Beloved pastor, speaker and author Don Fortner brings us yet another impressive work: The Abridged Commentary. This volume includes an extensive 3,181 entries spanning every book of the Bible. Consolidations of some of these articles have been the source of several books and commentaries, but never before have they been amassed into a single work.
The Fortner Abridged Commentary is perfect for anyone - from casual students of the Bible to seasoned scholars. This is an easy-to-read work that is sure to impart biblical wisdom and insight from Genesis to Revelation.
"Bless The Lord, O My Soul!"
"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name." God's name represents who he is, embracing every attribute of his Being. Someone suggested, "Before we can thank God for his blessings we must thank him for his Being." This is what David stirs up his soul and ours to do.We must bless God for who he is: The Lord God Almighty, full of grace and truth (Psa.113:1-6;115:1,3;117:1-2;118:1;136:1-3;139: 1-24). It is the Lord God himself who is to be wellspoken of, eulogized, blessed with thanksgiving and praise (Eph.1:3)."Forget not all his benefits."There is no better way to stir up our hearts to bless the Lord our God than to recall all the benefits and blessings of grace we have personally experienced from him. Here are five things God has done and is doing for us in Christ, for which we should ever bless his holy name.
"Who forgiveth all thine iniquities!" Our God is a God of forgiveness! He forgives all our sins; and God's forgiveness of our sins is a constant, perpetual act of grace through the blood of Christ (I John 1:9).
"Who healeth all thy diseases!" Matthew Henry wrote, "The corruption of nature is the sickness of the soul; it is its disorder, and threatens death. This is cured in sanctification; when sin is mortified, the disease is healed."
"Who redeemeth thy life from destruction!" Christ redeemed us when he died upon the cross (Gal. 3:13). He obtained eternal redemption for us when he entered once into the holy place with his own precious blood as our Representative (Heb. 9:12). This redemption is applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit in the new birth (Heb. 9:14). The power of redemption is experienced continually in our deliverances of grace (Psa.130:1,8).
"Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercy!" Christ has made us kings and priests unto God; and he has crowned us with God's constant favor.
"Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." Nothing can satisfy the soul but Christ! Christ, who satisfies our souls, promises to continually renew and revive us by his grace. As God replenishes the eagle's feathers every year, so he recovers his saints from their falls and decays, filling them with new life and joy as their days demand.
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”
Only the all wise God could devise and execute the sovereign purpose of his grace toward us. Behold the great wisdom of God in grace, and worship him. I see the manifold wisdom of God in his choice of his Son to be our Redeemer, — in his determination to accomplish redemption by substitution, — the glorious incarnation of Christ, — the life of Christ in this world, — the sacrificial, sin-atoning death of Christ, — and in the glorious exaltation of Christ.
The Choice of His Son
God’s choice of his Son to be our Redeemer displays his great, infinite wisdom. I do not pretend to understand the deep, hidden mysteries of the Covenant of Grace, the proposals, and agreements, and oaths of the triune God. I know that God does not need to plan, devise, or work out anything in his great mind. He knows everything. But I do know that a covenant was made (Jeremiah 31:31-34), that God the Father made proposals to his Son for the accomplishment of our redemption (Psalm 2:8; John 10:16-18), which our Savior voluntarily accepted (Isaiah 50:5-7), and that these transactions of grace between God the Father and God the Son were sworn to by Jehovah and secured the salvation of an elect multitude before the world was made (Hebrews 6:17-19; 8:10-12).
The Covenant of Grace
In the Covenant of Grace, as it is revealed to us in the Scriptures, God the Father proposed the conditions upon which redemption could be accomplished. God the Son pledged himself to satisfy all the demands and conditions required by the holy law, character, and will of God. And God the Holy Spirit promised to effectually apply all the blessings of grace earned by Christ’s obedience to the elect.
These are things that took place before the world began, when no one and nothing existed but the eternal God (Ephesians 3:11; 1:3-6; 2 Timothy 1:9). In those great, eternal counsels of grace, God set his heart upon his dear Son and chose him to be the Person who would perform the great work of redemption (Romans 3:25; 1 Peter 1:20).
Christ is the Redeemer of God’s own choosing. Therefore, he is called God’s Elect (Isaiah 42:1). When God set his eye upon his Son, choosing him to save his elect, he said, with regard to all his elect, “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom (an atonement)” (Job 33:24). The triune Jehovah declared, “I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people” (Psalm 89:19).
We rejoice in the love, mercy, and grace of God. But it was the wisdom of God which found a way for a holy God to embrace fallen, sinful men and women in love, mercy, and grace. How we ought to admire the wisdom of God in providing such a Redeemer!
Don Fortner has pastored and faithfully declared the gospel of God's free grace in Christ at Grace Baptist Church of Danville Kentucky for nearly 40 years. He is a prolific writer and a popular regular conference speaker in the United States and throughout the world.