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The Wednesday Word: Sanctified by the Blood

Hebrews 13:12: Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without (outside) the gate.

The blood of Christ is so pure that it has purged every one of our sins and set us apart unto God. The all-seeing, all-piercing eye of Yahweh could discover no flaw in Christ’s blood for it contained no tinge of sin. It was and is the blood of the Lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19). The Lamb’s blood was unpolluted, untainted and clean and, therefore, it alone was exclusively suitable to sanctify us.

When Jesus Christ went to heaven, in the ascension, He took us with Him and positionally seated us there with Him as ransomed, redeemed and sanctified believers (Ephesians 2:6, 1 Peter 3:18). From that point forward, the Father could never again see us in sin or see sin in us. Our growth in grace and the knowledge of God will be greatly accelerated as we grip this truth and this truth grips us. It is finished. Now the big question that should occupy our mind is, not what we can do, but rather, what He has done (Colossians 3:1). Our lives are now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). He will never reckon sin or sins to us. We are washed and sanctified by the blood.

If we sin, (and to our shame we will), we have the privilege of instantly bringing our wretchedness to our High Priest. Our sins may cause us to cower in alarm as we think of God’s potential sore displeasure, but it is the blood that tells us what the Father really thinks of us. He sees us as set apart and already sanctified unto him. Because of the blood, we cannot be taken from Him. Spurgeon tells us;

“The apostle says that we who are the priests of God have a right as priests to go to God’s mercy-seat that is within the Vail, but it were to our death to go there unless we were perfect. But we are perfect, for the blood of Christ has been sprinkled on us, and, therefore, our standing before God is the standing of perfection.”

CHS: New Park Street Pulpit: Sermon No. 232: Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 2nd, 1859.

If, however, we insist on remaining in defiance and rebellion, then, although our standing before God is un-altered, we reap what the sin produces and what the Holy Spirit of God must do to bring us away from the love of our sin. This does not mean, however, that we are in any way legally separated from the One to whom we have, by grace, already been attached. We can never be separated from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Does this give us a license to sin? God forbid (Romans 6:2; Romans 6:15)! The true believer thrives on fellowship with the Father. But, if we sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, there is no way we can enjoy fellowship in the plan of God. Therefore, as we grow in grace, the Spirit of God begins to teach us a holy hatred of sin. However, this holy hatred does not qualify us to approach God. The blood has already brought us to God. The blood has already made us fit to come to God. Our holy hatred of sin cannot improve on what the blood has already done.

We, as sanctified believers, have continual access with boldness to the throne of grace, and we may come there with all our needs. Because of the blood, we are always perfect and always qualified to come to His throne, whatever our doubts, whatever our sins.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: The Most Famous Speech in the Universe

Hebrews 12:24

The atoning blood is speaking blood. It announces the message of mercy, grace and everlasting life. Because of the blood, believers are no longer subject to the just and furious wrath of God. Furthermore, because of the blood, it is now impossible for Satan to lay anything to our charge (Romans 8:33).

In Hebrews 12:24 we read of, “the blood of sprinkling.” In the Old Testament, Moses, as he sprinkled the blood on the people, was prophetically foretelling the work of Christ (Exodus 24:8). It is no wonder then that we read in the New Testament that we are, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2).

Christ’s blood speaks to us that the vilest offender who believes and rests on Jesus will be saved and delivered from the wrath to come. The blood also speaks of the Almighty God accepting, on our behalf, the sacrifice which He supplied. The blood again speaks of the Justice of God whereby He clears the guilty through the finished work of our accepted Substitute who took away our sins on the cross.

The blood has made the most powerful and famous speech in the Universe.

Many years ago in Ireland, there was a woman who was a very devout Roman Catholic. She attended Mass almost every day but had no peace in her heart. Through time she became distraught about her sins. She went to the priest and confessed them all, but her conviction of sin only grew worse.

At last, she went personally to the priest and told him of her great distress. He told her that she needed something to cheer her up, and as there was a comedian in town, she should go and hear him. The lady decided to go and hear the comedian, but she went to the wrong place. She found a group of people in a hall, but instead of a comedian, a preacher stood up and began to preach. His subject was, “The Forgiveness of Sin through the Blood of Christ.” The lady wanted to leave the meeting, but she was shy and didn’t want to make a noise in moving. So she decided to stay until it was finished.

The sermon on the blood of Christ, as it turns out, was the very message she had needed to hear. Afterwards, she asked the preacher what book he had been reading from. He told her that it was a Bible and gave her a copy. She went home and read and read the Bible. She read of the redeeming blood of the Saviour, she read of the forgiveness of sins, and she trusted Christ for His mercy. By grace alone, both the guilt and weight of her sin were taken away.

Some weeks later the priest visited her and asked her why she had not been attending Mass. She told him that she had found forgiveness and peace with God through the shed blood of her Saviour. When the priest saw the Bible, he was irate and grabbed the book, confiscating it. As he left, he shouted at her, saying that she would go to Hell if she read about the things in this book.

The lady bought another Bible and continued to read it diligently. A month later she decided that she should go and talk to the priest about his soul. When she arrived at his place, a nun opened the door and said in an angry voice, “Come in and see the priest.” When the woman went in, she saw a coffin with the dead body of the priest in it. The nun said, “He died very upset, and he cursed you for having that book, the Bible.”

Though the woman left the house very sad and dismayed, she continued to read her Bible. Some weeks later, late at night, there was a knock at her door. When she opened the door, a lady stood there with her head covered. She asked her inside. When the woman took off her head covering it was the nun. She said, “I have come to tell you that I am very sorry for telling you a dreadful lie about the priest.” She then told her how the priest had begun to read the Bible, and when he died, he was praising God for His mercy and forgiveness through the blood of Christ.

The nun told the lady how she herself had begun to read the Bible after the priest was buried, and how the Lord in His mercy had found her. She now saw the message of the blood, and now she was running away from the Convent and fleeing to England. She too had had her eyes opened to Christ and His promised salvation through the blood of the cross.

The blood of Christ does not call out for revenge, but for mercy upon all who believe. What a powerful speech there is in the Blood of Christ.

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

The Wednesday Word: Jesus our Gospel

December 28, 2016 Leave a comment

Jesus is our Gospel. He is Heaven’s good news. To put it another way, the Gospel is God’s good news about Himself revealed in His Son. The Gospel brings, not only good news about what God has done for us but also gives us good news about God Himself. Because of the Gospel, we can learn about the very character of God.

For example, we would not realize how much God hates sin if it were not for the cross. It is the Gospel, in fact, which best illustrates His awful and intense abhorrence of sin. There is nothing in the entire universe that reveals God’s holy wrath against sin more than the blood of Christ. Think about it. There was no other way for the Lord to save us but by the blood. The horror of our sin is seen in that the sinless, spotless Lamb of God offered Himself and poured out His blood as our substitute.

Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3)! Death, of course, is not always bloody. You can die without losing your blood. But Christ not only died, He shed His blood. Blood is the sign of violence. You see, the death of Jesus was not just a mere passing away – a dying of old age on a comfortable bed. No! It was a violent death. It was a bloody, gory, ugly, revolting scene — a man hanging torn and wretched upon a cross, with blood streaming down His sides and running down His face.

Lets never forget that the God who is love is the God who is holy. As Dr. Barnhouse said,

“If you say that God is love without realizing that God is hate of sin you have no Gospel at all because you do not have God. The people who teach that God is love without teaching that God is also hate of sin have in reality another God who is Satan with a mask on.”

Donald Gray Barnhouse: Commentary on Romans.

In the Old Testament Temple, God demonstrated His hatred of sin in the daily sacrifices. God, being Holy, can no more endorse sin than He can commit it. But, these sacrifices were merely shadows of the reality which was to come. Only in the Gospel do we see the fulfillment of these Old Testament types. Only in the Gospel are we caused to face the horror of sin.

God spared not His Son but delivered Him up as an offering which took away holy wrath. Christ, as the Puritan, Stephen Charnock, said: “hung on the cross like a disinherited son while he appeared in the rank and garb of a sinner.”

Hanging there, the Lamb who knew no sin, called out and cried, “My God My God why have you forsaken me.” By the way, this is the first time in His ministry that Christ had ever called the Father by the title of ‘God.’ All through His life, he had called God His Father. But there at the cross, Christ took the place of His sinful people taking their sin and all the separation that goes along with it.

Listen to Him cry out in tortured agony, “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” Had there been another way to reconcile us do you not think the Father would have taken it? The cross was awful; it was scandalous! Yet, it reveals the heart of God, not only in His deep love for us but also in the deep hatred of sin which so offended His holiness.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Allah and The Christian God are the Same?

February 17, 2016 Leave a comment

There was a measure of shock recently when Pope Francis announced that Allah and Yahweh were one and the same. But there was no need for anyone to be surprised. This has been the official Roman Catholic position for quite some time…see here.

So, are Allah and Yahweh one and the same? Could this be the case? The Koran, for example, claims that Allah is forgiving because he is merciful, (The Cow: 2:199). In the Bible, we read that Yahweh is also a God of forgiveness (Ps 130:4). Then, in Exodus 20:6, we read that Yahweh shows mercy. Thus, we observe that both Allah and the Father are forgiving and merciful. Does this then mean they are one and the same God?

A good question!

If Yahweh and Allah are one and the same, we would expect them to have the same view of sin and forgiveness. So let’s ask, on what basis does Allah forgive sins?

According to the Koran, He forgives sins because of the repentance of the penitent (S: 9:104). In addition to this, he is merciful and kind (S 3:89). Allah is, therefore, to be likened to a Judge, who clears a vile, guilty criminal because the guilty party asks for forgiveness. The criminal repents and says he has changed his mind about having done the crime and won’t do it again. The judge is a kind and forgiving man so he releases the accused.

Sweet!

But, this verdict contains an alarming disregard for justice. Who will pay for the man’s crime? Who indeed will be punished for it? The man may have repented, but the crime still stands. It seems, therefore, that Allah holds justice and the seriousness of sin in an exceedingly low esteem.

Conversely, the Christian God, Yahweh, forgives, not only because He is merciful, but also because He is Just. He has dealt with us, not merely out of kindness but out of Justice. To ensure that our sins have been justly done away with, He has set forth Christ Jesus as our sin offering (Romans 3:25-26). Christ, as our representative and substitute, took the wrath of outraged majesty and justice.

The Father’s forgiveness is thus rooted in both love and justice: Allah’s is not. Thus, they are not one and the same.

In the gospel, our right standing and acceptance with God do not rest on our decision to repent. Nor does it lie in our personal moral renewal whereby we pledge to do better. Our right standing before God is discovered exclusively in the doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Jesus. Punishment for sins is demanded by God’s unchangeable nature of holy justice. He could not and would not set aside His lawful and righteous demand that the sinner is punished (Romans 6:23). So in love, Christ, God manifest in the flesh, came and was punished for the sins of His people. Our salvation is thus rooted in both the love and justice of God.

With respect, we note that Allah has not provided an atonement for his followers. No one has paid for their sins. Thus, we must conclude that Allah is not the God of Justice. He has provided no just way to righteously deal with sin.

When we put on our Gospel Glasses, we see that Yahweh and Allah are most definitely not the same God. They are diametrically opposed to each other. The god of the Koran forgives when he feels merciful but it’s a forgiveness divorced from Justice.

Yahweh, on the other hand, gave and presented Christ, the God/Man, the very righteousness of God. He was numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). Justice dealt with Him, not because He was a wretch, but because He was the substitute for His people. He was treated like a filthy sinner, or let’s say it another way, He was treated as though he were us.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Gospel Forgiveness

December 9, 2015 1 comment

Since the believer’s sins have been punished on Christ, we can say with assurance that we are saved. Believers are simply this ….forgiven sinners!

But what kinds of sins was Jesus punished for?

Was it for our big sins?

Yes!

What about our little sins?

Yes!

And, what about the sins of omission?

Yes, for those too!

We are forgiven because Christ Jesus was punished in our place and in our stead.

The gospel truth is this, believers are covered with the righteousness of Christ. We are in Christ! We are reckoned not to have done the sins we actually have done. This is beautiful, matchless grace! I hope we never get tired of hearing this good news.

The Bible teaches that there are two kinds of righteousness. The first is the righteousness by which the uninstructed and ignorant attempt to get to heaven. The Bible, however, is ruthlessly scathing in describing this kind of righteousness. It calls it “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). The second kind of righteousness is the imputed righteousness God gives us as a free gift … the very righteousness of Christ.

Unfortunately, if we are not bathed in the gospel, we continually revert to believing that there is something we can do to get right with God. We are like the Jews of whom Paul wrote, “They are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes. (Romans 10:2-4).

So consider this, by grace, the Lord chose and accepted us. We are not saved by anything we do! Salvation is by grace alone. Don’t let anyone rob you of that precious truth.

As Dr David Dykes says, “If you could burn one single calorie of effort to bring about your salvation, then you could take a tiny part of the credit and boast about your part.” Excellent statement! … But he understates the matter…in actuality, we would take all the credit! The gospel truth is this, salvation is all of God and none of us. Charles Spurgeon expressed it this way: “If there is one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness which we are to insert ourselves, then we are lost.”

To further grasp this matter of being saved by someone else, we read in Colossians 2:14 that Christ has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

Some have reasoned that the handwriting of ordinances alludes to the custom of affixing to the cross the charges which earned the criminal the death sentence. Remember how, at our Lord’s crucifixion, the charge read, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” That had been His claim. He was the King, the heavenly King, who would rule the earth. To the Jews, this was blasphemy. To the Romans, it stood for insurrection.

Others reason that by the ‘handwriting of ordinances’ is meant that God took the obligations of Mosaic Law and nailed them to the cross of Christ. By His saving work, the Lord Jesus exposed all systems of works salvation as being fraudulent.

Christ died as a substitute for the people of God. So beware of these grace robbers who tell you that you have something to do to earn heaven.

We are saved by grace alone…we make no contribution.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: The Pathetic 12-Months of Mercy!

September 30, 2015 1 comment

Recently, I was stunned when reading the present Pope’s declaration concerning his upcoming ‘Year of Mercy’. Accordingly during that period Pope Francis will give priests a special dispensation of power to forgive those who have committed the sin of abortion.

A line from W.C. Fields sprang to my mind, “Hour of mischief, what kind of skulduggery is this?”

In his statement, the Pope expressed compassion for those who have aborted their babies. Furthermore, during the Holy Year of Mercy, he will permit priests to absolve penitent women of the sin of having had their pregnancies terminated.

How sweet of him, but who in the name of thunder does he think he is to give permission to anyone to forgive sins? Only God can forgive sins…and He doesn’t limit His forgiveness to a 12-month window of opportunity.

This entire Papal proposal reeks of arrogance from start to finish. It is another example of how Francis, mild-mannered as he is, assumes the position of God Almighty! How does he take it on himself to allow his priests to forgive a particular sin for a particular period of time?

All sin is sin against God (Psalm 51:4), it’s not against Pope Francis. Thus only God, not Francis, can forgive (Mark 2:7). Yet the Pope presumes to give power to his priests to do just that. But then again, there should be no surprise here for Francis claims to be the “Vicar of Christ.” That implies that he has the same power and authority that Christ has over the church. Why, in the light of this, do evangelicals in their droves now embrace the Pope as a Christian leader instead of declaring him to be Antichrist? Nary a whimper is to be heard from the pens and sermons of many Bible Believers as Francis perpetrates, perpetuates and promulgates his falsehoods and deceptions upon the gullible and the credulous.

There is only one priest who can deal with sin and his name is not Francis, His name is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the God-Man. He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him (Hebrews 7:25).

In contrast to Rome’s 12-month period of mercy, the Bible speaks of unlimited mercy found in God. We read in Ephesians 2:4-5, for example, that God is rich in Mercy… literally He’s ‘plush’ with mercy. And what is more, mercy for those who have aborted their babies is not limited to the time frame of one year. The throne of Grace is open to everyone who approaches by faith, at any time, for any sin regardless of the Pope’s sell by date. In fact, Hebrews 4:16 urges us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” There is mercy for those who come to Christ. He is the faithful High Priest, no other priest is required.

As I read the Pope’s statement, I was also reminded of how some years ago an old lady was lying on her death bed. A local priest came to see her and announced that he was there to absolve her of her sins. ”Let me see your hands, “she demanded.

“My hands?”

“Yes, your hands.”

Reluctantly, the priest proffered his hands for examination. After a minute or so the old lady said; ”Sir, I perceive that you are an imposter. The only one who can absolve me has got nail scars in his hands….Scars that were received at the cross of Calvary.”

Perhaps someone who has had an abortion is reading this. It has deeply troubled your conscience. The guilt pierces you. You believe you are beyond forgiveness. I implore you, therefore, to look to Christ Jesus, plead guilty and throw yourself on His mercy. Your sins and iniquities He will remember no more.

May the Lord grant that you see the mercy and grace that is available to you in Christ Jesus. He is the only priest who can and will forgive sin for He alone is the God/Man!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles.

www.milesmckee.com