The Message of the Gospel

The Message of the Gospel

Now is the Day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). God’s arms are wide open to receive everyone into his kingdom. In fact, the bible says “He wants the whole world saved”.

“Who (God) wishes all people to be saved, and to come to the knowledge and recognition of the (divine) truth” (1 Tim. 2:4)

God sent us (Christians) as his agent of reconciliation with the world. He sent every one of us to preach the gospel. Not just Pastors, everyone. Your audience is people in your office, your friends, neighbours and everyone anywhere!

“That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them (but Cancelling them). And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation (that is, restoration to favour with God)” (2 Cor. 5:19)

(Though this task looks enormous, we must note that our individual contributions are vital. Read the article “What difference does this make?” by “Samson Afolabi”)

Having established that God wants to reconcile with the world and He has sent us with the message of the gospel, in this article we consider “What is the message we are to preach?” or better still “what is the message of reconciliation stated in 2 Cor. 5:19”? Sometimes some of us preach the wrong message or don’t even know what to preach.

As Christians, the bible must be our guide for living. We search for the right responses and answers in the bible, this question we are presently considering won’t be an exception either. Looking at the early Christians in the book of Acts, we see them preaching “Jesus” (who He is and what He did). The Apostles preached Jesus, Philip preached this to the whole of Samaria and the Ethiopian eunuch, Paul called his ministry preaching Jesus Christ (Acts 5:42; 8:5,35, Colossians 1:27-28, (KJV), Luke 24:46-47)

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Reading the whole passage clarifies that, Philip preached that Jesus was the Son of God, and he died for the sin of the Ethiopian eunuch and rose again, and if he believes in Jesus, he would be saved (declared righteous).

Paul also preached the same (Acts 17:2-4);

2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.

4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Notice again Paul. Christ Suffered for them (What He did) and who he was.

Again, hear Paul here. (Acts 9:20)

 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Paul preached Jesus as the Son of God. When we preach the gospel, we only need our hearers to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died for their sins, through him they have righteousness and eternal life. Nothing more, nothing less.

Hear Peter here: (Acts 10: 37 – 41)

38 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.

39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

Notice, the emphasis of their message. Jesus is the Son of God, and he died and rose for sins of Mankind. All through-out scriptures, the message the apostles preached and required their hearers to believe to be saved was Jesus is the Son of God and He died for the sins of everyone.

Paul explains here (Romans 10:9 – 11):

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Paul who planted the Corinthian Church tells us what he preached to them (2 Corinthians 2:1-2).

And when I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming to you the [a]testimony of God [concerning salvation through Christ], I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom [no lofty words of eloquence or of philosophy as a Greek orator might do]; 2 for I made the decision to [b]know nothing [that is, to forego philosophical or theological discussions regarding inconsequential things and opinions while] among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified [and the meaning of His redemptive, substitutionary death and His resurrection].

Lastly, we Read the assertiveness of 1Cor15:1-4 and see the facts of the message of the gospel clearly stated:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 1Co 15:1-4

Notice the points Paul highlighted in the passage above, “Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again”.

Today I often see people preach the gospel by terrorizing people with Hell or by the saddening events happening in the world now or with the rapture. As good as that sounds, it is wrong. Though we know anyone who doesn’t believe will go there, but we are not to scare anyone with Hell. Our message is that Jesus died for their sins and through him they can be righteous as we are.

We are not also supposed to hype people that Jesus can get them rich, or healthy or give them all they want, as good as that sounds because God wants every man well, that is not our first message to the unbeliever. We are first to preach that, He is dead (spiritually) needs life first of all, he is sinner and the Son of God (Jesus) died for his/her sins by believing in him has eternal life.

This is the day of salvation. God is not judging the world. There is an open invitation to everyone. And what we are to preach is that “Jesus is God’s son and He died for all our sins”.

Christ Reigns! We win!
Written by Samson Afolabi

What Difference Can I Make?

What Difference Can I Make?

John chapter six describes how Jesus miraculously fed five thousand men with five loaves of bread and 2 fish. He was moved to do this after noticing that they were tired and exhausted. (What a loving teacher he was.) So he asked his disciples to get food for these people. Naturally, this is how they replied:

“There is a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people?” (John 6:9)

With the bread and fish that they had, they believed they couldn’t do it. To Jesus’s disciples, it was humanly impossible to feed five thousand people with this. Had you and I been in their places, we probably would have also thought the same way.

God wanted to reach the whole world with the message of Salvation – that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for the sins of mankind – but all he had was eleven disciples (minus Judas Iscariot) and some other followers totalling to 120 people (Acts 1:15).  Compared to the number of people on earth at the time, 120 people was a really small number. Just like the five loaves of bread and two fish was not enough to feed five thousand men, 120 people was nothing. It was ‘’not enough’’ to get the message to the people of the world. It was humanly impossible.

However, our God is a God of the humanly impossible. He is a God of miracles! After the first followers received the holy-spirit, very soon the message spread to Jerusalem, and later on Judea, Samaria, Asia, and today to a large part of the earth. In-fact it was said of this people that:

…”These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too (Acts 17:6)”

 Sometimes we look at the seemingly impossible task of the great commission …”Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation (Mark 16:15)” and we look at how huge this task is and ask “what difference can I make if I preach the gospel?” or “how many people can I really reach?” And we feel discouraged and hopeless, and then we go with the crowd, forgetting that God can multiply our little efforts. There are as well many examples, of how we may think that our efforts and what we can do are little compared to what has to be done.

We ask, “What difference does this make if I choose to be godly, or choose to stand for righteousness? Seeing that the whole world is ungodly anyway”.

Luke 13 also illustrates the kingdom of God in this way:

“It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky found shelter and nested in its branches.” (Luke 13:19)

 Did you know that mustard “seeds are usually about 1 to 2 millimetres (0.039 to 0.079 in) in diameter? (Don’t worry, I didn’t either, Wikipedia told me.)Can you imagine how small that is? The bible says even this small seed later became a very big tree providing shelter for birds.

God is still in the business of multiplying our little efforts today, He is happy to do it. Your little efforts can make a huge difference. Your little prayers of intercession and evangelism to just one person can make a big difference. There is so much stored up in a believer that can never make his contributions worthless. There is so much in me and you, God’s power is at work in us. We too can turn the world upside-down for Jesus through our efforts. However ‘’small’’ they may be, they are powerful.

 So what does this mean for you and me today? This means that we are called to arise like Deborah, and put in our best into whatever God has committed into our hands.

“The inhabitants of the Villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7)

Deborah decided to arise, to stand-up and be God’s voice and through her God won the battle for Israel. She didn’t see her contribution as small. What did the disciples do?

“Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3)

They spoke boldly. Yes you also speak boldly. Your contribution is not too little. Whatever you are doing, leading a small group, reaching out the gospel to a friend, leading the Praise and worship in Church, know that your contribution is huge in the body of Christ and it is highly needed. Your contributions are not small or little, God doesn’t see it as such and he even delights in multiplying them.

I Call You Blessed
Written by Samson Afolabi

A Quick Note About Marriage

A Quick Note About Marriage

Before writing about this topic, I needed to ask myself one question – ‘’Am I really qualified to talk about marriage when I myself am not married?’ But then I remembered Paul, and I was encouraged. Paul himself was also not married, yet some of the most profound lessons on marriage and relationships that we know today were taught by him.

As a young boy, I had many curious questions on marriage: Why would I want to get married? What does God say about marriage? Why wedding receptions are even something that we do? My list of interesting questions goes on. After much investigation and meditation, I’ve decided to share with you my thoughts on the topic. Please note that my goal is not to explain marriage fully, but rather I aim to simply share my insights with you. I pray that as you read may you be blessed.

A QUICK NOTE ABOUT MARRIAGE
Throughout the scriptures, we see one common thread: “God is always reaching out to man”. It is not always that man really seeks God, but that God has always been the one extending an open invitation to man.

“In the Beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God (John 1:1)”

“And the Word was Made flesh, and dwelt among us… (John 1:14)”

The word that was with God and that was God at the beginning became flesh and lived among us. God came to man. God couldn’t have been closer. People saw him, touched him and ate with him. They lived everyday life with him. God couldn’t have been closer. God, quite literally, lived with man. 1 John 1:1 also agrees with this. Even when Adam sinned at the garden, it was still God who first spoke to Adam. Adam hid himself, but God came to Him. What a show of love, right after he sinned.(Read Genesis 3: 1 -13 (emphasis on vs. 9)). In another example, it was God who first spoke to Cain after he killed his brother. Throughout the Bible, there are so many stories that remind us that God always tries to reveal himself to us, more than we try to seek him.

“That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sin against them (But Cancelling them)… (2 Cor. 5:19)”

Notice the above verse, it was God who was reconciling the world. He came first, Not Man!

In a bid to come to man, God often illustrates his kingdom to us using simple representations that are relatable to man. Let me exemplify:

Water. The Mystery of Eternal life can be illustrated in water. When someone is thirsty and he drinks water, he can then be satisfied and no longer be thirsty. In the same way, when we drink of ‘eternal life’ the deepest trenches of our soul can be satisfied and no longer empty. This secret was coded in water so that we can understand and be continuously reminded about it.

Read the discussion between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well at John 4: 6 – 14. (Emphasis is on vs. 14)

“But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water (satisfying his thirst for God) welling up (continually flowing, bubbling within him) to eternal life” (John 4:14)

Musical Notes: “Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-ti-Do’-Re’-Mi’-…. God is the “Beginning and the Ending” (Rev. 1:8). For a long time, I knew this, I said it, but I couldn’t just understand it. Until my eyes were open to understand it through the musical notes. Notice the second Do’ (it is the ending of a pitch and at the same time the beginning of another higher pitch). So when it is ending, it is actually beginning, and this time on a higher note. God is also like that.

Often-times we arrive at junctions when we feel our lives are finished. We feel hopeless. We feel like giving up. What we don’t know is that God is ending a phase of our lives in order to begin a new phase on an even higher pitch. He can successfully and beautifully finish that academic phase for you, and start a higher one. He can end that job for you, and start a bigger one. He can end your single-hood and start a bright marriage for you. He is the Beginning and Ending at the same time. He is not just there at the beginning and at the end. It is Him, Himself that is the beginning and the ending. He is the doorway to the end and at the same-time the entrance to the beginning. He is both the exit and the entrance. If you need anything to begin or end in your life, seek him.

Most importantly, He is the exit out of this old and decaying World and the entrance into the New World (which is without sickness and death), and only through him can we get into that World. That’s why we preach Jesus and what He did (His death and Resurrection).

The Human Body: Maybe, up till now we might not have understood the importance of the unity of the church, if the Holy-Spirit had not through Paul compare the church with the Human Body. He says that some part of the church are the eyes, some are the hands, and others are the feet of the body. In this illustration we understand that as the church, we need one another to fulfil God’s divine purpose for us.

Now back to our discussion about Marriage., According to scriptures, the purpose ofmarriage is to represent the union between the Church and Christ. In order to fully understand relationships and marriage, we must understand the love between Christ and His Bride, the church. This simple illustration tells us that.

1. Marriage is between two Christian believers I don’t think an unbeliever can play either the role of Christ or the role of the Church in this model. . He/she doesn’t even know God yet, so how can he/she understand this union? In-fact, it’s not even for a believer with an immature faith. And never think that you can save an unbeliever by getting married to him/her. Marriage is not an evangelism voyage. An unbeliever and a believer don’t agree on the fundamental fabric of their being, therefore they will not walk in sync together.

“Can two walk together except they agree” (Amos 3:3)

Sisters, a moral man is not automatically a man of God. He is either a Christian or not. I always make a joke that if you get married to an unbeliever, be ready to have the Devil as your father-in-Law. He can come into your house at any time and disturb you as he likes.

2. Marriage is a Holy-Spirit directed activity. I think in this area , we haven’t learned. I see too many people hurrying to get married for no good reason. Perhaps maybe because culture presents marriage as a sort of achievement so everyone is hurrying to get their ‘medal’

3. One Church, One Christ means One Man and One woman. Anything apart from this is not Christian Marriage.

Marriage is a Ministry. It is a Calling. It is not a joke. Your Marriage is supposed to deliver a message. Marriage is not just for you to have a sex partner. Being in a relationship or being engaged is not to have someone to cuddle around on the streets. Oftentimes I see young people like myself wanting to get married and they don’t even understand these things, and I ask “why do you want to get married?” Just because your friends are getting into relationships, doesn’t mean you are matured enough to start one.

If many people who get married understand this truth deeply, we won’t have the issues of divorce or irresponsibility or break-ups as rampant as it is today. Both parties will understand that Jesus can never break-up from the Church. Jesus will always show His church care, love and affection. I have often said that Christian brothers are supposed to be the most loving and caring because we have experienced and understand God’s love more than un–believers.

We won’t have issues with love, respect and submission in marriage if we understand well enough the relationship between Christ and the Church. Paul continually uses this fact.

“For the Husband is the head of the Wife even as (just as) Christ is the head of the Church and He is the saviour of the body” (Eph. 5:23)

“Husbands, love your wives (seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love) just as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for her” (Eph. 5:25 AMP)

“For no one ever hated his own body, but (instead) he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the Church” (Eph. 5:29 AMP)

Notice: The comparison in this facet of marriage has always been “even as” or “just like” Christ and the Church. My simple advice for anyone planning to get into a relationship or marriage is that you should take time to study well enough the union between Christ and the Church because marriage is meant to show s this secret to everyone, both to unbelievers and believers.

Don’t Forget, the purpose of marriage is to show the union between the Church and Christ. It is a day-to-day illustration of display of the beautiful union between the Church and Christ played out by the lives of two believers.

Written by Samson Afolabi

Who is The Church? Cont.

Who is The Church? Cont.

Last Week, we considered the church under the descriptions,

  1. The Church is the House of God
  2. The Church as a Body
  3. The Church is God’s senate on earth.

    This week we continue under 2 other descriptions. I pray you are blessed as you read.

  4. The Church is the Bride of Christ.

Even though I see various imperfection in church today, this is why I don’t speak disregard or disrespect it. I know that it’s the bride of Christ and if I respect the Man, I must respect his Wife. Whatever imperfections the Queen has, as long as she is the queen, she is respected adequately as being the bride of the king.

“For the Husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the Church, Himself being the Saviour of the body (Eph. 5:23 AMP)”

“Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Eph. 5:25 AMP)”

“For no one ever hated his own body, but [instead] he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church (Eph. 5:29 AMP)”

Never, think God has given up on the Church. She is His bride. He will forever keep nourishing her with truth and showing his love and grace to her. He will never give up. He will always go after her whenever she wanders away. I am not trying to encourage Christians to be childish but God’s stance about the church needs to be known. Only careless and wicked Men, will be cruel and uncaring to their wives. And I know my saviour is not like that, in fact He died for her, and no greater love can anyone show to his friends than to die for His friends. (Brothers, I hope we are learning how to love our wives, just a hint, learn from Christ and his Church).

The Bible says that He is preparing her for Himself not for me or you. He has the standard not you. He is the judge not you. Many of us are too keen in trying to make other people perfect. While it is good to ensure we hear people to avoid error spreading across through the body we must learn to see their words or what they do through God’s lens.

“So that [in turn] He might present the Church to Himself in glorious splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy[ set apart for God] and blameless. (Eph. 5: 27 AMP)”

In fact, He calls it “My Church” and not your Church or your Pastor’s Church.

“And I say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church;and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18)

And let us not make the mistake that the above verse is saying that God wanted to build the Church upon Peter. No, it was saying that the church will be born out of “the truth” in Peter’s statement in the earlier verses.

 5. The Church is the pillar and ground of Truth.

“But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15)”

The above subtopic really got me thinking and asking a lot of questions. The Church came out of the truth that “Jesus is the Son of God and was made manifest in the flesh, died and resurrected the third day and lives forever more and through him we have redemption”. And upon this truth is the church built (Matt. 16:18, 1 Tim 3:16). This explanation was made after the above verse in 1 Tim 3:15 was stated. But asides the fact that the church was born out of truth, the Church itself is the Pillar and Ground of THE TRUTH.

 A building cannot exist without the pillar and foundation. And if the foundation and pillars were not strong enough, the building my easily crumble.

Now, Jesus is THE TRUTH (John 14:6). And the bible says the church is the Pillar and Foundation of THE TRUTH. So without the church, the body of Christ is not complete. Without the Church, Christ cannot save the world. Without the Church, Christ can’t claim Lordship over the earth. Without the Church, Christ cannot be known, Without the Church, Christ will “practically” be out of existence. Now I understand why the devil is waging war so seriously against the church,why the devil is promoting “lukewarmness” and laziness and shallow understanding in the church, why we prefer to joke rather than seek to know who we are why we have more church buildings than true disciples.

The Church’s importance is great to the advancement of the kingdom. The church is the basis and stand of Christ on earth. We are His voice. This is not to make us feel over important. It is not that Christ needs us more than we need him., It is to show us that we have huge role to play in establishing God’s reign and rule over the affairs of Men. You and I are important. We can’t continue to be babies. We must continue to keep seeking and allow God’s kingdom work with, in and through us, till the kingdoms of this world become that of our God and of His Christ.

Finally, friends, I encourage us to cultivate the habit of studying the scriptures and meditating in it, because as we nurture ourselves individually, the body (the Church) is also growing corporately. Your growth affects the entire Church. It’s a disadvantage for us (the Church) if you choose to remain ignorant and spiritually immature. It is our duty to support ourselves as Christians and together achieve God’s purpose of establishing the Church. Important also is that we are saved to save others. Remember that you are being taught by the Holy Spirit and by other people so that when you grow-up, you can teach others.

Christ Reigns! We Win!
Written by Samson Afolabi

Who is the Church?

Who is the Church?

Although everyone is familiar with the word ‘’church’’, it is too often misinterpreted today. Hence, as Christians, it is important that we check out how God’s word defines ‘’the church’’ This helps us understand our true identity; are the Church. If we begin to understand who we are, then the Church can be able to function the way it was designed to function (fulfilling her purpose). The church’s true identity is to be found in Christ. The clear description of who the church his, is to be searched out in the only book given by the founder of the Church, which is, the Bible.

Here is how the Bible describes the church:

1. The Church is the House of God
“But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God which is the Church of the Living God…(1 Tim. 3:15)”

The church is not a building where we meet, it’s the people who we meet with. It’s not a place, a building, or a venue. We who meet there, is the Church. Yes, I mean we – you and I – are the Church. The Church is not a physical building, it is we who meet there. I like how Paul separates these two things.

“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:” (Rom. 16:1)

“Unto the Church which is at Corinth….” (1 Cor. 1:2)

“The Church that is at Babylon…” (1 Peter 5:13)

“And to [your wife] Apphia our sister, and to Archipus our fellow soldier [in ministry], and to the church that meets in your house:” (Philemon 1:2 AMP)

The bible is scattered with numerous instances of how Paul describes the Church as the location or city where they meet. Where we meet is just a location, we are the church. The Church is the gathering place for the Sons and Daughters of God. We are the House of God not just the building where we meet. We are God’s temple.

“You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5)”

2. The Church as a Body
“And He is the head of the Body, the Church :…( Col. 1:18)”

By “church” I don’t mean the various denominations we call ourselves. In God’s view, we are part of one church. The Bible describes us “as the body of Christ”. We are one. I love the analogy that the church is like a body with various parts. It really makes me understand that the church is one in purpose but with various assignments. For example, we can see one denomination as the “eye”, another as the “ear” and another as the “feet” etc. The whole body can’t be the “eye” then we wouldn’t have the ear. And the whole body can’t be the ear, then there won’t be the eye.

We must start to see the beauty God has deposited in the Church, our understanding of this will allow us to enjoy this benefit and stop the strife amidst ourselves. The various dimensions of grace that has been given to each denomination, is to be benefited by the whole body. But it’s a pity that most of us think we are the only ones proclaiming the truth while others are liars, which is definitely not true. Yes, we quite agree that we are all not equally grown-up, and some of us yet understand some things imperfectly, but no one throws away a baby or scolds a baby because he or she acts like a baby rather we show them love, nurture and care for them until they grow up.

“But He, well aware of their thoughts and purpose, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is doomed to destruction; and a house divided against itself falls” (Luke 11:17 AMP)

This crazy attachment of ourselves to a particular denomination must stop! The nation of Israel was divided into 12 tribes. Each tribe having different gifts and callings. Yet they all functioned together for all to benefit in the various gifts given to each calling. They were an Old-testament example to us.

In the Words of E.W. Kenyon, in the book “The Father and His Family”:

“We are God’s family representatives on the earth. We are not Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, or Roman Catholics, but we are God’s sons and daughters. We are God’s family. As a member of the family, we are to minister to each other and watch over each other in love”

Bill Johnson also said that “when a ministry is given to a man by God, it is because God has deposited a special gift in that one man and He wants to flow into the whole body”.

While I do encourage commitment to a particular group, this wall of partition we have set amidst ourselves must be pulled down. We are a Body and we are one.

3. The Church is God’s senate on earth.
When Christ was raised from the dead we were all raised with Him. In fact, we were not just raised, we were raised to be seated with him in heaven. We are his rule enforcers on the earth. We are part of his authority.

“And He raised us up together with Him (when we believed), and seated us with Him in the Heavenly places, (because we are) in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6)”

The book of Esther, gave us a little insight into the use of authority. King Ahasuerus words were not reversible even by himself. Anyone who possessed the King’s ring could make a decree with the same authority as though the king himself commanded. Haman had his ring, and could order the killing of all Jews throughout entire the province. Mordecai had this seal and could make a counter decree to save the Jews. All these are prototypes of Christ and his Church. We bear His seal. And by his spirit in us, we can decree and take charge and declare His reign wherever we find ourselves.

It is important for the church to come into the reality, that we are part of the Lordship of Jesus on Earth. His Lordship on earth is not complete without us. We are his “authority enforcers”. We are to stand against the operations of the works of the devil with the authority He has given us. We can’t afford to just learn about how to wield the power, through speaking in tongues, prayer and every other means but we must learn to put it to use.

He redeemed us for this very fact. That His will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12)

When you exercise His authority, it is as good as if He was the one doing it Himself. He gave us that right. So when we stand against the operations of darkness, our words are as good as if Jesus Himself spoke them.

In our schools, our streets, our work places, and wherever our domain is, we stand against and stop every manifestation of darkness there. That’s the power that was given to us. Speaking in tongues is not meant to be an interlude between prayers, or something to make us feel along with the other brethren, but it is meant to communicate with heaven and deliver the exercising of the Authority of Christ.

The Greek word for church is “ekklesia” (ek-klay-see’-ah). From the strong’s concordance it means out of many things “an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating”. This definition, tells us they are in charge. They are the senate. They decide what happens, not through physical violence but being in control spiritually and we know the spiritual realm controls the physical realm.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. (Is. 2:2)

The above prophecy, may not come to reality, until the church comes into her real position of GOVERNING. The church of Christ was meant to govern, to RULE. Not to be a beggarly church. The Book of Acts clearly gives us an account of the birth of the church and its early life. We will notice that the activities of the church was seriously accompanied with the manifestation of power, ruling and taking dominion of activities of darkness. I must say, the tussle is still ON, the baton is in our hands. We must rule, we are not cowards. We must take charge.

…To be Continued Next Week.

Finally, friends, I encourage us to cultivate the habit of studying the scriptures and meditating in it, because as we nurture ourselves individually, the body (the Church) is also growing corporately. Your growth affects the entire Church. It’s a disadvantage for us (the Church) if you choose to remain ignorant and spiritually immature. It is our duty to support ourselves as Christians and together achieve God’s purpose of establishing the Church. Important also is that we are saved to save others. Remember that you are being taught by the Holy Spirit and by other people so that when you grow-up, you can teach others.

I Call You Blessed
Written By Samson Afolabi

His Sacred Temple

His Sacred Temple

GOD dwells no longer in alters built of gold ,brass, silver, diamonds, fine pines, even with the sacred cedars of Lebanon, finely sculptured courts having the cherubim carved on their entrances, decorated with interwoven chains festooned on the pillars and poles. The gigantic breath taking buildings having the inner courts kept sacred for the priests alone. Such reminds me of how the Bible described the temple of God built by the most knowledgeable king, King Solomon, and yet God no longer dwells there. Interestingly He seeks no longer for rams, bulls, doves, fine incense burnt as an offering to Him on these alters.

Conversely God has chosen t to dwell in man, to make His home, His citadel, His fortress. This opines to me that our bodies are more homely, much more valuable than the timeless alters made from the finest of stones, gold, silver, best of woods and even the most beautiful humanly built temple.

And since He chose to dwell in us rather than the alters made from the finest stones and gems it affirms to me that  God values us, we were specially crafted by Him who is the best Potter that ever existed, making us like Himself, just like He is to dwell in us. We are gods! God-like, made just like Him.

The perpetual consciousness of this propels a life that walks and lives like God. This eases us to live the realities of a life that houses the Almighty and marvel at the Spirit who dwells in the inside of us.(II Tim 1:14). It thrusts us to live and have a life that is sin-free, leading us into the fullness of God.

A life that daily meditates and reminds himself per-time that he is the walking, living, mobile temple of God would find it easier not to indulge in sin that are against the body, for this body should be found worthy of housing the Supreme God. This consciousness keeps one safe, immune from the deceit and vices of the Devil to tempt one into sin. This truth has the ability to save us from obscure or hidden tendencies of Sin.

Considering these Scriptures

“Your body is the home of God’s Spirit, who is completely good and separate from everything bad. You should know that. God gave His Spirit to you and He lives in you. You do not belong to yourself any longer. But you belong to God”  1Corinthians 6:19 (EASY ENGLISH)

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple”. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17(NIV)

The latter scripture did really struck me as a believer, but this isn’t for the fear of being destroyed by the one who values His abode. Having a consciousness of God I am guided against any form of sin. fornication, adultery, intentionally feeding  my sight with immoral videos, practicing acts that are abominable, sin against my body,all these and much more I can overcome by fixing my gaze on Jesus and living a righteous life. I am taught of God to keep my body pure and  sacred, suitable enough to house the Spirit of God for the Love He has for me and because I love Him also. If truly we know and love God just as we proclaim, our love won’t just exist in the abstract world, rather there would be conformity of our words and actions, maintaining a pure sanctuary for Him.

Lastly do not support the Devil against yourself by saying you can’t live righteously! Yes we can!! Yes we will!! (Rom 8:37, Hebrews 7:25,) For the Spirit which abides inside of us, is far greater than the strongest of powers (Sin) pulling from the outside.

Please Let’s allow Him stay and enjoy His precious temple! We are His Temple.

Written by Helen Olasomisoye