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The Wednesday Word: Jesus Himself

The Bible is a book about Jesus.

He is everywhere in the Scriptures

He is;

The Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)

The Anointed One (Psalm 2:2)

The Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16)

The Author of Life (Acts 3:15)

The Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6)

The Branch (Zechariah 6:12)

The Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)

The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

The Christ (Matthew 1:16)

The Teacher (John 1:38)

Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)

The Door (John 10:9)

The Good Shepherd (John 10:14)

Holy and Righteous One (Acts 3:14)

The I Am (John 8:58)

The True Vine (John 15:1)

Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)

The King of Kings (Revelation 19:16)

The Eternal Word (John 1:1)

The Word of God (Revelation 19:13)

The Lamb of God (John 1:29).

Jesus by Himself created everything. We read, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16).

Not only did He create everything, Jesus by Himself upholds everything by the Word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Sometimes, I confess, I find it hard to stomach the ignorance of some of the God haters I’ve talked to. They arrogantly deny Christ and disparage His work. Pompous to the last, little do they realize they are dependant upon the Christ they hate for their every breath. But, thankfully, He is God and I’m not. He is much, much more gracious and merciful than am I.

Not only did Jesus create all and also sustains all, Jesus Himself is our salvation. Again, we read, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The Gospel begins and ends with Christ Jesus. It is a declaration of who He is and His saving work for us. The Gospel itself is not an offer or even a free offer nor indeed a well-meant offer. The Gospel itself is not any kind of offer. It is instead a declaration of who Christ is and of what He has done, in history, in His accomplished redemption for us. His work is Finished!

Through the Gospel, we discover that Christ has already obtained redemption, (Hebrews 9:12) and that He has already put away our sin (Hebrews 1:3). The Gospel brings glad tidings of great joy telling us that Christ was born, Christ lived, and Christ was crucified, Christ was buried and that Christ rose again and has accomplished redemption.

In the light of the Finished Work, therefore, it is stunning to discover just how many people have claimed or are claiming to be Jesus. There’s A.J. Miller, for example, a former Jehovah’s Witness elder and current leader of the Australia-based Divine Truth movement. Miller claims to be Jesus Christ reincarnated

There’s David Shaylor (1965–) a former MI5 agent and whistleblower who, in the summer of 2007, proclaimed himself to be the Messiah.

There’s Apollo Quiboly, the founder and leader of a Philippines-based Restorationist church, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, Inc. He has made claims that he is the “Appointed Son of God”

We, however, must ask these self-appointed deities, if they are in fact Christ Jesus, can they do what He did?”

Can they create universes?

Can they sustain all things by the word of their power?

Can they forgive sins?

Can they walk on water?

Can they raise the dead?

Can they raise themselves from the dead?

Can they grant eternal life?

Can they give life to whom they will?

Absolutely not! They are fakes, frauds and fruitcakes!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: The Most Famous Speech in the Universe

Hebrews 12:24

The atoning blood is speaking blood. It announces the message of mercy, grace and everlasting life. Because of the blood, believers are no longer subject to the just and furious wrath of God. Furthermore, because of the blood, it is now impossible for Satan to lay anything to our charge (Romans 8:33).

In Hebrews 12:24 we read of, “the blood of sprinkling.” In the Old Testament, Moses, as he sprinkled the blood on the people, was prophetically foretelling the work of Christ (Exodus 24:8). It is no wonder then that we read in the New Testament that we are, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2).

Christ’s blood speaks to us that the vilest offender who believes and rests on Jesus will be saved and delivered from the wrath to come. The blood also speaks of the Almighty God accepting, on our behalf, the sacrifice which He supplied. The blood again speaks of the Justice of God whereby He clears the guilty through the finished work of our accepted Substitute who took away our sins on the cross.

The blood has made the most powerful and famous speech in the Universe.

Many years ago in Ireland, there was a woman who was a very devout Roman Catholic. She attended Mass almost every day but had no peace in her heart. Through time she became distraught about her sins. She went to the priest and confessed them all, but her conviction of sin only grew worse.

At last, she went personally to the priest and told him of her great distress. He told her that she needed something to cheer her up, and as there was a comedian in town, she should go and hear him. The lady decided to go and hear the comedian, but she went to the wrong place. She found a group of people in a hall, but instead of a comedian, a preacher stood up and began to preach. His subject was, “The Forgiveness of Sin through the Blood of Christ.” The lady wanted to leave the meeting, but she was shy and didn’t want to make a noise in moving. So she decided to stay until it was finished.

The sermon on the blood of Christ, as it turns out, was the very message she had needed to hear. Afterwards, she asked the preacher what book he had been reading from. He told her that it was a Bible and gave her a copy. She went home and read and read the Bible. She read of the redeeming blood of the Saviour, she read of the forgiveness of sins, and she trusted Christ for His mercy. By grace alone, both the guilt and weight of her sin were taken away.

Some weeks later the priest visited her and asked her why she had not been attending Mass. She told him that she had found forgiveness and peace with God through the shed blood of her Saviour. When the priest saw the Bible, he was irate and grabbed the book, confiscating it. As he left, he shouted at her, saying that she would go to Hell if she read about the things in this book.

The lady bought another Bible and continued to read it diligently. A month later she decided that she should go and talk to the priest about his soul. When she arrived at his place, a nun opened the door and said in an angry voice, “Come in and see the priest.” When the woman went in, she saw a coffin with the dead body of the priest in it. The nun said, “He died very upset, and he cursed you for having that book, the Bible.”

Though the woman left the house very sad and dismayed, she continued to read her Bible. Some weeks later, late at night, there was a knock at her door. When she opened the door, a lady stood there with her head covered. She asked her inside. When the woman took off her head covering it was the nun. She said, “I have come to tell you that I am very sorry for telling you a dreadful lie about the priest.” She then told her how the priest had begun to read the Bible, and when he died, he was praising God for His mercy and forgiveness through the blood of Christ.

The nun told the lady how she herself had begun to read the Bible after the priest was buried, and how the Lord in His mercy had found her. She now saw the message of the blood, and now she was running away from the Convent and fleeing to England. She too had had her eyes opened to Christ and His promised salvation through the blood of the cross.

The blood of Christ does not call out for revenge, but for mercy upon all who believe. What a powerful speech there is in the Blood of Christ.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Ligon Duncan on Why ‘No Creed But the Bible’ Is a Lousy Creed

What does it mean to be a confessional church? When making our case for a particular doctrine, is it fine to reference our confession of faith, or would it be best to just stick to Scripture? Isn’t the Bible enough for Christians in establishing our doctrine and practice? Should we demand church members subscribe to a particular view of a third-level doctrine?

These are among the practical questions that sit at the heart of confessional Christianity. I put these questions to Ligon Duncan, a longtime confessional Christian and TGC Council member. Duncan, former pastor of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, now serves as chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary.

Is it biblical for the church to write and use confessions of faith?

Yes! It is absolutely biblical for a church to use a confession of faith. The famous shema of Deuteronomy 6:4—“Hear, O Israel: the LORD your God, the LORD is one”—is a confession of faith. It affirms the two ideas most basic to the Israel’s religion: that Yahweh exists, and that he is the one true God. In the New Testament, Paul calls these fundamental affirmations “trustworthy sayings.” Such basic statements highlighting the fundamental commitments of God’s people are found throughout Scripture.

What about writing confessions of faith? Again, yes. If you look at the history of creeds and confessions, you’ll see that human-created creeds and confessions arose out of the church’s desire to be faithful to Scripture’s clear teaching. Whenever false teachers were appealing to the Bible and twisting it to suit their own purposes, Christians defended the truth by clearly articulating their scriptural convictions with the most faithful language they could muster—and which the false teachers could not affirm. For instance, the word homoousios is not found in Scripture, but is designed to convey an indisputably scriptural idea about the deity of Christ and the consubstantiation of the Son with the Father. Arius and his company were unwilling to affirm it, and therefore that word was used to uphold biblical truth against heresy.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

How the Bible Relates to Man-Made Creeds

by Tom Nettles

The pivotal question of how one concedes authoritative force to a creedal, or confessional, proposition holds paramount importance in their use in pedagogical and disciplinary ways. If churches, associations, or denominations as a whole are to use their creeds as instruments of ordination, church instruction, and discipline, then some method of demonstrating the biblical character of their propositions must be clearly conceived. Phillip Schaff rightly reminds Christians, that “the Bible has, therefore, a divine and absolute, the Confession only an ecclesiastical and relative, authority.” Additionally, he warns that “any higher view of the authority of symbols is unprotestant and essentially Romanizing.” Having issued that caveat, he proposed, “Confessions, in due subordination to the Bible, are of great value and use.” He called them “summaries of the doctrines of the Bible, aids to its sound understanding, bonds of union among their professors, public standards and guards against false doctrine and practice” (Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 3 volumes, 1:7, 8.)

Confidence in the biblical authenticity of a creed’s content comes by familiarity with its historical and doctrinal context compared with…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Ligon Duncan on Why ‘No Creed But the Bible’ Is a Lousy Creed

Jeff Robinson and Ligon Duncan

What does it mean to be a confessional church? When making our case for a particular doctrine, is it fine to reference our confession of faith, or would it be best to just stick to Scripture? Isn’t the Bible enough for Christians in establishing our doctrine and practice? Should we demand church members subscribe to a particular view of a third-level doctrine?

These are among the practical questions that sit at the heart of confessional Christianity. I put these questions to Ligon Duncan, a longtime confessional Christian and TGC Council member. Duncan, former pastor of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, now serves as chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary.

Is it biblical for the church to write and use confessions of faith?

Yes! It is absolutely biblical for a church to use a confession of faith. The famous shema of Deuteronomy 6:4—“Hear, O Israel: the LORD your God, the LORD is one”—is a confession of faith. It affirms the two ideas most basic to the Israel’s religion: that Yahweh exists, and that he is the one true God. In the New Testament, Paul calls these fundamental affirmations “trustworthy sayings.” Such basic statements highlighting the fundamental commitments of God’s people are found throughout Scripture.

What about writing confessions of faith? Again, yes. If you look at the history of creeds and confessions, you’ll see that human-created creeds and confessions arose out of the church’s desire to be faithful to Scripture’s clear teaching. Whenever false teachers were appealing to the Bible and twisting it to suit their own purposes, Christians defended the truth by clearly articulating their scriptural convictions with the most…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Confessions of Faith: The Bible, therefore, the Creed

by Tom Nettles

The Bible is a big book with numerous themes and doctrines. Consider the following four realities that drive us to summarize the doctrines of the Bible in a confession of faith.

1. The Progressive History of Graphe Drives us to Doctrinal Summary

Faithfulness to the Bible as the Word of God, singular in its meaning and authoritative for mind and heart, means that creedal formulas of doctrine serve the cause of real biblical knowledge. They neither detract from it nor substitute for it. When all the varieties of biblical literature are put together, from historical narrative to closely reasoned doctrinal instruction, the confidence of the biblical writers themselves….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Confessions of Faith: “No Creed But The Bible”

by Tom Nettles

1. The Bible: A Matter of Faith

At the most basic level, every Christian should confess, “I have no creed but the Bible.” The Bible is meant to be believed. In matters of faith dependent upon revealed truth, therefore, the Christian should make no commitment of heart or head to a proposition not founded immediately upon Scripture.

In its first chapter, the Second London Confession makes clear this principle after discussing many of the various doctrines of Scripture:

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.