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The Wednesday Word: Tell it Like it Is

The famous Irish scholar and wit, John Pentland Mahaffy, was once asked if he was a Christian. He replied, “Yes, but not offensively so.”

Unfortunately, there are many professing believers who line up with his point of view. They don’t take their stand for the truth of the Word. They have let the world’s standards dictate what is right and wrong. They keep silent about the real Jesus.

You see, there is an inate offence in the Christ of the Bible (Romans 9:33; Galatians 5:11; 1 Peter 2:7-8). When we tell of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the fact that there is no salvation outside of Him, people get offended. That’s just the way it is.

Let’s get this straight. The Gospel is not the instruction manual of what we must do to be saved. No indeed! The Gospel is the story of that which has already been done to save us. The Gospel is not about a set of demands placed on us. Rather it is about the demands placed upon the Lord Christ. Proud, self-righteous ‘List-Men’ are offended by this, but poor despised, degraded ‘publicans and sinners’ seldom are.

The power of God is in the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). To faithfully declare this Gospel, we, therefore, must avoid offering a formula of works for salvation. That means we must be careful about using expressions such as “Ask Jesus into your heart” or “Give your life to Christ.” These expressions must be left out of our vocabulary if we are to powerfully present the Gospel!

I know, I know—-Ask Jesus into your heart (i.e., to be saved), is one of the most common sentences in modern Evangelical circles. However, it is sheer un-biblical humanism. It puts man in control of his salvation. It asks man for a contribution. It tells him to ‘do’ something rather than receive that which has already been ‘done.’

Salvation, however, is not a decision originating in man; it is from start to finish the work of God. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!

Furthermore, the terminology, “ask Jesus into your heart” although a well-meaning phrase is backwards and deceptive. The spiritually dead and ungodly person is made acceptable to God only “in Christ,” and not because they prayed to ask Jesus into their hearts. It is a sovereign working of the Holy Spirit that places a person into Christ!

Do you know anyone who is being made hungry for God? Then tell them about the Christ who shed His blood.

Urge them to believe!

Tell them that Christ’s blood cleanses from all sin (1 John 1:7).

Urge them to believe!

Let them know that His blood justifies (acquits) (Romans 5:9).

Urge them to believe!

Share the good news that the blood brings us near to God (Ephesians 2:13).

Urge them to believe!

Tell them that through Christ’s blood there is redemption, even the forgiveness of sin (Ephesians 1:7).

Urge them to believe!

Let them know that the blood of Christ purges the conscience (Hebrews 9:14),

Urge them to believe!

Make it clear to them that only Christ’s blood makes peace between God and man (Colossians 1:20).

Urge them to believe!

Make it known that the blood gives, “boldness to enter into the holiest” (Hebrews 10:19).

Urge them to believe!

There is no deeper work of God than the Christ event. Regardless of who it offends, shout it from the rooftops!

There is no more profound revelation of truth, power, majesty and light than Christ Jesus Himself…may we live to declare Him!

He is our Gospel! Let the nations know about Him!

Why should we be silent about the message that gives us a Saviour who has so identified with us that He has purchased us with His own blood?

We have a Shepherd who has given His life for His sheep. He has risen from the dead to bring us safely home to glory? Urge your friends to look unto Jesus alone for their salvation.

Tell it like it is!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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Duty of Believing in Jesus Christ: Introduction- Book Fifth

Book Fifth

INTRODUCTION.

DUTY OF BELIEVING IN JESUS CHRIST.[1]

In close connection with repentance for sin, the Word of God enjoins the duty of believing in Christ; “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel;[2] “Testifying repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”[3] Both the duties relate to men as sinners, and without the performance of them, escape from the penalty of sin is impossible. The requirement of faith, in addition to repentance, proves that mere sorrow for sin will not suffice; and the passages of Scripture are numerous in which faith is expressly declared to be necessary to salvation; “Preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.”[4] “Without faith it is impossible to please him.”[5] “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”[6] “He that believeth not, is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”[7]

These clear proofs that faith is necessary to salvation, render it important to understand the nature of faith. And since the saving benefit does not result from every kind of exercise of faith, but only from faith in Christ, what it is to believe in Jesus Christ, is an inquiry of highest interest.

Every one who reflects on the operations of his own mind, will perceive that faith lies at the foundation of every mental affection, and of every purpose to act. The testimony of our senses must be believed, before external objects can awaken any emotion in the mind; and the uniformity of nature’s laws, and the deductions of our reason, must be believed before we can resolve to shun a precipice, or to labor for a future crop. In the ordinary affairs of life, faith is the basis of action. The man who believes that his house is on fire, or that a rich treasure is buried under it, acts accordingly. It is equally true that faith lies at the foundation of every religious affection and of every religious duty. He who loves God, and delights in his will and works, must believe that he is, and that the will and works in which he delights are realities, and possess the qualities which his mind attributes to them. He who repents of sin, must believe that the sin of which he repents has been committed, and that it possesses the evil nature which he condemns and loathes. So, in everything else, faith is the foundation of all religion.

In the view which has been taken, faith is merely intellectual, and does not imply any emotion, either pleasurable or painful. It may immediately excite emotions, pleasurable or painful, according to the character of the truth believed, and the state of mind in which it is received. The belief of one truth gives pleasure; pleasure to one mind and pain to another. So, the truth of God, which a man dislikes while he is unconverted, is delighted in after his heart has been changed.

Faith, in this general sense, is necessary to the obedience of holy creatures, and mingles with all the holy exercises of their minds. But holy beings are incapable of repentance, because they have no sin to repent of; and they are unable to approach to God through Christ as guilty beings, seeking pardon. The Gospel addresses men as sinners, and presents Christ to them as the Saviour of sinners; and the faith in Christ which it requires, is the receiving of the truth which it declares concerning Christ.

Although faith may be contemplated as merely intellectual, and as antecedent to all emotion; it is not, in this abstract view of it, that faith in Christ is enjoined in the Gospel, and has the promise of salvation. Men must receive “the love of the truth, that they may be saved,”[8] as well as the truth itself. A merely intellectual faith, without the love of the truth believed, cannot produce the proper fruits of faith; for “faith worketh by love;”[9] and it cannot secure the blessings promised to faith; for “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.”[10] A faith which dwells exclusively in the intellect, and leaves the heart untouched and cold, is the dead faith which the apostle James describes.[11]

Faith in Christ, is faith in the declarations of the Gospel concerning Christ; and it is faith in these as coming from God. It is the receiving of God’s testimony concerning his Son; and, in this view of it, we see the great sinfulness of unbelief; for he who believeth not, hath made God a liar.[12] We see, also, how firm a foundation is laid for strong faith. The Gospel is the Word of God that cannot lie. Our senses may deceive us and the deductions of our reason may be false. Relying on these, we may err, in things pertaining to the present life; but, in laying hold on life eternal, we may believe the truth of God with unwavering confidence. His word cannot fail.

Faith in Christ is necessary to salvation. We may believe many things that God has said in his Holy Word, without believing in Christ; and we may believe many truths concerning Christ, without possessing that faith in him which has the promise of eternal life. True faith receives Christ entire, as he is presented in the Gospel. If any part of his character, of his offices, or of his doctrine, is unwelcome to the heart, true faith does not dwell there. A perfect knowledge of Christ is not necessary to true faith; otherwise true faith would be impossible; for the riches of Christ are unsearchable,[13] and his love passeth knowledge.[14] But the true believer delights in Christ, just so far as he has knowledge of him; and desires to know more of him, that he may be more filled with his love. The revelation made to the Old Testament saints was obscure; but, so far as they could see Christ, in the light which was afforded them, they rejoiced to see his day and were glad.[15]

From the necessity of faith in Christ may be inferred the greatness of Christ’s character. When Jesus said, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins,”[16] he claimed an importance to which Isaiah or Paul could never have aspired. When the ministers of his religion taught, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,”[17] they ascribed to him an office of exceeding greatness. If we believe in Christ, according to the Scriptures, we fully justify all that he claimed for himself, and all that his apostles claimed for him; and we rejoice to render to him all honor and praise.

We may consider the question proposed to us; “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” On the decision of this question our eternal all depends. As guilty sinners we are under condemnation, and the wrath of God abides on us. Among all the beings in the universe, no deliverer can be found, except Jesus Christ and there is no salvation possible, except by faith in him. It is, therefore, an inquiry of infinite importance whether we believe in him. The man, to whom the question was proposed by the Saviour, very pertinently asked in turn, “Who is he, that I might believe on him?” We are about to institute the inquiry, Who is he? While we search the Holy Scriptures, to find the answer, let us take heed to it that we believe in him with all our hearts. Let us rejoice to discover that he is mighty to save; and that he is, in every particular, just such a Saviour as we need. While we study his character and works, let us receive him into our hearts, and yield ourselves up to him, as bought with his blood, and seek to glorify him with our bodies and spirits, which are his.

[1] Acts xvi. 31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.

John ix. 35. Dost thou believe on the Son of God? Who is he, that I might believe on him?

[2] Mark i. 15.

[3] Acts xx. 21.

[4] Mark xvi. 15, 16.

[5] Heb. xi. 6.

[6] John iii. 36.

[7] John iii. 18.

[8] 2 Thess. ii. 10.

[9] Gal. v. 6.

[10] Rom. x. 10.

[11] James ii. 26.

[12] 1 John v. 10.

[13] Eph. iii. 8.

[14] Eph. iii. 19.

[15] John viii. 56.

[16] John viii. 24.

[17] Acts iv. 12.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

Hold fast the form of sound words which thou hast heard

CharlesSpurgeonI need not stop this morning to prove to you that which I have briefly hinted at as a form of sound words, because you believe it, and believe it firmly. I am not about to urge you to receive it, because I know you have already received it; but what I have to say is, “Hold fast,” I beseech you, “the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

The Wednesday Word: A Few Reasons why I believe the Bible

February 25, 2015 2 comments

The Bible is not the book of the year, it is the book of the ages. It has outsold, outlasted and surpassed in reach more than all other books put together. However, not so long ago, personal reading of the Bible was frowned upon in my native Ireland.

In fact, in many countries, the Bible has been burned and banned. Indeed, rather than accept that the Bible is God’s word, many still deny, distort and disregard its gracious truths. “Oh, we can’t believe the Bible,” some sneeringly say, “Science disproves it.” Well, I’ll be the first to admit that the Bible is not a science textbook. It isn’t meant to be. It’s a book that teaches us about God, His character and His redemption through Jesus Christ. However, when someone says that science disproves the Bible, they are incorrect. They would be more accurate if they said that some science disagrees with certain parts of the Bible. Disagreement, however, neither proves nor disproves anything.

Given enough time, science will catch up with the truths of the Scriptures. Science, you see, is always changing and developing. For example, it is reported that in 1861, the French Academy of Science printed a brochure giving 51 incontrovertible scientific facts as to why the Bible was in error. Today, not one scientist believes in any of these so called proofs.

Again, for thousands of years, the science of the day maintained that the earth was flat. In 1492, as his ears rang loud with warnings that he would fall off the edge of the world, poor old Columbus set sail to discover new lands. But the earth wasn’t flat. The Bible had said this all along. 2,700 years ago the Bible prophet Isaiah stated, “It is He that sits on the circle of the Earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word “Circle” is literally the word for sphere or globe! So, how did Isaiah know that the earth was a sphere? That’s simple. God told him (2 Peter 1:21).

God’s word is never changing, but science is. For example, we take it for granted that the earth is suspended in space. But science didn’t always believe that. In ancient Egypt, they believed that the earth rested on 5 pillars. The Greeks, in turn, believed that it was supported by a giant named Atlas. The ancient Hindus believed that the world rested on the backs of giant elephants who in turn rested on a giant turtle who rested on the back of a coiled serpent swimming in a cosmic sea. But we don’t find anything like that in the Bible. What we do find, however, is Job 26:7 which informs us, “He hangs the earth upon nothing!” Wow! How did Job know that? That’s simple. God told him.

Again, consider how in 150 BC, Hipparchus the astronomer charted the heavens and concluded there were 1,022 stars. A few hundred years later, Ptolemy, said that due to scientific advances he could now tell that Hipparchus was incorrect. There were not 1,022 stars, there were, in fact, 1,026. Then, 1300 years later, along came Galileo with his telescope and reckoned that the stars numbered in their 1000s. Was he correct? Far from it! Astronomers now estimate that there are at least 12 octillion stars in the known galaxies.

However, no one needed to calculate the number of the celestial luminaries. Jeremiah, the Bible prophet, had already let them know. He stated explicitly that the host of heaven (the stars) cannot be numbered (Jeremiah 33:22). How did he know that? It’s simple. God told him.

If time and space were to allow, we could discuss another reason why I believe the Bible and that is the reliability of Bible prophesy. It’s fascinating. Names like Josiah, Cyrus and Daniel would be prominent. The precise prophesy concerning the destruction of Babylon would be noted. We could also observe the Bible’s accuracy in foretelling the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ. We could likewise note how the Lord Jesus endorsed the Bible as being God’s book. However, those things must wait for another time.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: The Believing Believer

September 24, 2014 1 comment

It is the Holy Spirit alone who draws us to the cross and fastens us to the Saviour. He is the revealer of Christ. Just as the Son brings us to the Father so the Spirit brings us to the Son. In the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have the gift of Christ Himself (John 14:18). What a splendid gift!

To become believers, we need the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost. If we think that anyone can come alive to God without the power and action of the Spirit, we have yet to learn the extent of human sinfulness and helplessness. We were dead in trespasses and sin and, therefore, needed divine intervention to bring us to life (Ephesians 2:1). That’s why we read in Ephesians 2:8-9, “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

The Holy Spirit generates faith and it is this faith that links the sinner to the Sin-bearer. Faith, however, does not qualify us to receive God’s acquittal, for salvation is by grace alone. Faith, on the other hand, receives and understands the sufficiency of His great sacrifice for our sin. Faith makes the gospel personal. Faith sees that the Faithful Shepherd has laid down His life, not merely for the sheep (John 10:11), but for us in particular. Faith causes us to see that the Lord Jesus came to this earth for the express purpose of ransoming, not in general (Matthew 20:28), but in particular (Galatians 2:20b). Faith sees that Christ came not simply to say something about our sin, but to do something about our sin. Indeed, faith sees that Christ came, not primarily to preach the gospel but that we would have a gospel to preach. Faith recognizes that salvation is something that God has already accomplished outside of us, in the person of Jesus (Acts 13:32-33, 38-39). Faith lifts us up to heaven where our righteousness resides in a person, the Lord Jesus, and receives His righteousness as our own.

 

“The best obedience of my hands

Dares not appear before thy throne;

But faith can answer thy demands,

By pleading what the Lord has done.”

 

Faith is not something that buys us salvation; the believing believer knows this and takes God at his word. The believer gives God credit for speaking the honest truth when he declared that, “Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Faith recognizes that because of Christ’s death for sinners, no further payment is necessary!

But what if my faith is weak?

All of us, at times, suffer from weak faith, nevertheless our rest comes from two words–‘in Christ’ (1 Corinthians 1:30a; 1 Corinthians 15:22). We are in union with Christ, we are in Him. His destiny is our destiny. The strength of our faith, therefore, is not our security. Faith is not the purchaser of our salvation. Faith has no blood with which to pay for anything. Christ alone has bought us! Christ alone has redeemed us. A weak faith may indeed sometimes interfere with our enjoyment of salvation, but our security is in Christ alone. He is our covenant head. All that He has is ours! We may feel like the lowest and the least; we may feel that we are too weak to even grasp the promises—but no matter, the promises have grasped us. Our Saviour has already taken a hold of us and He will never lose us (Hebrews 13:5).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles McKee, Minister of the Gospel

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A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-13-Repentance and Faith

January 16, 2014 1 comment

Repentance and Faith

 

1. What is Repentance?

It is sorrow for sin, accompanied by a determination, with the help of God, to sin no longer.

2. Do we truly repent every time we are sorry for sin?

No; our sorrow may be from wrong motives.

3. Suppose our sorrow arises merely from the fear of detection or punishment?

In that event, it is not true repentance.

4. What kind of sorrow, then, is involved in true repentance?

A sorrow which makes us hate sin because it is sin, and because it is wrong to commit it.

5. What is Faith?

It is believing what the Bible tells us about Jesus, and trusting our salvation in His hands.

6. Is this belief an act of the mind only?

No; it is with the whole heart, so that we are led to love and obey Christ.

7. Are there many who believe the Bible who do not exercise faith?

Yes; the greater part of those who have the Bible believe it with the mind, but do not trust with the heart also.

 

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-10-The Offer of Salvation

December 26, 2013 1 comment

The Offer of Salvation

 

1. To whom does God offer the salvation in Jesus?

He has ordered it to be offered to every creature.

2. Upon what condition?

Upon that of repentance and faith.

3. Are not these terms easy?

They are so easy that all who refuse are without excuse.

4. Do all men accept them?

They do not; they universally reject them where left without Divine influence.

5. Has God thus left all mankind?

He has not; but effectually calls many to the knowledge and belief of His truth.

6. What agent accomplished this work?

The Holy Spirit.

7. Do those who accept the Gospel deserve any reward for so doing?

No, for their acceptance is entirely due to the grace of God.

8. How will God punish those who reject it?

Far more severely than He will those who have never heard it.

9. Upon what grounds will he punish any who have not heard the gospel?

Because they, too, are sinners, and have disobeyed the law of God written in their hearts and in nature.

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine