The Wednesday Word: Keep not Silence

November 20, 2019 Leave a comment

“You that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence” Isaiah 62:6.

How can the redeemed of the Lord keep silent about the Lord Jesus?

How can we keep silent about Him when His name is so beautiful?

How can we keep silent about Him when His work of redemption is so glorious?

How can we keep silent about Him when His person is so perfect?

As followers of Christ we have embraced five words concerning Him. They are, “My King and my God” (Psalm 5:2). How can we, therefore, keep silent about Him?

How can we be silent about the everlasting truths of the Gospel? How can we, for example, be silent that God was manifest in the flesh? (1 Timothy 3:16).

How can we be silent when we think of how He suffered for us?

“Oh, think of Jesus, as He stands before Pilate

Condemned as a villain, when from sin He was clean

Though they wrongly accused Him, and cruelly used Him

Yet he spoke not a word, though the tears filled His gaze

Think how they mocked Him, they scoffed Him and slapped Him

Put a reed in His hand and with a robe they wrapped Him

Then a crown of thorns they twined from long briars

And stuck in His brow till the blood trickled down.”

How can we keep silent about this?

How can we be silent when we read, “But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

In the Gospel, God did not come to meet us half-way. He came all the way. If He had not come all the way, we should never have been saved. As we consider this, how can we then keep silent about this?

“Oh, think of Jesus as He goes to Mount Calvary

Jeered by the crowd, both women and men

Their wicked hands taken Him, and on the cross laid Him

With hammer and nails cruel work they began

Then they hung Him up between earth and heaven

God’s spotless Lamb there for me and for you

Amid their mocking and sayings, and terrible doings

He cried, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

How can we keep silent about this?

He came here because He loved us. In fact, there never was a time when Christ´s love for us began. His people have always been loved. How can we keep silent about this?

When we pause and meditate about these truths may we be overwhelmed with gratitude. Just think of it, we didn´t care about the Lord Jesus but He cared for us. When we were out of control, and far away, He cared for us and brought us to Himself. How can we be silent about this?

Some years ago, in England, there was a Christian barber who could not keep silent about Jesus. He felt it his duty to witness to his customers, but he wasn’t always careful. One day he lathered a man for a shave, picked up the razor, and asked, “Sir, are you prepared to meet your God?” The poor fellow fled with the lather still on his face.

That dear barber, even though a bit careless about his approach, would not keep silent about Jesus. I wish there were more like him. Unfortunately, it has been observed that there are two groups of people who really hate personal evangelism;

1. Non-Christians and

2. Most Christians.

May the Lord raise up an army of Gospel Champions who will not keep silent about Him.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XVIII- That it Discourages all motives to exertion

November 20, 2019 Leave a comment

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XVIII

That It Discourages All Motives to Exertion

1. The Means as well as the Ends are Foreordained. 2. Practical Results.

1. The Means as well as the Ends are Foreordained

The objection that the doctrine of Predestination discourages all motives to exertion, is based on the fallacy that the ends are determined without reference to the means. It is not merely a few isolated events here and there that have been foreordained, but the whole chain of events, with all of their inter-relations and connections. All of parts form a unit in the Divine plan. If the means should fail, so would the ends. If God has purposed that a man shall reap, He has also purposed that he shall sow. If God has ordained a man to be saved, He has also ordained that he shall hear the Gospel, and that he shall believe and repent. As well might the farmer refuse to till the soil according to the laws disclosed by the light of nature and experience until he had first learned what was the secret purpose of God to be executed in His providence in regard to the fruitfulness of the coming season, as for any one to refuse to work in the moral and spiritual realms because he does not know what fruitage God may bring from his labor. We find, however, that the fruitage is commonly bestowed where the preliminary work has been faithfully performed. If we engage in the Lord’s service and make diligent use of the means which He has prescribed, we have the great encouragement of knowing that it is by these very means that He has determined to accomplish His great work.

Even those who accept the Scripture Statement that God “worketh all things after the counsel of His will,” and similar declarations to the effect that God’s providence control extends to all the events of their lives. know that this does not interfere in the slightest with their freedom. Do those who make this objection allow their belief in the Divine sovereignty to determine their conduct in temporal affairs? Do they decline food when hungry, or medicine when sick, because God has appointed the time and manner of their death? Do they neglect the recognized means of acquiring wealth or distinction because God gives riches and honor to whom He pleases? When in matters outside of religion one recognizes God’s sovereignty, yet works in the exercise of conscious freedom, is it not sinful and foolish to offer as an excuse for neglecting his spiritual and eternal welfare the contention that he is not free and responsible? Does not his conscience testify that the only reason why he is not a follower of Jesus Christ is that he has never been willing to follow Him? Suppose that when the palsied man was brought to Jesus and heard the words, “Rise up and walk,” he had merely replied, “I cannot; I am palsied!” Had he done so he would have died a paralytic. But, realizing his own helplessness and trusting the One who gave the command, he obeyed and was made whole. It is the same almighty Saviour who calls on sinners dead in sin to come to Him, and we may be sure that the one who comes will not find his efforts vain. The fact is, that unless we regard God as the sovereign Disposer of all events, who in the midst of certainty has ordained human liberty, we have but little encouragement to work. If we believed that our success and our destiny was primarily dependent on the pleasure of weak and sinful creatures, we would have but little incentive to exertion.

“On his knees, the Arminian forgets those logical puzzles which have distorted Predestination to his mind and at once thankfully acknowledges his conversion to be due to that prevenient grace of God, without which no mere will or works of his own would ever have made him a new creature. He prays for that outpouring of God’s Spirit to restrain, convince, renew, and sanctify men; for that divine direction of human events, and overturning of the counsels and frustrating of the plans of wicked men; he gives to the Lord glory and honor for what is actually done in this regard, which implies that God reigns, that He is the sovereign disposer of all events, and that all good, and all thwarting of evil are due to Him, while all evil is itself due to the creature. He recognizes the completeness of the divine foreknowledge as bound up inseparably with the wisdom of His eternal purpose. His prayers for assurance of hope, or his present fruition of it, presuppose the faith that God can and will keep his feet from falling, and heaven from revolt, and that His purpose forms such an infallible nexus between present grace and eternal glory, that nothing shall be able to separate him from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”1

Since the future events are hidden and unknown to us we should be as industrious in our work and as earnest in the performance of our duty as if nothing had been decreed concerning it. It has often been said that we should pray as though everything depended on God, and work as though everything depended on ourselves. Luther’s observation here was: “We are commanded to work the more for this very reason, because all things future are to us uncertain; as saith Ecclesiastes, ‘In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or weather they both shall be alike good,’ Ecclesiastes 11: 6. All things future, I say are to us uncertain in knowledge, but necessary in event. The necessity strikes into us fear of God that we presume not, or become secure, while the uncertainty works in us a trusting that we sink not into despair.2

“The farmer who, after hearing a sermon on God’s decrees, took the break-neck road instead of the safe one to his home and broke his wagon in consequence, concluded before the end of the journey that he at any rate had been predestinated to be a fool, and that he had made his calling and election sure.” 3

On one occasion after Dr. Charles Hodge had finished a theological lecture he was approached by a lady who said to him, “So you believe, Dr. Hodge, that what is to be will be?” “Why, yes, lady, I do,” he replied. “Would you have me believe that what is to be won’t be?”

And we are further reminded at this point of one in Scotland accused and convicted of murder, who said to the judge “I was predestined from all eternity to do it.” To whom the judge replied, “So be it, then I was predestined from all eternity to order you to be hanged by the neck, which I now do.”

Some may be inclined to say, If nothing but the creative power of God can enable us to repent and believe, then all we can do is to wait passively until that power is exerted. Or it may be asked, If we cannot effect our salvation, why work for it? In every line of human endeavor, however, we find that the result is dependent on the co-operation of causes over which we have no control. We are simply to make use of the appropriate means and trust to the co-operation of the other agencies. We do have the express promise of God that those who seek shall find, that those who ask shall receive, and that to those who knock it shall be opened. This is more than is given to the men of the world to stimulate them in their search for wealth, knowledge, or position; and more than this cannot rationally be demanded. He who reads and meditates upon the word of God is ordinarily regenerated by the Holy Spirit, perhaps in the very act of reading. “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word,” Acts 10:44. Shakespeare makes one of his characters say: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings,” (Julius Caesar, 1:2).

The sinner’s inability to save himself, therefore, should not make him less diligent in seeking his salvation in the way which God has appointed. Some leper when Christ was on earth might have reasoned that since he could not cure himself, he must simply wait for Christ to come and heal him. The natural effect, however, of a conviction of utter helplessness is to impel the person to make diligent application at the source from whence alone help can come. Man is a fallen, ruined, and helpless creature, and until he knows it he is living without hope and without God in the world.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

“Federal headship” is a term which has almost entirely disappeared from current religious literature

November 19, 2019 Leave a comment

Federal headship” is a term which has almost entirely disappeared from current religious literature—so much the worse for our moderns. It is true that the expression itself does not verbally occur in Scripture; yet like the words Trinity and the divine incarnation, it is a necessity in theological parlance and doctrinal exposition. The principle or fact which is embodied in the term “federal headship” is that of representation. There been but two federal heads: Adam and Christ, with each of whom God entered into a covenant. Each of them acted on behalf of others, each legally represented as definite people, so much so that all whom they represented were regarded by God as being in them. Adam represented the whole human race; Christ represented all those whom the Father had, in His eternal counsels, given to Him.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

While all things in God’s Word are important, all are not equally important

November 18, 2019 Leave a comment

But while all things in God’s Word are important, all are not equally important. There are certain fundamental and vital truths which must be believed, or otherwise no man would be saved. If you want to know what you must believe if ye would be saved, you will find the great things of God’s law between these two covers they are all contained here. As a sort of digest or summary of the great things of the law, I remember an old friend of mine once saying, “Ah! you preach the three R’s, and God will always bless you.” I said, “What are the three R’s?” And he answered, “Ruin, redemption, and regeneration.” They contain the sum and substance of divinity all for ruin. We were all ruined in the fall; we were all lost when Adam sinned, and we are all ruined by our own transgressions, we are all ruined by our own evil hearts, and our own wicked wills; and we all shall be ruined unless grace saves us. Then there is a second R for redemption. We are ransomed by the blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish and without spot; we are rescued by his power; we are ransomed by his merits; we are redeemed by his strength. Then there is R for regeneration. If we would’ve pardoned, we must also be regenerated; for no man can partake of redemption unless he is regenerate. Let him be as good as he pleases; let him serve God, as he imagines, as much as he likes, unless he is regenerate, and has a ne heart, a new birth, he will still be in the first R, that is ruin. These things contain an epitome of the gospel. I believe there is a better epitome in the five points of Calvanism: Election according to the foreknowledge of God; the natural depravity and sinfulness of man; particular redemption by the blood of Christ; effectual calling by the power of the Spirit; and ultimate perseverance by the efforts of God’s might. I think all those need to be believed, in order to salvation; but I should not like to write a creed like the Athanasian, beginning with “Whosoever should be saved, before all things it is necessary that he should hotel the Catholic faith, which faith is this,”-when I got so far, I should stop, because I should not know what to write. I hold the Catholic faith of the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible. It is not for me to draw up creeds; but I ask you to search the Scriptures, for this is the word of life.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Bible, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning March 18, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 9l- The Teachings of the Covenant

November 15, 2019 Leave a comment

What then, is the true teaching of the covenants on this subject? It is most plain and obvious. In the Jewish, or typical church, all was external, and earthly. The church itself was national and confined in its membership to the Hebrews. Literal descent from Abraham, with circumcision, conferred a full right to all its privileges. Its services were symbols. Nor did its worship necessarily demand any spiritual qualifications. The Christian Church, the reality, is internal and spiritual. It is not national, but individual, and extends its blessings to all men, irrespective of races. The spiritual seed of Abraham (believers) who have the spiritual circumcision (the regeneration of the soul) are alone entitled to its privileges. Its worship demands the homage of the heart; for “God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.”[23] This is the true and only scriptural analogy between the Jewish Church and the Christian Church. The covenants therefore, prove conclusively, that repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, are essential qualifications for membership in the Church of the Redeemer.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

What is this Covenant?

November 14, 2019 Leave a comment

I. First, then, WHAT IS THIS COVENANT?

If you go to a lawyer, and inquire how a deed runs, he may reply, “I can give’ you an abstract, but I had better read it to you.” He can tell you the sum and substance, of it; but if you want to be very accurate, and it is a very important business, you will say, “I should like to hear it read.” We will now read certain parts of Scripture which contain the covenant of grace, or an abstract of it. Turn to Jeremiah 31:31-34: “ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house, of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; far I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Print every word of that in diamonds, for the sense is inconceivably precious. God in covenant promises to his people that, instead of writing his law upon tables of stone, he will write it an the tablets of their hearts. Instead of the law coming on a hard, crushing command, it shall be placed within them as the object of love and delight, written on the transformed nature of the beloved objects of God’s choice: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; “-what a covenant privilege this is! ‘ And I will be their God.” Therefore ale that there is in God shall belong to them. “And they shall be my people.” They shall belong to me; I will love them as mine; I will keep them, bless them, honor them, and provide for the as my people. I will be their portion, and they shall be my portion. Note the next privilege. They shall all receive heavenly instruction upon the most vital point: “They shall all know me.’; There may be some beings they do not know, but “they shall all know me.” They shall know me as their Father; they shall know Jesus Christ as their Brother; they shall know the Holy Spirit as their Comforter. They shall have intercourse and fellowship with God. What a covenant privilege is this! Hence comes pardon, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” What a clean sweep of sin! God will forgive and forget; the two go together. “ I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” All gone,-all their transgression blotted out, never to be mentioned against thee any more, for ever. What an unutterable favor! This is the covenant of grace. I call your attention to the fact that there is no “if” in it, there is no “but” in it, there is no requirement made by it of man. It is all “I will” and “they shall.” “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” It is a charter written in a royal tone, and the majestic straining not marred by a “per-chance” or a. “ may be, “ but dwells always on “ shall” and “ will. “ These are two prerogative words of the divine majesty; and in this wondrous deed of gift, in which the Lord bestows a heaven of grace upon guilty sinners, he bestows it after the sovereignty of his own will without, anything to put the gift in jeopardy, or to make the promise insecure.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Covenant,” A Sermon Published on Thursday, Aug 3rd, 1911, (Spurgeon had passed away by now, having died in 1892), Another Sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, upon the same text, is No. 2,681 in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, “Covenant Blessings.”

The Wednesday Word: Praying in the Name of Jesus

November 13, 2019 Leave a comment

John 16: 23-24 And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Why must we pray in the name of Jesus?

First, before we answer this, we need to realise that,

When we pray in Jesus´ name, we are not simply adding a little formula to our prayer to make it work.

It’s not as if God is listening and saying, “Nah, I don’t think so. Nope, nope, nope. Oh hang on, they said, ‘In the name of Jesus’. Oh, okay, since you put it that way.”

No! When we pray in Jesus name, we are declaring dependance on Christ alone for access to God. Ephesians 3:12 says, “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” There is no access to God but through Christ. In John 14:6 Jesus taught,”No one comes to the Father but by Me.” They that attempt otherwise to come to God without Christ will find the door tightly shut. That´s one of the reasons why we pray in the name of Jesus.

Another reason is that,

When we pray, in the name of Jesus, we are declaring that Christ Jesus is our mediator.

We are confessing that there is no access to God without a Mediator. Consider this, “… your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).

Sin had distanced us from God and bolted the door to heaven. However, Christ opened that door wide.

He has paid for our sins. “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

When we pray in Jesus name, we are, therefore, admitting the bankruptcy of our own name. Our name cannot move heaven and earth. The Father is not thrilled with our name…but when we are identified, by faith, with Christ we now come to the Father in the name of our mediator, the Lord Jesus. He is our righteousness. His is the lovely name, the name that declares Christ alone is our mediator.

As we pray in Jesus´ name…We identify with the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus has literally given us His name to use. When we use that name, we are confessing that He is ours and that we are His. It is like going to the bank of heaven, knowing we have nothing deposited. If we go in our name, we will get absolutely nothing. But Jesus Christ has unlimited funds in heaven’s bank and has granted us the privilege of going there with His check book.

Not only so, but,

Praying in the name of Jesus, is declaring to the Father that we are submitted to His will.

Jesus’ authority rested with his submission to the Father, so our authority also rests with our submission to Him. To ask in His name is to ask according to Christ´s nature, and His character is one of submission. This, by the way, is why prayers that ask for things contrary to the Word of God will never be answered.

We cannot ask God to bless adultery in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our sin in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our bitterness in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our plans for robbery in Jesus name.

Praying in the name of Jesus is a bold declaration that we are submitted to His will.

What a beautiful name Jesus has. It’s a simple name, a strong name, a saving name, the supreme name and it’s the asking name.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com