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Posts Tagged ‘Emmanuel’

The Wednesday Word: Gospel Fullness

In this Wednesday Word, I want to speak again about Jesus. May the Spirit of Lord raise up a generation of believers who will, above all else, speak of and love the Lord Christ.

Some commentators tell us that today’s Scripture, Colossians 2:9, is an illusion to the Tabernacle in the days of Moses. It looked commonplace and ordinary on the outside, but inside it housed the very glory and presence of the Eternal God. So it is with Christ. Little did people know that the humble carpenter from Nazareth was indeed God manifest in the flesh.

May we all take the time to meditate on Him. The truth of Christ’s identity is as overwhelming as it is staggering! He is both human and divine. The Fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him.

Of course, Christ’s enemies say that the word ‘Godhead’ does not actually mean Godhead: or they say that this verse means that it was merely the power of God which dwelt in Christ. It is astonishing to discover the hatred that men still harbour towards Christ and the truth of His dual nature. However, the Bible cannot be clearer on Christ’s identity than it is in this verse.

Colossians 2:9, according to Calvin, “ … means simply, that God is wholly found in him (Christ), so that he who is not content with Christ alone, desires something better and more excellent than God. The sum is this, that God has manifested himself to us fully and perfectly in Christ.” Calvin’s Commentaries: Colossians.

According to Benjamin Warfield, this verse means; “There is nothing in the God who is over all which is not in Christ.” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary – Godhead)

In Isaiah 11:2-5, we are given a prophetic picture of the Lord Jesus which conveys something of this fullness. There we read, “..and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord:….”

What an astounding description of Jesus. Notice how Christ demonstrates the sevenfold Spirit of God!

The Spirit of the Lord.
The Spirit of Wisdom.
The Spirit of Understanding.
The Spirit of Counsel.
The Spirit of Might.
The Spirit of Knowledge.
The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.

The fullness of the Godhead was and is indeed manifest in Him. The foundation of our faith then is that He who died on the cross was God incarnate. When we meet Christ Jesus, we meet with God in His fullness. This is the foundation upon which our eternal destiny is built. This is our security. The One who has lived, died and risen for us is Emmanuel, God with us. This is exceedingly good news!

“Mortals with joy beheld his face,
Th’ eternal Father’s only Son;
How full of truth! How full of grace!
When through his eyes the Godhead shone.”
Isaac Watts

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word : Paul and the Great Commandment

“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha” (1 Corinthians 16:22).

Paul is stating that those who do not love the Lord Jesus are devoted to their own destruction. What an extraordinary thing for the great apostle to say if, that is, Jesus is not God. For Paul, Christ was everything. He was his Saviour, Master, Lord, Life and Hope. Jesus was the very centre of his thoughts! But, we must face it, this command to love Jesus, is a violation of the First Commandment if Christ is not God!

Remember Paul’s history! No man had ever despised the name of Jesus more intensely; no one had ever devoted himself so passionately to the extermination of that lovely name. But from the moment of Paul’s salvation, the Lord Jesus had become his all-in-all.

Consider how Paul is very sweeping in this warning, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.” … “If any man!” That means not one of us is exempt! As you remember, “Anathema” means “accursed.” The Bible is, therefore, very plain on this matter: it curses anyone who does not love the Lord Jesus! This is strong language and we should pause a little to consider it’s teaching.

In Paul’s divinely enlightened understanding, to not love the Lord Jesus was to not love God. Indeed, this scripture makes it impossible for us to say we love God, but Jesus, we’re not so sure about! If we say this sort of thing, we have invented a God of our own making and are, therefore, guilty of idolatry.

God’s self-revelation is in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He refuses to be accessed any other way because there is no other way (John 14:6)! In the heart of the Almighty, from all eternity, was the crucified Lamb who would mediate God to men.

Meanwhile, let’s consider the other side of the coin. If Jesus is not God and we love Him above all, we again make ourselves violators of the First Commandment. It’s that simple. As we take a hard look at it, we realize that the only way this scripture is prevented from contradicting the rest of the Bible is to embrace the truth that Jesus is actually God. If He is not God, then it is entirely incorrect to love Him in the way the Scriptures instruct us to do! Moreover, if Jesus is not God, then the Bible, by telling us to love Jesus, actually puts us, and Christ, into direct conflict with the One true and living God!

In conclusion, one more thing needs to be noted. If Christ Jesus is not God in human flesh then his death and sufferings were the best thing that could have ever happened to Him. He got what He deserved!

He was brought before the court of the Sanhedrin, charged with blasphemy, and it was upon that charge they condemned him to die. No lawyer could have successfully defended Him. The evidence against Him was damning and daunting. He had made himself equal with God, not once, not twice but continually throughout His ministry. If Christ Jesus was not God, His condemnation for blasphemy was, therefore, well deserved and just. In fact, not only was His crucifixion justly deserved, it was an act of righteousness on the part of Chiapas and the rest of Christ’s enemies.

However, as Spurgeon says;

“It is his being truly God that frees him from the charge of blasphemy; it is the fact that he is God, and that his Godhead is not to be denied, that makes his death an unrighteous decision at the hand of apostate man, and renders it, an acceptable sacrifice for the sins of all the people whom he redeemed with his precious blood. But if he was not God, I do repeat, that there is no reason whatever, why we should have had a New Testament written; for there would be then nothing in the sublime central-fact of that New Testament but the righteous execution of one, who certainly deserved to die.”

CHS: Sermon # 258: His Name the Mighty God

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: A Good Question and a Great Answer.

“And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, why do you call me good? None is good, save one, that is, God. You know the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, all these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, yet you lack one thing: sell all that you have, and distribute unto the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. (Luke 18:18-23)

Let’s summarise this story. A wealthy ruler approached Christ, calling Him ‘Good Master’ asking what He could do to gain eternal life. That’s a good query!

Not all enquiries are as sensible as that one. We are all guilty of asking stupid questions from time to time. However, the man in our scripture passage asked a good question. It wasn’t a misspoken one. There was no lack of seeming sincerity in it. But Jesus, strange to say, immediately asked Him, in a very pointed manner, why he called Him good, being that there is but one alone who is good and that is God!

The opponents of the grand truth of the Deity of Christ seize on this passage and say; “These verses demonstrate clearly, that Jesus is not God. In fact,” they say, “Here, He actually denied that He was God in human flesh appearing.”

Wrong! Jesus denied nothing of the sort! He merely asked, why the man had called Him good for there was none good but God. What Jesus was saying was, “You don’t believe that I’m God so why are you calling me good?” This young man had made a confession of faith that he did not actually believe. He had addressed Jesus as God and had asked him a question about eternal life, a question which God alone was uniquely qualified to answer.

When Jesus asked the young ruler why he had called him good, He was speaking to the man’s conscience and probing, as it were, to get him to face his lack of sincerity. This gentleman had inadvertently confessed that Jesus was God. Jesus, as the master soul-winner, then challenged him as to what he really believed.

If he were to follow through on what Jesus was about to tell him to do, he really would need to have confidence that Christ was God. And what was he asked to do? He was told to sell all and distribute everything to the poor and come and follow Jesus. To do such a thing, this man would need to have a deep conviction that Jesus was indeed God.

Of course, this exposed the man as being covetous and not the Law keeper he had boasted of being. He was also looking for something to do to gain a place in Heaven. But that’s another story.

In conclusion, here, we once more observe the radical nature of Christ’s teachings. A good man does not tell someone that they have to sell all and come follow him! It is entirely fitting and legitimate, however, for God to ask or even demand such a thing, but for a mere man, to ask such a thing would be evil. So again Jesus defies this silly nonsense of being classified as a good moral teacher, but not God!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

This has been taken from Chapter 6 of my upcoming book,
‘Jesus is God: (He always was and always will be.) Part 2’

The Wednesday Word: Jesus is no Robber!

April 22, 2015 1 comment

“Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God;” Philippians 2:6.

This is a very hard verse to translate and many have given it varied and sometimes colourful renderings. The NIV renders it, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.” The RSV has it, “Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.” However, these translations, fall short of the meaning Paul is stating.

Let’s, then, look at this phrase, “thought it not robbery.” If you rob someone, you take something that is not yours. This is the exact opposite of what Christ did. Christ’s Deity was His by right, not by robbery. Christ’s equality with God was at no time considered as theft.

Let me illustrate. The only person who cannot rob the Crown Jewels of Great Britain is the British Monarch. If you ever find yourself in possession of those gems you can be sure that someone somewhere has been guilty of robbery. If the Monarch, however, were found to have them in their possession, no one could object for they are Royal property. Likewise, Christ’s deity was no unusual thing. He did not possess it through robbery. The divine nature was His by right.

In this passage, it should be further noted that Paul is not trying to prove that Christ is God. He takes it for granted that the Philippians already believe this truth. Indeed, one cannot be a Christian and refuse Him as God (John 8:24).

Notice how, in verse 6, he uses the term, “equal with God.” This is a giveaway! The Greek word used for ‘equal’ is ‘isos’ and means having equal measurement! From this word ‘isos’, we get our term the “isometric’ which means, ‘equal in dimension and measurement’. Paul, therefore, by this one word, declares Christ to be equal in every way to God and, therefore, God.

Although this passage confirms the deity of Christ, the point of the passage is to tell the Philippians to have the same mind as Christ. Jesus, although He was the Almighty, had a servant’s heart and the heart of a brother. He was highly exalted yet, in grace, He stooped and made Himself the lowliest of servants, a ‘Doulos’ or quite literally a bond slave.

What a revelation Christ gives us of God! Jesus (God) stripped of His divine prerogatives. This is, as others have called it, “His self-disglorification.”

Consider Him, He is full of power and yet filled with such tenderness that He does not break the bruised reed, nor snuff out the smoking flax (Matthew 12:20).

Consider Him, in Christ Jesus, the omnipotent Yahweh arrived on this earth as a meek man, merciful, lowly and mild.

Consider Him, the divine creator walking among men.

It is to be remembered that this passage was written to emphasize what Christ gave up rather than to emphasize that He was God. Christ, we are told, emptied Himself of one form and took on another. It should be stressed, however, that, by the act of becoming a man, Christ could not possibly give up his Godhead. No act of condescension or humiliation could cause Him to cease to be God. For that to have happened, God would have had to cease to exist. He did not give up the possession of Deity but gave up the outward expressions of Deity! Christ, for the sake of redemption, gave up His rights, reputation and riches.

The great Henry Law said,

“Wonder of wonders! The mighty God, without ceasing to be God, becomes 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 babe! 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)

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Altogether Lovely Christ

April 17, 2013 1 comment

Wednesday word: The Altogether Lovely Christ

In Christ alone we discover who God is and what He is like. In Christ alone we also learn what man should be like. What a marvel Christ is .… God and Man in one person; there has never been anyone like Him! Consider this; the greatest of people are usually flawed. Einstein was brilliant, but he was also a sex maniac. Gandhi, the great peace-loving leader of India once paid a compliment to Adolph Hitler. Patrick Henry, the famous American revolutionary, occasionally locked his wife in the basement. Let’s face it, the best of men are men at best, they are all flawed, all that is, except for Christ Jesus. In the annals of human history, Jesus Christ remains the only one of whom it can be truthfully asserted, “He is altogether lovely ” (Song of Songs 5:16).

He is altogether lovely because He is the out-shining of the Father’s glory (Hebrews 1:3).

He is altogether lovely for although He is the glory of God against whom we are measured and fall short, He has become our champion and has brought us back to God (Romans 3:23, Hebrews 2:10)

He is altogether lovely because there He was, at the cross, “Bearing shame and scoffing rude,” and doing so without opening His mouth in His own defence (Isaiah 53:7).

He is altogether lovely because although He is the shepherd, He is also the Lamb. The faithful guide is the flawless sacrifice; the perfect protector is Himself the wonderous wrath offering (Hebrews 13:20, Romans 3:25).

He is lovely because He, by Himself, purged our sins (Hebrews 1:3)!

But, is He really altogether lovely? If so, then tell people about Him. What a simple message we have …“Behold the Lamb!” We don’t have to argue or be belligerent, we can simply tell about the Lamb. We don’t have to despise or condemn, we just tell about the Lamb. He is altogether lovely! We can help no one unless we point them to the Lamb. No one else can take away sin. No one else can bathe the conscience and cleanse it for it is the Lamb who was slaughtered; it is the Lamb who was the one final sacrifice for sin. He is altogether lovely.

Not only when we witness, but also when we have fellowship one with another may we say, “Behold the Lamb.” May we talk about His person, work and offices. May we continually think about Him, observe Him and know all that we can about Him. May we examine Him, meditate on Him, worship Him and sing to Him! The more we are occupied with Him, the more we will be transformed.

There was no greater wonder ever than that God should provide Himself as the Lamb for the sin offering. May we always be in awe of Him! Angels marvel at this mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh. May we join with them in astonished wonder and never cease to be amazed.

May we always be filled with the wonder of the flawless Lamb! He is not distant. He is here; He is not in hiding. Look at Him and see Him for who He is. He is the living Word, the Word made flesh, the Holy One come to earth as the sinner’s friend (John 1:14). He is loveliness itself, filled with grace and truth.

About 300 hundred years ago, Scotland had many prominent preachers. An English man went there to listen to some of them. First he went to hear Robert Blair. He came back and said, “That man showed me the majesty of God.” Then he went to hear a sermon by David Dixon, and he said,“ That man showed me my heart.” And then he heard Samuel Rutherford, and he said, “That man showed me the loveliness of Jesus.” What mighty preaching there must have been in those days. We may yet see it return to our pulpits.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles McKee,

Minister of the Gospel

www.milesmckee.com

Merry Christmas 2012

December 25, 2012 2 comments

300px-Gerard_van_Honthorst_001  

Merry Christmas:

from Reformed on the

Web.

The Prophets Speak of Christ

Not only in the Psalms, but in the Prophets too, has the Holy Spirit given us to hear some of the holy breathings of Him who became Man, completely dependent upon God. Most blessedly is this brought before us in Isaiah 50. There we find the Mediator saying, “The Lord God hath given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened Mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned a way back….The Lord God will help Me, therefore shall I not be confounded” (vv. 4, 5, 7). What light this casts upon the lowly place which the Creator of angels had taken! How blessedly it makes known to us His amazing condescension! How perfectly He conducted Himself as the Father’s Servant (Isa. 42:1). Well could He say, “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt.11:29).

Arthur Pink Studies in the Scriptures Volume XI. No 10 1932