Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Christ’s Life’

The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus enough for your Reward? Part 1

We often think that Jesus must have had it reasonably easy. Apart from having to go through the few hours of the cross, He had a pretty agreeable time of it —-didn’t He? After all, there He was walking about the place as ‘God incognito’; the all-powerful one cleverly disguised as a man. How hard could that be?

So just how difficult could His life have been? Was His 33 years here a relatively good and pleasant experience?

Actually, humanly speaking, it was not. In some ways, it was pretty awful!

Let’s look for example at His early life. I’m sure you have often heard it said that we know almost nothing of those years, but this is not strictly the case. We know, for example, that by age 12 He knew His will was set apart to do that of His Father (Luke 2:49). But is there any more information available about those early days?

Yes, there is. Take for example the Psalms. Many of them contain the prayers of Jesus. They may have been spoken and cried prophetically by others, nevertheless, many of them were the expressions of Christ’s heart. Part of Psalm 69, for instance, prophetically gives us insight into what it was going to be like for Jesus growing up in Nazareth and it was ghastly! Verse 7 reads,

“Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.”

Many think this is a direct reference to the rejection He would get from some people because of the Virgin Birth. Consider this, when He was born, He was born to a virgin. Joseph was not His Father, God was! He was the Son of God, not the Son of Joseph! Can you imagine bearing that stigma? “God is your Father? —a likely story!” From His earliest days, He always carried the stigma of being bastard-born. This may be no big deal today, but in those days, it was pretty dreadful. Not all of His day despised bastards, but many did.

Someone has said, “God made the countryside, man made the cities, but the Devil made the small towns.” That’s more truth than poetry. I grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland and can testify that it seemed as though everyone knew everyone else’s business. I knew who many the children were who were born out of wedlock. We all knew! So, I can well believe that the ‘upstanding’ parents of Nazareth warned their children, “Don’t have anything to do with that Jesus one, he’s from bad stock. Joseph didn’t marry his mother till after he was born.”

Then we read,

“I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children” (Psalm 69:8).

The truth is this, His brothers and sisters didn’t like Him. He was always going on about that ‘God stuff.’ And besides that, they knew He was different and yes, they’d heard the stories and yes they’d heard that there was a claim that God was His real Father. They didn’t much care for Him. Rejection started within His own house. He was a stranger and an alien in His own home. It was, in fact, not till after the resurrection that any of them became His followers.

So, what was He like to be around? We get the answer in the next verse, verse 9; “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.”

The reason I bring all that up is to emphasize that that kind of suffering is all in the past. For Him, earthly life with all its rejections and shunning has gone forever, He has entered His well-earned rest. He has gone

From humiliation to glorification;

From degradation to exaltation;

From the curse to the crown;

From the place of horror to the place of honour;

From the gruesome tree to the glorious throne;

From receiving wrath to receiving worship.

As His follower, life may be tough right now. You love Him and have taken a stand for Him and it has brought you nothing but trouble. But don’t lose heart, your reward is yet to come. Do not become weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). As Paul says, our light affliction is but for a moment. Fix your eyes upon Jesus for there’s an eternal weight of glory just up ahead (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

We will continue this thought next time (DV)

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: The Genuine Gospel

December 21, 2016 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

(Charles McIlvaine: Preaching Christ)

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

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-14-Justification

January 23, 2014 1 comment

Justification

 

1. What is Justification?

It is an act of God, by which He fully acquits us of all sin.

2. Is it based upon any works of our own?

It is not; by our own works we could never secure it.

3. Is it not, however, intimately connected with some act of ours?

Yes, with the exercise of faith.

4. Is it due to our faith in Christ?

It is not; that faith becomes the instrument only, not the cause of our justification.

5. To what, then, is it due?

Simply to the merits and sufferings of Christ, which are accounted by God as ours.

6. What do the Scriptures mean when they say that we are justified by faith?

In part, they are teaching that our justification is not by works.

7. What else do they mean?

They also speak thus, because in the act of faith the believer takes hold of the meritorious work of Christ, which is the true ground of justification.

8. Why does the Apostle James say that we are justified by works and not by faith only?

He refers to the fact that every one that has true faith also performs good works.

 

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

Free Ebook: An All-Consuming Passion for Jesus

January 20, 2014 4 comments

full_1389628035Thousands of college students wait silently in a dark auditorium as you make your way to the podium, under the spotlight. What will you say? What will you offer them?

When he climbs the stage at Passion2014 in Atlanta this weekend, John Piper will face this moment again.

Marking the eighteenth year of his involvement in the conference, this event has inspired some of Piper’s most memorable messages. It was at Passion in 2000 that he appealed to the students to boast only in the cross (Galatians 6:14). The crucifixion of Christ is essential for the Christian’s own identity, he said. “Only boast in the cross of Christ. This is a single idea. A single goal for life. A single passion.”

One Passion, Lived Out

This single passion for Jesus is a shared passion, and it draws Piper back year after year, he said in an interview last year. “The movement is not about any particular cause, it is about the fame of Jesus. This is what unites Louie [Giglio] and me.”

Uniting the aim of every Passion conference is the annual challenge from the students: So how do I live out this single, all-consuming passion for Christ in my own life? What does this look like on my campus, and in my busy schedule?

Answering this challenge has been a theme in Piper’s messages over the years. To breathe fresh life into this theme, and extend its reach further, we collected four of Piper’s pivotal messages from the Passion conferences — including “Boasting Only in the Cross” and three others — into our newest ebook: An All-Consuming Passion for Jesus: Appeals to the Rising Generation.

To download An All-Consuming Passion for Jesus free of charge, click on the following format options:

 

■Download ebook as a PDF file.

■Download ebook as an EPUB file formatted for readers like the Nook, Sony Reader, and Apple iBooks (iPad, iPhone, iPod). 

■Download ebook as a MOBI file formatted for Kindle applications (this option works well on some mobile devices, and not so well on others). 

Note: To load the ebook into a mobile device, it may be necessary to view this blog post from within your device and then to click the download option.

 

If you’d prefer a printed copy, a paperback version is available at low cost.

 

Source [DesiringGod.com]