by Don Fortner-
The religion of the world, the religion of man, the religion of
antichrist is man-centered, man-exalting, and man-pleasing.
The religion of the Bible is exactly opposite.
Hear the words of God by the Prophet Isaiah, as he describes
what happens in the day God saves a sinner by his almighty grace--
"The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men
shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day."
GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GRACE IS HUMBLING
TO MAN AND EXALTS THE LORD ALONE.
Natural men rebel against sovereignty, denounce predestination,
and ridicule God's immutable purpose of grace.
Proud men can never rejoice in a sovereign God, because the fact
of God's sovereign purpose robs man of all possibility of adulation.
THE GOSPEL IS DESIGNED TO STRIP MEN OF ALL PRIDE AND
SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TO EXALT THE LORD GOD ALONE.
Here is a test, by which you may prove every doctrine and every
preacher you hear-- if the doctrine you hear causes your face
to glow with pride, it is not of God. Anything that lifts up man,
anything that lowers God, is not of God and is not the gospel.
The gospel of the grace of God abases the flesh and glorifies God.
"Christ came to save everybody except the self-righteous."
If you are not a sinner, there is nothing in the gospel for you.
But if you are a sinner, I have good news for you - Christ died for sinners -
Christ saves sinners. Your sinfulness will never keep you from Christ.
Only your "goodness" can do that. Your sin will never keep you out of
heaven. Only your righteousness can do that.
· There is pardon for the guilty!
· There is a robe for the naked!
· There is bread for the hungry!
· There is water for the thirsty!
· There is rest for the weary!
· There is grace for the needy!
· There is cleansing for the dirty!
· There is help for the fallen!
But there is nothing in the gospel, not one word of good news,
for the good, the great, and the righteous.
The gospel is addressed to sinners who are spiritually dead!
Talk about helpless! What is more helpless than death?
Talk about hopeless! What is more hopeless than death?
Talk about obnoxious! What is more obnoxious than death?
There is not a complimentary, dignifying, honorable word
between the covers of the Bible to fallen man.
If you want a picture of humanity, as the Bible describes man,
you must go to the cemetery, dig up a coffin, open the box,
and look upon the rotten, decayed body of corruption.
· The unconverted man's works are dead works.
· The unconverted man's religion is dead religion.
· The unconverted man's doctrine is dead doctrine.
· The unconverted man's faith is dead faith.