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Posts Tagged ‘Reconciliation’

The Wednesday Word: Blessed in Christ!

February 13, 2019 Leave a comment

When God looked from heaven to earth He saw disasters, wars, murders, envying, faithlessness, lying and wickedness and more. The evil-doing had begun when our first parents Adam and Eve sinned and ran away to hide. Humans have been busy hiding ever since.

Here’s something worth considering. As God from eternity observed the mess of humanity, He did not ask us to do something about it. He didn’t look to humanity for solutions for the chaos. No indeed! He had already, before time, chosen to rescue a people for Himself and at just the right time He came to save and deliver them (Romans 5:6-8).

And how did He do that? Did He demand that we do something?

No! Nothing!

But surely there was something He required us to do in order to save ourselves?

No! When Jesus arrived on earth, He did not come bearing a list of demands. Not at all! When Christ came, He was blessing and grace incarnate. He came to seek and to save, not to demand and damn.

He came to bless His people with His salvation.

‘Ah no, brother,’ you say ‘He did demand that we repent and believe. True, but both repentance and faith are gifts and if gifts they are all of grace (Romans 2:4; Ephesians 2:8-9). And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it is of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6).

In Christ, we are immeasurably blessed. In Him, amongst other things, we are Blessed with Eternal life (John 3:15-16).

Blessed with Eternal security (John 10:27-28; Romans 8:37-39).

Blessed with Forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:14).

Blessed with Acquittal (Romans 5:1).

Blessed with No Condemnation from God (Romans 8:1, 33-34; 5:16).

Blessed with Rest (Matthew 11:28-30).

Blessed with Redemption (Ephesians 1:7).

Blessed with Reconciliation to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

Blessed with Adoption into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:14-17).

Blessed with Deliverance from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:15; John 11:25-26).

Blessed with a Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14).

We are Blessed Indeed!

A new convert came in deep distress to see a Chinese preacher of a past generation saying, “No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I’m losing my salvation.” The preacher said, “Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained; he never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me. Out in the kitchen, I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess. But who is going to inherit my kingdom? Not my dog; my son is my heir.”

Likewise, in spite of our many fallings we remain heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17). He lived, died and rose again for us. Without a doubt, we will mess up and fail but we remain heirs of God, not through our perfection but by His grace. That’s what I call blessed.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: Jesus + Nothing

No church saved us.

No religious act on our part saved us.

We were, are and will be entirely saved by Christ alone.

We are saved by the free, unconditional, invincible grace brought to us in the doing, dying and rising again of Christ Jesus the Lord.

For when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. That’s you and that’s me! For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man, someone would even dare to die. But God commends His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

That’s priceless!

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (see Romans 5:6-10).

Christ’s sinless life and atoning death have been accepted by the Father as ours. His doing and dying of two thousand years ago is the only ground of our acceptance with God today.

“Here we have a firm foundation;

Here the refuge of the lost;

Christ’s the Rock of our salvation,

His the name of which we boast.

Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,

Sacrifice to cancel guilt!

None shall ever be confounded

Who on Him their hope have built.”

Thomas Kelly

Christ alone has been found pleasing in the Father’s sight. So, since repetition is the price of learning, let’s say it again….There is but one reason and only one reason for our acceptance by God—Christ Alone!

There is no other way to God but in, through and by Christ.

Let us not forget that Jesus unashamedly claimed to be God in human flesh appearing. If, therefore, the one true and living God has come to save us, what other way to God can there be? Since Christ alone is God, we can ruthlessly and immediately dispense with all other supposed ways of salvation. They are all fabrications of men’s imaginations and devising. There is only one salvation, and it comes to us in Christ alone.

When we declare that we are saved by Christ alone, we stand opposed to the teachings which state that Christ’s sacrifice is insufficient without the addition of some manner of sacrament administered by clerics. What sheer, Christ belittling, nonsense is this?

Others say that Christ saves but not without our good works. How they cling to their inferior and flawed works as they fear to rest entirely on the good works of the Saviour … yet they damn us for not joining them in their folly.

Others say that Christ’s sacrifice is worthless without us adding faith to the equation. They say that our believing does the saving! Thus they oppose the teaching of Christ Alone. While it is true that faith apprehends the Gospel, faith is not our Saviour. We rest, not on faith, but on Christ alone.

Enemies of the cross urge the necessity of something more than Christ alone for salvation Without their particular addition they say that we cannot be saved. In these schemes, Christ’s sufficiency as the Saviour is consequently denied.

When we follow their logic, we must conclude that the Christ in whom they trust is at best a partial saviour. He lacks something, a certain something, provided by them that somehow augments His person and work.

What a dishonour to Christ Jesus. God has come here to rescue and save His people yet He is incapable of saving without the help of some form of mediation on man’s part. Sheer rubbish!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Beginning the New Year with the Blood

What better way to begin this New Year other than preaching to ourselves about the Blood of Christ.

Among other things we could remind ourselves that,

1. We have redemption through the Blood (Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18; Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 5:9).
2. We have remission of sins through the Blood (Hebrews 9:22).
3. We are sanctified through the Blood (Hebrews 13:12).
4. We have a purged conscience by the Blood (Hebrews 9:14).
5. We have forgiveness of sins through the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
6. We have peace with God through the Blood (Colossians 1:20).
7. We are cleansed by the Blood (1 John 1:7).
8. We have been washed by the Blood (Revelation 1:5).
9. We have been made kings and priests through the Blood (Revelation 1:5-6).
10. We overcome the devil by the Blood (Revelation 12:11).
11. We are justified by the Blood (Romans 5:9).
12. We are reconciled to God by the Blood (Romans 3:24, 25).
13. We enter into the holiest by the Blood (Hebrews 10:19).
14. We are made nigh to God by the Blood (Ephesians 2:13).
15. Christ’s Blood is precious (1 Peter 1:18).

On the first ever Passover, the Lord said, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” He didn‘t say, “When I see how you feel about the blood, I will pass over you” or, “When I see you weeping and mourning because of your sins, I will pass over you.” No, He said; “When I see the blood, I will pass over you (Exodus 12:13).”

It was the blood that saved the Israelites, not their righteousness, not their fear, not their feelings. They were saved by the Father’s estimation of the Blood.

Some people say, “If I were only a better person, I would feel safe before God.” But, here’s the gospel truth, we don‘t need to enquire about the depth of our goodness. Our goodness cannot get us right with God. Indeed, the Lord says that our righteousness, not our sin, is like a filthy rag. The biggest problem God has with us is not our sin, it’s our righteousness (Isaiah 64:6).

The very best man has done is like a filthy rag before God. This is why we by faith look away from ourselves to the blood. Our atonement and reconciliation has been accomplished outside of us, apart from us in history.

We need, therefore, to ask whether or not we are sheltered under the blood? If we are, we are safer than any man or woman who has prayed without ceasing, given their finances and sacrificed for the cause of the gospel for 100 years. It is not their righteousness and good works that are going to save them. Good works, long hours of prayer and devotion, while commendable, have never saved anyone. The Father says, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” And when we are sheltered beneath the blood of Christ Jesus, we are saved; but if not shielded, we are lost.

The blood of Christ is our only refuge and protection from the wrath to come. Christ’s blood has been shed. His blood is now on the mercy-seat. Faith alone takes a hold of this remarkable truth and makes it our own.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

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

www.milesmckee.com 

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.

 

Source [Ligonier Ministries]

The Wednesday Word: Righteous Grace: Part 3

February 19, 2014 1 comment

It is written, “The soul that sins it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). In the light of this scripture, we see that each one of us was under the death sentence. Indeed, the righteous demands of God made our death a necessity. Therefore, to meet this dreadful obligation and to rescue us, the Eternal One, in grace and love, became one of us and died in our place.

Let’s say someone was to die for a person for whom there was no need to die; we would be unlikely to call this death a proof of affection. Quite the contrary, we would likely consider it a strange and illogical demonstration of pointlessness. However, to die for someone, when there was really a need for dying … now that’s the test of true and genuine love. The hymn writer said it well when he penned the lines,

 

“Here is love, vast as the ocean,

Loving-kindness as the flood,

When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,

Shed for us His precious blood.

Who His love will not remember?

Who can cease to sing His praise?

He can never be forgotten,

Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.”

 

If ever we were to be saved from damnation, Christ Jesus had to die. Because of this necessity, grace and righteousness combined and led the eternal One to the cross. There at Calvary, He died in the sinner’s place and thus made it a righteous thing for God to cancel the believing sinner’s guilt and to rescind his sentence of death.

Thomas Watson, the Puritan, said, ‘When we were rebelling—He was dying! When we had weapons in our hands—then He had the spear in His side! This is the very quintessence of love! “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8). When we were engulfed in misery and had lost our beauty—then Christ died for us. O amazing love, which should swallow up all our thoughts!”

Had it not been for Christ’s doing and dying, God and the sinner could not have met, and righteousness would have forbidden reconciliation. It was love working in harmony with righteous grace that secured our salvation.

 

“On the mount of crucifixion,

Fountains opened deep and wide;

Through the floodgates of God’s mercy

Flowed a vast and gracious tide.

Grace and love, like mighty rivers,

Poured incessant from above,

And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice

Kissed a guilty world in love.”

 

Unless God had punished our substitute at the cross, it would not have been correct for God to receive us or indeed, safe for us to come to Him. But now, in Christ, mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed (Psalm 85:10). Now, through Christ, gracious salvation is also righteous. It is as faith grasps both the righteous and gracious nature of the work of Calvary that our conscience finds peace (Hebrews 9:14). Peace flows to us as we see that our reconciliation is anchored in the righteousness of God (Ephesians 2:13-16) and this righteous reconciliation will stand every test and will last throughout eternity.

The troubled conscience can only find true peace in the gospel as it understands that Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6). Faith grasps that God justifies, not the godly, but the ungodly (Romans 4:5). The righteous grace which is ours, through the sin-bearing work of Christ, tells us that there can be no possible condemnation nor even a hint of mild disapproval for one who is saved by the free grace of God alone (Romans 8:1). God is Just, yet the Justifier of the ungodly (Romans 3:26)! This is astonishing news! This is super abounding grace!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles McKee

 

Minister of the Gospel

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

http://www.milesmckee.com

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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.

SECOND EDITION – 1871

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.

 

Source [Monergism.com]