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The Wednesday Word: Purchased!

“Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18:-19).

Among the many and varied meanings of redemption in the Old Testament is the idea of making a purchase. They are one and the same. In Leviticus 25, for example, we read of how people, upon getting into financial difficulty, could sell themselves as slaves to pay their debts. They could then, at a later date, buy themselves back or if unable to do so, a near relation, a kinsman, could pay for them. In other words, they could be redeemed.

Some years ago, a young teenage girl lay on her death bed. The poor child was, understandably, concerned about her soul. Looking at her grieving mother she said, “Mum, let me ask you a question. When you pay the money for a dress or goods of any kind, haven’t you a right to take your purchases home with you?”

“But of course.”

The dying girl’s eyes seemed to lighten up and sparkle, and she said, “This is good news, really good news, I´ve been thinking a lot about this. According to the Bible, Christ bought me at Calvary. He bought me with an enormous price. He actually bought me with His own blood. This, therefore, must mean that He has the right to take me home. He´ll not leave me behind like a discarded shoe.”

The grieving mother was momentarily stunned, then quietly bowed her head, and answered, ” Yes my darling, Jesus has purchased you. He now owns you, and, when He is ready, He will take you home to be with Him forever.”

I love that! Believers are bought and paid for. We are already redeemed. We are already purchased with a price, the price of God´s own blood (Acts 20:28).

Do you know what we have been redeemed from? We´ve been redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14). That´s excellent news!

We were slaves to death, darkness and the devil but we have been bought and brought back by the Lord Jesus.

Do you know what He redeemed us with? He redeemed us with His precious blood the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Precious blood was used to buy us. When something is precious, it´s scarce. Oceans of blood have flowed through the centuries but none of it purchased even one of us. Great armies have spilt countless gallons of blood but not one soul was redeemed by it. But when Christ arrived, His blood was pure, precious and perfect. At Calvary, He poured out His blood to purchase us. He´ll, therefore, take care of His purchased possession.

Do you know unto whom, we have been redeemed? He redeemed us unto Himself (Titus 2:14).

Redeemed From, Redeemed With and Redeemed Unto!

What a stunning redemption!

How striking, therefore, to remember that we are not our own but are bought with a price. We are to, therefore, glorify God in our bodies, and spirits, which are God’s.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

To observe the encouragement, motives, and reasons given to keep this ordinance, as well as others

III. To observe the encouragement, motives, and reasons given to keep this ordinance, as well as others,

1. The apostle says, this is the love of God; that is, this shews love to God; it is a plain case, that a man loves God, when he keeps his commandments; this is an evidence, that he loves not in word, and in tongue only, but in deed and in truth. Others may say that they love God and Christ; but this is the man that truly loves them, even he that hath my commandments, says Christ (John 14:21), and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me: and it is a clear care, that such a man has a sense of the love of God and Christ; the love of the Father is in him; and the love of Christ constrains him to observe his ordinances, and keep his commands; and such may expect greater manifestations of the love of God and Christ unto them; for of such that keep the commandments of Christ, he says, I will love him, and manifest myself to him; — and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (John 14:23); which is no small inducement and encouragement to an observation of the ordinances and commands of Christ, and among the rest this of baptism.

2. Another encouraging motive and reason is, the commandments of God and Christ are not grievous, hard and difficult to be performed. The Lord’s supper is not; nor is baptism. What is baptism in water, to the baptism of sufferings Christ endured for us? And yet how desirous was he of accomplishing it? (Luke 12:50). And therefore why should we think it an hardship, or be backward to comply with his will, in submitting to the ordinance of water-baptism? When Naaman was bid by Elisha to dip himself in Jordan, and be clean; which he relented as too little and trifling a thing, and thought he might as well have stayed in his own land, and dipped himself in one of the rivers of Syria; one of his servants took upon him to allay and repress the heat of his passion and resentment, by observing, that if the prophet had bid him do some great thing, which was hard and difficult to be performed, he would have gone about it readily; how much rather then, he argued, should he attend to the direction of the prophet, when he only bid him wash in Jordan, and be clean? (2 Kings 5:13). There are many that will go into baths, and plunge themselves in them for pleasure or profit, to refresh their bodies, or cure them of disorders; but if plunging in water is directed to, as an ordinance of God, then it is a grievous thing; and, indeed, no ordinance is grateful to a carnal mind; but to believers in Christ, wisdoms ways are ways of pleasantness, and her paths of peace. Christ’s yoke, if it may be called so, is easy, and his burden light.

John Gill – Baptism: A Divine Commandment to be Observed, Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9, 1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael, Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.

A seal, then, is a divine institution of which it is the design to signify the blessings promised in the covenant

A seal, then, is a divine institution of which it is the design to signify the blessings promised in the covenant, and to give assurance of them to those by whom its terms have been fulfilled. The very name of this symbolic (yet real) tree at once intimated its design: it was “the tree of life.” Not, as some have erroneously supposed, that its fruit had the virtue of communicating physical immortality—as though anything material could do that. Such a gross and carnal conception is much more closely akin to the Jewish and Mohammedan fables, than to a sober interpretation of spiritual things. No, just as its companion (yet contrast) was to Adam “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” —of “good” while he preserved his integrity and of “evil” as soon as he disobeyed his maker—so this other tree was both the symbol and pledge of that spiritual life which was inseparably connected with his obedience.

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

When we here affirm that men should be such and such a thing, we refer to the people of God

In enlarging upon this point, it will be necessary to premise, that when we here affirm that men should be such and such a thing, we refer to the people of God. We do not wish to speak to them in any legal way. We are not under the law, but under grace. Christian men hold themselves bound to keep all God’s precepts: but the reason why they do so is not because the law is binding upon them, but because the gospel constrains them: they believe, that having been redeemed by blood divine; having been purchased by Jesus Christ, they are more bound to keep his commands than they would have been if they were under the law; they hold themselves to be ten thousand-fold more debtors to God, than they could have been under the Mosaic dispensation. Not of force; not of compulsion; not through tear of the whip; not through legal bondage; but through pure, disinterested love and gratitude to God they lay themselves out for his service seeking to be Israelites indeed in whom there is no guile. This much I have declared lest any man should think that I am preaching works as the way to salvation, I will yield to none in this. That I will ever maintain-that by grace we are saved, and not by ourselves; but equally must I testify, that where the grace of God is, it will produce fitting deeds. To these I am ever bound to exhort you, while ye are ever expected to have good works for necessary purposes. Again, I do not, when I say that a believer should be a striking likeness of Jesus, suppose that any one Christian will perfectly exhibit all the features of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; yet my brethren, the fact that perfection is beyond our reach should not diminish the ardor of our desire after it. The artist, when he paints knows right well that he shall not be able to excel Apelles; but that does not discourage him; he uses his brush with all the greater pains, that he may at least in some humble measure resemble the great master. So the sculptor; though persuaded that he will not rival Praxiteles, will hew out the marble still, and seek to be as near the model as possible. Just so the Christian man, though he feels he never can mount to the height of complete excellence, and perceives that he never can on earth become the exact image of Christ, still holds it up before him, and measures his own deficiencies by the distance between himself and Jesus. This will he do, forgetting all he has attained, he will press forward, crying, Excelsior! Going upwards still, desiring to be conformed more and more to the image of Christ Jesus.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Christ’s People Imitators of Him, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, at Exerter Hall Strand, April 29, 1855

Four causes, continually acting upon them all, have hitherto preserved them, in a great measure, from falling into the same destruction which has overwhelmed others

But is not this an overstatement of the case? Would not a laudable Christian charity draw a much brighter picture than the one I have now sketched? I am reminded that the Methodist church, the Presbyterian church, the Congregational church, and several other churches in this country, and in England, are, in their numerous divisions, highly evangelical. All these, with infant baptism, still hold and teach the great fundamental truths of the gospel. I am happy to concede that this is true. It is, however, the result of a peculiar condition of things, and cannot, therefore, discredit any argument which has been submitted on the subject. Four causes, continually acting upon them all, have hitherto preserved them, in a great measure, from falling into the same destruction which has overwhelmed others.

The first is the great Baptist principle, with which they are unceasingly in contact. In North America the Baptist churches contain a million of communicants. Four millions more, at least, are of their opinion, and under their influence. Nearly one-fourth, therefore, of all our population are strongly Baptistical. All these regard infant baptism, and infant church membership, as wholly unauthorized, and treat them as nonentities in religion. These Baptists are diffused in all the families of the land, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, learned and unlearned. They are associated with their Pedobaptist brethren upon equal, and most intimate terms. As a consequence of this state of things, the influence of infant baptism is, to a very great extent, neutralized, and destroyed.

The second of these causes is the universal diffusion of the Bible. The word of God is now carefully studied, in Sabbath-schools, in Bible-classes, in families, and in the closet, not by scholars only, but also by all classes of our people, and it is probably better understood by them all, than it has ever been at any period since the days of the apostles. The masses are enlightened; they exercise their own judgment; and their religious opinions are approaching, consequently, much nearer the scriptural standard. In all the teachings of that holy book they find not one word to justify infant baptism.

Thousands, consequently, who have received the rite, refuse utterly, to act in accordance with it. They do not regard themselves as church members, or in any way privileged spiritually, because of their infant baptism. That, say they, was only a form. And indeed, so far has this conviction proceeded, that many, very many members, even of Pedobaptist churches, do not hesitate to avow their entire disbelief in the whole theory. Hence its wide-spread neglect throughout our whole land. In proportion as the Bible is understood, loved, and obeyed, does infant baptism, in all its relations and bearings, dwindle, and recede from public view.

The third cause is found in the character of our Pedobaptist ministry. The great body of them, and especially of those connected with the denominations I have named, are converted men. Their religion and good sense lead them involuntarily to discard, except in its forms, the puerilities of their distinguishing rite. They preach to all alike, and boldly declare to sinners of every class, that if they are saved at all, it must be alone by the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord, whom they can approach only as penitent believers, and whose Spirit must renew and sanctify their hearts. Thus preaching the fundamental truths of the gospel, they falsify infant baptism, keep it out of sight, and avert in part its deleterious influence.

The fourth and last cause is the revivals of religion which have so long, and so extensively prevailed in our country. Of these, in common with our churches, theirs have largely, and happily partaken. These revivals call the thoughts of men directly to the corruptions of their own nature, to the light of the word of God, to the cross of the Redeemer, to regeneration by the Holy Ghost, and to pardon, justification, and salvation, through faith in Christ. True religion is thus everywhere spread abroad, and many, notwithstanding the errors of their standards, and other authorities, whose forms they still observe, are converted, and saved.

These, mainly, are the causes which in America, and the British dominions, have thus far averted from them, its natural and inherent evils, and preserved their churches from total overthrow. Take these away, and nothing can save them from utter disaster.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 7- Infant baptism is an evil because it despoils the Church of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the Church of Christ

The covenant here spoken of is the covenant of grace

I need not tell you, for you are, I trust, well-grounded in that matter, that the covenant here spoken of is the covenant of grace. There is a covenant which we could not plead in prayer, the covenant of works, a covenant which destroys us, for we have broken it. Our first father sinned, and the covenant was broken; we have continued in his perverseness, and that covenant condemns us. By the covenant of works can none of us be justified, for we continue still to break our portion of it, and to bring upon ourselves wrath to the uttermost. The Lord hath made a new covenant with the second Adam, our federal head, Jesus Christ our Lord, — a covenant without conditions, except such conditions as Christ has already fulfilled, a covenant, ordered in all things and sure, which now consists of promises only, which run after this fashion — “I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people”: “A new heart also will I give them, and a right. Spirit will I put within them”: “From all their transgressions will I cleanse them”: — a covenant, I say, which had once conditions in it, all of which our Lord Jesus fulfilled when he finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness; and now the covenant is all of promise, and consists of infallible and eternal shalls and wills, which shall abide the same for ever.

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

The Wednesday Word: Jesus is Coming Back

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

When the Lord saved me, many years ago, it seemed that at every Christian meeting I attended they were speaking about the Second Coming of Jesus. I don’t hear so much about that wonderful subject anymore unless, that is, the meeting has to do with End Time Bible Prophesy. Even then, the emphasis is not usually on the Lord Jesus but about supposed events and geographical predictions. However, mark it down, write it large in your heart: Jesus Christ IS coming back in person and in power!

Jesus is coming back!!

Listen to what He announced to His disciples late in His earthly ministry. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

“I will come again!” What a wonderful promise.

The truth of the Lord’s return is a comfort to every believer. As this filthy age seems to be hurtling swiftly to its doom, here’s something to think about … Jesus is coming back! Surely this is enough to inspire us when we are downhearted and discouraged?

Jesus is coming back!

In Hebrews 9:28 we read, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

His first coming was to settle the sin question; in His second coming He will reveal His Glory, Person and Majesty. In the meantime, we are waiting for and looking for Him.

Jesus is coming back!

He’ll return suddenly and certainly.

Jesus really is coming back.

There’s an old story about a young couple who were in love and planned to marry. He was a fisherman who made his living from the sea and he, because of his occupation, was forced to be gone for long periods. On one occasion, when it was time for his return, he didn’t come back. After many long weeks everyone in the little village accepted the fact that he had been lost at sea … something not highly unusual in those days. Everyone thought he would never be seen again … everyone, that is, except his bride to be.

Every day she would go down to the harbour and squint her eyes, looking out on the horizon in hopes of catching sight of her fiancé’s familiar ship. It never came.

After a time, something happened to her sight; she started to go blind. Nevertheless, she continued her daily trips to the docks. The town’s people laughed at and mocked her calling her “the Blind Watcher.”

One day, however, a ship sailed into the harbor. Her fiancé had returned. It seems a storm had wrecked his vessel on an island, and it had taken him months to repair it and make it seaworthy again. The bridegroom had returned.

Those of us who are looking for the return of the Lord Jesus have been ridiculed, mocked and sneered at, but one of these days the skies will be split as lightning coming out of the east and flashing to the west and the Lord Jesus, the mighty God, will appear (Matthew 24:27;Titus 2:13).

His return is a promise! It is a promise of God! It is a promise, which, like all His promises, He will most certainly keep.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Secondly, Next let us consider in what manner the ordinance of baptism is to be kept and observed

II. To shew that the ordinance of water-baptism, being a divine command, it ought to be kept, and observed, as directed to in the word of God.

Secondly, Next let us consider in what manner the ordinance of baptism is to be kept and observed: and,

1. It should be kept in faith; for without faith it is impossible to please God; and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 14:23).

2. In love, and from a principle of love to Christ, and which is the end of every commandment, and of this; If ye love me, says Christ’s, keep my commandments (John 14:15 3). It should be kept as it was at first delivered and observed: the manner in which it is to be performed and submitted to, is immersion, or covering the whole body in water; and which agrees with the primary sense of the word βαπτιζω, which signifies to dip or plunge, as all learned men know;[7] and he must be a novice in the Greek language, that will take upon him to contradict what has been ingenuously owned by so many men of learning. Had our translators thought fit to have translated the word, which they have not in those places where the ordinance of baptism is made mention of, for reasons easily to be guessed at, but have adopted the Greek word baptize in all such places; had they truly translated it, the eyes of the people would have been opened, and the controversy at once would have been at an end, with respect to this part of it, the mode of baptism; however we have proof sufficient that it was performed, and ought to be performed by immersion, as appears,

1. By the places where it was administered, as the river Jordan, where John baptized many, and where our Lord himself was baptized; and AEnon, near Salim, which he chose for this reason, because there was much water there (Matthew 3:6, 13); now if the ordinance was administered in any other way than by immersion, what need was there to make choice of rivers and places abounding with water to baptize in?

2. By the instances of persons baptized, and the circumstances attending their baptism, as that of our Lord, of whom it is said, When he was baptized, he went up straightway out of the water (Matthew 3:16); which manifestly implies that he had been in it, of which there would have been no need, had the ordinance been administered to him in any other way than by immersion; as by sprinkling or pouring a little water on his head, as the painter ridiculously describes it. The baptism of the Eunuch is another instance proving baptism by immersion; when he and Philip were come to a certain water, and it was agreed to baptize him, it is said, they went down both into the waters both Philip and the Eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip (Acts 8:38, 39). The circumstances of going down into the water, and coming up out of it, manifestly shew in what manner the Eunuch was baptized, namely, by immersion; for what reason can be given why they should go into the water, had it been performed in any other way?

3.[8] The end of baptism, which is to represent the burial and resurrection of Christ, cannot be answered any other way than by immersion; that it is an emblem of the burial and resurrection of Christ, and of the burial and resurrection of believers in him, is clear from Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12 buried with him by baptism, and in baptism. Now only an immersion or covering of the whole body in water, and not pouring or sprinkling a little water on the face, can be a representation of a burial; will any man in his senses say, that a corpse is buried, when only a little dust or earth is sprinkled or poured on its face?

4. The figurative baptisms, or the allusions made to baptism in scripture, shew in what manner it was administered; the passage of the Israelites under the cloud, and through the sea, is called a being baptized in the cloud and in the sea (1 Cor. 10:1, 2); and with great propriety may it be called a baptism, as that is by immersion; for the waters standing up as a wall on each fide of them, through which, and the cloud over their heads, under which they passed, they were like persons immersed in water:[9] likewise the over-whelming sufferings of Christ are fitly called a baptism, in allusion to baptism by immersion. I have a baptism to be baptized with, says he; and how am I straitened until it be accomplished? (Luke 12:50); and which sufferings of Christ, in prophetic language, agreeable to baptism by immersion, are thus described; I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me (Ps.119:1, 2). Once more; the extraordinary donation of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, is called a being baptized with the holy Ghost (Acts 1:5); the emblem of which was a rushing mighty wind, which filled all the house where they were sitting (Acts 2:2); so that they were as if immersed into it, and covered with it, and therefore very properly called a baptism, in allusion to baptism by immersion.[10] I go on,

John Gill – Baptism: A Divine Commandment to be Observed, Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9, 1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael, Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.

Genesis 2:17 pronounced a curse upon disobedience and by necessary implication it announced a blessing upon obedience

Now as we have shown in previous chapters, the language of Genesis 2:17 not only pronounced a curse upon the disobedient partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but by necessary implication it announced a blessing upon the obedient non-eating thereof. The curse was death, with all that that involved and entailed; the blessing was a continuance and confirmation in all the felicity which man in his pristine innocence enjoyed. In His infinite condescension the Lord God was pleased to confirm or seal the terms of His covenant with Adam—contained in Genesis 2:17—by a symbolic and visible emblem ratifying the same; as He did to Noah by the rainbow, and to Abraham by circumcision. With Adam, this confirmatory symbol consisted of “the tree of life” in the midst of the garden.

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

What a Christian should be

First then, this morning, I will tell you what a Christian should be; secondly, I will tell you when he should be so; thirdly, why he should be so; and then fourthly how he can be so.

I. As God may help us then, first of all, we will speak of WHAT A BELIEVER SHOULD BE. A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, and you have admired the talent of the persons who could write so well, but the best life of Christ is his living biography, written out in the words and actions of his people. If we, my brethren, were what we profess to be; if the Spirit of the Lord were in the heart of all his children, as we could desire; and if, instead of having abundance of formal professors, we were all possessors of that vital grace, I will tell you not only what we ought to be but what we should be; we should be pictures of Christ, yea, such striking likenesses of him, that the world would not have to hold us up by the hour together, and say, “Well, it seems somewhat of a likeness;” but they would, when they once beheld us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught of him, he is like him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he expands it out into his very life and every day actions.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Christ’s People Imitators of Him, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, at Exerter Hall Strand, April 29, 1855