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The Wednesday Word: The Country Preacher

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A rural pastor and I were once talking about Justification by Faith. I made the point that the righteousness which presents us as acceptable before God is the very righteousness of Christ Himself imputed to us and not infused. The pastor responded by agreeing that what I was saying was all well and good, but he went on to say that he had a country parish and his flock would want to hear something more practical and useful than the difference between infused and imputed righteousness.

The dear man was terribly, terribly wrong. The most practical truth which can be taught to any congregation is the grand truth of Justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone! In this way, they will be delivered from the endless task of looking for some internal righteousness to prove to themselves that they will eventually gain heaven.

The reason I contend this point is that the pronounced burning question which we all need to answer is, “How does sinful man obtain right standing before the all holy God.” A congregation that is not continually exposed to gospel truth is doomed to legalistic ignorance on this vital point.

“Of course,” says one, “The answer to your question is simple. To obtain right standing before God, we need to be born again. And to get born again, we simply pray something along these lines, Lord Jesus I am a sinner, come into my heart and wash away my sins.”

 

Alas, this kind of teaching is painfully and wickedly wrong on so many levels. Of course, we need to be born again; indeed there is no such thing as a non-born again Christian. However, Christ doesn’t wash away sins when He comes, by His Spirit, into the heart. Where does the Bible teach that? No indeed, sins were dealt with at Calvary, 2000 years ago (Hebrews 10:12-14). Sins were taken away by the Lamb of God. We were cleansed, we were redeemed by a past historical event. Faith (the instrumental cause of Justification) takes hold of that which has been accomplished and makes it our own. We were not cleansed and redeemed by asking Jesus into our heart. If asking Jesus into our heart is the ground (the formal cause) of our Justification, then we are depending on a prayer we have prayed for our salvation. In other words, we believe in salvation by works.

The gospel truth informs us that we are saved by Jesus + nothing.

 

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Let’s imagine that you are lying on your death bed. The doctor has shaken his head and with a sympathetic voice has informed your family that death will come within the hour. You are facing eternity! What or better yet, Whom will you trust? Will you trust that you have asked Jesus into your heart? That’s a rubber crutch! Will you trust that since you prayed that prayer, your life has changed? Another rubber crutch! Or will you trust that 2000 years ago, the eternal Word became flesh, lived died and rose again on your behalf? Will you trust that He has furnished a perfect righteousness for you? Will you rest on Him and Him alone? Will you trust that mercy and grace have burst forth on the sinner in Christ Jesus?

 

He alone is our only hope for…..

Christ Himself is our Mercy Seat.

Christ Himself is our Wrath Offering.

Christ Himself is our Reconciliation.

Christ Himself is our Perfection.

Christ Himself is our Acceptance.

Christ Himself is our Righteousness.

 

We rejoice to hear this good news. However, we are, by nature, legalists who continually look within ourselves for something that we can present before God as our qualification for heaven. We quickly forget the grand objective truths of the good news. That’s one of the many reasons why we need to be continually exposed to the gospel.

In spite of what the country pastor told me, the recurrent preaching and teaching of Justification by Grace through Faith is the most practical and helpful message to bring before any congregation.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles McKee

 

Minister of the Gospel

The Grace Centre,

6 Quay Street, New Ross,

County Wexford, Ireland.

http://www.milesmckee.com

 

For free sermons and teachings from Miles McKee http://www.sermonaudio.com/milesmckee

 

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