The Wednesday Word: ‘Until’

September 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Lk 15:4; “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he finds it?

Perhaps you know the story of an ad that appeared in the “Lost and Found” section of a local paper. It read, “Lost Dog: Crippled in front paw, blind in left eye, mange on back and neck, tail missing. Answers to the name ‘Lucky.’

Funny!

Actually, Lucky was a blessed dog because, in spite of all that was wrong with him, somebody loved him and was searching for him.

In point of fact, we’re a bit like old Lucky. God loves us, not for any quality about us or in us, but loves us because He loves us with the love of grace and the grace of love.

Wonder of wonders! God came to seek and to save that which was lost and He kept seeking UNTIL He found us. He has found and rescued us. He will never leave or lose us.

Let’s say it again, we were lost and Jesus found us. And what part did we play in this drama? Did we help to find ourselves? No indeed! Our part was to stray and we did it with excellence. My friend Keith Lamb says it like this, ‘The only thing God expected from us was sin and He was never disappointed.’

The just and holy Law of God had come rightly demanding that we love God with all. According to this Law, we ought to have Him as our first priority. But we went astray. None of us sought God with our whole hearts (Romans 3:11).

Nevertheless, all hope had not vanished, for Grace said, I will come and seek until I find! “But Brother,” you say, “What about our free will?” Listen to me, our wills are free only to wander farther and farther from the Love and Mercy of the Saviour. We by nature are lost sinners. Many people generally admit to being sinners but precious few admit to being lost sinners and nothing else.

Nonetheless, our Shepherd seeks us ‘Until’ He finds. What determination and persistence…..Until!!! None of the barricades we erected got in His way. Not the barricade of Self -righteousness, not that of indifference, neither the enmity towards our Saviour nor the hatred of men…none of these things deterred Him in His search, for He seeks UNTIL He finds.

‘I sought the Lord, and afterwards I knew

He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.

It was not I who found, O Saviour true,

No, I was found by Thee.’

Here’s a beautiful truth bathed in Gospel understanding. When we find Christ, we discover that we were the ones who were lost and it was He who did all the finding.

There is no other faith like this. Gospel Christianity stands apart from all other ways of approaching God. Religion demands that we make every effort to get to God…but the God who seeks the lost and seeks until He finds is a revolutionary idea birthed in Heaven.

Only the lost can be found by Jesus,

In much the same way, only the sick need a Doctor

And only the self-satisfied cannot receive grace.

Only the poor in Spirit can receive the riches of Grace.

And it’s only the naked who can be clothed.

It’s all of Grace!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter X-Total Inability-7-Scripture Proof

September 12, 2018 Leave a comment

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter X

Total Inability

7. SCRIPTURE PROOF

1Co_2:14: The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.

Gen_2:17: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Rom_5:12: Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.

2Co_1:9: Yea, we ourselves had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead.

Eph_2:1-3: And you did He make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; among whom ye also all once lived in the lusts of your flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Eph_2:12: Ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Jer_13:23: Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Psa_51:5: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.

Joh_3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Rom_3:10-12: As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one; There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good. no, not so much as one.

Job_14:4: Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

1Co_1:18: For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.

Act_13:41: Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish; For I work a work in your days, A work which ye shall in no wise believe, if one declare it unto you.

Pro_30:12: There is a generation that are pure in their own eye, And yet are not washed from their filthiness.

Joh_5:21: For as the Father raiseth the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son also giveth life to whom He will.

Joh_6:53: Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have not life in yourselves.

Joh_8:19: They said therefore unto Him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye know neither me, nor my Father; if ye knew me, ye would know my Father also.

Mat_11:25: I thank thee, O Father Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes.

2Co_5:17: If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature.

Joh_14:16: (And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever,) even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; ye know Him; for He abideth with you, and shall be in you.

Joh_3:19: And this is the judgment, that light is come unto the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.

1 Ch. IX, sec. III.

2 Bondage of the Will, p. 125.

3 Warburton, Calvinism, p. 48.

4 Warfield, Biblical Doctrines, p. 440.

5 What is Calvinism, pp. 125-127.

6 A. A. Hodge, pamphlet, Presbyterian Doctrine, p. 23.

7 A. A. Hodge, pamphlet, Presbyterian Doctrine, pp. 19, 20.

8 Warburton, Calvinism, p. 34.

9 Systematic Theology, II, pp. 198, 199, 201.

10 Presbyterian Doctrine, p. 21.

11 Theology, p. 330.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Using the law of contrast

September 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Ere leaving this division of our subject, one other example of its importance and value. By making use of the law of contrast we are able decisively to determine the controversy which Socinians have raised upon that momentous verse, For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we [which were destitute of acceptable obedience] might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor-inthians 5:21). That is one of the profoundest and most comprehensive statements to be found in the Scriptures concerning the atonement, containing as it does a brief epitome of the whole plan of salvation. Enemies of the Gospel insist that the “made sin” ought to be translated “made a sin offering,” but such is entirely inadmissible, for in that case the antithesis would require us to render “that we might be made a righteous-offering of God in Him”—a manifest absurdity. The contrast which is here drawn fixes the exact meaning of the terms used. Believers are legally constituted righteous in Christ before God, and therefore the contrast demands that Christ was legally constituted sin—guilty in the eyes of God’s Law. The grand truth affirmed in this verse is the exchange of places with the counter imputations thereof: our sins were reckoned to the account of our Surety, rendering Him judicially guilty; His obedience is reckoned to our account, rendering us judicially righteous before God.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

So the worldling says there is no Holy Ghost, because he cannot see it Well, but we feel it

September 10, 2018 Leave a comment

The unregenerate world of sinners despises the Holy Ghost, “because it seeth him not.” Yes, I believe this is the great secret why many laugh at the idea of the existence of the Holy Ghost — because they see him not. You tell the worldling, “I have the Holy Ghost within me.” He says, “I cannot see it.” He wants it to be something tangible: a thing he can recognize with his senses. Have you ever heard the argument used by a good old Christian against an infidel doctor? The doctor said there was no soul, and he asked, “Did you ever see a soul?” “No,” said the Christian. “Did you ever hear a soul?” “No.” “Did you ever smell a soul?” No.” “Did you ever taste a soul?” “No.” “Did you ever feel a soul?” “Yes,” said the man — “I feel I have one within me.” “Well,” said the doctor, “there are four senses against one: you have only one on your side.” “Very well,” said the Christian, “Did you ever see a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever hear a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever smell a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever taste a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever feel a pain?” “Yes,” “And that is quite enough, I suppose, to prove there is a pain?” “Yes.” So the worldling says there is no Holy Ghost, because he cannot see it. Well, but we feel it. You say that is fanaticism, and that we never felt it. Suppose you tell me that honey is bitter, I reply “No, I am sure you cannot have tasted it; taste it, and try.” So with the Holy Ghost, if you did but feel his influence, you would no longer say there is no Holy Spirit, because you cannot see it. Are there not many things, even in nature, which we cannot see? Did you ever see the wind? No; but ye know there is wind, when ye behold the hurricane tossing the waves about and rending down the habitations of men; or when in the soft evening zephyr it kisses the flowers, and maketh dewdrops hang in pearly coronets around the rose. Did ye ever see electricity? No, but ye know there is such a thing, for it travels along the wires for thousands of miles, and carries our messages, though you cannot see the thing itself, you know there is such a thing. So you must believe there is a Holy Ghost working in us, both to will and to do, even though it is beyond our senses.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Personality of the Holy Ghost,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 21, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 2d-The Covenant of Works

September 7, 2018 Leave a comment

We have now seen the covenant of works, in its nature, in its demands, in its blessings, and in its penalty. Let us, in conclusion, contemplate it in relation to man as a sinner.

The violation of the covenant did not cancel his obligations still to obey all its requirements. Whatever disabilities may have been incurred by the transgression, and especially by the consequent depravity of human nature, our relations to the law were not thereby changed. Are those who transgress the laws of our country thereby absolved from the penalty denounced against future obedience? Surely not. Are the loss of the inclination, and even the ability, when it is a consequence of previous sin, a sufficient apology for not complying with the demands of justice; and truth, to the utmost practicable extent? A drunkard may have no wish, and he may have lost much of his power, to keep sober. Is it, therefore, no sin for him to be drunken? No such principle obtains in any equitable human government. Nor does it in the government of God. Embracing, as we have seen, in its nature, all those principles which constitute holiness, justice, and truth, this covenant remained not only unimpaired in its claims, by its primitive transgression, but continues in every age in full farce. You are, therefore, today, as much obliged to be conformed to its injunctions as were our first parents before the fall. You do not obey them. Therefore, you, also are a sinner, and justly condemned before God.

You inherit the condition of our first parents in other respects also, and especially in their exposure to misery and death, spiritual, temporal, and eternal. The covenant, while observed, guarded their holiness, their happiness, and their life. By its violation, that guard was removed, and all was lost. They stood before God, guilty and ruined! And so, for any thing man can do, they, and their posterity must stand forever. It is a characteristic inherent in the very nature of justice, that once a man is an offender, he can never afterwards be by the same law, pronounced innocent of crime. He may have been pure up to that hour; he may be pure ever after; he may weep perpetual tears of penitence over his crime; but he is an offender still, and if justice is permitted to speak, she will pronounce him guilty. This is true of human laws; and how much more of the laws of God! Such was the condition of man, when he had violated the covenant of works. Our first parents had sinned. They were cursed. Penitence for their crime could not change the fact. No subsequent good action could expiate their guilt. What hope had they? The covenant, the only law of which they had any knowledge, could not save them, because it contained no provisions for pardon; because it was a faithful reflection of God’s own holy character, and must be enforced; and because with sin came depravity, for the removal of which it provided no method. What blessing could this violated covenant now confer? It could only repeat perpetually, and it ever continues to repeat, guilty; guilty; guilty! In this attitude did they stand before God; and thus out of Christ, do we all stand before God; criminal, and helpless, and lost!

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 185

September 6, 2018 Leave a comment

TO YOUNG PEOPLE

MENTONE, Jan. 23, 1874.

MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS, —

I am delighted to hear that you came together in such large numbers last Monday in my absence, for I hope it shows a real and deep anxiety among the seekers to find the Savior, and among the saved ones to plead for others. You do not need the voice of any one man to secure your attention; the Word of the Lord Jesus, by whomsoever spoken, is life and power. It is to Him that you must turn all your thoughts. Sin has separated between you and your God, and Christ alone can bring you back to your Heavenly Father. Be sure that you remember what it cost Him to prepare the way of reconciliation; nothing but His blood could have done it, and He gave it freely, bowing His head to death upon the tree. It must have been no light matter which cost the Redeemer such a sacrifice; I beseech you, do not make light of it. Hate the sin which caused Him so much agony, and yield to the love which sustained Him under it.

I hear that in London you have had fogs and rain, here it is all flowers and summer, and the difference reminds me of the change which faith makes in the soul. While we are unbelievers, we dread the wrath of God, and walk in gloom; but when we believe, we have peace with God, and enjoy His favor, and the spring of an eternal summer has commenced. May the Spirit of God, like the soft south wind, breathe upon you, and make your hearts bloom with desires, blossom with hopes, and bring forth fruits of repentance! From Jesus He proceeds, and to Jesus He leads the soul. Look to Him. Oh, look to Him; to Him alone; to Him simply; to Him at once!

Your anxious friend,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: He Came, He Sought, He Saved

September 5, 2018 Leave a comment

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10.

He Has Come

What a beautiful word is that word ‘Come.’ The Lord says;

“Come now let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).

“Come unto me all you that are weary and heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28).

“Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for thee” (Matthew 25:34).

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

And; “….this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11).

What a marvelous little word is the word ‘COME’.

He has Come to Seek

In the Old Testament, in Deuteronomy 4:29, we are told “..seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”

What a wonderful promise, but no one attains to it. Such a degree of passion for the Lord was and is unreachable. Seek with all your heart and soul ?? …that scuppered the most diligent of us. This is why we read in Romans 3:11 ‘there is none that seeks God.’

But because of our inability to seek with all our heart and soul, Emmanuel, God with us, came to this earth to seek us. In Christ, we are now perfect seekers.

Adam, our first Father was sought by God, but Adam ran away. That’s where we learned our skills of avoiding God. Adam wasn’t looking for God, He was desperate to escape from his Creator and thus went into hiding. Sin had made both him and his descendants cowards.

Jesus came to this Earth to seek. He came and sought out the big uneducated fishermen on the shores of Galilee.

He sought the young, fit tax-collector, Zacchaeus and by His Spirit, He is still seeking today!

But not only did He come to seek …

He Has Come to Save

The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). Notice the precision of this verse. Jesus (the Grace of God) has come to bring salvation. He didn’t come to attempt to bring salvation. He had and has a mission, a task, a goal. He has come with a purpose.

He didn’t come to teach academic studies.

He didn’t come to settle political differences.

He didn’t come to tickle the ears of His listeners.

He came to seek and to save.

He came to make an atonement by the shedding of His blood. He came to save us from the penalty, pleasure and ultimately the presence of sin.

In Conclusion

Finally, who did He come to seek and to save? He came to seek and to save the ‘lost’. And here’s the truth of the matter: until a person is lost they cannot be found!

I love the following story. George Whitefield, one of the greatest Gospel ministers since the days of the apostles, had a brother who was far from God.

One day as the Countess of Huntingdon was witnessing to him over a cup of tea he said to her,

“I know what you have said is very proper, and I believe in the infinite mercy and goodness of God. But I do not believe it applies to me, for I am a lost man.”

The Countess put down her tea and said, “I am glad to hear it, Mr. Whitefield!”

“Madam,” he said, “I did not think you would rejoice and glory in a thing so terrible as that.”

“I am glad to hear you say you are lost Mr. Whitefield,” she said, “for it is written that Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

His eyes sparkled, and he said, “I thank God for that text, and for the extraordinary power with which it has now come into my heart.”

He died later that night.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com