By Elder R. M. Thomas
The Western Corresponding association of the Old School Predestinarian Baptists in Missouri, in session with Unity Church, Platte County, Mo., on Friday before the first Saturday in October, 1889, and the two following days. To the churches composing her body, and the Associations with whom she corresponds, sends grace, peace and love in the Lord:
Very Dear Ones, - The time has now come for us to assemble together in the presence and name of our God and oh, that we may the proclamation of Jesus verified when He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.”
Beloved ones, one who was faithful and conspicuous among us as an able defender of the faith of God’s elect, has testified that he “not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” In the manifestation of this power or Gospel, God has seen fit to hide from the natural or earthly man, as it is written, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto them; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Hence, vain men, seek the revelation of Truth in the letter of the word, not knowing, or understanding, that “all Scripture is given by inspiration,” to that man of God to whom He would reveal them. “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God,” and opens them up to the saints. Hence God has not only hidden these things from the wise of this world, but from all that is natural and earthly, even from the man whom He made in His own image and likeness. (See Genesis iii. 25, and v.1;) but has made the revelation and manifestation of His power and wisdom, through Jesus Christ. Therefore, is the “power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein (the Gospel) is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Hence in Christ Jesus “neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians vi.15.) “Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” 2 Cor. v.17. Christ testified the flesh profiteth nothing, it is the Spirit that quickeneth,” and again, “As I hear I judge, and My judgment is just.”
Paul also testified: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared far them that love Him. But God revealeth them unto us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” So we see that the natural, outward, and carnal flesh cannot see, entertain, or even receive spiritual things, for it is but flesh. It is the spiritual man, the new creature, to whom all things are revealed by the Spirit. The Lord by His prophet, declares, “I am God and there is none else. I am God, and there is none like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” Jesus, when He was raised from the dead; declared: “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” And He said that “power over all flesh was given Him, that He should give eternal (having no beginning or ending) life to as many as His Father had given Him.” John xvii.2.
An Apostle declares: “And this is the record that God hath given to us Eternal life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John v.11,12.
Therefore, or on this account, Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.” The Gospel stands in three fundamental heads or principles, and First is the doctrinal. “But God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loves us; even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.”- Ephesians ii.4-5. And Christ, who was “put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit,” executes His Father’s will, in giving a knowledge of God to His elect people, born of Him. It is therefore knowledge given, and this is the knowledge of God, even a godly sorrow, “which worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.” Because of works, “To open the blind eyes; yea, and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father.” “The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” This is the life-giving Power; this “life is the light of men.”
Without the life, there is no light. Jesus says, “I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” This is the “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” The natural man does not “come into the world:” he has always been in his antecedent generations. Those that are “born from above” come into the world. Inasmuch as He says “true,” we understand that there is something called “light,” which is not true; this comes from the flesh, and is of this world. But Paul testifies, saying, “I know that in me, that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.” Christ was crucified in the flesh, and was justified in the Spirit. The Word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel is, “Saying, not by might, nor by power (of the natural man,) but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Second. The impression, or witnessing of these awful and sublime testimonies of the Truth, Paul was called to be His witness of what he had seen and heard. “Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.” – the outward man. If nothing had been “lost,” the Son of Man could find nothing. But we have a cloud of witnesses to demonstrate the awful truth of our God, His holiness, His justice, His love, pity and mercy, sixteen prophets, twelve apostles, four evangelists, all speaking of Jesus Christ, the true and faithful Witness, who has given us His blessed Spirit to bear witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, being begotten and born of Him. ‘Tis is practically called the experimental part of the Gospel. Every child of grace can fully realize these things, yet it was made known to them like the wind, they could not tell whence it came, nor whither it went, and it continues to come and go in like manner daily, and while we are in this house made with hands, “I will give them a heart to know Me, saith God.”
Third. Obedience to these great commandments. “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee.” The Lord by the prophet says, “All Thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of Thy children.” The Savior says, “Every man that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me,” and more, “Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” And again, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” He informs us that He has all power in heaven and in earth; that He has given Himself for us; that He has sanctified and cleansed us with the washing of water by the Word, and presented us with Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. What wonders He has wrought in her behalf; no wonder the Church feels so contemptible in her own eyes. But glorious precious grace! She is “sanctified by God the Father, preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” “Sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be Saints.”
One with Him (Christ) in His Life; one with Him in His death; one with Him when He arose – Hence it is said, “Thy dead men shall Live, together with My dead body shall they arise.” For they are “members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones,” even as Eve was with and in Adam, and husband and wife – “the twain are one flesh.” “For both He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them “brethren.”’ We are not ashamed of the power of God who saves His people. He is the “glad tidings: - the Gospel.
Dear Brethren of Jesus, this Gospel was “preached to every creature which is under heaven,” “for a witness unto all nations,” and yet men will rise up to-day and look over this awful truth of our God, and claim that the Gospel is too slow as executed by our blessed Savior. Paul said, “If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof that he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the tribe of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law, a Pharisee, concerning zeal, persecuting the Church; touching the righteousness which is of the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I counted lose for Christ.” Phil. iii.1-7.Again, he said, “O, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out.” Romans xi.33.
The Gospel is now preached for the comfort of God’s blessed people. We do not preach for gain, to save those Christ has saved with an everlasting salvation, to teach them to “know the Lord,” but for the “edification of the Saints.” It is preached for them as they sojourn in this vale of sorrows, mourning over the sins done in their bodies, longing for a hope in Jesus. Paul said: “But we glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh no ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” - Romans v. 3-6.
And now, Beloved Ones, in the words of the same apostle, “We commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Grace be with you all. Amen.
R. M. Thomas, Moderator.
J. W. Magee, Clerk.
T. Shearer, Assistant Clerk.
The Western Corresponding Association of the Old School Predestinarian Baptists, of Missouri, in Session with Unity Church, in Platte County, Missouri, on Friday before the first Saturday in October, 1889, and the two following days. To the Associations and Churches with which she corresponds, sends Christian Salutations:
Brethren in the Lord, And For The Truth’s Sake: Once more we have enjoyed the privilege of meeting in the capacity of an associations of churches, or an assembly of the Saints, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as we see the day approaching.” We have been blessed to listen (not with the natural ear, which cannot hear nor understand, but) with the spiritual ear, which is the gift of God, wherein is the “hearing of faith,” and by which we hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches; and what we have listened to is the joyful sound of salvation by and through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as proclaimed by the ministers of our precious faith and Gospel order, who came to us, not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, but whose sufficiency is of God, who has made them able ministers of the New Testament.” They spoke much to the comfort and strengthening of God’s dear children, who are in the tabernacle of this flesh, even in this earthly house of their tabernacle which must be dissolved and fall. We desire a continuance of this your Christian correspondence.
Our next association is appointed to be held with the Three Forks of Nodaway Church, at the Clyde School House, northwest of Pickering, in Nodaway County, Mo., to begin on Friday before the first Sunday in October, 1890, and continue three days, when and where we hope to greet your messengers, and receive your letters of love and fellowship.
R. M. Thomas, Moderator.
J. W. Magee, Clerk.
T. Shearer, Assistant Clerk.
Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – April 2009