Yes, I am not a Saint

Yes, I am not a Saint

When the word “Saint” is mentioned, it is often attached to perfection. When someone is called a saint, we think almost immediately about someone without mistakes or faults or someone with a flawless character or behaviors. Well, maybe such people exist, but the truth is, throughout all of my life I haven’t met anyone who fits into this definition of a saint, and neither am I one. If this is the definition of who a saint is then yes, I am not a saint. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Wikipedia describes the word saint to mean “A person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God.” It goes further saying “any believer who is in Christ and in whom Christ dwells”. When I read the latter part of this sentence, I agree completely with Wikipedia’s definition of who a saint is because I had seen over and over again, that this agrees with Paul’s definition of who a saint is in scriptures. He often admonishes the church as saints,

“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours;”(1 Cor. 1:2 KJV)

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:” (2 Cor. 1:1)

All the saints salute you” (2 Cor. 13:13) KJV

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:1 KJV)

“May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height (Eph. 3:18 KJV)

“Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with all the bishops and deacons: (Phil. 1:1 KJV)

*All emphasis in the verses above are mine*

There are just so many references that space and time won’t allow me to share them all. At the beginning of almost all of Paul’s letters he uses the word to describe the believers he was writing to. He called them saints. We can safely conclude that All Believers are saints. Yes, all believers are saints. We are saints not because of what we do or don’t do but because of what Jesus did. We are a people having the very nature and likeness of Christ, similar to what Wikipedia defines.

Now, it is important to note that not all of the churches Paul uses the word “Saint” to describe at the beginning of his letters were morally perfect people. In fact he wrote to settle quarrels among them, he wrote to put orderliness in their meetings. He wrote to warn them of sinful deeds, he wrote to correct adultery, and many other things that were not befitting of saints.

Oftentimes, I see people get mad because some brother or sister in their fellowship offended them. I notice they were not expecting “saints” to behave in such a way. Their expectancy of the behaviors of their church members is so high that they cannot understand why they would behave in such a manner. But the truth is these people are not perfect people rather they are people on their way to perfection. There is work ongoing in them.

“Being Confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6 KJV)

And while this work is not yet completed, we have to learn to forbear and tolerate the faults of each other in the church without seeing each other as being less than saints. Paul knew this when he encouraged us to,

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Col. 3:13 NIV)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4: 2-3 NIV)

Some words used in the scriptures give an insight into how difficult it is to love each other in our local assemblies. Words like “Bear, Make every effort”, indicate that this won’t be an easy work to live out amidst saints. Even among saints you have to forgive, you have to make every effort to stay united and you have to make every effort to forgive each other, yet regarding each other as saints because of what Christ has done for us.

One of the elders of my church once said, “If you find a perfect church don’t join them, because if you do, you will make them imperfect”. And the truth is, saints are not people without faults or errors, they are however saints because of what Christ has done. Because of what He has done, of course, I am a Saint.

 

Written By Samson Afolabi

For ALETHEIA

 

Understanding Salvation: The Body

Understanding Salvation: The Body

Today, we consider the last and final part of our series on Understanding Salvation, we consider the body. But first I would like to share a scripture;

“His glory is great in your salvation: honour and majesty have you laid upon him (Psalm 21:5)”

This scripture shows us the beauty of man at the completion of God’s salvation plan. His glory is great, honour and majesty are upon him. I believe God has this picture of Man in mind in this work of salvation. I also believe that the work of salvation is to restore Man back to God’s original plan and intent. What then should be our reaction? Appreciate Him for the salvation of our spirit, agree and work with Him on the salvation of our souls and believe what He says about the salvation of our body.

Just as we earlier established, Man is a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body. His body gives him the ability to relate and communicate with the physical world. He needs his body to relate with the earth. As such his body is an important part of him just as his soul and spirit are. As we earlier stated the salvation of the spirit is done, the salvation of the soul is ongoing, but the salvation of the body as we have it now is a promise. It’s yet to be done.

From the beginning (Gen. 1 – 3), the body was without sickness and disease. We saw that sickness and disease came after the fall of Man. I believe that sickness is a manifestation of the death we acquired from Adam. In fact, plants, where most of our drugs come from today, were initially given for food not drugs or medicine.

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food” (Gen. 1: 29 NIV)

Paul describing God’s salvation plan in 1 Cor. 15:35 – 58, says our perishable bodies will be raised as imperishable. Our mortal bodies will be given immortality. He further says, our bodies although sown in dishonour will be raised in glory, sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body but is raised a spiritual body. And then we will have fully conquered death in all three segments of Man, then the saying that has been written will come true:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15: 54 – 56)

What a glory our bodies will inherit when it is renewed. Right now, we do not have the words to describe this, but we know that when we meet Him (Jesus), we shall be like Him (1 John 3:2). Our bodies will no longer be subject to death, or be weak or be frail as it presently is. And that is why, even as a believer you can be sick. It does not imply that the salvation of the spirit is not done or that of the soul is not on going. But it is worthy of note that, God doesn’t tempt or discipline us with sickness and disease.

But, before the salvation of the soul is achieved, the Lord has redeemed us from sicknesses and diseases (death). In fact, he wants us to be in perfect health (3 John 1:2). Read my article on “What does God say about your healthhere. or through the link(https://wordofaletheia.org/fellowship/what-does-god-say-about-your-health/) .Peter, through the holy-spirit writes:

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Pet. 2: 24)

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)

He bought our health with His blood. He paid for our sicknesses and weaknesses. Notice he didn’t say, we would be healed, he says we were already healed (Past tense). If you believe this, you will see the manifestation of this in your body.

What then should we do? Scriptures help us understand that our bodies are the temple of the Most High, to be kept holy and sacred for Him. (1 Cor. 6:19). It was bought with a price, when we were redeemed. I believe this includes not using our bodies for sinful purposes; fornication, adultery etc. I also believe that this includes keeping our bodies clean and healthy. Being dirty, eating unhealthy or being lackadaisical about our health is not a godly habit. God instructed the priest to keep the tabernacle clean. If God was to dwell there, it was to be kept clean and healthy, as it is often said that “Cleanliness is next to godliness”.

In Conclusion, God’s salvation plan for Man brings glory to Man. It restores Man back to God’s original intent and makes Man to be like God in spirit, soul and body.

Remember to contact me, if you have any questions about any of the Parts 1, 2 and 3.

I Call You Blessed

Written by Samson Afolabi

Understanding Salvation: The Soul

Understanding Salvation: The Soul

ULast time, we discussed the fall of man (Gen. 1 – 3), how Man’s spirit died and this in-turn corrupted his soul and transferred death to his body. This week, we consider the salvation of the soul. As we established in the previous article, Man is a spirit, he has a soul and lives in a body.

Before we begin it is important to explain what exactly the soul pertains to. The soul is the seat of Man’s intellect; the mind, it’s the place where he makes decisions. Scripture refers to the soul in a number of ways as we will explore today but it is clear that the soul is precious to God and the breath of God makes Man a “living soul”. The soul encompasses the essence of Man, i.e. it is our very being, and it can be living or dead as expressed in the state of our body. Scriptures often refer to the soul using the words heart, mind, emotions, will.

Scripture says:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Prov. 4:23 NIV)

Everything you do, flows from it. Yes! Everything! So if the soul, or let me say the mind is sound, correct, pure the actions produced from a person, would be sound, correct and pure. And if Man needs to be saved, not only does his spirit need to be regenerated, his corrupted mind needs to be renewed. Let’s see how Man was in the beginning.

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;” vs 21

“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Vs 22

“And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Vs 23

In Gen. 2:21 – 23 above, we see the state of mind of Man before the fall. He was so in tune with God that even though he was asleep when God took the rib, and formed woman, immediately he saw her, he knew. Adam had a sound mind. He didn’t take eve to be one of the animals. There was no fear, nor worry in his mind. Fast-forward to after the fall, here is scripture’s description of Man:

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5)

We can rightly conclude that at the fall Man inherited the nature of the devil, his soul – was now contrary to God’s nature. His mind was corrupted. He was no longer capable of producing godly thoughts. Even much later scripture says:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)

The heart is desperately wicked. And yes, we see several acts of wickedness by men in scriptures, starting from Cain killing his brother, to many actions of jealousy- leading to death, greed, pride, discontentment, lies, lawlessness and several others. Even today, our society is full of crime and violence which are manifestations of the wicked and corrupt state of the heart of man.

Man became a corrupt program, behaving in the direct opposite of God’s intended purpose. There is an adage that says “the day a mad man knows he is mad, that’s the day he gets healed”.  I think God applied this adage first. He introduced the Law; the Law was intended to act as a Mirror; Keeping instructions and demanding strict obedience which Man could not keep because of his weak state, so Man could see that he was sick and needed help in the coming of Christ.  

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (1 Tim. 1: 9 – 10)

Unlike the salvation of the spirit, the salvation of the soul doesn’t happen at once, it’s a continuous and deliberate activity. In-fact, I believe everything about the Christian walk is geared towards this; the restoring of the soul by the renewal of the mind.

“But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Heb. 10:39)

The use of the word “saving” indicates that the salvation of the soul is continuous. Changing us from who we were to who God wants us to be. You know, if you change the mind, you change the person.

That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph. 4: 22 – 24)

And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2)

As we engage in spiritual activities, listening to sermons, meditating on scriptures, praying (in tongues), our mind is being renewed, restored, refreshed. We become a new person. We take on the new nature of our spirit. Continuous fellowship with the spirit, makes our soul inherit the nature of the spirit. Our soul can then learn love (the nature of God). We can love the brethren, our families and most importantly love the Lord. Our soul then produces godly fruit through this fellowship manifesting in love, peace, joy, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance etc. (Eph. 5: 22 – 23). And then it can be said of us

“God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7)

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied” (1 Pet. 1:2)

I believe the scripture above describes both the salvation of the spirit (sanctification of the spirit) and the salvation of the soul (unto obedience). We were saved unto obedience. Obedience is key to the renewal of our minds. We must be ready to obey every word of the scriptures. As we do so we strengthen our walk with the spirit. If we must renew our minds, we must study the scriptures carefully, understand it thoroughly and obey it completely.

Next time, we’ll consider the salvation of the body.

Be a doer.

I Call You Blessed

Samson Afolabi

Understanding Salvation

Understanding Salvation

UThe word salvation is one that brings joy to anyone in bondage. It’s like giving water to a thirsty man, or food for one who has been hungry for days or think of liberating a condemned criminal in a pit prison in stocks and cuffs, what’s more exciting for him?

Actually, it can be correlated to every person on earth. Man was/is in desperate need of help. He needs water, he needs to be liberated, to be saved. The goal of this article is to explain in a simple and summarized way how man was saved, is being saved and will be saved. Before we start, I would like to say, beyond the words of this article, may the Holy-Spirit grant you revelation to truly understand this.

I believe the understanding of this topic, brings one into new realms of understanding of the scriptures, as such I would like you to pay attention to this and if there is anything that is unclear afterwards, please feel free to get in touch with me. This article will be in 3 parts, so we can pay the needed attention to each section of how man was saved (the spirit), how he is being saved (the soul) and how he will be saved(the body).

We must first note that, Man is a spirit, he has a soul, and lives in a body. Man is three in one. In other words, Man has life, has reasoning or intellect, and has a physical body. He was made to function in the spiritual and physical realm at the same time, so the spirit can be made flesh! (John 1:14)

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5:23)

Notice, the scripture above emphasizes, that Man is three in one. If he is to be saved, he needs to be saved in the 3 sections of himself. If he is to be healed, he is to be healed wholly i.e. in his spirit, his soul, his body. If he is saved, in only one area, then he is not completely saved.

“And the lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7)

In the above scripture also, we see the body made from the dust, the breath of God was given to introduce the spirit, and the interaction of the spirit and the body produced the soul. Selah

THE SPIRIT

This is the Man himself. This is his source. As much as every part of Man is important, and the Man won’t be Man without any one of them, the spirit is much more important. That’s the source of life.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead” (James 2:26)

The spirit carries the very nature of God. The spirit of Man is in complete likeness and image and class of God. It’s the part of man that can relate directly with God.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over creeping thing that creeps upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26)

“And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27)

Please note that every time I write Man I mean male and female, ladies and of course gentlemen, but we would call them both Man. I believe Gen 1:27 actually implies there is no difference between the spirit of a man and a woman, difference only in physique and the mind.

In Gen 1: 26 and 27, we see God saying Man was to be created in His own image, in His likeness, reflecting God’s nature. That’s the way the spirit of Man was made. And even though he was not bigger than the elephant in size (in body), nor did he have sharper claws and teeth than the lion, nor was he taller than the giraffe, he was commanded to rule, dominate, control them all, why? He had the advantage that he had the breath of the Almighty in him.

“And the lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7)

His spirit naturally made him a boss. Just like a prince, he was born to be in charge. Not because of anything he did or didn’t do, but because his spirit was one with God. His spirit was  the exact replica of God. You were made to dominate, not to be under the beggarly elements of the world. Not to be a subject, you are a prince; a ruler. You are not to be bent over by sicknesses and diseases, poverty, failures, you were made to rule. Selah

And that’s why God most times, speaks to us through our spirit. He leads our spirit through impressions. The spirit of God has a “spirit language” which our spirit understands. It is not French, or German or English, or any other known human language which we can learn to understand. It is a language of the deep things of God. Our own spirits can then reveal to us these deep things of God in a language we do understand. (1 Cor. 2: 10 – 12). He speaks the “spirit language” and only our spirit understands that.

“The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly” (Prov. 20:27)

But alas, beauty fades, the clay jar breaks, the beautiful portrait crashes, the once celebrated icon of joy and love becomes saggy and worn out. Man sinned. He didn’t just sin, but in E.W. Kenyon’s words; high treason!

“And the Lord, God commanded the man, saying of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” (Gen. 2: 16 – 17)

Notice in the instruction above, God said you will die, when you eat from the tree. But in Gen. 3 when the first man flaunted God’s order and ate of the tree, he didn’t die (physically). In-fact, he was still talking with God, but something happened to him. God didn’t lie. He died spiritually. The image of God in him crashed. In-fact, when he heard God, he hid himself, he was now living in shame, the element in him that allowed him to enjoy free access to God was missing.

It’s the same scenario as when we were in school when we would see bullies or older students  approaching, we either kept quiet or hid ourselves in fear of being picked on or disciplined by them. It was the same thing that happened here. The same man that could enjoy the fellowship of God without struggles now had to hide. He knew no shame before (Gen. 2:25), now he knew shame, failure, weakness. He felt unworthy. The beauty had faded.

This death of his spirit man actually affected his soul and his body. His soul (or mind), the seat of his reasoning became corrupted with evil, such that by Gen. 6:5, this was said:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

He had taken on a completely new form through the death of his spirit, his mind could not be taught the way of God anymore, his thoughts were only evil.

And his body, inflicted with sickness, pain, toil before he could eat, and ultimately death. Adam lived for 930 years (Gen. 5:5), today no one lives that long, why? Because of the death we inherited from Adam. Later,  I will explain how the Lord is saving our soul, and how our bodies will be transformed but for now we focus on the spirit. We also must understand that, the first man, Adam did not just sin, we all sinned in him. He sinned on our behalf.

For as in Adam all die… 1 Cor. 15:22

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one… Romans 5:17

But Hallelujah, God came to the rescue. Man couldn’t get himself out of the troubles he got himself into. He needed a saviour. Now, we need to understand that it wasn’t God who was out to punish Man for his sins. The court of heaven demands that the wages of sin is death.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23

…And without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Heb. 9:22 NIV

As much as God loved his creation; Man, and would love to forgive him, God had to be righteous in forgiving him. The forgiveness of man is to be bought with satisfying every legal requirement of the law. God knowing this;

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Gen. 3: 21

Now, in making these coats of skin to clothe man, we know God must have killed an animal, took the skin and clothed them from it. This points to the Lamb of God, who laid down his life as a ransom for the sin of mankind.

For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1 Pet. 1: 18

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1 Pet. 1:19

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. 1 Pet. 1:20

Scriptures speak of how we were Born-again. How we were given new life, because Christ paid our debt with death. So when we use the phrase “born-again” we mean to say someone who was given life-again because we were dead in our spirits.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” 1 Pet. 1:3

“In whom (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” Eph. 1:7

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Col. 1:14

Notice in Col. 1:14 the use of sins (in the continuous) indicating past, present and future. Sins of those before Christ died, those when He died, and for those of us living after He died and all the sins anyone has or will commit. We are not sinners, we are saints. That’s why in Paul’s letters, you notice the use of the word saints in Col. 1:2, Eph. 1:1 (check this out) and most of the other epistles.

Christ brought life back to our spirit. And this is the message of salvation, that every man died in Adam, needs life, and Jesus presents to him life once again. Enough of all this message of salvation that says, God will provide you with money and fame, if you accept Him. Of course He can, but that’s not the message of salvation. Unbelievers don’t need money first, they are dead, they need life!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly John 10:10

And this action can never be undone. Jesus cried “It is finished” the original translation of that reads an action once done, never to be repeated.

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” John 10:28

If you are reading this, and you are not yet saved, why don’t you accept this gracious provision of our heavenly Father and live again. Simply believe and you are saved. Amen. Now, as believers we have eternal life in our spirits, we are one with God, in charge, and we can dominate and subdue the earth just as Adam was called to.

We now move on to the salvation of the soul and the body.

…to be continued.

Written By Samson Afolabi

for ALETHEIA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1 Pet. 1: 18

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1 Pet. 1:19

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. 1 Pet. 1:20

Scriptures speak of how we were Born-again. How we were given new life, because Christ paid our debt with death. So when we use the phrase “born-again” we mean to say someone who was given life-again because we were dead in our spirits.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” 1 Pet. 1:3

“In whom (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” Eph. 1:7

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Col. 1:14

Notice in Col. 1:14 the use of sins (in the continuous) indicating past, present and future. Sins of those before Christ died, those when He died, and for those of us living after He died and all the sins anyone has or will commit. We are not sinners, we are saints. That’s why in Paul’s letters, you notice the use of the word saints in Col. 1:2, Eph. 1:1 (check this out) and most of the other epistles.

Christ brought life back to our spirit. And this is the message of salvation, that every man died in Adam, needs life, and Jesus presents to him life once again. Enough of all this message of salvation that says, God will provide you with money and fame, if you accept Him. Of course He can, but that’s not the message of salvation. Unbelievers don’t need money first, they are dead, they need life!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly John 10:10

And this action can never be undone. Jesus cried “It is finished” the original translation of that reads an action once done, never to be repeated.

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” John 10:28

If you are reading this, and you are not yet saved, why don’t you accept this gracious provision of our heavenly Father and live again. Simply believe and you are saved. Amen. Now, as believers we have eternal life in our spirits, we are one with God, in charge, and we can dominate and subdue the earth just as Adam was called to.

We now move on to the salvation of the soul and the body.

…to be continued.

What do you see?

What do you see?

What do you see? I think this is a very important question to ask.

“Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city”  Vs 14

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my Lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. Vs 15

“Don’t be afraid”, the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them”. Vs 16

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. Vs 17  (2 kings 6: 14 – 17 NIV)

I find the above passage very interesting and insightful. It shows the reaction of 2 men (Elisha and his servant) to the same scenario. One acting in fear and the other in boldness and confidence. Why? One (Elisha) could see what the other (his servant) could not see. Isn’t this similar to life issues? Elisha’s servant got afraid, seeing an army marching out against two men, while Elisha was seeing a greater army marching out against another army far smaller in size compared to it.

You know, often times in life, it’s the same. We worry because we can’t see. Our two eyeballs are open to the physical just like Elisha’s servant to see our problems, challenges etc. But the eyes of our minds are not open to see the numerous opportunities God has placed around us. What we see, determines how we act. It’s essential we see well! The renewal of our minds which comes as a result of our continuous walk and fellowship with the spirit brings about a change of sight. 

 “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see the branch of an almond tree” (Jer. 1:11 AMP)

“Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [actively] watching over my word to fulfil it” (Jer. 1:12 AMP)

God asked Jeremiah, what do you see? He answered and God said you see well. My dear friends, looking at the major preoccupation of your mind, if God was to ask “What do you see?” would He be able to say to you, “YOU SEE WELL”? Do the things you see bring wellness to your soul? Do they help you conform to God’s image more, or do they distort your view of life and scriptures? I believe God was asking Jeremiah this, because for Him and Jeremiah to walk together, they had to agree (Amos 3:3). They had to see the same things. Sometimes the problem we have is, our minds don’t see what God sees, so it’s difficult for us to walk in faith.

Jesus was to heal a particular man, and this happened:

“Taking the blind man by the hand, He led him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” (Mark 8:23 AMP)

“And he looked up and said, “I see people, but [they look] like trees, walking around” (Mark 8:24 AMP)

“Then again Jesus laid His hands on his eyes; and the man stared intently and [his sight] was

restored, and he began to see everything clearly. (Mark 8:25 AMP)

[completely]

After Jesus first prayer, notice the man could see, but he wasn’t seeing well. He saw humans like trees. Jesus didn’t allow him to go. That would have been dangerous. He could have pick up an axe and started hacking at people, or started leaning on people. Notice Jesus called him and prayed for him again, until he saw clearly. Let me add an important principle below.

Whatever we are experiencing in our lives, is a result of what our gaze is fixed upon. If you notice you are worried, full of anxiety, fears, and burdened about the future, check your gaze, you might just be too focused on your problems and challenges and that has fuelled your thoughts. If you are struggling with a particular sin, check the kind of videos or songs you’ve been listening to, your gaze might just be on the wrong things. Your gaze determines your personality. What you look upon determines what you become. So if you want to see right, start looking at the right things. Fix your gaze more upon the perfect law of liberty (the scriptures). Let it define you, your life and your life principles, shut down every voice not from God which speaking to you.

The issue of sight is important, we know this because Jesus said:

“The light of the body is the eye: therefore when your eye is single, your whole body also is full of light; but when your eye is evil, your body is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34 KJV)

Again, let me ask, what do you keep your gaze on? does it bring wellness to your soul? In the book of Numbers 21:6 – 9, the children of Israel were healed by setting their gaze upon the brazen serpent.

“So Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on the pole, and it happened that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived” (Numbers 21:9 AMP)

So much power is in what you look upon. Setting your gaze on the right things brings life. By looking on Christ, who he is and what He has done for us, we are changed. Our soul receives life. We are transformed from who we used to be to who Christ is. And then our reactions are defined from that view point. We then act no longer in fear but in courage and love. Paul counsels:

“Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]” (Col. 3:2 AMP)

Yes. Our gaze must be right. Despite our situations we must learn to see what He sees. We must also learn to keep our gaze on Him to be like Him.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18  KJV)

It is my prayer that:

The eyes of your understanding be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. And what Is the exceeding greatness of his power to us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly place far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.

I Call You Blessed

Written by Samson Afolabi

What do you see?
GET KNOWLEDGE!

GET KNOWLEDGE!

Consider this a Faith Booster. Today, I want to share 2 things with you. First, God always completes whatever he starts. Secondly, I want to encourage you to, Get Knowledge!

This was an encouragement for me over the weekend, that our God is a finisher. He completes whatever he starts. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Gen. 2:1).

Maybe you have started a project, and you are afraid about it how it’s going to be done, or its completion looks impossible to you, am here to announce to you that your father in Heaven, ALWAYS completes every project he starts and yours won’t be an exemption. Jesus, who is the express image of the father, did this on earth:

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with Power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” Acts 10:38

He healed them ALL. I understand ALL not to mean, he healed everyone he healed COMPLETELY, wholly, without any trace of sickness or disease ever again. He finishes his work PERFECTLY. This should cause a Joy and rejoicing in our heart. Expect that if he is building it, he would complete it. He would complete His work of Salvation in us. Hallelujah! He is building His Church, and he would complete it! And His work is not haphazard, He would complete it perfectly. See this also,

“So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” Isaiah 55:1

He will accomplish (Finish, complete) it. ALL of it because faithful Is HE who has promised who also would bring it to completion. See it also says;

Being Confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Phil. 1:6)

Read also 1 Thess. 5:23 -24, Numbers 23:19.

Now, to next thing, I want to challenge you, Get knowledge. God doesn’t want his sons and daughters to be ignorant. This is evident from the Progressive nature of revelation in the scriptures. He wants us to know. See this:

And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? Jonah 4:11

The prophet Jonah, had just finished preaching in Nineveh, and what a great revival it was, causing the whole city (Jonah 3) to turn the Lord. If this had happened now in our days, we would rejoice and sing and dance. Yes, while this is right, it seemed that there was something else after their “turning to the Lord” on God’s mind, and its KNOWLEDGE! I believe this is the same today, after Salvation, Believers are to be taught, taught about what the rudiments of faith, about what happened to them at Salvation, about who they are, who God is to them now. We need to get knowledge!

Wisdom is the Principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

The church is a school of the spirit, not a place of celebration or fashion, dancing galore. It’s a school where we need to be taught so the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened. After getting saved, it’s not time to just jump into prosperity sermon and start claiming and claiming things from above. If we do that, we would remain spiritual babies all our lives. Our minds won’t be renewed. We would keep living in darkness which leads to death. We would live in fear of the elements of the world.

“And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it” Isaiah 25: 6 – 8

I found the above passage, important to our present discuss. I understand the feast in verse 6 as a gathering of people to be taught through preaching so they have knowledge. Preaching which leads to the covering of the vail over their faces lifted in verse 7, connoting liberty and freedom from all kinds of fear and bondage. Which leads to verse 8, death destroyed, not just physical death but death (separation) in our souls, and the end of tears and sorrows. All coming through the Preaching! Getting Knowledge.

See this also, Isaiah 61. But I will only share here verse 1 – 3. You can read the rest by yourself.

“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound”  vs 1 (Emphasis mine)

“To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the year of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;” vs 2

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” vs 3

Notice from the first phrase in the first verse, he would preach and the next statements outlined the effects of him preaching. To preach means to make aware of, to bring to light, to reveal knowledge. The hearts of the broken-hearted would be healed, liberty to the captives, freedom, comfort, beauty for ashes, oil of joy, the garment of praise etc. This are desirable things that comes through knowledge. And I want to say ALETHEIA is committed to this.

It is noteworthy to add that God has designed the church learns through a chain reaction. Our learning is brought about by the service of our teachers who learnt also from some other men. We are to learn from churches and not be a lone-ranger, God gave us our local-assemblies to be spiritual schools. 1 Peter 2:2-3, Eph. 4: 11 – 15, 1 Cor. 14:20.

I want to encourage you, buy books, read books, listen to sermons, increase your knowledge base of the scriptures, it would set you free and bring rejoicing to your heart. Devote yourself to the study of the scriptures. You need it! Yes, you need it. You have been called to be a blessing to this generation, but how would you do that, if you don’t have knowledge.

 

I Call You Blessed

Written by Samson Afolabi