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The Wednesday Word: The Blessing of Knowing we are Lost!

The only person who ever fulfilled the Law of Moses was the man Christ Jesus. In actuality, He could do nothing else, for He was the thrice-holy God in human flesh appearing. We, on the other hand, could do nothing other than break the Law, for we are, by nature ungodly sinners (Romans 5:8).

However, we must remember the Law was never given to save anyone or to be a source of life; it was given to show us what we are in ourselves … ungodly, lost sinners. Our inability to keep even the first commandment demonstrates that we are hardened lawbreakers with no ability to love God the way we should.

So then, why did God give the Law?

One of the major reasons was to demonstrate to ourselves that we are lost.

Why did He do that?

He did it because God only saves lost people (Luke 19:10).

That’s right! … Lost people!

And on account of that, we are delighted that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. That means, if you are now a believer, He came to seek and to save you!

What excellent news we discover when we realize we are lost. Yes, the news is that we are lost but we don’t have to despair because of that. It is our lostness that qualifies us for salvation.

Unfortunately, many well-meaning people who call themselves Christians are trying to get to Heaven by keeping the Law, but the Bible clearly says that no one is declared not guilty by the Law in the sight of God (see Romans 3:20).

Furthermore, the scriptures tell us that the law is not of faith (Galatians 3:12) but that we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).

Another problem is the person who is trying to keep the Law to be saved must keep the entire Law. In fact, trying to keep the law in the hopes of gaining heaven puts a person under a curse. But we gospel believers are assured that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (see Galatians 3:10-13).

The first word from the Law is ‘Thou’ …Thou shalt etc. The first word of the gospel, however, is ‘God.’ ‘God’ so loved. Therefore, turn your eyes upon Jesus, not upon yourself.

Paul knew this truth. After his conversion, instead of boasting as a Pharisee about personal law-keeping, he boasted in Christ Jesus and had no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). After returning from Damascus, Paul never again spoke of personal law-keeping, but of Christ. Rather than trying to keep the Law, every thought was to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) … a far higher standard than law-keeping … a standard for those who are saved, and not a standard by which to be saved.

What a blessing to know that believers, in themselves, are lost but by grace we have been sanctified, (separated) unto God through Christ’s obedience and blood.

Jesus is our peace, He is our acceptance before God, He is our sanctification and righteousness. His blood has brought us to God (Ephesians 2:13).

We are saved by grace and grace does place us under rules and regulations which we must keep in order to gain salvation. No! Salvation is only for lost people.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

and to take him at His word;

just to rest upon His promise,

and to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!

How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!

O for grace to trust Him more!”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Are You a Grace Believer? Part 2

We are looking at some of the marks of the Grace Believer. Continuing from last time, we want to notice that,

7) Grace Believers are confident of God’s past, present and future grace, yet they refuse to make a practice of abusing that grace. Grace, not Law teaches them to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Grace, not law, teaches them to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11-12).

8) Grace Believers are learning to not get discouraged with their performance. Instead, they are learning to focus on Christ and His performance on their behalf. One of the Grace Believer’s theme songs could be;

“It is finished!” yes, indeed,

Finished, every jot;

Believer, this is all you need,

Tell me, is it not?”

9) Grace Believers are humbled by the continual reality that, in themselves, they are wretches. Because of this, they discover they have no room to practice arrogance and pride. As Augustus Toplady, the author of the hymn Rock of Ages wrote in his diary on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1767, “Upon a review of the past year, I desire to confess, that my unfruitfulness has been exceedingly great; my sins still greater; and God’s mercies greater than both.”

That man was a Grace Believer.

10) The Grace Believer holds that love for the Lord and service to Him do not arise from obligation. On the contrary, Grace Believers know that we love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19) and demonstrated that love in His doing, dying and rising again. Devotion to the Lord comes through the gospel. Our everlasting hope was hung upon the cross and executed. In His finished work is all our acceptance before God. No contributions from us are needed!

11) The Grace Believer does not believe that blessings come as the result of our acts of consecration to God. That is to reverse God’s order. That is to teach law and not gospel. The Legalist makes man’s blessing depend on his personal dedication and devotion. Also, the legalist insists that the more we consecrate ourselves to God, the greater will be our blessing. According to this scheme, we move the hand of God by our works. To think like this, however, is to remove ourselves from the enjoyments of gospel blessings. This is to cease to look to Christ alone as our source of blessings and only acceptance with God.

12) The Grace Believer knows that grace has not made him a debtor. Consequently, Grace Believers do not try to repay a debt of grace they sometimes feel they owe. The Grace Believer holds that God, in giving His grace, did not put us into any contract with accompanying clauses and conditions.

To Conclude

It is grace that saves and grace alone. It is faith alone which receives that grace. It is Christ alone who is the source of that grace (John 15:4). However, Grace Believers are not in debt. We do not serve God because we feel we owe Him something. We serve Him because we love Him, and we love Him because He first loved us.

If close to the Lord you would cleave,

Depend on His promise alone;

His righteousness would you receive,

Then learn to renounce all your own;

The faith of a Christian indeed

Is more than mere notion or whim;

United to Jesus, his head,

He draws life and virtue from Him.

This God is the God we adore,

Our faithful, unchangeable friend,

Whose love is as large as His power,

And neither knows measure nor end;

’Tis Jesus, the first and the last,

Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home;

We’ll praise Him for all that is past,

And trust Him for all that’s to come.

Joseph Hart

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Are you a Grace Believer? Part 1

Not everyone who claims to be a believer is a Grace Believer. What about you?

Are you a Grace Believer?

It took me a long time to become a Grace Believer. Although I thought I was a Grace Believer I was more of a legalist than a grace man.

Maybe you are struggling to know the difference between living in grace and living under law. If you are, I hope the following is helpful.

1. Grace Believers trust that they are saved entirely and utterly by someone else … the Lord Jesus Christ. They believe that their sole qualification for salvation is found, not in their worthiness, but in their unworthiness.

You say… well OK I can agree with that.

But hold on, we are not finished yet. The Grace Believer sees Christ as his complete and continual acceptance with the Father (Philippians 3:4-9).

We are saved entirely by grace.

2) Grace Believers understand that to know Christ and Him crucified is not the minimum of spiritual knowledge but the maximum. The Grace Believer believes that the treasures of wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understanding are in Christ Jesus (Isaiah 45:3; Colossians 2:3). Grace Believers, therefore, do not weary themselves by chasing after this or that new experience or supposed blessing. The Grace Believer believes that Christ has fully and finally spoken in the Lord Christ.

The Grace believer knows that all doctrines find their hub in Christ Crucified. All teaching, responsibilities, and Christian activities find their center in Christ alone.

3) Grace Believers, as they grow in grace, rather than becoming self-satisfied and hard-spirited, continue to develop in their understanding of their lack of worth (in themselves). As the gospel-hammer breaks them, they increase in the comprehension that they receive favour, not because of anything they are doing, but because of them being in Christ! They understand that Christ’s worthiness is the source of all their blessings (Ephesians 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 4:7).

As the Grace Believers live before God, they learn to remember that they are treated as though they had never sinned. Grace Believers know they are already standing before the Father in the immaculate righteousness of the worthy Lamb.

4) Grace Believers rest in the fact that they already have the full favour of God, not because of any works they have done or contributions they are making. They have the full favour in Heaven because of Christ and His finished work. By faith, they grasp that the Father is well pleased with them and indeed rejoices over them (Zephaniah 3:17). Indeed, the Father cannot be more delighted with His people than He already is. Let me emphasize, Grace Believers know they are not accepted by having a righteousness that comes to them by fulfilling rules and regulations. The Grace believer rests in the fact that they are in Christ and have Christ’s entire righteousness credited and reckoned to them (see Philippians 3:9).

5) As they grow in grace, Grace Believers refuse to make resolutions, vows, and pledges to change their behaviour. Grace Believers put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). David Brainerd, the dynamic missionary to the American Indians, knew this truth. He said, “I never got away from Jesus and Him crucified in my preaching. I found that once these people were gripped by the great evangelical meaning of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, I did not have to give them many instructions about changing their behavior.

6) Grace Believers are not so foolish as to try self-improvement techniques. Instead, they focus on the Lord Jesus. They know that change comes from looking outside themselves to the glorious person of Christ. They rejoice in 2 Corinthians 3:18 which says; “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: Justified from All Things

“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13: 38-39).”

Notice the phrase, ‘JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS’ … what does that mean? It means that we, the believers, are perfectly cleared from the guilt of every one of our sins. It means that in the ‘Courtroom of Heaven,’ no charges can be brought against us because we are justified. We are declared righteous, according to the just judgment of God (Romans 3:25-26).

Because of grace our sins are put away. At this very moment believers stand in the sight of God as both accepted and welcome. We are treated as though we had never been guilty. No wonder the apostle reminds us, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1).

The Law of Moses could never make us accepted before God … it could only condemn. We cannot be accepted by God based on our efforts to be good. The Ten Commandments will not help our acceptance one little bit. In fact, the commandments condemn us. Why? Because we cannot keep them … no matter how hard we try! But God saves people who in themselves are not good enough to be saved. And He does it through this man, Jesus Christ.

Because of the gospel, God declares the believer righteous, apart from works. But how can we be declared righteous without works? Surely we are declared righteous because of the accumulated works of righteousness which we have accomplished? … Never! …It is “through this man,” the Lord Jesus Christ, who lived, died and rose again (Acts 13:38-39).

In Romans 4, we read that God justifies.

Question) Whom does it say He justifies?

Answer) The ungodly that work not (verse 5).

Question) Is there anyone else that He justifies?

Answer) Yes, He justifies those that believe (rest) on Jesus (verse 5).

The way to be saved is, therefore, not by good works. It’s not by self-improvement and not by deserving it, otherwise salvation would not be by grace but by debt (Romans 4:4-5).

The way to be saved is by believing in Jesus without any confidence in our goodness or works.

Horatius Bonar tells us “The justifying work of Calvary was God’s way … of securing certainty. It was the only perfect thing which had ever been presented to God in man’s behalf; and so peculiar was this perfection, that it might be used by man in his transactions with God as if it were his own.”

There are three ways in which we are declared justified in the book of Romans …

“Justified by His grace” (Romans 3:24)

”Justified by His blood”(Romans 5:9

“Justified by faith,” (Romans 5:1)

Justified by His grace, … grace is the source of Justification.

Justified by His blood, … that is the righteous basis of Justification.

Justified by faith, … that is the way in which we get a hold of Justification. Faith is the hand that is stretched out to freely receive Justification.

May we never forget that Justification is through this ” man,” the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other name, no other blood, no other merits, no other person to be justified and saved by, but Jesus Christ the Lord.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: How God gets us to Heaven Part 3

September 8, 2021 Leave a comment

The next matter we want to consider in this short series on justification is,

4) Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

In Romans 4:25 we read that Christ was “delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification.”

Here’s the truth of the matter, we were in spiritual debt, but Christ paid our account in full (Hebrews 9:28). Our condemnation caused Christ to willingly be executed in our place. At Calvary, Christ was condemned, and we were acquitted (justified).

Three days later, the Lord Jesus rose from the dead to demonstrate that Heaven was satisfied with the payment which was made for our sins.

Let’s say a man is in jail for an unpaid debt. As long as the debt is in arrears the man stays in jail. But when the debt is paid, the man goes free.

Similarly … Christ took our place and paid our bill. He redeemed us! The prison of death could no longer hold Jesus. His resurrection demonstrated that our justification had been accomplished.

When we go in and pay a phone bill, we get a receipt to show that the payment has been made.

If the phone company attempt to collect the bill again, we produce the receipt to show we don’t owe that debt. The matter is cleared.

Figuratively speaking, the Lord Jesus walked up to Calvary … God’s desk for the payment of the bill of sin. The account was long overdue and heavy against us and the only way the Lord Jesus could settle the account was by shedding His blood and dying for us.

So, Christ offered Himself (Hebrews 7:27; 9:14). His life was pure and perfect, but the Father, on our behalf, took His spotless lamb and executed Him.

Christ hung there on the cross and as He was suspended between heaven and earth paid the entire debt of His people’s sin.

After His death they put Him into a tomb. But death couldn’t hold him. The grave couldn’t contain Him., and as a cashier would stamp a receipt paid in full, so Christ was raised from the dead as a sign that there was nothing more to pay. His resurrection was the receipt.

I’ve a confession to make … sometimes I don’t feel saved, but I have learned to look away from myself and look to the Finished Work where I see the resurrection is proof that I am.

The final matter we encounter in this short series is that we are,

5) Justified by Faith

Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Faith takes a hold of the accomplishments of the gospel and makes them our own.

We are not justified on account of our faith but we, by faith, say yes to the wonderful accomplishments of the Lord on our behalf … and the result is … peace.

Our justification is found in Christ not in our faith. By faith we receive that which has already been accomplished by Him. In other words, faith takes a hold of the justification obtained at Calvary. But remember, faith itself is not the quality that justifies us. A justified believer has had their sins taken away, but they were not taken away by faith. They were taken away by the Lamb (John 1:19).

Faith sees and grasps this!

In conclusion,

God is the source of our justification.

Grace is the cause of our justification.

Christ’s blood is the ground of our justification.

Christ’s resurrection is the proof of our justification.

We take a hold these truths by faith and faith makes them our own.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: How God Gets us to Heaven: Part 2

September 1, 2021 Leave a comment

The next matter we want to consider is that we are Justified by Grace. Romans 3:24 says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

He declares us justified…..not guilty…..by grace.

I was talking to a man once and mentioned that we are justified by grace. “Oh no” he said. We are justified by faith (as if they were contrary). However, we don’t need to reconcile these truths, they are not at war. They are friends and not enemies.

Justification by grace is one of the vast kaleidoscope of truths discovered in the great doctrine of Salvation.

A person who is Justified by grace realizes that there is nothing deserving in him that made God declare him not guilty. It is justification by grace … unearned and undeserved favour. We are declared ‘Not Guilty” without a cause in us. That’s grace!

Not only is Justification without a cause in us, but it is also without a cost to us. – We are justified …FREELY.

Notice our text in Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: “

It was in God’s heart to do it this way for He is the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10). Justification is free to us and without a cause in us.

In John 15:25, Jesus, quoting from Psalm 35:19 said, ‘They hated me without a cause.’

Jesus was hated, and here’s the truth of the matter… He was hated freely … literally without a cause.

There is nothing in us to recommend us to God. You and I each deserve Hell. But we have been justified ‘freely’ … literally justified without a cause and without a cost to us. We are justified by grace.

We have learned two things so far in this series …

1) It is God who Justifies and

2) He does so by grace.

There will be only one person in heaven who deserves to be there … His name is Jesus. But there will be an uncountable number there because of Him.

The next matter about Justification that we want to mention is that we are Justified by blood.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

There is no cleansing, magical quality in the chemical makeup of the blood of Calvary.

No indeed!

It cleanses because it is the blood of the God/man … Jesus the Christ.

Remember how in the Old Testament, it was the blood that was the essence of sacrifice. It was the blood that made an atonement for the soul … Leviticus 17:11.

The sacrifices in the Old Testament pointed towards the Lamb of God who would intercept the just and holy wrath of outraged majesty. This fury was coming straight at us.

In the Bible we see that without shedding of blood there is no remission of our sins (Hebrews 9:22). Which again brings us back to Jesus.

Because of the one great blood sacrifice that Jesus made at Calvary our sins are cleansed and taken away. He has justified us by His blood.

Do you believe this?

It’s vital that you do. Jesus said, “He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. He who hears my word and believes him who send me and does not come into judgement (John 5:24).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: Dr Law and Dr Grace

Many years ago, I heard an old time, South Texas preacher, preach about two doctors. He said something like this;

“Let me introduce you to two Doctors who both claim to have the ability to bring us spiritual health. One is Called Dr Law and the other, Dr Grace. Each has a different theory as to how to get us well.
Take Dr Law, for example. Some patients went to him about the question of salvation. Dr Law glared and said, “God does His part, and you do yours!” That sounded sensible, but those who followed his prescription were always left in doubt as to whether or not they had done enough on their part.
So, the patients then went to Dr Grace, and Dr Grace said, “You can’t do and don’t do anything to gain salvation.”

Back they then go to Dr Law. When he hears about Dr Grace’s diagnosis, Dr Law stiffened and glares at them. Quick as a flash, he says, “In Acts 16:31, the Philippian Jailer asked, ‘What must I DO to be saved?’ Paul’s answer was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!’ So, there you are sirs,” says Dr Law, “it’s as plain as the nose on your face. The scripture tells you to do something…it tells you to believe. Believing is doing.”

So, back they go to Dr Grace and he smiles and calmly says, “Believing is not doing: Believing is simply receiving, trusting and resting. There is no effort on your part, and there can be none because God has already accomplished salvation at Calvary 2000 years ago! When you believe, you are merely receiving that which has already been done for you. There’s no work required on your part.”

They then go back to Dr Law. He listens and then declares, “What nonsense is this? It stands to reason that man must do something to close the gap between himself and God. Don’t listen to that Grace fellow. He’ll tell you that Salvation is spelled with five letters J-E-S-U-S.”

The distraught listeners go back to Dr Grace and report on what Dr Law has said. Dr Grace smiles and says, “Yes indeed, Jesus is the summation of the gospel. Furthermore, there are basically two ways to spell salvation: The first one, is D-O. That’s the way Dr Law spells it. His followers believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins, but they still think there is something for them to DO to be saved. They feel they must add, some form of sincere good works to the equation. This is the very opposite of Salvation by Grace!”

Then Dr Grace continues, “The other way to spell salvation is:
D-O-N-E. Jesus has completed the work of salvation. It is Finished. Rest in Him and His accomplishments.”

This satisfies the patients. After that they rest in the accomplishments of their saviour. Dr Law still tries to influence them, but because of Dr Grace, he does not succeed.”

For the sake of discussion, if you think that God has already done 99.9% of what’s necessary for you to be saved and now it’s up to you to do the remaining 0.1%, you still don’t understand grace. You are a legalist! If you tell your scheme to others and they believe you, you are telling lies about Jesus.

As S. L. Johnson said, “Bible Christianity is unique. It is the only system of truth in which it is plainly stated that the work of redemption is already accomplished!” (S. L. Johnson: Union with Christ)

He was right. Every other system of religion is a scheme by which we try to get right with God through the things we do. But Bible Christianity is distinctive. The Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished the saving work, outside of and apart from us. It is finished!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Law and Gospel Grace.

September 16, 2020 Leave a comment

“Moreover, the Law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).

“Many there are who think that the Law is the Gospel and who teach that men by good works of benevolence, honesty, righteousness and sobriety, may be saved. Such men do err. On the other hand, many teach that the Gospel is a Law–that it has certain commands in it by obedience to which men are meritoriously saved. Such men err from the Truth and understand it not.” C.H. Spurgeon: Law and Grace

“Run, John, run, the law commands

But gives us neither feet nor hands,

Far better news the gospel brings:

It bids us fly and gives us wings.”

John Bunyan (1628-1688)

What a contrast there is between living under the Law and living in Gospel Grace. It can be best illustrated by the final words of the two covenants. The Old Testament ends with this somber and sober warning, “Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” The New Testament, on the other hand, ends with the heartwarming statement, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.”

What a blessing! What a contrast!

The Law tells us what we should do but Gospel Grace tells what God has done.

The Law says, “This do, and you shall live” but Gospel Grace says, “Live, and you shall do.”

The Law says, “Pay me what you owe” but Gospel Grace says, “I freely forgive you every debt.”

The Law says, “The wages of sin is death.” But Gospel Grace replies, “The gift of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23).

The Law is God’s word of demand, but Gospel Grace is God’s word of deliverance.

The Law insists that we must love the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30). Gospel Grace takes us away from the guilt of our inability saying, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and gave his Son as the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).

What a contrast!

Under the Law, when they made the burnt offering, the fire consumed the offering (see Leviticus 2:1-16; 6:14-23). In the Gospel, however, it is not the fire that consumes the offering, but the offering who consumes the fire. Under the Law, when they made the burnt offering, the fire consumed the sacrifice and the sacrifice was gone never to be seen again. But in the gospel, the sacrifice rose from the dead having endured our judgment.

All claims and charges made against us have been answered in righteousness. They have been settled by Christ on the cross. He destroyed the fire of Judgment!

In addition, when the Law was given, three thousand people mercilessly died because of their rebellion (Exodus 32:28). When the gospel was proclaimed at Pentecost, three thousand people received eternal life (Acts 2:41).

What a difference grace makes!

“The law supposing I have all,

Does ever for perfection call;

The gospel suits my total want,

And all the law can seek does grant.

The law could promise life to me,

If my obedience perfect be;

But grace does promise life upon

My Lord’s obedience alone.

The law says, Do, and life you’ll win;

But grace says, Live, for all is done;

The former cannot ease my grief,

The latter yields me full relief.

Lo! in the law Jehovah dwells,

But Jesus is concealed;

Whereas the gospel’s nothing else

But Jesus Christ revealed.”

Ralph Erskine; 1560-1645

In Summary,

The Law says Do, Gospel Grace says Done.

The Law commands, but Gospel Grace Promises.

The Law kills, but Gospel Grace gives Life.

The Law condemns, but Gospel Grace Justifies.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: The Healing of the Nobleman’s Son

“The nobleman said unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die” (see John 4:46-53).

This nobleman had made an arduous and difficult journey to plead for the healing of his sick boy. Jesus, however, looked into this man’s heart and said, “Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” That’s a sharp rebuke.

I like this nobleman. He didn’t become angry when corrected; he didn’t get offended. He didn’t get into a huff. Instead, he continued to press Jesus, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

He is to be commended but notice the weakness of his faith. He’s got faith, but it has room for growth! Notice how He asks that the Lord should “come down” to Capernaum. He believed that Christ could heal if He was close by, but not if he was far away; Jesus he thought could work a miracle at short range, but not at a distance.

Before we get too critical of this man, we must ask if we are not just like him. Do we not sometimes think, “If Jesus were here in real life, I wouldn’t be in this trouble. Or, “if Jesus were here in person this prayer of mine would be answered.” We too often only believe in the Christ of the short range!

Then in Verse 50, “Jesus said unto him, Go your way; your son lives.”

Notice the graciousness of our Lord. He doesn’t demand that the man’s faith increase before He acts. If Jesus had been a legalist, he would have required more faith. Legalism and religion say, “Put this amount in and you’ll get this amount back—do this and do that, and you’ll get a result—But Jesus doesn’t treat this man that way! Our Lord is God in human flesh (John 1:14) showing us what God is really like! The Lord Jesus does not reject the man’s imperfect faith; the boy is in Capernaum, and Jesus is 25 miles away in Cana, and the nobleman thinks that Jesus can only heal if he is in the same place as his child.

“Come down with me so that my child might not die.” The Lord’s answer is not, “Brother I see your weak and imperfect faith. To move me to action you will have to have increased faith. To get higher faith you will need to take a class on the subject. The seminar I recommend for you is called ‘Advanced Faith and How to Get It’. It has six easy lessons and is on sale, this week, for a special price of $36.”

No, in grace, Jesus says, “Go your way your son lives.”

We read, that Jesus did not go down to Capernaum to see the sick boy, but only spoke the word, “Your son lives.” Almighty divine power went with that little sentence. That very hour the patient began to get better. Christ merely spoke, and the cure was accomplished. Strictly speaking, He didn’t even speak. He merely spoke to tell the man what He’d already accomplished.

Christ silently commanded the healing, and the deadly disease disappeared. Think about it…this is the kind of thing that only God can do.

Look at Jesus; He healed the boy even though He was 25 miles away, just by thinking Him healed. This is the power of God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Grace not Debt

“Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5).

Good gracious, that is an audacious statement, but it is perfectly correct and accurate.

God justifies the ungodly!

Why the ungodly? Because there is no other kind of people for Him to justify. All outside of Christ are ungodly. As Romans 3 explained, “There is none righteous and none that doeth good.” NONE! That’s comprehensive if you ask me.

So, let’s say it again, if God did not justify the ungodly, no one would be justified (acquitted). All are ungodly, some are very ungodly; but none are too ungodly to be justified. Why so? Because justification, (acquittal) is by grace— sheer unbounded grace, and not because of merit (what we deserve or earn).

At Calvary, infinite grace met unbounded demerit and grace triumphed.

Notice, we are not even told to believe that God justifies the ungodly. No, we are called to believe on Him,—on God Himself,—who justifies the ungodly (see our text).

Faith in God for justification implies the abandonment of any confidence we have in justification by our own good works. The old gospel Hymn by James Proctor deals so well with this. It says,

“When He, from His lofty throne,

Stooped to do and die,

Ev’rything was fully done;

Hearken to His cry!

Refrain

It is finished! yes, indeed,

Finished, ev’ry jot;

Sinner, this is all you need,

Tell me, is it not?

2) Weary, working, burdened one,

Wherefore toil you so?

Cease your doing; all was done

Long, long ago.

Refrain

3) Till to Jesus’ work you cling

By a simple faith,

“Doing” is a deadly thing-

“Doing” ends in death.

Refrain

4) Cast your deadly “doing” down-

Down at Jesus’ feet;

Stand in Him, in Him alone,

Gloriously complete.”

Our only hope of heaven is Jesus Himself. Our good works cannot bring us eternal life. As the scripture says, “To him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” Now that is a plain, well-known matter. If we work for a wage, we’ve earned it. It is not grace, therefore, on the part of our employer to, at the end of the week, give us our wages. We’ve earned them.

But grace gives us what we haven’t earned or deserved.

Supposing you met a homeless stranger and you bought him a meal, that would be grace,—but only in a small measure. Gospel grace is much greater than that. Gospel grace is more akin to the following. Suppose a stranger plundered your home and robbed you and you, knowing who he was and what he had done, unbegrudgingly and gladly bought him a meal, that’s more like the grace of God.

We are saved by grace!

There is no question of working for wages to gain eternal life.

Salvation is “to him that works not— but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly,”—Gospel truth makes us repudiate our works as our hope of salvation. In grace, the Lord justifies the ungodly, the stranger, the destitute and the enemy. He is “the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.”

The blood of the Lamb is the basis on which He can righteously justify. That is why He “is just, and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus” (Romans 3:25-26). God justifies the ungodly—but some people would rather do anything other than simply trust themselves to Him. They would rather work than believe. They want their own righteousness and refuse to surrender themselves to the righteousness of God. They won’t submit, they won’t repent.

But, thank God, the most ungodly who trusts in Him is declared not guilty.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com