Posts Tagged ‘Propitiation’

The Wednesday Word: Faith in His Blood

“Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood …” Romans 3:25

When the blood of Christ is highly prized and valued, the result is a vibrant spiritual life. However, when the blood is undervalued and under-emphasised, it leads to spiritual decay. When there is a shallow view of the blood, it results in a shallow view of sin and vice versa. When we look at Church history, we see that as the church loses sight of the blood, it goes into spiritual recession. How we urgently need to be filled with the Father’s thoughts about the blood. The more we understand the blood, the more we will become vibrant worshippers and appreciative followers of the Lamb.

Our verse introduces us to the word “propitiation“, one of God’s “salvation words” rarely used today. It refers to Christ’s death as the sacrifice which exhausted the wrath of God. Because of the shed blood, there is no longer any storm of wrath for God’s people. As in the days of the flood, Noah’s family was safe in the Ark and sheltered from the storm of God’s fury and justice. So it is that each one who trusts in Christ alone to save them, is safe from the wrath to come. Jesus is our Ark. He alone has accomplished a real redemption that has dealt with the retribution of God and the curse of the broken law of God.

Now here’s some more good news; Jesus is a greater saviour than we are sinners. By grace, believers have been given faith. It’s a faith which believes that Christ’s shed blood has made the satisfactory offering for our sins. The wrath offering was made. His blood was shed, and faith now sees what it accomplished for us. Indeed, it is by faith alone that the accomplishments and benefits of this one great wrath offering are applied to us. Without a doubt, faith in the blood is an essential part of our Christian life.

Of course, none of this makes any sense unless we see our part in the death of Christ. Sometimes I find it good to look at myself and say, “Miles McKee you are a crucifier of the young Prince of Glory. Your sins shed His blood.”

Have you ever done that? Have you ever seen yourself as the Christ slayer? If not, the matters of faith and grace are a mystery to you. It’s only in the measure that we see ourselves as undeserving sinners, guilty of killing the one who was God that we can enjoy the abundant grace and mercy of Heaven. After all, if we are worthy, we don’t need grace for grace is exclusively for the unworthy. The person who has never had even a small sense of abhorrence for the part they played in the death of Christ is still in spiritual darkness.

‘Twas you, my sins, my cruel sins,

His chief tormentors were;

Each of my crimes became a nail,

And unbelief the spear.

‘Twas you that pulled the vengeance down

Upon His guiltless head:

Break, break, my heart, O burst my eyes!

And let my sorrows bleed.


But for those of us who have seen the part we played in that awful death, we see that the only way of deliverance is by faith in His blood. Faith in the blood is God’s appointed way for sinners. However, if we believe that none of this applies to us, then we are lost.

Strike, mighty grace, my flinty soul,

Till melting waters flow,

And deep repentance drown my eyes

In undissembled woe.

Jesus has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood …” Romans 3:25.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

The Wednesday Word: Gospel Acceptance

November 11, 2015 Leave a comment

There is no other basis for acceptance with God other than that which God has decreed. We are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6)….Full Stop! Period! That means our Heavenly Father is fully satisfied with the person and work of the Lord Jesus for us. He has accepted His well-beloved Son and, therefore, accepts all who are in Christ. The Believer has nothing more and nothing less to present to the Father but the Lord Jesus, the Christ of God.

Have you ever felt rejected? You say, “That’s the story of my life.” Well, the pain of that can come to end right now. If you are suffering from the ache of rejection, look to Jesus. The Father sees every believer as being in Christ. We are in the same Christ who was nailed to the cross. Faith looks and says, ‘I was crucified with Him.’ Faith also sees that Christ is risen. Faith grasps that we are no longer in our sins. Faith believes that there is now therefore no damnation to those of us in Christ Jesus. Faith sees that there is no rejection from heaven in Christ.

Indeed, as we grow in grace, we learn that weare not rejects. We gain confidence and identity with the Father’s verdict concerning the Son. By faith, we see that the Father’s ruling concerning Christ’s acceptable work is reckoned also to us. If, however, we are continually looking for some quality or righteousness within us to recommend us to God, we will continue to fail and remain in the miserable turbulence of rejection.

When all is going well, and God seems to be blessing, those not rooted in the gospel feel that God must really love and accept them. But when they are stumbling, and everything seems dry and hard, then they feel that He has withdrawn His love and acceptance. But, how can this be? There was nothing about us to commend us to God in the first place. Our acceptance with the Father will always be in Christ plus nothing. We are fully accepted in the God-Man.

Christ has purged our sin with His power. He has bought us with His blood. Not only is God for us, but we also have peace with Him (Romans 5:1). Believers are not trying to obtain peace with God. We can’t obtain that which we already have. The Father has been pleased to pour His wrath on His son instead of us. Talk about being saved by grace! Not only is there no condemnation for us but we are now, in the Father’s mind, in the exalted and glorified Christ.

Everything was completed at Calvary! We don’t have to feel that, we simply believe that! Because of the doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Jesus, it is not presumptuous to claim for ourselves the titles, Heirs of God and Joint Heirs with Jesus Christ. Because of the doing, dying and rising of Christ, rejection is dead and we are accepted.

It is in the Gospel we learn that we are accepted by God, not because of our obedience but because of the obedience another (Romans 5:19). We are accepted in spite of our performance. The great mystery is how the all holy God can possibly accept us. We are, after all, corrupted and vile sinners (Psalm 148:2; Mark 7:21-23). The gospel, however, gives us the answer—-Our acceptance is in Christ alone.

“Since I can hardly therefore bear
What in myself I see;
How vile and black must I appear,
Most holy God to Thee.

But since my Savior stands between,
In garments dyed in blood’
‘Tis He, instead of me, is seen,
When I approach to God.

Thus though a sinner I am safe;
He pleads before the throne,
His life and death in my behalf,
And calls my sins His own

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee 

The Wednesday Word: Who Killed Jesus?

Many people say that the Jews killed Jesus but is that true? If the only evidence on the matter were Acts 2:23, one however, would indeed be led to believe in their total responsibility. In that verse, Peter tells his Jewish audience, in no uncertain terms, that they were guilty of slaying the Son of God. So then is it true, that the Jews killed the Lord Christ? Mmmm!! Maybe not! Consider this, no actual Jewish person nailed His hands and feet to the cross. No Jewish soldiers whipped Him and crowned His lovely head with thorns. So why then did Peter say it was the Jews who took Christ, and by wicked hands crucified and slew Him? The answer is this, Peter, under divine influence, imputed the crime of Christ’s death to them. The grizzled bearded leaders of Israel had planned and schemed for Christ’s death, and now the nation itself was reckoned as being guilty of having committed the vulgar and violent crime. Guilt was imputed and reckoned to them because of the actions of others.

This matter of imputation is a serious business and not, as some suggest, a legal fiction. The Jews were guilty, by imputation, and treated as such by God. We also know that although the Jews plotted and planned His death, they did not physically kill Jesus. They couldn’t! Why not? Because Jesus, speaking of His life, plainly said, “No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18). The Lord’s death was His own doing! His life was not taken by any man or group of men!

In Hebrews 7:27 we read that Christ offered himself as a sacrifice. In other words, Jesus, as it were, placed Himself on the sacrificial altar. He was not a helpless martyr reluctantly pulled along by crushing events. He was the Sovereign Lord in charge of all that happened. He was the master and commander of His destiny. Although Pilate sent Him to the cross, Pilate was not the one who killed Him. Guilty as Caiaphas may have been, he did not slaughter the Christ. Christ Himself moved history towards Calvary and there as our High Priest offered Himself as a perfect, sinless sacrifice without blemish.

Do you see His sovereignty here? Let me explain. Unless the Lord returns in our lifetime, we will all die. That’s just the way it is. When the shrouded figure of death points his icy finger at us, we cannot resist. We are powerless against him. Yet Christ went to the cross and chose the very moment of death. Death was not His master. He chose not to die until He was good and ready. We, on the other hand, are powerless against death. Ecclesiastes 8:8 points out, “There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither has he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war;” …. but this scripture is not true of Jesus. He was the only one who ever lived who had the authority and ability to lay down His life (John 10:18). At the precise second, at the fixed moment of His choosing. He humbled Himself unto death (Philippians 2:8) and voluntarily dismissed His spirit (John 19:30).

Jesus chose the exact moment of His death. The truth is; He need never have died — even on the Cross. He had the power to sustain His life had He wished to (John 5:26). But His earthly life was one of voluntarily relinquishing His divine prerogatives. His 33 years here were ones of loving identification with His people. When the redemption of His sheep was complete, and not until then, did the Great Shepherd, as an act of His free-will, bow his head to death.

Hallelujah! What a Saviour

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee 

Free Ebook for March (Reformation Trust)

March 11, 2014 3 comments

51b5GLfy7NL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_In How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, Dr. Derek W.H. Thomas explores Romans 8, which he calls “the best chapter in the Bible.” Dr. Thomas begins at Romans 8:1 with “the best news imaginable”—believers’ just and deserved condemnation before God has been taken away by Jesus Christ’s work on the cross. He then contrasts earthly minded and spiritually minded people, showing that only those who are spiritually minded know life.

“While Christians may believe that the gospel merely begins our Christian lives, Derek Thomas shows us convincingly that the gospel is the beginning, middle, and end of our lives—indeed, that it is status-shaping, holiness-motivating, and glory-providing. Moving through the grand biblical themes of Romans 8 that shape our understanding of who and whose we are, believers will see that our union with Jesus determines everything about us.”

—Dr. Sean Michael Lucas

Senior minister, First Presbyterian Church,

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

“The best books are those that instruct the mind, engage the imagination, and ignite the heart with love for God. Dr. Derek Thomas’ How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home does all three. With theological care, textual precision, and a pastor’s heart, Dr. Thomas holds Paul’s glorious meditation in Romans 8 to our eyes and helps us remember again just how great is the salvation Jesus won for His people.”

—Greg Gilbert

Senior pastor, ThirdAvenueBaptistChurch,

Louisville, Kentucky

Available in March as a Free Download

from the Ligonier Store as an ePub;

from Amazon.

from iTunes.


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The Reign of Grace Free-Ebook

reignofgraceThe Reign of Grace available in Kindle .mobi and ePub formats


THE gospel of Reigning Grace, being a doctrine truly divine, has ever been the object of the world’s contempt. It was of old a stumbling-block to the self-righteous Jew, and foolishness to the philosophic Greek. Paul, who was a resolute asserter of the honours of grace, and indefatigable in preaching Christ, found it so by repeated experience; and that not only among the illiterate and profane, but also among the learned and the devout. Nay, he had frequent occasion to observe, that the religious devotees of his age were the first in opposing the doctrine he preached, and the most hardened enemies against the truth of God. The polite, the learned, the religious, were all agreed to load both his character and his doctrine with the foulest reproaches. Nor was this treatment peculiar to Paul, but common to all his contemporaries, who espoused the same glorious cause, and laboured in the same beneficent work. The doctrine they preached was charged with licentiousness. Their enemies boldly affirmed that they said; Let us do evil that good may come. Thus were their character and their labours impeached: that, as hateful to God; these, as destructive to man.

But what was the ground of this impious charge! Were they loose in their morals, or scandalous in their lives. No such thing. Had they not as much regard for practical religion and true morality as any of their objectors! More, far more than they all. Did they never mention good works as necessary to answer any valuable end in the Christian life? They often pressed the performance of them, as absolutely necessary to answer various important purposes, both in the sight of God and man. What then could be the reason of’ so hateful a charge? Because their doctrine was not in the least adapted to, gratify the pride of man. They taught, that without the atonement made on the cross, and the grace revealed in redeeming blood, the state of the best men would have been absolutely desperate ? desperate as that of the devils, and of those already damned. And as the apostles were free to declare, that the state of the most respectable part &mankind was evil ? dreadfully evil ? evil as to those things, for the sake of which they most highly esteemed themselves; so they boldly preached a perfect Saviour, and s finished salvation, to the most worthless and vile.

These primitive teachers and infallible guides were not in the least acquainted with those terms and conditions, prerequisites and qualifications, the performing and attaining of which are, by many, accounted so necessary to acceptance with God. They knew but of’ one way in which a sinner might be accepted of God, and justified before him; and that was entirely of grace, through the perfect work of Christ alone. The way of justification which they taught is absolutely pure and unmixed. In their doctrine, on this important subject, grace does not only appear; it shines, reigns, triumphs: it is the only thing. There is not discernible in it the least tincture of those notions which foster pride, or cherish self-esteem. All those fine distinctions, invented by the proud philosopher, or the self-righteous moralist, which tend in any degree to support the opinion of human worthiness, and to obscure our views of divine grace, are by them entirely set aside, and totally annihilated. The most shining deeds and valuable qualities that can be found among men, though highly useful and truly excellent, when set in their proper places, and referred to suitable ends, are, as to the grand article of justification treated as nonentities. In this respect, the most zealous professor, with all his laboured performances, stands on a level with the most profane. The apostolic truth addressing an to whom it comes, as guilty, condemned, perishing wretches, leaves no room for preference or boasting in any; that so the whole glory of our salvation may be secured to that grace which is infinitely rich and absolutely free.

At this, the devout Pharisee and the decent moralist are highly offended. Such doctrines being advanced, they think it incumbent upon them to stand up in defence of what they call an holy life: and to support the sinking credit of good works, as having a considerable efficacy in procuring our acceptance with God. This many persons frequently do, much more by talking about their necessity, than by performing them. Now they think it their duty to rail at the preacher as an avowed enemy to holiness; nor will they spare to give him the honourable title of, A friend of publicans and sinners. Now innumerable slanders are cast on the doctrine of grace, as being licentious; and on the ministers of it, as opening the floodgates of all iniquity. For they suppose that every thing bad may be justly expected from those who openly disavow all dependence on their own duties; and whose hope of eternal happiness arises, not from services which they perform, but from grace which the gospel reveals ? not from the worth which they possess, but from the work which Christ has wrought. Thus they despise the gospel under the fair pretence of a more than common concern for the interests of holiness.

Nor is this the only offence which the gospel gives. For as it is entirely inconsistent with the natural notions of men concerning acceptance with God, and contrary to every scheme of salvation which human reason suggests; as it will admit of no copartner in relieving a distressed conscience, or in bringing deliverance to a guilty soul, but leaves every one that slights it and seeks for assistance from any other quarter, to perish under an everlasting curse; so the pride of the self-sufficient kindles into resentment against it, as a most uncharitable doctrine and quite unsociable. Nor can the faithful dispensers of sacred truth fail to share in the honour of these reproaches. For while they dare to affirm that this gospel, so hateful to the sons of pride, exhibits the only way of a sinnner’s access to his offended Sovereign; and that all who oppose it, and all who embrace its counterfeit, are left in the hands of divine justice without a Mediator; they are sure to be accounted persons of contracted minds, and very far from a liberal way of thinking. They are considered as the dupes of bigotry, and little better than the enemies of mankind. He, indeed, who pretends to be a friend to revealed truth, but is cool and indifferent to its honour and interest; whose extensive charity is such, that he can allow those who widely differ from him in the capital articles of the Christian faith, to be safe in their own way; may enjoy his peculiar sentiments without much fear of disturbance. But though such conduct may be applauded, under a false notion of Christian can-dour, and of a catholic spirit; though it may be the way to maintain a friendly intercourse among multitudes whose leading sentiments are widely different; yet it will be deemed, by the God of truth, as deserving no better name, than a joint opposition to the spirit and design of his gospel. For such a timid and lukewarm profession of truth is little better than a denial of it ? than open hostility against it. To seek for peace at the expense of truth, will be found in the end, no other than a wicked conspiracy against both God and man. Such, however, as love the truth, will boldly declare against all its counterfeits, and every deviation from it: and, whatever may be the consequence, they will say with him of old; Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel, let him be accursed.

Thus the genuine gospel will always appear like an insult on the taste of the public. Wherever it comes, if it be not received, it awakens disgust and provokes abhorrence. Nor can it be otherwise. For its principal design is to mortify the pride of man, and to display the glory of grace; to throw all human excellence down to the dust, and to elevate, even to thrones of glory, the needy and the wretched; to show that every thing which exalteth itself against the knowledge of Christ, is an abomination in the sight of God; and that He who is despised of men and abhorred by the nations, is Jehovah’s eternal delight. (Isa. xlix. 7 Matt. iii. 17) The ancient gospel is an unceremonious thing. It pays no respect to the academic because of his profound learning; nor to the moralist on account of his upright conduct. It has not the least regard to the courtier, because of his pompous honours; nor to the devotee, for the sake of his zeal or his righteousness. No, the potent prince and the abject slave, the wise philosopher and the ignorant rustic, the virtuous lady and the infamous prostitute, stand on the same level in its comprehensive sight. Its business is with the worthless and the miserable, whomsoever they be. If these be relieved, its end is gained. If these be made happy, its Author is glorified, whatever may become of the rest. Towards these it constantly wears the most friendly aspect, and rejoices to do them good. But the self-sufficient of every rank are treated by it with the utmost reserve, and beheld with a steady contempt. The hungry it filleth with good things, but the rich it sendeth emptor away.

These considerations may serve to show us the true state of the case, as it stood between Paul and his opponents. The situation of things was much the same between Protestants and Papists, at, and for some time after the Reformation. Nor will the apostolic doctrine ever fail to be attended with strenuous opposition and foul re-preaches, while ignorance of its real nature, and legal pride, prevail in the hearts of men. Many, indeed, are the methods that have been devised, to render the unpalatable truth more generally acceptable, and to obviate the offence of the cross. But what have been the consequences I The gospel has been corrupted; the consciences of awakened sinners have been left to grope in the dark, for that consolation which nothing but the unadulterated truth could give; and, instead of promoting holiness, the reverse has been awfully manifest. It therefore behooves every lover of sacred truth, to let it stand on its own basis, and not to tamper with it. To leave all its credit and all its success in the world, to its own intrinsic worth ? to that authority with which it is closed, and to the management of that sovereign Being who ordained it for his own glory.

But however the doctrine of reigning grace may be despised by the self-sufficient, it will ever he revered by the poor in spirit. For by it they are informed of an honourable way of escape from the wrath to come, which they know they have justly deserved. To the sensible sinner, therefore, it must always be a joyful sound. And though such persons as are ignorant of its nature, tendency, and design, are always ready to imagine that it has an unfriendly aspect upon morality and good works, when preached in its glorious freeness; yet we may boldly affirm, that it is the grand instrument ordained by a holy God, for informing the ignorant, comforting the disconsolate, and rescuing the profligate from that worst of vassalage, the servitude of sin, and subjection to Satan. Such is the benign tendency of the glorious gospel! Such is its friendly and sanctifying influence on the hearts of men!

It will indeed be acknowledged that this doctrine may be held in licentiousness by those that profess it. But then it will be as confidently maintained, that whoever holds it in unrighteousness never received the love of that sacred truth, or experienced the power of it. For, to have a bare conviction of divine truth in the mind, and to experience its power on the heart, are very different things. The former may produce an outward profession: the latter will elevate the affections, turn the corrupt bias of the will, and influence the whole conduct. With the steadiest persuasion, therefore, of the holy nature and tendency of the doctrine of divine grace, as it is in itself, and as it operates on the minds and manners of all those who know it in truth; I proceed to give, not a full display, (that is infinitely too high for mortals,) but some brief hints concerning that grace which reigns; and of the way in which it is manifested, so as to demonstrate its power, glory, and majesty, in the salvation of sinners. This I shall do by endeavouring to illustrate that important and charming passage, recorded in Romans the fifth and twenty-first; EVEN SO MIGHT GRACE REIGN, THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS, UNTO ETERNAL LIFE, BY Jesus CHRIST OUR LORD. And while the author, conscious of his own insufficiency, looks up to the Spirit of wisdom for divine illumination, that he may write with all the precision and sanctity of truth, in opening the noble subject of the ensuing treatise; he would entreat the reader to peruse, with candour and impartiality, the contents of the following pages.


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The Wednesday Word: Misunderstood Matters about Grace-Part 3

January 29, 2014 1 comment

The Wednesday Word: Misunderstood Matters about Grace-Part 3

When it comes to salvation, another misunderstood thing about grace is assuming that our faith creates the grace of God. However, the truth is that grace, righteous grace, already lived in the heart of God before anyone ever exercised faith. In our un-saved state, we were excluded from the life of God and lived in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind (Ephesians 2:1-4). But God graciously made us alive unto Himself (Ephesians 2:5). Faith came because of grace. In fact, faith is nowhere, in the scriptures, said to create grace; it’s quite the opposite. Our faith does not make God gracious. God’s righteous grace already existed before faith was given. For by grace you are saved (Ephesians 2:5).

Because of grace we are given faith. Faith will cause us to grasp that the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary is a righteous, finished sacrifice (John 19:30). As believers, faith continues to lead us to hug the truth that, in Christ crucified, righteousness and grace have already embraced and we are now covered, not merely by grace, but with the robe of righteousness.

When faith reads, “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 hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, (Isaiah 61:10) it says a vigorous amen! Faith sees that the reason God loved us and took delight in us was not discovered in some goodness or worth within us but found, rather, in the gracious good-pleasure of God Himself (Matthew 12:32). Faith sees that Christ’s destiny is our destiny. Faith sees that He was made alive and that we were made alive together with him. Faith believes that He was raised up and that we were raised up together with him. Faith reckons that He was made to sit at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places, and we have been made to sit together with him. Why? There is one answer and only one. It’s grace, pure grace, sovereign grace (Ephesians 2:5-7).

So let’s say it again, faith does not bring grace into existence. If we have received grace, then it not because we gave anything to deserve it … and that includes faith! Let’s face it, if we believe that our faith brought grace into existence then we must conclude that we are co-providers of salvation. Perish the thought!

God saves us by his grace, and not because of our faith! Although we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1), “God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, quickened (made us alive) together with Christ — by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Nonetheless, someone objects saying, “But, we need faith.” I reply, “Of course we do; we are not suggesting that faith is not vital, but nowhere does God look and see if we have faith before He justifies us. We are saved “through” faith and not because of it (Ephesians 2:7). Faith is the instrument, the channel through which we receive salvation. Grace, on the other hand, is the very ground of our salvation.

We are dependent on Him, and not on our faith. He is completely reliable, He never fails. Our faith, on the other hand, often fails but the object of our faith, the Lord Jesus never does!

Faith receives salvation, but it is a very poor foundation on which to attempt to build our salvation. We build on Christ alone + nothing!


This God is the God we adore,

 Our faithful, unchangeable Friend,

Whose love is as great as His power,

And knows neither measure nor end!

’Tis Jesus, the First and the Last,

Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home;

We’ll praise Him for all that is past,

And trust Him for all that’s to come.


And that’s the Gospel Truth



Miles McKee

Minister of the Gospel

6 Quay Street, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland,

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The Wednesday Word: Misunderstood Matters about Grace -Part 2

The Wednesday Word: Misunderstood Matters about Grace -Part 2

Another thing about grace is that it is completely undeserved! I question if we really understand this. I suspect that many of us pay lip service to the undeserved nature of grace, but often the power of this truth has not permeated the depths of our being.

If we don’t believe that grace is entirely undeserved, we should consider how utterly worthless we were when grace first saved us. We were enemies of God and without strength (Romans 5:6, 5:10). We were as John McNeill graphically put it, “Ownerless dogs prowling the garbage heaps of humanity.” Now ask yourself this; have you, through the years, become so wonderful that you are now worth saving? I hope you answer no! The truth is that grace saves people who have absolutely, “no good thing” in them worth saving (Romans 7:18). If we think there is one good thing about us … one shred of perfect, unadulterated goodness that deserves to be saved, there is no room for grace.

If we believe in salvation by grace alone, we have recognized that we are, in ourselves, destitute of everything. We are in agreement with the scripture when it says, “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint” (Isaiah 1:5). Believing this, we have no difficulty accepting that grace both sent the gospel to us, and opened our eyes to it.

Grace is both the seeker and the finder. It was the personification of grace who sought and found Zacchaeus in Luke 19. It was grace that found Noah and by grace that Noah was saved (Genesis 6:8). Indeed, the sole reason that any of us love the Lord is because of grace and grace alone.

If God withdrew His gracious hand from us, then we would be exposed, naked and undone before the awful holiness of God. But grace saves those who cannot, by their own efforts, produce one continuing trace of goodness or even one suggestion of holiness that could recommend them to Heaven. This is good news for people like me! Grace is for the lost, the guilty and the hopeless. Grace is for those who were too weak to walk towards God, but who were abundantly energetic when it came to running away from Him. These are the only people whom grace saves!

By the way, in this day and age when absolute right and wrong have been almost entirely dispensed with, it is, humanly speaking, very difficult to get people saved since so few will admit that they are actually lost, incurably lost and entirely dependent on someone else to save them Why, after all, consent to someone else saving you when you don’t know you need to be saved in the first place? When it comes to evangelism, we can get people to raise their hands at the end of a meeting because they want to go to heaven, but let’s face it, who in their right mind wants to go to hell? This kind of ‘soul winning’ activity can often be a long way off from bringing salvation! Salvation is for lost people, for ruined sinners and for hopeless cases. Salvation is only for those who need grace.

The Lord gives us grace upon grace (John 1:16; James 4:6). In other words, we both start and continue this Christian life by grace alone. Grace is the great changer of lives and the subduer of indwelling sin. A man may spend his entire life trying to reform, but we are saved from beginning to end by grace, pure grace, righteous grace and that alone. John Newton, the author of the grand old hymn, “Amazing Grace”, said it like this,


“By various maxims, forms and rules-

That pass for wisdom in our schools-

I sought my passions to restrain,

But all my efforts proved in vain.


But since my Saviour I have known

Are all my rules reduced to one-

To keep my Lord by faith in view-

This faith supplies, and motive too.”



And that’s the Gospel Truth


Miles McKee

Minister of the Gospel

6 Quay Street, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland, 

Misunderstood Matters about Grace Part 1

The Wednesday Word: Misunderstood Matters about Grace Part 1

The meaning of grace is quite often misunderstood. It is sometimes presented as a soft spot for sinners in the heart of God, or as some kind of benevolence on behalf of the Almighty that disregards the sin question. This is entirely incorrect! As we have already seen, grace, Bible grace, loving grace, is righteous grace. Saving grace never bypasses the cross!

Because of the cross we learn that God saves, not because He has an easy-going inbuilt compassion, but saves, rather, by having dealt ruthlessly with our sins when He laid them on Christ. Yes indeed, we are saved by grace, but it is righteous grace for it comes from the God who refused to ignore the awfulness of our sin. Our sin was not swept under the carpet; rather, God publicly placarded His Son and set Him forth as a wrath offering for sin on our behalf (Romans 3:25-26). Grace is, therefore, both free and costly; it’s free to us, but it has been so very costly to Him!

Another misunderstood thing about grace is that we often feel as though we have to seek it. God’s grace, however, does not wait for us to seek it out, but rather it comes seeking us. Jesus made this clear when He declared that He had come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). So wonderful and excellent is His grace that He sought us out before we even knew we were lost! This is why we sing of His grace as being ‘Amazing’. We were really and truly lost, but He really and truly came looking for us and found us!

Even now, after being saved for many years, grace continues to come and seek us out. We still have tendencies to stray and wander off. As the Hymn writer said,

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love,

Take my heart Lord, take and seal it,

Seal it for thy courts above.

I once heard about an old deacon who always prayed, “Lord, prop us up on our leanin’ side…” Someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so frequently and fervently. He answered, ‘Well sir, you see, it’s like this… I got an old barn out back. It’s been there a long time, it’s withstood a lot of weather, it’s gone through a lot of storms, and it’s stood for many years. It’s still standing. But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit. So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn’t fall. Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn. Sometimes I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, ’cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning, at times.”

I like that, but do know what? I’m worse than that for, at times, I find myself, not just leaning over on one side, but leaning over on every side and ready to collapse. Have you ever been that way? If you have, here’s the good news … grace does not wait for us to cry out for help; grace is already there seeking to restore and strengthen us before we ever begin leaning. Grace goes to work and brings us back to our merciful High priest whose throne is a throne of grace and who delights to give us grace to help in the time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

And that’s the Gospel Truth


Miles McKee

Minister of the Gospel

6 Quay Street, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland,

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Free eBook – The Doctrine of the Atonement as Taught by Jesus Himself

December 30, 2013 3 comments

atonement_smeatonThe Doctrine of The Atonement as

Taught by Christ Himself

or The Sayings of Jesus Exegetically Expounded and Classified.


by Rev. George Smeaton, D.D.

Professor of Exegetical Theology, New College, Edinburgh


Available in Kindle .mobi and ePub formats


The present volume is intended to be the first portion of a larger whole, which if completed, will exhibit the entire New Testament teaching on the subject of the atonement. I purposed to survey the whole testimony of our Lord and of His apostles; beginning with the former as fundamental. But as the subject grew in my hands, it was found necessary to reserve, in the meantime, the consideration of the apostolic testimony.

In these pages I have examined, according to the rules of exact interpretation, what Jesus taught on the subject of the atonement, and have given a classification of His sayings and an outline of the doctrine. This seems to be urgently demanded in our times. The necessity of correctly ascertaining, by the only means within our reach, what the Lord actually taught on this point, cannot be overstated, when we direct any measure of attention to modern thought, and to the conflicting views, often as ill-digested by their propounders as perplexing to the minds of others, which are at present given forth on the nature, design, and effect of the Lord’s death. The one-sided views on this great theme, held not by scoffers at vital religion, but by earnest men, actually though not willingly deviating from biblical truth, are not to be corrected by any human authority, nor even by an appeal to the Church’s past, which yet, as the voice of our mother, is entitled to some amount of deference. They can be effectually confronted and silenced only by the explicit testimony of the Church’s Lord. The doctrine will stand there, but will stand nowhere else. And every true disciple has this distinctive feature about him, that he hears the voice of Christ, but a stranger’s voice will he not follow.

My task in this work has been simply to determine, by strict exegetical investigation, the import of Christ’s words, and to reproduce His thoughts by the exact interpretation of language. I have no other desire than to ascertain what He did say, and to abide by it. The principle on which alone it is safe to carry on investigations into doctrine on any point, is, I am fully persuaded, to go to the Scriptures, not for the starting-point of thought alone, but for the substance of thought as well, or for the rounded and concrete development of the doctrine in all its elements: and these will be found in Christ’s sayings, if we but patiently investigate them. It is not, then, to the Christian consciousness that I appeal with some modern teachers, nor to Christian feeling and Christian reason with others, but to the consciousness and sayings of the Great Teacher, and of His commissioned servants, employed as His organs of revelation to the Church of all time.


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A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-9-The Sacrifice of Christ

December 19, 2013 1 comment

The Sacrifice of Christ


1. What was the sacrifice which Christ offered?

He offered up Himself for sin.

2. In what way did He become the sacrifice?

He took our sin upon Him and suffered the penalty in our place.

3. When did He suffer that penalty?

When He died on the cross.

4. Did He suffer in both natures?

No; in the human nature only. The Divine nature cannot suffer.

5. Was not the union of the Divine and the human nature necessary in the work of salvation?

It was necessary; otherwise the human nature could not have sustained the sufferings it endured.

6. For what else was that union necessary?

To give value and efficacy to sufferings which, but for that union, would have been those of a mere creature.

7. Why would not the sufferings of a mere creature have sufficed?

Because every creature is bound, as his own duty, to do and suffer all that God wills, and therefore can do nothing to secure merit or pardon for others.

8. Of what value is this sacrifice to those for whom He died?

It delivers them from the guilt and punishment of all their sins.

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine