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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’s Deity’

The Wednesday Word: Our Defender and Judge

January 15, 2020 5 comments

In the New Testament,

Repentance is mentioned 70 times;

Baptism is mentioned at most 20 times;

The New Birth is mentioned 9 times;

The ‘Lord’s Supper’ is mentioned 6 times;

But …

The Second Coming of Christ is mentioned no less than 318 times!

Mark it down, Jesus is coming back! In fact, one verse in every 25 verses throughout the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation, points to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Listen to this, it is appointed once to die. And after death? The Judgment (see Hebrews 9:27).

Now, I´m not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I can tell the future. It´s the Judgment!!! That´s mankind’s destiny. However, there is no need for the Lord’s people to fear this event. The good news is that the blood of Christ has already settled all charges against us (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:26). The blood of Christ, God incarnate, has doused the flames of Hell for God´s elect.

In addition to that, our lawyer, Christ Jesus, is our Last Day Judge. They are one and the same. We are doubly saved and safe (1 John 2:1; John 5:13). Let’s say it again, our lawyer is our Judge!

Yes, you read that correctly. The end time Judge is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the very one who is presently our advocate.

This is why we read in 2 Timothy 4:1, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;”

In Old Testament times, defending the accused was such a sacred duty that the judge refused to delegate the work to an attorney. He served as the defender of the accused. The Jewish Encyclopedia explains: “attorneys at law are unknown in Jewish law.Their legal code required judges to always lean to the side of the defendant and give him the advantage of every possible doubt.”

What a system! God, Himself, defends and judges the accused among His people. May we feed and meditate upon these glorious gospel truths.

Christ, the good news from Heaven, is our Advocate and Judge. We are and will be defended against all the accusations of Satan. Our eternal salvation does not depend on how useful we are, but on how efficient Christ is in saving sinners.

Jesus is our King, our Priest, our Advocate and Judge. What a remarkable arrangement. Talk about a deck stacked in our favour. Our advocate is the Lamb who was slain for the sins of His people. No charges can, therefore, stand against us. Bring on an onslaught of accusations. They are routed by our heavenly legal dream team. The blood of the Lamb saved us 2000 years ago, and now Christ ever lives to apply the benefits of His purchase to His people. We are safe! We are saved.

Remember, we are not secure in our salvation because of our grip on the Saviour, but rather because of His grip on us. He loved us before time began. He came here Himself in the person of Jesus to secure our redemption with His blood. He sought us until He found us. Do you think that He will now let us go back into our sins and be lost again? Away with such nonsense! If a child of God ends in Hell, Jesus, the One who claimed to be the Truth, is made a liar because He has promised His sheep they will never perish (John 10:28).

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Jesus, The Great “I AM”

January 8, 2020 2 comments

John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.”

According to the Old Testament, the ultimate name of God is “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). This same “I AM” appeared in the New Testament calling Himself Jesus. It is no wonder then that many of the Jews, in those days, thought Christ to be demon possessed.

Others thought Him mad: No sane man could come up with the audacious utterances that flooded from the lips of this carpenter! The Jewish leaders knew fine well that when Jesus announced, “Before Abraham was I am” He was claiming to be God. Every Hebrew who knew his stuff was aware that the ‘I AM’ was none other than Yahweh —the One True and living God who had spoken to Moses at the Burning Bush. But now this brash upstart of a Nazarene tradesman dares to walk around claiming to be Him.

The lead up to Jesus’ claim of being the Covenant God of Israel, the ‘I Am,’ is fascinating. The troubled Pharisees were, as usual, debating Jesus when Abraham was mentioned. One of their number as he, no doubt, sat stroking his grizzled beard, asked with a voice of disdain, and I paraphrase,

“Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead: who are you making yourself out to be?” (John 8:53).

Jesus floored them with His answer, claiming that Abraham had not only seen his day but also (unlike the Pharisees) had been glad. This was too much for the religious stalwarts of Jewish society. Was there no end to the carpenter’s impertinence? Indignant, they responded with no small degree of sarcasm saying, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” In other words, you haven’t even reached retirement age buddy, and yet you claim to be old enough to have seen the Father of our Nation.

Then Christ proceeds to drop a bombshell by announcing, “Before Abraham was I am.” In the Greek, the words for ‘I am’ are in the present tense (Ego eimi): Literally, Jesus was saying, ‘Before Abraham was I am continually!’ The Jews knew exactly what He was saying. They knew Christ was claiming, once more, to be the eternal God. Jesus was saying, “I am eternal. I have no beginning and no end. ‘I AM.’ There never was a time when I came into existence for I have always been. I am the eternal God standing here in human flesh.”

Notice how the Jews knew exactly what Jesus was claiming. See how they took up stones and tried to kill him. Stoning was the standard way by which blasphemers were executed. This attempted stoning, therefore, is a vital piece of evidence for it demonstrates that the Jews understood full well that Jesus was claiming to be God.

So how say you? The ancient Jews knew what He was saying and were enraged. They knew that Christ Jesus, by the claim of being the I Am was declaring that He was neither a created being nor a good teacher sent by God, but rather He was announcing Himself to be the eternal Yahweh who exists from all eternity.

How long then will you halt between two opinions? If Christ Jesus is the Mighty God, worship Him, trust him and follow Him. If He is not, rank Him alongside the evil workers of history. If you say He is only the Son of God but not God, you make Him a blasphemer. Why in the world would you want to follow a blasphemer? You should, instead, count Him as one who has, in a sinister fashion, led countless numbers to their doom in a lost eternity. But whatever you do, do not patronise Him by saying He was a good moral teacher, but not God.

We must never forget when Jesus declared Himself to be ‘I Am’ He was declaring Himself as the Eternal self- existent One.

He was saying, “I am the One who has existence in Myself.”

He was saying, “I am the one who made all things, and without Me was not anything made that is made.”

He was saying, “I am the one who sustains all things and upon whom all things depend.”

He was saying, “I am the one who decrees how long all things on earth continue for they continue only as long as I support them.”

He was saying, “No one exists without my permission and power, and when I take away their breath, they die.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Yahweh Walks on Water

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus had just fed 5000 people, and now it was time for Him to get alone and pray. He, therefore, sent the disciples away in the boat but when the disciples were in the middle of the lake, the wind picked up. The waves got higher. This was more than a squall for the boat was being beaten (v 24, lit. tortured, tormented). Fierce as this night at sea was, it is not the wind, not the waves, not the storm that frightened the disciples. It’s Jesus. The disciples are afraid when Jesus shows up.

Jesus’ walking over the sea is filled with a meaning that we miss if we don’t understand the mentality of the people of Jesus’ day. In their minds, the sea was the manifestation of death. The sea was that which swallows. It was perhaps even a demonic power. So, when Jesus walked on water, He was not only showing His control over creation; He was also showing His power over death. Jesus was treading under His foot the ancient serpent (see Gen. 3:15). But the disciples didn’t know that it was Jesus who was walking towards them.

So, put yourself in their shoes. You have left Jesus up on the mountain and have been struggling to row the boat across the sea for hours. You are tired, wet, and frustrated. Now, around 3 AM, a figure comes strolling towards you over the sea, death, and the dreadful serpent.

They cry out in fear (verse 26) believing Jesus to be a ghost, an apparition, perhaps even the Lord of death himself. But Jesus calls them and preaches the gospel to them. Preaches the gospel? Yes! He says, “ It is I” (verse 27). He, Jesus, is the gospel.

In English, we, unfortunately, lose the most important thing Jesus says here. Jesus isn’t just saying, “It’s Me.” He is saying, “I am.” Remember when Moses asked for God’s name (Exodus 3:14-15), God responded, “I am who I am.” God gives Himself the name Yahweh. Later, God will define what Yahweh means, “A God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). Jesus is taking the divine name, Yahweh, and applying it to Himself.

Peter pipes up, and we must dismiss a common belief about Peter in this text. Peter walking on water is not an act of faith. Peter’s request to walk out to Jesus comes from Peter doubting Jesus’ words. “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (verse 28).

It is absurd that Peter makes this demand. Here is Peter doubting Yahweh manifest in the flesh. He questions the Creator of heaven and earth. He is challenging the God who answered Job saying, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world? Do you keep the sun rising and setting? Did you tell the waters, ‘You can come this far’? Have you been to the source of the sea? Have you walked in the recesses of the deep?” (see Job 38:4-18).

But does Jesus scold Peter for his doubt? No! Jesus graciously tells Peter, “Come.” At that word, Peter gets out of the boat, and he too walks on the sea, death and the serpent. Peter isn’t enabled to walk on the sea because of his faith. Peter walked on water because of the word of Jesus, “Come.” That one word carried Peter from the boat, across the water, toward Jesus.

Notice what causes Peter to sink. He doesn’t fear the storm, the waves, or his distance from the boat. He fears what is least threatening to him – the wind (Matthew 14:30).

The same happens to us when we lose our focus on Jesus. If we focus on our circumstances or anything that isn’t Jesus, we sink like a stone.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Praying in the Name of Jesus

November 13, 2019 Leave a comment

John 16: 23-24 And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Why must we pray in the name of Jesus?

First, before we answer this, we need to realise that,

When we pray in Jesus´ name, we are not simply adding a little formula to our prayer to make it work.

It’s not as if God is listening and saying, “Nah, I don’t think so. Nope, nope, nope. Oh hang on, they said, ‘In the name of Jesus’. Oh, okay, since you put it that way.”

No! When we pray in Jesus name, we are declaring dependance on Christ alone for access to God. Ephesians 3:12 says, “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” There is no access to God but through Christ. In John 14:6 Jesus taught,”No one comes to the Father but by Me.” They that attempt otherwise to come to God without Christ will find the door tightly shut. That´s one of the reasons why we pray in the name of Jesus.

Another reason is that,

When we pray, in the name of Jesus, we are declaring that Christ Jesus is our mediator.

We are confessing that there is no access to God without a Mediator. Consider this, “… your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).

Sin had distanced us from God and bolted the door to heaven. However, Christ opened that door wide.

He has paid for our sins. “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

When we pray in Jesus name, we are, therefore, admitting the bankruptcy of our own name. Our name cannot move heaven and earth. The Father is not thrilled with our name…but when we are identified, by faith, with Christ we now come to the Father in the name of our mediator, the Lord Jesus. He is our righteousness. His is the lovely name, the name that declares Christ alone is our mediator.

As we pray in Jesus´ name…We identify with the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus has literally given us His name to use. When we use that name, we are confessing that He is ours and that we are His. It is like going to the bank of heaven, knowing we have nothing deposited. If we go in our name, we will get absolutely nothing. But Jesus Christ has unlimited funds in heaven’s bank and has granted us the privilege of going there with His check book.

Not only so, but,

Praying in the name of Jesus, is declaring to the Father that we are submitted to His will.

Jesus’ authority rested with his submission to the Father, so our authority also rests with our submission to Him. To ask in His name is to ask according to Christ´s nature, and His character is one of submission. This, by the way, is why prayers that ask for things contrary to the Word of God will never be answered.

We cannot ask God to bless adultery in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our sin in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our bitterness in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our plans for robbery in Jesus name.

Praying in the name of Jesus is a bold declaration that we are submitted to His will.

What a beautiful name Jesus has. It’s a simple name, a strong name, a saving name, the supreme name and it’s the asking name.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: Christ is God Over All

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

My! My! My! How the opponents of Christ’s deity detest this verse. They re-translate it and claim it doesn’t say what it says. “It’s really a doxology,” they declare, or the word “God,” they protest, should be omitted. Yet here it stands, this bold declaration of Christ’s deity, in a passage where Paul is arguing for the privileges of the Jews … not the least of which was that, when God became a man, He became a member of their race and had, therefore, become kin to them.

Notice how this verse declares the dual nature of Christ. He had come in the flesh (human nature) and yet was entirely and thoroughly the Lord God from heaven. At the same time as being human, He was and is the Mighty God.

Furthermore, He is unmistakably declared to be ‘over all’ which means there is no one above Him. Since He created all and governs all, He is over all angels and created beings. It was the Lord of Glory Himself who came to redeem us. We were in trouble, and God Himself came to the rescue.

The God of the JWs (Jehovah Witnesses) didn’t love us enough to come here to save us. He, according to them, created and sent someone else to do the job. Perhaps their god didn’t want to get his hands dirty? Or maybe it was because he didn’t like the idea of suffering, rejection and humiliation? Or possibly 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. But Jesus is man´s substitute not God´s.

The JW theory can 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 and the son willingly complies with the request. But this is not the story of 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 his own body on the cross. As Horatius 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” 1John 3:16.

Horatius Bonar: Christ Died for the Ungodly.

In the scheme of thought which denies Christ’s Deity, we are presented with a god who was unwilling or unable to come here himself and rescue us. We must then ask, had that 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 sincerity and commitment to us. Frankly, I’m not impressed with a god who would not come here Himself to rescue me! A god who stayed in heaven while I was utterly ruined on earth 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: Was Jesus ever called God?

We, followers of Christ need to be grounded in the truth that the One we are following is the eternal God. Contrary to some popular ideas, Jesus is indeed called God in numerous places of scripture: Take for example,

The Word was God, John 1:1.

Thomas called Jesus Lord and God, John 20.28.

We learn that God was manifest in the flesh, I Timothy 3:16.

And let’s not forget Romans 9:5, “Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came who is over all God blessed forever.”

Away with these mischief makers who say that Jesus is not man and God at the same time. They know nothing of the Dual Nature of Christ.

Jesus is called Jehovah,

We learn in Numbers 21 that the Israelites tempted Jehovah. This is applied to Christ by the apostle in I Corinthians 10:9 when he says, ¨Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Nor is Christ merely called Jehovah but Jehovah our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6.) Christ is our righteousness and thus our God (2 Peter 1:1).

The Great God

He is called the great God and Saviour, Titus 2:13

Someone says but that is not speaking of Christ. Excuse me! Read the next verse. This Great God and Saviour gave Himself for our sins (verse 14). Therefore, Jesus is both the great God and Saviour. That’s good news for those of us who have trusted Him.

If language has any meaning, then we must look no further than Christ Jesus to discover God.

Attributes

Not only is Christ called God, but also the attributes of the Godhead are credited to him.

Eternity is ascribed to Him: for he is said to be before Abraham (John 8. 58). This evidently proves that Christ existed before he was born of a virgin.

Jesus is said to be Omniscience: Peter confessed ‘Lord, you know all things.’

He is Omnipresence: Matthew 18:10. Jesus Himself said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Omnipotence …Divine power is attributed to Him (Hebrews 1:1). He upholds all things by the word of His power.

These things are sufficient to prove that Christ is God. The names of God and the attributes of the Godhead are ascribed to him: But there is more.

Works.

The works which only God can perform, are ascribed to the Lord Jesus. Creation is ascribed to Him. Hebrews 1:10. “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hath laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” This is further confirmed in John 1:3, “All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”

Additional witness is given in Colossians 1:16. It reads; “By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by him, and for him.”

The Government of the universe is ascribed to him in Hebrews 1:3 where we are told that he is upholding all things by the word of his power.

The work of our Salvation is ascribed fully to Christ (Matthew 1:21). It would be great error to deny it, when it is evident from so many places in the New-Testament. Furthermore,

Redemption is His (Acts 20:28).

Remission of sins is His to give (Matthew.9: 6).

Eternal Life is His to give (John 10:28).

The building of the Church is credited to Him. This again is strong proof that He is God for “He that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).

Jesus is the Lord God. We worship Him (Matthew 28:9) and believe on Him (John 14:1).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Behold your God!

“He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).

Pause a while and think of this verse. It gives us a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus. Let’s unfold some of its treasures word for word.

‘He’

Who is this ‘He’?

He is the Messiah (Matthew 1:1).

He is Immanuel; God with us (Matthew 1:23).

He is God manifest in the flesh ( I Timothy 3:16).

He is the one Who is revealed in the Word of God under a vast array of titles, names, characters and offices. For example, He is,

Our Hope – 1 Timothy 1:1

Our Peace – Ephesians 2:14

Our Prophet – Hebrews 1:1-3

Our Redeemer – Job 19:25, Galatians 3:13

Our Rock – 1 Corinthians 10:4

Our Sacrifice – 1 John 4:10

Our Saviour – Luke 2:11

The Supreme Creator Over All – 1 Corinthians 1:16-17

The Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25

The Door – John 10:9

The Way – John 14:6

The Eternal Word – John 1:1

The True Vine – John 15:1

The Truth – ” John 8:32

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

‘Shall’ – Without doubt, or fear, or uncertainty.

‘Feed’ – Nourish, provide for, sustain.

‘His Flock’ ––His own, peculiar, personal, property. The Flock is given by the Father (John 6:37), redeemed by the Son (Ephesians 1:7) and brought alive by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:1); therefore, the flock is ‘His’ by gift – by purchase and by the conquest of grace.

‘Like a Shepherd’ In verse 10 it says, “Behold your God who shall come.” Do you really want to see what God is like? The 11th verse gives us the answer. Did you notice it? Look at the 11th verse. It says, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd:” He’s a shepherd. This is our God. This is His portrait. He goes before His sheep, removing hindrances and difficulties; to shield us from danger and protect us from enemies. He seeks us when we go astray and provides the best pasture for us.

‘He shall Gather.’ That’s what a shepherd does. He gathers. He doesn’t scatter. No ‘shape up or ship out’ message comes from His lips.

‘The Lambs’ – He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in his bosom; these are strong arms. Verse 10 says ‘The Lord will come with strong hand and His arm shall rule for Him.’ The Father’s arms neither grow tired nor weary carrying His children.

“What have I to dread,

What have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace

With my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Leaning, Leaning,

Safe and secure from all alarms

Leaning, leaning,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Remember how Jesus told it? He said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). He also declared, “I am the door. By Me if any man enters in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). He is also the Great Shepherd. That is why we read in Hebrews 13:20, “Now the God of peace who brought again from the dead, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”

Our Lord is the Good, Chief and Great Shepherd.

Behold your God!

He is pictured as a shepherd with little lambs in his arms.

Behold your God!

He is the shepherd with lambs in his bosom.

Behold your God!

He gently leads those that are with young.

Behold your God!

Our God is our Shepherd. What a Shepherd! He encircles His flock with tender care and love. He loses none of us. I want to shout, Hallelujah! This is our God. He is the God who comes as a shepherd with the lambs in His arm.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com