#31 Walk About Zion

15 March 1999

"Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following" Psalm 48:12-13 One of the greatest blessings that we may enjoy in the church of Jesus Christ is the grand and glorious doctrine that He gave us. As cities are known by their stately structures, so the church by her stately doctrines. The Psalmist encourages us to "Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following"- Psalm 48:12-13. These bulwarks and palaces do not speak of the physical edifice that we meet in, but rather, the glorious doctrines that we greatly rejoice in. We are encouraged to mark them well, consider them and teach them to our children. The doctrines of the church are simple enough that children may comprehend them and yet deep enough to rejoice in throughout eternity. A simple illustration that I have employed with my children is that of the "TULIP". Let us begin at the bulwark marked 'T" which stands for Total Depravity. This bulwark forever reminds us of what fallen man is without Christ. It begins at the beginning and show us what we are in Adam. Left to ourselves, we are all sinners by nature and sinners by practice, unable to pull ourselves out of this condition by our own bootstraps. Paul describes this condition in Romans 3:10-18 as he states: "there is none righteous, no, not one." There are no exceptions. An outside source must condescend and lift the creature above his fallen condition. That person is Christ. That is why we say that man is depraved. Having accurately observed this bulwark, we will rejoice in the bulwark of "U" which stands for God's Unconditional Election. This bulwark is always appreciated after we have observed the tower of depravity. This glorious doctrine reveals the sovereignty of God as He chose a people and lifted them out of the fallen condition in which they were found. It speaks of 'divine choice' and not human choice. Therefore, the choice was made not upon the merits of the creature, but upon the merits of Christ and the love that God had for His people. It was made before the foundation of the world(Ephesians 1:4 ); it was made in spite of our fallen condition(Romans 9:11); and the reason God chose to save was based solely upon love(Ephesians 1:4;Romans 8:33-35). The next bulwark we must observe is the bulwark marked "L": Limited Atonement. As Adam represented his family, so the "Second Adam" represented His. It was limited to those for whom He died. Either He died for all the sins of all people; He died for some of the sins of all people; or He died for all the sins of some people. Surely, the latter reveals the doctrine of Christ. We may be sure that all who call upon Him and love Him are included in this work. "I" is the tower we must next inspect because there we discover God's Irresistible Grace. Since some may fear that there may be one object of His grace left out, our strong tower must reply, "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee"-Jeremiah 31:3. What comfort is found in our God who loves with an everlasting love. His love is not fickle. It does not come and go with our mistakes. God draws the objects of His grace by a power that outstrips men and angels. His life giving voice will reach behind iron curtains and stubborn wills. It is irresistible! Finally, take them to the tower of security, that one over there which is marked "P" for the Preservation of the Saints. There is great security in this strong tower for it points away from our works to Christ and His perfect work as He says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand"-John 10:27-29. When we see the beautiful tulip raise its head above the ground let us remeber the glorious Savior who raised His head from the grave and gave His glorious doctrines to the church. Lord, help us to tell it to the generation following! Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115. by His Grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.