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The Wednesday Word: THE RIGHT WAY

“He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation “Psalm 107: 7.

There is only one way to heaven … the right way. Unfortunately, the ways that lead to destruction are many (Matthew 7:13). The way to heaven is narrow, but the numerous ways that lead to damnation are broad and thronged with people. Since all of us will die, it would be a smart thing to ask then if we are on the right way to heaven, or on the downward road to hell?

Unfortunately, no question is more irritating to the unbeliever than that one. The unsaved usually shrink from such a query. Perhaps, they do not want to disturb their conscience! They are content with the thought that they are no worse than their neighbours, and shall stand as good a chance as any of them. Poor misguided people! It will give them no comfort in the Lake of Fire to discover they were right, … indeed they were no worse than their neighbours.

So, what does the Lord Jesus Christ say on this subject? He says, “Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction¨ (Matthew 7: 13-14). I fear that multiplied thousands, deceived by Satan, are on the road to eternal ruin, being fully satisfied in their own minds that they are safe.

Again we read, “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12).

But how shall we find “the right way?”

The Lord Jesus Christ answers this with full authority when He declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Christ alone is the way to heaven. No church, no sacrament, “no Guru, no method no teacher.” Christ alone!

Jesus also announces, “I am the door: by Me, if any man enters in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9). Christ is the helpless sinner’s only hope. He is the only refuge from the wrath to come.

Again, we read, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the right and the only way to eternal glory. We, believers, know that God, by an act of sovereign grace and mercy, enabled us to see our utterly lost condition. By grace, we saw the urgent necessity of fleeing for refuge to Jesus the sinner’s only shelter and hiding place from the wrath to come.

By grace, we have been shown that,”All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” and that our best good works need washing in the precious blood of Jesus? We realise that, of ourselves, we are absolutely bankrupt of all power, will, or ability to take a single step towards heaven. We know that, if left to our own strength and guidance, we should be hopelessly lost and ruined forever. But as believers, the Holy Spirit has given us a glimpse of the unutterable value of the Saviour’s love and blood. He has created in our souls a burning thirst after our Saviour, a longing which can never be satisfied until we see Jesus as He is.

“Just to see Jesus, once scarred as Redeemer!

Jesus my Lord, from all suffering free;

Just to see Jesus transfigured forever,

That will be glory, be glory for me.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word – Grace and Truth

“The law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” John 1:17.

Moses gave the Law, but the Law it did not come by Moses. Moses, for all his moral rectitude, was not the originator of Law. He gave the Law, but he didn’t invent it.

Moses had to receive the Law. It was not his own. It was not a part of his being. He was not Law incarnate. The Law was delivered to him and he, in turn, gave it to others.

Grace and truth, on the other hand, were not “given” to Christ, they came by Christ for grace and truth were His essence. He was grace and truth incarnate. It is interesting to note that Christ could have come as Law incarnate for, indeed, He was the quintessence of the Law. But when He came to us, He came as the embodiment of grace and truth.

The Law was given to, among other reasons, expose our inability to please God. Our hearts towards God had been frozen in a glacier of self-will and destruction. God, therefore, did not hope that we would keep the Law, He knew we couldn’t. Rather, He gave it so that every mouth would be stopped and all the world become guilty before Him (Romans 3:19).

But there’s good news! Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. When Christ appeared, grace and truth appeared in all its fullness. Grace and truth descended to earth in the person of Jesus the God/Man. He alone is our Gospel. We dare not add to or subtract from Him.

There are no two things in the Bible more different than Law and Gospel. Either we obtain salvation in all its facets by contributing our works, or we freely receive salvation by faith alone in the doing, dying and rising again of our Lord Jesus …plus nothing!

For a moment then, let’s consider some of the differences and contrasts between Law and Gospel!

The Law demands righteousness; the Gospel gives it.

The Law requires good works; the Gospel provides them.

Under the Law, the source of our blessings is from our obedience. But under the Gospel, blessings are a gift based upon Christ’s obedience.

“The Law threatens, the Gospel heals.

The Law shows us our wretchedness. The Gospel takes our misery away.

The Law was not given to save us but to damn us.

The Gospel, on the other hand, was given, not to damn us but to save us.

The Law was not given to bless us, but to curse us.

The gospel was given to set us free from the curse .

The Law puts on its black cap of damnation and sentences men to death. The Gospel, by contrast, put on the white cap of mercy and brings dead men to life.”

The Law tells us what we must do to get right with God. Grace, on the other hand, tells us what God has done for us to get us right with Himself.

When Moses gave the Law, his face shone. But when grace and truth came, the full light of the knowledge of the glory of God was revealed in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

He Who Confesses and He Who Does Not Confess: John’s Confession of Faith

September 13, 2016 Leave a comment

by Tom Nettles

The substantial theological differences that began to emerge in the days of the apostles caused them to develop short, pithy confessional statements that summarized vital elements of the apostolic teaching. These served as a dividing point between teachers of truth and teachers of error. The apostle John found some teachers infiltrating the church who taught that Jesus was only a spirit who appeared to be in a true body. Others taught that Jesus was only a man who served for a short while as a vehicle for the presence and teaching of a divine spirit who left him just before he died.

In order to expose the teachers of both these errors, John set forth a simple but highly evocative confessional statement: “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” (1 John 4:2, 3). The negative part of the confession borrows the context from the first part—that is, one is not from God who will not confess that the man named Jesus is the Christ who has come in the flesh.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Attributes of God: Truth- Book 2- Chapter 2- Section 8

Book Second

CHAPTER II.

SECTION VIII. – TRUTH.

GOD IS A BEING OF INVIOLABLE TRUTH.[50]

The truth of God includes veracity and faithfulness: –veracity in his declaration of things as they are, and faithfulness in the exact fulfilment of his promises and threatenings. Men often err in their testimony from mistake of facts, and fail through inability to fulfil promises which they have made with honest intentions. The omniscience of God renders mistake with him impossible; and his omnipotence and unchangeableness render the fulfilment of his intentions certain. Truth, as a moral attribute, is the agreement of what is spoken with the mind of the speaker. We never charge men with want of veracity, when they err in their testimony through mere mistake; or with want of faithfulness, when they fail to fulfil their promises entirely from inability. God’s testimony is true, because it agrees perfectly with his view of things, and that this view agrees with the actual state of things, results, not from his truth, but his omniscience. His promises are true because they agree precisely with his intentions; and that these intentions are exactly fulfilled, results from other attributes, as has been explained. Truth is understood for the most part to refer to something spoken or written; but the truth of God may be understood, in a wider sense, to denote the agreement of all the revelations or manifestations which he has made of himself, with his mind and character.

Because God’s manifestations of himself are true, it does not follow that they are complete and perfect. He showed his glory to Moses; but it was only a part of his glory that he exhibited, because Moses was unable to bear the full display. All manifestations to his creatures are necessarily limited; and they are made as seems good in his sight. Our knowledge of God, which is necessarily imperfect because of our weakness, is often erroneous, through our misuse of the manifestations which he has made. So the heathen world, when they knew God, glorified him not as God, but changed the truth of God into a lie.

When men abuse the knowledge of God which they possess, and the means of knowledge which he has afforded them, it is not inconsistent with his character to give them up, in righteous judgment, to their own hearts’ lusts. Because they receive not the love of the truth, God shall send them strong delusions,[51] that they should believe a lie. So Ahab desired a false prophecy, and his prophets desired to gratify him, and God gave him up to be deceived.[52] This is expressed, in the prophetic imagery of Scripture, by his sending a lying spirit into the prophets. Ahab was deceived; but it was in spite of the true word of God, by the prophet whom he rejected. Jeremiah complains that God had deceived him; but this, in the most unfavorable construction that can be put on his language, amounts to nothing more than an impatient exclamation of the prophet, under a severe trial.

We can have no knowledge of God, except by the manifestations he has made of himself. When we receive these, however made, as expressing to us the mind and character of God, we exercise faith in God. But when we close our understandings and hearts against these manifestations, or, through disrelish of them, misinterpret them in any manner, we are guilty of the great sin of unbelief, which rejects the testimony of God, and makes him a liar.

[50] Deut. xxxii. 4; Ps. cxix. 142; John viii. 26; Rom. iii. 4; Tit. i. 2; Heb. vi. 18; Rev. iii. 7.

[51] 2 Thess. ii. 11.

[52] 1 Kings xxii.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

Why I Lovingly Push Reformed Theology

February 18, 2016 Leave a comment

By William F. Leonhart III

Periodically, an article is published to which I am compelled to respond. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to respond with nastiness or even direct disagreement. A response is not a reaction. The following article is an attempt at a friendly response to an article published today over at RAANetwork. The goal here is not to discredit the article or punch holes in its reasoning. My goal isn’t even to correct anything I believe to be improperly stated. Rather, my goal here will be to offer an alternative viewpoint, or perhaps to approach the subject from a bit of a different angle.

Defining Our Terms

Many well-intentioned articles have been written to persuade Reformed Christians to go easy—fly under the radar—in the discussion over Calvinism and non- (or anti-) Calvinism. Let us take a moment before diving into this discussion ourselves to discuss some important definitions. It’s important that we all understand from the outset that, when we say someone is Reformed or Calvinistic, we don’t all mean the same thing. Some equate Reformed Theology with Calvinism. Others recognize that Calvinism has come to be defined in Evangelicalism as a much different thing from Reformed Theology. For the purposes of this article, I will be using the two terms to describe two different, but related, concepts.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Though he slay me yet will I trust in Him

SpurgeonAgain: the most likely way for you ever to receive God’s grace is to believe God’s truths. Never kick against God’s doctrines, but receive them. And I have one thing to say to thee this morning, if in thy heart, poor sinner, thou canst say, “I believe God’s gospel to be a glorious gospel,” thou art not far from something else. If thou canst say. “I submit to all its demands, I believe God just if he destroys me, and if he saves me, it will be of his sovereign mercy only,” then, sinner, there are good hopes of thee, thou hast proceeded some way on the road to heaven. If thou canst but do one thing more, and say, “Though he slay me yet will I trust in him,” and if thou canst come to the cross of Christ, and say, “Jesus, I love thy gospel and I love thy truth; if I perish, I will perish believing all thy truth, I will perish clasping thy cross, if I die, I will die owning that thou art a just and gracious God, and still in my poor way, holding fast the form of sound words,” I tell thee, poor soul, God will never damn thee. If thou dost believe in Jesus Christ, and holdest fast his words, he will look upon thee in love, he will say, “Poor soul! though he does not know that these truths are his, yet he thinks them precious; though he dares not hope that they belong to him, yet he will fight for them; though he does not know that he is really a soldier of the cross, chosen of me ere time began, yet see how valiantly he strives for me,” and the Lord will say, “Poor soul, thou lovest the things that thou thinkest are not thine own—-I will make thee rejoice in them as thine own, by my grace; thou lovest election, though thou thinkest thou art not elect—-that is an evidence that thou art mine.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be baptized, and thou shalt be saved.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Love Christ and love Christ’s truth because it is Christ’s truth

Spurgeon 1And then the second holdfast is love. Love Christ and love Christ’s truth because it is Christ’s truth, for Christ’s sake and if you love the truth you will not let it go. It is very hard to turn a man away from the truth he loves, “Oh!” says one, “I cannot argue with you about it, but I cannot give it up: I love it, and cannot live without it; it is a part of myself, woven into my very nature; and though my opponent says that bread is not bread, and I cannot prove that it is, yet I know I go and eat it; it is wonderfully like it to me, and it takes away my hunger. He says that stream is not a pure stream. I cannot prove that it is, but I go and drink of it, and find it the river of the water of life to my soul.” And he tells me that my gospel is not a true one: well, it comforts me, it sustains me in my trials, it helps me to conquer sin and to keep down my evil passions, and brings me near to God, and if my gospel be not a true one, I wonder what sort of thing a true one is: mine is wonderfully like it, and I cannot suppose that a true gospel would produce better effects. That is the best thing to do, to believe the Word, to have so full a belief in it, that the enemy cannot pull you away. He may try to do it, but you will say,—- —

“Amidst temptations sharp and long,
My soul to the same refuge flies;
Faith is my anchor, firm and strong,
When tempests blow or billows rise.”

Hold on then, Christian, to “faith and love which are by Christ Jesus” — two blessed holdfasts, wherewith we grasp the truth.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

If you would hold fast the truth, pray yourselves right into it

Spurgeon 6But then, Christian men, above all things, if you would hold fast the truth, pray yourselves right into it. The way to get a doctrine is to pray till you get it. An old divine says, “I have lost many things I learned in the house of God, but I never lost anything I ever learned in the closet.” That which a man learns on his knees, with his Bible open, he will never forget. Well, have you ever bowed your knees, and said “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law?” If you have seen that wondrous thing you will never forget it. He that prays himself into a truth, will never be got out of it by the very devil himself, though he were to put on the garb of an angel of light. Pray yourselves into the truth.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

In order to hold fast to truth, one must understand the truth

Spurgeon 1IV. And now, in the last place, I am to tell you of THE GREAT HOLDFASTS, WHEREBY YOU ARE TO HOLD FAST THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL.

If I might be allowed to mention one or two before coming to those in the text, I should say, in the first place, if you want to hold fast the truth, seek to get an understanding of it. A man cannot hold a thing fast, unless he has a good understanding of it. I never want you to have the faith of the collier who was asked what he believed; he said he believed what the Church believed. “Well, but what does the Church believe?” He said the Church believed what he believed, and he believed what the Church believed, and so it went all the way round. We do not want you to have that faith. It may be a very pernacious faith, a very obstinate faith, but it is a very foolish faith. We want you to understand things, to get a true knowledge of them. The reason why men forsake truth for error is, that they have not really understood that truth, in nine cases out of ten they have not embraced it with enlightened minds. Let me exhort you, parents as much as lieth in you, to give your children sound instruction in the great doctrines of the gospel of Christ I believe that what Irving once said is a great truth. He said, “In these modern times you boast and glory, and you think yourselves to be in a high and noble condition, because you have your Sabbath-schools and British-schools, and all kinds of schools for teaching youth. I tell you,” he said, “that philanthropic and great as these are they are the ensigns of your disgrace; they show that your land is not a land where parents teach their children at home. They show you there is a want of parental instruction; and though they be blessed things, these Sabbath-schools, they are indications of something wrong, for if we all taught our children there would be no need of strangers to say to our children ‘Know the Lord.’”

I trust you will never give up that excellent puritanical habit of catechising your children at home. Any father or mother who entirely gives up a child to the teaching of another has made a mistake. There is no teacher who wishes to absolve a parent from what he ought to do himself! He is an assistant, but he was never intended to be a substitute. Teach your children; bring up your old catechisms again, for they are after all blessed means of instruction, and the next generation shall outstrip those that have gone before it, for the reason why many of you are weak in the faith is this, you did not receive instruction in your youth in the great things of the gospel of Christ. If you had, you would have been so grounded, and settled, and firm in the faith, that nothing could by any means have moved you. I beseech you, then, understand truth, and then you will be more likely to hold fast by it.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

The witness to the Jews has been awfully impeded by the error of idolatry within Christianity

April 27, 2015 2 comments

CharlesSpurgeon3. Again, I say, “hold fast the form of sound words,” for the word’s sake. Pardon me when I say that, speaking after the manner of men, I believe that the progress of the gospel has been awfully impeded by the errors of its preachers. I never wonder when I see a Jew an unbeliever in Christianity, for this reason, that the Jew very seldom sees Christianity in its beauty. For hundreds of years what- has the Jew thought Christianity to be? Why, pure idolatry. He has seen the Catholic bow down to blocks of wood and stone; he has seen him prostrating himself before the Virgin

Mary and all saints; and the Jew has said, “Ah! this is my watchword — hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is our Lord; I could not be a Christian, for to worship one God is the essential part of my religion.” So the heathen, I believe have seen a false system of Christianity, and they have said, “What! is that your Christianity?” and they did not receive it. But I believe that when the gospel is purged from all the rudiments of men, and all the chaff and dust have been winnowed from it, and it is presented in all its naked simplicity, it will be sure to win the day; and I say again, speaking as a man, the gospel might have made a ten thousand fold greater progress, if it had been preached in all Its simplicity, instead of that diluted or rather distorted form in which it is commonly proclaimed. If ye would see sinners saved, if ye would see God’s elect gathered in, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856