Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

The Wednesday Word: When a Guilty Sinner met the Gracious Saviour

When a guilty sinner met the gracious Saviour the result was blessing (see Luke 7:36-50).

The Bible tells us that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-10) but grace makes no sense to the person who has not seen their lostness before God. Just as, when we are sick, our stomachs despise and reject health giving food, so the proud person rejects salvation by free grace.

To my unbelieving friends I would ask a question… have you become aware of your spiritual destitution? Have you discovered that your sin has already damned you? (John 3:18). Instead of being pure, have you discovered that your heart, like everyone else’s, is deceitful, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). That’s a hard pill to swallow.

Do you not know yourself? Instead of your works being good, outside of Christ they are either “bad” or “dead” (see Philippians 3:4-9; John 6:28-29; Hebrews 6:1-3).

So, here’s a question, if you are a sinner at best, …what are you at worst?

The truth is, outside of Christ, we are all desperately wicked and guilty before the all-holy God. Guilty! Guilty of sins, innumerable sins, and responsible for every one of them!

Terrible!

But, what a wonderfully suitable Saviour we find in the Lord Jesus. He was and is full of grace. What He was … is what He is! He never changes.

Do you remember Simon the Pharisee?

No?

Let me then ‘stir up your pure mind by way of remembrance.’ Simon, a local leader of religion, ‘condescended’ to entertain the Master with a meal (see Luke 7:36-50). I’m sure, at the back of it, he prided himself on having such a famous man as Jesus for a guest. But, during the feast the Lord disrupted the party by announcing forgiveness and grace for a local prostitute. Simon was both shocked and offended. Grace will do that to us at times. Simon, you see, was self-righteous. In his estimation, Jesus was not for the likes of her. But this woman, this notorious sinner, had what Simon had not… she had a knowledge of personal guilt. Simon was ignorant of his.

This poor woman placed herself at the mercy of her Maker. And how did Jesus respond?

He forgave her.

Grace outweighed her guilt and she went home with the Master’s triple announcement:

“Thy sins are forgiven;” (Mark 7:47).

“Thy faith hath saved thee;” (Mark 7:50).

“Go in peace” (Mark 7:50).

Evidently, before she met Jesus, conviction of sin had taken possession of her. She rightly judged herself guilty, turned to the Lord for mercy and was met by perfect grace.´´Perfect Grace!´´ What a description of the character of God. Grace changed the dear woman’s hell into heaven and cleansed her filth.

In this story, guilt entered the lists with grace and grace triumphed. It’s no wonder then that we can boldly say, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief ” (1 Timothy 1:15).

So, let’s ask a question, … do you know Him? If you say you do, let’s ask another question … is He is precious to you? If you don’t know and love Him then may the Lord open your understanding and may you, “acquaint thyself now with him, and be at peace; …” (Job 22:21).

The unsaved’s desire is to get away from God … and keep away from Him (John 3:19-21). Unless grace, therefore, intervenes, your wish will be granted, and you will eventually find yourself excluded from God forever. In the Lake of Fire, there is no grace. Grace never visits. Rays of mercy make no surprise appearances. (see Matthew 25; Luke 14). I urge you, therefore, to “Believe (trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31). Rest on Him, He is the sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Speaking Blood

But you are come ….. to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel (Hebrews 12:24).

In our text, we have both the blood of Abel and the blood of Jesus. Both men were murdered! Both men presented a sacrifice before the Father. Both sacrifices were accepted but, strictly speaking, Abel’s sacrifice was accepted only because of Christ’s future work at the cross. It was impossible that the blood of Abel’s lamb could, in and of itself, take away his sin. But it did, because the Father accepted it, as it were, by credit, based on the final payment for sins that was yet to be made at Calvary.

Abel’s sacrifice had no merit in it, but Christ’s sacrifice was so overflowing with value that it encompassed Abel’s sacrifice of his lamb. When Abel’s lamb died, the blood was the blood of an everyday lamb. Although it was a far inferior sacrifice to Christ’s sacrifice, it was accepted because it was offered by faith and pointed to Christ.

Christ’s blood, however, was atoning blood, poured out once for the sins of His people from every generation. It was a well pleasing and satisfactory sacrifice which guaranteed that no charge made against us would prosper.

There is, however, a deeper meaning to this verse in that Abel’s own blood, is to be contrasted with that of Christ’s. Abel’s blood was speaking blood. God said to Cain, “What have you done, the voice of your brother’s blood cries unto Me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). So here we have two men, two sets of blood, two voices. What’s the difference? The difference is this, Abel’s blood called for vengeance and vindication, but Christ’s blood calls for mercy!

Both Abel and Christ were murdered. Abel was killed by his brother and Christ was murdered by his “own” for, “He came to His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:12). And there at the cross, Jesus bled and died. But listen and listen intensely. Do you hear it? Listen to what? The silence! There is only silence from Christ’s blood on the subject of vengeance. We hear no call for vengeance upon His people. But listen again to what Christ’s blood is saying. It is speaking mercy and salvation to those who believe. Abel’s blood cries out for justice and judgment, but Jesus’ blood declares redemption and acquittal. Christ’s blood makes a much better speech than that of Abel’s.

Spurgeon said it like this,

“You came to the blood with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you to hear the voice of the blood of Jesus! ….it cries “It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have brought in everlasting righteousness.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Redemption through His Blood

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Redemption in the ancient world was not a religious idea, but rather a commercial one. Redemption was a term that specifically dealt with the act of buying a slave from the slave market in order to give him freedom. The term used for ‘redemption’ in our text is ‘apolytrōsis’, which carries with it a notion of liberation by the paying of a price. Christ’s amazing blood was the price paid, and it liberated us from the destruction of guilt and wrath.

To further understand biblical redemption, we should look at three other words associated with it in the New Testament. These words show us 3 distinct aspects of this great truth. The three words are,

1) Agorazo

This is a word which describes a purchase made. The Lord Jesus Christ went into the slave market of this world and bought and paid for us. Someone asks, “What did He use for currency?” That’s an excellent question. It finds its answer in 1 Peter 1:18-19 which says, “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

Furthermore, in Hebrews 9:12 we read, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Again in 1 Corinthians 7:23 we read, “You are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” What wonderful news this is for all of God’s children. We have been bought by saving blood. Christ’s blood is the currency of redemption. It has never suffered devaluation, and it never will.

2) Exagorazo

Our second word is Exagorazo. Notice how this is basically the same word as ‘Agorazo‘. It’s agorazo with an ‘ex’ in front of it. ‘Ex’ means ‘out of’ or ‘out from’. So when this term Exagorazo is used, it means that not only were we purchased by blood but that we have been taken out of circulation and are no longer for sale. This is excellent. Such is the power of the blood that it has purchased us and taken out of the marketplace. We are bought with a price and thus removed from the control of both Satan and Sin. “(Galatians 3:13, Galatians 4:5).

3) Lutroo

This third word means to ransom, loose or to set free by paying a price. We have been bought—that’s good news, we have been brought out of the slave market of sin and death … that’s better. But now we discover that the blood has ransomed and freed us to live unto Christ. That’s the best! We read in Titus 2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem (lutroo) us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (See also 1 Peter 1:18, Ephesians 1:7).

What a wonderful Saviour! What a mighty redemption! The term ‘Saved’ has become outmoded in many Christian circles. We are told it is an old fashioned word that puts people off. Not in my book! When we consider the redemption in Christ Jesus and see that it was His own blood that bought and paid for us, and see that He has taken us out of the market place of death and then see that he has set us free, we begin to realise that there is no better word to describe all of this than ‘Saved’. Here’s a hymn that sums it all up:

“Thank God I am free, free, free

From this world of sin,

I’ve been bought by the blood of Jesus,

And I’ve been born again

Hallelujah I’m saved, saved, saved

By His wonderful grace

The blood has been poured out,

He has brought me out

And shown me the way.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: More, More about Jesus!

Hebrews 4:14: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

We so very often miss the “little big” phrases of Scripture. We’ve just read one of them. It said, “We have.” Did you notice it? “Seeing then that we have a great high priest.” I’m glad that it didn’t merely say, “There is a great high priest!” It says, instead, that we have a great high priest. He is already ours!
Our High Priest is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ!

He is the One who is superior to all the high priests of the Old Testament.

He is the One who replaced all the high priests of the Old Testament.

He is the One who is now seated on the throne of grace.

He is the One who is filled with love and sympathy for His purchased people.

He is the One who ever lives to apply the benefits of His atonement to his people.

He is the One who brings us into the welcoming presence of God.
In the Old Testament, the high priests of Israel were but; “faint types and shadows of Christ.” However, they carried the names of the tribes of Israel upon their breastplate. This pointed towards Christ’s love for His people. These same names were also upon the high priest’s shoulders. This pointed towards the power of Christ in carrying His people (see Exodus 28:6-14; Exodus 28:15-29). Likewise, at this very moment, our great high priest, the Lord Jesus saves us with both love and strength. What an amazing salvation! What an amazing Saviour!
“Before the Throne of God above

I have a sure and perfect plea;

A great High Priest whose name is love,

Who ever lives and pleads for me,

My name is graven on His hands,

My name is written on His heart;

I know that while in Heaven He stands

No tongue can bid me thence depart.”

 

Once each year, under the Law, the Jewish high priest went behind the veil and into the holiest of all to sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat (Leviticus 16). But our high priest, the Lord Jesus, has, once for all, passed through the heavens and entered the heavenly sanctuary, with His own blood, where He, at this moment, gloriously represents us (Hebrews 9:24).

Let me ask you, do you know what it is to have a high priest or is this a mere theory? Are you living in this knowledge or is your life characterized by regret? Are you constantly thinking, “If only I had not made that stupid mistake…or if only I hadn’t done this or that”? Is your past robbing you of today’s joy? Then it’s time to put your past behind you! Your great high priest has finished His work—-it is over. His blood has cleansed every wicked thing that you have ever done or thought (John 19:30).

You might say, “But you do not know what I have done in the past!”

I don’t need to know. The blood of Jesus cleanses all sin (I John 1:7). Consider Paul; watch him and see how in a murderous frenzy he wasted the early church. I’m sure that was hard for him to forget. But he knew about the shed blood of the Lord Jesus. He knew that his Lord was his great high priest and intercessor. He knew that his sins had been taken away and, as a result, he was able to forget those things that lay behind.

Like Paul, we can forget our past for we have a great high priest. Our past is past. It has been wiped out. It is gone!

Jesus our High priest sympathizes with us in our temptations. He supplies us with strength. He is everything we need!

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles McKee
Minister of the Gospel

The Grace Centre

6 Quay Street, New Ross,

County Wexford, Ireland.

www.milesmckee.com  

Feel free to forward the Wednesday Word to your friends and family.

Also, feel free to, without changing the content, post or blog etc this material

Confession and Petition

December 11, 2013 2 comments

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. Reformatted by Eternal Life Ministries.

 

Only the preaching of the cross brings gospel comfort of forgiveness

fullerI do not mean to say that all consolation which comes suddenly to the mind, or by the impression of a passage of Scripture, any more than by reading, or hearing, is delusive. It is not the manner in which we obtain relief, that is of any account, but what it is that comforts us. If it be the doctrine of the cross, or any revealed truth pertaining to it, this is Gospel consolation; but if it be a supposed revelation from heaven of something which is not taught in the Scriptures, that is a species of comfort on which no dependence can be placed. A believer may be so far misled, as to be carried away with it; but, if a man have nothing better, he is still an unbeliever.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

Beware of unfounded persuasion that your sins are forgiven

fullerFinally: Beware of taking comfort from any impulse, or unfounded persuasion that your sins are forgiven, and that you are a favorite of God. Many are deceived this way, and mistake such a persuasion for faith itself. When a sinner is driven, from all his former holds, it is not unusual for him, instead of falling at the feet of Christ as utterly lost, to catch at an new conceit, however unscriptural and absurb, if it will but afford him relief. If, in such a state of mind, he receives an impression, perhaps in the words of scripture, that God has forgiven and accepted him, or dreams that he is in heaven, or reads a book, or hears a sermon favorable to such a method of obtaining relief, he eagerly imbibes it, and becomes intoxicated with the delicious draught. The joy of hope being so new and unexpected a thing, and succeeding to great darkness and distress, produces wonderful change in his mind. Now he thinks he has discovered the light of life, and feels as one that has lost his burden. Now he has found out the true religion; and all that he read or heard before, not affording him relief, is false doctrine, or legal preaching. Being treated also as one of the dear children of God by others of the same description, he is attached to his flatterers and despised those as graceless who would rob him of his comforts, by warning him against ” the lie which is in his right hand.”

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

Beware of thinking your sins are so great that you can’t be forgiven

April 15, 2013 4 comments

fullerConsider, and beware, I say again, as you regard your eternal salvation, that you take up your rest in nothing short of Christ! Particularly,

1. Beware of brooding over your guilt in a way of unbelieving despondence; and so of standing aloof from the hope of mercy. Say not, ” My sins have been too great, too numerous, or too aggravated to be forgiven.” “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin,” Believest thou this? You are not straitened in him, but in your own bowels. God’s thoughts are not as your thoughts, nor his ways as your ways: as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his thoughts higher than your thoughts, and his ways than your ways. On the sinner that returneth to our God he bestoweth abundant pardon. It is not, “if thou canst do any thing, help me;” but, “If thou canst believe–all things are possible to him that believeth.” Of what dost thou doubt? Of his all-sufficiency? He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. Of his willingness? Ought not his gracious invitations to satisfy thee on this head? Can you imagine that he would proclaim, saying, ” Whosoever thirsteth, let him come unto me and drink,” and yet be reluctant to gratify the desires of those that come to him? Objections, on the ground of the greatness of guilt and unworthiness, may seem to wear the face of modesty and humility; but, after all, it becomes you to consider whether they be any other than the workings of a self-righteous spirit. If you could find in your heart to accept of mercy as one of the chief of sinners, all your objections would vanish in a moment.

One sees, in your very tears of despondency, a pining after acceptance with God by something in yourself. Were they put into words, they would amount to something like this: “If I bad but somewhat to recommend me to the Saviour, I could go to him with assurance; or, if I had been less wicked, I might hope for acceptance.” And what is this but making good the complaint of our Saviour? “Ye will not come unto me, that ye may have life!” Such longings after something to recommend you to the Saviour, are no other than “going about to establish your own righteousness;” and while this is the case, there is great danger of your being given up to imagine that you find the worthiness in yourself which your soul desireth.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

The threats and warnings in scripture are addressed to the church body

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

The threatenings, cautions, and warnings, with which the word of God every where abounds, imply, it is alleged, if they do not aver, the probability that some true christians will apostatise, and forever perish. They are therefore presented as a second objection to the doctrine it is my purpose to establish.

That such threatenings and cautions, and warnings, are of constant recurrence in the divine word, and that they are in their character, appalling, is most true. The premises are therefore cheerfully conceded, but the conclusion from thence, does not appear to me, by any means natural, or a matter of course. The reasoning is illogical, as I shall presently fully demonstrate. Let two important facts be here fixed carefully in the mind. The Church of Christ is composed, not of the regenerate alone, but of the unregenerate also. This is the first fact. The second is, that all these threatenings, and cautions, and warnings, are addressed to the members of the Church as a body. Both these truths will, I suppose, be readily admitted by all.

But I would be fully understood, and therefore, will refer you to testimony. I do not admit that the unconverted have any right to a place in the Churches. The word of God, we very well know, does not approve their admission. On the contrary, it is strictly prohibited. But those who administer the affairs of the kingdom of Christ upon earth, are men. They are imperfect; their administration also must therefore be imperfect. Our best efforts may be exerted to preserve the body pure from unworthy members, but we cannot read men’s hearts, and in despite of all our vigilance, very many find their way into the Church, who are strangers to repentance and faith; some probably, for some reasons, seeking to appear what they know they are not; and others candid, and sincere, but misled, and deceived. I state the simple fact that there are unconverted men in the Churches. So it has been in every age―-in apostolic as well as in our own times. A Judas, and a Simon Magus, were then members of the Churches, and stood side by side, with a James, and a John. So now, the converted and the unconverted, the eminently holy, and the profoundly depraved, meet and mingle in the sanctuary, and at the very table of the Lord. Such, to a greater or less extent, are all the Churches. This we know to be true, by the institution in the word of God of disciplinary measures to exclude the unworthy when discovered, and by our own personal observation.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

The difference between backsliding and apostasy

November 21, 2012 4 comments

It is, secondly, necessary that you discriminate carefully, between backsliding, and apostasy. The former is the act of turning back from God; the latter is the forsaking, or the renouncing of the religion of Christ. Backsliding consists either in the relinquishment of evangelical doctrine; or in the loss of spirituality of mind; or in the gradual departure from correct morals. All these evils are embraced in apostasy. The backslider commits transgressions, but returns to his allegiance, and obtains forgiveness, and acceptance. The apostate continues; dies in his sins; and “so eternally perishes.” We teach that none of the true children of God―he believing, the pardoned, the regenerated, the sanctified―become apostate, but to backsliding, of every character and degree, all, it is but too evident, even the best, and most devoted, are constantly, and painfully liable.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints