Friday, November 25, 2011


The true church is no particular denomination, though there are many true Christians in the various denominations.

The true church is not about entertaining people, producing shows, or making people feel comfortable in their sins.

The true church of Christ proclaims truth, righteousness, and holiness, as it magnifies the grace of God in Christ.

The true church is spiritual in nature, not carnal or worldly, so this spiritual body is out of step with the world.

The true church has Christ as the chief cornerstone, and his holy apostles and prophets as its only foundation.

The true church is composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and they are vitally one in him alone.

The true church of Christ is dependent upon no man as priest, vicar, minister, or pope to carry on its existence.

The true church proclaims the Lord Jesus Christ as the Mighty Savior of sinners, who never fails to save God's elect.

The true church will always be in the world, can never be extinguished, and does know true unity in the Spirit.

The true church's members all have the same marks of repentance, faith, holiness of life, and hatred of sin.

The true church has no boundaries, no official headquarters, and cannot be identified by human  buildings or creeds.

The true church is inward, not outward, so cannot be joined humanly, though is revealed in local assemblies.

"I will build my church."  Matthew 16:18 

"Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."  Ephesians 5:25

"And he is the head of the body, the church."  Colossians 1:18

"To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven."  Hebrews 12:23

The solemn question is, "Do YOU belong to this one true church?"

Friday, November 11, 2011


Sin-burdened soul, with tempest tossed,
Thy bark shall every storm outride;
Grace once received can ne'er be lost,
Nor hell from Christ thy soul divide.

These precious words from John Kent (1766-1843) say in a quaint way what the gospel is all about.  Sinners cannot save themselves, for they are "sin-burdened" and "tempest tossed."  But "grace" comes to us in sweet sovereignty to rescue us, enabling our "bark" to safely "every storm outride."  Not even "hell" itself can sever one soul from the hands of our mighty Savior, for "Grace once received can ne'er be lost."

The doctrine of perseverance is often either misunderstood or mistaught.  This doctrine does not mean we hope to be saved if we can just hold out, as maybe we can be faithful enough within ourselves to "endure to the end," others not being so "lucky."  "Enduring, faithful, holding fast, patient to the end, clinging, trusting, believing, being steadfast, overcoming," are all important words in the New Testament regarding "the perseverance of the saints."  But God's superabounding grace alone puts us on this journey, and keeps us all the way to journey's end, as beautifully illustrated by John Bunyan in his The Pilgrim's Progress.  We remind you that Bunyan rightly named his pilgrim "Graceless" before becoming "Christian."  Indeed, the grace of God made the difference for Graceless, and makes the same difference for us!

"Every storm outride."  Here is the true doctrine in all its glory.  Not that we have smooth sailing.  Never.  Not that we have cloudless days, with no storms.  Never.  Not that there are not tears and sorrows in abundance.  Never.  Not that we never know "fiery trials."  Not that we cannot sin and fall, and lose our joy, and our hopes for heaven become dim.  Not that we have "full assurance" at all times (sometimes we have no "assurance" at all).  Not that we cannot be hurt deeply in running this race to glory, for we can lose heart, grow faint and weary, even "in well doing."  "But God."  Yes, by God's mercy we keep going, for grace has not been bestowed upon us "in vain," and according to Paul, this was what made him "labor abundantly" (I Corinthians 15:10).  Yes, grace makes us work and pray and study and persevere!

So, once again, let us be reminded that "grace bestowed" or "grace received" is the fuel that keeps us going.  It is not our human faith, our human abilities, our human wisdom, our cleverness, or our "good luck."  GRACE ALONE keeps us and preserves us, and no devil or power, things now or later, not even death itself, can ever "separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).  In a world gone mad with lust and greed and war and unbelief and doubt, we need this message to comfort us and assure us.  Let us continue to "outride" these and all other storms, and after our "bark" safely reaches Glorification Harbor (The Day of Rapture or Resurrection), we shall render to our most worthy Captain all praise and glory "forever and ever" (I Peter 5:10-11).  God's people are indeed "more than conquerors," but ONLY "through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). 

Friday, November 4, 2011



If, then, dread of God, and hatred of God, be the cause of all our sins, how shall we be cured of the love of sin, but by taking away the cause? How do you most effectually kill the noxious weed? Is it not by striking at the root? In the love of Christ to man then—in that strange, unspeakable gift of God, when He laid down His life for His enemies, when He died the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God—do not you see an object which, if really believed by the sinner, takes away all his dread and all his hatred of God? The root of sin is severed from the stock. 

In His bearing double for all our sins, we see the curse carried away, we see God reconciled. Why should we fear anymore? Not fearing, why should we hate God anymore? Not hating God, what desirableness can we see in sin anymore? Putting on the righteousness of Christ, we are again placed as Adam was, with God as our friend. We have no object in sinning; and, therefore, we do not care to sin.