Apr 26, 2014

Song of Solomon


Pastor Bill Connell and Jackie Sollars

Pastor Bill Connell and Larry Adams
Pastor Bill had the honor of baptizing two
precious people on April 6, 2014.
Jackie Sollars and Larry Adams
confessed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
and their names were recorded in heaven.
We at Grace Bible Church wish to welcome
each of them to the family of faith!

Apr 23, 2014

I Know

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.
But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

Apr 16, 2014

The Comfort of Jesus' Prayers

"As an ordained minister, I've had experience going to the Scriptures with a number of people in order to help them see what God has to say about many different subjects. Over the years, one of the most common questions that I've been asked has to do with the meaning of Christ's work for the security of the believer's salvation. The New Testament gives us many categories for understanding that those who are truly saved will persevere. There is the category of justification, which tells us that we have received the imputation of Christ's righteousness through faith in Him alone and that we are at peace with God - not a cease-fire that can be broken at the slightest provocation, but an everlasting peace wherein the Lord never takes up arms against us again (Rom. 5:1). There is also the category of sanctification, which says God always finishes the work of salvation that He starts: "He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

In the Philippians passage, we typically understand that it is God, by the Holy Spirit, who is working out our salvation in us, bringing us into conformity to Christ. That, of course, is true, but we should not miss that Jesus is at work as well. Our greatest consolation regarding our perseverance comes from what the New Testament reveals about the present work of Christ. We often speak of the "finished work of Christ," which is simply shorthand to indicate the completion of Christ's atonement - the finalization of His purchase of redemption for us, His taking upon Himself the curse of God. However, Christ's work of salvation did not end there. He had more to do after the cross. He was raised for our justification, and then He ascended into heaven, where He is seated at God's right hand, where He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords, governing creation and ruling His church (Acts 2:33; Rom. 4:23-25; I Cor. 15:25).
That is not all. One of the chief emphases of the New Testament in terms of His present work for His people is His intercession. Christ's priestly work did not end on the cross. Every day, in the presence of the Father, Christ intercedes for His people. If, as James says, the fervent prayer of a righteous person "has great power as it is working" (James 5:16), how much more do Jesus' prayers avail for His people?

One of the most important sources of comfort with respect to the intercession of Christ in behalf of the believer is found in Jesus' great High Priestly Prayer, which itself was a profound prayer of intercession. Remarkably, even we are mentioned in this great prayer of intercession. We read in John 17:1-9:
         Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world  existed. I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and your gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
         For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
Look again at verse 9: "I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours." That's the crux of the matter. Jesus is praying for all those who belong to God, not for everyone on the planet. The Father has chosen a people for Himself-and the same people belong to Christ as well. None of them is lost except the son of destruction - Judas - who being a son of destruction, was never God's child to begin with. Those for whom Jesus prays are the people whom God has chosen, and none of them is lost (vv. 10-19). This includes not only the disciples in the Upper Room who witnessed Jesus' prayer but also those of us who believe in Him today. I said that we are mentioned in Jesus' prayer, and here we are: "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word" (v. 20). We came to believe through the words of the Apostles, and so Jesus prays for us. This is Christ's prayer. We persevere because we are preserved by our High Priest's intercession.

If we take great comfort in the intercessory prayer of a friend or of a pastor, how much more comfort can we experience from the full assurance that Jesus is praying for us? We know that Jesus' prayers never fail. He knows all the mind of God perfectly. He knows what to pray for so that we persevere to the end. Moreover, Jesus says the Father will give us whatever we ask for in His name (15:16). If this is so, certainly the Father will not fail to give His own beloved Son what He ask for, and He asks for us to persevere.
The greatest illustration of the efficacy of Jesus' prayer is Peter. Like Judas, Peter had a great fall. Unlike Judas, Peter was restored and persevered in faith. Both of them denied Jesus, but only Peter repented. Why? Luke 22:31-32 gives the answer. Satan asked to capture Peter permanently, but Jesus prayed for him, and that ensured that he would repent. Jesus did not pray for Judas, but He prayed for Peter, and so Peter persevered in faith and repentance. That is great assurance for us all. Those for whom Jesus prays remain in faith over the long haul. If we believe in Christ, He is praying for us every day."

by Dr. R.C. Sproul, who is the principal teacher on the daily radio broadcast Renewing Your Mind, heard on hundreds of stations in the United States and at RenewingYourMind.org.  He is author of Everyone's a Theologian and many other books.

Taken from Tabletalk Magazine, May, 2014

Apr 11, 2014

New Beginnings Prison Ministry

We enjoyed having Virginia Hubbard,
Missionary and Director of New Beginnings Prison Ministry
with us on Sunday, April 6, 2014.

She shared with us about her husband's death last year
and her being led to continue this vital outreach to prisoners in
the state of Michigan.
Virgina read letters that she has received from these men,
and we were blessed to hear how the Lord is ministering to them
through the Bible studies she sends out.
She admonished us all, especially the teens in our congregation,
to be careful about who your friends are because, as she
explained, we can get into trouble this way. Trouble that
could cost you your freedom. She read a letter from a man
serving 75 years because he was associated with the one who
committed the crime.
Matthew 25:35-46 ESV          
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?" 

Apr 3, 2014

Appearance is Everything?


"An advertising agency wrote seeking our ministry's business: "Let's face it: appearance is everything. Let us help you enhance your image."

     My first thought was that this agency doesn't realize they are dealing with a Christian organization. Then it occurred to me that this is precisely the impression many unbelievers get from the state of evangelical Christianity today: appearance is everything. Truth and reality often take a back seat to image.

     That mentality has long been a plague on the church, but in recent years it has reached epidemic proportions. Sadly enough, Christian leaders are often the most image-conscious of all. Whole churches are built on the philosophy that image is everything, while truth must be downplayed so that the church can appear in more appealing dress.

     For example, in order to appear as genial and nonthreatening as possible, many churches forgo the practice of church discipline altogether, lest the all-important image be tarnished. Sin in the body is tolerable as long as the carefully polished veneer remains in place.

     Worst of all, this attitude is pervasive at the individual level. Far too many Christians live as if a pretense of righteousness were as good as the real thing.

     That is precisely the error committed by most of the Pharisees of Jesus' day. They lived as though external compliance with the law fulfilled all the demands of divine righteousness while they harbored iniquity in their hearts or indulged in gross sin secretly.

     Again and again, Christ rebuked the Pharisees for their fastidious observance of the external, ceremonial law-married with a wanton neglect of the law's fundamental moral requirements. The Pharisees' teaching placed so much emphasis on external appearance that it was commonly believed that evil thoughts were not really sinful as long as they did not become acts. The Pharisees and their followers became utterly preoccupied with appearing righteous. Jesus likened them to white-washed tombs - spotless on the outside but filled with corruption and defilement on the inside.

     The notion that morality is merely external underlies all forms of hypocrisy. It is the very error Jesus decried in His exposition of the moral law in the Sermon on the Mount. The central lesson He underscored was this: external appearance is not what matters most.

     Jesus' exposition of the law is a devastating blow against the lie that image is everything. Our Lord taught repeatedly that sin bottled up on the inside, concealed from everyone else's view, is no less damning than sin that manifests itself in the worst forms of ungodly behavior (Matt. 5:21-30). As Christians, we must never think of secret sins as somehow less wicked or more respectable than the sins everyone sees."

Article written by Dr. John MacArthur and taken from Tabletalk Magazine, Feb., 2014

2 Corinthians 5:17