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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’s Death’

The Wednesday Word: Good News for Bad Christians

September 26, 2018 1 comment

“Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6)

Have you ever thought of yourself as a bad Christian? You look at your life and all you see is flaw after flaw. You fail in your thought life. You fall easily. You don’t read the word or pray the way you could.

Here’s some good news, your Saviour does not condemn you for these failures. There remains no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

All of us, no matter in what stage of growth we find ourselves, need to hear the Gospel on an ongoing basis. That’s because we forget it on an ongoing basis. We need to remember the words of Elizabeth Prentice who wrote: “The greatest saint on earth has got to reach Heaven on the same terms as the greatest sinner; unworthy, unfit, good-for-nothing; but saved through grace.”

To grow in grace, we need to hear about Jesus, His person, His doing, His dying and rising again.

We need to be immersed in the truth that Jesus is the God-man…God manifest in the flesh.

We need to know that Jesus has perfectly satisfied God’s justice.

He has magnified God’s Law.

He has entirely met God’s demands on us.

He has forever put away sin.

He has completely routed the devil.

He has defeated death.

He has cleansed our conscience.

He has perfectly loved His people.

He has perfectly hated His people’s sins.

He has perfectly cleansed His people’s sins.

He has perfectly taken them away.

He has perfectly paid for them with His blood.

His Gospel is Good news and more good news.

The Gospel is finished, it is complete.

His Gospel is unsearchable but not incomprehensible.

O that all the churches would preach the Gospel and its multiplied applications! At best, however, we get a little bit of grace to make us feel loved, a big bit of law to try to make us behave and a major amount of condemnation when we don’t make the grade.

But that is not the pattern for New Testament ministry.

Speaking of condemnation, even we who are grace preachers sometimes leave our listeners with the impression that there is now, therefore, still condemnation to those that are in Christ.”

But that’s wrong! Let’s try it again.

‘There is now, therefore, only a tiny teeny bit of condemnation to those in Christ.’

Never!

There is NO condemnation to those who struggle and fail. The Gospel is about good news, good news and more good news (Romans 5:20-21). And that’s what we need if ever we are to grow in grace.

Do you remember the story of the prodigal son? That scallywag disregarded his father and then disgraced himself in every way possible. One old time preacher said, “Do you know the difference between the son in that pig-pen and the pig? The pig never said to himself, ’I will arise and go to my father.’

No indeed, it’s not in the pig’s nature to leave the Pig-pen but the Child of God hates it there.

And the truth is, we’ve all been in the Pig-pen at various times. We have all failed, disappointed ourselves, and felt condemned. But the good news is, all the wealth of the righteousness of Christ is ours and all our guilt is His. He is the shepherd who seeks until He finds. Yet we hide from Him and turn away in fear and shame, not because we don’t love Him, but because we don’t know His love for us. We don’t know the Gospel.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: Jesus + Nothing

No church saved us.

No religious act on our part saved us.

We were, are and will be entirely saved by Christ alone.

We are saved by the free, unconditional, invincible grace brought to us in the doing, dying and rising again of Christ Jesus the Lord.

For when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. That’s you and that’s me! For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man, someone would even dare to die. But God commends His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

That’s priceless!

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (see Romans 5:6-10).

Christ’s sinless life and atoning death have been accepted by the Father as ours. His doing and dying of two thousand years ago is the only ground of our acceptance with God today.

“Here we have a firm foundation;

Here the refuge of the lost;

Christ’s the Rock of our salvation,

His the name of which we boast.

Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,

Sacrifice to cancel guilt!

None shall ever be confounded

Who on Him their hope have built.”

Thomas Kelly

Christ alone has been found pleasing in the Father’s sight. So, since repetition is the price of learning, let’s say it again….There is but one reason and only one reason for our acceptance by God—Christ Alone!

There is no other way to God but in, through and by Christ.

Let us not forget that Jesus unashamedly claimed to be God in human flesh appearing. If, therefore, the one true and living God has come to save us, what other way to God can there be? Since Christ alone is God, we can ruthlessly and immediately dispense with all other supposed ways of salvation. They are all fabrications of men’s imaginations and devising. There is only one salvation, and it comes to us in Christ alone.

When we declare that we are saved by Christ alone, we stand opposed to the teachings which state that Christ’s sacrifice is insufficient without the addition of some manner of sacrament administered by clerics. What sheer, Christ belittling, nonsense is this?

Others say that Christ saves but not without our good works. How they cling to their inferior and flawed works as they fear to rest entirely on the good works of the Saviour … yet they damn us for not joining them in their folly.

Others say that Christ’s sacrifice is worthless without us adding faith to the equation. They say that our believing does the saving! Thus they oppose the teaching of Christ Alone. While it is true that faith apprehends the Gospel, faith is not our Saviour. We rest, not on faith, but on Christ alone.

Enemies of the cross urge the necessity of something more than Christ alone for salvation Without their particular addition they say that we cannot be saved. In these schemes, Christ’s sufficiency as the Saviour is consequently denied.

When we follow their logic, we must conclude that the Christ in whom they trust is at best a partial saviour. He lacks something, a certain something, provided by them that somehow augments His person and work.

What a dishonour to Christ Jesus. God has come here to rescue and save His people yet He is incapable of saving without the help of some form of mediation on man’s part. Sheer rubbish!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: For Us!

We are saved entirely by the work Christ has done for us, not by His work in us.

Consider this; He was born for us. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace’. Isaiah 9:6. The eternal God entered into time and history in the person of His Son. He did so for us. The Creator became a creature for us. He Lived For Us!

Paul says—-“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” 2 Cor. 8:9. He came into this world as an infant, and there was no place in the inn for Him. He walked the dusty roads of Israel, and at times there was no place for Him to lay His head. He humbled Himself, yet the world scorned Him. He humbled Himself, but they called Him Beelzebub, He humbled Himself, but they called Him a bastard—-an illegitimate child. He humbled Himself, but they said he was just “the carpenter’s son.” ——-Even at His trial, one man could only refer to Him as “this fellow.” (Matt. 26:61).

All this was for us. But more than that, He was executed, and they had to borrow a grave for His body. When He took our place, He had nothing. But, while He lived here on earth, He was wholly set apart for us (John 17:19). He was made a curse for us. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), Galatians 3:13. He was wounded for us. “But He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5—— It is Finished!

Some of us have become immune to hearing about Him, and how He came here for us and went to the cross. We tire of hearing that He was wounded for us. WARNING! If you become immune to these truths you will wither spiritually! “Lest I forget Gethsemane,’ Lest I forget thine agony, Lest I forget thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary’.

He was born for us, He lived for us, He died for us and He arose and ascended to heaven for us (Rom.4:25; John 14:2). And right this moment He is living for us and praying for us (Heb. 7:25). And when He finally comes again, He’ll come back for us (John 14:3). It is all finished! His intercession for us at this very moment is based on His finished, accomplished work. His returning for us is to consummate and crown with glory all that He accomplished in His doing and dying and rising again! It is Finished Everything Jesus intended to do He accomplished! If we want to build a strong Christian life we must lay the foundations broad and deep.

The deepest and strongest foundation is the Person and Finished Work of Christ! If we want to be effective in the Gospel then we will dwell much on the Gospel! May we learn that it is finished. May we grasp that all that is necessary for our salvation has been completed and accomplished! His work was a total success.

He finished the work that the Father gave Him to do!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: It is Finished!

It is reported that when Queen Elizabeth 1 of England lay dying she said, “My God, my God it is over. I have come to the end! In her wardrobe, she had 2,000 costly dresses and gowns yet she called out, “All my possessions for just one more day.” Pathetic words from a dying monarch.

How wonderful then, by contrast, are the words of the dying Saviour who declares from the cross—IT IS FINISHED!

In those three words, we learn that salvation has been completed, accomplished and perfected. Notice, there is not a hint of worry, anxiety or despair. How unlike the words of the dying Queen who said, “My God My God it is over, I have come to the end.” See how Christ’s words, “It is Finished”, are filled with glorious victory.

When He said, ‘It is Finished’ it means it is done and completed. But, what is done and completed? It means that redemption is both done and completed. Salvation has been obtained and accomplished! You see, this English phrase of ours, this little sentence, is not in the Greek at all. In the Greek, it is just one word: FINISHED! And Christ cried it out with a loud voice (Matthew 27:50). He wasn’t finished. He wasn’t the victim, He was the victor. But how was Redemption finished? It was finished by the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

He finished and fully completed the work He had been sent to do! It is Finished! When we look at the tense of the Greek we discover that it is the perfect tense which means that although the action has been completed in the past, the results continue into the present. So, when Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” he meant, “It was finished in the past, it is still finished in the present and it will remain finished in the future.”

Listen to Paul as he tells the Hebrews of the Christ who finished His work, “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 1:3.

It is finished! That means, Justice was satisfied and is still satisfied. That means, the Father was satisfied and is still satisfied. The righteous demands of the law were satisfied and are still satisfied. That means, the Old Testament sacrifices were finished and are still finished. That means, the Prophets were fulfilled and are still fulfilled. It is Finished. What a wonderfully grand and glorious statement by the God/Man, the amazing Prince of glory! When a work is Finished, it is Finished, there is no need to add anything to it!

So, neither man nor angel needs add anything to His finished work. And a good thing too. Wouldn’t it be just dreadful if our salvation was based on any of our efforts! Our efforts at best are incomplete. We haven’t served God perfectly and we have left things undone. There’s so much we should have done but haven’t! But the Lord Jesus left nothing of our salvation incomplete! It Is Finished! He did not partially save or partially ransom—It Is Finished! Everything He did for us, He did perfectly—-It is Finished! There is no one like Christ Jesus in any of the World’s Religions.

This one expression—IT IS FINISHED explodes every other religion on earth! They are all fakes. They are all useless. Mohammed did not complete redemption for his people, Buddha did not atone for His people –only Christ Jesus ransomed, redeemed and reconciled us back to God.

It is Finished! ‘Lifted up was He to die It is Finished was His Cry. Now in heaven exalted high Hallelujah, What a Saviour.’

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word – Jesus, God over All

Romans 9:5. “Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for ever. Amen” (ESV)

God became a man. He became a member of the human race. He became flesh and blood.

Stunning!

Although He became human, He remained entirely and thoroughly the Lord God from Heaven.

Even more stunning!

He was and is the Mighty God, the eternal, self-existent one who was and is and is to come.

He is ‘over all.’

That means,

There is no one above Him.

He is over all angels.

He is above all created beings.

He governs all.

What exceedingly good news! It was the Lord of Glory Himself who came to redeem us. We were helpless, and God Himself loved us enough to come to the rescue.

The God of the Arians (Jehovah Witnesses and others) didn’t love us enough to come here to save us. He, according to their teaching, created and sent someone else to do the job for him.

Perhaps their god didn’t want to get his hands dirty? Or maybe it was because he didn’t like the idea of pain, suffering, rejection and humiliation? Or perhaps he was occupied with more pressing matters? But whatever the reason, he, according to them, stayed in Heaven and sent a substitute to represent Him. He can, therefore, be likened to a man who while walking over a bridge with his son spies someone drowning in the river below. His heart is so smitten with concern that he asks his son to jump over the side to rescue and save the drowning man. But, not so the God of the Bible! He laid down the vestiges of royalty, wrapped himself with humanity and came here Himself to rescue and save us from the river of death by bearing our sins on the cross. Jesus was man’s substitute, not God’s. As Bonar said,

‘Turn your eye to the cross and see these two things, – the Crucifiers and the Crucified——-See the Crucified. It is God himself; incarnate love. It is the God who made you, suffering, dying for the ungodly. Can you suspect his grace? Can you cherish evil thoughts of him? Can you ask anything farther to awaken in you the fullest and most unreserved confidence? Will you misinterpret that agony and death by saying that they do not mean grace, or that the grace which they mean is not for you? Call to mind that which is written, – “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” 1 John 3:16.

Horatius Bonar: Christ Died for the Ungodly.

In the scheme which denies Christ’s Deity, we are presented with a god who was either unwilling or unable to come here himself and rescue us. We must then ask, had their god become too frail to undertake the mission? Did he need someone more energetic and youthful to complete the task? Candidly speaking, this business of God creating some super-angel to do His redeeming work leaves God looking somewhat suspect in His commitment to us. Frankly, I’m not impressed with a god who wouldn’t come here Himself to rescue me! A god who stayed in heaven while I was utterly ruined cannot melt my heart. A god who delegates my redemption to another cannot command my loyalty. On this matter, I take my stand with Luther who said,

“Wherefore, he that preaches a God to me that died not for me the death on the cross, that God will I not receive.”

Martin Luther: Smalcald Articles.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Grace that brings Salvation Titus 2:11

There’s an astonishing verse in Romans 5:6 which boldly declares that Christ died for the ungodly. Have you ever seen yourself as ungodly?

The truth is, no matter how good and righteous we feel, we are still ungodly wretches (Romans 3 10ff). All of us are in the same boat.

But the good news is that while we were without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.

That one scripture goes so hard against the grain of religious thinking that it proves the Scriptures to be true. No man would have dared to invent this verse. Religion militates against such an idea. Dying for the ungodly? How ridiculous. That means He died for those who were against God, for those who hated God and for those who would have killed God if they had had the chance.

May we all realize how ungodly we all are in our flesh (Romans 7:18).

Do you remember the story of the two men who went to the Temple to pray? One stood and addressed the Almighty telling him a pack of lies while the other man could not so much as raise his eyes to heaven and prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner (literally THE sinner).

This poor publican (tax collector) felt like he was the worst and only sinner on the planet. His lostness was not just a general notion to him it was real and very personal.

Have any of us ever felt that? Have we ever seen ourselves as lost and ruined? It is only when this happens that Grace will seem amazing.

The Grace of God (Jesus) brings salvation (Titus 2:11)! God did not merely send His salvation; He brought it Himself! He did not entrust His most important angel to reveal Grace and Mercy. No! It was God Himself who was the messenger.

Bypassing the angels, He stooped and came down,

down,

down,

down,

down,

to the manger in Bethlehem,

to become one of us,

to be wounded for our transgressions,

to be nailed to the cross,

to cry out Eloi, Eloi lama sabacthani.

He didn’t say, “Come up here to heaven lads. Climb the stairway men!” No! He came down, down, down and came alongside us. Only then did He say “Come unto me.”

What immense grace! What vast kindness!

“O Bringer of salvation,

So marvelously wrought,

Yourself the revelation

Of love beyond our thought:

We worship you; we bless you;

To you alone we sing;

We praise you and confess you,

Our Holy Lord and King.”

Spurgeon describes the visit of the prince of Spain to a galley ship in which convicts had been chained to their oars. The Prince decided to free any of the galley slaves as he saw fit, so he went to man after man asking them why they were in prison. One of them said he was there because false witnesses swore away his character. Another said he had done something wrong, but it was slight, and he ought never to have been condemned. Each of the prisoners made excuses for their sins until finally, he came to one man, who said, “You ask me why I am here. I am ashamed to say that I richly deserve it.” He said, “I am guilty. I cannot for a moment say that I am not, and if I die at this oar, I thoroughly deserve the punishment. In fact, I think it’s a mercy that my life has spared me.” The Prince set this man free.

What an illustration of a beautiful principle in the word of God. Jesus did not come to save the righteous, but to bring sinners to repentance, and when a man poses as one who is righteous in himself, he is not a candidate for the grace of God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Our Saviour Attacked!

Don’t you just hate it when our Saviour is attacked?

Recently my friends from the International English Church in Seoul, S. Korea were sent a troubling Facebook Message penned by a gentleman named Michael Schermer. It read,

“Jesus died for our sins but he was only dead for three days. So what did He sacrifice? His weekend. Jesus gave up his weekend for our sins.”

I could not help but reply. Here’s what I wrote. “Good gracious! Mr. Schemer seems painfully ignorant of the remarkable Christ event and its ramifications. He thinks that a few short hours on the cross constitute our Saviour’s sacrifice. What has he been smoking? Does He not know that the entire incarnation was a sacrifice?

For God to leave his throne and become a member of the race He’d created was a sacrifice.

To empty Himself of the vestiges of Glory was a sacrifice.

To be born to a teenage Virgin with a controversial story (in the eyes of many) was a sacrifice.

To be a refugee in Egypt was a sacrifice.

To be spat upon was a sacrifice.

For the darling of heaven to be scorned and rejected was a sacrifice.

To be called demon possessed was a sacrifice.

To make Himself of no reputation was a sacrifice.

His entire 33 yrs was a sacrifice in which He demonstrated both to man and God what man should be.

Then he went to the cross to sacrifice Himself as a perfect ransom, sin offering, and wrath offering.

Everything he did for His people was a perfect sacrifice. Now, as P. T. Forsyth said, “Christianity is not the sacrifice that we make; it is the sacrifice that we trust.”

One can only pray that Mr. Schemer’s eyes will be opened to see the Glory of Christ and the magnitude of His sacrifice on behalf of His people.

As believers, we need to learn to say something when Jesus is attacked.

Some years ago E.V. Hill said, “There once was a Baptist deacon who was a very excellent deacon except for one matter… When annoyed, he was much given to the use of oaths and expletives. So, the Pastor, wanting to talk to the Deacon about this character flaw decided to take the gentleman fishing.

They’d been out in the water for 6 hours and had caught nothing. But all was not lost for the pastor had been able to gain assurances that the deacon would actively seek to amend the wicked ways of his wayward tongue.

Suddenly, the Pastor’s line had a bite. It was a big one! In fact, the two stalwart fishermen could see that this hooked fish was one of the largest either men had ever seen. Carefully, the pastor reeled the great fish towards the waiting net, but just as they were about to land it, the line snapped, and the inordinate fish got away.

The two men just sat still in dismayed silence, staring at each other. Eventually, the Deacon said, “Pastor, I thank you for your wise counsel earlier today, but in times like these, something needs to be said.” Yes indeed, something needs to be said.”

In times like these when people ridicule and attack our Saviour, something needs to be said.”

In times like these, when Islam says that Christ is one of many prophets and not God manifest in the flesh, something needs to be said.”

In times like these, when Mormons say that God created Jesus through a relationship with one of His celestial wives, something needs to be said.”

In times like these, when Jehovah Witness teach that Jesus was and is merely an angel who is just one of many “gods,” something needs to be said.”

In times like these when so called ministers of the gospel are silent on the murder of children in the womb, something needs to be said.”

In times like these when famous preachers deny the doctrine of Penal Substitution calling it ‘cosmic child abuse,’ instead, something needs to be said.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com