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Posts Tagged ‘Miles Mckee’

The Wednesday Word – Grace and Truth

“The law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” John 1:17.

Moses gave the Law, but the Law it did not come by Moses. Moses, for all his moral rectitude, was not the originator of Law. He gave the Law, but he didn’t invent it.

Moses had to receive the Law. It was not his own. It was not a part of his being. He was not Law incarnate. The Law was delivered to him and he, in turn, gave it to others.

Grace and truth, on the other hand, were not “given” to Christ, they came by Christ for grace and truth were His essence. He was grace and truth incarnate. It is interesting to note that Christ could have come as Law incarnate for, indeed, He was the quintessence of the Law. But when He came to us, He came as the embodiment of grace and truth.

The Law was given to, among other reasons, expose our inability to please God. Our hearts towards God had been frozen in a glacier of self-will and destruction. God, therefore, did not hope that we would keep the Law, He knew we couldn’t. Rather, He gave it so that every mouth would be stopped and all the world become guilty before Him (Romans 3:19).

But there’s good news! Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. When Christ appeared, grace and truth appeared in all its fullness. Grace and truth descended to earth in the person of Jesus the God/Man. He alone is our Gospel. We dare not add to or subtract from Him.

There are no two things in the Bible more different than Law and Gospel. Either we obtain salvation in all its facets by contributing our works, or we freely receive salvation by faith alone in the doing, dying and rising again of our Lord Jesus …plus nothing!

For a moment then, let’s consider some of the differences and contrasts between Law and Gospel!

The Law demands righteousness; the Gospel gives it.

The Law requires good works; the Gospel provides them.

Under the Law, the source of our blessings is from our obedience. But under the Gospel, blessings are a gift based upon Christ’s obedience.

“The Law threatens, the Gospel heals.

The Law shows us our wretchedness. The Gospel takes our misery away.

The Law was not given to save us but to damn us.

The Gospel, on the other hand, was given, not to damn us but to save us.

The Law was not given to bless us, but to curse us.

The gospel was given to set us free from the curse .

The Law puts on its black cap of damnation and sentences men to death. The Gospel, by contrast, put on the white cap of mercy and brings dead men to life.”

The Law tells us what we must do to get right with God. Grace, on the other hand, tells us what God has done for us to get us right with Himself.

When Moses gave the Law, his face shone. But when grace and truth came, the full light of the knowledge of the glory of God was revealed in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: Grace that brings Salvation Titus 2:11

There’s an astonishing verse in Romans 5:6 which boldly declares that Christ died for the ungodly. Have you ever seen yourself as ungodly?

The truth is, no matter how good and righteous we feel, we are still ungodly wretches (Romans 3 10ff). All of us are in the same boat.

But the good news is that while we were without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.

That one scripture goes so hard against the grain of religious thinking that it proves the Scriptures to be true. No man would have dared to invent this verse. Religion militates against such an idea. Dying for the ungodly? How ridiculous. That means He died for those who were against God, for those who hated God and for those who would have killed God if they had had the chance.

May we all realize how ungodly we all are in our flesh (Romans 7:18).

Do you remember the story of the two men who went to the Temple to pray? One stood and addressed the Almighty telling him a pack of lies while the other man could not so much as raise his eyes to heaven and prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner (literally THE sinner).

This poor publican (tax collector) felt like he was the worst and only sinner on the planet. His lostness was not just a general notion to him it was real and very personal.

Have any of us ever felt that? Have we ever seen ourselves as lost and ruined? It is only when this happens that Grace will seem amazing.

The Grace of God (Jesus) brings salvation (Titus 2:11)! God did not merely send His salvation; He brought it Himself! He did not entrust His most important angel to reveal Grace and Mercy. No! It was God Himself who was the messenger.

Bypassing the angels, He stooped and came down,

down,

down,

down,

down,

to the manger in Bethlehem,

to become one of us,

to be wounded for our transgressions,

to be nailed to the cross,

to cry out Eloi, Eloi lama sabacthani.

He didn’t say, “Come up here to heaven lads. Climb the stairway men!” No! He came down, down, down and came alongside us. Only then did He say “Come unto me.”

What immense grace! What vast kindness!

“O Bringer of salvation,

So marvelously wrought,

Yourself the revelation

Of love beyond our thought:

We worship you; we bless you;

To you alone we sing;

We praise you and confess you,

Our Holy Lord and King.”

Spurgeon describes the visit of the prince of Spain to a galley ship in which convicts had been chained to their oars. The Prince decided to free any of the galley slaves as he saw fit, so he went to man after man asking them why they were in prison. One of them said he was there because false witnesses swore away his character. Another said he had done something wrong, but it was slight, and he ought never to have been condemned. Each of the prisoners made excuses for their sins until finally, he came to one man, who said, “You ask me why I am here. I am ashamed to say that I richly deserve it.” He said, “I am guilty. I cannot for a moment say that I am not, and if I die at this oar, I thoroughly deserve the punishment. In fact, I think it’s a mercy that my life has spared me.” The Prince set this man free.

What an illustration of a beautiful principle in the word of God. Jesus did not come to save the righteous, but to bring sinners to repentance, and when a man poses as one who is righteous in himself, he is not a candidate for the grace of God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Thank you Jesus for the Blood

Many people continually worry about whether or not they are doing okay spiritually. They ask themselves,

“Have I been good enough?”

“Have I read the Bible enough?”

“Have I witnessed enough?”

“Have I prayed enough?”

“Have I given enough?”

Let’s be honest; the answer to these questions is probably ‘no.’

But here’s the Good News. When Jesus Christ died on the Cross, His Blood took care of all our sins. Not just the bad sins but the Father put all our sins on Christ, the God/Man. We don’t, therefore, need to always be ducking and diving away from God. Our accounts are fully and finally settled.

The Blood of the cross has completely blotted out and cleansed our sins. As the prophet Micah said, they have been cast into the depth of the sea (Micah 7:19). The Father has already blessed us in Christ for “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Romans 4:7-8).

The Father doesn’t see the sins that we commit. Why? Because of the Blood. We are in Christ. He sees only the Finished Work.

But what happens if we sin? And we do sin … so, what happens? What happens is this, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1-2). But what if a person knows that God will not impute sin to them yet they stubbornly continue in known sin?

The first consequence is that he grieves His friend, the Holy Spirit.

The second consequence is that he breaks his fellowship with God. However, because of the blood, although the sin breaks fellowship with, it doesn’t change his relationship to the Father. Willful, deliberate sin brings chastisement, but it is a loving and gracious chastisement. There is no wrath in the Father’s discipline. His wrath was exhausted on Calvary for the Elect.

Nevertheless, let’s never forget that God hates sin. He is of purer eyes than to look upon iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13). This is a shocking truth which exposes our lostness outside of Christ. There is no way for us to be accepted in heaven unless the Father sees us as completely perfect. But here’s the genius of the matter, when Jesus Christ went to heaven, He took us with Him, and seated us there with Himself as justified, righteous and perfect believers (Ephesians 2:6).

Now, as we begin to apply Gospel truth, we realize that the Father can never again see us in sin. We are cleansed by the blood and seated (perfect tense) with Christ in heavenly places. It is a finished work, and we are hidden with Christ in God in heaven. Never again will He impute sin to us. We are ransomed by the Blood and saved for time and eternity.

The Blood has redeemed us. The blood has bought and purchased us (Titus 2:14; Mark 10:45). The blood has paid for us in full (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Now, the Father only sees the Son, and as He sees the Son, He beholds every believer. Why is this?

It’s because the Lord Jesus, the God/Man, has graciously hidden us in Himself (Colossians 3:3).

Because of redemption, we are now members of His body (Ephesians 5:30). He, therefore, sees no flaw in us (Song of Solomon 4:7).

Because of righteous grace, He sees us without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27).

Because of the Finished Work, we are in Him by the purchase of the Blood.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Our Saviour Attacked!

Don’t you just hate it when our Saviour is attacked?

Recently my friends from the International English Church in Seoul, S. Korea were sent a troubling Facebook Message penned by a gentleman named Michael Schermer. It read,

“Jesus died for our sins but he was only dead for three days. So what did He sacrifice? His weekend. Jesus gave up his weekend for our sins.”

I could not help but reply. Here’s what I wrote. “Good gracious! Mr. Schemer seems painfully ignorant of the remarkable Christ event and its ramifications. He thinks that a few short hours on the cross constitute our Saviour’s sacrifice. What has he been smoking? Does He not know that the entire incarnation was a sacrifice?

For God to leave his throne and become a member of the race He’d created was a sacrifice.

To empty Himself of the vestiges of Glory was a sacrifice.

To be born to a teenage Virgin with a controversial story (in the eyes of many) was a sacrifice.

To be a refugee in Egypt was a sacrifice.

To be spat upon was a sacrifice.

For the darling of heaven to be scorned and rejected was a sacrifice.

To be called demon possessed was a sacrifice.

To make Himself of no reputation was a sacrifice.

His entire 33 yrs was a sacrifice in which He demonstrated both to man and God what man should be.

Then he went to the cross to sacrifice Himself as a perfect ransom, sin offering, and wrath offering.

Everything he did for His people was a perfect sacrifice. Now, as P. T. Forsyth said, “Christianity is not the sacrifice that we make; it is the sacrifice that we trust.”

One can only pray that Mr. Schemer’s eyes will be opened to see the Glory of Christ and the magnitude of His sacrifice on behalf of His people.

As believers, we need to learn to say something when Jesus is attacked.

Some years ago E.V. Hill said, “There once was a Baptist deacon who was a very excellent deacon except for one matter… When annoyed, he was much given to the use of oaths and expletives. So, the Pastor, wanting to talk to the Deacon about this character flaw decided to take the gentleman fishing.

They’d been out in the water for 6 hours and had caught nothing. But all was not lost for the pastor had been able to gain assurances that the deacon would actively seek to amend the wicked ways of his wayward tongue.

Suddenly, the Pastor’s line had a bite. It was a big one! In fact, the two stalwart fishermen could see that this hooked fish was one of the largest either men had ever seen. Carefully, the pastor reeled the great fish towards the waiting net, but just as they were about to land it, the line snapped, and the inordinate fish got away.

The two men just sat still in dismayed silence, staring at each other. Eventually, the Deacon said, “Pastor, I thank you for your wise counsel earlier today, but in times like these, something needs to be said.” Yes indeed, something needs to be said.”

In times like these when people ridicule and attack our Saviour, something needs to be said.”

In times like these, when Islam says that Christ is one of many prophets and not God manifest in the flesh, something needs to be said.”

In times like these, when Mormons say that God created Jesus through a relationship with one of His celestial wives, something needs to be said.”

In times like these, when Jehovah Witness teach that Jesus was and is merely an angel who is just one of many “gods,” something needs to be said.”

In times like these when so called ministers of the gospel are silent on the murder of children in the womb, something needs to be said.”

In times like these when famous preachers deny the doctrine of Penal Substitution calling it ‘cosmic child abuse,’ instead, something needs to be said.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: The Overcoming Blood

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11).

Satan knows that if he can cause us to be occupied more with our failures than with the Gospel, he can destroy our peace and thus our effectiveness. The Lord, however, wants us to know that those old sins, those sins that cast long shadows, those particular, shameful, embarrassing sins that loom up in the rear view mirror to condemn us are all done away with through the blood. It is crucial that we grasp this truth and let it soak into our thinking. We must continually remember that God has dealt graciously and justly with all our failures through the blood of Jesus Christ.

But, how do we make this knowledge work practically?

Let’s say you are a believer in Jesus Christ, but you have just sinned. You disobeyed a clear command in God’s Word. Maybe it was anger or lust or swearing or stealing or whatever. The Holy Spirit immediately convicts you of sin. So, you repent and confess to God and appropriate His cleansing (1 John 1:9).

So far so good!

But, then the enemy comes and whispers, “A fine Christian you are! Do you really think your sins are forgiven? Ha! You’re not even saved! You’re guilty my friend, and you know it. Forget all of this nonsense about being saved by grace!”

How do we answer him? It would seem that he is right. We claim to be Christians and yet we deliberately and knowingly sinned against God. Here’s what we do. Respond to the devil’s accusations by the Gospel. Tell him, “You’re right, Satan, I did that sin. Nevertheless, my salvation does not rest on my performance, but on the perfect performance of the Lord Jesus who shed His blood for me. I’m trusting in Him and His shed blood. So the Lord rebuke you, Satan!” (Zechariah 3:1-5).

Now notice what our text says about overcoming the devil, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony!”

Did they overcome by ceaseless incantations? No!

Was it by the casting out of demons? No!

“But what formula did they use to overcome?” None!

“Did they overcome by binding and loosing?” No!

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by making their testimony what the blood had done. They testified that their sins had been taken away by the Lamb.

No accusation against us can stand before the throne of God because all Satan’s charges against us fall on deaf ears in heaven. That’s the power of the blood!

The blood of the Lamb is sufficient for our victory over Satan. Throughout the ages, the blood of Christ, the sacrificial lamb, has been the refuge and fortress to those who believe. By faith, we know and claim that the blood of Christ is entirely effective. It’s like this, either the Lord Jesus put away sin, or He didn’t. If He did not, how will it ever be put away? If He did, then Believers are in the clear.

By the way, when the enemy attacks us and accuses us, we shouldn’t take it personally. The attack is not against us. It’s against the Lord Jesus and His honour. The Devil always loves to attack the integrity and effectiveness of the blood as he insinuates that the Cross has not done enough for us. How he delights to cast aspersions on the Lord Jesus. How he enjoys trying to get believers to lose confidence in the blood of the Lamb.

However, the blood of the Lord Jesus is the conquering weapon. Had He not poured out His soul unto death, had He not been numbered with the transgressors we should have had no weapon with which to overcome the evil one.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Triumphant Blood

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11).

I once heard a preacher say; “Imagine that a man is drowning in the middle of a lake. If I row out to him and give him a book on swimming, and nothing more, this doesn‘t save him. If I tell Him to swim harder, he still isn’t saved; if I drag him within 2 feet of dry land, he is still not rescued. But when I get into the water, lift him out and place him safely onto the shore, then and only then is he safe!”

So it is in the Gospel. We are saved, rescued and delivered by the work of the Lord Jesus. Our salvation is in, by and through Jesus and His shed blood! Believers are not half saved or partially redeemed. We are saved, entirely, utterly and eternally by the doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Jesus. There is no such thing as us swimming along behind the row boat of salvation. Christ must save and Christ alone

To be “Saved” means to be rescued and delivered from all harm and danger. If we are still in actual danger, then we are not saved! If there is the slightest danger that we can lose our salvation, then either we are not saved, or Christ did not accomplish anything on our behalf in His doing and dying. But we are saved, saved by blood, the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. This makes us safe! We are His sheep and He is our shepherd. Satan cannot destroy us.

In scripture, we discover terms such as:

False brethren,

False prophets,

False witnesses,

False accusers,

False Christs,

False apostles and

False teachers.

But never do we encounter false sheep. Sheep are sheep, they are 100% genuine. The Lord Himself gives his sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish (John 10:27-28). They are blood bought, purchased by the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep. The Shepherd’s sheep are chosen from all eternity, given to the Son by the Father and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. They are safe (John 10:26-28, John 6:37).

Satan, however, attacks the sheep by sending false teachers to try to lead them astray. Nevertheless, they overcome by the blood of the Lamb. In 1 John 2:13-14 we are said to “have overcome” the evil one. Yet, we read that false teachers will lead many astray and that if it were possible, they would mislead the very elect (Mark 13:22). The sheep learn, however, to weigh and judge each teaching by the Gospel. Yet, these false apostles pay lip service to the blood and mention the blood, but Finished Work, Gospel-centered teaching is neither in their hearts nor minds. False teachers will always say they believe the Gospel, but, in actuality, their subjective centered doctrine usually reverts to doing and performance in return for heavenly favour and endorsement. The sheep, however, overcome such nonsense by holding firmly to the truths of Christ crucified.

I need no other argument,

I need no other plea,

It is enough that Jesus died,

And that He died for me.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Presenting Jesus

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

We are sanctified (set apart) by the blood. We were bought and paid for by the blood. We were then seated in heaven, in Christ, having been totally delivered by the One who created us (Ephesians 2:6). It is finished!

Christ’s blood has entirely sanctified and cleansed us before the Father. Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11). There’s nothing in our Master’s sacrifice that should be out of it and nothing out of it that should be in it. It is complete, and we are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10).

In Leviticus 4:4, the errant sinner is told to “bring his offering unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock’s head, and kill the bullock before the LORD.”

Notice, even though this verse comes from the Old Economy, it doesn’t tell the fallen sinner to do penance and be miserable for 40 days to atone for his sin. He is not told to go away and be depressed for four weeks to pay his debt. He is not given any sanctification techniques. He is not told to bang His head against the wall and then to go fast, pray and whip his back for another month to pay for what he did. No, the sinner is simply told to bring the “bullock without blemish” before the Lord.

Now to New Testamentize this. The Father does not endorse penance programs; He holds to His verdict of the Gospel. As believers, no matter who or what we are, when we sin, we don’t enter into self-punishment mode. No amount of self-flagellation will help. We are already sanctified and set apart by that one great work which was accomplished outside of us 2000 years ago at Calvary. We simply, by faith, bring Christ to the Father and discover immediate fellowship with God.

In the New Testament, we have a better mediator (Hebrews 7:22; Hebrews 8:6). His name is Jesus, and He is all-sufficient. It is, therefore, a scandal to take Him for granted. It’s a dishonor to think that He is anything less than all and in all (Colossians 3:11). No matter how badly we feel about our sin, we present Christ to the Father.

We come to the Father in Jesus’ name.

By the way, “In Jesus’ name” is not merely a little formula that we attach to our prayers. No indeed! When we pray in Jesus name, we are pleading the merits of the Son and all that His blood has gained and guaranteed for us. We are declaring that He, Jesus, is our only qualification for being there before the Father.

We read; “By one offering He has perfected for ever those who are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). Jesus did what the Old Testament sacrifices could never do. He perfected us! Everything essential to salvation is included in this one great gift of Christ. Every believer fits into the category of, “Those that are sanctified.” To lessen Christ’s accomplishments on our behalf and to insist on a certain level of personal piety to qualify us to talk to the Father is to go back to legalism.

Leviticus 4:6 says the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord. This points us towards the perfection of the New Covenant. Jesus Christ has finished and perfected the work for us. He has sanctified and set us apart unto God by His blood. Every one of our sins has been purged and !taken away. We are His sanctified possession.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com