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The Wednesday Word: Life with a Capital L

December 26, 2018 4 comments

We do not get spiritual life by feeling something about ourselves but by believing something about Jesus. Jesus Christ is both the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). When we have Him as our truth then we enjoy Him as our life.

But, when do we begin to enjoy this life? We enjoy it when we believe. This is why we read, “..And that believing you might have life through his name” (John 20:31).

Too many time we occupy ourselves with our condition. But looking inwards cannot impart life. Constantly looking inwards is as useless as a rubber beak on a woodpecker and as dangerous as a concrete parachute.

Instead of looking inward, we must look outside ourselves to the Lord Jesus, to the one who accomplished our redemption. He is the one who imparts life. But we don’t enjoy that life by focusing on it. No indeed! It is as we occupy ourselves with the Lord Jesus, the more we relish the new life He gives us.

For example, when the stinging memory of ancient sins rises up to plague us, we learn not to dwell on them or even to focus on our repentance. We look instead to the Christ who once hung for us on that center cross and died for that particular sin (s).

The old maxim, ’Seeing is Believing’ does not hold true in the Gospel. In the Gospel,” Seeing is not believing, instead, believing is Seeing.’ As the old Hymn writer said of the cross, “It was there by faith I received my sight.” Believe, trust, rest on the fact that He, the Lord Jesus, has taken our punishment. He is the faithful One. As we focus on Jesus, Life with a capital L will be enjoyed immediately.

Look to Jesus! Look to Jesus!

Look away to Christ our God!

None but Jesus, none but Jesus

Can do helpless sinners good

The more we cling to Jesus the more life we will enjoy. Again, we must be clear on this. The source of our life does not come from anything in us or from having had some new and wonderful experience. The source of our life comes from the Gospel, from the Person of Christ, His doing, dying and rising again.

Every claim which the eternal, righteous Judge held against us has been settled by the blood of Jesus. As we believe the Gospel, the more we will enjoy spiritual life. As we look away from ourselves, we see that God is just and the justifier of them that believeon the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:29). As we behold and confess these gospel truths, our hearts will be full of rejoicing.

It’s no wonder then that Paul wrote, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (Galatians 6:14).

While the unsaved stay close to the world, we stay close to Jesus and his finished work. He is the center of our message and the center of our life. He is the one who accomplished everything the Father intended Him to finish.

Our life comes from Christ and His cross. In the shadow of the cross, sorrows cannot live and joy cannot die! In the shade of the cross, the attractions of the world perish.

Here it is we find our Heaven,

While on the cross we gaze;

Love we much? We’ve more forgiven,

We are miracles of Grace

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

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The Wednesday Word: Gospel Following: John 10:27

“I am born for God only. Christ is nearer to me than father, or mother, or sister – a near relation, a more affectionate Friend; and I rejoice to follow Him, and to love Him. Blessed Jesus! You are all I want -a forerunner to me in all I ever shall go through as a Christian, a minister, or a missionary.”

Henry Martyn: 19th Century Missionary to India and Persia

“My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.”

Jesus

As believers, our entire life is one of continuously following Jesus.

We began our Christian walk by ‘looking unto Jesus.’ We continue in the same manner.

Do you remember when you first believed? Looking to Jesus brought rest, peace and healing for your soul. It was wonderful! But for many of us, the wonder has gone. The reason is tragic, we are no longer looking unto Christ. Could I be talking about you? Have you left the simplicity which is in Jesus? If so, I’m sure you’ve noticed how life has become tangled and complicated again. Where did the peace go? Where has the joy gone?

It’s time to get back to following, to looking again to the crucified and risen Christ. He is enough! As we look to the Gospel each day, we will recover our spiritual health. Horatius Bonar said, “As a Christian, should your eye ever be withdrawn from the cross, you will be sure to go backwards, to grow cold, and to forget that you were purged from your old sins (2 Peter 1:9). That cross is life, health, holiness, consolation, strength and joy; let nothing come between it and you.”

The way to follow is to look unto Jesus. May we learn to beware of substituting anything else for Him. May we be wary of seeking to build our own Kingdoms and a future of our design. As we follow Him, He will be our refreshment, comfort and Joy. If we follow our own devices, we will wither.

So who are you following today? Is it Him? If so, it is because of Grace!

It’s always good to pause to thank Him for his grace. It was grace that won us! We were not coerced, we were conquered. And remember, no matter how dedicated we are, we are saved by His dedication to us. What beautiful grace. Recall how He gives us His grace moment by moment! Why does He do that? Because, although we are righteous in Him, we are yet sinners through and through. What suitable candidates, therefore, we are for the grace of God. Grace is made for the sinner and the sinner is made for grace.

As we look daily unto Jesus and live in His grace, we will not, as some contend, want to sin more. On the contrary, grace will give us a clearer understanding of the nature of sin and make it more wretched and contemptible in our eyes. Grace will break us and cause us to see that the Lord Jesus willingly endured the most painful and disgraceful death as He took the wrath of Heaven for us. Grace will dramatically bring home to us the striking reality of this love and teach us, as His followers, to live, not for ourselves, but for Jesus. Grace will show us that He is enough! As we follow Him, grace will make us willing and ready to present our bodies as living sacrifices.

May we be encouraged to think often of Jesus and to meditate on Him. This is ‘Gospel Following.’ The more we know of the love of Jesus for us, the more we will hate those sins which put Him on the cross.

 

“Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”

 

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

www.milesmckee.com 

Merry Christmas 2015

December 25, 2015 2 comments

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I will leave you with a quote from Spurgeon on this day in which we celebrate the birth of our Saviour:

“This morning, however, the principal object of my discourse, and, indeed, the sole one, is to bring out the force of those two little words, “unto us.” For you will perceive that here the full force of the passage lies. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” The divisions of my discourse are very simple ones. First, is it so? Secondly, if it is so, what then? Thirdly, if it is not so, what then?

1. If this child who now lies before the eyes of your faith, wrapped in swaddling clothes in Bethlehem’s manger, is born to you, my hearer, then you are born again! For this child is not born to you unless you are born to this child. All who have an interest in Christ are, in the fullness of time, by grace converted, quickened, and renewed. All the redeemed are not yet converted, but they will be. Before the hour of death arrives their nature shall be changed, their sins shall be washed away, they shall pass from death unto life. If any man tells me that Christ is his Redeemer, although he has never experienced regeneration, that man utters what he does not know; his religion is vain, and his hope is a delusion. Only men who are born again can claim the babe in Bethlehem as being theirs. “But” saith one, “how am I to know whether I am born again or not?” Answer this question also by another: Has there been a change effected by divine grace within you? Are your loves the very opposite of what they were? Do you now hate the vain things you once admired, and do you seek after that precious pearl which you at one time despised? Is your heart thoroughly renewed in its object? Can you say that the bent of your desire is changed? that your face is Zionward, and your feet set upon the path of grace? That whereas your heart once longed for deep draughts of sin, it now longs to be holy? and whereas you once loved the pleasures of the world, they have now become as draff and dross to you, for you only love the pleasures of heavenly things, and are longing to enjoy more of them on earth, that you may be prepared to enjoy a fullness of them hereafter? Are you renewed within? For mark, my hearer, the new birth does not consist in washing the outside of the cup and platter, but in cleansing the inner man. It is all in vain to put up the stone upon the sepulcher, wash it extremely white, and garnish it with the flowers of the season; the sepulcher itself must be cleansed. The dead man’s bones that lie in that charnel-house of the human heart must be cleansed away. Nay, they must be made to live. The heart must no longer be a tomb of death, but a temple of life. Is it so with you, my hearer? For recollect, you may be very different in the outward, but if you are not changed in the inward, this child is not born to you.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- A Christmas Question- Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 25, 1859

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 2-Chapter 5-Regeneration or the New Birth

September 11, 2015 Leave a comment

CHAPTER 5-REGENERATION OR THE NEW BIRTH

John Ruskin (1819-1900), English art critic, author and political economist said that “the first and last and closest trial question to any living creature is, ‘What do you like?’ Go out into the street and ask the first man you meet, what his taste is, and if he answers you candidly, you know him body and soul. What we like determines what we are, and is a sign of what we are.” If the taste Ruskin speaks of applies to moral and spiritual things, then he has something, and his words are sober truth. Man has moral as well as physical taste. What one likes as a moral being—-what he likes in relation to the true God and His word-determines what he is as a moral being and is a sign to others of what he is. One can know himself, and others can know him by this taste-test. Moral taste is moral desire and moral desire determines moral deed.

David’s moral taste is revealed when he says, “one thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple” (#Ps 27:4). Also, when he says, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (#Ps 42:1-2). This desire for God shows the Psalmist to be a man after God’s own heart. Dr. Broadus gives a three fold test of personal character: What one reads when he is tired, what he thinks about when he is alone, and where he goes when he is away from home.

This taste-test reveals the necessity of regeneration for every man. Man, in his natural condition, does not like God—-the God of the Bible; he does not long for God’s presence as David did; he rather shuns God, as Adam and Eve did when they sinned and hid themselves from Him. The natural man has no taste for the things of God. The carnal mind is enmity against God. Man in his natural and fallen state would not enjoy heaven if he should go there. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Regeneration is the only remedy; every man must be born again —-born from above—-made a new creature—-if he is to see or enter into the kingdom of God.

THE NATURE OF REGENERATION

Regeneration is that aspect of salvation in which the dead sinner- -the sinner with all the faculties of the soul in moral ruins, and paralyzed towards God and holiness, being unable to please God—-is made a child of God with a taste for the things of God.

Regeneration, therefore, may be defined as the gracious work of God in the human soul by which the heart is enabled to love God, the mind is enabled to understand the gospel of Christ and the will is brought to choose Christ as both Lord and Saviour. This definition is in harmony with our New Hampshire Confession which says that “Regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is affected in a manner above our comprehension, by the power of the Holy Spirit of God in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.”

John Favel (1650-1691) says that the heart of man is his worst part before regeneration, and the best part afterward; that it is the seat of principles and the fountain of actions; and that the eye of God is, and the eye of the Christian ought to be principally fixed upon it.

Regeneration is not the bringing of a person into existence; it is the birth of one already in existence; therefore, a second birth. Nor is it the bringing of any new faculties or parts into existence. The unregenerate man has as many parts or faculties to his being as the regenerate man. No part of man was annihilated in the fall, but all parts were ruined or depraved. Regeneration is not based upon non- existence, but upon a depraved existence. The soul of man is endowed with heart, and mind and will, and the unregenerate man has all these faculties, although in a ruined or depraved state. He has a mind and can think and understand, but he does not like to think about God, and cannot understand the things of God; he has a heart so that he can and does love, but he does not love God; he has a will so that he can and does choose, but he does not choose Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Regeneration is essentially a changing of the fundamental taste of the soul. By taste we mean the direction of his mind and bent of his affections, the trend of his will. And to alter that taste is not to impart a new faculty, or create a new substance, but simply to set upon God the affections which hitherto have been set upon self and sin. To borrow an illustration from Dr. Strong: The engineer who climbs over the cab into a runaway locomotive and who changes its course, does so not by adding any new rod or cog, but by simply reversing the lever. So in regeneration God is reversing the lever of the soul. He is changing the taste so that a man loves what he once hated and hates what he once loved.

Regeneration is not the eradication of the sinful nature, but the impartation of a new nature—-a sinless nature. The saved man has been born two times, and has twofold disposition or nature. This creates a conflict between the fleshly and spiritual natures: “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (#Ga 5:17). Paul had this conflict in his own experience. He delighted in the law of God after the inward man, but was conscious of another law or force, so that he could not do the good he desired to do “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (#Ro 7:14-25).

TWO ASPECTS OF THE NEW BIRTH

In the first aspect the soul is passive; it is simply acted upon. God changes the governing disposition by a creative act, that is, without the use of means, and without any co-operation on the part of the sinner. How could it be otherwise unless death contributes to life, unless filth purifies itself, and a corpse adorns itself? In a word, regeneration must be altogether of God unless nature acts contrary to nature. If the carnal mind hates God; if the things of God are foolishness to the natural man; if they that are in the flesh cannot please God, what hope is there that such a nature will act as though it were otherwise? There is no such thing as selfbirth, either in the physical or spiritual realms. The mother gives birth to the child, and in the moral realm we are born of God.

In the second aspect of regeneration, God secures the initial exercise of the new nature, and in this the soul is active. Repentance and faith are heart exercises of the sinner in response to the quickening work of the Spirit. The two aspects of regeneration are simultaneous. At the very instant God gives a holy disposition to the soul, He pours in the light of Gospel truth and induces the exercise of the holy disposition He has imparted.

This distinction seems necessary from the twofold representation of the change in the Scripture. In some passages the change is ascribed wholly to God “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (#Joh 1:13). In changing the fundamental taste of the soul there is no use of means or co’operation from the sinner. In fact the truth is rejected until the disposition is changed. Now in other passages we find the truth is employed as means and the mind acts in view of the truth. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (#Jas 1:18); “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (#1Pe 1:23). To deny these two aspects you would have an unregenerated believer on the one hand, or a regenerated unbeliever on the other hand, neither of which is possible. The first aspect is the narrower and is what theologians mean when they speak of pre- regeneration.

THE NECESSITY OF REGENERATION

What we have already written reveals why the new birth is necessary, but we will amplify and illustrate.

The depravity of human nature makes the new birth necessary. The physical birth produces no qualities that are pleasing to God. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (#Ro 8:8). Paul reminds the Jews that being the fleshly descendants of Abraham did not make them the children of God: “That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (#Ro 9:8). Man has the inherited corruption of a fallen nature. David was not casting reflection upon his mother’s viture, but was confessing to inborn depravity, when he exclaimed, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (#Ps 51:5). A man may say, “I know I do things that are wrong, but I have a good heart after all.” But God gives a different verdict. Christ taught that the human heart was the very fountain of all that is sinful: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these things come from within, and defile the man” (#Mr 7:21-23). The human affections are misplaced. Man naturally loves the things that are contrary to God. He must be born from above in order to love God. “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is (Gk. has been) born of God, and knoweth God” (#1Jo 4:7).

The human will is antagonistic to God. God’s will should be supreme in every life, but man by nature is dominated by self-will. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (#Isa 53:6). In the life of Christ, the one perfect life, the will of God was supreme: He came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father. Moreover, man by nature, is in a state of moral darkness, ignorant of the things of God. He cannot understand the things of the Spirit: “For they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (#1Co 2:14). There must be a spiritual birth before there can be spiritual understanding.

The writer once heard of a little girl with a defect of vision from birth. Her parents were slow to realize that she could not see many objects which were familiar to others. She was almost grown before an oculist was consulted. He advised and performed an operation, and the child was kept in a dark room for many weeks. One bright and balmy night she stepped out alone upon the lawn. Instantly, she rushed back into the house in a glow of excitement. “Oh come,” she cried, “And see what has happened to the sky.” Her parents hurried out with her, but saw nothing but the familiar glory of the stars—-something she had never seen before. Nothing had happened to the sky, but something had happened to her eyes. So the unregenerate man has the eyes of his understanding darkened in respect to spiritual and saving truth. The stars of the gospel truth shine brightly in the firmament of God’s word, but the lost man does not see them. “But if our gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost” (#2Co 4:3).

THE EFFICIENT CAUSE OF REGENERATION

By the efficient cause we mean the power by which the effect is secured. What power brings about the new birth? The various answers to this question may be summed up in three general views.

1. Some put the efficient cause or power of regeneration in the human will. This view emphasizes the plan of salvation and makes response to the plan, that is, faith in the gospel, depend upon the human will. The sinner is told that if he will believe the gospel he will be born again. This confounds justification and regeneration. We read again and again that we are justified by faith, but never that we are regenerated by faith. Man’s volition’s—the exercise of his will—are practically the shadow of his affections. You cannot separate man from his shadow and have him going in one direction and his shadow in another direction. Neither can you have a man’s will going in the opposite direction from the way his heart goes. Men choose what they do because of the condition of the heart. #Joh 1:13 is fatal to this view: “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

2. Another view makes the truth the efficient cause of regeneration. This view puts the power of the new birth in the gospel. A. Campbell is one of the best exponents to this view. He says, “We plead that all the converting power of the Holy Spirit is exhibited in the Divine Record.” This denies any subjective or internal work of the Holy Spirit on the heart of the sinner. The preacher is to make the gospel so attractive that the sinner, apart from any change in his heart, will accept it. But to the heart that hates God the plainer you make the gospel, the more he will hate it. If this were true then it would be absurd to pray to God to regenerate, for that is more than He can do—regeneration is simply the effect of the word preached. This is called “the word only,” theory, which is refuted by Paul in #1Th 1:5: “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost…” This view has led to a lot of silly and unscriptural expressions, such as, “energizing the truth,” or “illuminating the truth.” There is nothing wrong with the truth, the trouble is with the sinner’s darkened understanding. God does not make the truth more true but He opens sin-blinded minds to understand it “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?” (#1Co 3:5); “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (#2Co 4:6). The word gives knowledge of spiritual things. The gospel is objective light; the Holy Spirit gives subjective light.

Dr. T. T. Shields once preached on #1Ti 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” A few days later he received a letter from a man that read like this: “I enjoyed your sermon last Sunday very much, and could not see why anyone in your audience could not be saved. But your prayer following the sermon spoiled it for me. You asked God by His Spirit to lead sinners to an acceptance of the gospel. I write to ask what the Spirit has to do with it. The way of salvation was presented, and all they had to do was to accept it.” This man was right, if the truth and the human will are all that is necessary, and prayer for God to do something in the sinner would be foolish. This view utterly ignores the truth of human depravity.

3. The position of the writer is, that the immediate agency of the Holy Spirit is the efficient cause of regeneration. The power of the Holy Spirit is immediate, that is, it does not depend upon or flow through anything, not even the gospel itself. The gospel is hated and rejected as foolishness until direct power of the Spirit changes the governing disposition of the heart. As some one has said, “Our natural hearts are hearts of stone. The word of God is good seed sown on the hard, trodden, macadamized highway, which the horses of passion, the asses of self-will, the wagons of imaginary treasure, have made impenetrable. ONLY THE HOLY SPIRIT can soften and pulverize the soil.” The gospel is good seed, but good seed cannot make good soil. Paul may plant and Apollos may water, but God must give the increase.

“Come, Spirit, source of light,
Thy grace is unconfirmed;
Dispel the gloomy shades of night,
The darkness of the mind.

“Now to our eye display
The truth Thy words reveal;
Cause us to run the heavenly way,
Delighting in Thy will.

“Thy teachings make us know
The mysteries of Thy love;
The vanity of things below,
The joys of things above.”

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 2

“A Comparison of Systems”

September 2, 2015 Leave a comment

by A. A. Hodge (1823-1886)

1. What, in general, was the state of theological thought during the first three centuries?

During the first three hundred years which elapsed after the death of the apostle John the speculative minds of the church were principally engaged in defending the truth of Christianity against unbelievers — in combating the Gnostic heresies generated by the leaven of Oriental philosophy — and in settling definitely the questions which were evolved in the controversies concerning the Persons of the Trinity. It does not appear that any definite and consistent statements were made in that age, as to the origin, nature, and consequences of human sin; nor as to the nature and effects of divine grace; nor of the nature of the redemptive work of Christ, or of the method of its application by the Holy Spirit, or of its appropriation by faith. As a general fact it may be stated, that, as a result of the great influence of Origen, the Fathers of the Greek Church pretty unanimously settled down upon a loose Semi-Pelagianism, denying the guilt of original sin, and maintaining the ability of the sinner to predispose himself for, and to cooperate with divine grace. And this has continued the character of the Greek Anthropology to the present day. The same attributes characterized the speculations of the earliest writers of the Western Church also, but during the third and fourth centuries there appeared a marked tendency among the Latin Fathers to those more correct views afterwards triumphantly vindicated by the great Augustine. This tendency may be traced most clearly in the writings of Tertullian of Carthage, who died circum. 220, and Hilary of Poitiers (368) and Ambrose of Milan (397).

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Wednesday Word: Butter, Water and Sovereign Grace

What does Sovereign Grace mean? Sovereign Grace is the combination of two of God’s attributes, Sovereignty and Graciousness.

When we say that God is sovereign, we mean that He has total and entire control of all things past, present and future. When we say He has total and entire control, we mean that He is the absolute King. When we say He is the absolute King, we mean that He is in charge. Sovereignty means that no one elected Him to office; that means, no one voted Him in and no one can vote Him out. No one can stop His purposes or forbid Him from acting. He is the absolute and omnipotent ruler of the universe.

Sovereignty means that all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, ‘What are you doing?’ (Daniel 4:35).

But God is not only Sovereign, He is also gracious. When we say that God is gracious, we mean that He gives His favour to those who deserve the exact opposite. Mary found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Luke 1:28). This means that she was chosen to have the undeserved privilege of bearing the Lord. She may indeed have been a godly young woman, but by her own admission, she needed a saviour (Luke 1:47). Only sinners need saviours! She was, therefore, the recipient of God’s grace. As believers, we too are the beneficiaries of God’s grace. The Scriptures boldly declare, “For by grace are you saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).

He gives his grace to those whom he wishes to give His grace. Grace is not given to any who deserve grace…if that were the case then salvation wouldn’t be by grace. But when God acts, he does so in His almighty sovereignty. As He saves sinners, he does so by sovereign grace. Here’s something we all must learn, all grace is sovereign. If grace is not sovereign then it is not grace.

John 1:17 tells us that “Grace and truth came by Christ Jesus.” No permission was sought by the Father to send grace in the person of Christ Jesus. Furthermore, no permission is sought by the Lord to save anyone for we read in Acts 15:11, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved.”

Sovereignty and grace go together; one is implied in the other. It’s like butter. My good friend, Mark Webb, drew my attention to the fact that, in the States, there is a company that advertises Country Butter. But, he pointed out, there’s no need to say ‘country’ butter since all butter is from the country.

Mark is right! I’ve not yet eaten City Butter. Indeed, in the USA, I’ve not encountered dairy farms or herds of milk cows in the midst of an urban setting. All butter is county butter and all grace is sovereign.

Likewise with water, water is wet. If we are in a restaurant and ask for a glass of water, we have no need to ask the server if the water is wet. All water is wet. I have never yet had a glass of dry water. Likewise, all grace is sovereign. If it’s not sovereign, it’s not grace. Butter is country, water is wet and grace is sovereign.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

“You Must Be Born Again”

February 23, 2015 1 comment

by Keith Mathison

I distinctly remember the birth of both of my children. Although they were born six years apart, I remember the preparation for each trip to the hospital. The drive there. Escorting my wife to the elevator. The rooms, the monitors, the nurses, doctors, and family members. The anticipation and waiting. Most of all I remember seeing my children for the first time and seeing the look on my wife’s face when the nurses handed her this tightly bundled little person. I look up now and see a photograph taken of me holding my newborn daughter twelve and a half years ago. The birth of a child is truly an amazing and unforgettable experience.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.