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The Wednesday Word: This is Gospel Truth!

What is the Gospel? The simple answer is; the Gospel is the person, doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Christ. The pure Gospel is not about you and not about me. It is about Jesus.

This is Gospel Truth!

The Gospel, among other things, reveals God’s plan, accomplished in Christ, for the recovery of fallen, sinful people from the deplorable state into, which sin had brought them.

This is Gospel Truth!

God came to this earth in the person of His Son.

This is Gospel Truth!

As our apostle, He came from God to us. As our priest He takes us to God… Hebrews 3:1.

This is Gospel Truth!

He, as a man, obeyed God’s laws and requirements on our behalf. This is Gospel Truth!… Hebrews 4:15; II Corinthians5: 21, John 15:10

He made a suitable and satisfactory atonement for His people’s sins by his death and gave us the gift of the favour of God …Ephesians 1:7.

This is Gospel Truth!

The Holy Spirit opens our hearts to receive the Gospel, but the Spirit´s work is not the Gospel. The Work of the Holy Spirit does not redeem us but rather brings us to where we receive as our own Christ’s accomplished redemption …Ephesians 2:1.

This is Gospel Truth!

Faith is the channel of salvation but faith itself cannot justify us. Faith was not tried, found guilty and executed on our behalf. The power to believe is generated by the Holy Spirit. It is from the heart we believe. Yet this quickening (making alive) by the Spirit does not justify us. Nothing within us saves us. We are entirely saved outside ourselves by the finished work of Christ. The Spirit has baptised us into Christ and in Christ all blessings are discovered.

This is Gospel Truth!

Christ Himself is the object of faith. He is our salvation, not our faith and not our experiences. We depend on neither faith nor feelings but upon the Lord our God Himself!

Come ye weary, heavy laden,

Bruised and mangled by the fall;

If you tarry till you’re better,

You will never come at all.

Not the righteous, Not the righteous, Not the righteous;

Sinners Jesus came to call.

This is Gospel Truth!

Because of the Gospel, He has made us Kings and priests unto our God and has brought us to God by His blood.

This is Gospel Truth!

He has brought us into the holy of Holies

If we feel our sin, it ought not to drive us away from Christ. No indeed, the feeling of our sin ought to propel us towards Christ.

The curse and damnation of His people fell on Christ 2000 years ago. He was slaughtered, and we were set free. He was raised from the dead in power and majesty and we were raised with Him

Faith claims Jesus as king

As our all-atoning Priest;

It claims no merit of its own,

But looks for all in Christ.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (Pt 4)

November 28, 2018 2 comments

No Authority but the Word of God.

“The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments principally teach what we are to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of us. Simply speaking, we do not accept doctrines and practices which cannot be established in the Word of God.

Would that some Charismatic preachers I’ve heard held to this maxim. Their practices are simply nuts. I have searched in vain to discover the scriptural authority for their ghoulish habit of lying on graves thus soaking up the anointing of dead ministers. That and any number of weird non-biblical practices such as angel dust, honey angels, soakings and the like must be rejected. Why? They are not authorized by the Scriptures.

There is no authority but the Word of God.

Not only so but the Scriptures and not even the creeds, are the sole and sufficient rule of faith and duty. Creeds must always bow in submission to the Scripture.

In addition, every ecclesiastical pronouncement that comes from the Bishop of Rome must be weighed against the teaching of the Bible.

If I can make a statement here without being accused of hate speech, the Roman Catholic Communion officially holds to ‘scripture + tradition’ as the basis of authority for faith and practice. Indeed, they go farther than that for, since the infallibility decree of 1870, they hold that the final seat of authority in all matters of faith is the Pope (when he speaks ex-cathedra). He incorrectly claims to be the source of authority for faith and practice.

(Believers, however, on this point, side with Martin Luther who refused to be moved unless it could be shown that his teaching was contrary to the Bible. He boldly declared, “Here I take my stand; I can do no other; so help me God.)”

But, so what about Dr. Luther? Our Master, the Lord Jesus, proclaimed the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture, for He said; “The scriptures cannot be broken” (John 10:35). He also declared that “Heaven and earth shall pass away—but My Words shall not pass away!” (Luke 21:33). Indeed, Jesus and the New Testament writers quote from the Old Testament some 295 times. They believed in the authority of the Word.

In spite of this, many who claim to be followers of Christ side with the spirit of the age and approve gay marriage, abortion, and the likes. Baffling!

They could learn from Paul when he asks: “For what saith the scripture?” (Romans 4:3). Or be instructed by the Bereans who tested all things by Scripture (Acts 17:11).

As Believers, we hold to the authority of the Bible. It is clear, authoritative, and final. There is no need for some external source of authority whether Popes, creeds or worldly standards to explain everything. The litmus test is solely and only “What saith the Scriptures?” We have the Bible, we have the Holy Spirit, and we are as well able to understand the message of the Book as any who have lived from the demise of the apostles to this hour.

There is no authority but the Word of God.

The Bible is the Christian’s standard for his rule of life. Its truth never changes. The law of the Lord is perfect (Psalm 19:7). We cannot hold this truth too firmly.

In refuting the errors of the Sadducees, Jesus said, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew I2:29). He also warned the Pharisees in Mark 7:13 that they were making the word of God of none effect through their tradition.

There is no authority but the Word of God.

In Proverbs 30:5-6 we read,

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add not unto his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar.”

But contemporary society thinks it knows better than the Scriptures. With each passing year, modern thinking gets more and more out of step with the Bible. And some Christians buy into this and make excuses for the poor antiquated Book. But we daren’t offer excuses for the Bible. It says what it says. It refuses to be tamed. Unlike us, the Bible won’t compromise. God says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, … For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

To those who pick and choose which Bible passages they want to believe, I would ask, have you been justified by faith?

You say, “Yes.”

But, by what authority do you say that?

“On the authority of the Word of God,” you reply.

But how do you know that the scriptures are authoritative? You reject much of what the word says about sin and immorality.

“Yes but the Bible is out of step on those matters,” you say.

How then do you know that it is accurate in matters of your salvation? Isn’t it time to stop picking and choosing which scriptures you want to believe?

As believers, we simply learn to rest on God’s unchanging word. God said it, that settled it. I believed it, that settled me!

There is no authority but the Word of God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (PT 3)

November 21, 2018 4 comments

No Confessional but the Throne of Grace

Hebrews 4:16; “Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

With respect, none of us need go into a kind of cubbyhole to tell our sins to a man who claims the power to give us absolution. Our sins are against God, not man (Psalm 51:4). It is, therefore, to God and God alone we must look for ongoing cleansing.

Once more, in this, we see the majesty and wisdom of the Gospel. For it is in the Gospel, we encounter our priest, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. As a human, He is able to sympathize with us in every way (Hebrews 4:15). As God, no one can stand in His way.

In Christ, we have the surpassingly excellent and all-powerful priest. To confess our failings we go, not to an inferior earthly priest (so-called) who claims to represent God, but to the Lord Jesus, the God-man Himself. When we come to the Throne of Grace, we arrive at the true confessional. It is there, at that throne, we meet the true priest, the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is seated on a throne, for, after all, that is the rightful place for a King. “It is called a throne, because of the glory and majesty of God manifested here” (Robert Traill).

But why is it called the Throne of Grace and not the Throne of Law? Why is it not called the Throne of Holiness, the Throne of Justice, or even the Throne of Righteousness? The answer is both simple and profound. It is because salvation is entirely by Grace. And yes, righteous, law-keeping, justice and holiness are all involved with salvation, but these have been fully provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are saved utterly by Grace.

Again, as the Puritan, Robert Traill, observes; “Till men get a sight of God in Christ, they cannot tell what the grace of God is. Search heaven and earth, you can never get a view of God’s grace, till you come to this throne.”

Our High Priest, the Lord Jesus, is the perfect embodiment of grace. As our priest, he exhausted and obliterated the Old Testament sacrifices and priesthood. By His priestly work, He brought in salvation. Away with these poor, pretend priests who insist we must go to them else we are not forgiven.

Forgiveness, redemption justification, propitiation grace and mercy are freely found in Christ Alone!

So, let’s say it again, there is now, therefore, no Confessional but the Throne of Grace.

This confessional is constructed with Grace and scattered over with Mercy.

This confessional is built upon grace.

Every utterance to His people is one of grace.

From this confessional, grace is dispensed.

From this throne, flow the purposes of grace.

Not only is every part of this throne made of grace but also every part is joined by grace.

The cornerstone is grace.

The capstone is grace.

It is ornamented and covered by grace.

From there alone we receive the grace which cleanses sins

From there, the blood of the Finished Work absolves and frees us.

From there, we receive grace to help in time of need.

Trembling, fearful sinners need not be afraid of coming to Him. They will not be struck down. They will not be scolded. This throne is the home of our Great High Priest and no one seeking mercy and forgiveness ever perished at His feet.

He is the Gracious One!

Away, therefore, with these men who feign the qualification and gifting to bring us to God.

Away with their confessionals made of wood.

We reject them in favor of the Confessional made of pure Grace.

“Behold the throne of grace,

The promise calls us near,

There Jesus shows a smiling face

And waits to answer prayer.”

John Newton

There is no confessional but the Throne of Grace!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (Pt 2)

November 14, 2018 Leave a comment

No Sacrifice but Calvary

“Now once in the end of the world has He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26.

What Christ purposed to do on the cross, He did: He put away sin. In other words, He annulled and canceled it. What other sacrifice, offered by a priest, could do that?

Our priest, the Lord Jesus has done His work ‘once’ (Greek ‘hapax’ … literally, once for all time). There is now, therefore, no other sacrifice needed for sin. Christ has ‘once’ put sin away by the sacrifice of Himself.

That is why there is No sacrifice but Calvary.

One of the great reasons why Christ came was to put away the sins of His people. He did not leave things to chance in the hope that a few sins would be put away and someone would perhaps be saved. No! What He came to accomplish He accomplished. That is why He boldly declared from the cross, ‘It is Finished.’

No part of His assigned work was left undone. At the cross, He sacrificed Himself for His people. He bought and paid for us with blood. By the sacrifice of Himself, He put away sin. Let’s say it again, there is now no further sacrifice needed to put away sin. No amount of beating ourselves with guilt is needed! He has put away the sin of His people forever.

His sacrifice at Calvary did not merely help us put away sin: it put away our entire catalog of sin once for all time. As Spurgeon says, “There was one death, one sacrifice, one atonement, and all the work of man’s redemption was forever accomplished so that we can sing—

“Love’s redeeming work is done;

Fought the fight, the battle won.”

Christ’s sacrifice is rooted in the doctrine of His deity He was able to put away our sin because He was the God/Man. If He had been merely a sinless man and not God manifest in the flesh, he could not have made an effective sacrifice and accomplished our redemption. In God’s eyes, no mere human could pay the penalty for the sins of a seemingly uncountable number of people. However, all objections to the vicarious sacrifice of Christ disappear before the majestic identity of the God/Man.

Because of the Lord Jesus, no other sacrifice is needed. He’s remarkable! It is beyond me to understand why our dear friends, the Roman Catholics, allow their priests to continually offer up Christ as a bloodless sacrifice (the Mass). Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary requires neither renewal nor repetition.

May all the Lord’s people come to realize that our exhausting striving to become right with God is unnecessary. Redemption has already been accomplished. There is no more need to whip ourselves into frenzied attempts to keep the Law to gain acceptance with God. The sacrifice has been completed and we receive its benefits by faith alone.

Again, Spurgeon has some stern yet wise words on this matter. He says; “Our Lord has once for all made an atonement, and all attempts to tamper with His finished work is treason such as shall be answered for in the court of heaven. “

Worth thinking about!

‘Come and see the victories of the cross.

Christ’s wounds are your healings,

His agonies your rest,

His conflicts your conquests,

His groans your songs,

His pains your ease,

His shame your glory,

His death your life,

His sufferings your salvation.’

(adapted from Matthew Henry)

Our sin has been put away.

There is no sacrifice but Calvary.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word – No, No, No, No! (Pt 1)

No Priest but Christ

Hebrews 7:25

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them”.

A man in Southern India once asked a missionary to make him a promise. He explained how that, every day, he prayed for his own soul and asked the missionary if, when he, the Indian, died, the missionary would continue this practice for him. When the missionary asked why he would need to do that, the man replied that he was full of doubt and anxiety. He thought that, if this missionary would just pray for him every day, then surely God would let him into heaven and forgive his sins. How sad! This poor man felt he needed someone to intercede for him. He needed a priest … a go-between. And yes, the truth is the dear man did need a priest, an intercessor. But the only mediator who is effective in this business of salvation is the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is the God/Man … God in human flesh. He alone can bring us to the Father and bring the Father to us. Relying, for eternal life on anyone or anything other than Christ is to fail to grasp the Gospel. The belief the dear Indian man held was in actual fact unbelief. It is sad to say that there are still so many looking to multiplied mediators other than Christ

I once attended the funeral of a dear Roman Catholic lady and during the funeral service, all kinds of mediators were presented to the Father for His consideration. God was asked to consider the good works of the deceased. That’s one mediator. Then deceased ‘holy saints’ were called upon to add their intercession. That’s a host more mediators. Finally, the Virgin Mary was asked for her prayers and intercession. These dear people did not seem to realize there is no mediator but the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Christ is qualified and powerful enough to bring us to Glory.

There is no pledge of Salvation without a proper priest and the priest we need died for us. But a dead priest is of no use to anyone. That’s why the one true priest did not remain dead, He is alive. He rose from the dead and now ever-lives to apply the entire benefits of His finished work to us. That is why so many religious people have no assurance of salvation. They are looking to sinful, sacrificing priests to get them into heaven. These dear ones cannot say with any confidence that, “Yes, I am a Christian. Christ died for me, He cleansed my sins. He took them away. He was buried. He rose from the dead for me. He is my priest, He is my righteousness and I will be with Him forever.

“Hands off, ye priests! Ye are too feeble for such weights as ours. Our sins are too stupendous for your puny strength. But the Lord comes with his own right hand of majesty, puts away our sins and lifts them on to Christ, and Christ comes and flings them into his sepulcher, and they are gone and buried forever:” Spurgeon

Some say that present-day priests are substitutes for Christ. But this is an awful attack on the Lord Jesus. Why? It’s simple, He needs no substitute. We need no other priest to represent us before God than the Lord Jesus. There are no special religious orders of men or women in any land who can present us to the Father. We have but one priest and He lives forever. If any man calls himself a priest (other than in the sense that all the redeemed are non-mediatorial priests), he takes too much honour upon himself. He is no mediator of salvation. He is an intruder who claims a priesthood which does not belong to him.

Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30.) Christ has never said and will never say to any sinner, “Go to the priest and he will give you rest.” But he has said, “Come to me.” There is no Priest but Christ.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Is Jesus Enough as our Pastor? Part 2

Psalm 23:1

According to Jesus, He knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him (John 10:14). I wonder, however, how well we actually know our Shepherd? Do we know anything of the excellence of His character? Have we glimpsed anything of His glory? May we stay close to Him, follow hard after Him and come to know Him.

He’s wonderful! He is the shepherd who has never lost a sheep. When Jesus is our Shepherd, the wolf cannot devour us nor can any robber steal us. G. Campbell Morgan tells of a story told by a friend who had been traveling in Israel and had come upon a shepherd one evening as the shepherd was putting his flock into the sheepfold for the night. The fold was an enclosing wall with a single opening for the sheep. However, one thing was missing, and that was a door.

He asked the shepherd if there were any wild beasts in the area. The shepherd told him he had always had to guard against them.

“But surely the sheep aren’t safe in there?”

“Yes they are, they are perfectly safe.”

“But there is no door to shut out the Wolves.”

The shepherd smiled at him and quietly said, “I am the door: When my sheep are in for the night, I lie down in the open space. Not one sheep goes out except over my body. And no wolf can enter without first passing over me. I am the door.”

Jesus taught us that, as our Shepherd, He is the door (John 10:7-9). That means we are safe. No wolf can get us. Before the enemy can get close, he will have to deal with our shepherd. What a pastor we have! Are we satisfied with Him? Is He enough?

Finally, if you have ever observed sheep, you will notice that, even when they are eating the grass, many of them will look up to make sure they are near the shepherd. They know they are safe when he is there. Is this true of us? Do we know what it is to look unto Jesus? Do we know what it is to, “in all your ways acknowledge Him?” (Proverbs 3:6).

Sheep are emblematic of believers. We are prone to wander: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6; Luke 15:4-7). But, isn’t Jesus wonderful? We are ‘prone to wander, ’ but He is more prone to bring us back.

With full authority, He has declared that His sheep shall never perish (John 10:28). That is why He calls His own sheep by name. It is a personal love that He has for you and for me. It is in Him, our Shepherd, that we have perfect security and sustenance (John 10:9).

Don’t worry about the future! He will provide. He is the good shepherd who has already given His life for the sheep. It is a rare thing for a shepherd to actually lay down his life so that the sheep would be safe. In normal circumstances, it would be better that the shepherd lived and didn’t die. Why? Because the death of the shepherd would usually spell disaster for the sheep. But such is the uniqueness of Jesus that He planned to die for His flock. In fact, He planned it so that His death would bring life to the sheep and would actually avert disaster for them. What a shepherd, what a pastor!

He is enough!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Is Jesus Enough as your Pastor? (Part 1)

One of the best-loved Psalms in the Bible, Psalms 23, begins by pointing us to the sufficiency of Jesus, our Pastor. What it actually says is, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.”(In Scripture, the Shepherds and Pastors are one and the same). Of course, when we say Jesus is our Pastor we do not preclude the ministry of earthly pastors or under-shepherds. On the contrary, God ordained pastors play a vital role in God’s purposes here on earth. We should, therefore, value them highly for their labour in the Lord. However, ultimately, we are the sheep of the Lord’s pasture and, as such, we belong exclusively to Him.

This is why we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. We are His, and ultimately He is our Pastor. If we would focus on Him, then there would be less fussing and fighting in our churches. We often have too high an expectation of the Church pastor. This can set us up for needless hurts. We easily forget that he is just another sinner saved by grace. He needs our prayers, love and support. Too many followers of Jesus, however, have ‘Roast Pastor’ for Sunday lunch and then wonder why their children grow up and separate themselves from the things of God.

Our eyes and expectancy need to be on Jesus. He is enough! Get the balance here; while we should support and care for our earthly pastors and obey them in the Lord, at the end of the day, they can never take the place of Jesus. Jesus is our Pastor, and He will never fail us. Someone in spiritual authority may fall short and hurt us, but never Jesus.

Think of it, the follower of Jesus is following a shepherd who is good. He is a pastor who knows each one of us and calls us by name. Are you satisfied with Him? Can you trust Him to lead you in life? Can you get your eyes off men and delight in Jesus, your Pastor? Listen to John MacDuff describe this excellent shepherd of ours; He says,

“Every individual believer—the weakest, the weariest, the faintest—has His attention. His loving eye follows us day by day out to the wilderness—marks out our pasture, studies our needs, and trials, and sorrows, and perplexities—every steep ascent, every brook, every winding path, every thorny thicket.”

No wonder, then, that the scriptures tell us that because Jesus is our Shepherd, we shall not want! Is He enough for us? Look at Him, there He is out in front of His flock leading us to eternal life. He knows the way for, not only has he been over every inch of its trail, He also is the Way.

What a shepherd! He knows us better than we know ourselves (Psalm 139:1-60). He knows our trials and temptations and can help us with every one of them for He has been through them. He has been reviled and rejected for no good reason. He has been slandered and falsely accused. He has been deeply hurt so He knows exactly how you feel. And here’s some good news, He became one of us so that He could faithfully shepherd us to glory (Hebrews 4:15).

Learn to trust Him even in the valley of the shadow of death. That place holds no mystery for Him. He makes the present shadows clear and the ancient darkness light. Follow the shepherd, not men. Respect men in spiritual leadership but always remember the best of men are men at best. Pray for them, hold them before the Lord. Remember, although they are spiritual shepherds, they are themselves sheep. Being that they are human, they have all the inbuilt abilities to fail and make mistakes. Why, then, get bent out of shape if they mess up? The only one who cannot fail is Jesus.

He is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com