The Message of the Gospel

The Message of the Gospel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hear Peter here: (Acts 10: 37 – 41)

38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christ Reigns! We win!
Written by Samson Afolabi

A Quick Note About Marriage

A Quick Note About Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Samson Afolabi

The Nobility of the Jews at Berea

The Nobility of the Jews at Berea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We can extract two important points attributed to their nobility:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Akintayo Damilola

What Does God Say About Your Health?

What Does God Say About Your Health?

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Isaiah 53:1”

Personally, I believe what you experience as regards your health i.e. either sickness or perfect health depends basically on the report you choose to believe. Either that of the world or that of the word.

Many people have not been able to enjoy all of God’s provision for their health basically because they choose to believe the medical reports that they have received as truth replaced by the word of truth itself.

The World’s report has been highly publicised in our world today, we keep hearing of the dangers of many health challenges and doctors keep branding new ones, without having solved the earlier ones. We keep hearing of millions dying by the day as a result of diseases and sicknesses. While I do not try to brand doctors as wicked people, I try to show us that God has an adequate plan for us to be in good health, if we will only believe Him. This article however, endeavours to amplify God’s say about our health.

Taking a closer look at God’s original intent for the earth, we will discover that God’s will was that the earth and its inhabitant should live a sickness and disease free life.

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Gen 1:31)”

Clearly from the above scripture, at creation God looked at the earth and saw that everything he had created was very good. One cannot argue that sicknesses and diseases were in this earth and such a Loving God still declared that it was very good. Man was born to rest, not to live life under the pressure of sickness and diseases. The atmosphere in Eden was an atmosphere so blessed, that even when man didn’t wear any clothes, his health did just well. Adam never had any high-blood pressure, no headache once, not to talk of migraine, Cancer was not known to him, he was a free man. His Body-temperature never went too high or neither too cold even without clothes. No Blood-Group or Blood-type knowledge, yet he was free from the menace of blood transfusion, or any related issue. He was a free man. The earth was without sickness. God never wanted any man sick neither does he delight in seeing any weak or feeble man in pains. In-fact, herbs and trees in which many of our drugs are made of today were not created for medicinal purposes but for food as seen below;

“And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food (Gen 1:29)”

Notice God specifically saying, it shall be for food not drugs. So God never wanted man to fall sick in the first place so there wasn’t any need to plan for healing him. All God created with the earth was perfect health without sickness or weakness.

At the fall, man permitted the devil to take charge of the earth. And after that we notice a serious disorder from God’s original intent. Man started dying physically, a long-term result of him dying spiritually. We notice diseases take a toll on man and hereby terminating abruptly man’s life. So it is clear that the originator of sicknesses and diseases is the Devil (Man’s enemy also known as the thief). He stole man’s health.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10)”

As true at the statement above is, the world rather has shied away from this truth and has kept on trying to explain other mentally acceptable reasons for the cause of sicknesses. But according to God’s report, the sole cause of Sicknesses is the Devil. So the next time, you feel a pain in your body, don’t think twice, remember it’s the devil that stole your health and rebuke him for it.

But actually the choice is yours, whose report you believe;

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. (Deut. 30:19)”

God never wants any man sick. Even at the fall, which was man’s fault He didn’t leave man to his own problem because man was helpless. Man couldn’t save him-self from the mess he had got into. And that is why for any man who has not accepted God’s salvation i.e. Jesus, such a man is helpless.

“And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. (Deut. 7:15)”

All through the old-testament God proved him-self in many ways to be Man’s healer. Finally, to give a death-dealing blow to sicknesses, He sent Jesus. The Bible records that during His earth walk he healed the sick.

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy-ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him (Acts 10:38)”

The bible calls healing the sick good, it therefore means being sick was bad. And God was displeased with man’s sickness. Finally, Jesus paid the ultimate price for man’s redemption and man’s debt to sin and sickness was fully and permanently paid at the cross. If you are paying another, it’s because of your ignorance.

“He his despised and rejected by men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him (Isaiah 53:3)”

“Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteem Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted (Isaiah 53:4)”

“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)”

“Who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (1 pet 2:9)”

And by whose stripes we were healed. Notice the use of the word “were”. We were ever healed before we were sick. Jesus has restored back to the earth, God’s original purpose concerning man’s health. The only way to enjoy this now, is simply to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour in your life. Jesus paid the price for all diseases that is ever was and will still be when he died at the cross. All we need do is to believe Him.

God doesn’t afflict or tempt any-one with sickness. He will never punish you for your sins by making you sick. He punished Jesus on the cross already for your sake. Punishing you again will mean He is not a Just God and God forbid! The Debt is Paid, The devil’s reign over your life is over.

At Resurrection, when Jesus was raised from the dead and we who believe was raised with him also, our bodies received new strength.

“It is sown in dis-honour, it is raised in glory, it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power   (1 Cor. 15:43) NKJV”

“It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44) NKJV”

So as a believer, your body is a spiritual body. A no go area for sicknesses. Your body is a temple of God meant for God alone and not for sickness. God and sickness can’t co-exist in your body. Light and darkness can live together. Your knowledge of this, is where your solution lie.

Many Christians suffer diseases today because they are ignorant of God’s provision concerning their health or they simply are not persuaded of them. They rather prefer an explanation more appealing to their senses. They do not know that the best way to understand God and His ways is through faith. Faith brings understanding.

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:3)”

We understand God by faith. Divine health is connected to by faith. You need to acknowledge God’s provision for your health. Believe what he says concerning your health and say what he says concerning your health. And take any other report contrary to this as false. God created you, so he knows you more than you know your-self and He says I didn’t create you to be sick, won’t you simply believe him and enjoy life like a free man?

If you are reading this, and you are sick already, accept Jesus as your lord and saviour, believe his report concerning your health, confess it, take a step of faith, and see God supplying you strength from your inner man and do what you couldn’t do before. Don’t try to do it, do it.

In the book of Acts 3: 1 -9, the story of the ugly man at the beautiful gate whom the holy-ghost healed through peter and John. You will notice Peter and John pulled up the man in the name of Jesus. He simply believed Jesus and peter and john made him do what he couldn’t do before. It was in doing that, that he got his healing.

Believe Jesus and his provision for your health and start doing what you couldn’t do before. Here-in lies your healing. So don’t try to do it, Just do it and you discover you are healed.

Take charge of your health today, activate God’s provision for your health and live life to the fullest.

Christ Reigns! We Win!

I CALL YOU BLESSED
Written by Afolabi Samson

On Making Heaven

On Making Heaven

The very word ‘making’ heaven suggests a scaling through, a narrow escape or ‘victory at last’ sort of endeavor. Despite the notoriety associated with this expression amidst believers, it is a non-scriptural phraseology and as such is subject to personal or private interpretation. If it were to be a verse in the bible, we would only need do proper its exegesis, giving it contextual explanation and examining the intent of the writer. However, it is not all non-scriptural phrases that are unscriptural; we will thus examine the connotative meaning of this expression to its speakers and correlate it with scriptures if there be a corresponding scriptural truth.

Often we hear preachers exhorting brethren say, ‘will you make heaven?’, ‘if the Lord Jesus comes now or death happens, are you sure you will make heaven?’, ‘only the Lord knows how many of us will make heaven’. Some go further to scare brethren with the coming of the Lord saying things like, ‘brethren, this is the time of grace, when the Lord Jesus comes, mercy will be withdrawn, it is judgment!’. Yet some would go further in their imaginations, claiming some heaven and hell encounters or judgment day sighting in which a minute fraction of believers eventually made it! All these and similar expressions either have their root in a faulty understanding of a scriptural text, sheer ignorance or demonic deception. The most important clause being that they are addressing believers in Christ.

THE CONNOTATIVE MEANING
Those who use such expressions mean that a great judgment day is coming in which a man’s fate of going to heaven or hell will be determined by how pleasing his works are before God. Some insinuate this uncertainty of fate applies to believers only as every unbeliever will not make heaven. This understanding birthed the belief that the last action before death, whether holy or sinful, determines a man’s (believer’s) fate, heaven or hell. It is believed that confession of sins and asking for forgiveness would have obliterated the previously perpetrated unholy acts. Failure to do that for any sins before death will ensure the landing of such a believer in hell. Yet, some expects that the fickleness of God’s mercy might eventually save that believer (they see as sinner).

This admittedly is a confluence of erroneous understanding that cannot be effectively sorted out in a piece of writing like this. Those errors defect from basic understandings of the Christian faith fundamentals like The New Covenant, Salvation, Righteousness, Redemption and Eternal Life among others; pulling them out string by string will be a treatise. I will therefore simply state the truth against which those understanding can be gauged. Most of these misunderstandings are from the misinterpretations of the words of the Lord Jesus in the gospels and the contents of the book of Revelation, also a basic disregard for the superior provisions of The New Testament in relation to that of The Old.

LOCATING THE LOT OF THE MAN IN CHRIST IN SCRIPTURES
It is important to note that in addressing believers, the epistles are the doctrinal materials written to believers in Christ, the Old Testament materials were inspired historical and prophetic writings for our learning and to witness of Christ, they are NOT written TO us. [John5:39; Rom15:4; 1Cor10:11]. The New Testament calls the first testament old, and that it has vanished away, so its provisions do not apply to us believers in Christ. The New Testament began not just in the four gospels, but AFTER the death and resurrection of Jesus [Heb9:16-17].

The gospels were written for unbelievers to believe in Christ, they were not written to believers [John20:31]. The book of Revelation is prophetic and uses a lot of symbolism that would need be rightly interpreted while maintaining consistency with other books of the bible [2Cor13:1]. The epistles were written TO believers in Christ expounding unto them what their faith holds for them. Jesus spoke earlier that the Spirit that will come after his resurrection will guide believers into all truth [John16:12-13]. This, the Spirit expressly accomplished in revealing to the apostles and was communicated to the churches of God, as the epistles [Eph3:4-5; Col1:26].

The epistles especially those of Apostle Paul use great plainness in communicating these truths such that we will need help to misunderstand it, or be incurably insincere[2Cor3:12; 2Pet3:16]. The scriptures being one in purpose and message with no contradictions, we can safely start from the unambiguous plain texts to gain proper interpretation and understanding of the less simplistic texts. For a believer to know his state therefore, he should start to look from nowhere else but the letters written to him as a believer – the epistles.

I CALL YOU BLESSED!
Written By Agboola Samuel 

God’s Estimate of His Own Word

God’s Estimate of His Own Word

I must first appreciate Dr. Moses Fagbemi of Source Institute Sokoto State, Nigeria, who first opened my understanding to this topic. This topic explains God’s view of His own word, what value does God place on His word? How serious does God take His promises made directly to me or made in the scriptures?

A deep understanding of this topic will help us build faith and trust in Him irrespective of whatever circumstance we face because God is faithful. I pray God open the eyes of our understanding as we read.

 …”For thou magnified thy word above all thy name” (Ps 138:2b)

Sometimes, I personally find it a bit difficult to take some steps even when I am quite sure God is leading me to do them, this is because such steps often involve a lot of risk and I might be losing a lot to take such steps. I often ask, does God really mean what He told me to do. In other times, it the case of “delayed” answers to request, I mean to say those period of waiting, and we ask “would God really keep His word?” and in other times it is the case of us asking for directions and God speaks to us (He gives us His word) and we are still not sure, we want some more physical proofs, like using “flees” like Gideon did or for some other mystical or some other supernatural signs to support God’s word to us. And often times God be praised, He doesn’t give us those signs though He can.

God’s word is God Himself. We can’t actually separate God from His word. It’s a mystery. This He demonstrated to us when he gave us marriage, how two people physically are actually one. So If God speaks to us, and as I will say “He gives us His word”, He has actually “given us Himself”, so when we ask for more after we have received that, there is nothing left for God to give us, since He has given us himself, the greatest thing in the universe.

Some people think God forgets or jokes about His word. But No! He doesn’t. He takes it more serious than we think. He made a promise to Abraham and even many years after Abraham had long died he was still keeping that covenant with Abraham’s descendant, Israel and he still keeps that promise till today. Notice the use of the word “forever” in the verses below.

“He remembers His Covenant Forever, the promise He made, for a thousand generations” (Psalms 105:8) NIV

“He is (earnestly) mindful of His Covenant and forever it is imprinted on His heart, the word which He commanded and established to a thousand generations” (Psalms 105:8) AMP

He made the same promise to David, and till today we still enjoy the “sure mercies of David”. God never forgets his word.

We must also note that when God asks us to keep (obey) His word, He isn’t a tyrant. He is only asking us to keep (obey) what He himself keeps (obeys). God’s word is God’s “food” or “nutrition” to be like God. He needs to keep His word. His nature his faithfulness, and we also to be like God, we must also learn to be faithful. So In our journey and desire to be like Him, we must also learn to “eat” and nourish ourselves with what He himself nourishes himself with. We must learn to keep His word, to be like Him.

God’s word is not impotent. Whatever God’s word cannot do, God himself cannot do. So when we speak God’s word we must speak with this understanding, that we have in our hands what is able to do anything. So the next time you command that “a friend be healed in Jesus name” or “a blind eye be opened” or “a lame person walk” say it with the authority of God’s word according to the scriptures, and you will see they will be done. In fact, the Bible records that God works when His word works. The universe came into being by God speaking His word.

“By the Seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Gen 2:2) NIV

We will grow and do exploits if we learn to believe strongly (stake our all) on every verse of the scriptures because it is God’s word. We simply say “if it is written” then “God means what He said here” and I am just going to go and do what He says, and believe me with that we have all of heaven’s support.

God’s Reality is in His word. God is only available to us except through the channel of His word. We have no hold on God except via His word. God is so real, but only real via His word. The only hold we have on God is His word.God’s word is God’s Own Life. The only access we have to God is His word. The Safety and Integrity of God depends on His word. Outside of His word, God has no means and no power to perform anything for us except via His word.

“The estimate I have for God’s word, determines the estimate life (things or issues) have for me. Your (God’s) Word Measure determines Your Life Outcome” (Dr. Moses Fagbemi)

“Thus Saith the Lord, the Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord:  but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66: 1 -2)”

I CALL YOU BLESSED!
Afolabi Samson