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The Wednesday Word: It”s Personal

The Grace of God has appeared in the person of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word made flesh. He is full of grace and truth” and “of His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace” (John 1:14,16). Literally, we have received grace “piled upon” grace. In much the same way the seashore is subject to the continual arrival of wave after wave so we have received and are receiving continual waves of grace in Christ Jesus.

Do we believe that? If we believe it, we will enjoy it!

Jesus is the Grace of God in human form. He is the full illustration and explanation of Grace. We sometimes forget that Grace is a person (Titus 2:11). When we, therefore, say we are saved by Grace, we are declaring that we are saved by someone other than us. We are actually saved by Christ Jesus and His accomplishments. To consent to be saved by Grace is to consent to be saved by the works of another. Christ’s work for us was perfect, His work is sufficient and by faith alone, His work is ours.

May we never rest on anything or anyone other than Jesus. May we never rest on the fact of our conversion to save us. May we never rest on our faith to save us. May we never rest on ‘Christ in us’ to save us. May we rest on Christ and His finished work alone. May He be personal to us. May we be able to speak of Christ my Saviour not merely of Christ the Saviour.

When Christ manifests His grace, He manifests Himself.

This is why His grace is Glorious (Ephesians 1:6);

Abundant (Acts 4:33)

Rich (Ephesians 1:7).

Manifold (many-sided) (1 Peter 4:10)

Sufficient (there is never a shortage) (2 Cor 12:9).

All the worth and preciousness of Christ is ours. All the guilt we had is His. This is pure grace. All our debt in the past has been settled by grace. All our debt in the present has been settled by grace. All our debt in the future has been settled by Grace.

May we all learn what it is to receive the abundant grace of God for ourselves.

The following is a marvellous illustration of grace in action.

In the 1800’s London had two famous preachers, Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker. On one occasion, Parker commented about the poor condition of children admitted to Spurgeon’s orphanage. Word of this came to Spurgeon but by the time it arrived, it was reported to Spurgeon that Parker had criticized the orphanage itself. Spurgeon blasted Parker from his pulpit and the attack was printed in the newspaper and became the talk of the town. Londoners flocked to Parker’s church the next Sunday to hear his rebuttal. Here’s what Parker said, “I understand Dr. Spurgeon is not in his pulpit today, and this is the Sunday they use to take an offering for the orphanage,” Parker said. “I suggest we take a love offering for the orphanage.” The crowd was delighted; ushers had to empty the collection plates three times. Later that week, there was a knock at Parker’s study. It was Spurgeon. “You know, Parker, you have practiced grace on me,” he said. “You have given me not what I deserved; you have given me what I needed.”

May we all have the grace to live as though grace has indeed arrived and may we learn to practice grace on one another!

We can make it personal!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: Jesus + Nothing

No church saved us.

No religious act on our part saved us.

We were, are and will be entirely saved by Christ alone.

We are saved by the free, unconditional, invincible grace brought to us in the doing, dying and rising again of Christ Jesus the Lord.

For when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. That’s you and that’s me! For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man, someone would even dare to die. But God commends His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

That’s priceless!

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (see Romans 5:6-10).

Christ’s sinless life and atoning death have been accepted by the Father as ours. His doing and dying of two thousand years ago is the only ground of our acceptance with God today.

“Here we have a firm foundation;

Here the refuge of the lost;

Christ’s the Rock of our salvation,

His the name of which we boast.

Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,

Sacrifice to cancel guilt!

None shall ever be confounded

Who on Him their hope have built.”

Thomas Kelly

Christ alone has been found pleasing in the Father’s sight. So, since repetition is the price of learning, let’s say it again….There is but one reason and only one reason for our acceptance by God—Christ Alone!

There is no other way to God but in, through and by Christ.

Let us not forget that Jesus unashamedly claimed to be God in human flesh appearing. If, therefore, the one true and living God has come to save us, what other way to God can there be? Since Christ alone is God, we can ruthlessly and immediately dispense with all other supposed ways of salvation. They are all fabrications of men’s imaginations and devising. There is only one salvation, and it comes to us in Christ alone.

When we declare that we are saved by Christ alone, we stand opposed to the teachings which state that Christ’s sacrifice is insufficient without the addition of some manner of sacrament administered by clerics. What sheer, Christ belittling, nonsense is this?

Others say that Christ saves but not without our good works. How they cling to their inferior and flawed works as they fear to rest entirely on the good works of the Saviour … yet they damn us for not joining them in their folly.

Others say that Christ’s sacrifice is worthless without us adding faith to the equation. They say that our believing does the saving! Thus they oppose the teaching of Christ Alone. While it is true that faith apprehends the Gospel, faith is not our Saviour. We rest, not on faith, but on Christ alone.

Enemies of the cross urge the necessity of something more than Christ alone for salvation Without their particular addition they say that we cannot be saved. In these schemes, Christ’s sufficiency as the Saviour is consequently denied.

When we follow their logic, we must conclude that the Christ in whom they trust is at best a partial saviour. He lacks something, a certain something, provided by them that somehow augments His person and work.

What a dishonour to Christ Jesus. God has come here to rescue and save His people yet He is incapable of saving without the help of some form of mediation on man’s part. Sheer rubbish!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: For Us!

We are saved entirely by the work Christ has done for us, not by His work in us.

Consider this; He was born for us. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace’. Isaiah 9:6. The eternal God entered into time and history in the person of His Son. He did so for us. The Creator became a creature for us. He Lived For Us!

Paul says—-“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” 2 Cor. 8:9. He came into this world as an infant, and there was no place in the inn for Him. He walked the dusty roads of Israel, and at times there was no place for Him to lay His head. He humbled Himself, yet the world scorned Him. He humbled Himself, but they called Him Beelzebub, He humbled Himself, but they called Him a bastard—-an illegitimate child. He humbled Himself, but they said he was just “the carpenter’s son.” ——-Even at His trial, one man could only refer to Him as “this fellow.” (Matt. 26:61).

All this was for us. But more than that, He was executed, and they had to borrow a grave for His body. When He took our place, He had nothing. But, while He lived here on earth, He was wholly set apart for us (John 17:19). He was made a curse for us. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), Galatians 3:13. He was wounded for us. “But He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5—— It is Finished!

Some of us have become immune to hearing about Him, and how He came here for us and went to the cross. We tire of hearing that He was wounded for us. WARNING! If you become immune to these truths you will wither spiritually! “Lest I forget Gethsemane,’ Lest I forget thine agony, Lest I forget thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary’.

He was born for us, He lived for us, He died for us and He arose and ascended to heaven for us (Rom.4:25; John 14:2). And right this moment He is living for us and praying for us (Heb. 7:25). And when He finally comes again, He’ll come back for us (John 14:3). It is all finished! His intercession for us at this very moment is based on His finished, accomplished work. His returning for us is to consummate and crown with glory all that He accomplished in His doing and dying and rising again! It is Finished Everything Jesus intended to do He accomplished! If we want to build a strong Christian life we must lay the foundations broad and deep.

The deepest and strongest foundation is the Person and Finished Work of Christ! If we want to be effective in the Gospel then we will dwell much on the Gospel! May we learn that it is finished. May we grasp that all that is necessary for our salvation has been completed and accomplished! His work was a total success.

He finished the work that the Father gave Him to do!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: It is Finished!

It is reported that when Queen Elizabeth 1 of England lay dying she said, “My God, my God it is over. I have come to the end! In her wardrobe, she had 2,000 costly dresses and gowns yet she called out, “All my possessions for just one more day.” Pathetic words from a dying monarch.

How wonderful then, by contrast, are the words of the dying Saviour who declares from the cross—IT IS FINISHED!

In those three words, we learn that salvation has been completed, accomplished and perfected. Notice, there is not a hint of worry, anxiety or despair. How unlike the words of the dying Queen who said, “My God My God it is over, I have come to the end.” See how Christ’s words, “It is Finished”, are filled with glorious victory.

When He said, ‘It is Finished’ it means it is done and completed. But, what is done and completed? It means that redemption is both done and completed. Salvation has been obtained and accomplished! You see, this English phrase of ours, this little sentence, is not in the Greek at all. In the Greek, it is just one word: FINISHED! And Christ cried it out with a loud voice (Matthew 27:50). He wasn’t finished. He wasn’t the victim, He was the victor. But how was Redemption finished? It was finished by the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

He finished and fully completed the work He had been sent to do! It is Finished! When we look at the tense of the Greek we discover that it is the perfect tense which means that although the action has been completed in the past, the results continue into the present. So, when Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” he meant, “It was finished in the past, it is still finished in the present and it will remain finished in the future.”

Listen to Paul as he tells the Hebrews of the Christ who finished His work, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Hebrews 1:3.

It is finished! That means, Justice was satisfied and is still satisfied. That means, the Father was satisfied and is still satisfied. The righteous demands of the law were satisfied and are still satisfied. That means, the Old Testament sacrifices were finished and are still finished. That means, the Prophets were fulfilled and are still fulfilled. It is Finished. What a wonderfully grand and glorious statement by the God/Man, the amazing Prince of glory! When a work is Finished, it is Finished, there is no need to add anything to it!

So, neither man nor angel needs add anything to His finished work. And a good thing too. Wouldn’t it be just dreadful if our salvation was based on any of our efforts! Our efforts at best are incomplete. We haven’t served God perfectly and we have left things undone. There’s so much we should have done but haven’t! But the Lord Jesus left nothing of our salvation incomplete! It Is Finished! He did not partially save or partially ransom—It Is Finished! Everything He did for us, He did perfectly—-It is Finished! There is no one like Christ Jesus in any of the World’s Religions.

This one expression—IT IS FINISHED explodes every other religion on earth! They are all fakes. They are all useless. Mohammed did not complete redemption for his people, Buddha did not atone for His people –only Christ Jesus ransomed, redeemed and reconciled us back to God.

It is Finished! ‘Lifted up was He to die It is Finished was His Cry. Now in heaven exalted high Hallelujah, What a Saviour.’

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Grounded and Established in the Gospel

Calvary assures us that the wrath which should have consumed us has fallen upon our Substitute (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Faith in Christ alone, therefore, rescues us from the bondage of having to perform to avoid the wrath of God. In Christ alone, faith sees the smile of the Father upon us.

Though faith is not our righteousness it fastens us to the righteousness of Christ and sees, as old Solomon Stoddard saw, that Christ’s righteousness makes it safe for us to appear in heaven. Indeed, the only safe way to heaven is to trust in the doing, dying and rising again of Christ. Faith grasps that our acceptance before God is in Christ alone and not in our faith. Faith in faith saves no one. Gospel faith understands this!

Furthermore, faith grasps that our eternal standing in the ages to come depends, not upon anything in us, but upon the unchanging righteousness of Christ alone outside of us. When we are not established in the gospel, we easily make the mistake of looking within ourselves to determine whether or not we have certain feelings. Unfortunately, if we find the correct feelings, we then content ourselves that our faith is strong and that we are thus eternity bound. Conversely, alarm bells ring when we can’t find those feelings because we then assume that our destiny is in doubt. When we live like this, we are unsettled and confused. We have not yet understood that anything subjective, whether it is the work of the Spirit in us or our feelings and experiences, can ever qualify as the object of our faith. They are not the Gospel! Acquittal before God comes only through the person and work of the Lord Jesus. He alone is the sinner’s plea for, “He that believeth on him is not condemned” (John 3:18).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: More about the Mystery of Christ

Colossians 2:9, “For the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him.”

Sadhu Sundar Singh, an Indian preacher of another generation, used to illustrate the incarnation mystery in this way. A simple countryman was being shown a red glass bottle. They told him it was full of milk. The countryman couldn’t believe it was filled with white liquid till he saw the beverage poured out from it. The redness of the bottle had hidden the colour of the contents of the bottle.

Sadhu said, so it was and is with our Lord’s humanity. Man saw Him tired, hungry, suffering, weeping and thought He was only man. ‘He was made in the likeness of men,’ yet He ever is ‘God over all, blessed forever.

The red milk bottle is a good illustration but there is an even better one and that is the Tabernacle in the days of Moses. It looked plain and ordinary on the outside, but inside it housed the very glory and presence of God. What a glorious picture of Christ! He looked just like an ordinary man, but the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Him.

In Colossians 2:9, we see our New Testament Tabernacle. We see once more that Jesus is both human and divine. Of course, Christ’s enemies say that here the word ‘Godhead’ does not actually mean Godhead or they say that this verse means that it was merely the power of God which dwelt in Christ. It is astonishing to discover the hatred that men still harbour towards Jesus and the truth of His deity. However, the Bible cannot be clearer on Christ’s identity than it is in this verse. This verse, according to Calvin,

“ … means simply, that God is wholly found in him (Christ), so that he who is not content with Christ alone, desires something better and more excellent than God. The sum is this, that God has manifested himself to us fully and perfectly in Christ.”

Calvin’s Commentaries.

In Isaiah 11:2-5, we are given a prophetic picture of the Lord Jesus which conveys something of this fullness. There we read,

“..and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.

Notice how Christ demonstrates the sevenfold Spirit of God!

The Spirit of the Lord.

The Spirit of Wisdom.

The Spirit of Understanding.

The Spirit of Counsel.

The Spirit of Might.

The Spirit of Knowledge.

The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.

The fullness and perfections of the Godhead were and are truly manifest in the Lord Jesus. The foundation of our faith then is that He who died on the cross was God incarnate. When we meet Christ Jesus, we meet with God in His fullness. This is the foundation upon which we can build our life and eternal destiny.

“Mortals with joy beheld his face,

Th’ eternal Father’s only Son;

How full of truth! how full of grace!

When through his eyes the Godhead shone.”

Isaac Watts

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Yes Indeed, He Must be God!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

When the first missionaries arrived in Japan they encountered a young Japanese man who wanted to improve his knowledge of English. So they gave him the Gospel of John to translate. In a short time, the would-be learner became very restless and agitated. At last, he gushed out with the question, “Who is this Man about whom I have been reading, this Jesus? You call him a man, but He must be God.”

Yes indeed, He must be God!

But, not only can we say, He must be God, we can, with certainty, declare that He is, in fact, God. Notice how His deity is spoken of loudly and clearly in Titus 2:13. Observe how Jesus is clearly and plainly designated as the ‘great God.’

There can be no ambiguity about His deity. This passage is unmistakably about Christ.

In verse 11, He is called the ‘grace of God’, and in verse 13, He is designated as the ‘great God.’ Then, in verse 14, this same one who is termed the ‘grace of God’ and the ‘great God’ is said to be the one who has redeemed His people from all iniquity. It doesn’t get plainer than that.

Those who deny the deity of Christ try to argue that this verse says both the Father and the Son will appear at the blessed hope. However, nowhere in Paul’s epistles is the Father said to ‘appear.’ The word ‘appear,’ on the other hand, is used continuously of Christ. He is the revelation of the one True and Living God. He ‘appeared,’ as already mentioned, in verse 11 of this chapter. In 1 Timothy 6:14 we are told to, “keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And we are informed He shall “judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” 2 Timothy 4:1.

The One who will appear is both the great God and our Saviour. What a stunning and humbling thought this is, that the man who suffered and shed His blood for us is none other than the great God whom the Old Testament declares to be;

“God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regards not persons, nor takes reward:” (Deuteronomy 10:17).

This same great God who died for His people and rose again from the dead will appear a second time. For;

“Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto those that look for him will he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation, (Hebrews 9:28).

So, when we read that we are, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13), we know that, contrary to the JW (Jehovah Witness) teaching, Christ is in no way to be considered the little God, but the great one.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com