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Posts Tagged ‘Mercy’

The Wednesday Word: “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE”

December 18, 2019 Leave a comment

“Neither do I condemn thee” John 8:11.

These are the priceless, life-giving words spoken by our Saviour to the woman taken in adultery. This poor creature was discovered in the actual act of fornication and dragged before Jesus by those who thought themselves righteous. These men knew full well Christ´s love and compassion for poor sinners and had no doubt heard His blistering denunciations against the Pharisees. But here was a case in which they were convinced Christ would be compelled to condemn this miserable woman.

There was no denial on her part. It appears she had nothing to say; … she was guilty. And like all of us when at first we stood guilty before God, we had no reason to give as to why a swift sentence should not be passed.

These men, the poor woman´s accusers, depended for their salvation upon their strict fulfilment of the ceremonial law and were judged accordingly. In other words, they relied upon themselves and their works. But when convicted by Christ´s words, “He that is without sin let him cast the first stone,” they were self-condemned and went out one by one.

There must have been surprise and joy on her part when He spoke the words, “Neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more.”

We must not forget, too, that these were not merely the words of a man, but the words of God. If He had condemned her, it would have been divine condemnation. But Jesus came not to condemn the world, but to save sinners. He will come one day to judge, but His mission then and now was and is to seek and to save those that were and are lost (Luke 19:10).

“Neither do I condemn thee.” What words of comfort to that poor woman! And He still says the same to all who come to Him with nothing to plead but His mercy.

Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” In other words, “Don´t commit adultery again. Turn away from it. I believe she was empowered to do just that because of Christ´s bold declaration, “Neither do I condemn you.” Grace gives life and power while the Law alone brings death.

Jesus could have said, “Serves you right” But He didn´t! BTW, “ It serves you right” is the response of the Pharisee and the graceless Christian (so-called). Oh, that all who name the name of Jesus would beware of that condemning spirit! I am afraid that we, God’s children, are too apt to condemn each other for failure.

“Neither do I condemn thee.” To the young and old Christian, alike, these are sweet words. Are you fearful that because you have failed the Lord Jesus that you, therefore, don´t belong to Him? That´s a lie. Go to Him, though your failures are many, His words remain the same, “Neither do I condemn thee.”

“But, I´m not sure I am saved,” you say.

OK, let me ask you, do you want to be one of His?”

Yes!

You question your salvation, but do you doubt Him?

No!

Do you believe that He died and rose again?

Yes!

Do you believe that He is the Lord?

Yes!

Then, you are His. Go to the Lord Christ. Look unto Him. His words are, “Neither do I condemn thee.” The Psalmist’s words are right, “Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him (Psalm 103:13). For He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). His mercy is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 103:17). If it were not so, who would stand? No one. He must and will uphold us from beginning to end. To Him be all the praise and glory!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: Sanctified by the Blood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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: Abounding, Astounding Grace!

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:24

When we are said to be justified, it doesn’t mean we have been made righteous, it means we have been declared righteous. Even though we are sinners, the all-holy and righteous God has given us righteous standing before Him. This is astonishing! The very righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ is reckoned to us, and it is in this imputed righteousness alone that we are safe to approach the all-holy One.

We are justified and according to our text, FREELY so. To be freely justified means not only are we acquitted, but also this verdict of acquittal is not because of any reason in us. It is free. Lenski, the Lutheran commentator, calls this aspect of salvation pure, abounding, astounding grace.

The legally binding verdict of the all-knowing Judge is that we are not guilty. It is worth pausing and thinking about that. What a profound truth… May it liberate our hearts and free us from condemnation!

Zinzendorf said it well;

“Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness

My beauty are, my glorious dress;

’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,

With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;

For who aught to my charge shall lay?

Fully absolved through these I am

From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

When from the dust of death I rise

To claim my mansion in the skies,

Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,

Jesus has lived, and died, for me.”

We are justified freely by grace. It has often been said that justification can be summed up with the phrase, “Just as if I’d never sinned.” It does indeed mean that, but it means much more. It means, “Just as if I had lived the same life as Jesus lived!” When we are justified, we have the very life of Christ imputed to us. When justified, we are much more than pardoned. When a person is pardoned, their punishment is remitted, but the grounds for their condemnation are not removed. This is far from Justification.

Sometimes, I am accused of making too much of the distinction of the basis of Justification being righteousness imputed to us and not infused into us. “It’s all semantics,” my critics say, “You are too technical.” This kind of comment, however, puts me in memory of the story of the man who sought some advice from a governmental agency about using a particular chemical in his business. The agency wrote back, but the letter was couched in such technical language that he couldn’t understand it. So he assumed it was alright to use the chemical and he wrote back thanking the agency for informing him and that he would go ahead and use it. When the department saw his letter, they, realizing what had happened, wrote back immediately and said just these simple words, “Don’t use that chemical, it will rust the heck out of your pipes.”

The man got the message!

Likewise, we need to be clear on the message that Gospel Justification has nothing to do with righteousness being infused into us. Great spiritual harm has come when people are not clear that we have been acquitted, not because of any reason in us but because salvation has been accomplished outside of us, in history, by Grace Alone.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Christ Alone

February 15, 2017 Leave a comment

We have a real treat for you this week!

We greatly rejoice that some Christians in China, led by Brother Keith Hobkirk, are beginning to translate some of our Gospel writings. As you can see, our ministry is steadily growing in its scope and influence. Thank you for your prayers and financial help which sustain us as we spread the Gospel.

Below is a sample of some of the work the brothers and sisters are doing.

Gospel Blessings

Miles

BY Miles McKee

唯有耶稣 Miles McKee

The best thing that can happen to any of us is to become convinced that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.

发生在我们每个人身上最美好的事情就是深信我们不能做什么来拯救我们自己。

Apart from the mercy of Jesus Christ, we are utterly and helplessly lost. There is no saving merit in anything that we can do or feel. In ourselves, we have nothing to recommend us to God.

若不是耶稣基督的怜悯,我们都是迷失且无助的。我们所思所做的没有什么值得可夸赞的。向神我们一无所夸。

Let me ask you, have you become convinced that Christ alone is your Saviour? Have you been persuaded that you cannot save yourself? Have you seen that the Lord needs no assistance from anyone to give you eternal life? Have you seen that from first to last, Christ alone is your hope?

我想问你,你深信耶稣基督是你的救主吗?你相信凭自己你不能拯救你自己吗?你相信神不需要通过其他人赐给你永恒的生命吗?你相信自始至终唯有耶稣基督是你的盼望吗?

I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit. One aspect of the Spirit’s work is to destroy all the vestiges of self-righteousness we harbour in our hearts (John 16:8).

Self–Righteousness, that great, stubborn rebel against God, must be rooted out. The Holy Spirit continually brings us to a place where we see and confess that we are nothing and Christ is everything.

非常感谢圣灵。圣灵的一项工作就是除尽我们心中的自义。(约168)必须根除心中强大顽固,不符合神心意的自义。圣灵不断带领我们,使我们看到自己的自义,我们就为此忏悔承认我们是一无所有的而耶稣才是我们的一切。

Someone says, ‘I’ve been reading about all those deep convictions that people used to get during the revivals of yesteryear. If I could experience those, then I’d be sure that I was saved.’ But, wait a minute, that is just another way of you bringing something to Christ in exchange for salvation. That is self-righteousness. It is a lack of trust in Christ alone as your only qualification for eternity.

有一个人说,”我一直在思想关于福音复兴时期人们所怀的信念。如果我经历了那些事情,我就会确信我已经被救赎了。”但是,等等,那其实是你在通过另一种方式和耶稣基督交换救恩。是不相信唯有在耶稣基督你才能有永生。

“But I want to feel something,” says someone else.

Christ Jesus doesn’t want you to bring your feelings to Him. Feelings are no part of Salvation. We are to trust in Christ alone, not in feelings.

另一个人说,“我想感觉到。”耶稣基督不希望你对他怀着感觉。感觉不属乎救恩。我们相信基督不是凭借感觉。

‘’Feelings come and feelings go

And feelings are deceiving

My warrant is the Word of God

Naught else is worth believing.

感觉时有时无,感觉是不可靠的,我的凭据在乎神的话,除此之外没有什么可以相信。

Though all my heart should feel condemned

For want of some sweet token,

There is One greater than my heart

Whose Word cannot be broken.

I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word

Till soul and body sever,

For, though all things shall pass away,

HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER!”

直到死我仍深信神永不更改的话,因为一切都会废去,他却永远掌权。

Martin Luther

马丁路德

“But I feel so spiritually unfit.”

可是我觉得如此不配。”

Do you not know that the only fitness you have before Him is the fitness of being unfit?

你不知道在神面前你唯一配的地方就在于你是不配的吗

“Oh, but I am so entirely unworthy.”

噢,而我是完全不配的”

Do you think Jesus came to save the worthy? Do you ever expect to have any worthiness in yourself? Jesus saves “the ungodly” (Rom 5:6-8). Jesus came into the world to save sinners, not worthy people (1 Timothy 1:15). Spurgeon said it like this; “It is our badness, not our goodness, which drew Christ to us as a Saviour.”

你觉得耶稣来是为了拯救那些配得的人吗?你曾希望自己有什么配得之处吗?耶稣拯救“罪人”(罗5;6-8)耶稣来到世上为要拯救罪人而不是配得的人(提前1:15)司布真说,是我们的罪恶不是良善成就了耶稣成为我们的救主。”

‘With Pitying eye the Prince of Peace

Beheld our helpless grief;

He saw, and, O amazing love!

He ran to our relief.’

“”和平之君以怜悯的目光看着我们的无助和悲伤;他看见了,噢,何等的慈爱,他来抚慰我们。”

Isaac Watts.

以撒 瓦特斯

Christ didn’t die because we were good. He died for us because we were sinful wretches. We had nothing whatsoever in ourselves that could recommend us. …and still don’t. Yet the Young Prince of Glory came from Heaven to save us. What do you think you can add to that? Is there anything with which you would care to supplement His finished work?

基督不是为我们的良善而死。他乃是为我们的罪行而死。无论何时我们都没有什么可夸的。然而荣耀的君王却来到世间拯救我们。想想你能为此做些什么呢?你能做些什么协助他未完成的工作呢/

Be advised, don’t try to show Christ how worthy you are to be saved. He’s unimpressed. Our righteousness is sin but His righteousness is salvation. We are nothing; Christ alone is everything!

记住,不要企图向耶稣表明你是多么值得被救赎。他并不为所动。我们的自义是罪而他的义是救恩。我们一无所有;而耶稣基督是一切!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

这是福音真谛!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Tell Peter

“But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you (Mark 16:7).”

As a believer, have you ever blown it? I mean royally blown it? Have you ever failed God, failed the Gospel, failed your family, or failed yourself?

As a result, you suspect that there is no longer a place for you in the Lord’s affections. If so, this message is for you.

Do you remember Peter? He was quite a remarkable man.

The Lord gave him a new name and told him to become a “fisher of men.” He walked on water. He experienced the incredible event of Jesus’ transfiguration. And it was Peter who was the first to confess that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah.

What a stellar ministry… so full of promise. But, suddenly, Peter crashed with an unceremonious wallop.

It might be helpful at this point if we paint the scene of this major failure. Jesus has just been arrested and taken to the Palace of the High Priest. Almost all of His disciples had run away in fear for their lives. Two of them, however, Peter and another (probably John), followed behind the mob as they escorted Jesus to the kangaroo court.

Having, with John’s help, gained admittance into the compound, Peter now warms himself at a fire in the Palace courtyard, (Luke 22: 55). Suddenly, he is approached by a woman (John 18:17) who identifies him as one of the Lord’s disciples. When he hears her words, Peter immediately denies any connection with the Saviour basically saying, “I don’t know what you are talking about! You’re crazy!” Then he walks away, (Matthew 26:71). Almost immediately, another girl sees him and calls out, “This is one of them!” (Verse 71).

Again, Peter denies all ties to his saviour. In Matthew 26:72, we see that Peter now resorts to denying the Lord with an “oath.” In other words, Peter swore before heaven that he did not know Jesus. He may have said something like: “I promise before God and swear to Him that I’m not lying, I do not know Jesus of Nazareth!

What a tragedy! This time Peter doubles his lie count. He lied when he denied knowing Jesus and lied when he swore that he wasn’t lying!

An hour passes (Luke 22:58). Peter is approached for the third time by a delegation of sorts. He is again accused of being one of the Lord’s disciples. Peter’s Galilean accent has betrayed him. This group of accusers was led by a relative of Malchus whose ear Peter had cut off when Jesus had been arrested. When the apostle hears this allegation, he loses control and begins to “curse and to swear” (Matthew 26:74). His tongue becomes vile and vulgar. He calls God to be his witness that he doesn’t know Jesus.

Oh, how are the mighty fallen!

Notice the progression (or regression). First Peter lies. Then he tells a second lie to cover up the first lie. Then he tries to prove his lies by cursing and taking God’s name in vain.

Watch out Peter! God’s going to get you!

Sleep with one eye open Peter!

You’re a failure Peter!

If you’d been a stronger man Peter!

You’re not fit to be an apostle Peter!

Such nonsense!

Listen to me! Peter was a man of God. He loved the Lord, but he failed. Get used to it! And when he failed it broke and humbled him (Luke 22:62).

It’s no wonder that we learn of his invitation to meet the Master in Galilee. This is grace in operation. “Tell the disciples and Peter. Make sure you tell Peter. Whatever else you do, let Peter know that he’s welcome.”

But Peter has failed you!

Yes, and be sure to tell Peter that He’s welcome.

But he’s let you down.

And?…be sure to tell Peter

Listen to me: if the bad news is that you’ve spiritually failed, the good news is that there are both grace and restoration waiting for you in Christ Jesus.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Gospel Rest

November 30, 2016 Leave a comment

“Come unto me all you that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

As usual, Mr Spurgeon nailed it when he said of this scripture, “There are mines of instruction in this verse. Superficially read, this royal promise has cheered and encouraged tens of thousands, but there is a wealth in it which the diligent digger and miner shall alone discover.”

Let’s then, go mining and see if we can scratch the surface of this marvellous truth.

Who issued the invitation to, “Come unto me?” Was it a psychiatrist? No! Was it a politician? No! It was the lovely Son of God who voiced these words. And who is He? He is the God/Man, the Eternal Word made flesh. He has come to us in our need and invited us to come to Him.

This verse wonderfully demonstrates Christ’s compassion for His people. He loves us. His love, however, is not the kind of love that wants to help but has no available resources. it’s quite the opposite. His is the love of Omnipotence. And what is the message of Omnipotent love? It is simply this, “Rest in Me.”

Are we weary? Then let us come to Jesus and rest.

Disappointment will make us weary.

A broken heart will make us weary.

Sin will make us weary.

Working to gain God’s acceptance will make us weary.

Legalistic religion will make us weary.

To be weary means to be worn down with burdens or to be exhausted. Does that describe any of us? How desperately we need to hear Him say; “Come to me.”

Listen, He’s not angry at you. He loves you! Hear His voice in the Gospel. There’s rest for you. Don’t let unbelief keep you from His rest. How could someone who has gone to the cross for us not care for us? He was wounded and butchered for us. As believers, He wants us to come to Him.

So what qualifies us to come to Him?

It’s our weariness, not our worthiness!

It’s His mercy, not our merit.

It’s our destitution, not our distinction.

It’s our hardship, not our holiness.

It’s His love, not our labour.

As believers, we have no need to drag ourselves around in abject misery. We learn to come to Him. To Him, and not to Moses! To Him, not to a favourite doctrine, an ordinance, priest or pastor. We come to Him, to Jesus Himself.

Let us come to Him for His gift of rest. Since rest is a free gift, it cannot be purchased or worked for. So then, how do we receive it! The answer is by faith alone.

Faith alone takes us to that rest. Faith alone sees that it is a rest received from the hand of the all-powerful God. It is a blood-bought rest. It is a rest bathed in love.

This rest is for the weary, for those who labour. It’s for you and me because we need it. May we all become weary enough to discover Jesus as our resting place.

To conclude, why to thirsty people drink? It’s because they are thirsty. Why do hungry people eat? It’s because they are hungry. Why do people rest? It’s because they are weary.

There is rest in knowing who Jesus is and what He has accomplished in His doing, dying and rising again. There is rest in understanding the cross. There is rest in the Gospel. There is rest because He shed His blood.

May we come to Him and enjoy Him and His rest.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,

“Come unto me and rest;

Lay down, thou weary one, lay down

Thy head upon my breast.”

I came to Jesus as I was,

Weary and worn and sad;

I found in Him a resting place

And He has made me glad.

Horatius Bonar

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com