Central Grace Church "To The Praise Of The Glory Of His Grace"
--Ephesians 1:6

By: Central Grace Church | January 31, 2017

 

   “And the devil, taking Him (Christ) up into an high mountain, shewed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, ‘All this power will I give thee and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.’   

                                                                                                                                                 --Luke 4:5-7

 

    We cannot fully understand what power has been given to Satan by our Lord, yet the Lord does not dispute  what he says here.  Apparently it is somewhat in the power of the devil to bestow material things upon some.  Since this is so, it is not necessarily a blessing of God to have an abundance of things.  Oh that we could see things as they are;  see things as the Lord sees them and was not in the least tempted by them.  It is significant that these things were viewed from “an high mountain.”   Perhaps that is how we need to view things.

     If you have ever  traveled by airplane then you have been afforded a ‘bird’s-eye-view’ of things.  You have seen things the way our Lord saw them and the way we should view them.  I recently flew a long way over many different states, in which were all manner of things to be seen.  Way down there I saw  all the things that people love and live for.  There were houses by the sea, which looked like little cottages which could be so easily swept away by the ocean which came so precariously close.  There were farms with all the animals grazing, where the finest horse looked no different than a mule (from the air).  There were the huge playgrounds and sporting fields, where everyone looked like little ants scurrying around needlessly, and aimlessly.  There were little automobiles running around everywhere, each looking no different than other and all looking like little toys.  Anything and everything which human beings live and die for, all of which looked so insignificant and fragile from on high.

  “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”  “For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (Col.3:2, II Cor.4:18)  -- pm

Category: Vanity 

Tags: P Mahan 

By: Central Grace Church | January 31, 2017


     “In The Sweat Of Thy Face Shalt Thou Eat Bread, Till Thou Return Unto The                   Ground” – Genesis 3:19

 

    As a result of man’s rebellion against God and fall into sin, he is resigned to a lifetime of hard work.  Mankind was given a life sentence of hard labour for his crime.  Therefore we should resign ourselves to it, and accept it as our just due, without complaint.  Nothing in this life will come easy to us.  Everything will be hard won.  Though some think to get things by their wit rather than work, it will quickly be lost, for “wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished:  but he that gathereth by labour shall increase” (Proverbs 13:11)Wealth obtained by lottery, litigation or speculation, is quickly spent  and easily lost.  Let this be a lesson to all, particularly the young.  Nothing comes easy and if it does, it will just as easily go.  Only things that are hard fought and won, things earned by hard work,  are kept, appreciated and sweet. Why, the whole book of Ecclesiastes tells us of the necessity and value of hard work!  And what an illustration of the gospel all of this is.

  The false gospel being preached today would have us believe that the salvation of a soul is as easy as deciding between brands of detergent or something.  Why, with just a simple choice or decision by us, and all the “principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places”  are defeated, turn tail and run.  And someone “dead in trespasses and sins” . . . “captives to Satan” . . . “in the darkness of ignorance” . . . “no soundness in them”,  yet a simple, quick decision  and everything changes!  What a lie!  Only a fool would fall for fool’s gold.

  The salvation of a dead sinner was hard fought and hard won by the Lord Jesus Christ.  It took the God-man, Jesus Christ, thirty three years of hard labour to fulfill God’s law and establish the perfect righteousness and holiness which God demands of man.  He fought single-handedly with all the forces of evil throughout the universe to free His elect from captivity.  He suffered the equivalent of an eternal hell while on calvary’s cross, to pay the punishment due our sin.  The salvation of God’s people was a great work performed at great cost by the great Saviour.  And it was an accomplished work by Him that eternally saved every one of His people; the reward of which work shall never be lost or undone.  It is not the wit or will of man, but the work of Christ which saves.  And while it required no work on our part, “not by works of righteousness which we have done”,  yet we are told to “labour to enter into that rest” (Hebrews 4:11).  We are to labour to keep from labouring; labour against self, sin and the world.  The believer is exhorted to works of faith and labour of love.  It is not easy.  It requires a cost, sacrifice, labour!  And yet, here is the paradox:  It is labour by resting.  He said: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest(Matt.11:28).  But no, it is not easy!  And if all this seems strange to you, then go learn what this meaneth.   – pm

Category: Christ s Work 

Tags: P Mahan 

By: Central Grace Church | January 31, 2017


  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? -- Psalm 42:11 

 

   This is a question that I ask myself often. I ask this to my own soul, mind and heart. Why art thou cast down? If I am honest with myself, then all the answers are traced back to only one . . .  SIN!

  Why do I worry and fret about things that really do not matter, especially when God has promised me that He will never leave me or forsake me?  Why do I question so many things, when I know that my Lord controls ALL THINGS?  Why do I linger a far from His love, when He has promised me that He loves me with an everlasting love?  Why?  Because of the sin which so easily besets me!  The reason my soul is cast down is because I look within my sinful flesh, instead to God.  Our comfort is found in the last part of this glorious verse.  "Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."  -- David Eddmenson, pastor, New Caney, TX

Category: Hope 

Tags: D Eddmenson 

By: Central Grace Church | January 31, 2017


  ELECTION -- I Thessalonians 1:4

 

    IT is striking how the holy truth of election was woven into the common speech of the early church. When Paul greets   the Thessalonians, he writes, "Knowing brethren beloved your ELECTION of God" (I Thess. 1:4). Peter begins his   epistle with, "ELECT according to the foreknowledge of God;" and when he closes the same letter he says, "The church that is at Babylon, ELECTED together with you, saluteth you." John writes, "The elder unto the ELECT lady," and closes the letter with, "The children of my ELECT sister greet thee."

    It was not at all awkward for election to come out even in these greetings and good-byes. Why? Because election was not merely a doctrine which they believed the Bible taught, but they worshipped the God of election. Election tells us God is God! and election tells us that salvation is all of grace. This was doctrine that not only a few of the more mature believers believed, but it was woven into the warp and woof of the thinking of the early church. It was the first thing Ananias told Paul about: "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee" (Acts 22:14). Remember this; you cannot separate election and God Himself. He is the God of election. The early church knew this, and the church of the 20th century knows it also! 

                                                                                                                                                     -- Charles Nibert, Pastor

Category: Election 

Tags: T Nibert 

By: Central Grace Church | January 31, 2017


Mortify Your  Members Which Are Upon Earth" -- Colossians 3:5

The word "mortify" means to deaden, subdue, or be dead.  As Paul wrote in Rom. 6:11, "Reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ, our Lord."  What means can be used to subdue our sinful tendencies?

 

1. LABOR TO SUPPRESS THE THOUGHTS OF SIN.  The old nature with its appetites and desires cannot be annihilated, but it can be suppressed by not cultivating and enjoying the thoughts of sin.

2. CONSIDER WHAT A WRETCHED THING SIN IS.  It is called "the filthiness of the flesh and spirit" (II Cor. 7:1). Sin is called "the works of the devil," and our sins crucified our Lord.

3. PASS THE TIME OF YOUR SOJOURNING HERE IN FEAR.  "The fear of the Lord is a bridle to sin," said Mr. Spurgeon. Solomon wrote, "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged; and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil" (Prov. 16:6).  It is said of the wicked,  "There is no fear of God before their eyes"  (Rom. 3:18).

4. AVOID THE COMPANY OF WORLDLY PEOPLE.  He who would not catch the flu should stay away from people who have the flu. If you would suppress your evil nature, cultivate the fellowship of believers whose language, amusements, and conduct honor God.

5. BE OFTEN IN THE SERVICES OF WORSHIP AND PREACHING.  "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16).

6. BE MUCH IN PRAYER.  "Hold up my goings, Lord, in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not" (Psa. 17:5). Here is a prayer I found in some old clippings which fits well here. "Lord, keep me from dishonoring Thee. Keep me from these defiling sins of my day, that I may not be worse for the times, nor the times worse because of me. Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins. Keep me; for as a little child is only safe in the parent's arms, so I am only safe in Thee."  --  Henry Mahan 

Category: Mortification 

Tags: H Mahan 

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