OUR FAITH PROFESSION

OUR FAITH PROFESSION

OUR FAITH PROFESSION

Last time, I shared about forgiving and forbearing one another especially in our local assemblies. This week let’s look at something a bit different but definitely towards equipping us for the work of the ministry. Three scriptures, Heb. 3:1, Heb. 4:14, Heb. 10:23.

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (Heb. 3:1)

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Heb. 4:14)

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)  (Heb. 10:23)

Notice in all the verses above, the scriptures are bringing us to keep the profession of our faith. Heb. 3:1 tells us we have a faith profession, we have a High Priest over this profession, this High Priest is Jesus Christ. Google defines the word profession as a paid occupation especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification. (Synonyms are career, occupation etc.). It also defines Profession as an act of declaring that one has a particular feeling or quality, especially when this is not the case (Synonyms are declaration, affirmation etc.)

I want us to see the use of the word profession in the above verses beyond the verbal declaration but as an occupation, as the first definition explains. Our Faith Profession. The Christian faith is a profession not a hobby or what we do to relax or feel good in the midst of our peers. No! It is a profession, our life depends on it. It is that serious. In fact it is our calling. We were called to this profession. We were called to live the faith life. Our life depends on it. It’s our major pre-occupation. Heb. 4:14 and Heb. 10:23 tell us how we handle our faith profession, it says we should HOLD FAST.

In the first definition provided it explains that a profession requires PROLONGED TRAINING and A FORMAL QUALIFICATION. In the faith profession, our qualification is our salvation, that’s where we receive the calling into this noble profession, our PROLONGED TRAINING is to search scriptures. Heb. 3:1 and Heb. 4:14 tells us how we get better; by considering Christ Jesus. We search scriptures to get better.

“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 AMP)

We search the scriptures not because they qualify us for eternal life but to learn more about Jesus but to learn more about Jesus to be able to better testify of Him (Philemon 1:6). As we search and know more of Him, we get better at our faith profession and we can be more like Him. The church is a bible school to learn and get better at our faith profession. We need to get serious, we have a job to do.

Philemon 1:6 also says something similar. It says we will get better in professing our faith as we continue to learn of all the good things Christ has worked in us.

“That the sharing (communication) of our faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Philemon 1:6)

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings to search out a matter. (Prov. 25:2)

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Rev. 1:6)

God qualified us as a King to search out Christ in the scriptures. Our honour is in searching out Christ in scriptures. That’s the honour code of our profession. Brethren we have a job to do. We are not to be tossed around by every wind of doctrine. Let’s spend time in fellowship with the Spirit, in listening, to be taught scriptures. We as believers should take care so we do not become lazy. That’s not accepted in this profession. We search out Christ in the scriptures and follow him accordingly.

See this also;

Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life (2 Cor. 3:6)

He did not just make your pastor a minister of the new covenant, he made you and me, a minister of the new covenant. And we are to;

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:2)

The scriptures even encourage us further that the mysteries of the kingdom HAVE BEEN given to us to know. (Luke 8:10, 1 Cor. 2: 10 – 14)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written the just shall live by faith (Rom. 1: 16 – 17)

As we search the scriptures, one thing we see more and more is the righteousness of God. We keep unravelling this free gift of righteousness that we have received. We discover that God is righteous in saving the sinner as long as he comes through Christ, we see more and more that God is righteous in keeping the saint saved eternally. We see that God’s way of making people right with Him begins and ends in faith in Christ. And we move from faith to faith as we progress and get better at our profession.

Are you dutiful in your faith profession?

 

Written by Samson Afolabi

 

Understanding Salvation: The Body

Understanding Salvation: The Body

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Call You Blessed

Written by Samson Afolabi

Understanding Salvation: The Soul

Understanding Salvation: The Soul

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

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

Scripture says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be a doer.

I Call You Blessed

Samson Afolabi

Understanding Salvation

Understanding Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE SPIRIT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For as in Adam all die… 1 Cor. 15:22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…to be continued.

Written By Samson Afolabi

for ALETHEIA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…to be continued.

THE BELIEVERS IDENTITY

THE BELIEVERS IDENTITY

Today, identity questions are big issues. People identify themselves as strange things according to the many lies the devil is publishing in our world. But thankfully the Bible clearly explains who the believer is. Among several descriptions he says we are a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people 1 Pet. 2:9, citizens of Heaven and the one I love most, SAINTS! 1 Cor. 1:2 and many more. It is also interesting that God through the holy-spirit at work in us helps us in being this descriptions. Amen!

While we may be described by the world according to where we work, what we do etc. we must ensure that our biblical identity is retained and comes first. There is a big difference between a student and a Christian student. A civil servant and a Christian civil-servants. A teacher and a teacher that is a believer. A chauffeur and a Christian chauffeur. A doctor and a Christian doctor etc. In all the cases cited above there is a big difference between the former and the later.

While a student can decide to cheat in exams, a Christian CAN not. While a doctor may decide to do abortions, a Christian is Pro-life! He doesn’t believe in it and would never do it. Same goes for a Christian civil-servant, he would never take bribes. As believers we belong to a kingdom, whose ways, beliefs are completely different from those of this world. The ways of the world are not our ways. Our Identity presented in scriptures must swallow whatever identity the world gives us.

Truth is, as Christians our views/beliefs/ideologies are completely dictated by the Bible as such often times we would find ourselves going against the general views of the world. For-example, scriptures says “…male and female he created them Gen. 1:27”, if you identify yourself as anything outside of this two, to me you are wrong and probably must have believed a lie from the devil. Yes! I am biased and I do not support or believe what people call transgender or gay etc. because the scriptures doesn’t support it. That’s a believer. His life is dictated by scriptures. Who he/she is, what he/she holds in high esteem is dictated by the scriptures. And Yes, scriptures! Scriptures! And scriptures!

The bible says when the believer reads the bible, it’s like someone looking into the Mirror. And we know when we look into the mirror, we see ourselves. We see who we truly are.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.  2 Cor. 3:18 NKJV

For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror: for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. James 1: 23 – 24. NKJV

We are what the word says we are. It’s our code of conduct. We are being empowered to live like this by the Holy-Spirit living in us.

We are loving, caring, respectful husbands and house-wives. Yes, because that’s who the bible says we are. We are respectful and obedient sons and daughters. We are law-abiding citizens not because we are scared of the Police nor because of the fear of going to jail but because that’s how scriptures admonishes us to live. We are givers, we love unconditionally and we love the fellowship of the brethren. Why? That’s how the bible identifies us.

By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

The Believer has an identity. We are defined by scriptures. If it says we are men and women of grace, yes we are. No matter the challenge we pass through, we are more than conquerors. We do not become new persons by changing behaviour. We discover the person we are already are in Christ as described through scriptures and behave accordingly.

The Believer is one with Christ because of what Jesus did at the cross. He is described out of that union. He is not described by his circumstances, or environment, or by the world thinks of him or what even he thinks of himself. His true self is in Christ. Christ defines the believer. We are who He called us. And that identity cannot be undone as long as Christ redemptive work cannot be undone. He called us Rich, healed, saved, rulers etc. all this are established in the spiritual, we only have to believe them and expect them to manifest in the physical.

Identity is the echo of belief. It is our identity in Christ that is always being challenged. But we have a choice. We will either believe who Satan says we are, depraved, guilty, hopeless, sinners etc. or who Christ says we are, righteous, honourable, and holy. We have the right to declare God’s identity over our lives as sons and daughters of God. It is the revelation of our identity in Christ that gives us the victory over sin. Christ is our Life. Col. 3:4.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life – even though invisible to spectators – is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember)… Col. 3: 3 – 4

 

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