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The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (Pt 4)

November 28, 2018 2 comments

No Authority but the Word of God.

“The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments principally teach what we are to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of us. Simply speaking, we do not accept doctrines and practices which cannot be established in the Word of God.

Would that some Charismatic preachers I’ve heard held to this maxim. Their practices are simply nuts. I have searched in vain to discover the scriptural authority for their ghoulish habit of lying on graves thus soaking up the anointing of dead ministers. That and any number of weird non-biblical practices such as angel dust, honey angels, soakings and the like must be rejected. Why? They are not authorized by the Scriptures.

There is no authority but the Word of God.

Not only so but the Scriptures and not even the creeds, are the sole and sufficient rule of faith and duty. Creeds must always bow in submission to the Scripture.

In addition, every ecclesiastical pronouncement that comes from the Bishop of Rome must be weighed against the teaching of the Bible.

If I can make a statement here without being accused of hate speech, the Roman Catholic Communion officially holds to ‘scripture + tradition’ as the basis of authority for faith and practice. Indeed, they go farther than that for, since the infallibility decree of 1870, they hold that the final seat of authority in all matters of faith is the Pope (when he speaks ex-cathedra). He incorrectly claims to be the source of authority for faith and practice.

(Believers, however, on this point, side with Martin Luther who refused to be moved unless it could be shown that his teaching was contrary to the Bible. He boldly declared, “Here I take my stand; I can do no other; so help me God.)”

But, so what about Dr. Luther? Our Master, the Lord Jesus, proclaimed the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture, for He said; “The scriptures cannot be broken” (John 10:35). He also declared that “Heaven and earth shall pass away—but My Words shall not pass away!” (Luke 21:33). Indeed, Jesus and the New Testament writers quote from the Old Testament some 295 times. They believed in the authority of the Word.

In spite of this, many who claim to be followers of Christ side with the spirit of the age and approve gay marriage, abortion, and the likes. Baffling!

They could learn from Paul when he asks: “For what saith the scripture?” (Romans 4:3). Or be instructed by the Bereans who tested all things by Scripture (Acts 17:11).

As Believers, we hold to the authority of the Bible. It is clear, authoritative, and final. There is no need for some external source of authority whether Popes, creeds or worldly standards to explain everything. The litmus test is solely and only “What saith the Scriptures?” We have the Bible, we have the Holy Spirit, and we are as well able to understand the message of the Book as any who have lived from the demise of the apostles to this hour.

There is no authority but the Word of God.

The Bible is the Christian’s standard for his rule of life. Its truth never changes. The law of the Lord is perfect (Psalm 19:7). We cannot hold this truth too firmly.

In refuting the errors of the Sadducees, Jesus said, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew I2:29). He also warned the Pharisees in Mark 7:13 that they were making the word of God of none effect through their tradition.

There is no authority but the Word of God.

In Proverbs 30:5-6 we read,

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add not unto his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar.”

But contemporary society thinks it knows better than the Scriptures. With each passing year, modern thinking gets more and more out of step with the Bible. And some Christians buy into this and make excuses for the poor antiquated Book. But we daren’t offer excuses for the Bible. It says what it says. It refuses to be tamed. Unlike us, the Bible won’t compromise. God says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, … For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

To those who pick and choose which Bible passages they want to believe, I would ask, have you been justified by faith?

You say, “Yes.”

But, by what authority do you say that?

“On the authority of the Word of God,” you reply.

But how do you know that the scriptures are authoritative? You reject much of what the word says about sin and immorality.

“Yes but the Bible is out of step on those matters,” you say.

How then do you know that it is accurate in matters of your salvation? Isn’t it time to stop picking and choosing which scriptures you want to believe?

As believers, we simply learn to rest on God’s unchanging word. God said it, that settled it. I believed it, that settled me!

There is no authority but the Word of God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (PT 3)

November 21, 2018 4 comments

No Confessional but the Throne of Grace

Hebrews 4:16; “Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

With respect, none of us need go into a kind of cubbyhole to tell our sins to a man who claims the power to give us absolution. Our sins are against God, not man (Psalm 51:4). It is, therefore, to God and God alone we must look for ongoing cleansing.

Once more, in this, we see the majesty and wisdom of the Gospel. For it is in the Gospel, we encounter our priest, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. As a human, He is able to sympathize with us in every way (Hebrews 4:15). As God, no one can stand in His way.

In Christ, we have the surpassingly excellent and all-powerful priest. To confess our failings we go, not to an inferior earthly priest (so-called) who claims to represent God, but to the Lord Jesus, the God-man Himself. When we come to the Throne of Grace, we arrive at the true confessional. It is there, at that throne, we meet the true priest, the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is seated on a throne, for, after all, that is the rightful place for a King. “It is called a throne, because of the glory and majesty of God manifested here” (Robert Traill).

But why is it called the Throne of Grace and not the Throne of Law? Why is it not called the Throne of Holiness, the Throne of Justice, or even the Throne of Righteousness? The answer is both simple and profound. It is because salvation is entirely by Grace. And yes, righteous, law-keeping, justice and holiness are all involved with salvation, but these have been fully provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are saved utterly by Grace.

Again, as the Puritan, Robert Traill, observes; “Till men get a sight of God in Christ, they cannot tell what the grace of God is. Search heaven and earth, you can never get a view of God’s grace, till you come to this throne.”

Our High Priest, the Lord Jesus, is the perfect embodiment of grace. As our priest, he exhausted and obliterated the Old Testament sacrifices and priesthood. By His priestly work, He brought in salvation. Away with these poor, pretend priests who insist we must go to them else we are not forgiven.

Forgiveness, redemption justification, propitiation grace and mercy are freely found in Christ Alone!

So, let’s say it again, there is now, therefore, no Confessional but the Throne of Grace.

This confessional is constructed with Grace and scattered over with Mercy.

This confessional is built upon grace.

Every utterance to His people is one of grace.

From this confessional, grace is dispensed.

From this throne, flow the purposes of grace.

Not only is every part of this throne made of grace but also every part is joined by grace.

The cornerstone is grace.

The capstone is grace.

It is ornamented and covered by grace.

From there alone we receive the grace which cleanses sins

From there, the blood of the Finished Work absolves and frees us.

From there, we receive grace to help in time of need.

Trembling, fearful sinners need not be afraid of coming to Him. They will not be struck down. They will not be scolded. This throne is the home of our Great High Priest and no one seeking mercy and forgiveness ever perished at His feet.

He is the Gracious One!

Away, therefore, with these men who feign the qualification and gifting to bring us to God.

Away with their confessionals made of wood.

We reject them in favor of the Confessional made of pure Grace.

“Behold the throne of grace,

The promise calls us near,

There Jesus shows a smiling face

And waits to answer prayer.”

John Newton

There is no confessional but the Throne of Grace!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (Pt 2)

November 14, 2018 Leave a comment

No Sacrifice but Calvary

“Now once in the end of the world has He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26.

What Christ purposed to do on the cross, He did: He put away sin. In other words, He annulled and canceled it. What other sacrifice, offered by a priest, could do that?

Our priest, the Lord Jesus has done His work ‘once’ (Greek ‘hapax’ … literally, once for all time). There is now, therefore, no other sacrifice needed for sin. Christ has ‘once’ put sin away by the sacrifice of Himself.

That is why there is No sacrifice but Calvary.

One of the great reasons why Christ came was to put away the sins of His people. He did not leave things to chance in the hope that a few sins would be put away and someone would perhaps be saved. No! What He came to accomplish He accomplished. That is why He boldly declared from the cross, ‘It is Finished.’

No part of His assigned work was left undone. At the cross, He sacrificed Himself for His people. He bought and paid for us with blood. By the sacrifice of Himself, He put away sin. Let’s say it again, there is now no further sacrifice needed to put away sin. No amount of beating ourselves with guilt is needed! He has put away the sin of His people forever.

His sacrifice at Calvary did not merely help us put away sin: it put away our entire catalog of sin once for all time. As Spurgeon says, “There was one death, one sacrifice, one atonement, and all the work of man’s redemption was forever accomplished so that we can sing—

“Love’s redeeming work is done;

Fought the fight, the battle won.”

Christ’s sacrifice is rooted in the doctrine of His deity He was able to put away our sin because He was the God/Man. If He had been merely a sinless man and not God manifest in the flesh, he could not have made an effective sacrifice and accomplished our redemption. In God’s eyes, no mere human could pay the penalty for the sins of a seemingly uncountable number of people. However, all objections to the vicarious sacrifice of Christ disappear before the majestic identity of the God/Man.

Because of the Lord Jesus, no other sacrifice is needed. He’s remarkable! It is beyond me to understand why our dear friends, the Roman Catholics, allow their priests to continually offer up Christ as a bloodless sacrifice (the Mass). Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary requires neither renewal nor repetition.

May all the Lord’s people come to realize that our exhausting striving to become right with God is unnecessary. Redemption has already been accomplished. There is no more need to whip ourselves into frenzied attempts to keep the Law to gain acceptance with God. The sacrifice has been completed and we receive its benefits by faith alone.

Again, Spurgeon has some stern yet wise words on this matter. He says; “Our Lord has once for all made an atonement, and all attempts to tamper with His finished work is treason such as shall be answered for in the court of heaven. “

Worth thinking about!

‘Come and see the victories of the cross.

Christ’s wounds are your healings,

His agonies your rest,

His conflicts your conquests,

His groans your songs,

His pains your ease,

His shame your glory,

His death your life,

His sufferings your salvation.’

(adapted from Matthew Henry)

Our sin has been put away.

There is no sacrifice but Calvary.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Grounded and Established in the Gospel

Calvary assures us that the wrath which should have consumed us has fallen upon our Substitute (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Faith in Christ alone, therefore, rescues us from the bondage of having to perform to avoid the wrath of God. In Christ alone, faith sees the smile of the Father upon us.

Though faith is not our righteousness it fastens us to the righteousness of Christ and sees, as old Solomon Stoddard saw, that Christ’s righteousness makes it safe for us to appear in heaven. Indeed, the only safe way to heaven is to trust in the doing, dying and rising again of Christ. Faith grasps that our acceptance before God is in Christ alone and not in our faith. Faith in faith saves no one. Gospel faith understands this!

Furthermore, faith grasps that our eternal standing in the ages to come depends, not upon anything in us, but upon the unchanging righteousness of Christ alone outside of us. When we are not established in the gospel, we easily make the mistake of looking within ourselves to determine whether or not we have certain feelings. Unfortunately, if we find the correct feelings, we then content ourselves that our faith is strong and that we are thus eternity bound. Conversely, alarm bells ring when we can’t find those feelings because we then assume that our destiny is in doubt. When we live like this, we are unsettled and confused. We have not yet understood that anything subjective, whether it is the work of the Spirit in us or our feelings and experiences, can ever qualify as the object of our faith. They are not the Gospel! Acquittal before God comes only through the person and work of the Lord Jesus. He alone is the sinner’s plea for, “He that believeth on him is not condemned” (John 3:18).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

September 28, 2016 Leave a comment

But now in Christ Jesus, you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).

The Father, in choosing the method of putting away our sins, selected the very best He had, the blood of His own Son. It is by the priceless blood of the Lord Jesus that we are cleansed from our complete catalog of sins. By the blood of Christ, our spiritual sin stain is taken away and its tortured recollection destroyed. That’s why we read in Hebrews 9:13, “How much more shall the blood of Christ … purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Jesus actually died at Calvary. In John 19:34, we read that one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear and immediately blood and water came out. Christ Jesus really was dead! There, at the cross, Christ Jesus died that we might live. Also, by His blood, we come, not only into life but into communion with God. In the Greek, the word communion is “Koinonia”. It is a beautiful word that means, among other things, fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation and intimacy. And this communion, this ‘Koinonia’ comes through the blood.

But how do we come into contact with the blood? How do we obtain the benefits of His death? Romans 6:3 gives us the answer. It says, “…. that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?” When a person is baptized into the Lord’s death, it is there that he meets with the benefits and blessings purchased by the blood of Christ.

Some groups erroneously teach that Water Baptism is the means of obtaining the advantages and communion of His death. It is only by their baptism, they say, that we can receive forgiveness of sins. They cite the instruction given to Paul in Acts 22:16, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins.” However, they totally ignore that Paul had already, by this stage, given evidence of his conversion and regeneration. He had called Jesus the Lord (Acts 22:10). He was spending his time in prayer (Acts 9:11), and he had been filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17-18). They claim that, although it is the blood of Christ that washes away sins, the only way to access the effects of the blood is by their baptism. If these rascals are to be believed, then we need to stop singing, “There’s power in the blood” and start singing, “There’s power in the tub!”

But how then are the benefits of Christ’s death to become ours? How are we baptized into Christ? Here’s the answer. It is by faith alone! And where do we get this faith? It is the free gift of God. We can’t earn it or deserve it, we simply receive it!

Have you trusted Christ alone to take away your sins and their legal consequences? If you have, you are already baptized into Christ. If you haven’t, then you still are carrying responsibility for every sin that you have ever committed. That means that when you die, there’s nothing left for you but the Judgment and the Lake of Fire. You may have been baptized in a church building, but if you are not trusting in Christ alone, you are not baptized into Christ. If you are not trusting in Christ alone, you are still in your sins. The shed blood of Christ is of no benefit to you! Why don’t you, right now, call on the Lord and ask him to save you? Why don’t you trust Him, right now, and receive Him and His salvation for yourself? Our God is wonderfully gracious. He will welcome you. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers-Prayer 6

September 25, 2014 1 comment

THE WONDERS CALVARY.

 

GREAT God, there was a time when we dreaded the thought of coming near to Thee, for we were guilty and Thou wast angry with us, but now we will praise Thee because Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortest us. Ay, and the very throne which once was a place of dread has now become the place of shelter. I flee unto Thee to hide me.

We long now to get right away from the world, even from the remembrance of it, and have fellowship with the world to come by speaking with Him that was, and is, and is to come, the Almighty. Lord, we have been worried and wearied oftentimes with care, but with Thee care comes to an end, all things are with Thee, and when we live in Thee we live in wealth, in sure repose, in constant joy.

We have to battle with the sons of men against a thousand errors and unrighteousnesses, but when we flee to Thee, there all is truth and purity and holiness, and our heart finds peace. Above all, we have to battle with ourselves, and we are very much ashamed of ourselves. After many years of great mercy, after tasting of the powers of the world to come, we still are so weak, so foolish; but, oh! when we get away from self to God there all is truth and purity and holiness, and our heart finds peace, wisdom, completeness, delight, joy, victory.

Oh! bring us, then, we pray Thee, now near to Thyself. Let us bathe ourselves in communion with our God. Blessed be the love which chose us before the world began. We can never sufficiently adore Thee for Thy sovereignty, the sovereignty of love which saw us in the ruins of the Fall, yet loved us notwithstanding all.

We praise the God of the Eternal Council Chamber and of the Everlasting Covenant, but where shall we find sufficiently fit words with which to praise Him who gave us grace in Christ His Son, before He spread the starry sky.

We also bless Thee, O God, as the God of our redemption, for Thou hast so loved us as to give even Thy dear Son for us. He gave Himself, His very life for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and separate us unto Himself to be His peculiar people, zealous for good works.

Never can we sufficiently adore free grace and dying love. The wonders of Calvary never cease to be wonders, they are growingly marvelous in our esteem as we think of Him who washed us from our sins in His own blood. Nor can we cease to praise the God of our regeneration who found us dead and made us live, found us at enmity and reconciled us, found us loving the things of this world and lifted us out of the slough and mire of selfishness and worldliness into the love of divine everlasting things.

O Spirit of God, we love Thee this day, especially for dwelling in us. How canst Thou abide in so rude a habitation. How canst Thou make these bodies to be Thy temples, and yet Thou dost so, for which let Thy name be had in reverence so long as we live.

O Lord, we would delight ourselves in Thee this day. Give us faith and love and hope that with these three graces we may draw very near to the Triune God. Thou wilt keep us, Thou wilt preserve us, Thou wilt feed us, Thou wilt lead us, and Thou writ bring us to the mind of God, and there wilt Thou show us Thy love, and in the glory everlasting had boundless, there wilt Thou make us know and taste and feel the joys that cannot be expressed.

But a little longer waiting and we shall come to the golden shore; but a little longer fighting and we shall receive the crown of life that fadeth not away.

Lord, get us up above the world. Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, and mount and bear us on Thy wings, far from these inferior sorrows and inferior joys, up where eternal ages roll. May we ascend in joyful contemplation, and may our spirit come back again, strong for all its service, armed for all its battles, armored for all its dangers, and made ready to live heaven on earth, until by-and-by we shall live heaven in heaven. Great Father, be with Thy waiting people, any in great trouble do Thou greatly help; any that are despondent do Thou sweetly comfort and cheer; any that have erred, and are smarting under their own sin, do Thou bring them back and heal their wounds; any that this day are panting after holiness do Thou give them the desire of their hearts; any that are longing for usefulness do Thou lead them into ways of usefulness.

Lord, we want to live while we live. We do pray that we may not merely groan out an existence here below, nor live as earthworms crawling back into our holes and dragging now and then a sere leaf with us; but oh! Give us to live as we ought to live, with a new life that Thou hast put into us, with the divine quickening which has lifted us as much above common men as men are lifted above the beasts that perish.

Do not let us always be hampered like poor half-hatched birds within the egg; may we chip the shell to day and get out into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Grant us this, we pray Thee.

Lord, visit our church. We have heard Thy message to the churches at Ephesus; it is a message to us also. Oh! do not let any of us lose our first love. Let not our church grow cold and dead. We are not, we fear, what once we were. Lord, revive us! All our help must come from Thee. Give back to the church its love, its confidence, its holy daring, its consecration, its liberality, its holiness. Give back all it ever had and give it much more. Take every member and wash his feet, Sweet Lord, most tenderly, and set us with clean feet in a clean road, with a clean heart to guide them, and do Thou bless us as Thou art wont to do after a divine fashion.

Bless us, our Father, and let all the churches of Jesus Christ partake of like cause and tenderness. Walking among the golden candlesticks trim every lamp and make every light, even though it burneth but feebly now, to shine out gloriously through Thy care.

Now bless the sinners. Lord, convert them. O God, save men, save this great city, this wicked city, this slumbering dead city. Lord, arouse it, arouse it by any means, that it may turn unto its God. Lord, save sinners all the world over, and let Thy precious Word be fulfilled. “Behold He cometh with clouds.” Why dost Thou tarry? Make no tarrying, O, our Lord. And now unto Father, Son, and Holy Ghost be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers

Let us not forget Christ at Calvary

Now, finish the scene of woe by a view of Calvary. Think of the pierced hands and the bleeding side; think of the scorching sun, and then the entire darkness; remember the broiling fever and the dread thirst; think of the death shriek, “It is finished!” and of the groans which were its prelude. This is the object of memory. Let us never forget Christ. I beseech you, for the love of Jesus, let him have the chief place in your memories Let not the pearl of great price be dropped from your careless hand into the dark ocean of oblivion.

Charles H. Spurgeon—The Remembrance of Christ—A sermon delivered on Sabbath Evening January 7th 1855