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The Wednesday Word: SAVED

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”(Acts 4:12).

SAVED! What a great Bible term. Some people say it is antiquated, but I disagree. It means deliverance instead of destruction, life instead of death, acquittal instead of punishment and rescue instead of ruin. Saved! What a wonderful multi-faceted word! May we never drop it from our vocabulary.

We are saved!

And how did we get saved? We got saved on the basis of Christ’s finished work outside of us in history (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Believers have been delivered from damnation (Romans 5:1). We are saved.

Believers are no longer under wrath (Romans 5:9)…..we are saved.

Jesus said, ¨I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture¨ (John 10:9).

Again, In Acts 2:21 we learn that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

‘But surely I am saved by giving up my bad habits?’ Not at all! As Harry Ironside said, “The Gospel is not a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

Inspite of our unworthiness, we, by faith, receive a complete and finished salvation. We are not half condemned, we are saved. We are not half accepted, we are saved.

Because of the doing, dying and rising again of Christ Jesus we are saved completely (Colossians 2:10).

We are saved forever, (Romans 11:29).

And, we are saved for his glory (Romans 15:7).

Notice how our salvation begins with grace and ends with glory. Grace is the forerunner of Glory. Glory is the consummation of grace.

Across the history of the believer’s life is now written in large bold letters ..SAVED. The more we understand the Gospel the more we realise that the Father cannot discover any state to ‘unfit’ us for Jesus. (see Romans 8:33-39). We are saved!

It’s a wonderful thing to know that the Lord Jesus has nothing against us. We are saved! We are saved because Christ Jesus suffered on the cross. He was charged with our sin and He acknowledged our sin to be his. We are saved! In His life, He gave himself for us. At the cross, He gave Himself for us. We are saved!

What sin can keep the believer out of Glory?

Would you say blasphemy? No it can’t be blasphemy for Saul of Tarsus said, “I was a blasphemer”(1 Timothy 1:13). Yet, God saved him.

Would adultery keep a person out of Glory? That can’t be so. Rahab the harlot had practiced prostitution (Joshua 2:1). Yet God saved her.

Would you say murder would keep a person out of glory? Well, David had a hit man go and kill Uriah; that’s murder. (2 Samuel 12). Yet God saved him.

Would you say divorce would keep you out of Glory? The woman at the well was married five times (John 4:16-18). But God saved her.

We have too small a view of the Lord’s power, grace and mercy. He is the Saviour! We are the saved.

As you remember, the name Jesus comes from the Hebrew ‘Jehoshua’, meaning “Jehovah saves”. Jesus was born as our Saviour. If he loses us, he’s not the saviour who was born to save. But He died on the cross as our saviour. He was buried and rose again as our Saviour! Therefore, we are safe and we are saved!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

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The Wednesday Word: Astonished and Amazed!

Who is Jesus? He is the glory of heaven. His radiance is brighter than the sun. He was and is and always will be the Lord God. He is the eternal Word made flesh (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16).

When I consider Him, I’m astonished and amazed!

He is the Image of the Invisible God (Colossians 1:15-17; John 1:17). He is the perfect manifestation of God.

When I meditate on this, I’m astonished and amazed!

He is the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 8:6) – He is the only way to approach God.

When I reflect on this, I’m astonished and amazed!

He is Head over All Things (Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:27-28) – What a truth!

When I dwell on this, I’m astonished and amazed!

“He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: when He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed himself to Him that judges righteously” (1 Peter 2: 22-23).

When I deliberate on this, I’m astonished and amazed!

Nevertheless, despite Him being sinless, “He was despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah. 53:3).

When I look thoughtfully at this, I’m astonished and amazed!

Many of his days upon earth were difficult days, clouded with care, and pain. So much so that he could say, “I am afflicted and ready to die even from my youth up” (Psalm 88.:15).

When I think about this, I’m astonished and amazed!

After the Kangaroo court they subjected Him to, “His face,” we are told, “was so marred, more than any (other) man’s, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14).

When I envision this, I’m astonished and amazed!

How could they treat God in human flesh like this? What grace! What authority under control. He was the One giving them breath and keeping them alive as they brutalized Him.

When I visualize this, I’m astonished and amazed!

Listen to the groans of anguish as they beat and punched Him. The only mouth in the history of man that never uttered an unholy word was bruised and battered.

When I contemplate this, I’m astonished and amazed!

But, harder and more terrible than all this is the truth, “It pleased Yahweh to bruise him.” It was the Father who” put him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10).

Quite frankly, I’m astonished and amazed!

Yes, it was the Father’s voice that cried, “Awake, o sword, against my shepherd, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd” (Zechariah 13:7).

In His last and darkest hour, when the storm of wrath burst upon him in all its fury, his Father’s arm was withdrawn!

Quite bluntly, I’m astonished and amazed!

At the cross, the light of God’s countenance was replaced by the awful darkness of God’s frown. The terrors of wrath fell upon Christ’s lovely head and caused him to release that piercing cry, “My God, My God, why hast THOU forsaken me,”

When I picture this, I’m astonished and amazed!

“Alas! and did my Saviour bleed,

And did my Sovereign die?

Would he devote his sacred head

For such a worm as I?

“Was it for sins that I had done,

He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity! grace unknown!

And love beyond degree.

“Well may I hide my blushing face,

‘When his dear cross appears;

Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,

And melt my eyes to tears.”

David Brainerd, the famous missionary to the American Indians, 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.”

May we always be astonished and amazed by Jesus and thus live for His glory.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Categories: Gospel Tags: , , , ,

The Wednesday Word – Jesus, God over All

Romans 9:5. “Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for ever. Amen” (ESV)

God became a man. He became a member of the human race. He became flesh and blood.

Stunning!

Although He became human, He remained entirely and thoroughly the Lord God from Heaven.

Even more stunning!

He was and is the Mighty God, the eternal, self-existent one who was and is and is to come.

He is ‘over all.’

That means,

There is no one above Him.

He is over all angels.

He is above all created beings.

He governs all.

What exceedingly good news! It was the Lord of Glory Himself who came to redeem us. We were helpless, and God Himself loved us enough to come to the rescue.

The God of the Arians (Jehovah Witnesses and others) didn’t love us enough to come here to save us. He, according to their teaching, created and sent someone else to do the job for him.

Perhaps their god didn’t want to get his hands dirty? Or maybe it was because he didn’t like the idea of pain, suffering, rejection and humiliation? Or perhaps he was occupied with more pressing matters? But whatever the reason, he, according to them, stayed in Heaven and sent a substitute to represent Him. He can, therefore, be likened to a man who while walking over a bridge with his son spies someone drowning in the river below. His heart is so smitten with concern that he asks his son to jump over the side to rescue and save the drowning man. But, not so the God of the Bible! He laid down the vestiges of royalty, wrapped himself with humanity and came here Himself to rescue and save us from the river of death by bearing our sins on the cross. Jesus was man’s substitute, not God’s. As Bonar said,

‘Turn your eye to the cross and see these two things, – the Crucifiers and the Crucified——-See the Crucified. It is God himself; incarnate love. It is the God who made you, suffering, dying for the ungodly. Can you suspect his grace? Can you cherish evil thoughts of him? Can you ask anything farther to awaken in you the fullest and most unreserved confidence? Will you misinterpret that agony and death by saying that they do not mean grace, or that the grace which they mean is not for you? Call to mind that which is written, – “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” 1 John 3:16.

Horatius Bonar: Christ Died for the Ungodly.

In the scheme which denies Christ’s Deity, we are presented with a god who was either unwilling or unable to come here himself and rescue us. We must then ask, had their god become too frail to undertake the mission? Did he need someone more energetic and youthful to complete the task? Candidly speaking, this business of God creating some super-angel to do His redeeming work leaves God looking somewhat suspect in His commitment to us. Frankly, I’m not impressed with a god who wouldn’t come here Himself to rescue me! A god who stayed in heaven while I was utterly ruined cannot melt my heart. A god who delegates my redemption to another cannot command my loyalty. On this matter, I take my stand with Luther who said,

“Wherefore, he that preaches a God to me that died not for me the death on the cross, that God will I not receive.”

Martin Luther: Smalcald Articles.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Making too much of Jesus?

March 22, 2017 2 comments

I’ve sometimes been accused of making too much of Jesus. I love that charge but deny it entirely. The truth is, I don’t make nearly enough of the precious Saviour.

I like what an old time Anglican Bishop said; “We can never make too much of Christ…. We can never have too high thoughts about Christ, can never love Him too much, trust Him too implicitly, lay too much weight upon Him, and speak too highly in His praise. He is worthy of all the honour that we can give Him. He will be all in heaven. Let us see to it, that He is all in our hearts on earth.”

The Bible makes much of Jesus, but never too much. I’ve been told that He can be found on every page of Holy Writ. I didn’t say I can find Him on every page, but I’m pretty confident He’s there all the same.

So tell me, how can we make too much of the One who shed His blood for our blessing?

How can we make too much of the One who has brought us to God by His own blood?

How can we make too much of the One who has given us the blessings of forgiveness, acquittal, redemption and reconciliation?

How can we make too much of the one whose blood has so thoroughly purged our sins that the Father sees neither defect nor defilement of guilt remaining on us?

If there is no blood, there is no blessing. If there is no slaughter, there is no Salvation. Mark it down; no favour can come to us apart from the shed blood of the Lord Jesus.

How then can we make too much of such a Saviour?

Please indulge me. Let me for a moment make much of Him. Did you know that His very name means Salvation? And, did you know that His priceless name is discovered all over the Old Testament? That’s right! The name of Jesus is found in the Old Testament. Let me explain: The name by which our Master was known during His time on earth was yĕshuw`ah. The name Jesus comes from the transliteration of yĕshuw`ah into Greek and then English.

His name yĕshuw`ah (Jesus) means salvation, deliverance, victory and welfare. On 78 occasions, the word yĕshuw`ah (Jesus) is found in the Old Testament. It’s most common translation is the word “Salvation.” This is stunning! The Old Testament is pointing out that Salvation and Jesus are one and the same. How then can we make too much of Him?

May our hearts feed on this truth. Consider how when the word says “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation (my yĕshuw`ah…my Jesus): he is my God, …”(Exodus 15:2).

In Psalms 9:14, David bursts out in song saying; “I will rejoice in thy salvation.” What he actually was saying was; “I will rejoice in thy yĕshuw`ah. (Jesus).”

In Isaiah 12:2, 3 “SALVATION” is mentioned three times. Here is how it reads:

“Behold, God is my Yĕshuw`ah; (my Jesus) I will trust, and not be afraid: for Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is Yĕshuw`ah (Jesus). Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of Yĕshuw`ah (Jesus).

Then there’s “But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation (yĕshuw`ah)” Psalm 13:5.

And again, “Oh that the salvation ((yĕshuw`ah), of Israel were come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad” (Psalm 53:6).

These are but a few instances!

It’s no wonder then that Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). It’s without surprise that He unashamedly announced, “I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:13).

We have only begun to scratch the surface of the unsearchable treasures of Christ. We can never make too much of Him.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Satisfied with Jesus

February 22, 2017 Leave a comment

If we were smart, we would line up with the Father’s thinking about the Son. In that way, we would be satisfied with Christ and would find ourselves enjoying the very life of the Gospel (John 20:31).

The Word declares that those who rest on Christ are doing the work of God (John 6:29). If we are doing God’s work, then, evidently, we are in God’s will. If we are in God’s will, then we will honour the Son as we honour the Father (John 5:23) In the heart of God’s will we come into agreement with the Father about His Son. The Father is entirely satisfied with the Son and so are we. Nothing more is required that agreement concerning the Son, but nothing less will do! The Father will not receive us on any other basis than that of the total sufficiency and acceptability of His Son.

“But,” says someone,” I must be a righteous person within myself before God accepts me!” Well actually—NO! Our acceptance is not grounded on our worthiness, but on Christ’s for the gospel concerns, “His Son” (Romans 1:1-3). The Gospel is, therefore, not about us and about how internally holy we can become. Indeed, satisfaction with our supposed inward holiness is like a wilderness path for a stray dog, it is dangerous and leads nowhere. Satisfaction with Christ Jesus, however, leads to glory, for Christ is ALL (Colossians 3:11).

The Father has said of the Lord Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”(Matthew 3:7). Notice the superlatives, Christ is not merely the Son, He is the beloved Son. The Father is not only pleased with Him, but He is also well pleased. When, therefore, we are well pleased with the beloved Son, we are in magnificent agreement with the Father.

Are you contented with the work of Christ? Are you satisfied that Christ has kept the Law perfectly on your behalf? We make problems for ourselves when we forget the necessity of a fulfilled law and view the Gospel as some sort of modified, legal arrangement with God. This kind of false thinking says, “Keeping the Law is irrelevant when it comes to salvation.” God, in this sort of thinking, was too strict in Old Testament times for He demanded perfection, but now in the New Covenant, we have the relaxed version of God. As one young girl naively put it, “God in the Old Testament was God before He got saved.”

In this new ‘chilled out’ notion of things, Christ lowered God’s demands because the commandments were too strict. Now we have milder terms more suited to our weakness.

But this is sheer nonsense!

Think about it, if the former law was too strict it was, as Bonar says, “neither holy nor good.” Is it too harsh to demand that we love God with everything we have? Has God so lowered His standards that His fundamental requirements are now obsolete? God forbid!

Faith, however, does not invalidate the law; it establishes it (Romans 3:31). God still demands perfect law keeping, and our confidence now rests in the One who has perfectly kept every aspect of the Law on our behalf. We are saved not only by Christ’s blood but also by Christ’s perfect law-keeping—He’s the one who both kept the Law’s precepts and paid the Law’s penalties. Christ’s perfect doing and dying are now imputed to us, reckoned as ours and received by us by faith alone. This is staggering!

God has nowhere relaxed His standard. It is by the perfect keeping of a perfect law that we are saved; otherwise, it would be an unholy and unrighteous salvation. Thus Christ alone is our only hope for He has kept the law for us; he has magnified it and made it honourable (Isaiah 42:21); and thus we have a holy and righteous salvation. Legally, Christ has both lived and died in our place, therefore, when God saves us he does so, not only as a matter of love and mercy but also as a matter of Justice.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

Categories: Gospel Tags: , , , ,

Christianity’s Uniqueness

September 22, 2014 1 comment

In reply to the critics who claim Christianity was just a copy-cat religion among the ancient religions, it’s helpful to take a look at how an ancient adherent of these pagan religions viewed Christianity. The inherent uniqueness of Christianity was a scandal to many. Not only would Jesus’ followers not worship other gods, they rejected the layers of intermediary deities. Christianity taught that we could approach God directly in Jesus Christ. This was utterly unique in the ancient pantheon of gods.

This passage from David Bentley Hart’s book Atheist Delusions, recounts such reaction and makes an interesting parallel to one of the most common contemporary objections.

“In such a world [the polytheism and syncretism of ancient Rome], the gospel was an outrage, and it was perfectly reasonable for its cultured despisers to describe its apostles as “atheists.” Christians were – what could be more obvious? – enemies of society, impious, subversive, and irrational; and it was no more than civic prudence to detest them for refusing to honor the gods of their ancestors, for scorning the common good, and for advancing the grotesque and shameful claim that all the gods and spirits had been made subject to a crucified criminal from Galilee – -“

 

Read the entire article here.

Meeting God

July 30, 2014 1 comment

Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home, may my life be steeped in prayer, filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood. Help me, defend me, until from praying ground I pass to the realm of unceasing praise. Urged by my need, invited by Thy promises, called by Thy Spirit, I enter Thy presence, worshipping Thee with godly fear, awed by Thy majesty, greatness, glory, but encouraged by Thy love.

I am all poverty as well as all guilt, having nothing of my own with which to repay Thee, but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith, pleading His righteousness to offset my iniquities, rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me, and satisfy thy justice. I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace, that, although the lest sin deserves infinite punishment because done against an infinite God, yet there is mercy for me, for where guilt is most terrible, there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep. Bless me by revealing to me more of His saving merits, by causing Thy goodness to pass before me, by speaking peace to my contrite heart; strengthen me to give Thee no rest untiI Christ shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed, in a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the cross.

 

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