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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  

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The Wednesday Word: The Gospel: Our Best Friend

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14.

We often feel that we are not worth saving … and this, of course, is an accurate assessment. As Spurgeon said, “When you feel yourself as totally unworthy you have hit the truth.” That is why, as we grow in grace, the Gospel is our best friend.

Let me illustrate. The story is told of how the devil sought to discourage the mighty reformer Martin Luther by continually making him feel guilty. Satan, it seems constantly reminded the great preacher of the list of his sins. When the devil had finished, Luther purportedly said, “Think harder: you must have forgotten some.” And the devil did think, and he listed more sins. When he was done enumerating the sins, Luther said, “Now, with a red ink write over that list, “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.” The devil had nothing to say in the light of Luther’s best friend … the Gospel.

As we look by faith to the Lord Jesus, and see His shed blood, we find healing for our wounded conscience. By faith, we understand that His blood has satisfied all claims that unalterable divine justice made against us.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Our sins have been purged perfectly by a perfect offering made with perfect blood. These are the truths to continually feed to the troubled conscience.

If we are regularly condemned by the consciousness of our past sins, we have an evil conscience (Hebrews 10:22). However, the Gospel gives us a perfect conscience that is free from the guilt and condemnation of sins.

The Gospel is our best friend.

I will admit that the legalist in me is sometimes uncomfortable with this arrangement. Maybe you are like me, resistant, at times, to the accomplishments of grace? This is why we need to continually saturate our minds with the Gospel. When we find ourselves more conscious of our former sins than we are of the accomplishments of Christ on our behalf, we need to cleanse our thinking by applying Finished Work teaching to our thinking.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Someone says, “I can’t say that they are, but I am doing my best to change my life.” That’s great, but it will never work! You can do your best to reform, but that will never purge your conscience. Only applying the blood of Christ can do that.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Christ, as a man, was the Servant of Yahweh, the one in whom the Father delighted. It was the Father’s purpose to save and cleanse a people for Himself, and His plans were flawlessly executed by His beloved Son, the God/Man. It is only by the shedding of His blood that we are saved, and that blood was shed 2000 years ago at Calvary. The work is finished. He gave His life a ransom for the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:10). Do you know this? Is this truly personal to you?

Our best religious efforts cannot cleanse the conscience. But the Lord wants us to hear him say “Be of good cheer; your sins, which are many, are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2).

What can prevent us going to Him? Our sins? No, it is our sin that is the reason to approach Him. Let us go to Him with freedom of speech (see Hebrews 4:16) to obtain mercy and grace to help in the time of need. He alone can purge the guilty conscience and give peace to the troubled mind.

The Gospel is our best friend.

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: 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: What a Gospel! What a Saviour!

What a Gospel!

What makes Christianity different from all the other religions of the world? Years ago that question was discussed at a conference. Some of the participants argued that Christianity is unique in teaching that God became a man. But someone objected, erroneously saying that other religions teach similar doctrines. What about the resurrection? No, it was argued, some other faiths believe that the dead rise again. The discussion grew heated.

A well-known theologian, a staunch defender of Christianity, came in late, sat down, and asked, “What’s the rumpus about?” When he learned that it was a debate about the uniqueness of Christianity, he immediately commented, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”

How right he was!

At the very heart of our message is the concept of Grace. We are not only saved by Grace but also live in and by it. Our life is not one of trying to impress God as we tick off a list of dos and don’ts. We can do nothing to move the heart of God to love us. He loves us constantly and continually. His love for us is assured. He loves us simply because He loves us…. He loves us, not because we merit it. No indeed, the truth is that we deserve the very opposite of love. We are helplessly sinful, but God has been and continues to be amazingly gracious to us. This is one of the main things that sets us apart from the world religions.

What a Gospel! It’s all of grace!

Think of this, it’s only by His infinite grace that we are saved,

It’s not by our moral character,

It’s not by our works of righteousness,

It’s not by keeping the Law,

It’s not by Churchgoing,

It’s by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. What a Gospel!

Grace is free. Jesus was not obligated to die for anyone. If we are saved, it is because God resolved to save us and not because we resolved to be saved! It’s all of grace!

What a Gospel!

He is the God of all grace. Think for a moment how graciously He deals with us. Robert Farrar Capon noted in Christ’s story of the return of the prodigal that the Father, “Wasn’t afraid of giving the prodigal son a kiss instead of a lecture, a party instead of probation.”

That’s Grace!

What a Saviour!

Grace is hard to comprehend but so indeed is our Saviour. The Saviour with whom we have to do is none other than God clothed with humanity. He is not a man made into God but God made man. When He spoke, God spoke. When He laughed, God laughed. When He sang, God sang. When He wept God wept. The fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Him (Colossians 1:19; 2:9).

“Wonder of wonders! The mighty God, without ceasing to be God, becomes a man to redeem us! Let the greatest king become the lowest beggar; let the richest prince leave his palace for the vilest cell of a loathsome prison; it is as nothing compared to the act of Jesus, when He left heaven to put on the rags of our mortality! The Creator of all things becomes a creature! The Almighty is a weak baby! The Eternal is a child of time! The Infinite is contracted into the limits of poor flesh! Is not this the wonder of wonders? Is not this grace which has no bounds?”

Henry Law: Christ is All.

What a Gospel! What a Saviour!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

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