Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Atonement’

The Wednesday Word: “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE”

December 18, 2019 Leave a comment

“Neither do I condemn thee” John 8:11.

These are the priceless, life-giving words spoken by our Saviour to the woman taken in adultery. This poor creature was discovered in the actual act of fornication and dragged before Jesus by those who thought themselves righteous. These men knew full well Christ´s love and compassion for poor sinners and had no doubt heard His blistering denunciations against the Pharisees. But here was a case in which they were convinced Christ would be compelled to condemn this miserable woman.

There was no denial on her part. It appears she had nothing to say; … she was guilty. And like all of us when at first we stood guilty before God, we had no reason to give as to why a swift sentence should not be passed.

These men, the poor woman´s accusers, depended for their salvation upon their strict fulfilment of the ceremonial law and were judged accordingly. In other words, they relied upon themselves and their works. But when convicted by Christ´s words, “He that is without sin let him cast the first stone,” they were self-condemned and went out one by one.

There must have been surprise and joy on her part when He spoke the words, “Neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more.”

We must not forget, too, that these were not merely the words of a man, but the words of God. If He had condemned her, it would have been divine condemnation. But Jesus came not to condemn the world, but to save sinners. He will come one day to judge, but His mission then and now was and is to seek and to save those that were and are lost (Luke 19:10).

“Neither do I condemn thee.” What words of comfort to that poor woman! And He still says the same to all who come to Him with nothing to plead but His mercy.

Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” In other words, “Don´t commit adultery again. Turn away from it. I believe she was empowered to do just that because of Christ´s bold declaration, “Neither do I condemn you.” Grace gives life and power while the Law alone brings death.

Jesus could have said, “Serves you right” But He didn´t! BTW, “ It serves you right” is the response of the Pharisee and the graceless Christian (so-called). Oh, that all who name the name of Jesus would beware of that condemning spirit! I am afraid that we, God’s children, are too apt to condemn each other for failure.

“Neither do I condemn thee.” To the young and old Christian, alike, these are sweet words. Are you fearful that because you have failed the Lord Jesus that you, therefore, don´t belong to Him? That´s a lie. Go to Him, though your failures are many, His words remain the same, “Neither do I condemn thee.”

“But, I´m not sure I am saved,” you say.

OK, let me ask you, do you want to be one of His?”

Yes!

You question your salvation, but do you doubt Him?

No!

Do you believe that He died and rose again?

Yes!

Do you believe that He is the Lord?

Yes!

Then, you are His. Go to the Lord Christ. Look unto Him. His words are, “Neither do I condemn thee.” The Psalmist’s words are right, “Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him (Psalm 103:13). For He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). His mercy is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 103:17). If it were not so, who would stand? No one. He must and will uphold us from beginning to end. To Him be all the praise and glory!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: The Shepherd and the Sword

December 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Awake O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow” Zechariah 13:7.

The Lord Jesus came here to be the effective, substitute for sinners. As such, it pleased the Father to bruise Him. The decree went out from Yahweh Himself, “Smite the Shepherd.” That´s why we also read, “He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

Although Jesus went to the cross, He was under no compulsion to do so. No man took His life, He laid it down voluntarily (John 10:18). The Father decreed that the Shepherd would die and Jesus willingly fulfilled those wishes. Men, it seems, were the unwitting accomplices in carrying out the great, eternal purposes of redeeming grace.

But why did Jesus die? Is there anyone reading this who can answer? Is there a prophet or a son of a prophet who can shed some light on this matter? But wait, who is that long bearded man coming towards us. It is a seer. It´s Isaiah!

Let´s ask Isaiah. “Isaiah, we need some help here…why did Jesus, our Shepherd, die? “…and Isaiah without hesitation answers, “He was wounded. for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him … The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Thanks Isaiah! That shed much light on this question for us. (see Isaiah 53).

When Jesus died, He accepted the just penalty of His people’s sins. The sword was turned against the Shepherd. He died for our iniquities. He bore our sins. Who then can condemn us?

“Complete atonement Thou hast made,

And to the utmost farthing paid

Whate’er Thy people owed;

Nor can Thy wrath on me take place,

If sheltered in Thy righteousness,

And sprinkled with Thy blood.

“For my discharge Thou hast procured,

And freely in my room endured

The whole of Wrath Divine:

Payment God cannot twice demand,

First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,

And then again at mine”?

Augustus Toplady

Who then, is he that condemns? No one is qualified to do so. Christ has been convicted and punished in our place. This is the excellent ground of our assurance. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). Being redeemed, we are delivered from condemnation (Romans 8:1). The Father does not condemn those whom He, by the Spirit, has brought into Christ Jesus.

Another reason why none of the redeemed can be condemned is that Christ, not only died but is risen again. His resurrection proves that He has forever exhausted the entire penalty due to the sins of believers. He was raised again because He had secured our justification.

Bishop Pearson (1877) well said,

“By His death, we know that He suffered for sin,

By His resurrection, we are assured that the sins for which He suffered were not His own.

Had no man been a sinner, He would not have died;

Had He been a sinner, He would not have risen again.”

Because Christ is at the place of cosmic authority, no one can condemn us. He has entered heaven as the forerunner of His people (Hebrews 6:20). He is the advance guard, and we will follow.

Eternity with Jesus! …Just the thought of this is heaven. It´s no wonder the Hymn writer wrote;

“How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

In a believer´s ear

It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds

And drives away His fears.”

Right now, this very moment, Christ Jesus is representing us. We cannot, therefore, be condemned. We are dear to Him, He is our Priest and Advocate. He is the Shepherd who was smitten with the sword. He appears for us and intends to bring us to where He lives. There is no condemnation for us. We are eternally secure.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: OUR GLORIOUS SIN-BEARER Part 1

” Who himself bore Our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For you were as sheep going astray but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” I Peter 2: 24, 25.

Briefly, let´s consider 4 main points from this lovely text

(I) A Glorious Person;

(2) A Great Substitution;

(3) A Grand result;

(4) A God blessed evidence.

1. A Glorious Person,

Who is this glorious person? He is the Lord Jesus or as Robert Hawker used to call Him, “Our most glorious Christ.” He is God and Man in one Person. In these days when some preachers and teachers are denying the essential Deity of Christ, we have the joy and responsibility to exalt our Master in every way. He bore our sins! God Himself, as a man, stepped into our shoes and died in our place.

The Gospel is the good news of Christ. What an excellent statement of His glory we have in the opening words of the Epistle to the Hebrews. There we learn that Christ has been appointed heir of all things. He made the worlds; He is the brightness of the Father´s glory, and the express image of His person. He upholds all things by the word of His power. Yet this exalted One became the person of the cross. What humility! What astonishing truth!

What a glorious sin bearer!

2. A Great Substitution

” Who himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.”

We are sinners-great sinners. How are we, then, to get rid of the guilt of our sins?

There is only one way.

There is only One person who can remove it, …Jesus…and this He did by His substitutionary death. He is the great substitute.

“Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree.” The word ” bore” means to be carried-in a sacrificial sense. It is used in the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) of the placing of the victim upon the altar. The sin offering, in the Old Testament, carried the people’s sins to and upon the altar. However, it was merely a type and picture which looked forward to the arrival of the great Substitute. But Christ, the true sin offering, bore our sins- not typically- but by imputation. As Isaiah 53:6 tells us, ” The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

On the day of atonement, when we read “Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat .. , and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited” (Leviticus. 16: 21, 22). This was all done in anticipation of the arrival of the glorious sin-bearer.

Perhaps you are reading this, and you know you are lost. You know you are very far from God. Consider this: The iniquities of all Christ´s people met on Jesus. “Christ has once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). In the beautiful language of Toplady, we may say:

“From whence this fear and unbelief?

Has not the Father put to grief

His spotless Son for me?

And will the righteous Judge of men

Condemn me for that debt of sin

Which, Lord was charged to Thee?

“Turn then, my soul, unto your rest

The merits of your great High Priest

Have bought thy liberty;

Trust in His efficacious blood,

Nor fear thy banishment from God,

Since Jesus died for thee.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Eight Wonderful Facts about Jesus

´´ God… has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Hebrews 1:2-3.

In these verses we are told eight wonderful facts about the Lord Jesus

1. God´s final word to us is in Jesus.

Jesus is the full and final revelation from Heaven. There are no new Gurus or Messiahs to come. There are no new divine revelators. God has already spoken in the full and final manner in Christ.

2. Christ Jesus has been appointed heir of all things.

Everything belongs to him; everything in the world, every part of our lives is subject to him. Jesus “knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3) and knowing that all things that the Father had were His (John 16:15) declared that “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

3. By Christ Jesus, God made the world.

In the beginning God created the world by the word of his power. Jesus Christ is the WORD. ‘All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3). Spurgeon said, ´¨I love to think that He who created all things is also our Saviour, for then He can create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. If I need a completely new creation—as I certainly do—He is equal to the task. ¨

4. Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory.

No Prophet could claim this. The Glory that is in God is the Glory that is in Christ. No wonder that His name is above every name (Philippians 2:9). One day every knee shall bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10–11).

5. Jesus is the express image of His (God’s) person.

There is but one God. When Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus told him that whoever had seen him had seen the Father (John 14:9). He also said, ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me’ (John 14:11). As Spurgeon remarked, ’ ’Whatever God is, Christ is. The very likeness of God, the very Godhead of Godhead, the very Deity of Deity, is in Christ Jesus. ¨

6. Jesus is upholding all things by the word of his power.

Not only was the world created by him, but the forces of nature are upheld by him. The wind, the ocean, the rain are all are under his control. The small details of our lives are under His control too. He is carrying us along, bearing us toward that great and final day.

7. Jesus has purged our sins.

Notice how the writer moves effortlessly from Christ´s power to His purging. “The Creator and the Sustainer became the Sin-bearer. In order to create the universe, He only had to speak. In order to maintain and guide the universe, He only has to speak… but in order to put away our sin once for all, He had to die on the cross. It is staggering to think that the sovereign Lord would stoop to become the sacrificial Lamb. (Believer’s Bible Commentary)

8. Jesus is now sitting in cosmic authority.

Christ Jesus is now exalted—He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is now seated in highest honour. The seated posture is one of rest. Redemption has been accomplished. We are saved by His precious blood.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: The High Priest who Purged our Sins

September 21, 2016 Leave a comment

Hebrews 1:3, “Who by Himself purged our sins.”

What a stunning statement. Jesus, our High Priest, purged our sins. In other words, He removed them! That’s the kind of High Priest we need. Let any other religious leaders try to do this and their efforts will come to nothing. Buddha could not take away the sins of his people. Mohammed didn’t eradicate the sins of his followers. But, Christ Jesus, our High Priest, by Himself, purged our sins.

When Jesus purged the sins of His people, it was the fulfillment of that which had been pre-figured in the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:30). On that day, Israel was temporarily cleansed from her sins. Now, fast forward to Calvary. There, Jesus, by Himself, permanently purged our sins. He is the fulfilment and the reality of the great Day of Atonement.

But, how did He purge our sins? By His teaching? No! By His Doctrine? No! By His Spirit? No! He purged our sins, “By Himself.” What an excellent word! “Himself.” Some Bible versions leave it out, but it is Gospel Truth. Take these verses, for example. “Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:22). “By His own blood, He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12). “…..how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience (Hebrews 9:14)?”

By Himself, He purged our sins. All that He had and all that He was, He gave as our ransom.

By Himself, He purged our sins. What power! Think about it, He purged our sins before we had ever committed them. Before we had ever sinned, he fully exercised His ministry of purging. What authority, ability and grace! What a Saviour!

There’s an ancient fable that tells of how Hercules cleaned out the Augean stable. But, think about it,… that was an easy task compared to the purging of our sins. The stench of our sins was fouler than the most putrid of dunghills, Yet Jesus purged our sins, by Himself.

Who was this man, this Priest, who purged our sins? He is the heir of all things. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his person (Hebrews 1:2-3). He is the eternal God made flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). He is the one who was and is uniquely God and Man. He is not only our High Priest but also our Prophet and King. He offered Himself. The entire Christ was offered by Christ Himself!

He was High Priest, the Lamb, the Altar and the Sacrifice. It was His blood, His life, which was poured out. Because of that purging of our sins, by Jesus, our High Priest, both God and the believer can righteously approach each other and meet face to face. The distance between us has been destroyed. It has disappeared.

The sins are gone.

The guilt has gone.

The condemnation has gone.

The separation has gone.

The one sacrifice has been made and accepted. Christ, by Himself, purged our sins. It is finished!

Our approach to God is now secure. The High Priest has purged our sins. The door to eternity is open. The High Priest has purged our sins. The veil is torn from the top to the bottom. The High Priest has purged our sins. The dread of God has been removed, the hiding is over, because our priest, by Himself has purged our sins.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Beginning the New Year with the Blood

What better way to begin this New Year other than preaching to ourselves about the Blood of Christ.

Among other things we could remind ourselves that,

1. We have redemption through the Blood (Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18; Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 5:9).
2. We have remission of sins through the Blood (Hebrews 9:22).
3. We are sanctified through the Blood (Hebrews 13:12).
4. We have a purged conscience by the Blood (Hebrews 9:14).
5. We have forgiveness of sins through the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
6. We have peace with God through the Blood (Colossians 1:20).
7. We are cleansed by the Blood (1 John 1:7).
8. We have been washed by the Blood (Revelation 1:5).
9. We have been made kings and priests through the Blood (Revelation 1:5-6).
10. We overcome the devil by the Blood (Revelation 12:11).
11. We are justified by the Blood (Romans 5:9).
12. We are reconciled to God by the Blood (Romans 3:24, 25).
13. We enter into the holiest by the Blood (Hebrews 10:19).
14. We are made nigh to God by the Blood (Ephesians 2:13).
15. Christ’s Blood is precious (1 Peter 1:18).

On the first ever Passover, the Lord said, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” He didn‘t say, “When I see how you feel about the blood, I will pass over you” or, “When I see you weeping and mourning because of your sins, I will pass over you.” No, He said; “When I see the blood, I will pass over you (Exodus 12:13).”

It was the blood that saved the Israelites, not their righteousness, not their fear, not their feelings. They were saved by the Father’s estimation of the Blood.

Some people say, “If I were only a better person, I would feel safe before God.” But, here’s the gospel truth, we don‘t need to enquire about the depth of our goodness. Our goodness cannot get us right with God. Indeed, the Lord says that our righteousness, not our sin, is like a filthy rag. The biggest problem God has with us is not our sin, it’s our righteousness (Isaiah 64:6).

The very best man has done is like a filthy rag before God. This is why we by faith look away from ourselves to the blood. Our atonement and reconciliation has been accomplished outside of us, apart from us in history.

We need, therefore, to ask whether or not we are sheltered under the blood? If we are, we are safer than any man or woman who has prayed without ceasing, given their finances and sacrificed for the cause of the gospel for 100 years. It is not their righteousness and good works that are going to save them. Good works, long hours of prayer and devotion, while commendable, have never saved anyone. The Father says, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” And when we are sheltered beneath the blood of Christ Jesus, we are saved; but if not shielded, we are lost.

The blood of Christ is our only refuge and protection from the wrath to come. Christ’s blood has been shed. His blood is now on the mercy-seat. Faith alone takes a hold of this remarkable truth and makes it our own.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Who Killed Jesus?

Many people say that the Jews killed Jesus but is that true? If the only evidence on the matter were Acts 2:23, one however, would indeed be led to believe in their total responsibility. In that verse, Peter tells his Jewish audience, in no uncertain terms, that they were guilty of slaying the Son of God. So then is it true, that the Jews killed the Lord Christ? Mmmm!! Maybe not! Consider this, no actual Jewish person nailed His hands and feet to the cross. No Jewish soldiers whipped Him and crowned His lovely head with thorns. So why then did Peter say it was the Jews who took Christ, and by wicked hands crucified and slew Him? The answer is this, Peter, under divine influence, imputed the crime of Christ’s death to them. The grizzled bearded leaders of Israel had planned and schemed for Christ’s death, and now the nation itself was reckoned as being guilty of having committed the vulgar and violent crime. Guilt was imputed and reckoned to them because of the actions of others.

This matter of imputation is a serious business and not, as some suggest, a legal fiction. The Jews were guilty, by imputation, and treated as such by God. We also know that although the Jews plotted and planned His death, they did not physically kill Jesus. They couldn’t! Why not? Because Jesus, speaking of His life, plainly said, “No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18). The Lord’s death was His own doing! His life was not taken by any man or group of men!

In Hebrews 7:27 we read that Christ offered himself as a sacrifice. In other words, Jesus, as it were, placed Himself on the sacrificial altar. He was not a helpless martyr reluctantly pulled along by crushing events. He was the Sovereign Lord in charge of all that happened. He was the master and commander of His destiny. Although Pilate sent Him to the cross, Pilate was not the one who killed Him. Guilty as Caiaphas may have been, he did not slaughter the Christ. Christ Himself moved history towards Calvary and there as our High Priest offered Himself as a perfect, sinless sacrifice without blemish.

Do you see His sovereignty here? Let me explain. Unless the Lord returns in our lifetime, we will all die. That’s just the way it is. When the shrouded figure of death points his icy finger at us, we cannot resist. We are powerless against him. Yet Christ went to the cross and chose the very moment of death. Death was not His master. He chose not to die until He was good and ready. We, on the other hand, are powerless against death. Ecclesiastes 8:8 points out, “There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither has he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war;” …. but this scripture is not true of Jesus. He was the only one who ever lived who had the authority and ability to lay down His life (John 10:18). At the precise second, at the fixed moment of His choosing. He humbled Himself unto death (Philippians 2:8) and voluntarily dismissed His spirit (John 19:30).

Jesus chose the exact moment of His death. The truth is; He need never have died — even on the Cross. He had the power to sustain His life had He wished to (John 5:26). But His earthly life was one of voluntarily relinquishing His divine prerogatives. His 33 years here were ones of loving identification with His people. When the redemption of His sheep was complete, and not until then, did the Great Shepherd, as an act of His free-will, bow his head to death.

Hallelujah! What a Saviour

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com