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The Wednesday Word: Christ Lifted Up: Part 1

And if I be lifted up from the earth: I will draw all men unto Me; (see John 12:32-33.)

THREE times in the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to the fact of His being lifted up on the cross. On the first occasion, He spoke about it in a private conversation with Nicodemus. Remember how He said, ´´As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish; but have eternal life´´ (John 3:14-15).

Notice also how He spoke of the necessity of the cross. He said, “Even so MUST the Son of Man be lifted up: “

Again, in a public discourse: in the Temple, Jesus said. “When you have lifted up the Son of Man then shall you know that I am He.” (John 8:28).

Then shortly after His triumphal. entry into Jerusalem He said, “And, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me ” (John 12:32-33).

Those were prophetic words telling of the manner and results of Christ’s death.

If He had been put to death by the Jewish authorities as a blasphemer, His death would have been by stoning; But that was not the way the Father intended. He had purposed to inflict the death penalty on the Beloved One, the representative man. The Father was responsible for Christ´s death. Neither the Jews nor the Romans killed Jesus…. They were used in that terrible event, but Jesus was executed by the Father. Otherwise, justice would not have been served.

But back to our main theme. One of the things we learn from our text is that the drawing of men to Christ would be absolutely dependent upon His death. The Master said, “And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me.” There could have been no ‘drawing of men’ to Christ for salvation if He had not died upon the cross!

We read in John 6:44, “No man can come unto Me except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.” But what would have been the point of the Father drawing men if Jesus had not died for their sins? There would have been no salvation if Christ had not died! And so, in John 12:24 He says, ” except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides, alone.” Jesus was speaking of Himself. He was that corn of wheat, and unless He had died on the cross, He would have been alone. No one would have been saved.

And so, our Lord here teaches us that it was absolutely necessary for the salvation of His people that He should die upon the cross. He does not say. ” If I go on working miracles, my miracles will draw all men unto Me “; or ” I if I go on living a holy, and godly life I will draw all men unto Me. No! A thousand times No! Here´s what He did say. “If I be lifted up (on the cross) I will draw all men unto Me. Thus, our Lord fixes our attention upon His death in order to show that His death was essential for our salvation.

His death upon the cross is the great central truth of the Gospel and except He had died no one would ever have been saved. Therefore, let us hold fast to what has sneeringly been referred to as “Blood Theology.” Without the shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22). God justifies … freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24). Whom God hath set forth to be a wrath offering through faith in His blood (Romans 3:25).

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

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The Wednesday Word: I Confess

I confess

That I am a great sinner, but Jesus is an even greater Saviour. (Ephesians 2: 8-9).

I confess

That I need a Saviour and that Jesus is the Saviour I need (2 Timothy 1:10).

I confess

I am guilty, prone to wander but, by the Gospel, I am justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

I confess

I had ruined myself by sin, and, apart from grace, I would stand exposed to divine retribution. But I rejoice in the Gospel because by the Gospel I continually learn that Jesus was made (reckoned) sin for me, that I might be made (reckoned) the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I confess

I am now a child of God.

Because of the Gospel, I am made alive, adopted, justified, accepted, and clothed in righteousness. ” God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6: 14).

I confess

I have been raised from spiritual death. Spiritually speaking, my filthy garments of sin are taken off and new robes of righteousness, white, clean and beautiful, put on (Zechariah 3:3-4, Isaiah 61:10).

I confess

Now that I am saved, I will “Set my affection on things above where Christ is” (Colossians 3: 2). He is precious. I will purpose to enjoy Him today and every day.

I confess

That Jesus is with me 24 hours per day for He said, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28: 3). Even when I neglect to seek Him, even when I don´t think of Him, He is with me. He is the Master of all grace. I am continually with Him. I cannot be where He is not. There is no separation (Romans 8:38-39).

I confess

That I am, “Kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1: 5).

I cannot keep myself. The pull of the world the flesh and the devil are too strong for me. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. “I will not be afraid of tens of thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about” (Psalm 3:6). “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27: 1). He will keep me unto salvation.

I confess

The Lord has promised that “In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me” (Psalm 27: 5). In the time of danger, He will hide me in His dwelling place and defend me. He will situate me in a place inaccessible to my enemies.

I confess

That God Himself is with me as my Captain (2 Chronicles 13:12). As you lead me Oh Lord, I acknowledge that you are in charge.

I confess

I have a High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of my infirmities (Hebrews 4:15). Lord Jesus, you know about my sickness and sorrow. You stand in my shoes. You understand the struggles that come as a part of this wretched human condition.

I confess

That “In Thee Lord do I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1).

I have no one else to trust. Whom can I trust with my eternal destiny but you? You have promised eternal life to your sheep. You have died in my place and risen from the grave. I put my trust in you.

I confess

That you are coming back for me (John 14:3). There is a soon coming day that is called the Day of the Lord. My hope is centered in You Lord Jesus, the God-man. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: The Vital Gift of Faith

The gift of faith is vital for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), yet faith is not our saviour. By faith, we not only acknowledge our debt of sin but also recognize that we don’t have to pay a penny of it.

Spurgeon said it like this, ´´My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in who and what Christ is, in what He has done … ´´

As we grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18) we learn more of the ways of faith.

For example,

We learn that faith is the adopting grace. “We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3: 26).

Faith is the justifying grace. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Romans 5:1).

Faith is the conquering grace. “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5: 4).

Faith is the wonder-working grace. Saints “through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Hebrews 11: 33-34).

Faith is not merely a hope so, it is the way forward when we are stagnant. Faith brings certainty. Faith brings us continually to the Gospel for genuine faith has the Lord Jesus as its object. Though we may be saturated with sin, faith takes us to Christ.

Faith causes us to embrace Jesus.

Faith causes us to cling to Him.

Faith sees that He is our only hope.

Henry Law said it like this,

´´Faith is the eye which sees Him,

the ear which hears Him,

the hand which holds Him,

the feet which follow hard after Him,

the heart which loves Him,

the head which knows Him,

the memory which retains Him,

the affections which are entwined around Him,

the trust which trusts in Him,

the hope which hopes in Him¨.

Indeed, faith is the entire person loving Jesus, looking only unto Him, swallowed up in Him, making Him the All in All.’ (Henry Law, Meditations on the Epistle to the Ephesians.)

There was once a French tightrope walker, Charles Blondin, who did incredible aerial feats. All over Paris, he would do tightrope acts blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow. An American promoter read about this and wrote to Blondin, saying, “Sir, I don’t believe you can do it, but I’m willing to make you an offer. For a very substantial sum of money, besides all your travel expenses, I would like to challenge you to do your act over Niagara Falls.”

Blondin wrote back, “Sir, I’d love to attempt this.”

On September 14, 1860 after a lot of promotion many people came to see the event. The tightrope acrobat was to start on the Canadian side and walk to the American side. The Drums rolled, and Blondin set out across the rope which was suspended over the most treacherous part of the falls. As usual, he was blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow!! And he made it across easily. The crowds went wild, and he came to the promoter saying, “Well Sir, now do you believe I can do it?”

“Well of course I do. I mean, I just saw you do it.”

“No,” said Blondin, “do you really believe I can do it?”

“Well of course I do, you just did it.”

“No, no, no,” said Blondin, “do you trust that I can do it?”

“Yes,” said the Promoter, “I believe you can do it.”

“Good,” said Blondin, “then get in the wheelbarrow and I´ll take you across.”

What an excellent illustration of faith! Faith, as it were, causes us to get into the wheelbarrow of life embracing Jesus in every situation.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Mary

Doubtless, Mary, the Mother of Jesus was a wonderful woman. However, the Church of Rome calls her ‘the Mother of God.’

What a ¨terminological inexactitude! ¨

Logic, however, would dictate that, if she is indeed the ‘Mother of God’, she must have preceded Him, for the mother is first then the child. But the genealogy of Mary, according to Luke’s Gospel, stops her lineage at Adam (Luke 3:38).

As for the history of God, the Scriptures declare, Him to be ‘From everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90: 2). How then can Mary exist before the everlasting One?

God is the Creator of all things. He created Adam. Mary was the creation of God through Adam but not the ancestor of God. Yes it´s true, Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus, but she was not and never will be the parent of the Eternal Creator.

Having incorrectly called her the Mother of God, the Papacy, in addition, calls her the ‘Mother of the Church.’ Did the Church proceed from her? Did she give birth to the church? I think not!

But, according to the Papacy, not only Jesus, but Mary, Joseph, and other saints as well as angels, make intercession with God on behalf of men. So emphatic is this teaching that in the Compendium of the Catholic Faith authorized by Pius X, Mary is stated to be the most powerful advocate with God next to Jesus for it is impossible for her to go unheard by Him, seeing He is her Son.

Nevertheless, the Scriptures state, ‘… there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’ (l Timothy 2: 5).

Jesus declared, ‘No man comes to the Father but by Me’ (John 14: 6).

He also said, ‘Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). There is nary a word to indicate that Mary must placate and soothe Jesus on behalf of sinful man.

Which is to be believed, the Scriptures or the Bishop of Rome? Apart from the birth of Jesus, there is nothing told in the Bible concerning Mary other than that which is ordinary and human.

Now, consider this, the wise men offered their gifts to the young child Jesus–not to the mother (Matthew 2: 11).

The aged Simeon said things that caused Mary to wonder, … which she certainly would not have done if she had been the Mother of God (Luke 2:25-32).

Mary, in her song, before the birth of Jesus attributed her salvation to God her Saviour (Luke 1:47). Only sinners need a Saviour.

Notice how Mary made no attempt to perform a miracle at Cana, she left it to Jesus to do what He thought best (John 2:5).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the coming work and comfort of the Holy Spirit; but not a word of our Master is recorded in Scripture referring to His mother also being a comforter and teacher of men.

Nowhere does the Lord Jesus indicate that Mary should be worshipped. The opportunity was afforded Him to do just that when the woman in the crowd cried out how blessed His mother was. He deliberately refrained from endorsing any such notion, but says only, ‘Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it’ (Luke 11: 27-28).

Let´s say it again, Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus through the power of the Highest. Afterwards, by natural generation she was the mother of four sons and at least two daughters, thereby doing away with any reason for ever calling her the perpetual Virgin (Mark 6:2-3).

Let´s say it again, Jesus is God. In fact, He is the God-Man. He has two natures in one person. Mary was in no way mother to His deity but rather to His humanity.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: OUR GLORIOUS SIN-BEARER Part 1

” Who himself bore Our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For you were as sheep going astray but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” I Peter 2: 24, 25.

Briefly, let´s consider 4 main points from this lovely text

(I) A Glorious Person;

(2) A Great Substitution;

(3) A Grand result;

(4) A God blessed evidence.

1. A Glorious Person,

Who is this glorious person? He is the Lord Jesus or as Robert Hawker used to call Him, “Our most glorious Christ.” He is God and Man in one Person. In these days when some preachers and teachers are denying the essential Deity of Christ, we have the joy and responsibility to exalt our Master in every way. He bore our sins! God Himself, as a man, stepped into our shoes and died in our place.

The Gospel is the good news of Christ. What an excellent statement of His glory we have in the opening words of the Epistle to the Hebrews. There we learn that Christ has been appointed heir of all things. He made the worlds; He is the brightness of the Father´s glory, and the express image of His person. He upholds all things by the word of His power. Yet this exalted One became the person of the cross. What humility! What astonishing truth!

What a glorious sin bearer!

2. A Great Substitution

” Who himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.”

We are sinners-great sinners. How are we, then, to get rid of the guilt of our sins?

There is only one way.

There is only One person who can remove it, …Jesus…and this He did by His substitutionary death. He is the great substitute.

“Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree.” The word ” bore” means to be carried-in a sacrificial sense. It is used in the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) of the placing of the victim upon the altar. The sin offering, in the Old Testament, carried the people’s sins to and upon the altar. However, it was merely a type and picture which looked forward to the arrival of the great Substitute. But Christ, the true sin offering, bore our sins- not typically- but by imputation. As Isaiah 53:6 tells us, ” The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

On the day of atonement, when we read “Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat .. , and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited” (Leviticus. 16: 21, 22). This was all done in anticipation of the arrival of the glorious sin-bearer.

Perhaps you are reading this, and you know you are lost. You know you are very far from God. Consider this: The iniquities of all Christ´s people met on Jesus. “Christ has once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). In the beautiful language of Toplady, we may say:

“From whence this fear and unbelief?

Has not the Father put to grief

His spotless Son for me?

And will the righteous Judge of men

Condemn me for that debt of sin

Which, Lord was charged to Thee?

“Turn then, my soul, unto your rest

The merits of your great High Priest

Have bought thy liberty;

Trust in His efficacious blood,

Nor fear thy banishment from God,

Since Jesus died for thee.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Eight Wonderful Facts about Jesus

´´ God… has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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 1:2-3.

In these verses we are told eight wonderful facts about the Lord Jesus

1. God´s final word to us is in Jesus.

Jesus is the full and final revelation from Heaven. There are no new Gurus or Messiahs to come. There are no new divine revelators. God has already spoken in the full and final manner in Christ.

2. Christ Jesus has been appointed heir of all things.

Everything belongs to him; everything in the world, every part of our lives is subject to him. Jesus “knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3) and knowing that all things that the Father had were His (John 16:15) declared that “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

3. By Christ Jesus, God made the world.

In the beginning God created the world by the word of his power. Jesus Christ is the WORD. ‘All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3). Spurgeon said, ´¨I love to think that He who created all things is also our Saviour, for then He can create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. If I need a completely new creation—as I certainly do—He is equal to the task. ¨

4. Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory.

No Prophet could claim this. The Glory that is in God is the Glory that is in Christ. No wonder that His name is above every name (Philippians 2:9). One day every knee shall bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10–11).

5. Jesus is the express image of His (God’s) person.

There is but one God. When Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus told him that whoever had seen him had seen the Father (John 14:9). He also said, ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me’ (John 14:11). As Spurgeon remarked, ’ ’Whatever God is, Christ is. The very likeness of God, the very Godhead of Godhead, the very Deity of Deity, is in Christ Jesus. ¨

6. Jesus is upholding all things by the word of his power.

Not only was the world created by him, but the forces of nature are upheld by him. The wind, the ocean, the rain are all are under his control. The small details of our lives are under His control too. He is carrying us along, bearing us toward that great and final day.

7. Jesus has purged our sins.

Notice how the writer moves effortlessly from Christ´s power to His purging. “The Creator and the Sustainer became the Sin-bearer. In order to create the universe, He only had to speak. In order to maintain and guide the universe, He only has to speak… but in order to put away our sin once for all, He had to die on the cross. It is staggering to think that the sovereign Lord would stoop to become the sacrificial Lamb. (Believer’s Bible Commentary)

8. Jesus is now sitting in cosmic authority.

Christ Jesus is now exalted—He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is now seated in highest honour. The seated posture is one of rest. Redemption has been accomplished. We are saved by His precious blood.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Pleasures for Evermore

You will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore Psalm 16:11

Psalm 16 is prophetic of Christ and since all believers are ‘in Him,’ it applies to us. When the eternal Word arrived, His path was from the manger to the cross, from the cross to the grave and from the grave to Glory.

As believers we also have a path to follow. Consider the following from our verse.

Thou wilt show me the path of life. What I´m about to say may seem like a broad sweeping statement. That’s because it is.

“Jesus is the path of life.”

That´s why he said ¨Follow Me.¨ …

“ME”

No new Gurus requested or required. Follow Christ.

All life is in Christ. He is the word of life, the well of life (John 4:14), and the tree of life. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. May we see Jesus moment by moment. To know Him is eternal and abundant life. In Him is the favour of the Almighty and in His favour is life.

Jesus alone is the way of life. He is our path of life.

We are entirely dependent on Him. Had Jesus not died there would have been no life. In fact, His death is our life. Because of the cross, we have life in Christ … life through Christ, and life with Christ;

You will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Presence

Here again, we see Jesus. He is the presence of Yahweh. As He said to Moses, “My presence shall be with you and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33 14-15). We cannot but feel measures of His joy when we are in his presence. That´s why, dear pastor, I urge you to proclaim Jesus to your flock. What a wonderful Saviour. In Him (Jesus) the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily (Colossians 2:9).

Preach the Gospel to the saints. It brings His presence. Pause and consider this scripture, “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20).

You will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Fulness of Joy

Not partial joy; but full, satisfying, unalloyed, unclouded, unmingled with anything that would diminish its fulness or its brightness; joy that will not be diminished, as all earthly joys must be, by the feeling that it must soon come to an end’ (Barnes).

Knowing our salvation brings joy. Therefore, we read, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).

There is fullness of joy in the Gospel.

You will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

The Right Hand

Who can be at the right hand but God? The term right hand is not talking about a physical right hand. The right hand represents ultimate authority. Therefore, we read, “The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly (Ps 118:16). The right hand shows Christ’s exaltation, strength and power. It verifies His dominion, might, victory and triumph. He saves with His right hand and His right hand is full of righteousness (Psalm 48:10).

Jesus is the Path of life as our Prophet;

He is the ·Presence of Yahweh as our Priest;

He is the Power of the right hand as our Potentate (our King).

In Him are pleasures forevermore.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com