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Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

The Wednesday Word: Gospel Peace

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, (Colossians 1:20 a)

The blood of Christ gives us a profound insight into God’s estimation of sin. God, being the God of justice, will by no means clear the guilty (Exodus 34:7). Sin has earned an awful debt, and all debts must be paid. We ought not to fool ourselves into thinking that God is some easy going, doddery, old grandfather who doesn’t notice sin. He notices and has done so from the beginning. And because He saw our sin, the Lamb of God went to the cross with this scripture in mind, “It is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Because Christ poured out His blood, peace has now been established between God and us. Indeed, there is only one foundation for peace, and that is the blood of Jesus. To enjoy this peace, therefore, our daily spiritual occupation is to, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). He is the one who has paid for and taken away our sin.

In Luke 15:2 we are told, “This man (Jesus) receives sinners.” That means that, when we come to Christ our mercy seat, we are fully accepted, and the free gift of eternal life is ours. But you say, I don’t feel that I have a right to go to Him, my sin ‘s too big! Well, it’s your word against His. He says to come to Him, and he knows what He is talking about.

Old Tom Farrell, a Scottish blacksmith, had lived a God-defying life. But, in His mercy, the Lord brought him to trust in Christ alone. Some years later, he was on his death bed, and his wife asked him if he were scared to die. He looked at her, smiled and then said, “What would I be afraid of? I’m going to be with the Man who died for me.” Old Tom knew that peace had been made by the blood.

God’s grace is demonstrated to us through the shed blood of our substitute. In the Old Testament, the High Priest came to the Mercy Seat with the blood. In bringing the blood, he was confessing that both he and the people were sinners. When he came with the blood, he found God waiting to be gracious. Was God gracious because the High Priest confessed everyone’s sin? No! God’s graciousness flowed because the demands of His justice had been met by the blood of a substitute. Because of the blood, there never was a flash of angry lightning there. Because of the blood, there never was one faint rumble of wrathful thunder there. Because of the blood, God looked and seemed to say, “I am well pleased with the blood of this substitute because it points towards the blood of my Son. Because of My Son, I will spare sinners.”

Not only did God gaze upon the blood, but the High Priest, as representative of the people, also fixed his eye on the same blood that lay on the mercy-seat. As he stood gazing on the blood, it was as if he said, “Lord, there is my death and the people’s death for each sin; there is my wrath offering; there is your law’s demand.”

And this is the position of all believers. Our eye is on Jesus, the Christ who was crucified. Our hearts believe that because of the blood, God has given us eternal life (1 John 5:11). Because of the blood, our mouths boldly confess, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes” (Romans 10:4). In other words, the believer is free from having to present His strenuous efforts at law-keeping as the method of gaining favour with God. The law, as a means of saving righteousness, is now obsolete. There is no peace, therefore, available to the man who tries to establish his righteousness other than by the doing, dying and rising again of Christ.

I hear the words of love,

I gaze upon the blood,

I see the mighty sacrifice,

And I have peace with God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

THE need of collecting and collating all passages dealing with the same subject—name it and claim it refuted

Arthur PinkTHE need of collecting and collating all passages dealing with the same subject, where cognate terms or different expressions are used. This is essential if the expositor is to be preserved from erroneous conceptions thereof, and in order for him to obtain the full mind of the Spirit thereon. Take as a simple example those well-known words, “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matthew 7:7). Few texts have been more grievously perverted than that one. Many have regarded it as a sort of blank check, which anybody—no matter what his state of soul or manner of walk—may fill in just as he pleases, and that he has but to present the same at the throne of grace and God stands pledged to honor it. Such travesty of the Truth would not deserve refutation were it not now being trumpeted so loudly in some quarters. James 4:3, expressly states of some, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”: some who “ask” do not receive! And why? Because theirs is but a carnal asking—“that ye may consume it upon your own lusts”—and therefore a holy God denies them.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Abounding Grace

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Here are some descriptions of grace.

It’s Amazing! Matchless and Marvellous!

One of our old hymns says it like this,

Marvellous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

According to Romans 5:20, Grace is also abounding!

Listen to our verse again.

Romans 5:20; ‘Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:’

There are two words for ‘abound’ found in this verse. They each have a different meaning. ‘Sin abounded’, (Gk ‘pleonazo’) ’But grace did much more abound,’ (Gk, ‘huperperisseuo’)! The sentence means something like this, ‘Where sin abounded, grace super-abounded’ or ‘Where sin overflowed, Grace flooded in!!!’

We might have expected to read that where sin abounded God’s anger and judgment abounded more. But sin can construct no dam which can keep us from the heaven-sent, abounding flood of grace that is ours in Christ Jesus.

One of the wonderful things about God’s grace is that it abounds to us for the past, present and future! Often when we think about grace we limit it to the past. We think about how we were saved (past tense) by grace. Ephesians 2:4-5, for example, highlights past grace; “God who is rich in mercy,made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

How beautifully undeserved is this grace. We don’t earn it or work for it, grace is God’s gift. He has saved us and called us—not because of anything we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace (2 Timothy 1:9). No wonder then that grace is Past, Present and Future!

Grace didn’t just begin on the cross. Notice when this grace was first given? It was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:9).

That’s abounding grace!

Praise God for His past grace! But, grace is not only for the past it is also for the present. God’s grace doesn’t end when we begin our Christian walk.

There is present grace. His grace impacts our lives right this moment. If we are saved, it’s because God’s grace is continuing to save us at this very moment.

The Bible says that; “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:1-2).

We are standing in grace! Our feet are firmly fixed in grace! Abounding Grace has placed us as acquitted before the throne of God and risen in Christ forever beyond the reach of judgment.

God’s abounding, present grace is operating right now, it is surrounding us at this very second. In fact, the only person who doesn’t need God’s continuing grace is the person who never sins. And we all sin! So why doesn’t God just strike us down?….the answer is GRACE, abounding grace.

Look at what happened here in Ireland. The Irish nation, in its folly, became the first nation in the world to vote in, by referendum, the legality of same-sex marriage. In the wake of the vote, members of the LBGT coalition were quick to trumpet that a double rainbow appeared over Dublin immediately after the success of the Yes vote was announced. They said it was a sign of God’s approval of the subject of their campaign (see HERE).

But here’s a reality check! Rainbows have nothing to do with same-sex marriage! The rainbow is God’s covenant promise that he will not destroy the earth again through literal floods of judgment (Genesis 9:11-17). The rainbow is a symbol of GRACE, not a demonstration of divine approval of same-sex marriage.

We are praying that the nation of Ireland will receive grace and not judgment for their defiance of God. And remember this, God gave a double rainbow on the day of the catastrophic result. Could that be prophetic? Prophetic of abounding grace? Perhaps it means that God will indeed visit us in Ireland with the converting power of His gospel? For, where sin abounds, grace super-abounds. Where sin overflows, grace floods in!

Grant it Lord, grant it! Abound in your grace!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Peace cannot be found in newly invented doctrines

March 16, 2015 1 comment

Spurgeon 1They are God’s sweet lullaby, wherewith he singeth his children to sleep, even in storms. They are God’s sheet anchors, which are cast out into the sea, to hold our little vessels fast in the midst of tempests. There is a “peace of God which passeth all understanding,” which accrues to a man who is a strong believer, but you know the tendency of the day is to give up old land marks and to adopt new ones, and to avow anything rather than the old-fashioned divinity. Well, my dear friends, if any of you like to try new doctrines, I warn you, that if you be the children of God you will soon be sick enough of those new-fangled notions, those newly invented doctrines, which are continually taught. You may, for the first week, be pleased enough with their novelty; you may wonder at their transcendental spirituality, or something else, which entices you on, but you will not have lived on them long, before you will say, “Alas! alas! I have taken in my hands the apples of Sodom; they were fair to look upon, but they are ashes in my mouth.” If you would be peaceful, keep fast to the truth, hold fast the form of sound words: so shall “your peace be like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Holding on to sound doctrine will bring peace in your conscience

Spurgeon 1II. Now let me SHOW YOU THE NECESSITY OF HOLDING FAST THIS FORM OF SOUND WORDS, AND KEEPING IT FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, FOR THE CHURCH’S SAKE, FOR THE WORLD’S SAKE.

First, for your own sake, hold it fast, for thereby you will receive ten thousand blessings; you will receive the blessing of peace in your conscience. I protest, before God, that if at any time I ever doubt one of the great things I receive from God, instantly there comes an aching void which the world can never fill, and which I can never get filled until I receive that doctrine again, and believe it with all my heart. When at any time I am cast down and dejected, I always find comfort in reading books which are strong on the doctrines of the faith of the gospel; if I turn to some of them that treat of God’s eternal love, revealed to his chosen people in the person of Christ; and if I remember some of the exceeding great and precious promises made to the elect in their covenant head, my faith at once becomes strong, and my soul with wings sublime, mounts upwards towards its God. You cannot tell, beloved if you have never tasted, how sweet is the peace which the doctrines of grace will give to the soul; there is nothing like them. They are —

“A sovereign balm for every wound,
A cordial for our fears.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Contentment

Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty, make my heart prize Thy love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all blessings. It is Thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with gratitude to Thee, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Thy love.

When thy Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin He became more dear to me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny. Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued I must not only labour to overcome it, but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it, and He must become to me more than vile lust had been; that His sweetness, power, life may be there. Thus I must seek a grace from Him contrary to sin, but must not claim it apart from Himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but in Christ I am reconciled and live; that in myself I find insufficiency and no rest, but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace; that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good, but in Christ I have ability to do all things. Though now I have His graces in part, I shall shortly have them perfectly in that state where Thou wilt show Thyself fully reconciled, and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely, with sin abolished. O Lord, hasten that day.

 

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. Reformatted by Eternal Life Ministries.

Peace Made Through The Blood, Part 2

November 20, 2013 1 comment

The Wednesday Word: Peace Made Through The Blood, Part 2

 

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, (Colossians 1:20 a)

 

The Father’s plan has always been the cross. It is there that He made peace. It was there that Christ represented His people and purchased them with His blood. Christ is the Father’s gift of peace and peace with God, therefore, comes through Christ alone. It doesn’t come by whipping ourselves up to a state of ecstasy. Nor do we have to work or wait for it. We simply, by faith, rest on what the Word says about the blood. He has already made peace by the blood of his cross, now we, by faith, receive it!

In the fullness of time, the Lord Jesus came as the peacemaker and declared the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:19). To obtain our peace, He was set forth as a propitiation (a wrath offering) that has satisfied the justice of God (Romans 3:25). We, now, believe and rest on Christ alone and present the shed blood of our substitute to the Father. The wrath of God no longer abides on us. To the contrary, the blood speaks of peace, love and mercy. There is nothing now that can be laid to the charge of God’s elect.

It is liberating and peace giving to know for certain that our sins have been blotted out for ever! God is waiting to be gracious. He does not demand any preparation on our part to come to Him: It is the blood of Jesus Christ, not our preparation, that cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

The Father is fully satisfied with the doing, dying and rising again of Jesus. Are you? Are you fully satisfied that your sin was taken away by the Lord Jesus as He poured out His blood on the cross? Are you persuaded that your sins have been put away in a powerful and righteous way? Peace, both legal and experiential, now flows from the cross. Have you embraced the Christ of the cross as your own? It is only through the shed blood of our crucified and exalted Saviour that we have peace.

The saintly Alexander Whyte, when an aged minister of the gospel, addressed a gathering of young converts in Edinburgh, Scotland, saying,

“Young men, when I came first to Christ, long, long ago, I had an idea, unexpressed, but real, that by and by I would become so inherently holy that I would not need to bemoan myself in this debasing way before the cross. I would not need to bring myself always down as a foul, polluted soul, a beggar in filthy rags before the holy God. Ah! I was proud, and so are you, dear young convert. Take care. But now I am an old man, the snows of time are on my head, more than a whole half-century has rolled by, and as I stand before you I can hear, but a few paces in front of me, the low dash-dash of the wave of eternity on the beach where I’m soon to embark for the other side. I can hear the flap of the sail as the pale boatman, Death, grates his waiting keel on yon ready strand. Ay, I’ll very soon be in eternity, and this morning what did I do? Well, after sixty years of knowing and loving my Saviour, I came to the Lord Jesus this morning, as I came at the first, as a poor, perishing, hell-deserving sinner, pleading his own precious blood, with no hope but his death, no trust nor rest in anything else. Christ was the beginning, and he will be the end.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth

 

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Miles McKee Ministries,

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Miles McKee

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Visit www.milesmckee.com

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Confession statement 48

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XLVIII A ClVIL magistracy is an ordinance of God, set up by Him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well; and that in all lawful things, commanded by them, subjection ought to be given by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake; and that we are to make supplications and prayers for kings, and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.

 

Note:

The supreme magistracy of this kingdom we acknowledge to be the king and parliament (now established) freely chosen by the kingdom, and that we are to maintain and defend all civil laws and civil officers made by them, which are for the good of the commonwealth. And we acknowledge with thankfulness, that God hath made this present king and parliament honorable in throwing down the prelatical hierarchy, because of their tyranny and oppression over us, under which this kingdom long groaned, for which we are ever engaged to bless God, and honour them for the same. And concerning the worship of God; there is but one lawgiver, which is able to save and destroy, James 4;12; which is Jesus Christ, who hath given laws and rules sufficient in His word for His worship; and for any to make more, were to charge Christ with want of wisdom, or faithfulness, or both, in not making laws enough, or not good enough for His house: Surely it is our wisdom, duty, and privilege, to observe Christ’s laws only, Ps. 2:6,9,10,12. So it is the magistrates duty to tender the liberty of mens’ consciences. Eccles.8:8 (which is the tenderest thing unto all conscientious men, and most dear unto them, and without which all other liberties will not be worth the naming, much less enjoying) and to protect all under them from wrong, injury, oppression and molestation; so it is our duty not to be wanting in nothing which is for their honour and comfort, and whatsoever is for the wellbeing of the commonwealth wherein we live; it is our duty to do, and we believe it to be our express duty, especially in matters of religion, to be fully persuaded in our minds of the lawfulness of what we do, as knowing whatsoever is not of faith is sin. And as we cannot do anything contrary to our understandings and conscience: neither can we forebear the doing or that which our understandings and consciences bind us to do. And if the magistrate should require us to do otherwise, we are to yield our persons in a passive way to their power, as the saints of old have done, James 5:4. And thrice happy shall he be, that shall lose his life for witnessing (though but for the least tittle) of the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Pet.5: Gal:5.

Rom.13:1,2, etc.; 1 Pet.2:13,14; 1 Tim.2:1,2,3.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46 

Question 35-Puritan Catechism

September 5, 2013 2 comments

Spurgeon 3Q. What are the benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?

A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, (Romans 5:1,2,5) are assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, (Romans 14:17) increase of grace, perseverance in it to the end. (Proverbs 4:18; 1 John 5:13; 1 Peter 1:5)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

The Greatest Trading Post in the World

April 24, 2013 2 comments

Wednesday word: The Greatest Trading Post in the World

In the cross of Christ, we find the greatest trading post in the world. There, our filthy robes of self-righteousness were traded for Christ’s robe of perfect righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). Our guilt was traded for grace and mercy, and our condemnation was traded for our justification. This is not make-believe or some kind of legal fiction. This is reality (Hebrews 9:22; 1 Peter 2:24).

As believers, all of Christ’s righteousness is credited to us. Did you catch that? ALL of Christ’s righteousness is reckoned to us. In the gospel, we are not given a righteousness that looks like Christ’s or one that is similar to Christ’s, we are given Christ’s very own righteousness. All of His perfection, in all its completeness, is now reckoned as being ours. This is no empty theory; this is gospel. Live in it and enjoy it. At the cross, Christ Jesus took legal liability for us and gave us the gift of His righteousness. This is such good and powerful news that, if this gospel were continually preached and believed in our churches, then believers would be transformed and delivered from lives that so often entangle and entrap them.

There are many whom I’ve met who, in their flesh, are striving after their own brand of holiness. They fail to realize that the all-holy God requires perfection. These folk, neither understand true holiness nor the true nature of sin. They, therefore, go about trying to meet what they suppose to be God’s standard. To them Christianity is about keeping the rules and trying to impress God and man. Failing to grasp the gospel fact that Christ has already reached God’s standard on our behalf, these folks are doomed to live lives of misery and failure. The only way they can live a so called perfect life is to either lower the standard of perfection or to excuse sin as not being sin at all! As a result, they lie to themselves about having reached a higher state than the rest of us. Some of them are so deceived that they believe they can actually live throughout the day without sin. They know nothing of the ‘Gospel Trading Post’.

As believers, we must have a good understanding of the Trading Post of the cross. There we encounter the righteousness of God in Christ. Everything that God requires of us is met in Christ; it is supplied in Christ and is fulfilled in Christ. God demands perfection, and the believer has that in Christ. God demands full and total obedience, and we have that in Christ.

Horatius Bonar, in his book, “The Everlasting Righteousness” comments on Ezekiel 16 saying,

“Although the prophet was speaking of Jerusalem we can apply his words to believers. The word of the Lord to us through Ezekiel is choice. The Lord says,

 

1. “I said to you, Live” (Ezekiel 16: verse 6).

2. “I spread my skirt over thee” (verse 8).

3. “I entered into a covenant with you, and you became mine”  (verse 8).

4. “I washed you” (verse 9).

5. “I anointed you” (verse 9).

6. “I clothed you” (verse 10).

7. “I shod you” (verse 10).

8. “I girded you” (verse 10).

9. “I covered you with silk” (verse 10).

10. “I decked you with ornaments, bracelets, chains, jewels, a  beautiful crown” (verse 12).

11. “You were exceeding beautiful” (verse 13).

12. “Your renown went forth for your beauty” (verse 14).

 

This is a snapshot of the ‘Trading Post’ and the perfection with which we, as believers, are now clothed. The Lord Himself is our righteousness and He says to us, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee” (Song of Songs 4:7). As we believe this, we enter into rest.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles McKee,

Minister of the Gospel

www.milesmckee.com