Archive

Archive for June, 2014

The Wednesday Word: The Country Preacher

image001

A rural pastor and I were once talking about Justification by Faith. I made the point that the righteousness which presents us as acceptable before God is the very righteousness of Christ Himself imputed to us and not infused. The pastor responded by agreeing that what I was saying was all well and good, but he went on to say that he had a country parish and his flock would want to hear something more practical and useful than the difference between infused and imputed righteousness.

The dear man was terribly, terribly wrong. The most practical truth which can be taught to any congregation is the grand truth of Justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone! In this way, they will be delivered from the endless task of looking for some internal righteousness to prove to themselves that they will eventually gain heaven.

The reason I contend this point is that the pronounced burning question which we all need to answer is, “How does sinful man obtain right standing before the all holy God.” A congregation that is not continually exposed to gospel truth is doomed to legalistic ignorance on this vital point.

“Of course,” says one, “The answer to your question is simple. To obtain right standing before God, we need to be born again. And to get born again, we simply pray something along these lines, Lord Jesus I am a sinner, come into my heart and wash away my sins.”

 

Alas, this kind of teaching is painfully and wickedly wrong on so many levels. Of course, we need to be born again; indeed there is no such thing as a non-born again Christian. However, Christ doesn’t wash away sins when He comes, by His Spirit, into the heart. Where does the Bible teach that? No indeed, sins were dealt with at Calvary, 2000 years ago (Hebrews 10:12-14). Sins were taken away by the Lamb of God. We were cleansed, we were redeemed by a past historical event. Faith (the instrumental cause of Justification) takes hold of that which has been accomplished and makes it our own. We were not cleansed and redeemed by asking Jesus into our heart. If asking Jesus into our heart is the ground (the formal cause) of our Justification, then we are depending on a prayer we have prayed for our salvation. In other words, we believe in salvation by works.

The gospel truth informs us that we are saved by Jesus + nothing.

 

image002

Let’s imagine that you are lying on your death bed. The doctor has shaken his head and with a sympathetic voice has informed your family that death will come within the hour. You are facing eternity! What or better yet, Whom will you trust? Will you trust that you have asked Jesus into your heart? That’s a rubber crutch! Will you trust that since you prayed that prayer, your life has changed? Another rubber crutch! Or will you trust that 2000 years ago, the eternal Word became flesh, lived died and rose again on your behalf? Will you trust that He has furnished a perfect righteousness for you? Will you rest on Him and Him alone? Will you trust that mercy and grace have burst forth on the sinner in Christ Jesus?

 

He alone is our only hope for…..

Christ Himself is our Mercy Seat.

Christ Himself is our Wrath Offering.

Christ Himself is our Reconciliation.

Christ Himself is our Perfection.

Christ Himself is our Acceptance.

Christ Himself is our Righteousness.

 

We rejoice to hear this good news. However, we are, by nature, legalists who continually look within ourselves for something that we can present before God as our qualification for heaven. We quickly forget the grand objective truths of the good news. That’s one of the many reasons why we need to be continually exposed to the gospel.

In spite of what the country pastor told me, the recurrent preaching and teaching of Justification by Grace through Faith is the most practical and helpful message to bring before any congregation.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles McKee

 

Minister of the Gospel

The Grace Centre,

6 Quay Street, New Ross,

County Wexford, Ireland.

http://www.milesmckee.com

 

For free sermons and teachings from Miles McKee http://www.sermonaudio.com/milesmckee

 

Please feel free to forward the Wednesday Word to your friends and family.

Also, feel free, without changing the content, to post or blog (etc.) this material.

The Romanists change the term idolatry to make it seem as if they do not commit this sin

June 25, 2014 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Refutation of another evasion or sophism, viz., the distinction of dulia and latria.

11. I am not ignorant, however, and I have no wish to disguise the fact, that they endeavor to evade the charge by means of a more subtle distinction, which shall afterwards be fully considered, (see infra, s. 16, and chap. 12 s. 2.) The worship which they pay to their images they cloak with the name of “idolodulia”, and deny to be “idolatria”. So they speaks holding that the worship which they call “dulia” may, without insult to God, be paid to statues and pictures. Hence, they think themselves blameless if they are only the servants, and not the worshipers, of idols; as if it were not a lighter matter to worship than to serve. And yet, while they take refuge in a Greek term, they very childishly contradict themselves. For the Greek word “latreuein” having no other meaning than to worship, what they say is just the same as if they were to confess that they worship their images without worshipping them. They cannot object that I am quibbling upon words. The fact is, that they only betray their ignorance while they attempt to throw dust in the eyes of the simple. But how eloquent soever they may be, they will never prove by their eloquence that one and the same thing makes two. Let them show how the things differ if they would be thought different from ancient idolaters. For as a murderer or an adulterer will not escape conviction by giving some adventitious name to his crime, so it is absurd for them to expect that the subtle device of a name will exculpate them, if they, in fact, differ in nothing from idolaters whom they themselves are forced to condemn. But so far are they from proving that their case is different, that the source of the whole evil consists in a preposterous rivalship with them, while they with their minds devise, and with their hands execute, symbolical shapes of God.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 11-Henry Beveridge Translation

The Everlasting Covenant

June 24, 2014 1 comment

Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

This is the first promise made to Abram by God, concerning those aspects of the promise given in Genesis 3:15, in which the Seed of the woman will ultimately bring about the grace of God to all nations through that Seed, which is Jesus Christ. [1]

Historically and Biblically, this is looked upon, in Covenant Theology, as the historical establishment of the Covenant of Grace; however, the covenant made with Abraham is not mentioned until Genesis 15:18, and the rudiments of that covenant, when it is mentioned, are the promises of the land for the people which shall spring out of Abraham’s loins. This is set forth in Genesis 17:

Genesis 17:7-13: “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.

 
Read the entire article here.

The Regulative Principle of the Church 16: Its Contemporary Objections (Part 1)

After considerable thought I have isolated ten such objections and questions. The first of these is perhaps the most important and is the subject of this blog post.

(1) It implies a counterintuitive regulation of worship (or the church) different from the rest of human life.

As noted previously, one of the major directions in which John Frame re-interprets the regulative principle is by arguing that it applies to all of life. So understanding it, he is able to adopt it verbally, though not, I would argue, substantially in its historical form. In a key statement of this re-orientation of the principle, he says:

“I therefore reject the limitation of the regulative principle to official worship services. In my view, the regulative principle in Scripture is not about church power and officially sanctioned worship services. It is a doctrine about worship, about all forms of worship. It governs all worship, whether formal or informal, individual or corporate, public or private, family or church, broad or narrow. Limiting the doctrine to officially sanctioned worship robs it of its biblical force.1”

 
Read the entire article here.

Most do not study, but only believe what they hear from the pulpit

Arthur PinkMAN is notoriously a creature of extremes, and nowhere is that fact more evident than in the attitude taken by different ones to this subject. Whereas some have affirmed the Bible is written in such simple language that it calls for no explaining, a far greater number have suffered the papists to persuade them that its contents are so far above the grasp of the natural intellect, its subjects so profound and exalted, its language so abstruse and ambiguous that the common man is quite incapable of understanding it by his own efforts, and therefore that it is the part of wisdom for him to submit his judgment to “holy mother church,” who brazenly claims to be the only Divinely authorized and qualified interpreter of God’s oracles. Thus does the Papacy withhold God’s Word from the laity, and impose her own dogmas and superstitions upon them. For the most part the laity are quite content to have it so, for thereby they are relieved of searching the Scriptures for themselves. Nor is it much better with many Protestants, for in most cases they are too indolent to study the Bible for themselves, and believe only what they hear from the pulpits.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Mystery – Defending Your Faith Part 11

June 23, 2014 1 comment

Is the Pretribulational Rapture Biblical?

June 23, 2014 1 comment

By Brian Schwertly

One of the most popular teachings today in Evangelical and Charismatic churches is the doctrine of the pretribulation rapture. The pretribulation rapture teaching is that there are two separate comings of Christ. The first coming is secret and occurs before the future seven year tribulation. At this coming Jesus comes for the saints (i.e., all genuine believers) both living and dead. These saints meet the Lord in the air and then are taken to heaven to escape the horrible judgments that take place during the seven year tribulation. At the end of the great tribulation Jesus returns to the earth with the saints. This coming is not secret but is observed by all. At this coming Christ crushes His opposition, judges mankind and sets up a one thousand year reign of saints upon the earth (the millennium). Some pretribulation advocates speak of two separate comings while others prefer to speak of one coming in two separate stages or phases (phase one is the secret rapture and phase two is the visible coming in judgment). Hal Lindsey likes to refer to the rapture as “the great snatch.” He writes: “The word for ‘caught up’ actually means to ‘snatch up,’ and that’s why I like to call this marvelous coming event ‘The Great Snatch’! It’s usually referred to as the ‘Rapture,’ from the Latin word rapere, which means to ‘take away’ or ‘snatch out.’”1

Although the pretribulation rapture doctrine is very popular and is even considered so crucial to Christianity that it is made a test of a person’s orthodoxy in some denominations, Bible colleges and seminaries, the exegetical and theological arguments used by its advocates are all classic cases of forcing one’s theological presuppositions onto particular texts (eisegesis). The purpose of this brief study is to show that the pretribulation rapture theory is not plainly taught or directly stated in any place in Scripture, cannot be deduced from biblical teaching, contradicts the general teaching of the Bible regarding Christ’s second coming and was never taught in any branch of the church prior to 1830.

 
Read the entire article here.