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The Wednesday Word: The High Priest who Purged our Sins

September 21, 2016 Leave a comment

Hebrews 1:3, “Who by Himself purged our sins.”

What a stunning statement. Jesus, our High Priest, purged our sins. In other words, He removed them! That’s the kind of High Priest we need. Let any other religious leaders try to do this and their efforts will come to nothing. Buddha could not take away the sins of his people. Mohammed didn’t eradicate the sins of his followers. But, Christ Jesus, our High Priest, by Himself, purged our sins.

When Jesus purged the sins of His people, it was the fulfillment of that which had been pre-figured in the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:30). On that day, Israel was temporarily cleansed from her sins. Now, fast forward to Calvary. There, Jesus, by Himself, permanently purged our sins. He is the fulfilment and the reality of the great Day of Atonement.

But, how did He purge our sins? By His teaching? No! By His Doctrine? No! By His Spirit? No! He purged our sins, “By Himself.” What an excellent word! “Himself.” Some Bible versions leave it out, but it is Gospel Truth. Take these verses, for example. “Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:22). “By His own blood, He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12). “…..how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience (Hebrews 9:14)?”

By Himself, He purged our sins. All that He had and all that He was, He gave as our ransom.

By Himself, He purged our sins. What power! Think about it, He purged our sins before we had ever committed them. Before we had ever sinned, he fully exercised His ministry of purging. What authority, ability and grace! What a Saviour!

There’s an ancient fable that tells of how Hercules cleaned out the Augean stable. But, think about it,… that was an easy task compared to the purging of our sins. The stench of our sins was fouler than the most putrid of dunghills, Yet Jesus purged our sins, by Himself.

Who was this man, this Priest, who purged our sins? He is the heir of all things. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his person (Hebrews 1:2-3). He is the eternal God made flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). He is the one who was and is uniquely God and Man. He is not only our High Priest but also our Prophet and King. He offered Himself. The entire Christ was offered by Christ Himself!

He was High Priest, the Lamb, the Altar and the Sacrifice. It was His blood, His life, which was poured out. Because of that purging of our sins, by Jesus, our High Priest, both God and the believer can righteously approach each other and meet face to face. The distance between us has been destroyed. It has disappeared.

The sins are gone.

The guilt has gone.

The condemnation has gone.

The separation has gone.

The one sacrifice has been made and accepted. Christ, by Himself, purged our sins. It is finished!

Our approach to God is now secure. The High Priest has purged our sins. The door to eternity is open. The High Priest has purged our sins. The veil is torn from the top to the bottom. The High Priest has purged our sins. The dread of God has been removed, the hiding is over, because our priest, by Himself has purged our sins.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

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The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus enough for your Sacrifice?

“And they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which being interpreted is The Place of the Skull)” Mark 15:22.

What sacrifice can we make that will impress the Father more than Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary? None! In the light of that one great sacrifice where Christ poured out His blood, our best efforts at self-denial fade to insignificance. The legendary missionary, David Livingstone, gave up and sacrificed everything to bring the Gospel to the continent of Africa, yet he said, “I never made a sacrifice. We ought not to talk of ‘sacrifice’ when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself up for us.”

Indeed, the heart of Christianity is neither about us nor our sacrifices, it is about Jesus. As P. T. Forsyth said; “Christianity is not the sacrifice that we make; it is the sacrifice that we trust.”

Is His sacrifice enough for us? Consider this, on the day of His death, the Lord Jesus was brought to Golgotha, the place of the skull. Look at Him, the perfectly pure, holy and lovely One. He is brought to a miserable place littered with skulls and bones, then stripped naked and publicly executed. As Isaiah said, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7),” Did you hear that word, ‘SLAUGHTER’! Let’s not try to sanitize this. He was slaughtered for us.

Jesus—the kindest and most gracious man who ever walked, is led to Golgotha where He will writhe in tortured agony. But how can this be? His life was one of doing good and glorifying God. Yet, He is condemned to a wretched place where the worst and the wicked are executed.

Look at Him again, He is more than a man, He is God manifest in the flesh…the God/Man. One word from Him and the armies of Heaven will mobilize and launch a rescue mission. Look at Him, concealing His Sovereign power as He refuses to save Himself. The wicked men who have contrived to kill him are laughable. They think they are in charge. Look at them again and see the reality; see them maliciously scheming to murder the Young Prince of Glory. But unknown to, and in spite of, themselves they are fulfilling His will. They mean this vile act for evil but God means it for good … it’s all according to His plan.

So here He is, the Ruler and Judge of the universe being led as a lamb to the slaughter. Look again at the leaders of religion. This is the day they have plotted and planned for, yet look carefully again and see, in spite of all their supposed power, they are impotent. Again, see who it is who is really in control, It is the Lord Jesus. He did not resist them. A man in charge does not need to resist. One glance from His eyes could have vaporized them. Look at the cruel, wicked men fulfilling His will. But listen to the Master and marvel, for He says, “No man takes my life from me—I have power to lay it down” (John 10:18). So here in His sovereign authority He moves all history, the will of man and the hatred of His enemies to one inescapable conclusion…Golgotha

But why did He allow Himself to be led as a sheep to the slaughter? (Acts 8:32).

One reason He went there was because no amount of sacrificing or religious observance on our part could rescue or redeem us.

And so,”they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha” the place of ultimate disgrace. In Jerusalem, in those days, parents would warn their children that if they took the wrong path in life they would end up at Golgotha: It was the end of the line, fit only for the lowest of the low! And so the Lord of Glory, Jesus, identifies with the lowest, the vilest and the foulest. Don’t ever think, therefore, that you have gone beyond His reach or exhausted His love. You can never exhaust a love that has gone to Golgotha for you.

So here at the cross, the place of the ultimate sacrifice, we discover our meeting place with God. Here man and God meet and see each other clearly. At the cross, we declared our hand and displayed our hatred for God; yet at the cross, God meets us, and fully demonstrates His love and grace towards us.

And now, because of Christ’s sacrifice, the cross is the true center of Christian fellowship. His sacrifice is enough for the Father, is it enough for you?

“My faith has found a resting place

Not in device or creed

I’ll trust the ever-living one

His wounds for me shall plead

I need no other argument

I need no other plea,

It is enough that Jesus died,

And that He died for me”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: God does not forgive sins.

January 14, 2015 3 comments

Let’s get this straight, God, because He is righteous, holy and just, hates sins! He does not forgive them! He does not cancel their penalty. Sin is a direct assault on Him and, as such, has earned His wrath, fury and severe displeasure.
Sin is the real obstacle between God and man. We, by nature, have an inbuilt hardness and hatred towards God. We are sinners. We deserve damnation. Yet God, in grace, forgave us but not our sins.

“But, how is this possible?” you ask, “If He didn’t forgive our sins what did He do with them?” Here’s the answer. He punished them! He purged them and He put them away. In grace, love and mercy, He gave us the Sin-Bearer, Jesus the Christ, who laid down His life in our place, becoming a curse instead of us. Our sins were laid on Him instead of us. He became our substitute and died instead of us. Christ was punished instead of us!

The gospel truth is this, God does not forgive our sins, He forgives us. God is much too holy to arbitrarily forgive sins. He was righteously insulted by our sins. His holiness was offended by our sins. Because of this, in grace, the Father voluntarily gave Christ up unto death. And what the Father did, that also did the Son (John 5:19). During His life, Christ voluntarily made His way to the cross where He died instead of us. There at the cross, He became obedient unto death and by Himself, purged our sins (Hebrews 1:3). By Himself, He put away our sins (Hebrews 9:26).

Today, we stand forgiven because our sins were neither forgiven nor swept under the carpet. Our sins were dealt with as the crimes they were. The believer now, by faith, receives personal forgiveness because his sins have already been punished in Christ.

So why did God not merely turn a blind eye to our sins? The answer is discovered in His Holiness and justice. God could not be just, and at the same time lay aside His law. He could not ignore the condemnation we had earned. On the contrary, in His grace and justice He did something about our sins. In the fullness of time, He, in Christ, condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3). By becoming our sin offering, as one of us, Christ condemned the sin of His people and passed judgement on it.

Keep telling yourself this amazing gospel truth. Keep telling yourself that your sins have already been condemned and you have been set free.

The Lord Jesus has implemented and executed judgment upon all our sins and we have been forgiven. He has put our sins away and forgotten them (Isaiah43:25). But again, let us be very clear on this, God did not forgive our sins. Instead, He ruthlessly punished them and their bearer at Calvary. In that way, He can righteously forgive us.

What an amazing truth this is to tell yourself. There is now no damnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). The penalty of our sins has been paid for by blood, the precious blood of the precious Lamb. As Adolph Saphir said;

“All our sins were lain upon Jesus, everyone (of them) was punished… He executed judgment upon all our sins … for all the Children of God”

Adolph Saphir: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 5

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

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The New Year is upon us!

Our 2015 outreach plans can be realized, under God, only by the generous support of friends like you. In this next calendar year we are concentrating on preaching the gospel in Ireland (both North and South).

In addition to our gospel work in Ireland, we are holding a leaders conference in Malawi in April and also holding three leaders conferences in India in November. It is a really exciting time for the gospel and we are so privileged to be the ones to do this. Time is flying past and we don’t have nearly enough time to reach the lost.

We are grateful for every gift that enables us to play our part in the Great Commission. Your gift of any amount will help us start the New Year in strength as we provide people around the world with Christ-centred Bible teaching.

Happy New Year!

Miles and Gillian

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers-Prayer 20

THE GREAT SACRIFICE.

O GOD our Father, we do remember well when we were called to Thee; with many sweet and wooing voices we were bidden to return. Thou didst Thyself hang out the lights of mercy that we might know the way home, and Thy dear Son himself came down to seek us. But we wandered still. It brings the tears to our eyes to think that we should have been so foolish and so wicked, for we often extinguished the light within and conscience we tried to harden, and we sinned against light and knowledge with a high hand against our God.

Thou hast often brought us very low even to our knees, and we cried for mercy, but we rose to sin again. Blessed was that day when Thou didst strike the blow of grace — the effectual blow. Then didst Thou wither up our comeliness and all our perfection was rolled in the dust. We saw ourselves to be slain by the law, to be lost, ruined, and undone, and then we rolled to and fro in the tempests of our thoughts and staggered like drunken men, and were at our wits’ end — then did we cry unto Thee in our trouble, and blessed be Thy name for ever, Thou didst deliver us.

O happy day that sealed our pardon with the precious blood of Jesus accepted by faith. We would recall the memory of that blessed season by repeating it. We come again now to the cross whereon the Savior bled; we give another look of faith to Him. We trust we never take away our eyes off Him, but if we have done so we would look anew; we would gaze into the body of the Son of God, pierced with nails, parched with thirst, bleeding, dying, because “it pleased the Father to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.”

Lord God, we see in Thy crucified Son a sacrifice for sin; we see how Thou hast made Him to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him; and we do over again accept Him to be everything to us. This is the victim by whose blood the covenant is made through faith; this is that Paschal Lamb by the sprinkling of whose blood all Israel is secured; for Thou hast said, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” This is the blood which gives us access into that which is within the veil; this is the blood which now to our souls is drink indeed, and we do rejoice in the joy which this new wine of the covenant hath given unto our spirits.

We would take afresh the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. We would pay our vows now in the midst of all the Lord’s people and in the courts of His house; and this is a part payment of our vow that we bless the Lord Jesus who hath put away our sin. We bless Him that He hath redeemed us unto Himself not with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with His own precious blood; and we do avow ourselves today to be the Lord’s.

We are not our own; we are bought with a price. Lord Jesus, renew Thy grasp of us, take us over again, for we do even with greater alacrity than ever before surrender ourselves to Thee, and so “bind the sacrifice with cords, even with cords to the horns of the altar.” O Lord, I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid. Thou hast loosed my bonds. The Lord liveth, and blessed be my Rock. Henceforth within that Rock I hide myself. For Him I live. The Lord enable all His people with sincere hearts, with undivided hearts, thus again to give themselves up to Jesus, and do Thou set in them anew the marks and tokens of Thy possession till every one of us shall say as many of us can say, “From henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

We bless Thee, Lord, for that mark to which some of us can look back with much joy. It is not in our hand, nor in our forehead, nor on our foot, nor on our heart alone; our whole body has been buried with Christ in baptism unto death, and now the whole body, soul and spirit, by our willing consecration, belong unto Christ henceforth and for ever.

Our Father, there is one prayer which has kept rising to our lip even while we have been thus speaking to Thee. It comes from our very heart. It is: Bring others to Thyself. Hast Thou not said, O God of Jacob, “Yet will I gather others unto Him that have not been gathered?” Hast Thou not given to Thy Son the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession? Lord, give Thy Son the reward of His travail; give Him a part of that reward this day wherever He is preached. Oh! That some might be moved with the love of Christ.

Lord, some know not who Thou art; convince them of Thy Deity and Thy power to save. Lord, many of them do not think; they live as if they were to die, and there would be an end of them. O Divine Spirit, convince them of judgment to come. Set before each careless eye that day of terrible pomp when for every idle word that men shall speak they must give an account. O Divine Spirit, teach unreasonable men true reason; teach the obdurate sensitiveness; look upon them, Jesus, just as Thou didst on those of the synagogue, not with anger, but still being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,” and bring many, many, many this very day to the dear feet that were nailed to the cross. Oh! how we long for it. Deny us what Thou wilt, only bring sinners to Thyself.

Lord Jesus, Thou art gone from us. We rejoice that this is the fact, for Thou hast taught us that it is expedient for us that Thou shouldest go, and that the Comforter should be with us; but, oh! let us not miss that promised presence of the Comforter. May He be here to help and succor in all works of faith and labors of love, and may we feel that He has come among us and is dwelling with us because He is convincing the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment to come.

O Spirit of God, bring men to accept the great propitiation, to see their sin washed away in the purple flood whose fount was opened when the heart of Christ was pierced, and may blood-washed sinners begin to sing on earth that everlasting anthem which shall be sung by all the redeemed in heaven.

We beseech Thee now, Lord, to look upon all Thy people, and grant every one a blessing. Some are in great trouble. Deliver them, we pray Thee. Others may be in great peril, though they have no trouble. The Lord save His people from the evils of prosperity. It may be some of Thine own people find it hard to worship because of cares; may they be able, like Abraham, when the birds came down upon the sacrifice, to drive them away.

O Spirit of God, make us all more holy. Work in us more completely the image of Christ. We do long to be as the Lord Jesus Christ in spirit and temper, and in unselfishness of life. Give us the character of Christ, we pray Thee. Redemption from the power of sin is purchased with His blood, and we crave for it, and pray that we may daily receive it. Let the whole militant Church of Christ be blessed; put power into all faithful ministries; convert this country; save it from abounding sin; let all the nations of the earth know the Lord, but especially bless those nations that speak our own dear mother tongue, where our same Lord and Christ is worshipped this day after the same fashion.

The Lord bless His people. Bring the Church to break down all bonds of nationality, all limits of sects, and may we feel the blessed unity which is the very glory of the Church of Christ; yea, let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Our prayer can never cease until we reach this point: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Nothing less than this can we ask for. And now hear us as we pray for the Sovereign and all in authority, and ask Thy blessing to rest upon this land, and let Thy blessing extend over all the family of man. We ask it for Christ’s sake. Amen.world without end. Amen.

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers

Dwight L. Moody’s Arminian Doctrines Pt 3

April 7, 2014 1 comment

Dr. Kennedy continues in discussing Moody’s preaching:

“True, much use is made of Christ’s substitutionary death. But it is usually referred to as a disposing of sin, so that it no longer endangers him, who believes that Christ died for him—who accepts Christ as his substitute. This use of the doctrine of substitution has been very frequent and very effective. Christ, as the substitute of sinners is declared to be the object of faith. But it is His substitution rather than Himself. To believe in substitution is what produces the peace. This serves to remove the sense of danger. There is no direct dealing with the Person who was the substitute. There is no appreciation of the merit of His sacrifice, because of the Divine glory of Him by whom it was offered. Faith, in the convenient arrangement for deliverance from danger, is substituted for trust in the Person who glorified God on the earth, and ‘in whom’ alone we can ‘have redemption through His blood.’ The blood of Jesus was referred to, and there was an oft-repeated ‘Biblereading’ on the subject of ‘the blood’; but what approximation to any right idea regarding it could there be in the mind, and what but misleading in the teaching, of one who could say, ‘Jesus left His blood on earth to cleanse you, but He brought His flesh and bones to heaven.’

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

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

Peace Made Through the Blood

November 13, 2013 2 comments

The Wednesday Word: Peace Made Through the Blood

 

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, Col1:20 (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. Don’t fool yourself 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 noticed 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 us and God. 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.” This means that, when we come to Christ our mercy seat, we are fully 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 is too great! 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 reckless, 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 for? 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 from His inner being because the demands of His justice had been met by the blood of a substitute. 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 this substitute points towards 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.

 

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