Message of Grace

PUBLISHED BY GRACE CHAPEL MINISTRIES OF O’BRIEN, FLORIDA

“FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST” EPHESIANS 2 :8

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WISE MEN

Now when JESUS was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. Matt 2:1-2

One of the most intriguing aspects of the story of the birth of the LORD JESUS CHRIST is the account of these wise men who journeyed many miles to come and worship at HIS feet. We really don’t know exactly who they were, exactly where they came from, nor how many of them there were. Though tradition tells us there were three, the scriptures are silent about their number. They left as mysteriously as they came. GOD does not always reveal to us all the details of events that transpire but HE always tells us the things we need to know. By the grace of GOD we are able to see these things about these ‘wise men’.

They were not members of the religious establishment.

They were not of the Jewish religion yet they received direct revelation of the fact of the LORD’s birth. The Jews held tightly to their religious convictions, yet they were for the most part in darkness concerning CHRIST. Many today are steeped in the traditions of their denominations and religions and at the same time do not see nor understand the glory surrounding CHRIST. They are satisfied with attending meetings and participating in activities sponsored by their church, but they do not have the LIFE which CHRIST promised to those who belong to HIM. Many hold on to their church affiliations as if they will be saved by that association. Salvation is not in a church or religion but is only in JESUS CHRIST. ‘And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.’ (1 John 5:11-12)

They were able to see and understand secrets which were hidden from the multitude.

Man in his natural condition cannot see the truth of GOD without divine revelation. The LORD JESUS said, ‘All things are delivered unto me of my FATHER: and no man knoweth the SON, but the FATHER; neither knoweth any man the FATHER, save the SON, and he to whomsoever the SON will reveal HIM’ (Matt 11:27).(see also Luke 8:10; Mk.4:11; Mat.13:13) The prevailing notion of religion is that men can obtain eternal salvation anytime they get ready, yet the LORD made it very plain that the only way that a man could come to the SON was if he was drawn by HIS FATHER. (see Jn. 6:44) But the good news to fallen and spiritually blind men is that HE does give sight to the blind and causes the deaf to hear. This is described in the scripture as grace and indeed is the only hope of the lost and dying.

They knew that this child was born to be a KING.

We are not waiting for some future age or time when JESUS CHRIST will be king. HE is already the KING of kings, and LORD of lords. HIS kingdom is forever and shall not pass away. (see Isa.9:6,7) HE is a KING and not a beggar. CHRIST is often presented as one who can only hope that men will let HIM have HIS way. HE is often depicted as one who has done everything HE can do and must depend on men to do the rest. Many believe HE will be disappointed that more people are not saved. Yet the scripture says that ‘HE shall see of the travail of HIS soul and shall be satisfied’ (Isa.53:11). A king is someone who has absolute authority and power. A king is someone who has the ability to accomplish his will. A king is someone who holds the power of life and death in his hand. A king is not hindered by the will of his subjects but has the power to alter their will.(see Ps. 110:3; Dan.4:35) Such a king is the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

They came with the purpose of worshipping this KING.

Such is the attitude of all those who have been made to know HIM. That which sets apart those who know the LORD from those who know about HIM is this desire to fall down and adore HIM in praise and worship. The scripture says that even the devil believes and trembles at the mention of HIS name,(see Jas.2:19) yet the devil does not worship HIM nor take delight in HIS exaltation. The LORD’s people are those who recognize that HE alone has the words of eternal life and that there is no other one upon whom they are willing to rely. (see Jn.6:68).

CHRIST came into the world to save sinners.

In fact HIS very name, JESUS, literally translated, means ‘JEHOVAH is salvation’. When HE was upon the earth HE associated HIMSELF with harlots, tax-collectors, and other unsavory characters. HE became the friend of the downtrodden and the outcast. HE forgave adulteresses and thieves. Yet he rejected the religious. HE demonstrated that men cannot inherit the kingdom of GOD through their own good works. Those who know themselves to be unworthy of HIS mercy are the very ones who shall be the recipients of it; while all of those who rely on their own righteousness (supposed or real), good intentions, or religious affiliations shall perish. (see Mat.21:31) The religious leaders of the Jews rejected this notion just as the multitude of the devout do today.

The most difficult thing for the self-righteous to see is that all of his goodness is but ‘filthy rags’ in the sight of GOD. But those whom the LORD makes wise know themselves to be sinners in need of HIS sovereign mercy, and they will call upon HIS name.

mam

"Ask, and it shall be given you." Matthew 7:7

We know of a place in England still existing, where a dole of bread is served to every passerby who chooses to ask for it. Whoever the traveller may be, he has but to knock at the door of St. Cross Hospital, and there is the dole of bread for him. Jesus Christ so loveth sinners that He has built a St. Cross Hospital, so that whenever a sinner is hungry, he has but to knock and have his wants supplied. Nay, He has done better; He has attached to this Hospital of the Cross a bath; and whenever a soul is black and filthy, it has but to go there and be washed. The fountain is always full, always efficacious. No sinner ever went into it and found that it could not wash away his stains. Sins which were scarlet and crimson have all disappeared, and the sinner has been whiter than snow. As if this were not enough, there is attached to this Hospital of the Cross a wardrobe, and a sinner making application simply as a sinner, may be clothed from head to foot. Nothing that is good for him shall be denied him. He shall have spending-money so long as he lives, and he shall have an eternal heritage of glorious treasure when he enters into the joy of his Lord.

If all these things are to be had by merely knocking at mercy's door, O my soul, knock hard this morning, and ask large things of thy generous Lord. Leave not the throne of grace till all thy wants have been spread before the Lord, and until by faith thou hast a comfortable prospect that they shall be all supplied. No bashfulness need retard when Jesus invites. No unbelief should hinder when Jesus promises. No cold-heartedness should restrain when such blessings are to be obtained

Morning and Evening --------------C.H.Spurgeon (1834-1892)

VOLUME IV

NOVEMBER -  DECEMBER 2003

ISSUE 6