Message of Grace

PUBLISHED BY GRACE CHAPEL MINISTRIES OF O’BRIEN, FLORIDA

“FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST” EPHESIANS 2 :8

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LIGHT AT EVENING TIME

But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night:

but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

Zechariah 14:7

When catastrophes and calamities strike the earth, it is quite common to hear men say that they think that these are the “last days”. Or some look at the rampant wickedness which surrounds us and they come to the same conclusion. The reality of the matter is that the world has been in the “last days” since the coming of JESUS CHRIST into the world. We are not waiting for the end time to unfold; because it is already here. The apostle John said, “Little children, it is the last time” (1 John 2:18). There are no more ages to unfold as far as the history of this earth is concerned, for the scripture divides that history into two ages, the former times and the latter days. When JESUS CHRIST came into the world born of a virgin, HE ushered in the latter days.


Some think there is coming a future time when JESUS CHRIST will be crowned as a King with an earthly throne. But the fact is HE came into the world as a KING and has established HIS kingdom now. HE rebuked the Pharisees when they could not tell when the kingdom would come saying “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.(i.e.; in your midst)” (Luke 17:20-21) This kingdom is not one of flesh and blood, not one of religion, nor one entered by the will of man, but it is a real kingdom which has for its inhabitants those who worship GOD in spirit and truth. A man can only enter it by being born again.


The manifestation of JESUS CHRIST in the earth as the REDEEMER of sinners is the unfolding of all of the mysteries that have been hid since the foundation of the earth. All of the history of the earth, up until HE was pleased to come into the world as the incarnate (i.e.;in the flesh) GOD-man, pointed to HIS coming. All of the prophets prophesied of HIM. All covenant arrangements were but foreshadows of the establishing of HIS kingdom. All laws were given and all ceremonies were set forth for the purpose of setting the stage for the ONE who would come and reign over all the earth as a MEDIATOR between GOD and man. History is indeed HIS-story. Now HIS rule and reign is without end.


HE is a KING with a sword. “If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.” (Deut 32:41) The scripture indicates that the LORD JESUS is the JUDGE of all the earth and HE will mete out justice to all its inhabitants. All of those who are found clothed in their own religion, righteousness, or rebellion will be slain with the glittering sword of death as HE comes “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess 1:8) All places of hiding will be removed and the hearts of men will be made bare in that awful day. HE has sent HIS SPIRIT into the earth to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8) HIS word which is a sharp two edged sword pierces the heart of elect sinners and causes them to bow down before HIM and embrace HIS kingdom. The proud, the sinful, and the disobedient reject HIS claims and turn a stiff neck to the gospel message going on to the destruction for which they are ordained. (see Jude v.4)


HE is a KING with a scepter. It is the prerogative of any king to determine who he allows to enter into his presence. If he holds out that scepter then his subject can approach. “Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Heb 1:8) The scepter of HIS kingdom is HIS own righteousness. Apart from standing in that righteousness, no one can come into HIS presence. The good news of the gospel is that HE has imputed HIS perfect righteousness to the account of unworthy sinners whom HE has loved from the foundation of the world. They have no hope of any acceptance into HIS presence other than that which was purchased for them by HIS death on Calvary’s cross. They have no confidence in the flesh, the organized religions of men, nor any morality or good deeds they may have performed.


HE is a KING with an invitation. Some have tried to present the gospel as an offer which is given to men in general to either accept or reject. Nowhere in all of the scripture can such a concept be found. The invitations of CHRIST are not general in nature but are specifically addressed to those who are thirsty, those who are needy, and those who know themselves to be worthy of condemnation. Those invitations must be accompanied by HIS power to compel men to come or else they will not. If a man is left to himself to choose or reject the truth of GOD he will reject it every time. The LORD described the rebellious state of man when HE said “ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (Jn 5:40) and to further explain mans fallen condition, HE said “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.” (Jn 8:43) But the sovereign grace of GOD enables men to see their wretched condition and also draws them to HIMSELF, giving them power to receive HIS mercy extended in the preaching of the gospel. Do you hear the gospel today? JESUS said “I am the light of the world.” (Jn 8:12)

mam


Hark the gospel trumpet sounding

Sinners hear the call and come

CHRIST in pard’ning love abounding

Now invites the sinner home

Though your crimes have reached to heav’n

And of deepest dye appear,

Ask and they shall be forgiv’n

Seek and ye shall find HIM near.

(taken from Dossey’s Choice, 1830)


NOT OF US

“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. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us,” . 2 Co. 4:6, 7.


The work of the Spirit of God, by the mercies of God is to call His elect sinners out of darkness into the marvelous light of the knowledge of Christ, 2 Corinthians 4:4. So why would we preach anything else but Christ and Him crucified? Christ is the light. We preach that the Spirit of God reveals Christ to the heart through the Gospel and is the only truth there is. Therefore, this light that God gives to believers is our great treasure. However, the excellency of the knowledge of Christ is of God and not of us. It is this treasure, the light of the knowledge of Christ, that God puts within His elect that the power might be of God.


The power of God unto salvation is from the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not of any part of us, and so we preach NOT OURSELVES. There’s nothing good in us. Our Lord said that we cannot add one cubit to our stature. MUCH LESS can we do anything about our spiritual condition, about spiritual light, about seeing the truth, understanding the truth, or having a knowledge of it in ourselves. We cannot do it. It is all by the mercies of God, and OF CHRIST.


JIM PENNYWELL, Shreveport, LA


The more I learn, by God’s grace, the less I rely on any previous knowledge I thought I had, and the more intently I rely upon Him who accomplished the work entirely and exclusively for me at the cross. This is truly growth in GRACE. If I am growing in grace, I am growing in my need of grace, and thereby seeing myself only as sinful, ignorant, and helpless apart from His redeeming and justifying death. To grow in the knowledge of the Lord is to acknowledge ever more that salvation is ALL in, by, and of Him, and nothing in, by, or of me. This work of grace makes the truth of the cross, and Christ’s work of righteousness finished and imputed there all the more evident to the heart. When the Spirit of God makes Christ wisdom to you, you also see Him as everything else- righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, not just established or grounded in His death, but accomplished and applied there! As we grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord, we become increasingly teachable, particularly when it involves a subject as vital as the death of the Lord Jesus. The grace of God humbles the soul and causes us to look entirely outside ourselves for any righteousness or good. Righteousness is not in us, but IN HIM.


Ken Wimer

VOLUME VI

APRIL - JUNE 2005

ISSUE 4