The Wednesday Word: OUR GLORIOUS SIN-BEARER Part 1

” Who himself bore Our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For you were as sheep going astray but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” I Peter 2: 24, 25.

Briefly, let´s consider 4 main points from this lovely text

(I) A Glorious Person;

(2) A Great Substitution;

(3) A Grand result;

(4) A God blessed evidence.

1. A Glorious Person,

Who is this glorious person? He is the Lord Jesus or as Robert Hawker used to call Him, “Our most glorious Christ.” He is God and Man in one Person. In these days when some preachers and teachers are denying the essential Deity of Christ, we have the joy and responsibility to exalt our Master in every way. He bore our sins! God Himself, as a man, stepped into our shoes and died in our place.

The Gospel is the good news of Christ. What an excellent statement of His glory we have in the opening words of the Epistle to the Hebrews. There we learn that Christ has been appointed heir of all things. He made the worlds; He is the brightness of the Father´s glory, and the express image of His person. He upholds all things by the word of His power. Yet this exalted One became the person of the cross. What humility! What astonishing truth!

What a glorious sin bearer!

2. A Great Substitution

” Who himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.”

We are sinners-great sinners. How are we, then, to get rid of the guilt of our sins?

There is only one way.

There is only One person who can remove it, …Jesus…and this He did by His substitutionary death. He is the great substitute.

“Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree.” The word ” bore” means to be carried-in a sacrificial sense. It is used in the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) of the placing of the victim upon the altar. The sin offering, in the Old Testament, carried the people’s sins to and upon the altar. However, it was merely a type and picture which looked forward to the arrival of the great Substitute. But Christ, the true sin offering, bore our sins- not typically- but by imputation. As Isaiah 53:6 tells us, ” The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

On the day of atonement, when we read “Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat .. , and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited” (Leviticus. 16: 21, 22). This was all done in anticipation of the arrival of the glorious sin-bearer.

Perhaps you are reading this, and you know you are lost. You know you are very far from God. Consider this: The iniquities of all Christ´s people met on Jesus. “Christ has once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). In the beautiful language of Toplady, we may say:

“From whence this fear and unbelief?

Has not the Father put to grief

His spotless Son for me?

And will the righteous Judge of men

Condemn me for that debt of sin

Which, Lord was charged to Thee?

“Turn then, my soul, unto your rest

The merits of your great High Priest

Have bought thy liberty;

Trust in His efficacious blood,

Nor fear thy banishment from God,

Since Jesus died for thee.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

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The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XVI- That it is inconsistent with the Free Agency and Moral Responsibility of Man

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XVI

That It Is Inconsistent With the Free Agency
And Moral Responsibility of Man

1. The Problem of Man’s Free Agency. 2. This Objection Bears Equally Against Foreknowledge. 3. Certainty is Consistent with Free Agency. 4. Man’s Natural Will is Enslaved to Evil. 5. God Controls the Minds of Men and Gives His People the Will to come. 6. The Way in Which the Will is Determined. 7. Scripture Proof.

1. THE PROBLEM OF MAN’S FREE AGENCY

The problem which we face here is, How can a person be a free and responsible agent if his actions have been foreordained from eternity? By a free and responsible agent we mean an intelligent person who acts with rational self-determination; and by foreordination we mean that from eternity God has made certain the actual course of events which takes place in the life of every person and in the realm of nature. It is, of course, admitted by all that a person’s acts must be without compulsion and in accordance with his own desires and inclinations, or he cannot be held responsible for them. If the acts of a free agent are in their very nature contingent and uncertain, then it is plain that foreordination and free agency are inconsistent.

The philosopher who is convinced of the existence of a vast Power by whom all things exist and are controlled, is forced to inquire where the finite will can find expression under the reign of the Infinite. The true solution of this difficult question respecting the sovereignty of God and the freedom of man, is not to be found in the denial of either, but rather in such a reconciliation as gives full weight to each, yet which assigns a preeminence to the divine sovereignty corresponding to the infinite exaltation of the Creator above the sinful creature. The same God who has ordained all events has ordained human liberty in the midst of these events, and this liberty is as surely fixed as is anything else. Man is no mere automaton or machine. In the Divine plan, which is infinite in variety and complexity which reaches from everlasting to everlasting, and which includes millions of free agents who act and inter-act upon each other, God has ordained that human beings shall keep their liberty under His sovereignty. He has made no attempt to give us a formal explanation of these things, and our limited human knowledge is not able fully to solve the problem. Since the Scripture writers did not hesitate to affirm the absolute sway of God over the thoughts and intents of the heart, they felt no embarrassment in including the acts of free agents within His all-embracing plan. That the makers of the Westminster Confession recognized the freedom of man is plain; for immediately after declaring that “God has freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass,” they added, “Yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”

While the act remains that of the individual, it is nevertheless due more or less to the predisposing agency and efficacy of divine power exerted in lawful ways. This may be illustrated to a certain extent in the case of a man who wishes to construct a building. He decides on his plan. Then he hires the carpenters, masons, plumbers, etc., to do the work. These men are not forced to do the work. No compulsion of any kind is used. The owner simply offers the necessary inducements by way of wages, working conditions, and so on, so that the men work freely and gladly. They do in detail just what he plans for them to do. His is the primary and theirs is the secondary will or cause for the construction of the building. We often direct the actions of our fellow men without infringing on their freedom or responsibility. In a similar way and to an infinitely greater degree God can direct our actions. His will for the course of events is the primary cause and man’s will is the secondary cause; and the two work together in perfect harmony.

In one sense we can say that the kingdom of heaven is a democratic kingdom, paradoxical as that may sound. The essential principle of a democracy is that it rests on “the consent of the governed.” Heaven will be truly a kingdom, with God as the supreme Ruler; yet it will rest on the consent of the governed. It is not forced on believers against their consent. They are so influenced that they become willing, and accept the Gospel, and find it the delight of their lives to do their Sovereign’s will.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

The language of the New Testament is very explicit in teaching us the true light in which the plan of mercy is to be viewed

The language of the New Testament is very explicit in teaching us the true light in which the plan of mercy is to be viewed, and in showing the saint that he is to regard all his spiritual blessings and privileges as coming to him out of the everlasting covenant. It speaks of “the eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:11). Our covenant oneness with Christ is clearly revealed in Ephesians 1:3-5, that marvelous declaration reaching its climax in 1:6: “to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” “Accepted in the beloved” goes deeper and means far more than “accepted through him.” It denotes not merely a recommendatory passport from Christ, but a real union with Him, whereby we are incorporated into His mystical body, and made as truly partakers of His righteousness as the members of the physical body partake of the life which animates its head.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

There is liberty from the guilt of sin

3. But there is one fact more startling than both of these things, and I dare say some of you will demur to it; nevertheless it is God’s truth, and if you don’t like it, you must leave it! There is liberty from the guilt of sin. This is the wonder of wonders. The Christian is positively not guilty any longer the moment he believes. Now, if Her Majesty in her goodness spares a murderer by giving him a free pardon, that man cannot be punished: but still he will be a guilty man; she may give him a thousand pardons, and the law cannot touch him, but still he will guilty; the crime will always be on his head, and he will be branded as a murderer as long as he lives. But the Christian is not only delivered from the bondage and from the punishment, but he is positively absolved from the guilt. Now this is something at which you will stand amazed. You say, “What? is a Christian no more a sinner in God’s sight?” I answer, he is a sinner as considered in himself; but in the person of Christ he is no more a sinner than the angel Gabriel; for snowy as are angelic wings, and spotless as are cherubic robes, an angel cannot be more pure than the poor blood-washed sinner when he is made whiter than snow. Do you understand how it is that the very guilt of the sinner is taken away? Here I stand to-day a guilty and condemned traitor, Christ comes for my salvation, he bid me leave my cell, “I will stand where you are; I will be your substitute; I will be the sinner; all your guilt is to be imputed to me; I will die for it, I will suffer for it; I will have your sins.” Then stripping himself of his robes, he says, “There, put them on; you shall be considered as if you were Christ; you shall be the righteous one. I will take your place, you take mine.” Then he casts around me a glorious robe of perfect righteousness; and when I behold it, I exclaim, “Strangely, my soul, art thou arrayed, with my elder brother’s garments on.” Jesus Christ’s crown is on my head, his spotless robes are round my loins, and his golden sandles are the shoes of my feet. And now is there any sin? The sin is on Christ; the righteousness is on me. Ask for the sinner, Justice! Let the voice of Justice cry, “Bring forth the sinner!” The sinner is brought. Who doth the executioner lead forth? It is the incarnate Son of God. True, he did not commit the sin; he was without fault; but it is imputed to him: he stands in the sinner’s place. Now Justice cries, “Bring forth the righteous, the perfectly righteous.” Whom do I see? Lo, the Church is brought, each believer is brought. Justice says, “Are these perfectly righteous?” “Yes they are. What Christ did is theirs, what they did is laid on Christ; his righteousness is theirs; their sins are his.” I appeal to you, ye ungodly This seems strange and startling, does it not? You have set it down to hypercalvinism, and you laugh at it. Set it down for what you please, sirs. God has set it up as his truth, he has made us righteous through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. And now, if I am a true believer, I stand here freed from every sin. There is not a crime against me in the book of God, it is blotted out for ever; it is cancelled; and not only can I never be punished, but I have nothing to be punished for. Christ has atoned for my sins, and I have received his righteousness, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 8a- The Old Covenant and the New Covenant

If this statement of the subject needs further confirmation, the evidence is abundant, and at hand. Of the law, and the gospel—the Old, and New covenants—Paul speaks in language which can hardly be misunderstood. He characterises them, not as one covenant, developing itself in different forms; nor as two of the covenants which marked the history of the divine government; but as “the two covenants” of God. Both were in their place supremely excellent, and perfectly adapted to secure the ends for which they were respectively designed. Both were made necessary, by the original violation of the covenant of works. Both were predicated upon the infinite grace of God. The one was the auxiliary of the other. But they were not both alike exalted. The gospel was unspeakably more glorious than the law, since this was the very soul of the plan of salvation, while that was a temporary institution only, “added because of transgression, till the seed [Christ] should come.” Such were their nature and reciprocal relations. They are by an apostle, held up before you in contrast. “If,” says Paul, “the ministration of death, [the old covenant; the law] written and engraven on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the Spirit [the new covenant; the gospel] be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious, had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 226

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

To [Subscribers].

METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, April 6, 1886.

DEAR FRIEND, —

Time has speedily brought round the annual occasion upon which I trouble you about the Pastors’ College. You never treat it as a trouble, but respond cheerfully, and therefore I do very earnestly invite you to the Annual Supper, which is appointed for Wednesday, May 5, at the College.

I give my daily thoughts to this work of aiding my Master’s young servants to know the way of God more perfectly, and to preach it with greater clearness. As the result of years of this work, we have sent out more than 700 men into the field at home and abroad. Among these have been some of the most successful soul-winners of the period; and we are not ashamed of the larger number who make up the rank and file. The Lord has very signally blessed this service, and He continues to do so, although it is not without its trials and disappointments.

Friends have so often rallied at the Supper to help me that I feel already overwhelmed with gratitude; but I must remind them that each year brings new necessities, and that we shall be glad of the same help as we received last year, namely, some £2,000.

When times are bad, they will not be improved by stinting our gifts to the cause of God. When we have great losses, it is wise to make sure of something by laying it up where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. But I will not plead; but only say, DO COME. George Palmer, Esq., of Reading, has most cheerfully consented to be our chairman, and he will be glad to be well supported. Do not give the tickets to others if you cannot come yourself, unless it be to generous friends who will really help the object.

Yours ever heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Eight Wonderful Facts about Jesus

´´ God… has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Hebrews 1:2-3.

In these verses we are told eight wonderful facts about the Lord Jesus

1. God´s final word to us is in Jesus.

Jesus is the full and final revelation from Heaven. There are no new Gurus or Messiahs to come. There are no new divine revelators. God has already spoken in the full and final manner in Christ.

2. Christ Jesus has been appointed heir of all things.

Everything belongs to him; everything in the world, every part of our lives is subject to him. Jesus “knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3) and knowing that all things that the Father had were His (John 16:15) declared that “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

3. By Christ Jesus, God made the world.

In the beginning God created the world by the word of his power. Jesus Christ is the WORD. ‘All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3). Spurgeon said, ´¨I love to think that He who created all things is also our Saviour, for then He can create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. If I need a completely new creation—as I certainly do—He is equal to the task. ¨

4. Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory.

No Prophet could claim this. The Glory that is in God is the Glory that is in Christ. No wonder that His name is above every name (Philippians 2:9). One day every knee shall bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10–11).

5. Jesus is the express image of His (God’s) person.

There is but one God. When Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus told him that whoever had seen him had seen the Father (John 14:9). He also said, ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me’ (John 14:11). As Spurgeon remarked, ’ ’Whatever God is, Christ is. The very likeness of God, the very Godhead of Godhead, the very Deity of Deity, is in Christ Jesus. ¨

6. Jesus is upholding all things by the word of his power.

Not only was the world created by him, but the forces of nature are upheld by him. The wind, the ocean, the rain are all are under his control. The small details of our lives are under His control too. He is carrying us along, bearing us toward that great and final day.

7. Jesus has purged our sins.

Notice how the writer moves effortlessly from Christ´s power to His purging. “The Creator and the Sustainer became the Sin-bearer. In order to create the universe, He only had to speak. In order to maintain and guide the universe, He only has to speak… but in order to put away our sin once for all, He had to die on the cross. It is staggering to think that the sovereign Lord would stoop to become the sacrificial Lamb. (Believer’s Bible Commentary)

8. Jesus is now sitting in cosmic authority.

Christ Jesus is now exalted—He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is now seated in highest honour. The seated posture is one of rest. Redemption has been accomplished. We are saved by His precious blood.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com