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The Wednesday Word: The Genuine Gospel

December 21, 2016 Leave a comment

The apostle Paul, in defining the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 begins by saying, “How that Christ.” The authentic Gospel, as opposed to the many false ones (Galatians 1:6-7), was concerning a person, Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1-3). The apostolic Gospel is about Christ Jesus, His doing, dying and rising again. Well, of course, we all say ‘amen’ to that. But, if this is so, we need to realize then that the Good News is not about us…it’s not about you and it is not about me.

If this is so, the Gospel is, therefore, not about Jesus coming into our hearts and making us new. Neither is it about our spiritual growth nor our spiritual development. The believer, his progress, and welfare, are not the focus of the Gospel. The pure, apostolic Gospel puts the Lord Jesus Christ firmly on center stage. In the Gospel, the spotlight is on Jesus, not upon the believer. Of course, we believers enjoy the benefits of the gospel such as acquittal from all charges of sin, reconciliation, adoption, new life in Christ, etc. But the Gospel is neither about our new life nor what we are doing nor about how saved we are; the Gospel is about the great and glorious acts of God in the Lord of history,–Jesus the Christ.

Although Christ perfectly represented us as our substitute in His life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and session, the Gospel is not about us. The Gospel, on the other hand, is primarily the good news of who Christ Jesus is and what He has done and accomplished in history. It is not about the mercies we receive as a result of the Gospel. Christ Jesus and His finished work are the centre of the Gospel. The erudite 19th century Episcopalian Bishop of Ohio, Charles McIlvaine, said it like this;

“But it is abundantly clear from the Scriptures that the Apostles identified the Gospel with Christ; so that, in their view and practice, to preach the Gospel was neither more nor less than to preach Christ. The record which, in a few words, describes their ministry is that, “daily in the temple and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Paul to the Romans defines the whole Gospel by saying that it is “concerning Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 1:3). The employment of his two years’ imprisonment at Rome was all comprehended in “teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus.” And his whole ministry was given unto him, he testifies, that he “might preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.” As he could say, “For me to live is Christ;” so for him to preach was Christ. To him, Christ and the Gospel were one.

(Charles McIlvaine: Preaching Christ)

“Well,” you say, “you are entirely wrong Miles McKee. The Gospel is about how Jesus died for sinners.” Of course, Jesus died for sinners, but the Gospel is not sinner centered, it is Christ-centered. The Gospel is neither about the horror of sin nor the penalty that sinners will pay for sin. The Gospel is neither about God’s hatred of sin nor His holiness. The Gospel, however, is about Christ and His doing, dying and rising again. Yes, it is true that the Gospel only really makes sense when the Holiness of God and the horrors of sin are understood, but the holiness of God and the horrors of sin are not the Gospel. The power of God will regenerate us, the goodness of God will lead us to repent and the love of God will melt our hearts, but our repentance, regeneration, and melting of heart are the result of the Gospel and not the Gospel itself!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

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The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus enough for you Passion?

Wouldn’t it be magnificent to be more like Jesus? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be as compassionate and loving as He is? Look at the Saviour and see the love that poured from Him. Look at Him, weeping over the lost in Jerusalem. So we want to be like Him? … Do we? … When is the last time we shed a tear for someone who was spiritually lost? Let’s face it, many of us live and act like there is no Judgment to come for the unsaved. Are we praying for the Lord to show mercy to even one of our lost friends and family?

But Brother Miles, don’t you believe the doctrine of unconditional election? Yes, absolutely! But sometimes I’m with Spurgeon, who quipped, “Lord save the elect and then elect some more.”

All of us have been commissioned to spread the Good News, but many of us have no passion for doing so. We are like armchair spectators watching a football game. All of us have our opinions about how the game should be played and about the performance of the participants on the field. We, however, are fans, not players.

Reality Check! Jesus doesn’t want any more fans. He wants players … people passionate about the Gospel. He wants workers who, with their hearts, are involved in His harvest. Jesus said it like this, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2).

The Greek word to ‘send forth’, in this verse, means to compel, to command, to draw out with force or to lead with an irresistible force. We are, therefore, to pray that workers will be thrust out into the harvest. But we can’t pray like that with any honesty if we treat the cause of the Gospel as a spectator sport. But, we don’t like to get over-zealous. It causes too much inconvenience.

Yet, we say, we want to be like Jesus. Look at our Master, He was totally set apart to His Father’s will. He was tireless in bringing the good news. He was passionate for the Kingdom. Look at Him with His nights of praying and days of fasting. Have we ever wanted to walk in those steps?

So let’s state the obvious, followers follow! But, for many who name the name of Christ, Jesus doesn’t seem to be enough. There is no passion for Him!

So, where do we get this passion? Here’s the answer. Take time alone with the Lord Jesus. Go into your room and shut the door (Matthew 6:6). Get alone with Him and His Word and get thoroughly acquainted with Him and His Gospel. Of course, you can survive with the ‘here a little, there a little’ prayer life, but Jesus will not become your passion.

Concerning prayer, Horatius Bonar said,

“Talk everything through with Him. Pour your heart out to Him- every thought, feeling, wish, plan and doubt. He wants, not merely to be on ‘good terms’ with you, but to be intimate. Are you going to shun the intimacy, and be satisfied with mere acquaintance? What! Intimate with the world, with friends, with neighbours; but not with Jesus! How strange! It is sheer foolishness to prefer the clay to the potter, the marble to the sculptor, this little earth and its lesser creatures to the mighty Maker of the universe, the great ‘All and in all!”

It’s easy to let our hearts grow icy. However, we can go straight back to Jesus with our cold, cold hearts, and warm them there. There’s no condemnation, only a welcome. He knows us, He knows our names, our character, our problems with sins, our fears, our deepest thoughts, our troubles, our trials and temptations. The Good Shepherd knows us well yet He has taken a profound and irreversible interest in our welfare.

Jesus Himself wants to become our passion. Whatever it is that prevents us from being zealous for Jesus, may we take it to the cross and leave it there. May we look, by faith, to our High Priest to apply all the benefits of His Calvary victory to us.

Is Jesus enough? Yes indeed, He is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

Poll: SBC pastors have ‘mix of beliefs’ about Calvinism

September 2, 2015 1 comment

My comment: Is it any wonder that the SBC has fallen on hard times and is having to cut missionaries. A good majority of the SBC has traded the theology of God for the theology of man.

LifeWay Research presented a slate of statements about Calvinism to a randomly selected sample of senior pastors in the SBC to gauge their theological inclination and whether they are concerned about the impact of Calvinism in the convention.

Sixty-six percent of pastors surveyed do not consider their church a Reformed-theology congregation, while 30 percent agreed (somewhat or strongly) with the statement “my church is theologically Reformed or Calvinist.” Four percent did not know.

By the same token, 64 percent of SBC pastors also disagreed (15 percent somewhat; 49 percent strongly) that “my church is theologically Arminian or Wesleyan.” Thirty percent of respondents classified their church as Arminian or Wesleyan, with 6 percent selecting “don’t know.”

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Are there passages in the Old Testament which have no bearing on the church

April 30, 2013 2 comments

Arthur PinkBut are there not many passages in the Old Testament which have no direct bearing upon the Church today? Certainly not. In view of 1 Corinthians 10:11— “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [margin, “types”]: and they are written for our admonition”—Owen pithily remarked: “Old Testament examples are New Testament instructions.” By their histories we are taught what to avoid and what to emulate. That is the principal reason why they are recorded: that which hindered or encouraged the Old Testament saints was chronicled for our benefit. But, more specifically, are not Christians unwarranted in applying to themselves many promises given to Israel according to the flesh during the Mosaic economy, and expecting a fulfillment of the same unto themselves? No indeed, for if that were the case, then it would not be true that

 

“whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

 

Arthur W. Pink The Application of Scriptures-A Study of Dispensationalism

A modern method that mishandles the word of God

January 15, 2013 3 comments

Arthur Pink This modern method of mishandling the Scriptures—for modern it certainly is, being quite unknown to Christendom till little more than a century ago, and only within recent years being adopted by those who are outside the narrow circle where it originated—is based upon 2 Timothy 2:15,

 

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 Very little or nothing at all is said upon the first two clauses of that verse, but on the third one, which is explained as “correctly partitioning the Scriptures unto the different peoples to whom they belong.” These mutilators of the Word tell us that all of the Old Testament from Genesis onwards belongs entirely to Israel after the flesh, and that none of its precepts (as such) are binding upon those who are members of the Church which is the Body of Christ, nor may any of the promises found therein be legitimately appropriated by them. And this, be it duly noted, without a single word to that effect by either the Lord or any of His Apostles, and despite the use which the Holy Spirit makes of the earliest Scriptures in every part of the New Testament. So far from the Holy Spirit teaching Christians practically to look upon the Old Testament much as they would upon an obsolete almanac, He declares,

 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the (Old Testament) Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

 Arthur W. Pink The Application of Scriptures-A Study of Dispensationalism

Dangers to Avoid When Sharing the Gospel

Dangers to Avoid When Sharing the Gospel via (whatisthegospel.org)

 Dangers to Avoid

 What are the dangers to avoid when presenting the Gospel?

 Promise of a Better Life…..

 Deceitful Invitations…..

 A False Gospel…..

 True and False Evangelism….

 Other Misleading Phrases….

 The Sinner’s Prayer….

 Don’t Over-Complicate it….

 Keep it Simple….

All Imaginations Apart From Christ is Idolatry

Anything that one imagines of God apart from Christ is only useless thinking and vain idolatry.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)