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The Wednesday Word: “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE”

December 18, 2019 Leave a comment

“Neither do I condemn thee” John 8:11.

These are the priceless, life-giving words spoken by our Saviour to the woman taken in adultery. This poor creature was discovered in the actual act of fornication and dragged before Jesus by those who thought themselves righteous. These men knew full well Christ´s love and compassion for poor sinners and had no doubt heard His blistering denunciations against the Pharisees. But here was a case in which they were convinced Christ would be compelled to condemn this miserable woman.

There was no denial on her part. It appears she had nothing to say; … she was guilty. And like all of us when at first we stood guilty before God, we had no reason to give as to why a swift sentence should not be passed.

These men, the poor woman´s accusers, depended for their salvation upon their strict fulfilment of the ceremonial law and were judged accordingly. In other words, they relied upon themselves and their works. But when convicted by Christ´s words, “He that is without sin let him cast the first stone,” they were self-condemned and went out one by one.

There must have been surprise and joy on her part when He spoke the words, “Neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more.”

We must not forget, too, that these were not merely the words of a man, but the words of God. If He had condemned her, it would have been divine condemnation. But Jesus came not to condemn the world, but to save sinners. He will come one day to judge, but His mission then and now was and is to seek and to save those that were and are lost (Luke 19:10).

“Neither do I condemn thee.” What words of comfort to that poor woman! And He still says the same to all who come to Him with nothing to plead but His mercy.

Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” In other words, “Don´t commit adultery again. Turn away from it. I believe she was empowered to do just that because of Christ´s bold declaration, “Neither do I condemn you.” Grace gives life and power while the Law alone brings death.

Jesus could have said, “Serves you right” But He didn´t! BTW, “ It serves you right” is the response of the Pharisee and the graceless Christian (so-called). Oh, that all who name the name of Jesus would beware of that condemning spirit! I am afraid that we, God’s children, are too apt to condemn each other for failure.

“Neither do I condemn thee.” To the young and old Christian, alike, these are sweet words. Are you fearful that because you have failed the Lord Jesus that you, therefore, don´t belong to Him? That´s a lie. Go to Him, though your failures are many, His words remain the same, “Neither do I condemn thee.”

“But, I´m not sure I am saved,” you say.

OK, let me ask you, do you want to be one of His?”

Yes!

You question your salvation, but do you doubt Him?

No!

Do you believe that He died and rose again?

Yes!

Do you believe that He is the Lord?

Yes!

Then, you are His. Go to the Lord Christ. Look unto Him. His words are, “Neither do I condemn thee.” The Psalmist’s words are right, “Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him (Psalm 103:13). For He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). His mercy is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 103:17). If it were not so, who would stand? No one. He must and will uphold us from beginning to end. To Him be all the praise and glory!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: The Shepherd and the Sword

December 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Awake O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow” Zechariah 13:7.

The Lord Jesus came here to be the effective, substitute for sinners. As such, it pleased the Father to bruise Him. The decree went out from Yahweh Himself, “Smite the Shepherd.” That´s why we also read, “He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

Although Jesus went to the cross, He was under no compulsion to do so. No man took His life, He laid it down voluntarily (John 10:18). The Father decreed that the Shepherd would die and Jesus willingly fulfilled those wishes. Men, it seems, were the unwitting accomplices in carrying out the great, eternal purposes of redeeming grace.

But why did Jesus die? Is there anyone reading this who can answer? Is there a prophet or a son of a prophet who can shed some light on this matter? But wait, who is that long bearded man coming towards us. It is a seer. It´s Isaiah!

Let´s ask Isaiah. “Isaiah, we need some help here…why did Jesus, our Shepherd, die? “…and Isaiah without hesitation answers, “He was wounded. for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him … The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Thanks Isaiah! That shed much light on this question for us. (see Isaiah 53).

When Jesus died, He accepted the just penalty of His people’s sins. The sword was turned against the Shepherd. He died for our iniquities. He bore our sins. Who then can condemn us?

“Complete atonement Thou hast made,

And to the utmost farthing paid

Whate’er Thy people owed;

Nor can Thy wrath on me take place,

If sheltered in Thy righteousness,

And sprinkled with Thy blood.

“For my discharge Thou hast procured,

And freely in my room endured

The whole of Wrath Divine:

Payment God cannot twice demand,

First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,

And then again at mine”?

Augustus Toplady

Who then, is he that condemns? No one is qualified to do so. Christ has been convicted and punished in our place. This is the excellent ground of our assurance. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). Being redeemed, we are delivered from condemnation (Romans 8:1). The Father does not condemn those whom He, by the Spirit, has brought into Christ Jesus.

Another reason why none of the redeemed can be condemned is that Christ, not only died but is risen again. His resurrection proves that He has forever exhausted the entire penalty due to the sins of believers. He was raised again because He had secured our justification.

Bishop Pearson (1877) well said,

“By His death, we know that He suffered for sin,

By His resurrection, we are assured that the sins for which He suffered were not His own.

Had no man been a sinner, He would not have died;

Had He been a sinner, He would not have risen again.”

Because Christ is at the place of cosmic authority, no one can condemn us. He has entered heaven as the forerunner of His people (Hebrews 6:20). He is the advance guard, and we will follow.

Eternity with Jesus! …Just the thought of this is heaven. It´s no wonder the Hymn writer wrote;

“How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

In a believer´s ear

It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds

And drives away His fears.”

Right now, this very moment, Christ Jesus is representing us. We cannot, therefore, be condemned. We are dear to Him, He is our Priest and Advocate. He is the Shepherd who was smitten with the sword. He appears for us and intends to bring us to where He lives. There is no condemnation for us. We are eternally secure.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: So, the Disciples Stole Christ´s Body?

November 27, 2019 2 comments

In a desperate attempt to explain away the resurrection, the soldiers who guarded the tomb were bribed to say that, while they were sleeping, the disciples came and stole the body (Matthew 28:12-13).

Yeah right! That won´t stand up in court! How did they know what had happened if they were sleeping?

However, if the disciples did, in fact, steal the body, why would they willingly die awful deaths to affirm their absolute belief that Jesus was resurrected?

Church tradition tells us how these so -called body stealers and their friends died. Warning! The following is not pretty.

1. Matthew. Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

2. Mark. Died in Alexandria, Egypt after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

3. Luke. Although not of the original 12, was hanged in Greece as a result of his powerful preaching to the lost.

4. John. He was the only one who lived to old age and was not martyred. Tradition has it that he survived being boiled in oil. He was imprisoned on the island of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation …was later freed and went to Turkey and served as a church leader.

5. Peter. He was crucified upside down on an x shaped cross. He told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus had died.

6. James. Again, not one of the original 12 but the Lord´s half-brother and spokesman for the church in Jerusalem. He was thrown a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a club.

7. James. One of the Sons of Zebedee was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to the ministry. He was put to death by the sword at Jerusalem, Acts 12:2.

8. Bartholomew. Also known as Nathaniel. He was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9. Andrew. He Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony.

His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words, “I have long desired and expected this happy hour.” He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he died.

10. Thomas. He was speared to death in India during one of his missionary trips to bring the Gospel.

11. Jude. He was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in the resurrected Christ.

12. Matthias. The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot. He was stoned and then beheaded.

To my friends who distain the truth of the resurrection of Christ I would ask… Are you really saying that these same disciples crept in and stole the body and then falsely claimed that Jesus had risen? Why then did they continue to perpetrate this so called fraud … even in the grim face of violent deaths?

It is because they knew they served the living, resurrected Saviour. They knew their redeemer lived and so they willingly died for Him and the truth of His cause (1 Peter 4:12-13).

His resurrection proves that He has forever exhausted all the penalty due to the sins of the believer. He was raised again because He had secured our justification (Hebrews 1:3; Romans 3:24). How the Devil hates this message and assaults those who bring it.

May we pray for the persecuted churches in India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, China and Africa to mention but a few.

In these Last Days we are being called to stronger than ever involvement with the cause of Christ.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Not Ashamed Part 2

October 16, 2019 5 comments

Last time we concluded that, as Christians, we are not ashamed of the Lord Jesus. We are not ashamed of His Virgin Birth. His Miracles, His claims or His silence. Let´s take this a bit further.

We are not ashamed of His scream!

Yes, you read that right, we are not ashamed of His scream! From the cross He screamed the agonising words, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me.” These were not the words of a man who has suddenly discovered that he was all wrong. These were the anguished words of the One who was dying for us.

At the cross, He hung there as our substitute. He was executed as our representative and reckoned guilty before God. It was as though He tasted the depth of our God forsakenness. Our sins separated Him from His Father. He tasted the God-desertedness that His people´s sins would have caused them at Judgment day.

What He said (His scream) and what he didn´t say (His silence) were both on our account.

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Death

Isaiah 53:5, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.” Every aspect of His death was vicarious (substitutionary). He was doing it for us. The sinful shame that we would have felt before God, He felt as He hung there naked on the cross.

“Bearing shame and scoffing rude

Condemned and in my place He stood.

Sealed my acquittal with His blood,

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!”

I´m not ashamed of Him, His Birth, His miracles, His claims, His silence, His scream, His death, His resurrection, His ascension or His intercession.

What about you? Are you ashamed of anything about Him?

I am not ashamed of His Gospel.

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” But what is the Gospel? There are many who claim to be sent to preach the Gospel, but they don´t know what it is. Their message is a subjective, man-centred message of self-help. But the true Gospel is the perfect work of God in Christ. It´s an event which took place outside of us in history. It is a completed finished work accomplished by the One who is the Gospel incarnate. Indeed, the Gospel is Jesus Himself (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

The Gospel is not about Christ coming into our heart, it is about Christ coming into this world to save His people. In Psalm 89:14-15, we are introduced to the ´joyful sound.´

But what is the joyful sound?

It is that, Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, rose on the third day and was seen of many witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel, our judge became our justifier (Romans 3:26).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel there is full acquittal for us through the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9).

What is the joyful sound?

It is that because of the Gospel the accuser of the brethren is cast down (see Revelation 12:10-11).

What is the joyful sound? It is that the accuser has been routed because of the blood of the lamb (see Revelation 12:10-11).

What is the joyful sound? It is that through the Gospel, those trusting in the merits of Christ and His blood have a verdict in their favour.

VERDICT?

Yes, all charges against us are dropped. Case dismissed, (see Romans 8:33-34).

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.

We don´t rest on the Plan of Salvation as much as we trust, rest and cling to the Man of Salvation.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word- Not Ashamed!

They looked unto Him and were lightened and their faces were not ashamed Psalm 34:5.

We´ve all done things of which we are ashamed. Although we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ, we wish we could go back in time and erase all manner of sins and failures.

However, there are certain things of which we need not be ashamed, mortified or embarrassed.

First, and foremost, we are not ashamed of Jesus. For example,

We are not Ashamed of His Birth.

He was Virgin born. Sceptics through the centuries have railed at this magnificent truth. Even during His lifetime Christ was taunted about His birth. In John 8:41, His enemies mockingly said, “We were not born of fornication.” In other words, they were calling Him a bastard.

But we believe it just the way it was foretold. The angel said to Mary,

” The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee” (Luke 1:35).

It was a miracle act of paternity. The scoffers may not like it, but Yahweh had always signalled His intention to become human. According to the Law, if someone was to be redeemed (bought back) and have their debts paid, they could only be redeemed by a Kinsman (Leviticus 25:47-55). The redeemer had to be related. He had to be a Kinsman Redeemer. Thus, Yahweh announced in Isaiah 43:15 (and other places), that He was the “Gaal,” the Kinsman Redeemer of His people.

This means, every time He refers to Himself as the Gaal, the Lord was prophesying that He would become a man. Consequently, the Virgin Birth present us with no problems.

I am not ashamed of His birth. Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Miracles.

He was a real faith healer. There was no money angle. There was no sham or pretence. In Christ we had an invasion of supernatural reality. Unfortunately, today if you talk about miracles, people think you´re ´away with the fairies. ´ But we Christians believe in His miracles … every single one. We are not embarrassed by them. We don´t feel we have to explain them.

He healed blind eyes.

He raised people from the dead.

He ruined every funeral He ever attended.

I am not ashamed of His miracles … Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Claims.

Jesus claimed the most remarkable things. He claimed,

“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

“Before Abraham was I am” (John 8:58).

“No man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

Jesus by this last statement claimed to be both intolerant and exclusive.

Why intolerant? Because, He didn´t tolerate any other claiming to be the way to God. He is the Way! But, it wasn´t an unkind intolerance. Parents get intolerant and, because of the dangers, forbid their children from playing in the middle of the street. No one in their right mind would say their intolerance was hateful.

Why exclusive? Because He excludes all other mediators. Buddha is out, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are Out, Mohammed is out. Christ alone is the revelation and truth of God.

Because of love, He is both exclusive and intolerant.

I am not ashamed of His claims. Are you?

As Believers, we are not Ashamed of His Silence.

Jesus stood before His accusers and answered them not a word (Matthew 26:62-63).

Why?

He stood before His accusers much in the same way we would have had to stand before God. As unredeemed sinners we would have had nothing to say before Him (Romans 3:19). \

He stood in silence, but it was not the silence of guilt. No indeed, this silence was prophesied in Isaiah 53:7 “… he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.”

He stood in silence in our place as we would have had to stand before God. He could have defended Himself, but He stood in silence because He was the Substitute.

Are you ashamed of His silence? I´m not!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Christ Lifted Up Part 2

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32).

There is no doubt or hesitation in this statement. Jesus is saying, if He dies on the cross, multitudes of people will be drawn to Him. There is no hint or suggestion in this statement of any kind of failure in the cross. He MUST be lifted up and as a result He WILL draw all to Himself.

Because of His being crucified, there will be a great multitude which no man can number drawn to him. They will come to Him out of all nations, peoples, and tongues (see Revelation 7:9).

Of course, we must not read into the text (John 12:32) that which is not there. When the Master said He would draw all men unto Him, He didn´t mean all men without exception. That would be contrary to Scripture. That would mean that Hell is a monumental testimony of the failure of the cross. Plainly, the words mean that He will draw all manner of people to Him — Kings, Queens, high, low, rich, poor, moral, immoral and people of every description. All will be drawn to Him (Revelation 5:9).

If we read Acts 15:14, we will see that in the great Council of Jerusalem, James stood up and said that God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name.

And the truth is, God is yet calling out a people for His name, a people for His praise and a people for the glory of His grace.

If you are a believer, and I trust you are, let me ask, do you witness for Him and engage to some degree in His work? Is it not an immense encouragement to know that His death was not in vain? His work upon the cross has definite results —the results that He intended. Is it not an encouragement to know that Christ is not disappointed by the outcome of Calvary?

Every mansion in heaven will be occupied. There will be no empty seats. It is the great purpose of the Lord Jesus to, because of the cross, draw all kinds of people to Himself.

It is an immense comfort as we gossip the Gospel to know that there is no failure in the work the Lord finished. Christ is accomplishing His purposes and will continually accomplish them until He comes back again and welcomes all His believing people to Himself.

Hudson Taylor, missionary to China in the 1800s, said, if he had gone out to China with the idea that God was going to convert all the Chinese, he would have left China long ago. But he said he went there with the idea that God would call out a people for His name, and this purpose, he said, was accomplished. He said that in almost every province in China there were numbers ready to meet Christ when He returned.

And so, it is an immense encouragement, as we witness, to know that the Lord´s purposes shall be fully accomplished; His death was not in vain. He shall see, the travail of His soul and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11).

Therefore, we should take Him at His word and believe Him when He says,

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32).

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Christ Lifted Up: Part 1

And if I be lifted up from the earth: I will draw all men unto Me; (see John 12:32-33.)

THREE times in the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to the fact of His being lifted up on the cross. On the first occasion, He spoke about it in a private conversation with Nicodemus. Remember how He said, ´´As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish; but have eternal life´´ (John 3:14-15).

Notice also how He spoke of the necessity of the cross. He said, “Even so MUST the Son of Man be lifted up: “

Again, in a public discourse: in the Temple, Jesus said. “When you have lifted up the Son of Man then shall you know that I am He.” (John 8:28).

Then shortly after His triumphal. entry into Jerusalem He said, “And, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me ” (John 12:32-33).

Those were prophetic words telling of the manner and results of Christ’s death.

If He had been put to death by the Jewish authorities as a blasphemer, His death would have been by stoning; But that was not the way the Father intended. He had purposed to inflict the death penalty on the Beloved One, the representative man. The Father was responsible for Christ´s death. Neither the Jews nor the Romans killed Jesus…. They were used in that terrible event, but Jesus was executed by the Father. Otherwise, justice would not have been served.

But back to our main theme. One of the things we learn from our text is that the drawing of men to Christ would be absolutely dependent upon His death. The Master said, “And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me.” There could have been no ‘drawing of men’ to Christ for salvation if He had not died upon the cross!

We read in John 6:44, “No man can come unto Me except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.” But what would have been the point of the Father drawing men if Jesus had not died for their sins? There would have been no salvation if Christ had not died! And so, in John 12:24 He says, ” except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides, alone.” Jesus was speaking of Himself. He was that corn of wheat, and unless He had died on the cross, He would have been alone. No one would have been saved.

And so, our Lord here teaches us that it was absolutely necessary for the salvation of His people that He should die upon the cross. He does not say. ” If I go on working miracles, my miracles will draw all men unto Me “; or ” I if I go on living a holy, and godly life I will draw all men unto Me. No! A thousand times No! Here´s what He did say. “If I be lifted up (on the cross) I will draw all men unto Me. Thus, our Lord fixes our attention upon His death in order to show that His death was essential for our salvation.

His death upon the cross is the great central truth of the Gospel and except He had died no one would ever have been saved. Therefore, let us hold fast to what has sneeringly been referred to as “Blood Theology.” Without the shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22). God justifies … freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24). Whom God hath set forth to be a wrath offering through faith in His blood (Romans 3:25).

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com