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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’s Death’

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  

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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 

The Practical Importance of Limited Atonement

March 21, 2017 2 comments

by John Divito

All too often, when the doctrine of limited atonement is considered, people only see it as a theological debate over the extent of Christ’s atonement. Rarely is a direct connection drawn between this doctrinal divide and its implications in the Christian life. Of course a biblical study on the atonement is foundational for what we believe, but we must also remember that what we believe impacts how we live. Our theology drives our practice. In other words, living the Christian life flows out of the doctrinal truths that we believe. This is why we are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewal of our minds. When our minds are renewed by the Word of God, then our lives will be transformed in living a life according to the will of God. So what difference does limited atonement make in our lives?

 

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Wednesday Word: Gossiping the Gospel Part 2

Last time we observed how in Acts 8:4, the early church left Jerusalem and went everywhere spreading the Good News. Indeed, it could be said that they went everywhere gossiping the Gospel. Let’s continue where we left off.

Origen, the 3rd-century theologian, inadvertently told how the church in his day embraced the practice of gossiping the Gospel. According to him, a lack of education and diminished social standing did not make the believers feel unqualified to spread the Good News. He said: “We see in private homes workers in wool and leather, laundry workers and the most illiterate and bucolic yokels who would not dare to say anything at all in front of the elders and more intelligent masters. But they get hold of the children… and (others) who are as ignorant as themselves. Then they pour out wonderful statements…”

In Part 1 we discovered that to gossip the Gospel, we learn to talk about Christ’s Person, Name, Life and Righteousness. Here, then, are some other matters about which we gossip.

When we spread the Gospel,

We gossip about (5) Christ’s blood.

By His Blood-Shedding and death, Jesus has accomplished redemption for His people (Ephesians 1:7).

Our death sentence has been reversed.

Blood has been shed …it’s the blood of sanctification (Hebrews 13:12).

Blood has been shed …it’s the blood of the everlasting covenant (Hebrews13:20).

Blood has been shed …it’s the blood of cleansing (1 John 1:7).

Blood has been shed…it’s precious blood; the blood of the Lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19).

Blood has been shed…it’s the blood shed for many for the remission of sins (Mark 14:24).

Blood has been shed…it’s this blood which purges the conscience (Hebrews 9:14).

Reconciliation, Redemption, Atonement, Cleansing, Sacrifice. Remission,…what excellent matters to gossip about!

Not only do we talk about Christ’s blood, but we also gossip about (6) His resurrection.

He died, was buried, but rose again. He is now the risen One. He is not the dying one. Nor is He the dead one. He is the ever-living one!

His grave is empty, for His work is done. The work is accomplished; the seal of the tomb is broken, the stone rolled away. He is risen! His resurrection is the pledge and guarantee of ours!

Not only do we talk about Christ’s person, but we also gossip about (7). His Ascension.

After having shown Himself alive for 40 days among His disciples (Acts1:3), He was taken up both physically and visibly into the heavens (Acts 1:9). His last physical act was to bless His people (Acts 24:50-51), and in the midst of doing this, He returned to Glory. His work on earth was done. As our substitute and final word of God to man, He successfully discharged His mission. He has ascended and is now exalted, a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:31).

Not only do we talk about Christ’s Ascension but we also gossip about (8) His intercession.

He ever lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). He is the High Priest above all priests (Hebrews 4:14). He is our Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). He appears for us (Hebrews 9:24). The Father hears Him always (John 11:42). His intercession cannot fail—it is a mighty intercession; an intercession in which the Father delights. It’s an intercession which delivers further assurance of our present and eternal security.

Not only do we talk about Christ’s intercession, but we also gossip about (9) His second coming.

“Behold, He cometh with clouds” (Revelation 1:7). “Behold, I come quickly” (Revelation 22:12). “Behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousand of His saints” (Jude 1:14). As it says in the hymn ‘It is well with my Soul’;

“But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,

The sky, not the grave, is our goal;

Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!

Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!”

The early Christians were full of the message of the return of the Lord. Indeed, the Church of the first century delighted in it. And, if we are to gossip the Gospel and the results of the Gospel we must gossip about a coming Christ as well as a Christ who has come.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Gossiping the Gospel Part 1

March 1, 2017 1 comment

In Acts 8:4, we read how that the early church left Jerusalem and went everywhere spreading the Good News. It has been observed;

“This must often have been not formal preaching, but informal chattering to friends and chance acquaintances, in homes and wine shops, on walks, and around market stalls. They went everywhere gossiping the gospel; they did it naturally, enthusiastically, and with the conviction of those who are not paid to say that sort of thing. Consequently, they were taken seriously, and the movement spread, notably among the lower classes.”(Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church)

We have all been recruited to play our part in spreading the Gospel. Here, therefore, are a few pointers to help us do just that.

When we spread the Gospel…..

We gossip about (1) Christ’s person.

He is the Word made flesh (John 1:14); David’s Son, David’s Lord; King of kings (Revelation 17:14), yet a servant (Isaiah 42:19); Lord of lords, yet a worm and no man (Psalm 22:6).

In His person, there is perfection.

There is perfection in the astonishing union of the divine and human natures. He is the God/Man; He has two natures but is one person. As in His divinity, there is perfection in His humanity.

There is perfection in His holiness and perfection in His love.

There is perfection in His power and perfection in His goodness.

When the Father looks upon Him, He sees perfection.

There is perfection in every movement of that remarkable person, in every word and deed. We have much to talk about when we gossip about the person of Jesus

Not only do we talk about Christ’s person, but we also gossip about (2) Christ’s Name.

His name is Jesus, Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14)! He is the Christ, the Son of God. His name is a proclamation of the Gospel for that name contains the excellent news that He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6). He is the unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15)

His name is the joyful sound (Psalm 89:15). It is the name of names; His name is as ointment poured forth (Song of Songs 1:3). As Horatius Bonas said, “With the voice of a trumpet, we proclaim His name, that the whole earth may hear it, and rejoice in it. “

His glorious name ‘Jesus’ is the name above every name. “Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and has given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; that every knee should bow and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). Not only do we talk about Christ’s name, but….

We also gossip about (3) His life.

He dwelt among us; doing and speaking grace. His whole life was good news; each part of it was good news for His life was a revelation of God. When Jesus spoke, God spoke. When Jesus healed, God healed. He was God manifest in the flesh. In His going out and coming in, we have the good news about God. Again Bonar says, “Miracles, parables, sermons, all contain the revelation of the mind of God. His whole life is the revelation of God’s love for His people.”

With great delight, we can learn to Gossip about Christ’s life.

Not only do we talk about Christ’s life, but…

We also gossip about (4) Christ’s righteousness.

He was the Righteous One, fulfilling the law for us; accomplishing the righteous demands of God for us. Christ Jesus alone is now our righteousness. He lived suffered and died, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18).

As Luther said in his commentary on Galatians, “In that righteousness and life [of Christ] I have no sin, no sting of conscience, no care of death . . . I have another righteousness and life above this life, which is Christ the Son of God, Who knows no sin nor death but is righteousness and life eternal.—pp.105-106.

The righteousness which is imputed to us is the very righteousness of Christ. It is His and reckoned to us freely without cost to us or cause in us. But remember, the righteousness that saves us is nothing found within us. Although we believe in performing good works, we must also be diligent not to trust in them. To rest on saving righteousness by works is to fall from grace.

What a lot we have to gossip about.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

In part two we will consider 5 additional ways to “Gossip the Gospel.”

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Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Jesus our Gospel

As we read through the New Testament apostolic sermons, we discover that they always point back to events in the past. Those early, inspired preachers did not look to anything present tense as being the Gospel. From this, we learn that unless we are looking back and pointing to the redemptive events of the past, the Christ event, we are, in fact, not preaching the Gospel. Our message is not some vague philosophy about God, but rather a story packed with concrete, historical events and facts.

Here are the details; Christ lived; Christ died. Christ was buried; Christ rose again from the dead.

These are the significant specifics of the Gospel. They are events that have already happened in history. These facts are plain simple and few, so few that a child could remember and understand them.

The Gospel belongs to a completed history; its facts are not happening today. Christ is not on the cross, He is not atoning for sins, His work is finished; He is ruling and reigning that He might apply His entire accomplishments to His people. We are secure in Him! Because of the cross, He will come back for us (Hebrews 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts1:11). We are safe!

As a result of this Gospel, this Finished Work, Christ is now seated at the place of cosmic authority. Now, based on His accomplishments in the Gospel, Christ Jesus is our, “Advocate with the Father.” Talk about security!!

BTW, since the Gospel concerns that which has happened in the past, it makes our job very easy. To share the gospel all we have to do is tell the story —–the story of the doing, dying and rising of Christ. We don’t even have to tell our listeners to do anything because the minute we go to the realm of ‘do,’ we are not preaching the Gospel. Of course, we will eventually bring the hearers to the “Do” stage, but asking them to “do” something is the application of the Gospel and not the Gospel itself. For example, if we preach all night on repentance; then all we’ve done is preach all night on repentance.

We’ve not preached the Gospel since we’ve not preached a past historical event. If we preach repentance, we’re preaching what should be a necessary application of the Gospel, but how can we have anyone repent and exercise saving faith unless they first hear the Gospel (Romans 10:14-15)?

In the 1620s a fierce preacher, John Glendinning, preached the law and dread of God to his listeners in Sixmilewater, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. By all accounts, his hearers were cut down in terror and actually swooned with fear—-but they did not get saved. They believed every word Glendinning said, but because the Gospel had not been preached, they remained lost. Another minister, Robert Blair was then sent into the area, and he preached the saving acts of God in Christ, and the poor tormented souls got saved.

It is vital that we grasp the ‘pastness’ of the Gospel because, since the Gospel is a past historical event, it cannot be experienced. The Gospel is uniquely about Christ’s unrepeatable experience. It is not about my experience or your experience. His life was the only one of its kind. He will never repeat His accomplishments or death. The Gospel is uniquely about the experiences of the Divine/Human Saviour, Jesus Christ. As He hung upon that never to be repeated cross, the experience was uniquely His. We can look back to that event and fully identify with it, but we cannot travel back in time and climb on the cross with Him. We can, however, by faith, receive all the Gospel benefits He obtained for us, but we cannot experience the Gospel. We can only experience its benefits.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Jesus our Gospel

December 28, 2016 Leave a comment

Jesus is our Gospel. He is Heaven’s good news. To put it another way, the Gospel is God’s good news about Himself revealed in His Son. The Gospel brings, not only good news about what God has done for us but also gives us good news about God Himself. Because of the Gospel, we can learn about the very character of God.

For example, we would not realize how much God hates sin if it were not for the cross. It is the Gospel, in fact, which best illustrates His awful and intense abhorrence of sin. There is nothing in the entire universe that reveals God’s holy wrath against sin more than the blood of Christ. Think about it. There was no other way for the Lord to save us but by the blood. The horror of our sin is seen in that the sinless, spotless Lamb of God offered Himself and poured out His blood as our substitute.

Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3)! Death, of course, is not always bloody. You can die without losing your blood. But Christ not only died, He shed His blood. Blood is the sign of violence. You see, the death of Jesus was not just a mere passing away – a dying of old age on a comfortable bed. No! It was a violent death. It was a bloody, gory, ugly, revolting scene — a man hanging torn and wretched upon a cross, with blood streaming down His sides and running down His face.

Lets never forget that the God who is love is the God who is holy. As Dr. Barnhouse said,

“If you say that God is love without realizing that God is hate of sin you have no Gospel at all because you do not have God. The people who teach that God is love without teaching that God is also hate of sin have in reality another God who is Satan with a mask on.”

Donald Gray Barnhouse: Commentary on Romans.

In the Old Testament Temple, God demonstrated His hatred of sin in the daily sacrifices. God, being Holy, can no more endorse sin than He can commit it. But, these sacrifices were merely shadows of the reality which was to come. Only in the Gospel do we see the fulfillment of these Old Testament types. Only in the Gospel are we caused to face the horror of sin.

God spared not His Son but delivered Him up as an offering which took away holy wrath. Christ, as the Puritan, Stephen Charnock, said: “hung on the cross like a disinherited son while he appeared in the rank and garb of a sinner.”

Hanging there, the Lamb who knew no sin, called out and cried, “My God My God why have you forsaken me.” By the way, this is the first time in His ministry that Christ had ever called the Father by the title of ‘God.’ All through His life, he had called God His Father. But there at the cross, Christ took the place of His sinful people taking their sin and all the separation that goes along with it.

Listen to Him cry out in tortured agony, “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” Had there been another way to reconcile us do you not think the Father would have taken it? The cross was awful; it was scandalous! Yet, it reveals the heart of God, not only in His deep love for us but also in the deep hatred of sin which so offended His holiness.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com