“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13 NIV)”
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4: 14 NIV)
God wants every Christian to grow in faith (grow in the knowledge of God). Well, that is the delight of every parent, to see their once little baby grow up and become a successful adult in whatever endeavor he/she might choose.
“Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation” 1 Peter 2:2 (AMP)
This article seeks to explain the correct mindset about God’s word we should have in our growth journey as Christians. The spirit of God is one and he reveals the truth of His word unto us per time. For the letter kills but the spirit gives life. For the word of God to profit us we must see from the vista of the Spirit and allow him teach us per time.
Three persons can read the same scripture and see three different things for a variety of reasons which includes but is not limited to the following; reading their selves into the creed (those who make personal and greedy interpretation of the bible), and seeing from the lens of God. No one making a private interpretation of the bible would grow in faith.
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Pet. 1:20 KJV)
To grow in God and not fall into error, you must be willing to change your lens and see ONLY through the lens of the Spirit. However, is it possible to look through this lens and still not see completely? Yes. It doesn’t matter your present state, its ok if you don’t know all things NOW, but you MUST be willing to learn and do as you are taught of the Spirit. If you have this mind, then the Spirit shall indeed teach you more of Christ and bring your teachers your way. Apostle Paul had this to say to the Corinthian church and I believe God is saying same to the church today.
“Understand that we know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. He went further to state that when we come into a higher level of truth, we should put away that which we once knew and embrace the truth saying when I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good” 1 Cor. 13:10-11 (MSG)
What God expects from every believer is growth. To be able to continually grow as a believer, do not take a position wherein you are unwilling to yield to (obey and put to use) the truth of God’s word after it has been revealed to you. That you believe something today, doesn’t mean you will believe same tomorrow, as we fellowship with God we grow into a deeper level of truth, helping us come into completeness in God.
As you grow and have a better understanding of the scriptures you must not forget that there is someone who probably still sees from the perspective where you once saw things, be willing to teach the truth of God’s word to such without condemning, while you pray that the eyes of understanding of such is open to see clearly. We must learn to share our insights in the scriptures to other believers with humility of heart (Eph. 3:18).
It is possible that we encounter other believers who read the bible through God’s lens and still see from different perspectives (people interpret the word in different perspectives). In such cases, it is good the two parties are humble, hear each other out and search the scriptures to know the bible’s counsel about the topic (issue) being discussed. Do Not Argue. Sometimes one of the reasons why we argue our point and perspective whether right or wrong and try to make people see from our point of view is because we are so fixated on ourselves that we pay little attention to what the Spirit is saying and would rather show that we are knowledgeable, because knowledge puffs up (1 Cor. 8:1).
Do not take a position in your heart wherein you’re unwilling to yield to the truth of God’s word, or teach the truth in love. To receive God’s word, you need to throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life, only his word is able to save your soul, receive it with meekness (James 1:21 MSG).
In conclusion, always put this to heart as we become complete in Christ (Matured in Christ), for we shall be complete in him and it shall not be long. But for right now, until that completeness comes, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly (expressed in our thirst for God’s word), love extravagantly (expressed in our humility to share our insights with fellow believers).
Love Always Win.
Written by Abraham Omotayo
“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: (2 Pet 3:1)”
It interesting how we feel glad, when we stumble on the truth in the scriptures. We search the scriptures day and night for truths, we fast, we pray all this is good but I have discovered that we might tend to lose this truths easily, if we don’t give them a firm grip. I believe Peter knew this, and when he was writing his second epistle, his reason for writing this was basically to remind the Church of the truth, they had been taught and possibly had forgotten.
Paul, was also found doing the same thing, after planting a church in a certain location, he would go back to check them, and remind them of the things they believed in the initial. Paul writing to the Galatians (Gal. 3:1-3), rebuked them because they had forgotten the truth that told them they were saved by grace and not by works.
Today, we also fall victim of this, we find a truth, but due to many reasons, we let them slip-off our hands. When we listen to men of God, we put down notes, but the question is, do we go back to read them? Our minds needs to constantly keep this things in mind, so that our belief and faith in them may be strengthened. So when challenges come, we have a ready word in our heart, to present.
The holy-spirit speaking through Peter in 2 Pet. 1:12 – 13 says,
“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth (vs. 12)”
“Yes. I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you (vs. 13)”
Have you wondered, if since you believed all the messages you have heard have been kept securely by you? I think for many of us, we will be far higher and better than we are!
We need to keep Reminders. The Holy-Spirit kept emphasizing through peter in 2 Pet. 1:12 – 13, and 2 Pet 3:1 the word “stir”. The holy-spirit compares remembrance to stirring. So when we remind ourselves of God’s truth, we are actually stirring the gift of God in us. This word particularly reminds me of the stirring of the waters as accounted in John 5:2 – 4. After this waters, was stirred any-one who steps in first was made whole. Have you ever asked “what if the waters were moved every hour?” then every hour people will be made healed.
“…And out of your belly shall flow rivers of living-waters” (John 7:38). This water, is for the healing of the nations.
So when we stir up the gift, we make our pools ready for the healing of the world and even for ourselves. Many of us are suffering now from things now, that the truth that will set us free have already been communicated to us, but we have forgotten them. It is time, to search our archives, to set reminders, it is time to read our sermon notes. It is time to listen to those tapes we have bought again and again and again.
The Holy-Spirit doesn’t just speak to us, for us to build sermon notes, He speaks to us to liberate us and help us liberate the world from darkness.
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised ;)” (Heb. 10:23)
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21)
LASTLY, I SAY STIR UP THE GIFT!
I CALL YOU BLESSED.
This article is considered by me, one of the few articles I have been prompted to write, and that God has continuously kept repeating to me my-self over and over again. I have been learning and am presently learning how to drive this message into my sub-conscious. All through-out the journey of life, we will arrive at points when it all seems not-working, when frustration sets-in and our soul seems weary. Whilst all this points towards the fact that this world isn’t our destination (place of rest), yet there is one thing, I believe God keeps saying to us and it is “Am Supplying You GRACE”. And truly He is. Indeed He is! I wish I can scream that loud at the top of my voice with all seriousness written over and across my face, because I believe that is the same thing God is also trying to say to US. He is Supplying Us Grace. For in our Knowing this lies our strength to overcome every of our challenges. As you read, May the Holy-spirit communicate this message to you also.
“And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness… (2 Cor. 12:9)”
Man is frail, Man is weak. We don’t have a power of our own and we don’t even have the wisdom to solve many life puzzles. Many times, failure, Sorrows, engulf our hearts, we are confused looking in every direction and asking “Where is God”. Economic Crisis here and there, Health issues, Poverty, No Jobs, and for many for students, academics are sometimes nightmares. The psalmist considered man, and couldn’t make anything of him that he asked “what is man?”
We are faced every now and then with challenges and obstacles, we ask questions not knowing direction, most times we are confused because we have used all our strength and seems things are not working, it seems life is not just fair some times. Now all this shows and proves our in-ability, it shows our need of help. Our need to rely on an outer supply of help. And not just help, timely and constant help.
It is obvious that a fellow man cannot just fill the void for another man’s lack or failure because an empty barrel can’t fill another empty barrel. God is the perfect fill of all the lack we may ever expect. The most interesting part of this is that, God is far more ready to supply this “missing part” (grace) to us than we ever need or than we ever request. Every day he turns out loads of grace to us such that every day becomes “grace-day” for us.
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation” (Ps. 68:19).
Benefits in the above verse stands for addition, extra, grace, favour etc. and in any area of life we may need it. Now, before we activate this grace in our lives, we must come to acknowledge that God is supplying us this grace. In your academics, you need to acknowledge God is supplying grace for you, to be the best in class, acknowledge it and you see it (Believing is seeing). In your finances acknowledge that God is supplying you grace never to lack, in your relationship, always acknowledge that God is supplying you grace to be the best partner you can be.
As long as we keep acknowledging the availability of this grace, we will keep seeing this grace at work and we will keep seeing God making all things working out for our good. The Key to making exploits by believers is recognizing their weakness and always being conscious of God’s supply of grace per time. Being conscious of this grace helps put this grace to work. It is possible God supplies us grace and we don’t put it to use. Just like it is possible, someone has money in his pocket, and he is starving because he thinks he doesn’t know he has money to buy food.
One way to keep being Conscious of this to keep confessing this. Keep saying it. When problems stare at you. Tell the problem “I have grace”. While you are at school, work say it “I have grace”. Keep saying it “there is grace” or say “God is supplying me grace”. When it seems you are confused or confounded say it again “I have grace”. Your body or mind may not feel like saying it, it may seem hard to say but say it “I have grace” “God is supplying me grace”. Keep confessing it and you will see it.
“You only have I known of all the families of the earth: … (Amos 3:2)”
God’s direction of grace to you alone is as though you are the only one on earth. Like though He doesn’t have any-other thing to do except to supply you grace. It is as though you are the only child He has. His focus is on you and you and you alone as though you are the only student in that class, like as though you are the only person that needs help financially, like you are the only married man, like you are the only person seeking admission or looking for a Job. He keeps supplying YOU grace. Heaven’s attention is on you.
“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you (John 14:18)”
Sometimes it’s easy, to read the bible, and accuse the children of Israel for not trusting God at some specific times of their journey, but we don’t really look at our-selves and notice we aren’t doing so too. Paul cried out to God to remove an infirmity from Him, and all God could say was “Am supplying you grace”. Many times we cry to God, and what God is saying to us also is “Am supplying you Grace”. We need to trust Him, for by trusting Him, can we enjoy His grace and come into His rest.
But Remember, to put this grace to effect we need to acknowledge it. Keep acknowledging this grace daily and see yourself live a victorious life.
I call you blessed.
Written by Afolabi Samson
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” 2 Cor 5 vs 17
You want to look for another common verse of the scriptures that Christians quote after Jn 3 vs. 16; you then have to see 2 Cor 5 vs. 17. Yet it appears as if these scriptures are the least understood. Many don’t really understand what this verse is talking about, and its implications.
Talking about the new creature, you will need someone to confuse you about what it actually means. New does not mean a repair of the old. If for example you have used a particular pair of shoe for 3 yrs, and then you discovered that the shoe are now worn out due to use. You wanted something befitting, and your father has promised you a new one. If your father takes from you the one you were managing and gave it to a cobbler to help you amend it. He did all the payment, and made sure that the shoe becomes presentable again. He then comes and gives it back to you.
Would you call that a new pair of shoe? Definitely No! It’s still your old shoe that has been amended. Even though you can continue to wear it, it does not change the fact that it is not new.
That’s the mentality many bring into Christianity. The scriptures made it clear. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature”. The person in Christ becomes a new creature. He is not become an upgraded version of the old creature. I think it is also important for you to know what the old creature is. It is simple common sense to know that if there is a new creature, then definitely there must be an old creature. So let’s see briefly what or who the old creature is.
The book of Genesis shows us what happened in the very beginning. The book shows us how God created the first man Adam. Adam indeed was created in the very image of God. He was given dominion over all the works of God’s hand and had access to all things. God placed him in the Garden of Eden, lacking nothing. He didn’t have to pray for food or clothing, he didn’t have to pray against sickness, or intercede for the lost to be saved. Adam had all things. Yet we still saw that Adam use to have fellowship with God. One would want to ask what the content of Adam’s fellowship with God was. Many claim to have fellowship with God, yet the content of the fellowship are the things we listed that Adam never had to pray for. I believe Adam was just basking and enjoying God’s presence. At this point, Adam was the only creature, so there was no division into either old or new creature.
Yet something happened when sin entered. Adam felt unworthy of God’s presence. He had to hide from God’s presence. His consciousness changed to his nakedness. He felt he was inadequate for God’s presence, signifying an evil conscience that came in with the fall. Now there was no way the fellowship that existed between him and God could continue. He was dead spiritually to God. With this fall came other evil vices like sickness, crime, etc. The devil had the full authority to operate because Adam turned over his authority to the devil. Adam now made the devil look powerful. And of course the devil exercised his authority over the only creature since it has been given to him.
What this resulted into is that everyone that came out of the generation of Adam inevitably became of the same fallen nature. They put on the very nature of Adam, having a guilty conscience not worthy of God’s presence and glory. It is good to note that the problem of sin was with man. He was not fit for the presence and glory of God again. Even if God decided to continue relating with man as if nothing happened, man wouldn’t have been able to handle that. So God played the story of redemption from the very Garden of Eden till Jesus. Everything that happened within that period of time all pointed to Jesus. God knew that for this fellowship with man to be restored, there needs to be a new man.
Since corruption entered the Genesis creature, God will have to go through creation once again to be able to achieve what he had in mind in the very beginning. The implication is that there will now be two creatures; the old one and the new one. The old creature is the one that is dead to God; the new one is the one that is alive to God again. God was very patient and orderly in the way he planned to recreate man. He used the events of the old creatures to prophesy the new one. He wanted them to know of the new thing he will be doing. Prophets were raised who prophesied how God intends to make this new creature a reality. Some of them longed to see it, but couldn’t because it was not meant for their time. And finally when all had been set, he sent Jesus his very son to make this new creature he was planning a reality.
The law and the prophets had prescribed how the process of making this new creature a reality. The law required that the lamb that must be used as a sacrifice in the process of making this new creature must be pure and without blemish. Isaiah the prophet also saw concerning this process when he prophesied that a virgin shall give birth. John the Baptist also saw concerning the process, when he declared to the people “behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”. They were all referring to Jesus. Jesus had to be born of a virgin without the input of the sinful man; that is the old creature. He had to be pure without the sin nature for him to be accepted as the perfect sacrifice. So Jesus had to fulfill the law and the Prophet’s prophecies. These were all written and spoken concerning him.
Jesus the perfect sacrifice was offered on the cross. The anger of God was fully poured upon him. This was a judgment of the sins of the whole world. So what Jesus did was to bear this judgment for all men. The judgment has been hanging on man since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. God did this to show that he is a righteous judge. The sin of man had to be punished in Jesus. The righteous Jesus was made sin for the world sinners. While hanging on the cross, the veil covering the holiest of all in the tabernacle was rent from top to bottom. The holiest of all signified where the presence of God dwelt. It signified where and how fellowship with God was achievable, and only very few selected had access to it. What the body of Jesus broken on the cross did was to make access to the holiest of all possible for man. Man now has access to the very presence of God again. But it didn’t end there. The death and the resurrection of Jesus all have implications.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” Eph 2 vs 10
If you are asked the question, where were we created? The answer to that question will differ depending on who you are. If you are a new creature, the answer wouldn’t be the Garden of Eden, and it wouldn’t be your mother’s womb. The answer will be IN CHRIST JESUS. See that scripture above. We are his workmanship, meaning the work of his hand. And we were not created in the Garden of Eden but in Christ Jesus. How? In his death and resurrection!
Since the old man died to God, the new man must receive life again. It is not a repair or a recovery, it is a new life. That life is in Christ Jesus. He obtained it for us through his death and resurrection. So the new creation was not created in Eden, but in Christ Jesus. It was the human Spirit that was recreated; a new man totally different from the old one. God was now fulfilling the promise he had made through his prophets that he would give man a new heart. He didn’t repair the heart of the old man, he gave a new one. It’s called the recreated human spirit. So your spirit man, which is the real you was created in Christ Jesus. What God did through Jesus in those 3 days was to recreate you. Yes! You were recreated after God in righteousness and true holiness. He sanctified you and made you holy. That is the new you, and very true in your spirit man. Remember you are a Spirit, who has a soul and lives in a body.
You will notice that when you became born again you didn’t feel any different in your body. Even your soul was still the same. Being born again is what gave you access to be recreated. It is coming to believe and accept all that Christ did for you in death and resurrection. It is the pathway from the old creature to the new creature. And what do you do to make this transition? You simply believe! You believe and confess Jesus as your lord and savior. In that instant, what happened is that you were recreated. You have a totally new Spirit which is alive and responsive to God. Not only that, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. You became the very habitation of God, made possible by the Holy Spirit living inside of you. Your body now becomes the temple of the living God. The very presence of God that Adam the old creature lost at the beginning now comes to be in you. Jesus said about the Holy Spirit that he shall be in you forever. You are now the new creature in Christ Jesus.
Now that your spirit is recreated, it becomes your duty to allow your soul and body to follow that pattern by renewing your mind with the word of God. You now receive the word of God with meekness which is able to save your soul. It was God’s duty to recreate you (your spirit man), it is now your duty to allow this salvation to be evident in your soul and body. How? By allowing your thought pattern to be shaped by the word. When your thought pattern change, it will definitely affect your words and your actions. If you do not renew your mind with the word, you will only exist like the old creature. People will not be able to differentiate you from the old creature because the change took place in your Spirit, which is invisible.
Remember you were created unto good works. They are the good works God ordained before that you walk in them. You couldn’t walk in this dominion before God recreated you. To know what the good works are, look at the life of Jesus. He walked in perfect love. His communion with the father was perfect. You are now a son too, so you should follow in his steps. It is not a struggle for the new creation because all these are true in your spirit. You only need to release it into your soul and body. So confess with me
“I am a new creature, old things are passed away, I was created in Christ Jesus unto all good works, I am a son just like Jesus, God is my father, and He lives in me by his Spirit, I am righteous just like Jesus”
Written By Ajayi Samuel (April, 2016)