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The Wednesday Word: When a Guilty Sinner met the Gracious Saviour

When a guilty sinner met the gracious Saviour the result was blessing (see Luke 7:36-50).

The Bible tells us that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-10) but grace makes no sense to the person who has not seen their lostness before God. Just as, when we are sick, our stomachs despise and reject health giving food, so the proud person rejects salvation by free grace.

To my unbelieving friends I would ask a question… have you become aware of your spiritual destitution? Have you discovered that your sin has already damned you? (John 3:18). Instead of being pure, have you discovered that your heart, like everyone else’s, is deceitful, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). That’s a hard pill to swallow.

Do you not know yourself? Instead of your works being good, outside of Christ they are either “bad” or “dead” (see Philippians 3:4-9; John 6:28-29; Hebrews 6:1-3).

So, here’s a question, if you are a sinner at best, …what are you at worst?

The truth is, outside of Christ, we are all desperately wicked and guilty before the all-holy God. Guilty! Guilty of sins, innumerable sins, and responsible for every one of them!

Terrible!

But, what a wonderfully suitable Saviour we find in the Lord Jesus. He was and is full of grace. What He was … is what He is! He never changes.

Do you remember Simon the Pharisee?

No?

Let me then ‘stir up your pure mind by way of remembrance.’ Simon, a local leader of religion, ‘condescended’ to entertain the Master with a meal (see Luke 7:36-50). I’m sure, at the back of it, he prided himself on having such a famous man as Jesus for a guest. But, during the feast the Lord disrupted the party by announcing forgiveness and grace for a local prostitute. Simon was both shocked and offended. Grace will do that to us at times. Simon, you see, was self-righteous. In his estimation, Jesus was not for the likes of her. But this woman, this notorious sinner, had what Simon had not… she had a knowledge of personal guilt. Simon was ignorant of his.

This poor woman placed herself at the mercy of her Maker. And how did Jesus respond?

He forgave her.

Grace outweighed her guilt and she went home with the Master’s triple announcement:

“Thy sins are forgiven;” (Mark 7:47).

“Thy faith hath saved thee;” (Mark 7:50).

“Go in peace” (Mark 7:50).

Evidently, before she met Jesus, conviction of sin had taken possession of her. She rightly judged herself guilty, turned to the Lord for mercy and was met by perfect grace.´´Perfect Grace!´´ What a description of the character of God. Grace changed the dear woman’s hell into heaven and cleansed her filth.

In this story, guilt entered the lists with grace and grace triumphed. It’s no wonder then that we can boldly say, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief ” (1 Timothy 1:15).

So, let’s ask a question, … do you know Him? If you say you do, let’s ask another question … is He is precious to you? If you don’t know and love Him then may the Lord open your understanding and may you, “acquaint thyself now with him, and be at peace; …” (Job 22:21).

The unsaved’s desire is to get away from God … and keep away from Him (John 3:19-21). Unless grace, therefore, intervenes, your wish will be granted, and you will eventually find yourself excluded from God forever. In the Lake of Fire, there is no grace. Grace never visits. Rays of mercy make no surprise appearances. (see Matthew 25; Luke 14). I urge you, therefore, to “Believe (trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31). Rest on Him, He is the sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Three Wonderful Things about Jesus

Of course, there are more than three wonderful things to be said about the Lord Jesus. What follows are but three of them. When we consider Christ´s relationship with sin, we notice that…

1. Jesus Knew No Sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He was absolutely sinless. His nature and essence were devoid of imperfection. He was the ” holy one of God” (Mark 1:24 ). The Spirit affirms this (Luke 1:35), and the demons confessed it (Luke 4:34). In all points, He was tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

2. “He did no sin” (1 Peter 2: 22).

Every thought of His heart, word of His lips, and deed of His life was for and to the Father. He was sinless. There was no deficiency in Him. His was a perfect beauty of character. He was pure in heart, purpose and thought!

The Father acknowledged this saying, “This is my beloved Son; in whom I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).

Jesus knew His own sinlessness. He said, ” I always do those things that please him (the Father)” (John 8: 29).

Pilate´s wife also knew it. She sent a message to her husband saying “Have nothing to do with that just man”(Matthew 27:19).

Pilate acknowledged it. He declared, “I find no fault in Him” (John 19:4).

The dying thief recognized it. He said, ” This man has done nothing amiss ” (Luke 23:41). He, as it were, said to his fellow felon, ” You and I never did a right thing, this man never did a wrong one.”

Judas, the devil´s servant, knew it and confessed, “I have betrayed the innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4). “Innocent” means there was no hurtful thing in Him, He was not harmful but was clean, and without blame. He was innocent! He did no sin.

But not only did Christ have innocent blood, it was also “THE” innocent blood. He was the only one who was genuinely innocent. All others had sin. No one was innocent, no one, that is, but Christ. His was the “The blood,” the only blood that could atone for sin.

What a contrast there is between man and Christ. And this brings us to the third wonderful thing…..

3. God “made him to be sin” (2 Corinthians 5: 21).

Being the sinless man, He was uniquely qualified to become our sin-bearer. But more than that, He was “made sin” (reckoned to be sin and treated as such) that He might put sin away.

For a person to qualify to die for our sins they would have to be sinless. In God’s courtroom, a sinner couldn´t give his life for other sinners. A sinner would have to die for His own offences. Our Lord Jesus Christ, however, was capable of standing in the place, and stead of sinners, because He had no sin of His own. He was guiltless.

He was made sin. This happened when the Father laid upon Jesus the entire weight of the sins of His people. Instead of belonging to His sheep, our sin was reckoned to Christ. However, at the same time, Christ’s righteousness was placed to the account of the guilty. The guilty are now treated as righteous because He who knew no sin, was treated as such.

I like what Spurgeon says on this matter, “Christ was not guilty, and could not be made guilty, but He was treated as if He were guilty because He willed to stand in the place of the guilty. Yes, He was not only treated as a sinner, but He was treated as if He had been sin itself in the abstract. This is an amazing utterance. The sinless one was made to be sin.”

CHS: The Heart Of The Gospel, Sermon Number 1910.

Three wonderful things about Jesus: He knew no sin. He did no sin.He was made sin.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: How God Got Rid of Our Sins

The gospel is wonderfully simple. It is the good news of the doing, dying and rising again of the God/Man. This gospel work was and is both finished and successful. As proof of this, we have, at this very moment, a glorified saviour seated in the place of cosmic authority (Hebrews 10:12).

So, let’s ask, how does God get rid of the believer’s sins? To answer this question, the Lord has taken great pains, in His Word, to show how completely He has done this. Watch how He employs word pictures that are so easily understood.

For example,

(1) In Psalm 103:12, we read, “As far as the east us so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Where is the East? Where is the West? No matter where we are on the globe there is always an east and a west. But who can tell us their actual location? If we begin traveling west, we will still be westward bound after many days of journey. Similarly, if we set out to discover the ultimate location of the east, we will never finally arrive.

As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. This is how God got rid of our sins.

2) In Isaiah 38:17, we read, “Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” What a precious passage to assure us that God no longer sees our sins. Who can see behind his back? No one. The good news is that He no longer sees our sins. He Himself hurled them behind His back…. And not just some of our sins, … all of them.

All our sins;

Every sin in thought, word, or deed;

Every secret sin;

Every presumptuous sin;

All our sin!

He cast our sins behind His back. This is how God got rid of our sin!

3) In Micah 7:19, we read “Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Again, we find it is His work. He Himself cast our sins there. Not simply into the sea, but into the depths of the sea. If a person on board a ship empties some coins over the ship’s side, how much of it he will get back again? Not a red cent! All the coins would go down into the depths. So also with our sins. God cast them, great and small, into the depths of the sea, never to be brought back again.

This is how God got rid of our sins!

4) In Isaiah 44:22 we read, I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins.” Have you looked at the sky recently? There was a cloud there yesterday, an imposing one. Where is it today? … It is gone! And so it is with our sins. One day our sins rise up as a thick cloud between us and God, but God Himself blots them out because of the blood!

This is how God got rid of our sins!

5) In Isaiah 1:18, we read, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Scarlet and crimson are two of the most difficult colours to destroy, but God Himself took our scarlet sins, purges them, and, as it were, makes them white as snow.

This is how God gets rid of our sins!

It is our privilege to know, as David did, that we are, with reference to sin, made whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7). God has gone to amazing lengths to get rid of our sin! (See also Hebrews 10: 17, Ephesians 1:7 and Romans 4:7-8).

Is Jesus precious to you? He remembers our sins no more. He forgives us according to the riches of His grace. Who can compute this kind of love and mercy?

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: You May be a Legalist If: …Part 2

You may be a legalist if you are a professing Christian but suspect that your salvation has not been secured and guaranteed by Christ. If this is the case, you are likely trying to try to supplement your salvation by your own efforts and righteousness. That means you are a legalist and legalism wants you to focus anywhere and everywhere but on the Finished Work of Christ for your salvation.

The gospel, however, brings the death knell to legalism. As gospel believers, we learn to rest entirely in who Jesus is and on what He has accomplished for us in the Finished Work.

Shortly after the feeding of the 5,000, Christ was confronted by a group of eager legalists asking, “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28). Christ’s reply (verse 29) is very telling. He responds, “This is the work of God that you believe on him who He has sent.” That is to say, to believe, (rest and trust) on Christ, is to do the work of God. In other words, it is not resting on our practices but resting on the doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Jesus. Only Christ´s person and work can satisfy the Father.

The legalist tries to do good things in an attempt to earn and secure God’s favour. That’s how he understands life. He feels that somehow, he must continually turn God’s heart towards him. These folks (in verse 28) wanted Jesus to give them a list of things to do. Legalists love lists. To the carnal mind, the thought of a free gift from God is nonsense. These folks wanted to do something.

It was the same with the rich young ruler: “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18):

Also, with the Jews on the day of Pentecost: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).

It was the same with the Philippian jailer: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30).

And with the prodigal son —”Make me as one of thy hired servants” (one who works for what he receives).

But, here’s the thing, our lists cannot gain us acceptance before God. On the contrary, the work of salvation is to rely upon the work of someone else to be saved.

The legalist has difficulty grasping the personal sufficiency of the atonement. He has trouble believing scriptures like;

“I, even I, am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).

Or, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12).

The legalist struggles with the fact that God exercises His divine prerogative to forget our sins. So, let´s not remember what God has forgotten.

In reality, legalists make works not only the evidence of salvation but salvation itself. This is an attack on the Lord Jesus! He has made peace by the blood of his Cross (Colossians 1:20). Peace was not made when we added our two cents worth. Redemption was accomplished at Calvary. The work was and is finished.

If we are ultimately saved by Christ plus our works, then works become one of our mediators. But the Scripture asserts that there is but one mediator between God and man .. not two (see 1 Timothy 2:5).

If our works mediate for us, then they are partly responsible for our peace. But the scriptures know nothing of this. Peace has already been made by the shed blood of Calvary plus nothing. (Colossians 1:20).

There is one Mediator between God and man. There is one Peace-maker. We have been reconciled to God by Christ alone (2 Corinthians 5:18). And this is as it should be. What works of ours can compare to those of the Lord Christ? The best of our works are defiled by imperfections. Our works cannot make an atonement, but instead, they need one made for themselves.

I like what Daniel Miall of Portsea said as he reflected on man´s wretched condition. He declared,

“If the Lord were to bring us within one step of heaven and leave us to take that last step alone, we would step into Hell.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: You May be a Legalist If: …Part 1

March 11, 2020 3 comments

You may be a Legalist if.. you believe God loves you, but suspect that He doesn´t like you.

If God was looking at you, right now, and you managed to take a snapshot of His face, what would it look like? As He considered you, would He be smiling? Or, would He have an irritated frown? Take a moment to reflect on your answer!

What do you believe the Almighty thinks of you? Your response will reveal whether or not you are behaving as a legalist. Legalists, you see, feel that God is continually scowling at them. Try as they may, they just can´t shake off this idea of the disapproving diety. They haven´t done enough, and they know it. They, in their own minds, have earned Heaven´s well-deserved glower. That´s why they are characterised by endless amounts of guilt and self-effort.

But, what about us, are we in that camp? Do we, at times, believe the theory that God loves us but, at the same time, because of our lack of performance, He doesn´t like us very much?

We all know that loving someone and liking them are two different things. When we like someone, we enjoy their company and welcome their relationship. Does the Father appreciate our company and friendship? According to the legalist…NO! Only if we try very hard to please Him (the Lord). For the legalists, God´s love is an unproven, non-impactful theory. He´s like the man who knows the words of the song but doesn´t know the melody.

In reality, legalism challenges and denies the gospel. It denies us access to the enjoyment of God´s favour. The legalist part of us says, “I’m not good enough, and God isn’t pleased with me.” These voices continually pound in our hearts as they bring their own particular brand of bondage.

But, here´s some good news,… because of the Finished Work, the way to overcome this oppression is in and through the gospel. Instead of counting beads, as some religionists do, we can count up gospel benefits.

Here´s the gospel truth. If you have been justified by grace through faith, it´s because God really does love you. The shed blood of Christ really has removed every barricade to the Father´s presence and approval. The only thing deeper than your sin is the depth of the Saviour´s love for you.

We have an open heaven, not because of what we are doing but because of what He has done …(see Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 10:19; Romans 5:2; Hebrews 6:19-20).

By grace, you have been adopted into the family of God. Understand this, when God sees you, He smiles for He sees you in Jesus. Consider the following scripture, “For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). That´s a magnificent verse to memorise. It is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of Finished Work truth.

The cross declares that God´s favour is on us. God both loves and likes us! May we make it personal by telling ourselves this gospel truth and telling it often. The gospel will put legalism to the sword.

Rest in Him and enjoy Him. How easy is that?

There´s a powerful scripture which tells of Jesus love and how He loves us? Accordingly, He loves us till the end (John 13:1).

In the middle of our spiritual conflict, He loves us to the end.

Amid our spiritual turmoil, He loves us to the end.

Amid all our spiritual shortcomings, He loves us to the end.

Amid our daily struggle with sin, He loves us to the end.

Amid our temptations, He loves us to the end.

Amid our rebellion of heart and self-will, He loves us to the end.

He knows all, and He still loves us. And that´s why Jesus is called “Wonderful” Because that´s who and what He is … WONDERFUL! He loves us to the end.

No room for legalism here!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Five Infallible Proofs of God´s Love

Proof 1 “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life ” (John 3: 16). Notice that God loves the “world,” i.e. the nations, both Jews and non-Jews.

Consider the contrast between how the Law was given in Exodus 20 and the giving of the gospel in Acts 2. The former was given in one language and to one people; the latter, in multiplied tongues,…i.e. to the whole world.

When the Law was given, it told of man’s duty, and was confined to one language; but when grace was published, it proclaimed God’s precious salvation to the nations of the world. The Lord loves people from every tribe, kindred and tongue…the whole world.

Proof 2 Not only did God´s love give us the gift of His Son, but we are told in Isaiah 53 that ” it pleased the Lord to bruise him.” Do you ever feel unloved? If so, look at the cross. There is no reason to feel rejected when you see what God has done for you. Look to Jesus .As He took our as He took our sins, He was rejected in our place

“Here is love, vast as the ocean

Lovingkindness as the flood

When the Prince of Life, our Ransom

Shed for us His precious blood.”

William Rees

God forsook His well-beloved Son, hid His face from Him and caused the waves of righteous wrath to swamp and flood Him. He did that for us!

“He delivered Him up for us all.” He placarded Him as the wrath offering for our sins” (see Romans 3:24-26).

Here´s something beautiful to remember. Jesus didn´t merely come into this world to comfort us in our ruin and misery. He came, not purely to visit sinners, but came to seek and save us (Luke 19:10).

Proof 3. Not only did the Father give His Son to us, and bruise Him on the cross for us, but, because Christ was the acceptable substitute, He was raised from the dead. “The God of peace brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant ” (Hebrews 13:20). Judgment and grace met at the cross. The great questions of sin and punishment were settled. Christ Jesus was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

Proof 4. All these glorious facts of incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, could have taken place, yet we might not have known anything about them. But, instead, because of God´s love for us, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, and in the name of the risen and ascended Saviour announced the good news. He came to make known, in every language under heaven, the gospel of God’s full and free, gracious salvation.

Proof 5. Here´s another proof of the love of God for us. Those stirring events of the day of Pentecost might have taken place as stated. The Holy Spirit might have come from heaven and announced the glorious message of free salvation and then have gone back again to heaven. But, He did not. He has been here ever since patiently labouring and testifying among the nations. Amid the opposition and hatred of hell, men and devils, the gospel is, even today, being made known to the ends of the earth. The Holy Spirit is still here and working.

But what about you?

Have you any plans to play a part in the spreading of the gospel to your neighbourhood or even the ends of the earth?

Because of the gospel, there is forgiveness for sinners (see Luke 7: 37-47), salvation for the lost (Luke 19:10) and justification for the ungodly (Romans 4:5). This is Good News indeed! Let´s tell about it?

In the gospel, God reckoned Christ as what we are—sin,—that we might be reckoned as what Christ is—righteous. Let´s tell about it?

“He is coming back, and in the meantime, our business is to wait for Him, to glorify Him, and to be occupied in His service till He does come again,” — George Muller

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: It´s All About Jesus

February 26, 2020 3 comments

“The gospel of God…….concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:1-3).

There was a time when I didn´t know that the gospel was all about Jesus.” I thought that it was all about me,—what I should do, and what I should be. Many of us had similar ideas before grace opened our eyes to the truth.

Before we were saved, we mistook the message of the gospel for the message of the law, thinking its chief purpose was to make us better-behaved people. A grand mistake indeed!

But then, concerning God, the thinking of an unrenewed heart is always wrong. Saul of Tarsus thought that he should do many things contrary to the name of Jesus (Acts 26:9); but he was wrong. He soon discovered his mistake when the Lord suddenly and graciously converted him.

We may as well expect a blind man to appreciate the Mona Lisa or a deaf man to enjoy Mozart, as suppose an unrenewed person can understand the gospel. This is a strong statement, but, nevertheless, it´s true. Neither learning, labour, nor law can give a divine knowledge of that gospel which is God’s sole prerogative to communicate.

But if the gospel is not about us, who is it about? It´s about Jesus (see our text, Romans 1: 1-3).

True, it may have much to say as to both sinners and saints, but the theme and splendid subject-matter of the gospel is Jesus the Son of God. He is the centre, sum and substance of divine revelation. How little, after all, can be said about man? He blotted his copy-book and needed to be rescued! That´s his story in a nutshell. On the other hand, how much may be said of Christ? As John wrote, the world itself could not contain the books that might be written about Him (John 21:25).

When Saul was converted, the very first thing he did was to preach in the synagogue. And what was his subject? His message was that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 9:20). That was his keynote theme, first preached in Damascus and continued through his ministry. According to Paul, that message is and will be the deepest and richest point of all Christian knowledge. That is why we read that the goal and purpose of the five-fold ministry is Christ centered…see Ephesians 4:11-13) “till we all come to the knowledge of the Son of God.”

Now, don´t get me wrong, the gospel has for its object the salvation of sinners, not their improvement, nor reformation, but their deliverance from their fallen condition to form the Body and Bride of Christ. But salvation is not the gospel. It is the result of the gospel.

Jesus is to be glorified, adored, and worshipped by the multitude who owe Him praise for their salvation. But this praise is not the gospel!

The gospel is all about Jesus, not about anything we do.

The gospel is about the Son of God and what He has done in His finished work in history.

The gospel is about the Blessed Eternal One who became a man to die.

The gospel is about the one who lived and died for the glory of the Father.

The gospel is about the one who was raised from the dead.

The gospel is about the one who when on earth, as man, made the Father known.

The gospel is about the eternal Word made flesh—full of grace and truth; to whom multitudes of needy, diseased, famished, and sinful came.

The gospel is about the one from whose lips flowed words of truth for He was the Truth.

The gospel is about the one who died the Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God (1Peter 3:18).

The gospel is about the one whose word of welcome is ” Come” (Matthew 11:28).

The gospel is about the one whose blood paid the full price of our redemption, and “cleanses from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

What a gospel! What a Saviour!

What wonderful, wonderful grace.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com