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The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus Enough for your Religion? Part 2

It is a hard and bitter pill to swallow, but the truth is, everything we do is flawed! But does that matter? It certainly does if we are relying on our religious rituals to get us to Heaven. However, if we are relying exclusively on Jesus, His person and performance, then we are already saved. We have no need to work to gain something from God. Christ’s perfections and righteousness have now delivered and set us free to enjoy Him. If we truly believe that Jesus is enough, then we must accept that we have been brought out from the dreary treadmill of religious performance. Now, as those who have been delivered from the tyranny of having to impress God with our works, we find that there is life abundant in the Gospel.

Will everything we do for Jesus from this time onwards be perfect? It’s exceedingly doubtful (Jeremiah 17:9). Will those around us who are following Jesus do everything correctly? It’s not likely! If this were continually remembered, then there would be fewer fussings and fightings among the followers of Jesus. Disappointments would diminish, and disillusion would disappear. So many have broken off fellowship and gone out on their own because another flawed, imperfect Christian, just like them, hurt them. Or maybe it was the Pastor! He ran off with the piano player! So let’s all quit! Wait a minute, is Jesus not enough for us? He didn’t hurt us or for that matter run off with anyone. He is faithful, loyal and genuine! Are His faithfulness and loyalty enough for us?

In times like those, I’d forgotten that Jesus is enough!

Remember this, the church, although it is comprised of followers of Jesus, is really a hospital for hurting people; it’s full of the walking wounded. Don’t be surprised, then, when one of them turns around and bites you. But as for us, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus. He did no sin, there was no deceit in Him, yet He, “was numbered among the transgressors. We all deserve condemnation, but we have been acquitted by mercy, love and grace working together in concert with God’s justice. Now we are pronounced not guilty, not because of our religion, but because of the person and performance of the Lamb.

Let me ask you then, what do we have that we didn’t receive by grace? He was condemned, we got the acquittal! He suffered, we got the peace. He was put to shame, we inherit glory! He was put to death, we got the abundance of life. Our sins were imputed to Him. His righteousness is imputed to us. This is Amazing Grace!

Why then are we so judgmental towards other weak, frail and flawed followers? We need grace, so do they! What’s so special about us that our rights must be preserved? Jesus had rights, yet He laid them down. He went to the cross where He was mocked as an impostor. He had the right to save Himself, but He laid it down. So now, all that we have, and are, and hope for, is due to the doing and dying of Jesus. That’s the kind of religion’s that is enough for us.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus Enough for your Religion? Part 1

Romans 10:3-4 … “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes.”

All of us are religious by nature. After all, religion is man’s system and way of approaching and worshiping his God. Religion, is the expression of worship and belief. Religion is man’s way of doing the things he feels his God wants him to do. Religion expresses all that a man believes about his God and how he should be served.

As believers, however, we need to be so very cautious of our religion: unknowingly and invariably, our system of religion can unintentionally replace the Gospel.

When our system of religious observances substitutes itself for the Finished Work of Christ, we are in trouble. We may be sincere, decent, reliable and religious and yet have nothing that God recognizes as being valid or acceptable. We may be very ardent about our religion, but our zeal will not gain us Christ’s righteousness. If Christ alone is not our way to the Father, we have, as yet, not come to God. At the end of the day, it was Christ who said, “No man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). So long, therefore, as we are mistaken about the way to God, we are in darkness. If we do not know the way to approach God, our worship, sincere as it is, is unacceptable. Indeed, we ourselves are unacceptable. We have missed the Way…the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 3:12)! To replace Christ with our system of religion is both toxic and lethal. Religion does not and cannot give us a Righteousness that fits us for heaven!

To have access to God, we must have Jesus, His doing, dying and rising again. He is supremely superior to our system of religion. For access to God, nothing more than Jesus is needed, but nothing less than Jesus will do. He is enough!

We cannot work our way into God’s favour by our religious practices. Try it, if we must, but it’s a wasted effort. We, by doing so, are relying on man’s religion, not God’s. To try to work our way into heaven’s favour is to entirely miss the mark. To attempt to work our way into God’s approval is to actually fly in the face of the Gospel. Such religious behaviour, whilst commonplace, has no basis in gospel reality and no resemblance to that in which God delights.

The problem happens, when a person thinks that his religious system will ultimately give him favour with Heaven. But here’s the difficulty. Such a person, by his religious activity, admits to being on a quest for forgiveness and acceptance. He has, therefore, got things upside down. The gospel truth is this, acceptance and forgiveness begin our walk with God, they are not the end result. Our acceptance is secure only through the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:12). The only acceptable works which impress the Father are the works of His Son. The Father is well pleased with Jesus. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of good works! We do not need, therefore, to attempt to be saved by anything we do. As believers, we have already been saved by works; Christ’s works, not ours.

Our salvation is discovered in Christ alone, not in ourselves. It is through Christ alone that we are saved. Jesus is the Saviour. He is God incarnate. It is, therefore, of no surprise that He effectively carries out His work of salvation. In Christ, we have redemption through His blood (Ephesians 1:7). It is by grace alone that the people of God become accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). It is Jesus alone who is the Saviour of men, and, no matter how religious we become, we are not, and cannot be, our own saviours.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

Experimental Salvation

December 16, 2013 3 comments

L. R. Shelton, Sr.

Our people have lived in the land of unreality and have been fed on fleshly programs and the emotions of the flesh so long until, when you begin to talk about salvation being experimental, or Christ being a living reality they do not know what you are talking about. Many have written to me saying, “Pastor, Christ is not real to my heart. What’s the trouble?” Well, you had better go back and examine; chances are you are not saved. A high churchman wrote me this past week and said, “Pastor, I am beginning to realize that I do not know Christ because Christ has never been real to my heart even though I made a profession of faith as a child.” Well, God is showing that man that he has never come to know Christ.

Multitudes of our church members today believe they are saved who are total strangers to the work of Divine grace in their hearts. They know nothing about the new birth; they know nothing about God working salvation in their hearts by the Holy Spirit through His Word. Now, my friend, if you do not believe that salvation is an inward work wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, I have no message for you.

 

Read the rest here.

Beware of unfounded persuasion that your sins are forgiven

fullerFinally: Beware of taking comfort from any impulse, or unfounded persuasion that your sins are forgiven, and that you are a favorite of God. Many are deceived this way, and mistake such a persuasion for faith itself. When a sinner is driven, from all his former holds, it is not unusual for him, instead of falling at the feet of Christ as utterly lost, to catch at an new conceit, however unscriptural and absurb, if it will but afford him relief. If, in such a state of mind, he receives an impression, perhaps in the words of scripture, that God has forgiven and accepted him, or dreams that he is in heaven, or reads a book, or hears a sermon favorable to such a method of obtaining relief, he eagerly imbibes it, and becomes intoxicated with the delicious draught. The joy of hope being so new and unexpected a thing, and succeeding to great darkness and distress, produces wonderful change in his mind. Now he thinks he has discovered the light of life, and feels as one that has lost his burden. Now he has found out the true religion; and all that he read or heard before, not affording him relief, is false doctrine, or legal preaching. Being treated also as one of the dear children of God by others of the same description, he is attached to his flatterers and despised those as graceless who would rob him of his comforts, by warning him against ” the lie which is in his right hand.”

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

Beware of deriving comfort from the distress of mind

April 29, 2013 3 comments

fuller3. Beware of deriving comfort from the distress of mind which you may have undergone, or from any feelings within you. Some religious people will tell you, that these workings of mind are a sign that God has mercy in reserve for you; and that, if you go on in the way you are in waiting as at the pool, all will be well in the end; but such language requires great qualification. It is not your being distressed in mind that will prove anything in your favor, but the issue of it. Saul was distressed as well as Davis and Judas, as well as Peter. When the murderers of our Lord were pricked in their hearts, Peter did not comfort them by representing this their unhappiness as a hopeful sign of conversion; but exhorted them to repent, and be baptized every one them in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.

And thus it was with Paul and Silas, when the jailer was impressed with fear and dismay: they gave him no encouragement from thence, but preached Jesus Christ as the only source of hope. If one who had slain a man in Israel, had stopped short of the City of refuge, and endeavored to draw comfort from the alarm which he had felt, lest the avenger of blood should overtake him, would he have been safe? There is no security to you or to any man, but in fleeing immediately to the Gospel-refuge and laying hold of the hope set before you. If you take comfort from your distress, you are in immiment danger of stopping short of Christ, and so of perishing for ever. Many no doubt, have done so; and that which they have accounted waiting at the pool for the moving of the waters, has proved no other than settling upon a false foundation. Indeed, it must needs be so; for as there is no medium in one that has heard the gospel, between faith and unbelief, he that does not believe in Jesus for salvation, if be have any hope of it, must derive that hope from something in himself.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered