The Keeper of Our Faith

The Keeper of Our Faith

These days, many people talk about “losing their salvation”. Preachers, in the name of trying to keep their members, emphasize so much on the need to keep themselves away from the defilement of this world. As good as this sounds, it often has caused more people to live in fear rather than in boldness and certainty that God can keep them faultless and blameless to the end of their lives.

The one way I believe God has been instructing me on “keeping one’s salvation” is by shifting my attention away from myself and instead towards God. Yes, I know the world is defiled with sin, and ungodliness. I know that sin contaminates, but I believe that the way to victory over the world, is to keep our gaze on Jesus (the Author and finisher of our faith) rather than ourselves. We must start to know that “God wants to keep our faith more than we want to keep ourselves”. David said,

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalms 23:1)

As believers, the Lord is our shepherd. He is our keeper. He is the keeper of our faith. The boast of every shepherd is that he keeps his fold and that none of them is missing. David made this boast before Saul when he was presenting his CV to him, proving he was strong enough to confront Goliath.

“Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him. For you are [only] a young man and he has been a warrior since his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33)

But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, (1 Samuel 17:34)

I went out after it and attacked it and rescued the lamb from its mouth; and when it rose up against me, I seized it by its whiskers and struck and killed it. (1 Samuel 17:35)

Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted and defied the armies of the living God.” (1 Samuel 17:36)

Jesus, the great shepherd also made this boast at the end of His life on earth,

(John 17:11)  And now I am coming to you; I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. Holy Father! Keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one just as you and I are one.

(John 17:12)  While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me. I protected them, and not one of them was lost, except the man who was bound to be lost—so that the scripture might come true.

The shepherd is never scared to lead the sheep out even though the wolves are nearby. He knows that it is his duty to keep the sheep and he will go above and beyond to do that. It is not the sheep’s duty to worry about the security of the field. God knows we are in the world. In-fact Jesus prayed that God keep us in the world, because He knows he can protect us. We don’t have to rely on our ability, rather we rely on His ability to keep our faith and our feet from falling. We must stop looking down on ourselves and start looking up to Him, who is able to keep us from falling. Whenever we talk about our salvation, let us know that it is about the faithful God and never about our own unfaithfulness. It is all of God and none of us. The Sheep doesn’t keep himself, the Shepherd does.

(Jude 1:24)  To him who is able to keep you from falling and to bring you faultless and joyful before his glorious presence

Yes, he is able and I chose him to be my strength to stand for my faith in this perverse and ungodly world. He alone can be my strength. I have no strength of my own. This is not to mean I would deliberately sin and keep saying there is “Grace” but I won’t rely on my own strength. I would trust the shepherd to keep me from falling.

David speaking in Psalms 121 said, The Lord is my Keeper… (Vs 5), he went further saying The Lord shall preserve me from all evil; he shall preserve my soul (vs 7) and He will not suffer my foot to slip (vs 3).

In-fact, 1 John 2:13 – 14 says we have already overcame the wicked one.

…I have written to you, young men, because you are strong and vigorous, and the word of God remains [always] in you, and you have been victorious over the evil one [by accepting Jesus as Saviour]. (vs. 14 AMP)

….I am writing to you, young men [those believers who are growing in spiritual maturity], because you have been victorious and have overcome the evil one…. (Vs 13 AMP)

…He Protects the souls of His godly ones (believers), he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalms 97:10)

We overcame the evil one already, not that we will overcome later, we overcame him already (NOW). We overcame him not because of what we did or didn’t do but because we have accepted Jesus as our saviour.

God is not scared that I will lose my salvation. Therefore, why should I be scared? I will walk in the world, knowing that God is keeping me from falling. I will walk at school, at the office and everywhere I go with the confidence that God is my keeper. I won’t act like religious fanatics who put themselves under rules and regulations, avoiding to talk and interact with people because of the fear that they might lose their salvation. I won’t be afraid of the world contaminating me with sin, rather I will influence the world with Righteousness just like Jesus did.

I call you blessed!
Written by Samson Afolabi

More Than Conquerors

More Than Conquerors

I had just finished from work on this beautiful Saturday 29th April when I decided to go have a haircut you know to confirm that I am wonderfully and beautifully made by God. After quite a wait at the barbers shop, it was finally my turn. I gave the barber instructions on how I wanted my cut and he followed it perfectly. Just as we were finishing up, my phone rang.

It was a call from a “Big-Brother”, someone who had been a special blessing to me in my sojourn in this foreign land. He was inviting me over for dinner and wanted to introduce me to new friends.  It was an opportunity I had been waiting for, so I immediately decided to join though it was with a short notice. Plus, the possibility of eating a local dish made me more ready to attend!

We met at his house and it was great time. While the meal was being prepared, we had chatted over appetizers. My “Big-Brother” the host happened to love sports, and fortunately that night was the big boxing night for the world heavyweight champion between “Anthony Joshua” and “Wladimir Klitschko”. We were all in support of Anthony Joshua because we were all Nigerians in the room except for one Kenyan friend who had accompanied me to the meeting. I probably wouldn’t have watched the match that night if I wasn’t for him because to be honest, I’m not really a fan of boxing.

After many blows, Anthony Joshua won. So much glory and honour for him that night. I wished I was him just after he won, but not before he won. I couldn’t manage to receive those punches he received.

Here comes my analogy; in life there are 3 categories of people, those who are less than conquerors, those who are conquerors and those who are more than conquerors.

That night Wladimir Klitschko was not (less) than a conqueror, Anthony Joshua was the conqueror. He persevered through the pain receiving punches here and there on his body, and even had a black eye in the end, but still snatched the prize.

The last category of people are the most blessed. Imagine if Anthony Joshua was to go home that night. Imagine that after the match, he handed over his belt and millions of dollars in prize money to his Mum as a gift.  In this case, his mum would have been MORE THAN CONQUEROR.

Why? Because she sat at home all throughout the fight, didn’t receive any punches, didn’t join him in his 12 weeks of intense training, didn’t get a black eye and yet got all the reward her son Anthony Joshua got.

This is the case of the Saviour of the world, who was beaten, bruised, disgraced, wounded, nailed to the cross, and hung on the pole, for our sins. He was killed but then he resurrected. Yes he came out victorious! He was a conqueror. After his resurrection he gave all the glory belonging to his victory at the cross to us. He credited the victory into our account. And all we need do to be more than conqueror is to believe “that He died for our sins”. If we believe we are then the MORE THAN CONQUEROR. We are MORE THAN CONQUERORS right now. We are not just going to be more than conquerors in the future; we already are right now.

 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37 KJV)

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us so much that He died for us” (Romans 8:37 AMP)

Those who fight and win are conquerors. Those who allow God fight for them are MORE THAN CONQUEROR. We are more than conqueror over sicknesses, diseases, famine, poverty, shame and over every challenge we go through.

Paul speaking in Romans 8:33 – 37, listed the different difficulties he was going through at the moment, yet all those didn’t stop him from believing; he was MORE THAN CONQUEROR. Not because of anything He had done or didn’t do but because Paul had received the victory from the conqueror (Jesus Christ) by believing. He had received the love God showed him by giving Jesus to die on the cross.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

At the Cross, Jesus said “It is finished”. And yes IT IS FINISHED. He finished whatever challenge we are going through. He is not just working on our challenges, He finished them already. It is done. He finished Poverty, Spiritual ignorance, lack, sickness at the cross and gave us the victory and the right to tread upon serpents and snakes. Amen!

This means that we are to believe and keep confessing what we believe. A closed mouth is a closed destiny. We must keep speaking what we believe. If you feel pain in your body, confess you are healed because Jesus made you MORE THAN CONQUEROR over sicknesses, if you are in lack financially, confess you are rich until you start to see it because Jesus made you MORE THAN CONQUEROR over poverty. Whatever the case keep confessing and keep your confessions right. Believing and Confessing leads to seeing.

“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (2 Cor. 4:13)

I Call You  Blessed!
Written by Samson Afolabi and Edited by Christine Talens

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

The Place of Your Personal Walk in Christianity

The Place of Your Personal Walk in Christianity

“… Your People shall be my people, and your God, my God (Ruth 1:16)”

Have you ever wondered why there are few people who have been standing out in making greats exploits for God’s kingdom? Why there are people like Enoch, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, and many other patriarchs of faith who stand out of their generation for God, and did what many people didn’t do? Is it that God has favourites, such that He shows his ways and acts to some people and hides it from some?

Why are there not so many people like Benny Hinn, E.W. Kenyon, Kathryn Kulman, Late Bishop Idahosa (Nigeria), Bishop Oyedepo (Nigeria), and various many others? Is it that God is in short supply of resources to make many of such people? I say NO. Each man determines his place with God.

The Determinant of the level of a man in God is the man’s personal walk with God. God doesn’t have favourites, His arms are forever open unto every-man. In-fact one of the key things that salvation brought to us, was the opportunity of a personal walk (fellowship) with God.

“That at that time ye were not without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12)”

“Jesus said to her, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my father, but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father and to my God and your God” (John 20:17) ”

It is important to notice this transition between (Eph. 2:12) and (John 20:17). We never had any relationship with God before, we couldn’t call him father. But God created that relationship by sending Jesus. So it is obvious God wants to commune (have fellowship) with man just as He did in the Garden of Eden. He wants to have us speak with Him. He wants us to walk with Him.

It is also important to note that God wants to deals with every man on earth individually. God relates with each one of us one-to-one. He deals with everyone, one to one as though he/she were the only person on the face of the earth. He deals with you personally, as though you were the only person in that hall, class, office. He desires fellowship with man, and not just fellowship but personal fellowship with each man.

“You only have I known of all the families of the earth: … (Amos 3:2)”

God was addressing Israel and He said, them only has he known on the earth, but obviously they were not the only nation on earth and in-fact God created all the others. Same is true of the way God deals with each one of us. God is ready to deal with us personally. Am not placing down the place of fellowship with other believers, but am trying to lay emphasis on the place of a personal walk with God. Our corporate fellowship is to help our personal walk with God. Each of our Church (fellowship) meetings is to sharpen our zeal and thirst for a personal walk with God. Corporate fellowship is a means to an end. God wants every believer to have a personal walk with God, this is evident in all of what God is doing for us.

At Pentecost, each Person spoke with tongues. The holy-spirit filled each one of them. Also, in scriptures we are made to know that the spirit bears witness with our spirit (individually). The spirit bears witness with your own very spirit not another person for you.

“Look to Abraham your Father, And to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him (Isa. 51:2)”

Looking at each of the men who stood-out in their walk of faith, we notice they had a personal walk with God.

 There is a clear difference between “Our God” and “my God”. The latter clearly depicts a personal walk with God. God wants every-one of us to have a father-Son relationship with Him. A father-Son relationship clearly carries a personal intonation.

Paul, was a man who opened the Church to great truths about the Kingdom. He did that because Paul (Himself) studied the scriptures. Enough of the kind of Christianity that lives alone by all that is being told Him. We need to sit down and have a personal relationship with our Heavenly father. The reason for the creation of man was because of the lonely heart cry of the Father. The creation of man, was a response to love. God wants us individually.

The bible is littered here and there with many scriptures showing that we have our different records with God.

“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words (Dan. 10:12)”

Notice the use of the different personal pronouns. Daniel set his own heart to understand.

“… as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God (Eze. 1:1)”

“the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there (Eze. 1:3)”

“And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? (Acts 22:7)”

“So I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ and He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ (Acts 22:8)”

“And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. (Acts 22:9)”

Notice also the scenario of Ezekiel and Paul. Both were amidst people (Ezekiel among the captives, Paul with other people) yet the heavens opened and singled them out and spoke to them and those around them didn’t hear. Walking and having fellowship with God is personal. It can’t be done for you. You must do it yourself. As Christians we must learn to start taking responsibility for our walk with God.

It takes understanding God personally and His covenant before we can enjoy all of what God has prepared for us. It is clear and evident that all the patriarchs of faith and the great men of exploits maintained a personal communion with God. In order to attain where they attained we must be ready for a personal walk with our Heavenly Father.

For Us to grow to maturity, we must learn to personally search the scriptures. Cultivate an habit of prayer. Doing all this, add up to having a personal fellowship with Jesus.

Christianity is principally a personal walk; right from salvation (you believe with your own heart), he leads you by your own spirit in you. Our fellowship with other believers is to help us achieve success in our personal walk with God. It is hard to walk in another man’s revelation of God, only if the man’s revelation, becomes a revelation to you. The church today has to learn this, we must know that we have the responsibility of having a personal communion with God.

As we make-up our minds to walk with God, I see God supplying us grace, in Jesus name (Amen)

Christ Reigns! We  Win!
I Call You Blessed!

Written by Afolabi Samson

The Nobility of the Jews at Berea

The Nobility of the Jews at Berea

Now the (Jews) were better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the Kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11 [AMP]

But the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and gladly listened to the message. They searched the scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas’ statements to see if they were really so. Acts 17:11 [TLB]

Paul’s usual practice [culture, manner of life] is to maximize every time available at his disposal to minister Christ: preaching the Gospel. After he and his company had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they got to the synagogue of the Jews at Thessalonica, where he reasoned with them from scriptures about the death and resurrection of Jesus who is the Christ (Messiah).It is worthy of note that all Christians should inculcate this virtue (and command) in their pilgrimage.

This message of Paul permeated some Jews, a great multitude of the devout Greeks and a few chief women in Thessalonica, all of whom believed and consorted (cast their lot) with the Apostle.

But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy… Acts 17:5 (why?)

A fraction of the Jews who did not believe must have held firmly to a false report which went viral after Jesus’ death, that which denied His resurrection, claiming that the Disciples stole him away while the soldier slept. This saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. Matt. 28:11-15. It must have been a thug of war for Paul, because he actually reasoned (argued) with them for three Sabbath days in their synagogue before he got the number that believed.

We must at this junction state that; Christ actually died, was buried and resurrected on the third day, which validated the teachings of Paul. Nothing can be done against the truth but for the truth (2Cor. 13:8). For death could not hold him captive (1Cor. 15:55-58). They also accused Paul and his company of treason, in that they claimed another King, Jesus, instead of Caesar (Acts 17:7). Whereas Paul must have stated that Jesus was a King, but His Kingdom is not of this world. (Acts 18:36)

 This was not the case with the Jews at Berea. We therefore seek to understand the virtues possessed by the Jews at Berea which made them nobler.

These were nobler than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed: also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. Acts 17:11-12

We can extract two important points attributed to their nobility:

  1. They received the word with readiness of mind
  2. Searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.

The difference between a believer and a un-believer is that the first believes while the other does not. The one who believed must have accepted the truth preached because he/she was open-minded. The Jews at Thessalonica were not open-minded, they could not accept new (correct) idea because they held tightly and firmly to their old (wrong) beliefs. They did not give room for the glorious light of the gospel to flood their hearts in order for their darkness to be enlightened. Unknown to them that all were just a shadow of the real thing, which is Christ. Many of us have also fallen short of new terrains that the Holy Spirit would have launched us into, because we being myopic have decided to hold on firmly to the doctrines of men and the limitation around us. Many a times we have so acted like Peter, who first saidnot so my lord, for I have never done this before (anything unclean- of which God already made clean) Acts 11. Which unknown to him, God was clearly expounding the scope of salvation to him, stating that, it was not only for the Jews rather for every nations and tribes (gentiles).

Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. If we are not eager and zealous to receive, we will end up not getting Faith to act upon.

The Jews at Thessalonica had a zeal but not according to knowledge.

Brethren, my heart’s desire and Prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For them being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes. Rom. 10:1-4

The words spoken by Paul did not produce salvation in them because it did not mix with faith in their heart. They had a stony heart (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26). In that the message preached by Paul was unknown/unclear to them, they zealously raised an uproar in the city, thinking they are doing God a favour, by their action, but they were actually against the proliferation of God’s word. They fought vehemently against anything contrary (as it were) to the Jewish traditions handed over to them by their fathers. This was also the position of Paul before his encounter with Christ. Their zeal was wanting in knowledge.

On the other hand, the Jews at Berea received (embraced and accepted favourably) the word, the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus, with eagerness, much inclination and readiness (preparedness) of mind and there was a performance.

Now, therefore perform the doing of it: that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also of that which ye have. 2Cor. 8:11

This virtue expresses the reason why Isaiah said if ye are willing (desirous and ready) and obedient, ye shall eat the good (fatness) of the land. God works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasures. The predicament of the unbelieving Thessalonians was the hardness of their heart. Some folks have not received the engrafted word of God with meekness, openness and readiness of mind, some on the other hand had held tenaciously and firmly to the traditions of men, old wives fables and the rudiments of this world, all of which had robbed them of the finished works of Christ and the power thereof. Others have unknowingly retarded and consequently brought to halt the next phase (new things) that God wants to commit to their hands all because they were satisfied with what they have, as such are not hungry nor thirsty for more.

Dear reader, I implore you to be ready, eager and willing to explore and receive new levels of victory/grace from the WORD of God; for God is set (determined) to manifest in greater dimensions, the savour of His knowledge in every place by us. We are blessed with ministry gifts for this purpose.

While wanting to receive new things, the Apostles exhorted the church about the rising of many false teachers and prophets in the last day. They thus encouraged a test (to prove) every spirit/teaching/prophecy whether they be of God by the instrumentality of the Spirit and by the word of God. 1John 4:1; 2Pet. 2:1

Study to show thyself approved, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Tim. 2:15

Another prominent virtue exhibited by the Jews at Berea, was their diligent search of the Scriptures to confirm what was said by Paul. A diligent search and study brings increased knowledge and empowers to do the content. Under the tutelage of the Spirit and by consistent search of the scripture with open-mindedness, the truth is communicated to us. We thus shed off the imperfect (shadowy) that the perfect might have free course.

All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2Tim. 3:16-17.

There is no perfect understanding gained from scripture outside the tutelage of the Spirit. This is because, he is the custodian of Truth. He glorifies Christ by revealing the intent of all purposes, events and prophecies in Scriptures, as they relate to Christ. This is made bare to the church by teachers and pastors.

Jesus said “Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” John 5:39 (KJV)

You make search in the Holy writings, in the belief that through them you get eternal life; and it is those writings which give witness about me (BBE)

You examine the scriptures carefully because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. Yet they testify about me. (ISV)

The Jews at Berea carefully and diligently searched and x-rayed the messages of Paul in scripture daily to confirm whether they are in alignment: Little wonder he commended their Nobility.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth: but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shall make thy way prosperous, and thou shall have good success. Josh. 1:8

Their Readiness of mind and confirmation by search from scriptures go hand-in-hand, they are complementary. We should inculcate these virtues in our day to day activity, this will makes us stand out.

Let your zeal be according to knowledge
Christ Reigns! We Win!
Love Always Win.

Written by Akintayo Damilola