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The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus Enough for our Reward? Part 2

October 31, 2018 2 comments

All believers are headed for glory and our reward. But what exactly will that be?

Let’s ask ourselves, what do we want it to be? Do we want the reward of a big mansion or a castle in glory? Or, would Jesus be enough?

Do we want Him?
Do we love Him?

Can we say with the Psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (Psalm 73:25).

Is Jesus enough?

Every believer, when our work has been examined at the Judgment throne, will receive a reward. So, let’s say for example, that our work passes through the Judgment with flying colours and we go on to our reward, what do we want it to be? Do we want literal crowns and mansions? They may be there. But so what?

I am persuaded that our greatest reward is Him, the Lord Jesus.

Consider the Levites of the Old Testament, they got no inheritance in the land, but they were given Him (Deuteronomy 10:9;18:1-2). The Lord was their inheritance and they had the privilege of ministering to Him.

They got the best deal in Israel!

The Lord is our reward. He told Abraham, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1). Isaiah 40:10 tells us; “Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him.”

Is He enough for our reward or do we want more?

I love what the hymn writer wrote about this; he said;

Finish then thy new creation:
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

We will cast our crowns before Him for He is enough. What a sublime thought!

So what exactly will Heaven and life there be like? We don’t know for eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9). But this much we do know; in Heaven, we not only encounter Jesus but we also encounter Heaven in Jesus

He is the Light of Heaven.
He is the Bread of Heaven.
He is the Delight of Heaven.
He is the Glory of Heaven.
He is the Joy of Heaven.
He is the Reward of Heaven.
His presence there makes Heaven into Heaven. If He left, it would no longer be Heaven! Jesus is the centre of Heaven, Jesus Himself is heaven and heaven is Jesus.

Jesus is enough.
And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Wednesday Word: Sanctified by the Blood

Hebrews 13:12: Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without (outside) the gate.

The blood of Christ is so pure that it has purged every one of our sins and set us apart unto God. The all-seeing, all-piercing eye of Yahweh could discover no flaw in Christ’s blood for it contained no tinge of sin. It was and is the blood of the Lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19). The Lamb’s blood was unpolluted, untainted and clean and, therefore, it alone was exclusively suitable to sanctify us.

When Jesus Christ went to heaven, in the ascension, He took us with Him and positionally seated us there with Him as ransomed, redeemed and sanctified believers (Ephesians 2:6, 1 Peter 3:18). From that point forward, the Father could never again see us in sin or see sin in us. Our growth in grace and the knowledge of God will be greatly accelerated as we grip this truth and this truth grips us. It is finished. Now the big question that should occupy our mind is, not what we can do, but rather, what He has done (Colossians 3:1). Our lives are now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). He will never reckon sin or sins to us. We are washed and sanctified by the blood.

If we sin, (and to our shame we will), we have the privilege of instantly bringing our wretchedness to our High Priest. Our sins may cause us to cower in alarm as we think of God’s potential sore displeasure, but it is the blood that tells us what the Father really thinks of us. He sees us as set apart and already sanctified unto him. Because of the blood, we cannot be taken from Him. Spurgeon tells us;

“The apostle says that we who are the priests of God have a right as priests to go to God’s mercy-seat that is within the Vail, but it were to our death to go there unless we were perfect. But we are perfect, for the blood of Christ has been sprinkled on us, and, therefore, our standing before God is the standing of perfection.”

CHS: New Park Street Pulpit: Sermon No. 232: Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 2nd, 1859.

If, however, we insist on remaining in defiance and rebellion, then, although our standing before God is un-altered, we reap what the sin produces and what the Holy Spirit of God must do to bring us away from the love of our sin. This does not mean, however, that we are in any way legally separated from the One to whom we have, by grace, already been attached. We can never be separated from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Does this give us a license to sin? God forbid (Romans 6:2; Romans 6:15)! The true believer thrives on fellowship with the Father. But, if we sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, there is no way we can enjoy fellowship in the plan of God. Therefore, as we grow in grace, the Spirit of God begins to teach us a holy hatred of sin. However, this holy hatred does not qualify us to approach God. The blood has already brought us to God. The blood has already made us fit to come to God. Our holy hatred of sin cannot improve on what the blood has already done.

We, as sanctified believers, have continual access with boldness to the throne of grace, and we may come there with all our needs. Because of the blood, we are always perfect and always qualified to come to His throne, whatever our doubts, whatever our sins.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Speaking Blood

But you are come ….. to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel (Hebrews 12:24).

In our text, we have both the blood of Abel and the blood of Jesus. Both men were murdered! Both men presented a sacrifice before the Father. Both sacrifices were accepted but, strictly speaking, Abel’s sacrifice was accepted only because of Christ’s future work at the cross. It was impossible that the blood of Abel’s lamb could, in and of itself, take away his sin. But it did, because the Father accepted it, as it were, by credit, based on the final payment for sins that was yet to be made at Calvary.

Abel’s sacrifice had no merit in it, but Christ’s sacrifice was so overflowing with value that it encompassed Abel’s sacrifice of his lamb. When Abel’s lamb died, the blood was the blood of an everyday lamb. Although it was a far inferior sacrifice to Christ’s sacrifice, it was accepted because it was offered by faith and pointed to Christ.

Christ’s blood, however, was atoning blood, poured out once for the sins of His people from every generation. It was a well pleasing and satisfactory sacrifice which guaranteed that no charge made against us would prosper.

There is, however, a deeper meaning to this verse in that Abel’s own blood, is to be contrasted with that of Christ’s. Abel’s blood was speaking blood. God said to Cain, “What have you done, the voice of your brother’s blood cries unto Me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). So here we have two men, two sets of blood, two voices. What’s the difference? The difference is this, Abel’s blood called for vengeance and vindication, but Christ’s blood calls for mercy!

Both Abel and Christ were murdered. Abel was killed by his brother and Christ was murdered by his “own” for, “He came to His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:12). And there at the cross, Jesus bled and died. But listen and listen intensely. Do you hear it? Listen to what? The silence! There is only silence from Christ’s blood on the subject of vengeance. We hear no call for vengeance upon His people. But listen again to what Christ’s blood is saying. It is speaking mercy and salvation to those who believe. Abel’s blood cries out for justice and judgment, but Jesus’ blood declares redemption and acquittal. Christ’s blood makes a much better speech than that of Abel’s.

Spurgeon said it like this,

“You came to the blood with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you to hear the voice of the blood of Jesus! ….it cries “It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have brought in everlasting righteousness.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: The Most Famous Speech in the Universe

Hebrews 12:24

The atoning blood is speaking blood. It announces the message of mercy, grace and everlasting life. Because of the blood, believers are no longer subject to the just and furious wrath of God. Furthermore, because of the blood, it is now impossible for Satan to lay anything to our charge (Romans 8:33).

In Hebrews 12:24 we read of, “the blood of sprinkling.” In the Old Testament, Moses, as he sprinkled the blood on the people, was prophetically foretelling the work of Christ (Exodus 24:8). It is no wonder then that we read in the New Testament that we are, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2).

Christ’s blood speaks to us that the vilest offender who believes and rests on Jesus will be saved and delivered from the wrath to come. The blood also speaks of the Almighty God accepting, on our behalf, the sacrifice which He supplied. The blood again speaks of the Justice of God whereby He clears the guilty through the finished work of our accepted Substitute who took away our sins on the cross.

The blood has made the most powerful and famous speech in the Universe.

Many years ago in Ireland, there was a woman who was a very devout Roman Catholic. She attended Mass almost every day but had no peace in her heart. Through time she became distraught about her sins. She went to the priest and confessed them all, but her conviction of sin only grew worse.

At last, she went personally to the priest and told him of her great distress. He told her that she needed something to cheer her up, and as there was a comedian in town, she should go and hear him. The lady decided to go and hear the comedian, but she went to the wrong place. She found a group of people in a hall, but instead of a comedian, a preacher stood up and began to preach. His subject was, “The Forgiveness of Sin through the Blood of Christ.” The lady wanted to leave the meeting, but she was shy and didn’t want to make a noise in moving. So she decided to stay until it was finished.

The sermon on the blood of Christ, as it turns out, was the very message she had needed to hear. Afterwards, she asked the preacher what book he had been reading from. He told her that it was a Bible and gave her a copy. She went home and read and read the Bible. She read of the redeeming blood of the Saviour, she read of the forgiveness of sins, and she trusted Christ for His mercy. By grace alone, both the guilt and weight of her sin were taken away.

Some weeks later the priest visited her and asked her why she had not been attending Mass. She told him that she had found forgiveness and peace with God through the shed blood of her Saviour. When the priest saw the Bible, he was irate and grabbed the book, confiscating it. As he left, he shouted at her, saying that she would go to Hell if she read about the things in this book.

The lady bought another Bible and continued to read it diligently. A month later she decided that she should go and talk to the priest about his soul. When she arrived at his place, a nun opened the door and said in an angry voice, “Come in and see the priest.” When the woman went in, she saw a coffin with the dead body of the priest in it. The nun said, “He died very upset, and he cursed you for having that book, the Bible.”

Though the woman left the house very sad and dismayed, she continued to read her Bible. Some weeks later, late at night, there was a knock at her door. When she opened the door, a lady stood there with her head covered. She asked her inside. When the woman took off her head covering it was the nun. She said, “I have come to tell you that I am very sorry for telling you a dreadful lie about the priest.” She then told her how the priest had begun to read the Bible, and when he died, he was praising God for His mercy and forgiveness through the blood of Christ.

The nun told the lady how she herself had begun to read the Bible after the priest was buried, and how the Lord in His mercy had found her. She now saw the message of the blood, and now she was running away from the Convent and fleeing to England. She too had had her eyes opened to Christ and His promised salvation through the blood of the cross.

The blood of Christ does not call out for revenge, but for mercy upon all who believe. What a powerful speech there is in the Blood of Christ.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Secured for the New Year and Beyond!

Revelation 5:9, “And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood …”

The word ‘redeem’ means ‘to purchase for ownership’; or ‘to pay a ransom.’ It stands to reason then that, if we are bought by the precious blood of Christ, neither the Devil nor anyone else can buy us back! We are bought with a price! We belong to Christ forever! We cannot be lost! If we can be lost, then there is a flaw in the work of Calvary. If we perish, there is something flawed with His payment. Admittedly, there are all manner of flaws in us, but there are no flaws in our substitute and His ransom. Because of the power of the blood to redeem, we can never be lost! We are safe and secure.

We are saved because of one man and His accomplishments. There is no failing in this Second man, the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45; 47). He, as a consequence of His work on Earth 2000 years ago, is now, at this moment, in Heaven as our representative. Because of Him, there is now no legal condemnation for us. We are in Christ and, in Him, we have a perfect standing before the Father.

So here’s Good News for the New Year. It comes in two short questions with answers.

1. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.”

2. “Who is He that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God who also maketh intercession fo us” (Romans 8:33).

The only one who can condemn us won’t condemn us for He has died for us. He has powerfully bought and mercifully paid for us with His own precious blood.

Augustus Toplady, the author of Rock of Ages, knew something of this Grace about which we speak. On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1767, he wrote in his diary; “Upon a review of the past year, I desire to confess, that my unfruitfulness has been exceeding great; my sins still greater, and God’s mercies greater than both.”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?….. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39).

Notice how nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of Christ. Away then with this teaching that Christ can lose that which He dearly purchased with His own blood.

This New Year may we never forget that we are not saved because of our love for Him but because of His love for us. We are not secured by our grip on Him but by His grip on us.

One old time preacher said, “Salvation was like Noah inviting a pagan in his day to place his trust in God’s Word and come into the Ark. Some, however, view salvation as Noah offering to put a peg on the outside of the Ark and saying “If you just hang on through the storm, you’ll be saved.”

Since repetition is the price of learning, let’s then say it again: Salvation is not dependent on our holding on to God, but on our being securely held by and in Christ.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Redemption through His Blood

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Redemption in the ancient world was not a religious idea, but rather a commercial one. Redemption was a term that specifically dealt with the act of buying a slave from the slave market in order to give him freedom. The term used for ‘redemption’ in our text is ‘apolytrōsis’, which carries with it a notion of liberation by the paying of a price. Christ’s amazing blood was the price paid, and it liberated us from the destruction of guilt and wrath.

To further understand biblical redemption, we should look at three other words associated with it in the New Testament. These words show us 3 distinct aspects of this great truth. The three words are,

1) Agorazo

This is a word which describes a purchase made. The Lord Jesus Christ went into the slave market of this world and bought and paid for us. Someone asks, “What did He use for currency?” That’s an excellent question. It finds its answer in 1 Peter 1:18-19 which says, “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

Furthermore, in Hebrews 9:12 we read, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Again in 1 Corinthians 7:23 we read, “You are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” What wonderful news this is for all of God’s children. We have been bought by saving blood. Christ’s blood is the currency of redemption. It has never suffered devaluation, and it never will.

2) Exagorazo

Our second word is Exagorazo. Notice how this is basically the same word as ‘Agorazo‘. It’s agorazo with an ‘ex’ in front of it. ‘Ex’ means ‘out of’ or ‘out from’. So when this term Exagorazo is used, it means that not only were we purchased by blood but that we have been taken out of circulation and are no longer for sale. This is excellent. Such is the power of the blood that it has purchased us and taken out of the marketplace. We are bought with a price and thus removed from the control of both Satan and Sin. “(Galatians 3:13, Galatians 4:5).

3) Lutroo

This third word means to ransom, loose or to set free by paying a price. We have been bought—that’s good news, we have been brought out of the slave market of sin and death … that’s better. But now we discover that the blood has ransomed and freed us to live unto Christ. That’s the best! We read in Titus 2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem (lutroo) us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (See also 1 Peter 1:18, Ephesians 1:7).

What a wonderful Saviour! What a mighty redemption! The term ‘Saved’ has become outmoded in many Christian circles. We are told it is an old fashioned word that puts people off. Not in my book! When we consider the redemption in Christ Jesus and see that it was His own blood that bought and paid for us, and see that He has taken us out of the market place of death and then see that he has set us free, we begin to realise that there is no better word to describe all of this than ‘Saved’. Here’s a hymn that sums it all up:

“Thank God I am free, free, free

From this world of sin,

I’ve been bought by the blood of Jesus,

And I’ve been born again

Hallelujah I’m saved, saved, saved

By His wonderful grace

The blood has been poured out,

He has brought me out

And shown me the way.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Pleading the Blood

In recent weeks I’ve had several inquiries concerning the practice of verbally pleading the blood over everything we do and say. This activity seems to be a widespread practice among certain groups. After reading some material defending this practice, I’m of the opinion that people who verbally plead the blood over themselves are not testifying to the finished and full Gospel. They, in fact, have reduced the blood of Christ to a mere superstition. Claiming the blood over them as a protection formula, puts them on the same level as a person who wears a rabbit’s foot to ward away evil. Hey, it didn’t bring that rabbit any luck when he had the foot neither will pleading the blood bring any blessing to us.

These dear people have, without knowing, turned the blood of Jesus into a hocus-pocus ritual, a sort of magic wand that they think will protect them from evil and harm.

But, pleading the Blood of Jesus is not Biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus tell us to plead His Blood over ourselves. Furthermore, nowhere in the Bible does anyone ever plead the Blood of Jesus over themselves or others. I repeat, this practice of pleading the blood over ourselves is non-biblical.

On the other hand, we see from Scripture what the blood has already accomplished.

We are,

Justified by His Blood, Romans 5:9

We have Redemption through His Blood, Ephesians 1:7

Peace has been made through His Blood, Colossians 1:20

We have been made near by His Blood, Ephesians 2:13

We have been cleansed by His Blood, 1 John 1:7

The Blood is incorruptible Blood, 1 Peter 1:18-19

Our conscience is purged by the Blood, Hebrews 9:14

We enter into the Holiest by His Blood, Hebrews 10:19

We are set apart by His Blood, Hebrews 13:12

We overcome by His Blood, Revelation 12:11…in other words, we make our testimony that which has already been accomplished by the blood (this is not the same as pleading the blood).

Jesus, the sacrificed Lamb, is now our High Priest in heaven. As God’s Children, the blood of Jesus has already been applied to our lives. When Christ Jesus ascended to heaven, He entered into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled His precious blood upon the Mercy Seat before the throne of God. Hebrews 9:12 says; “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

His enemies are already vanquished. The blood has already triumphed. Christ became a curse, and now we have the blessings of Abraham (Galatians 3:13).

It’s redundant to plead the blood of Jesus over us to protect us. We are already under the blood and the care of the one sovereign and true God.

Nor can we cover unbelievers with the Blood of Jesus so that they one day become saved. Is salvation now the result of ritual magic? A thousand times no! There is no magic ritual in the Gospel.

Of course, it is correct to thank God for the accomplishments of the Blood. Unquestionably, it’s lawful to remind the forces of spiritual darkness of the triumph of the blood. But to reduce the blood of Christ to a little magic formula is anti-gospel. It is another form of legalism. In the legalists mind, God will do something but only if we do something first (i.e. plead the blood).

Pleading the blood is sheer anti-gospel nonsense and leads to disappointed casualties up and down the country.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com