:Soverign Grace Church - New castle, In
Bruce Crabtree, Pastor - Telephone 765-529-6530
"picnic and fellowship after service on the 12th"
Friday, August 11
7:00 P.M. Don Bell
8:00 PM Todd Nibert
Refreshments following service
Saturday, August 12
10:00 A.M. Todd Nibert
11:00 A. M. Don Bell
Lunch immediately following service at Pastor Bruce Crabtree’s home.
Sunday, August 13
10:00 A.M. Don Bell
11:00 AM Todd Nibert
Lunch served immediately following service at church
No Sunday Evening Service

August 14-16, 2006
Hosted by:Grace Fellowship - Booneville, NC
Linwood Campbell, Pastor – Telephone 336-468-4339

August 17-18, 2006
Hosted by:Covenant of Grace Baptist Church - North Wilkesboro, NC
Mike Walker, Pastor – Telephone 336-921-2343

27th Annual Sovereign Grace Bible Conference
September 1-3, 2006
Hosted By: Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438 USA
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Telephone 859-236-8235 E-mail Don Fortner

September 16-17(AM), 2006
Hosted by:Grace Baptist Church – Taylor, AR
Contact: Winston Warlick – Telephone 870-859-3306

September 17(PM)-18, 2006
Hosted by:
Witchita Falls, TX
Jim Wilson – Telephone 940-855-6505 E-mail Jim Wilson

27th Annual Sovereign Grace Bible Conference
October 16-19, 2006
Hosted by:Sequoyah Baptist Church – Cherokee, NC
Tim James, Pastor
Telephone 704-497-7644 E-mail Tim James

November 11-12(AM), 2006
Hosted by:Grace Baptist Church - Taylor, AR
Contact: Winston Warlick – Telephone 870-859-3306

November 12(PM)-13, 2006
Hosted by:
Witchita Falls, TX
Jim Wilson – Telephone 940-855-6505 E-mail Jim Wilson

What are Sovereign Grace Bible conferences?


Acts 15:1-35.

The first sovereign grace Bible conference was held at Jerusalem during the apostolic era. The reason for that conference and the things that transpired at it are recorded in Acts 15. This conference was held at Jerusalem about 14 years after God had saved Saul of Tarsus. In this conference three issues were dealt with and set forth with clarity by the apostles: (1.) The Believer's Freedom From The Law (vv. 5-6, 23-24) – (2.) The Method Of God's Saving Operations (Grace Alone – Faith Alone – Christ Alone) (vv. 8-11), and (3.) The Sovereign Purpose of God (v. 18). The purpose of God in predestination is the glory of his own great name in the salvation of chosen sinners.

The Problem at Jerusalem

These matters were not a problem. All who know God have recognized these facts since the beginning of time. But there was a specific problem, another matter of vital gospel doctrine needed to be clearly settled and publicly declared in unison by the servants of God.

There were some among the Pharisees who professed to believe the gospel of the grace of God in Christ, but these men sought to mix law and grace. They wanted to compel believers to be circumcised and "to keep the law of Moses". They were saying, "A man cannot be saved unless he is circumcised and he cannot live right as a Christian if he does not live by the rule of the ten commandments" (vv. 1, 5).

Needless to say, this caused quite a stir. Paul and Barnabas could not stand by quietly while these Pharisees attempted to put the yoke of bondage upon God's children who had been freed from the law. Therefore, the churches got funds together to send Paul, Barnabas, and other preachers to Jerusalem to take counsel with the apostles and elders concerning this matter (vv. 2-6). After much disputing with the Pharisees, Peter preached, then Paul preached, then James preached, and when they were finished, they wrote a letter to all the churches (vv. 7-29). They spoke with one voice, declaring to all the world that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

When the conference was over Paul, Barnabas and the other preachers went home, gathered the brethren, and read the Epistle. When God's saints read that letter, they rejoiced in the consolation of the gospel ( vv. 30-31). Then other brethren confirmed the message (v. 32). Not only did these brethren continue preaching the Word of grace, but many others were inspired to do so too (v. 35).

The purpose

At a sovereign grace Bible conference, we come together to clearly, publicly declare in unison, to all the world, the singular message of Holy Scripture: That salvation is the work of God's free and sovereign grace through our all glorious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to encourage all who will to join us in proclaiming this message.

We have the rare opportunity of exposing ourselves and our families to the preaching of the gospel by many of God's choice servants and of spending time in blessed fellowship with his saints from around the United States. Beyond the great privileges that are ours, we have opportunity to do something for the glory of God, the furtherance of the gospel, and the benefit of his elect. Over the years, we have seen God grant some faith in Christ, establish others who were wavering, set the direction of men's lives in the preaching of the gospel, and show pastors, students, and other believers the blessed centrality of Christ in the Scriptures.

It is not insignificant to realize that by hosting conferences, we will be providing some of God's saints opportunity to meet new friends, maybe even spouses in Christ. Some of our guests have no church family where they live and no gospel ministry. It is indeed a great privilege for us to provide God's church a meeting place and a few loaves and fishes for a few days. May it please our great God to bless our conferences to that end for Christ's sake.

Don Fortner