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The Wednesday Word: Invasion of the ‘List Men’

February 20, 2019 Leave a comment

‘List-Men’ is another term for legalizers… so-called because they come armed with lists of things for us to do (and not to do) so that we may gain acceptance from the Father in Heaven.

Their gospel (which is no Gospel at all) teaches Christ plus something else. They always add to the Finished Work teaching that, for salvation, we need more than Christ alone.

They accuse true Gospel Believers of being Antinomian, … (an odd term by which they charge that our preaching and believing is against the law). Regardless of their charges, Grace Believers strenuously oppose any law being put in the place of the Gospel. Only the doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Jesus gives us eternal life. Our salvation is found entirely and utterly in His obedience on our behalf.

However, we take encouragement from Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, the great expository preacher of the last century, who said, “The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge (Antinomianism) being brought against it.

(Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans 6).

The List -Men came in all shapes and sizes. When I was growing up, the List-Men had us persuaded that men could only wear dark clothes. They ruled that no one was allowed to go to the cinema. Theirfavourite line was “what would Jesus say if He came back and found you standing in the line to purchase a ticket for the movies.” Many and varied were their demands…which must be adhered to if ever there was to be a hope of being saved.

This was the kind of thing that was happening to the Galatians. The List-Men of their generation taught that the Gospel wasn’t enough. They insisted that circumcision needed to be added. As a result, the Galatians had left the Gospel and were following hard after these wretched List-Men. They were in an anti-Gospel spiral.

Paul, moved by the Holy Spirit, felt so strongly about this that he wrote in Galatians 1:6-7, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”

Then in verse 8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Paul was talking about two different gospels, not two different interpretations of the same gospel.

There are two gospels. One is false the other true.

In one,man stands before God on the basis of human merit.

In the other, he stands before God on the merits of Jesus Christ alone.

In one, man stands before God in the righteousness of what he has accomplished.

In the other, man stands before God recognizing that there is nothing he can do to satisfy God’s just demands. He knows he cannot do anything to satisfy God but that Christ has met all needed requirements on his behalf.

One teaches ‘Do.’

The other teaches ‘Done’

If you are a List-Man you should consider these words of Jesus, “It is Finished”(John 19:30). By this, Christ meant all of the types, symbols, emblems, and the institutions of the Old Testament—the priesthood, the temple, the altar, the sacrifice, all of it—was finished. No rules and regulations are now needed for salvation, just Christ alone!

Furthermore, Christ’s finished work was confirmed by the torn veil in the Temple (Matthew 27:51). The torn veil cries out, “It is Finished.” That 60 feet long, embroidered curtain was torn from the top to the bottom. What an act of God to demonstrate that the Old economy was gone.

So away with your lists. Who do you think you are to presume to add to The Finished Work of the young Prince of Glory?

“A curse upon you if you do” (Galatians 1:8).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

http://www.milesmckee.com

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The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XII-Limited Atonement

February 20, 2019 Leave a comment

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XII

Limited Atonement

5. A RANSOM

Christ is said to have been a ransom for his people “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:28. Notice, this verse does not say that He gave His life a ransom for all, but for many. The nature of a ransom is such that when paid and accepted it automatically frees the persons for whom it was intended. Otherwise it would not be a true ransom. Justice demands that those for whom it is paid shall be freed from any further obligation. If the suffering and death of Christ was a ransom for all men rather than for the elect only, then the merits of His work must be communicated to all alike and the penalty of eternal punishment cannot be justly inflicted on any. God would be unjust if He demanded this extreme penalty twice over, first from the substitute and then from the persons themselves. The conclusion then is that the atonement of Christ does not extend to all men but that it is limited to those for whom He stood surety; that is, to those who compose His true Church.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

I shall, in speaking of the gospel rejected, endeavor to point out the two classes of persons

February 18, 2019 Leave a comment

I shall, in speaking of the gospel rejected, endeavor to point out the two classes of persons who equally despise the truth. The Jews make it a stumblingblock, and the Greeks account it foolishness. Now these two very respectable gentlemen-the Jew and the Greek-I am not going to make these ancient individuals the object of my condemnation, but I look upon them as members of a great parliament, representatives of a great constituency, and I shall attempt to show that if all the race of Jews were cut off, there would be still a “rest number in the world who would answer to the name of Jews, to whom Christ is a stumblingblock; and that if Greece were swallowed up by some earthquake, and ceased to be a nation, there would still be the Greek Unto whom the gospel would be foolishness. I shall simply introduce the Jew and the Greek; and let them speak a moment to you, in order that you may see the gentlemen who represent you; the representative men; the persons who stand for many of you, who as yet are not called by divine grace.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Christ Crucified,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 11, 1855

The Wednesday Word: Blessed in Christ!

February 13, 2019 Leave a comment

When God looked from heaven to earth He saw disasters, wars, murders, envying, faithlessness, lying and wickedness and more. The evil-doing had begun when our first parents Adam and Eve sinned and ran away to hide. Humans have been busy hiding ever since.

Here’s something worth considering. As God from eternity observed the mess of humanity, He did not ask us to do something about it. He didn’t look to humanity for solutions for the chaos. No indeed! He had already, before time, chosen to rescue a people for Himself and at just the right time He came to save and deliver them (Romans 5:6-8).

And how did He do that? Did He demand that we do something?

No! Nothing!

But surely there was something He required us to do in order to save ourselves?

No! When Jesus arrived on earth, He did not come bearing a list of demands. Not at all! When Christ came, He was blessing and grace incarnate. He came to seek and to save, not to demand and damn.

He came to bless His people with His salvation.

‘Ah no, brother,’ you say ‘He did demand that we repent and believe. True, but both repentance and faith are gifts and if gifts they are all of grace (Romans 2:4; Ephesians 2:8-9). And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it is of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6).

In Christ, we are immeasurably blessed. In Him, amongst other things, we are Blessed with Eternal life (John 3:15-16).

Blessed with Eternal security (John 10:27-28; Romans 8:37-39).

Blessed with Forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:14).

Blessed with Acquittal (Romans 5:1).

Blessed with No Condemnation from God (Romans 8:1, 33-34; 5:16).

Blessed with Rest (Matthew 11:28-30).

Blessed with Redemption (Ephesians 1:7).

Blessed with Reconciliation to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

Blessed with Adoption into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:14-17).

Blessed with Deliverance from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:15; John 11:25-26).

Blessed with a Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14).

We are Blessed Indeed!

A new convert came in deep distress to see a Chinese preacher of a past generation saying, “No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I’m losing my salvation.” The preacher said, “Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained; he never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me. Out in the kitchen, I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess. But who is going to inherit my kingdom? Not my dog; my son is my heir.”

Likewise, in spite of our many fallings we remain heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17). He lived, died and rose again for us. Without a doubt, we will mess up and fail but we remain heirs of God, not through our perfection but by His grace. That’s what I call blessed.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XII-Limited Atonement

February 13, 2019 Leave a comment

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XII

Limited Atonement

4. CHRIST’S WORK AS A PERFECT FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW

If the benefits of the atonement are universal and unlimited, it must have been what the Arminians represent it to have been — merely a sacrifice to blot out the curse which rested upon the race through the fall in Adam, a mere substitute for the execution of the law which God in His sovereignty saw fit to accept in lieu of what the sinner was bound to render, and not a perfect satisfaction which fulfilled the demands of justice. It would mean that God no longer demands perfect obedience as He did of Adam, but that He now offers salvation on lower term. God, then, would remove legal obstacles and would accept such faith and evangelical obedience as the person with a graciously restored ability could render if he chose, the Holy Spirit of course aiding in a general way. Thus grace would be extended in that God offers an easier way of salvation — He accepts fifty cents on the dollar, so to speak, since the crippled sinner can pay no more.

On the other hand Calvinists hold that the law of perfect obedience which was originally given to Adam was “permanent, that God has never done anything which would convey the impression that the law was too rigid in its requirements, or too severe in its penalty, or that it stood in need either of abrogation or of derogation. Divine justice demands that the sinner shall be punished, either in himself or in his substitute. We hold that Christ acted in a strictly substitutionary way for His people, that He made a full satisfaction for their sins, thus blotting out the curse from Adam and all their temporal sins; and that by His sinless life He perfectly kept for them the law which Adam had broken, thus earning for His people the reward of eternal life. We believe that the requirement for salvation now as originally is perfect obedience, that the merits of Christ are imputed to His people as the only basis of their salvation, and that they enter heaven clothed only with the cloak of His perfect righteousness and utterly destitute of any merit properly their own. Thus grace, pure grace, is extended not in lowering the requirements for salvation but in the substitution of Christ for His people. He took their place before the law and did for them what they could not do for themselves. This Calvinistic principle is fitted in every way to impress upon us the absolute perfection and unchangeable obligation of the law which was originally given to Adam. It is not relaxed or set aside, but is fittingly honored so that its excellence is shown. In behalf of those who are saved, for whom Christ acted, and in behalf of those who are subjected to everlasting punishment, the law in its majesty is enforced and executed.

If the Arminian theory were true it would follow that millions of those for whom Christ died are finally lost, and that salvation is thus never applied to many of those for whom it was earned. What benefits, for instance, can we point to in the lives of the heathens and say that they have received them from the atonement? It would also follow that God’s plans many times have been thwarted and defeated by His creatures and that while He may do according to His will in the armies of heaven, He does not do so among the inhabitants of the earth.

“The sin of Adam,” says Charles Hodge, “did not make the condemnation of all men merely possible; it was the ground of their actual condemnation. So the righteousness of Christ did not make the salvation of men merely possible, it secured the actual salvation of those for whom He wrought.”

The great Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon said: “If Christ has died for you, you can never be lost. God will not punish twice for one thing. If God punished Christ for your sins He will not punish you. ‘Payment God’s justice cannot twice demand; first, at the bleeding Saviour’s hand, and then again at mine.’ How can God be just if he punished Christ, the substitute, and then man himself afterwards?”

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

A Gospel Rejected

February 11, 2019 Leave a comment

There are three things in the text. First, a gospel rejected — “Christ, crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;” secondly, a gospel triumphant — “unto those which are called, both Jews and Greeks;” and thirdly, a gospel admired-it is to them who are called “the power of God; and the wisdom of God.”

I. First, we have here A GOSPEL REJECTED. One would have imagined that when God sent his gospel to men, all men would meekly listen, and humbly receive its truths. We should have thought that God’s ministers had but to proclaim that life is brought to light by the gospel, and that Christ is come to save sinners, and every ear would be attentive, every eye would be fixed, and every heart would be wide open to receive the truth. We should have said, judging favourably of our fellow-creatures, that there would not exist in the world a monster so vile, so depraved, so polluted, as to put so much as a stone in the way of the progress of truth; we could not have conceived such a thing; yet that conception is the truth. When the gospel was preached, instead of being accepted and admired, one universal hiss went up to heaven; men could not bear it; its first Preacher they dragged to the brow of the hill, and would have sent him down headlong: yea, they did more, they nailed him to the cross, and there they let him languish out his dying life in agony such as no man hath borne since. All his chosen ministers have been hated and abhorred by worldlings; instead of being listened to, they have been scoffed at; treated as if they were the offscouring of all things, and the very scum of mankind. Look at the holy men in the old times, how they were driven from city to city, persecuted, afflicted, tormented, stoned to death wherever the enemy had power to do so. Those friends of men, those real philanthropists, who came with hearts big with love, and hands full of mercy, and lips pregnant with celestial fire, and souls that burned with holy influence; those men were treated as if they were spies in the camp, as if they were deserters from the common cause of mankind; as if they were enemies, and not, as they truly were, the best of friends. Do not suppose, my friends, that men like the gospel any better now, than they did then. There is an idea that you are growing better. I do not believe it. You are growing worse. In many respects men may be better-outwardly better-but the heart within is still the same. The human heart of to-day dissected, would be just like the human heart a thousand years ago: the gall of bitterness within that breast of yours, is just as bitter as the gall of bitterness in that of Simon of old. We have in our hearts the same latent opposition to the truth of God; and hence we find men even as of old, who scorn the gospel.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Christ Crucified,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 11, 1855

The Wednesday Word: HE IS PRECIOUS!

(1 Peter 2:7 .)

To every believer, the Lord Jesus is precious.

But, why is He “precious”?

He is precious for what He is in Himself …The God/Man (Hebrews 2:14)

God became a member of the human race to fully identify with us. He could not in His absolute deity bear our sorrows and die for our sins but he could do so as a man. Octavius Winslow, a great preacher of another generation said it like this, “As God merely, He could not endure suffering, nor weep, nor die; as man only, He could not have sustained the weight of our sin, grief, nor sorrow. There must be a union of the two natures to accomplish the two objects in one person. The Godhead must be united to the manhood; the one to obey, the other to die; the one to satisfy Divine justice, the other to sympathize with the people in whose behalf the satisfaction was made.”

He became one of us.

He is precious.

He is precious for what He has done for us in the past (Romans 3:25-26).

The more we understand of the Finished Work the more precious Jesus will become to us. We should perhaps pause and ask ourselves, is Jesus precious? Is He precious to me?

‘Rabbi’ Duncan a great old teacher in New College, Edinburgh, in the 1800s knew something of the preciousness of Christ.

In one of his famous sidebars to his class, he moved from the Hebrew he was teaching, and threw out the following question:

“Do you know what Calvary was? What? What? What? Do you know what Calvary was?”

Then, having waited for a little and having walked up and down in front of the students in silence, he looked at them again and said,

“I’ll tell you what Calvary was. It was damnation, and he took it lovingly.”

The students in his class reported that there were tears on his face as he said this. And well there might be. “Damnation, and he took it lovingly.”

What a Saviour we have. He is precious!

He is also precious for what He is doing now (Romans 8:34)

He is interceding for us.

It is staggering to know that He identifies with us in this manner. His intercession consists of Him being in Heaven and appearing on our behalf (Hebrews 9:24). How can this Great High Priest lose any of His own? He is totally identified with us and we with Him. He is in the place of cosmic authority (The Right Hand). Who will, therefore, rob Him of his sheep? Furthermore, His intercession is steeped in blood, precious blood (1 Peter 1:18-19). He intervened for us at the cross and now intercedes for us at the Throne. He will ensure that all His purchased possession are brought to where He is.

He is precious!

He is Precious for what He will do in the Future

Philippians 3:21 tells us that at the future Resurrection, Jesus ‘shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.’

Jesus is the only one who has conquered death. No one has ever come back to authoritatively tell us about the life beyond the grave except the Lord Christ. Friends of Harry Houdini, the world-famous magician, used to gather around his grave, once a year because Mr Houdini had said that after he died he was going to make contact on his birthday. So, each year, on Houdini’s birthday they gathered around his grave, and called out, “Oh Houdini, speak to us, oh Houdini speak to us.” Alas, poor old Houdini, he couldn’t speak, for he was dead.

The only one who made an appointment beyond the grave and kept it was the Lord Jesus. He outlived all his pallbearers. And here’s more good news. He is coming back for us (John 14:3). He promised He would and He keeps His word.

He is precious.

“Jesus, the very thought of Thee

With sweetness fills my breast,

But sweeter far Thyself to see,

And in Thy presence rest.”.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com