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A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness

First then, a Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. This is a virtue nowadays called impudence, but the grace is equally valuable by whatever name it may be called. I suppose if the Scribes had given a definition of Peter and John, they would have called them impudent fellows.

Jesus Christ and his disciples were noted for their courage. “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Jesus Christ never fawned upon the rich; he stooped not to the great and noble, he stood erect, a man before men,-the prophet of the people, speaking out holdly and freely what he thought.

Have you never admired that mighty deed of his, when going to the city where he had lived and been brought up; knowing that a prophet had no honor in his own country, the boon was put into his hands; he had but then commenced his ministry; yet without tremor he unrolled the sacred volume and what did he take for his text? Most men, coming to their own neighborhood would have chosen a subject adapted to the taste, in order to earn fame. But what doctrine did Jesus preach that morning? One which in our age is scorned and hated-the doctrine of election. He opened the Scriptures, and began to read thus: “Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land, but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none off them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.” Then he began to tell, how God saveth whom he pleases, and rescues whom he chooses. Ah! How they gnashed their teeth upon him, dragged him out, and would have cast him from the brow of the hill. Do you not admire his intrepidity? He saw their teeth gnashing; he knew their hearts were hot with enmity, while their mouths foamed with revenge and malice: still he stood like the angel who shut the lion’s mouths; he feared them not; faithfully he proclaimed what he knew to be the truth of God, and still read on despite them all. So in his discourses. If he saw a Scribe or a Pharisee in the congregation, he did not keep back part of the price, but pointing his finger, he said, “Woe Unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites;” and when a lawyer came, saying, “Master, in speaking thus, thou condemnest us also;” he turned round and said, “Woe unto you, lawyers, for ye bind heavy burdens upon men, while ye yourselves will not touch them with so much as one of your fingers.” He dealt out honest truth, he never knew the fear of man; he trembled at none; he stood out God’s chosen, whom he had anointed above his fellows, careless of man’s esteem. My friends, be like Christ in this. Have none of the time-serving religion of the present day, which is merely exhibited in evangelical drawing rooms-a religion which only flourishes in a hot-bed atmosphere, a religion which is only to be perceived in good company. No, if ye are the servants of God, be like Jesus Christ, bold for your Master; never blush to own your religion; your profession will never disgrace you; take care you never disgrace that. Your love to Christ will never dishonor you, it may bring some temporary slight from your friends, or slanders from your enemies: but live on, and you shall; live down their calumnies; live on and ye shall stand amongst the glorified, honored even by those who hissed you when he shall come to be glorified by his angels, and admired by them that love him. Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God; so that when they shall see your boldness, they may say, “He has been with Jesus.”

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



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  

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

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

The Wednesday Word: Questions I’d like to Ask, and Answers I’d Love to Receive

Each week I try to give you, my reader, some aspect or other of the gospel. The reason for doing this is my desire to be a part of a large company of believers, worldwide, grounded and established in the Finished Work of Jesus. Today is check-up day. I would, therefore, like to ask you some basic, yet profound, questions and give you the kind of gospel-based answers I would love to hear.

Here goes!

Q) Do you see yourself as being a sinner, deserving of God’s punishment, but do you also see that Jesus is your living, loving Saviour?

A) Yes, I see that outside of Christ I’m an entirely lost, ungodly sinner in the Lord’s sight. I also see that, in myself, I am utterly helpless, lost and in need of His grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:12-13).

Q) Is there anything else you’d like to add to this answer?

A) Yes, I believe that Jesus loves me, that He gave Himself for me, and died for me on the cross, bearing my sins, and God’s judgment of them (Ephesians 2:3-4).

Q) Is salvation personal for you?

A) Yes, He died for me.

Me, the sinner.

It’s personal!

Me, the guilty one.

It’s personal!

Me, the unjust one.

It’s personal!

Me, the helpless one.

It’s personal!

He was wounded for my transgressions.

It’s personal!

He was bruised for my iniquities.

It’s personal!

The chastisement of my peace was upon Him.

It’s personal!

And with His stripes I am healed.

It’s personal!

My sins were transferred to Jesus and they are gone forever.

In short, He died for me in particular (see Romans 5:12; Ephesians 4:18; Isaiah 53: 4-6; Galatians 2:20)).

Q) So, how many of your sins did Jesus bear on the cross?

A) All of them (1 Peter 2:24).

Q) Since He died, for all your sins, how many sins do you suppose He forgives you of today now that you believe in and on Him?”

A) I believe He has forgiven all my sins, every one of them. He forgave everything at the cross. All was settled 2000 years ago at Calvary. It is written, “In whom, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace’ (Ephesians 1:7). So according to this scripture, in Christ, I already have forgiveness of sins. My sins have already been punished on Christ. My sins have already been blotted out and forgiven through Christ and His finished work. True, I confess my sins when I commit them but that is a matter of maintaining and enjoying fellowship with God.

Q) How do you know that Jesus died for your sins?

A) Because He rose from the dead (Romans 4:25).

Q) Do you have eternal life?

A) Yes, Jesus gave it to me (John 10:28). Also, John 6:47 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on Me has everlasting life.”

Q) Where is the Lord Jesus now?

A) He is risen from the dead and is now in Glory. He is the enthroned One (Hebrews 10:12). The man of Gethsemane, the man of Calvary, the man of the tomb, is now risen from the dead, and has gone to Heaven from where He now rules with cosmic authority and from where He will one day soon return (Revelation 1:7).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

BEHOLD! What a change divine grace will work in a man

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned And ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of Shem, that the: had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13.

BEHOLD! What a change divine grace will work in a man, and in how short a time! That same Peter, who so lately followed his Master afar off and with oaths and curses denied that he knew his name, is now to be found side by side with the loving John, boldly declaring that there is salvation in none other name save that of Jesus Christ, and preaching the resurrection of the dead, through the sacrifice of his dying Lord. The Scribes and Pharisees soon discover the reason of his boldness. Rightly did they guess that it rested not in his learning or his talents, for neither Peter nor John had been educated, they had been trained as fishermen, their education was a knowledge of the sea-of the fisherman’s craft: none other had they; their boldness could not therefore spring from the self-sufficiency of knowledge, but from the Spirit of the living God. Nor did they acquire their courage from their station; for rank will confer a sort of dignity upon a man, and make him speak with a feigned authority even when he has no talent or genius; but these men were, as it says in the original text, “idiotai” private men, who stood in no official capacity; men without rank or station. When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and private individuals, they marvelled, and they came to a right conclusion as to the-source of their power-they had been dwelling with Jesus. Their conversation with the Prince of light and glory, backed up, as they might also have known, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, without which even that eminently holy example would have been in vain, had made them bold for their Master’s cause. Oh! My brethren, it were well if this commendation, so forced from the lips of enemies, could also be compelled by our own example. If we could live like Peter and John; if our lives were “living epistles of God, known and read of all men;” if, whenever we were seen, men would take knowledge of us, that we had been with Jesus, it would be a happy thing for this world, and a blessed thing for us. It is concerning that I am to speak to you this morning; and as God gives me grace, I will endeavor to stir up your minds by way of remembrance, and urge you so to imitate Jesus Christ, our heavenly pattern, that men may perceive that you are disciples of the holy Son of God.

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

I will now proclaim to you the way of salvation

December 28, 2020 Leave a comment

 

And now, it may be, some of you are convinced of sin, by the Holy Spirit. I will now proclaim to you the way of salvation. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Behold, O trembling penitent the means of thy deliverance. Turn thy tearing eye to yonder Mount of Calvary! See the victim of justice-the sacrifice of atonement for your transgression. View the Savior in his agonies, with streams of blood purchasing thy soul, and with intensest agonies enduring thy punishment. He died for thee, if now thou dost confess thy guilt. O come thou condemned one, self-condemned, and turn thine eye this way, for one look will save. Sinner, thou art bitten. Look! It is nought but “Look!” It is simply “Look!” If thou canst but look to Jesus thou art safe. Hear the voice of the Redeemer: “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” Look! Look! Look! O guilty souls.

Venture on him, venture wholly,

Let no other trust intrude

None but Jesus

Can do helpless sinners good,”

May my blessed Master help you to come to him, and draw you to his Son, for Jesus’ sake. Amen and Amen.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

The Wednesday Word: GRACE IN TWO SMALL WORDS

December 23, 2020 Leave a comment

“Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, says the Lord, and your Redeemer” (Isaiah 41:14).

This text gives us grace in two small words.

What are the 2 words?

They are, “Fear Not.”

In the Middle East there is an ancient fable that Pestilence met a caravan on the way to Baghdad.

“Why must you travel to Baghdad?” asked the Caravan Master. “To take five thousand lives,” he answered.

On the way back Pestilence again met the caravan.

“You deceived me,” said the Caravan master. “You took 50,000 lives.”

“No,’ insisted Pestilence. ‘I took 5,000 lives. Fear killed the rest.”

That is a fable.

But, here’s a fact … fear kills.

At one time or another, most of us have been gripped with fear. It’s no wonder then that these two words, ‘Fear Not’ are found frequently throughout the scriptures. In fact, the phrases, “Fear not” or “Be not afraid”, occur more than 100 times in the King James Bible.

In all our fears may we learn to look to Jesus. He is the antidote to fear, anxiety and worry.

When the Lord applies these two words ‘fear not’ to our hearts, they sustain and support us.

Consider the context of our verse. The people of Israel had just found out they were going to be sent into captivity to Babylon. They needed a word from the Lord, and He gave it … “Fear Not!” The Lord was on their side. Consider this; if the Lord is on our side, all must eventually be well.

The Lord is all-sufficient for every emergency and each need. In Christ we lack nothing. In Christ, we are graced with all-sufficient, spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). In Christ, we have enough to meet every necessity.

“Fear not.”

“Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head.”

Notice how the people of Israel are called worms yet the Lord has grace for them. And that’s the way it is with us. Jesus takes us at our worst and gives us grace. If He only took notice of us when we were great and continually strong, we would perish. But the Lord looks at us in our lowest … when we are down in the depths and gives us grace. Fear not!

These two words, ‘Fear Not’ revive, restore and renew us. He is not scolding us … He’s not saying …” Here you!! You’d best fear not!!! Now get it straight!!!

No! He says … “Fear not, I will help you. I, Yahweh will support you.”

We look at the future and there seems to be a mountain of rugged obstacles fast approaching us … But, here’s the good news. God is the God of the mountains. He is with us, no matter what we are going through. Fear Not!

Because of the shed blood of Calvary there is no longer separation between us and God. There are no mountains of division. As Paul says, “ For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39).

Fear not,

Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

“And though this world, with devils filled,

Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God has willed

His truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim—

We tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure,

For lo! his doom is sure,

Two little words shall fell him.”—Martin Luther.

Fear Not!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

This change must be worked by a power beyond your own

December 21, 2020 Leave a comment

And to conclude, let me remind you-and it is in the text after all-that this change must be worked by a power beyond your own. An enemy may possibly make himself a friend; but enmity cannot. If it be but an adjunct of his nature to be an enemy he may change himself into a friend; but if it is the very essence of his existence to be enmity, positive enmity, enmity cannot change itself. No, there must be something done more than we can accomplish. This is just what is forgotten in these days. We must have more preaching of the Holy Spirit, if we are to have more conversion work. I tell you, sirs, if you change yourselves, and make yourselves better, and better, and better, a thousand times, you will never be good enough for heaven, till God’s Spirit has laid his hand upon you; till he has renewed the heart, till he has purified the soul, till he has changed the entire spirit and new-made the man, there can be no entering heaven. How seriously, then, should each stand and think. Here am I, a creature of a day, a mortal born to die, but yet an immortal! At present I am at enmity with God. What shall I do? Is it not my duty, as well as my happiness, to ask, whether there be a way to be reconciled to God?

Oh! weary slaves of sin, are not your ways the paths of folly? Is it wisdom, O my fellow creatures, is it wisdom to hate your Creator? Is it wisdom to stand in opposition against him? Is it prudent to despise the riches of his grace? If it be wisdom, it is hell’s wisdom; if it be wisdom, it is a wisdom which is folly with God. Oh! May God grant that you may turn unto Jesus with full purpose of heart! He is the ambassador; he it is who can make peace through his blood; and though you came in here an enemy, it is possible you may go out through that door a friend yet, if you can but look to Jesus Christ, the brazen serpent which was lifted up.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

The Wednesday Word: A Little to a Lot

December 16, 2020 3 comments

The Lord can do a lot with a little. Just consider how in John 6:1-14 the Lord was given a little food (5 loaves and 2 fish) and turned it into a feast. Little was placed in hands of the Lord and He made it a lot. Isn’t that just like Jesus?

I recently read of how an evangelist was ministering many years ago in the Lake District of England. There he met an 80-year-old lady who told him how her shop had come into being. It all started in her Sunday school class when, one day, one of her young students came to her after class with a request. He held up a shining sixpence and said, “Please, Mrs. Cameron, will you give this sixpence to Jesus?” Startled, she almost told the child she couldn’t do that, but upon her shoulder she felt the restraining hand of the Lord who seemed to direct her, “Take it.” “Alright,” Mrs. Cameron told the boy, “I’ll give it to Jesus.”

That night she held up the sixpence and prayed, “Lord Jesus, this is your sixpence. What do you want me to do with it?”

The next morning, she took the sixpence and bought currants and self-rising flour and made some buns. She put them in the front window of her cottage on two plates, and within half an hour, they had all sold. With the money, she made more buns, and sold them. She continued making buns, selling buns, making buns and selling buns. After a time, she went down to the grocer. “Mr. Smith,” she asked, “would you have any damaged tins of beans, fruit, anything that you would sell to me at a reduced price?” “Why yes, Mrs. Cameron, I would.” So now in the front room window of her cottage she was selling, along with her buns, tins which were dented or had missing labels. This went on for a while, and then she thought, “Why not sell Bibles?” Soon she was selling buns, beans, and Bibles. She made so much money, she decided to remove her front window and to install a shop window. Then she began a line of Christian books. She was truly in business now, selling buns, beans, Bibles and books. Her sales continued to increase. Mrs. Cameron led the evangelist into her shop. “I want to show you something,” she said as she opened a ledger book. Turning the pages over, she pointed to listing after listing: George Mueller’s orphanage £125 (a considerable sum in those days) … £150, China Inland Mission … £200, Congo Evangelistic Mission. Page after page recorded money she had sent out across the world ministering to countless missionary organizations and orphanages … and it all began with a little boy’s sixpence.

It wasn’t so important what the boy had, but where he put it. He put it into the hands of Jesus.

Jesus is the Lord of multiplication and abundance. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). He is supernatural. The amazing thing is that He uses what we have to accomplish His purposes. What we have is what Christ uses. “But”, says someone, “I have so little faith.” That´s OK, just use what faith you have in His service and you will be amazed as to how the Lord Jesus works.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com