THE MAN CHRIST JESUS: GOD’S PROMISES FULFILLED

THE MAN CHRIST JESUS: GOD’S PROMISES FULFILLED

As we learnt in “The Man Christ Jesus; The Message”, the whole message of the scriptures points back to Christ. And so that must mean every promise given is a picture of Christ.

We see God make promises to people in the old testament. Each promise in the old testament speaks of the promise to send the Messiah; Jesus Christ. And in turn, the fulfilment of every promise spoke of the fulfilment of even the prophecies concerning the Messiah. For example, Genesis 21:1 says:

“The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised.”

The fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah to give them a child, even in their old age, was a picture of the faithfulness of God to keep His word regardless of the hopelessness of the natural situation. (Genesis 17; 16 -21 and 18:9-15).

In the old testament, we see numerous examples of God keeping His promises to His people – and because of this they could have faith for the Messiah – even though they did not physically see Him. The whole of Hebrews 11 gives us numerous examples of faith actions in the old testament that were counted as righteousness and belief for the Messiah. And it shows that the faith which we act out – in obedience to God’s word and instructions, speaks of the faith which we have for His promises of salvation and redemption – That Christ is indeed all He promises to be.  

In the new testament, Christ has come. The promise of a Saviour is fulfilled. The man Christ Jesus is THE promise of God fulfilled as well as the fulfilment of every promise. In Christ – in the fulfilment of the promise of a saviour, there are manifold promises which cascade unto all those who believe.

Ephesians 1:3 says;

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,”

These promises are all fulfilled IN CHRIST. God has blessed us IN CHRIST. In our belief that Jesus is indeed our saviour, we have access to a host of spiritual blessings which we did not previously have access to. In Christ our spirit is saved and we have access once again to the blessings God intended for us to have – the Holy Spirit, promises of peace, healing, grace upon grace, favour, righteousness before the Father, redemption from our fallen state, and so much more.

Perhaps the most important is the promise of forgiveness of sins. Jeremiah prophesied saying:

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34)

 

God was saying their sins He will remember no more! But we know that this was only a promise fulfilled in Christ Jesus. The book of Hebrews explains that before Christ’s sacrifice, there was still a remembrance of sin despite the sacrifice of bulls and goats being offered.

“But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Heb. 10: 2-3)

But talking about the sacrifice of Christ, He says:

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified.” (Heb. 10: 12 – 14)

Hallelujah! He offered one sacrifice for sins for ever! Now, God doesn’t remember our sins because of the man Christ Jesus. Because of His sacrifice for sins.

Every promise of God is redemptive. Redeeming us to what He initially planned and predestined us to be (Ephesians 2:10).This is why Christ is the fulfilment of every promise because He is our Redeemer – the same way Boaz was a kinsman redeemer to Ruth – restoring to her what she had lost, Christ is our redeemer, restoring to us all that the devil aimed to kill, steal and destroy in our lives. Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice, paying fully for our sin which separated us from God, and allowed us to be righteous once again in the eyes of the Father. He makes us new creatures.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says;

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”

So everything that would be Christs’ – as the son of God, would be ours IN CHRIST. Every promise to the people of God would be ours IN CHRIST. Because in Him we are once again God’s people.

Jeremiah also prophesied:

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer. 31:33 ESV)

Peter, writing to the gentiles (to us), informs us that this promise has been fulfilled in Christ:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a[special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”(1 Pet. 2:9 AMP)

“Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:10 AMP)

In fact, we are not just His people, we are Sons of God. Glory!

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God…”(1 John 3:2 KJV)

Scripture goes further to state something that is mind-blowing;

“For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Cor. 1: 20 KJV)

The message translation of the bible states it like this:

“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident” (2 Cor. 1: 20 – 21)

The version above calls Christ Jesus, the great Amen. Amen means so shall it be or let it be so or I strongly agree. We can look into Christ and find God saying “yes” to us who believe for all His promises. All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ. This should be a joy and rejoicing of heart for us! He is the Yes and Amen to all of God’s promises to us who believe. Have you looked through the Old Covenant, and seen any of God’s promise to us His people? 1 Cor. 1: 20 says we should rejoice, it is fulfilled in the Man Christ Jesus.

 

***Special thanks to Wuraola Fanimokun for helping out to co-write and edit this article***

THE MAN CHRIST JESUS: THE MESSAGE

THE MAN CHRIST JESUS: THE MESSAGE

Thank you once again for taking time to read through this article, it is my prayer that as you read, the eyes of your understanding be enlightened.

So in the last article, we considered The Man Christ Jesus: The Express Image. Today, we consider Christ Jesus as being the message the Church has been asked to preach and teach. We take a cue from the Apostles, in their epistles and the book of Acts.

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1: 27 – 28)

Notice the bolded text whom we preach, that’s the message. It is Christ we preach. Whom! Not it! We don’t preach riches, fame or business empowerment or change of levels, we preach Christ! We show Him to the world and expound Him to the Church.

The Apostles were very particular about this one message, that everywhere they went, that was the only message preached. Christ and His redemptive work! Paul speaking to the Corinthian Church said:

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with Excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2: 1 – 2)

It was just that message, Christ! Paul had only one message, The Man Christ Jesus. Wouldn’t it have been beautiful to be in the Churches where Paul preached? And to listen as he unravelled Christ to us?

Paul speaking further said:

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:23)

We preach Christ! That’s the message. That was the message, today that is the message and that will be the message. Of course we will get better in the communication of our faith as we grow and the scriptures are opened to us more and more by the Holy Spirit, but the message never changes. It will still be Christ Jesus.

Look at Peter’s message in Acts 2 and Acts 4, Philip’s message to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 and everywhere they had the opportunity to speak, their message was simple, Christ Jesus! who He is and what He did! That’s our message.

See Philip’s message here:

“But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12)

Paul and Silas also:

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31)

Scripture also says this:

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20)

We are ambassadors for Christ! Christ Jesus. We speak for Him! We preach Christ Jesus! We don’t preach any other thing. That’s the one message the Church (You and Me) has been given.

The Message of the scriptures both in the old and new testaments was about one man, Christ. Though the old presented Him in shadows and types, while the new expressly described Him. And that is the same message, we have been asked to preach. The message is Christ Jesus. Jesus after His death said this:

“Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to trust and believe in everything that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and [only then to] enter His glory? Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the [writings of the] prophets, He explained and interpreted for them the things referring to Himself [found] in all the Scriptures” [Luke 24: 24 – 27 AMP]

In the scenario above, He explained Himself out of the writings of Moses and the Prophets because they were all about Him. Here also He says, the scriptures testify of Me. I am the message in the scriptures and in Me is eternal life.

“You search and keep on searching and examining the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and yet it is those [very Scriptures] that testify about me;” [John 5:39]

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone;” (Eph. 2:20)

We are being built on the foundation of the apostles, we preach Christ only.

Make sure to check out HAGIAZO 2019, our Conference where we will only be expounding Christ as the Beginning (Col. 1:18).

I Call You Blessed

 

THE MAN CHRIST JESUS: The Express Image

THE MAN CHRIST JESUS: The Express Image

Today, I am excited to be able to share God’s word with you once again. Our topic here is about a well-known Man, known not just to Believers but to unbelievers alike who probably do not believe Him to be the Son of God, that He indeed is, and maybe do not believe in the redemptive work He did.

Scripture describes him as the Express Image of the Father. He is the very accurate description of God. Jesus Himself said:

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18)

Jesus said I am in the bosom of the Father, I have a very detailed description of the Father that no man has ever given. He was saying, no matter how highly rated the description of the Father the prophets have given before this time, it is nowhere as accurate as the one I am presenting to you. And we can understand this because we see such an intimate relationship between Him and the Father. John 1 gives us an insight into the relationship between Jesus (the Word) and the Father before His incarnation.

“In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Hallelujah! The Word was God. This same Word that was God was then made flesh and dwelt among us. God was made flesh and we can see Him clearly through Christ. We can checkmate any personality of God earlier described in scriptures by if we find it in Christ. If not, it doesn’t describe the Father.

Even during His earthly sojourn, Christ (the Word made flesh) revealed even further that He was in such close union with the Father.

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise” (John 5:19)

In-fact, simply to describe the relationship, He said We are One.

“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30)

The Writer of Hebrews tells us that God who in yester-years had been speaking to us through the prophets, is now speaking to us through His first begotten Son, Christ Jesus.

“God who at Sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…” (Heb. 1: 1 – 3)

The word express above is defined as to “convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct”. That is, Christ Jesus is God (His person) and revealed/conveyed to us (as a message) through words, gestures and conduct. That means to know who God truly is, in an accurate way, we must consider the words of Christ, His actions and conducts. The Amplified Bible magnifies verse 3 of Hebrews 1 better as:

“The Son is the radiance and only expression of the glory of [our awesome] God [reflecting God’s Shekinah glory, the Light-being, the brilliant light of the divine], and the exact representation and perfect imprint of His [Father’s] essence”

The Exact Representation! I Love that. The Message Bible says “This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature”. Now here is where we have to be careful of the representation of the Father we carry around or believe or take to be true. No matter how beautiful the description Moses, Elijah, Elisha, David presents to us, we check if it agrees with the Exact Representation, Christ (in His words, acts and conducts), why? None of them have seen God (John 1:18), but the Son has seen Him (completely) and declared Him! Glory!

I will conclude this article by giving some instances where Christ gave us a better description of the Father than the prophets did. We see Elijah calling down fire on his enemies in 2 Kings 1:9 – 15.

“And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and fifty” vs 10

Above is a representation of the Father that Elijah presented to us, as a God that kills His enemies by fire and maybe by brimstone if need be. Christ, the exact representation of the Father said NO, the father is not like that. In Luke 9: 53 – 56, some people resisted Christ from entering into a village of the Samaritans, His disciples told Him to do likewise, He said No! That’s not the accurate description of the Father.

“And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? But he turned, and rebuked them…and they went to another village” (Luke 9: 54 – 56). That’s the accurate description. The Father is Love. Paul expatiate this for us:

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shall heap coals of fire on his head” (Romans 12:20)

Another instance we see is 1 Kings 22: 19 – 23, where we see a picture of the Father as someone taking counsel to do evil. No! Jesus didn’t show that. Peter said,

“Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:” (1 Pet. 2:22)

No evil! He has no capacity to do evil, He wouldn’t take counsel to do evil.

In Matthew 5: 27 – 39, the express image (Christ) corrects another notion of what the Father wants from us when we are wronged. “You have heard that it was said, “An eye for eye, and a tooth for a tooth [punishment that fits the offense]” (John 5:38 AMP)

“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person [who insults you or violates your rights]; but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other toward him also [simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses and do not bother to retaliate-maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise]” (John 5:39 AMP)

He was simply saying that’s not the correct image and person of the Father, and here is the better one. Now, we see the Father clearly, through Christ! The veil is removed only in Christ.

“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which is done away in Christ” (2 cor. 3:14)

Today, I encourage us to make sure that everything of the Father we believe and hold true is according to what His accurate and perfect representation declared Him to be. Every other representation that doesn’t agree with that is inaccurate and should be treated False.

 

I Call You Blessed

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.

A SHORT LESSON FROM MY LAST BIRTHDAY

A SHORT LESSON FROM MY LAST BIRTHDAY

I was not intending to write an article really, but at the same time I wanted to share a lesson the Lord impressed on my heart from my last Birthday. So expect that, this article won’t be one with so many scriptures but with a story that reveals the person of our Heavenly Father.

Since the past 2 years I have loved to always find time often at midnight crossing over into my brethren to seek the Lord’s face for my new year. I love to hear His prophecy for me into my new year. I always want to hear His instructions, promises etc. and I love to have them first before the calls, messages etc. from friends. I do not have any scriptural backing for this, but I just love to do it.

This year however, just as my birthday was around the corner, I had a lot of work on my plate that got me really busy, such that in-fact, I spent my whole birthday in the Library. Not new for me though, because 2 years ago same happened. I was really busy, that even though I wanted to create the time for my special time to fellowship and receive from the Lord, I just didn’t have the time. I slept into the morning, woke up, cleaned up and I was off to the Library. Thanks to all my beautiful friends who celebrated me. I really appreciate you all.

It was a bit difficult to focus because the calls, messages etc. kept making my phone buzz continuously, but I was able to achieve more than I would if I had stayed at home. And here is where the lesson is. I got home quiet late and just then a call came in from a brother friend, and he started prophesying to me. He spoke extensively into God’s mind/will for me for the coming years some which were a confirmation of what I had heard from God myself some days before.

Friends, I leaped with Joy. Not just because of the prophecy but I learnt the Love nature of God once again. Jesus didn’t just die to create a way for us to go God, He made a way for God to come to us. In the Christian faith, we are not just the only one going to God, He also comes to us. Oftentimes He wants to come to us more than we want to go to Him.

Remember the story of the Prodigal son, in Luke 15. Verse 20 says:

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him”

Often, we quote the above scriptures and say, Oh, the child went back to his father and forget the disposition of the father (which illustrates the person of our heavenly father) that he ran to his child. He ran! And even in our mess, and not having time, he still comes to us.

While I am not advocating for a lackadaisical attitude towards our fellowship, am trying to show us how much the passion of the holy-spirit in helping us.

I remember praying at the chapel lawn at my last university for over an hour and I felt I need to go. Just as I said Amen to leave, I felt the holy-spirit telling me “I was enjoying that, please let’s do more”.  I was so surprised. Since then I had learnt that we are not the only ones enjoying those times of fellowship, the holy-spirit also does. Well he has said:

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” John 14:18

I will come to you! I will be the one to come. That’s our father. He also said:

…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen Matt. 28:20

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned neither shall the flame kindle upon you”

I hope this encourages you and it has for me. And don’t forget to send my birthday gifts, I am still receiving them pls.

 

 

I Call You Blessed

Written by Samson Afolabi

OVERCOMING GUILT

OVERCOMING GUILT

For Christians, sin is not a way of life. Rather, it’s a mistake. An Accident. It’s something that should never happen. But Oops – sometimes it does! So what do we do when we feel the guilt that follows sin?

Oftentimes when Christians sin, the after-problem is not forgiveness, but guilt. I personally believe, that feeling guilty when we sin, is still a sign that we love God, a sign that we didn’t like the fact that we sinned. However, prolonged guilt is what must be corrected. In our state of innocence, we feel sorry that we wronged God. We wish we never did what we did.  Sometimes we even punish ourselves compensate for what we have done wrong. Seems fair enough, from our human eyes. But have you ever taken a moment to stop and ask: How does God view it? How does God judge my sense of guilt when I sin?

It is my prayer that as you read this article, the Holy-spirit may open your eyes and speak the message you need to hear from him today.

While as Christians, we should never comfortable with sin, it is healthy to feel guilt when we do sin. In-fact, if you are a Christian and you do not feel guilt after sin, then it’s very unhealthy. . The problem begins when we stay in the position of guilt for too long.

 

There are two main causes prolonged guilt: (1) Self-Righteousness: Not understanding fully God’s Redemption plan (2) Ego: focusing on ourselves and not on Christ. We lose our boldness to pray, it’s a sense of condemnation, it draws us even farther away from God and this is what the devil enjoys. The devil knows that as long as we remain in this state, we won’t get help. We begin to think ‘‘can we ever be forgiven’’? We begin to think “God must be mad at me!’’

But No He isn’t. He knew you could mess up so he made enough provision for it. He made enough propitiation of your past, present and future sins. If God only forgave our past sins and not our present and future sins then we were never saved or redeemed. Because we are humans, we are frail but He knows our frame (Psalms 103:14)

It is one thing to know we are forgiven, but another thing to accept and believe the forgiveness. A lot of people are living continuously in guilt not because God hasn’t forgiven them, but because they haven’t accepted the forgiveness which they need to forgive themselves.

Looking back to my childhood, it would be impossible to count how many times I offended my parents, they would correct me by  giving  assignments and often times I was flogged, but guess what It didn’t reduce their love for me. Well, I didn’t earn the love by my acts, so I can’t lose it by my actions. As usual, whenever I did something bad, I felt guilty. I would ask for my parent’s forgiveness, receive forgiveness and didn’t choose to remain at the state of guilt. And I continued to enjoy the love showered on me by my parents. So are we supposed to be with our heavenly father. When we sin, we ask for forgiveness, and he is faithful and just to forgive us, then we must receive the forgiveness and embrace the freedom from shame and guilt.

 

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, it is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30)

Jesus said that ‘it is finished’. And yes it is indeed finished. He forgave us and made us righteous. It’s a finished work. Completed. Done. we can’t add to it by our self-righteousness and we can’t subtract from it by our acts. It’s done. He made us righteous and told us to walk in this righteousness, not try to attain righteousness by ourselves. To overcome prolonged guilt, we have to know we have been forgiven.

Below are some few points I believe can be helpful for overcoming continuous guilt. This has helped me over the years, and I believe they will be of great help to anyone.

  1. Speak with Someone (Believer)

 

“Therefore Confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray one for another, that ye may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent Prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much”
(James 5:16 AMP)

 

Every believer should have their own company. As a Christian, there must be someone in your life that can confront you when you are wrong, no matter the level or position you have attained. When faced with guilt, it is recommended you speak with another believer you know has good understanding. Someone you know you can be vulnerable with (your pastor, mentor, spiritual-friend etc.). I would also be available if anyone wants to speak with me. (E-mail: afolabisamson15@gmail.com).

 

Guilt lasts longer because people try to cover up their sins, nurture the wounds of guilt by themselves, but oftentimes this doesn’t work. Do what the above scripture says. Open up to someone. Seek counsel. Let prayers be made for and with you, this may also help in breaking sin addictions.

 

I believe someone who is matured spiritually will be able to handle your secrets.

 

  1. Worship in Songs

Worshipping God when we face guilt, causes our focus to shift from ourselves and to God. We behold his majesty, meditate on His love for us, and think about his Righteousness. I personally love to sing songs by Hillsong and House-fires. I also recommend many other spirit-filled songs that bring our focus on God’s love for us. As we meditate on this, we gain strength to come boldly once again into our father’s presence.

 

  1. Dare to Call Him Father

Over the years, I have discovered that the times I have struggled with sin were the times I have not had a good fellowship with the Holy-Spirit in the past days.  When we fall into sin, we lose our boldness to pray or worship, we lose our sense of righteousness. We can’t come boldly into His presence any longer as we do. But the point is, we can’t continue that way and hope that the wounds guilt brings will be healed. We have to dear to call him father again, then the author condemnation and guilt, the devil will stop accusing us.

The story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11 – 32), is a good example of this. The boy realised what he was done, he was sorry for what he did wrong, but he didn’t stay there, he took a step, he went back to his father.

“I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee”    (Luke 15:18)

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him (Luke 15:20)

The boy decided to arise and go back to his father and interestingly despite his sins, his father still loved him and while he was on his way, his father who had always been waiting for him, ran out to him, showed him love and restored him back as His son.

Today, we also need to take such steps. Today, I say despite the prolonged guilt you might be facing, dare to pray, worship and sing. Call him Father. God’s love again his demonstrated to us just like this prodigal son in Luke 15: 11 – 32 stated above.

He loves us even when we mess up. At the point of death, Peter made a lot of promises to stay with Jesus till death (Luke 22:33) but he couldn’t. He denied Jesus three times. Peter went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:62). I am sure at this point he must have felt guilty, he must have felt unworthy but yet when Jesus rose from the dead this was an angel’s instruction,

“But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee: there shall you see him as he said to you” (Mark 16:7)

The angel was careful to mention Peter’s name specifically, knowing that Peter would doubt his worthiness to be called a disciple. God was still saying ‘Peter, you are forgiven and you can stop feeling guilty. Thank God, Peter was still greatly used by God to do awesome things to advance the gospel. This was only possible because he did not allow his guilt to hold him back. .

My dear friend, God loves you and He says “You are free”. You do not have to feel guilty. He is inviting you to come up to him and leave the place of your continuous guilt.

 

I Call You Blessed

 

Written by Samson Afolabi