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Posts Tagged ‘The Cross’

The Wednesday Word: “Getting in!”

“Behold, thy days approach that thou must die” Deuteronomy 31:14

Many years ago, a preacher, Dr Charles H. Berry, had, at a young age received the highest honours his denomination could confer. His fame as a preacher was as wide as the English-speaking world. But he was a theological liberal. He, at that stage of his life, didn’t believe in the fundamentals of grace, the blood and substitutionary atonement. He told the following story of his conversion to his friend, Dr J. H. Jowett.

“One night there came to me, a Lancashire girl, with her shawl over her head, and with clogs on her feet.”

“‘Are you the minister?’ she said.

“‘Yes.’

“‘Then I want you to come and get my mother in’

“Thinking it was some drunken brawl, I said, ‘You must get a policeman.’

“Oh, no,’ said the girl, ‘my mother is dying, and I want you to get her into salvation.’

“‘Where do you live?’

“‘I live at so and so, a mile and a half from here.’

“‘Is there no minister nearer than I?’

“‘Oh, yes, but I want you, and you will have to come.’

“I was in my slippers, and I did all I could to get out of it, but it was of no use. That girl was determined, and I had to dress and go. I found the house, and upstairs I found the poor woman dying. I sat down and talked about Jesus as the beautiful example and extolled Him as a Leader and Teacher. I talked about His kindness and how we ought to be kind. She looked at me out of her eyes of death, and said:

“‘Mister, that’s no good for the likes of me. I don’t want an example. I’m a sinner.’

“Jowett, there I was face to face with a poor soul dying and had nothing to tell her. I had no gospel; but I thought of what my mother had taught me, and I told her the old, old story of God’s love in Christ’s dying for sinful people, whether I believed it or not.

“‘Now you are getting at it’ said the woman. ‘That’s the story for me.’

“And so I got her in, and….. I got myself in. From that night,” added Dr. Berry, “I have always had a full gospel of salvation for lost sinners.”

What a marvelous little story. The preacher and listener saved by the same message!

Dr. Berry discovered that theological liberalism is not for the sick, the dying and the desperate. It can’t “get people in.”

Theological liberalism is very ensnaring as it subtly whittles away at the cross. In its teaching, the atonement becomes nothing other than a sublime example of selflessness. Christ is reduced to the status of only a man. There is no saving blood sacrifice. There is no gospel. In theological liberalism, the Bible is torn to shreds! There is no life in that—death, only death.

Let me ask you a personal question. If you were called to a death bed and the dying person was urgently concerned about their salvation, humanly speaking, could you “get them in”?

Do you know that although death is like a giant scorpion, for the believer its sting is removed? As William Romaine rightly observed, ‘Death stung himself to death when he stung Christ!’

To help those who are dying we need to know that Christ has settled the sin and death problem. Do you know this? Could you tell a dying person this as you urge them to trust in Christ? We need to ask ourselves, therefore, do we believe the gospel or is it just a theory. Or, do we from the depth of our being trust that Christ Jesus is the One who has already, thoroughly and finally dealt with sin and death? (see Hebrews. 1:3; 9:26; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

Christ Jesus alone is the One who is to be trusted and relied upon for salvation.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: The Shepherd and the Sword

December 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Awake O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow” Zechariah 13:7.

The Lord Jesus came here to be the effective, substitute for sinners. As such, it pleased the Father to bruise Him. The decree went out from Yahweh Himself, “Smite the Shepherd.” That´s why we also read, “He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

Although Jesus went to the cross, He was under no compulsion to do so. No man took His life, He laid it down voluntarily (John 10:18). The Father decreed that the Shepherd would die and Jesus willingly fulfilled those wishes. Men, it seems, were the unwitting accomplices in carrying out the great, eternal purposes of redeeming grace.

But why did Jesus die? Is there anyone reading this who can answer? Is there a prophet or a son of a prophet who can shed some light on this matter? But wait, who is that long bearded man coming towards us. It is a seer. It´s Isaiah!

Let´s ask Isaiah. “Isaiah, we need some help here…why did Jesus, our Shepherd, die? “…and Isaiah without hesitation answers, “He was wounded. for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him … The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Thanks Isaiah! That shed much light on this question for us. (see Isaiah 53).

When Jesus died, He accepted the just penalty of His people’s sins. The sword was turned against the Shepherd. He died for our iniquities. He bore our sins. Who then can condemn us?

“Complete atonement Thou hast made,

And to the utmost farthing paid

Whate’er Thy people owed;

Nor can Thy wrath on me take place,

If sheltered in Thy righteousness,

And sprinkled with Thy blood.

“For my discharge Thou hast procured,

And freely in my room endured

The whole of Wrath Divine:

Payment God cannot twice demand,

First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,

And then again at mine”?

Augustus Toplady

Who then, is he that condemns? No one is qualified to do so. Christ has been convicted and punished in our place. This is the excellent ground of our assurance. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). Being redeemed, we are delivered from condemnation (Romans 8:1). The Father does not condemn those whom He, by the Spirit, has brought into Christ Jesus.

Another reason why none of the redeemed can be condemned is that Christ, not only died but is risen again. His resurrection proves that He has forever exhausted the entire penalty due to the sins of believers. He was raised again because He had secured our justification.

Bishop Pearson (1877) well said,

“By His death, we know that He suffered for sin,

By His resurrection, we are assured that the sins for which He suffered were not His own.

Had no man been a sinner, He would not have died;

Had He been a sinner, He would not have risen again.”

Because Christ is at the place of cosmic authority, no one can condemn us. He has entered heaven as the forerunner of His people (Hebrews 6:20). He is the advance guard, and we will follow.

Eternity with Jesus! …Just the thought of this is heaven. It´s no wonder the Hymn writer wrote;

“How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

In a believer´s ear

It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds

And drives away His fears.”

Right now, this very moment, Christ Jesus is representing us. We cannot, therefore, be condemned. We are dear to Him, He is our Priest and Advocate. He is the Shepherd who was smitten with the sword. He appears for us and intends to bring us to where He lives. There is no condemnation for us. We are eternally secure.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

Concerning Christ Suffering

“The Creed sets forth what Christ suffered in the sight of men, and then appositely speaks of that invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he underwent in the sight of God in order that we might know not only that Christ’s body was given as the price of our redemption, but that he paid a greater and more excellent price in suffering in his soul the terrible torments of a condemned and forsaken man.”

John Calvin (1509-1564)

The Love of Christ

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

“The poets themselves said, that amor Deum gubernat, that love governed God. And, as Nazianzen well speaks, this love of God, this dulcis tyrannus, —this sweet tyrant,—did overcome him when he was upon the cross. There were no cords could have held him to the whipping-post but those of love; no nails have fastened him to the cross but those of love.”

Thomas Goodwin (1600-1679)