Category Archives: Easter

Alive!

I want to pass on the good news of the resurrection of Christ quite simply in this post and i think the lyrics to this song by Natalie Grant titled ‘Alive’ does justice to that effect. It goes:

Who but You, could breathe and leave a trail of galaxies and dream of me? What kind of Love is writing my story till the end with Mercy’s pen? Only You. What kind of king would choose to wear a crown that bleeds and scars to win my heart? What kind of Love tells me I’m the reason He can’t stay inside the grave? You. Is it You? Standing here before my eyes, every part of my heart cries
Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome; Death has lost and Love has won Alive! Alive! Hallelujah, Risen Lord, the only One I fall before. I am His because He is alive.
Who could speak, and send the demons back from where they came with just one Name? What other heart would let itself be broken every time till He healed mine? You. Only You could turn my darkness into dawn; running right into Your arms
Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome; Death has lost and Love has won Alive! Alive! Hallelujah, Risen Lord, the only One I fall before. I am His because He is
Emmanuel, the promised King, the baby who made angels sing ,Son of Man who walked with us, healing, breathing in our dust, The author of all history, the answer to all mysteries, The Lamb of God who rolled away, the stone in front of every grave
Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome; Death has lost and Love has won Alive! I am His because He is alive. Alive!

Another thing i think is important that we learn is that Jesus is more interested in getting us to fall in love with Him than obeying Him just because we want to follow a set of rules and regulations. And that is something we can learn from both Mary Magdalene and John The Beloved. John learnt to receive the love of Jesus rather than get so involved and distracted by what went on in His life. He was the only disciple that truly loved Jesus and stayed by Him even when he was crucified. All the other disciples fled and left Jesus, but John had that intimate personal relationship with Christ, and because he learnt to receive the love of Christ(he was always reclining on the Jesus’s chest), he learnt to love Jesus truly. Peter, on the other hand, was very active as a disciple. He was the one involved in all the activities and spirit-filled. He was the disciple that would have the loudest voice when Jesus met with His disciples. But, when Jesus was going to be crucified, Peter denied Him and fled. Even when he had boasted to Jesus he would never do that. Peter didn’t learn to receive the love of Christ as much as John did. And if we don’t learn to receive Christ’s love in our lives we can never love Him, hence we can never obey Him. The love cycle is: Receive God’s love, love God, love yourself, then love others. If the first stage of receiving God’s love is not present then you’re going to spend a lifetime of trying to give people the love you have not received from God. I believe receiving God’s love involves asking Him for brokenness and asking Him to humble us and reveal all the weaknesses in our lives. When we know how messed up we are, we have no choice than to rely on Jesus and recline on Jesus’s chest for His tender care and for Him to heal all our scars and wounds(which is not as complicated as it may seem. It may be something as unrecognizable as fear, anger or a low-self esteem) . After He does that, the consequence is we get so overwhelmed by what He’s done and we fall in love with Him. Then we learn to love ourselves more. Then we can love other people as much as we love ourselves. Christ’s love is changing and transforming. It tears you up then puts you back together.

Mary Magdalene also had that personal life-changing relationship with Christ. Jesus cleansed her of 7 demons and because of that she was caught up in what He had done for her that she loved Him. She was also(like John) with Jesus up till the moment He was crucified. She went about with Him and his disciples after that incident from town to town. Mary Magdalene was also the first person to see Jesus after He resurrected. She had a personal encounter with Christ that changed her Life.

God doesn’t require you to be a sadducee of Pharisee and know all the books in the Bible then obey the 10 commandaments then finally give to the poor, for Him to love you. He loves you just the way you are, and He would rather that you let Him change you and heal your scars and wounds, then fall in love with Him, and as a consequence live in obedience to Him. Christ longs for and is very passionate for our love. I believe that is a key thing to remember today when we think about the victory we have from the resurrection of Christ and Him being alive seated at the right hand of the Throne of God. Happy Easter! 😀

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What happened between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

Out of curiosity i have had to look into what Jesus did just after he died  on the cross. What happened between the time interval from when he died and when he was resurrected? Many christians would say ‘He took the keys of the gates of Hades from the Devil then he ressurected’. Do people really know the source of this common doctrine? Is it really written anywhere in the Bible that Jesus took the keys to the gates of Hades from the Devil? Well, it was because of all these questions i looked at the clues the Bible givs about Jesus going to Hades after he died.

Firstly, what is Hades(In the greek) or Sheol(in Hebrew). Hades or Sheol has been described in the Bible as the place of the dead or the pit.

Ezekiel 31:16 says: 16I will make the nations quake at the sound of its fall when I cast it down to Sheol with those who descend into the pit, and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all [the trees] that drink water, will be comforted in the netherworld [at Assyria’s downfall].

Ezekiel 26:20 also says: 20Then I will thrust you down with those who descend into the pit (the place of the dead) to the people of olden times, and I will make you [Tyre] to dwell in the lower world like the places that were desolate of old, with those who go down to the pit, that you be not inhabited or shed forth your glory and renown in the land of the living.

So not only do we know from the first verse that Hades or Sheol is the place of the dead or the pit, we also know from Ezekiel 26:20 that this place of the dead is in the ‘lower world’.

Let’s remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man that Jesus himself told in the Bible. Both men died and after they died Lazarus was carried by the angels to ‘Abraham’s bosom’. Luke 16:23 says: 23And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.

We already know that Hades, is the realm/place of the dead, and is in the ‘lower world’. This verse finally adds to our knowledge of Hades. Hades includes two parts. The good part is referred to as ‘Abraham’s bosom’ by Jesus and the bad part is where the flame is according to Luke 16:24. The two parts also appear to be very far away from each other in Hades. But still, someone in Abraham’s bosom would still be able to see someone in the ‘bad part’ with the flame and speak to them(Luke 16:24).

Again, Jesus himself gave a clue to where he was before he resurrected. In Matthew 12:40 he says: 40For even as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

So Jesus said he was going to be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. Remember the Bible refers to Hades as being in the ‘lower world’.

Jesus also said to the thief on the cross just before he died in Luke 23:43: 43And He answered him, Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.

For Jesus to have said to the thief he was going to be in Paradise with him, it had to be that paradise was in the heart of the earth, because he had already said he would be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights. Jesus didn’t go to heaven after he died. He went to Paradise which was in the heart of the earth. He ascended to Heaven after he resurrected. Could Paradise be the same as ‘Abraham’s bosom’ which is in Hades(in the lower world)?

Another clue is from 1 Peter 3:18-20:

For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit,

     19In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

     20[The souls of those] who long before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water.

These verses say after Christ died, he went and preached to the spirits in prison and the souls of those who long before in the days of Noah were disobedient. Now, i don’t believe ‘preach’ in this verse means he was trying to persuade them to accept Him because the people from Noah’s flood time had already been condemned to destruction. They were in prison and this ‘prison’ had to be the Flame in Hades where the rich man in Luke 23:43 went to after he died. I believe when the Bible says ‘preached’ it meant Christ’s declaration of his victory to the spirits in Hades.

Ephesians 4:8-10(AMP) also says: Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men.

     9[But He ascended?] Now what can this, He ascended, mean but that He had previously descended from [the heights of] heaven into [the depths], the lower parts of the earth?

     10He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest).

These verses can be very hard to understand hence the various interpretations from many christians. The way i understand it, considering all the other verses i’ve seen above is, Christ descended into the lower parts of the earth(Hades) and led captivity captive when He went there. Leading captivity captive to me means He defeated things that held man in captivity like sin, the devil and death. Yes, by the way, Satan once had the power of sin and death.

Hebrews 2:14-15 says: 14Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death–that is, the devil

     15And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives.

So the devil once has the power of death. But through His death, Christ brought to nought and made to no effect the devil. Now, we don’t have to live in fear of death throughout our lives. For Satan to have had the power of death he most likely had the keys of Hades and Death. Jesus declares in Revelation 1:17b-18- I Am the First and the Last 18And the Ever-living One [I am living in the eternity of the eternities]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades (the realm of the dead).

Jesus had to die, to possess the keys of death and Hades. And maybe that is why he says in that verse ‘I died, but see i am alive forevermore and i possess the keys of death and Hades’.

The last issue i would like to discuss is what happened to the old testament prophets. They went to Paradise/Abraham’s Bosom after they died. Jesus confirms this when he says in John 3:13- And yet no one has ever gone up to heaven, but there is One Who has come down from heaven–the Son of Man [Himself], Who is (dwells, has His home) in heaven.

So no man had ever gone to heaven. You might be thinking ‘Oh elijah went to heaven didn’t he?’, but anyway that’s another discussion for another post. Elijah didn’t go up to heaven but was only transported by the chariots of fire to somewhere else on earth. Elijah died like the others. So did Enoch. No man was Holy enough to enter into the very presence of God but Jesus changed that when he bore all the sins of the world on the cross. Jesus was the firstborn of the dead(Revelation 1:5). So what happened with the old testament prophets?

Hebrews 2:16 says: 16For, as we all know, He [Christ] did not take hold of angels [the fallen angels, to give them a helping and delivering hand], but He did take hold of [the fallen] descendants of Abraham [to reach out to them a helping and delivering hand].

I think the verse above is a clue to what happened. I also believe that when the Bible talks about descendants of Abraham it means the bloodline running  from Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses etc up till Jesus. Ishmael wasn’t a part of the promise. All believers come under the ‘descendants of Abraham’ because we are in Christ, and Christ comes through the bloodline of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

That was a really long post but this is almost the shortest i can make it. Christ didn’t just ‘sleep’ when he died. He was doing something for you and I. He died, that you and I may live 😀 Tomorrow is not about tears, but about victory! Victory from sin, death and the devil! God Bless you all! 😀

We Are…By Kari Jobe- Let There Be Light

I was just listening to a song by Kari Jobe and once again it struck me how it is imperative that every christian recognizes the importance of shining our light in the world. Many people may ask, “why is there so much injustice and crime in the world” or “if God is good why does he let so much crap happen in the world”.

I believe that for now, the Devil has power over the world. And he is the cause of all the mess in the world. All the crime,injustice,wickedness,sadness,corruption,bitterness,unlawfulness and everything else. If you watch the news these days all you see is bad,bad and more bad news. There’s hardly ever any good news. The Bible refers to the Devil as ‘The Prince of this world’. John 16:11 says: About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him. Satan is the ruler, the evil genius and the prince of this world. This is also evident when he tempts Jesus by telling him he’ll give him all the kingdoms of the world. We know that Satan has already been judged and in the end of it all will face God’s wrath and judgement. But until then, what can we do as christians?

I love John 12. Jesus first talks about Satan being the prince of the world and being condemned by God, but not many verses later says we should have faith in the light, that we might be filled with the light.

John 12:31 says- Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled).

Then later on Jesus goes on to say in verses 35,36 and 46- 35So Jesus said to them, You will have the Light only a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light [keep on living by it], so that darkness may not overtake and overcome you. He who walks about in the dark does not know where he goes [he is drifting].

     36While you have the Light, believe in the Light [have faith in it, hold to it, rely on it], that you may become sons of the Light and be filled with Light. Jesus said these things, and then He went away and hid Himself from them [was lost to their view].

46I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness.

In summary, Satan has brought so much darkness(all the bad things u hear and see everyday) in the world. But Christians have the light(Jesus) living in them. We are in the world, but not of this world. Therefore, we should let the light of God fill us so much that it consumes every darkness not just in us, but in the world. We should become flooded with the light of God, so that it overflows and consumes the darkness in the world. I believe with all my heart that the problems that we have in my country, Nigeria, is not merely physical but is spiritual. There is a cloud of darkness over that country and no one’s doing anything about it because we’re waiting for someone else to do it for us. And i think pastors need to emphasise to their congregations that they have equal status with members of their churches in God’s eyes.  Christians need to start taking responsibility of issues in this world because God has appointed us by the blood of Jesus, priests unto Him, to rule over the earth. When the Bible says we are a royal priesthood it meant it! The people we’re waiting for to make a change is us. We are the light of the world. We have the light. And nothing’s ever going to change if we don’t let our light shine and consume every darkness around us.

The problem i think is even though we have the light, Jesus, living in us, many christians still want to do what they want. We don’t want to live out what we are already- which is dead to sin, and brought from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Ephesians 2:2-3 describes what we used to be as unbelievers:

2In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].

     3Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

Even though we are no longer following the prince of the power of the air(Satan) as christians, and we are following Christ, many christians still want to have the best of both worlds. This is why the darkness prevails all around us even when we are meant to be the light of the world. I’ll give the last verse before i post the lyrics to ‘We Are’ by Kari Jobe. This last verse was actually my school’s slogan. Matthew 5:14 says: 14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

The lyrics to Kari Jobe’s song “We Are” are below(btw u could watch the video on youtube):

Every secret, every shame

Every fear, every pain

Live inside the dark

 But that’s not who we are

We are children of the day

So wake up sleeper, lift your head

We were meant for more than this

Fight the shadows conquer death

Make the most of the time we have left

Chorus: We are the light of the world

 We are the city on a hill

We are the light of the world

We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine

Let the light shine, let the light shine

Verse 2: We are called to the spread the news

Tell the world the simple truth

Jesus came to save, there’s freedom in His Name

So let His love break through

Bridge: We are the light (3X)

So let your light shine brighter

We are the light (3X)

Jesus You are the light, You are the light, You are the light

We will lift You higher Shine, Shine, Shine

What happened in Gethsemane

I’m supposed to have a post a day on this blog but recently i’ve been reading this book called ‘Jacob i have loved’ and it talks about the lessons we can learn from the story of Jacob and his significance in the Bible. I must confess it struck me for the first time so deeply after i saw this statement made by God: ‘Jacob i have loved and Esau i have hated. In the original hebrew, the way that phrase was constructed shows that God loved Jacob with the exact same measure and passion with which he hated Esau. People hate to hear this, but i think it just goes back to the fact that God will love who he will love and hate who he will hate. He loves us not because of who we are or what we do but he loves us because he loves us. He has chosen the people that will come to salvation from the beginning and he has given them to Jesus. People don’t like to hear about Divine election because it seems unfair or unjust. But God is the potter and no man can question his ways. God is God and he does what he pleases. We may not be able to understand God’s ways with our finite minds but we should never question his actions. Although i don’t think the doctrine of ‘Divine Election’ is one that should be preached in churches too often(for many reasons), i do think its a biblical truth that cannot be ignored. That book has just shown me more and more how everything about God is infinite and without limits or boundaries. He is the almighty. But anyway, that’s what i’ve been getting up to recently but i’ll try and post more often from now on.

I want to write on the garden of gethsemane and the significance of what happened there. The story of Jesus being in the garden of gethsemane was recorded by all the 4 gospels. I will try and summarise this story leaving out no parts from any of the 4 gospels.

Jesus had just eaten with his disciples at the passover and had also washed the feet of his disciples. Just before he went to the garden of gethsemane at the mount of olives, he was troubled at the table, and he said to them that one of them was going to betray him. They all asked him if they were the ones, and when Judas asked him, he told Judas that he would be the one that would betray him. Satan had already put the thought of betraying Jesus into the heart of Judas.  After they had sang a hymn, they went out to mount olives. Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away this night [that is, you will be caused to stumble and will begin to distrust and desert Me], for it stands written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” Peter tried to persuade Jesus that even if anyone was to betray him he wouldn’t be the one but Jesus told him that he would betray him that same night and deny him 3 times. Meanwhile, Satan entered into Judas and took possession of him, then Jesus recognized this and told Judas to do what he needed to do swiftly. The other disciples were confused at what Jesus was telling Judas. All the other disciples also insisted that they would die with Jesus if he was going to die and go to prison with him if he was going to go to prison. Jesus then took, Peter, James and John with him to the garden of gethsemane. Whilst he was there, he prayed to God. John records quite a long prayer of Jesus to the Father, but the other gospels say Jesus asked God something between these lines: ‘Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will].‘ Just before he went praying somewhere in the garden about a stone’s throw from where Peter, James and John were, he told them to pray and keep watch. He told them his soul was deeply troubled and disturbed and overwhelmed with grief almost to the point it killed Him. He asked them to watch and pray so that they may not fall into temptation, because the spirit was willing to obey God and not sin, but the flesh was weak and prone to sin. When he was praying, he was so troubled and depressed. The Luke’s gospel says:

And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit. And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground.

Three times he prayed and checked up on the disciples to find them sleeping.The Luke’s gospel says they slept because of grief. It appears that Jesus knew the exact time he was going to be betrayed because the Bible says he told the disciples they were going to pray just for one hour. Finally, the third time, Jesus woke up his disciples and said the hour had come for him to be betrayed into the hands of sinful men.

That’s the summary of what happened to Jesus in the garden of gethsemane. I’ll write another post on the significance of what happened to Him in the garden of gethsemane and what we can learn from it in another post. Thanks for reading and God Bless!

The Resurrection Life

Today was palms sunday and it was such a blessed sunday for me at church cause i got to really understand for the first time, the significance of Jesus’s triumphal entry into jerusalem on a donkey and on palm leaves. Its just so sad that all these years i never really understood what it meant. And i’ve been a christian since i was 6 (I’m 17 now, so been a christian for 11 years).

It just goes to show how much ignorance some christians live in. A very popular saying is that christianity is not a religion but an intimate personal relationship with God through Christ. I think that’s such a profound statement considering how much i tried to live a religious christian lifestyle that never worked. Its not about rules and regulations to torment you or to make you feel so miserable when you don’t overcome temptation. It is receiving the love of God through Christ by faith, realising the depth of that love, and then out of amazement, falling in love with Christ that you want to obey Him and live in obedience to Him. You see, many people miss the first part of receiving the love of God by faith. They always want to buy God’s love with their good works all their lives and that is why it becomes a religion to them, not an intimate relationship.

I think it is the duty of churches to enlighten every new believer on the death and resurrection of Christ, because that is the foundation to coming into that relationship with God many christians talk about. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, you get many evangelists from abroad, come and preach the gospel, and many get saved, without any discipleship or follow-up. This is not the fault of the evangelists because they have performed their specific function for which God has called them but i believe the church leaders should set up a programme for every new believer. That was probably why i lived a religous lifestyle for a long time. You would never hear someone tell you in Nigeria that God wants you to have that relationship with him.

What i always heard was: Repent, if you sin God will be angry at you, the prayer of a righteous man availeth much(which was obviously interpreted very wrongly as ‘righteous deeds’ instead of the righteousness every christian gets by being In Christ), pay your tithes and offering, come to church every sunday, read 5 chapters a day, etc. Those things are good but are not a requirement by God to ‘buy’ his love. Everything was just about trying to win God’s love. I knew the stories of how Jesus died, but i never realised the significance. Everytime i sinned, i thought to myself ‘maybe i didn’t do something right the last time i came out for an altar call.’- which led me to going out everytime a pastor asked if there was someone that wanted to give their lives to Christ(probably nearly 50 times).Most people wouldn’t even know you can only be born again once. Jesus died once on the cross, so did you when you believed in Him. He resurrected once, so did you also resurrect once. Jesus cannot be nailed to the cross twice or resurrect twice(which is what you imply when you think you’ve ‘lost’ your salvation).

Some christians actually live their entire lives this way and all that happens when they become born again is change from ‘worldy misery’ to ‘christian misery’. No christian would ever be able to live in obedience to God, or to have the life God wants them to have if they don’t know who they are in christ. I think that is such an important thing every church needs to teach new believers. That is the foundation of the christian faith. You cannot do righteous deeds if you don’t know you are righteous in christ. You cannot have what God wants you to have(joy,peace, hope, victory etc) if you don’t know that in Christ you have the seeds of those things sown that need to be watered by the word. It is so important to always remember who you are in Christ, and what happened the day you gave your life to Christ. We cannot live the resurrection life, without knowing who we are in christ.

Look at this verse! Philippians 3:20 says- 20But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we [a]earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior.

Did you even realise that when you became a christian, you became a citizen of the state and the commonwealth of Heaven? You have all the full rights of a citizen of heaven and the Bible even says you are sitted together with Christ in heavenly places. You are sitted with him right now at the right hand of God the Father. Why? Because when you became born again Christ came to live in you, and you are in Him too. Basically, you and Christ become one, just as the Father and Christ are one.

It might be hard to understand this for some people but another thing i think all new believers need to realise is that when they became a christian, they shared in the death and resurrection of Christ. This is what water baptism represents(even though i never understoood this when i was baptised). This is one of the main themes of Romans 6 but i’ll just show a few verses.

Romans 6:3-5 says- Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

     4We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.

     5For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].

So if you have been baptised, the immersion of you into water, represents being buried, and sharing in his death. As soon as you were brought out that represented being resurrected into new life.The very same power that raised christ from the dead was the same power that raised us into new life in God. We are begotten of him-Born of Him, through our faith in Jesus. This is why you cannot live in sin delibrately as a born again christian. God gives us a new heart and spirit when we become his kids. If you were not a christian, you would sin with ease. But as soon as you become a christian, the Spirit of God never lets you sin and be alright with it. He convicts you(like a yucky thing u feel in ur spirit haha). But you just can’t sin and be fine with it. As soon as he convicts you, don’t argue, admit to the sin, confess it to God, and then from that moment all your unrighteousness will be cleansed. You might do the same sin in 5 or 10 mins time again to be honest with you, but from time to time when you yield more and more to the spirit you don’t do that sin in 5 days, then 1 month, then 1 year, then that sin dies in your flesh and is made inactive because you have yielded yourself to the spirit of God long enough.

I just think it is really important to ask God for a revelation on doctrines of the resurrection from the dead, baptism(both water and spirit), the death of Christ, the love of God, the blood of Jesus,Jesus’s fulfilment of the Old Testament and spiritual maturity. Like i said in my last post, it is just so funny how for 11 years i had been not even started laying the foundations for my spiritual growth. Christianity is not just about going to heaven, but enjoying the life God wants you to enjoy on earth before going to heaven. The resurrection life, is the life God wants all his children to have. The life Paul spoke about when he said in Philippians 3:10-

10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[a]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death

The foundation of your Faith: The Cross

You know, we all like to be recognised and seen as the spiritually mature christians. Me included. And we don’t like to be called ‘baby christians’ and christians who ought to be eating ‘meat’ but are still on milk. We all like to imagine that we are the mature christians and i think the problem and the reason why many christians would never own up to being ‘baby christians’ is because of pride. Some christians think the duration of the time you have been a christian is directly proportional to your level of spiritual maturity; which is not true. And that may be why some people assume that they are matured spiritually.

Well first of all before i start talking about anything else i would like to mention that growing spiritually is a gradual process. It may happen little by little sometimes, and as human beings, we always want things to happen in the twinkling of an eye. In the eyes of God, what matters is not that we’re growing slowly, but that we are not stuck in the same place, or looking back into the past.

I’ve come across the verses below before, but after i re-read it today it meant something totally different to me. Paul defines what the foundation of your growth in the christian Life is through these verses.

Hebrews 6:1-2 says:

1THEREFORE LET us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,

2With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.]

If you read those verses, you might just be saying in your head ‘Oh yes i’ve laid the foundation for my spiritual maturity to be built upon’ or you might like me be saying ‘So i’ve been been a christian for 11 years of my life and i’m still trying to lay the foundation’. Paul defines the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ as:

  1. Repentance(Confessing your sin to God and getting forgiveness, and through God’s help and power constantly repenting until that sin is completely(physically-because we are dead to sin spiritually) dead in your flesh.
  2. Purification(Continually being completely purified and cleansed by the blood of Jesus making us have right standing with God)
  3. Abandonment of dead works(Dead Formalism)- This may be interpreted as understanding that we are saved by God’s undeserved gift(Grace) and not because we deserve it; hence, not thinking we can buy God’s love with our works. This may also be dead works( like guilt and condemnation) which were murdered by the blood of Jesus on cross. Understanding that keeping your guilt doesn’t get God to forgive you faster.
  4. Faith- We receive all of God’s gifts by Faith. Faith is the hand receiving the gifts of God already provided. We are saved by grace through faith.
  5. Eternal Judgement and Punishment- which i think it pretty fundamental; You either are saved to be with God, or you are not and you are punished eternally by God’s Judgement.
  6. Resurrection from the dead: This could mean the spiritual significance of Christ resurrecting from the dead and because we shared in his death we are shared in his resurrection into new Life. Being born again is basically being resurrected into a new life in Christ.
  7. Laying on of hands: The main thing this term reminds me of is how Christ said all believers will be able to speak in tongues, lay hands on the sick and they’ll become well, cast out demons e.t.c. I believe that the gift of healing is available to all Christians, and we should practice the laying on of hands for any sick people that we might meet.

How i have described each of the doctrines above is obviously still very elementary and there’s a lot more to each of them. I believe the reason why we have many christians stuck in one point of their christian lives without any growth at all is because the foundation of their faith is not yet established. Some christians even die sometimes without ever getting past the establishment of their foundations which is quite sad, because even though they’ll go to heaven, they never enjoyed the Life Jesus spoke about when he said ‘I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it  overflows)’.

 The summary of what Paul spoke about above is we need to know about the cross. You need to realise and come into full understanding of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The Cross is the foundation of your faith. Even as easter approaches, i think its the best time to study on the Cross, and start to live your life like someone that understands the cross. When we don’t understand and accept what Christ did on the cross, we make out what he did to be of no use in our lives. So i think its that important.

I’ll leave you with David’s Psalm in Psalm 11:3-

3If the foundations are destroyed, what can the [unyieldingly] righteous do, or what has He [the Righteous One] wrought or accomplished?

😀

The victory in the death and resurrection of Christ

Jesus on The Cross

Easter is fast approaching and i really feel the need to reflect on what Jesus did for christians through the cross. I think this easter is going to be my best easter yet in my life, because i know for the first time the reason for easter and i comprehend what happened to me 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. Notice i didn’t say ‘i realise what happened to me when i accepted Christ’ because it was already done back then and Jesus wasn’t crucified when i became a christian. Therefore, when Christ died, he died for both those that believed in Him then, and those that would ever believe in Him.

So why do christians need to understand what Christ did on the cross? Because that is the foundation of our faith. What do you even believe in if you don’t understand the spiritual changed that occurred when Christ died and ressurected? And i believe that the reason why many christians are not what God wants them to be now is because they haven’t got the foundation built completely. They know about God, but do not know Him. They have no clue on who they are IN CHRIST, and that’s why you see many christians living out of fellowship with God. If you don’t know who you are then you cannot exercise the authority you have, and therefore you cannot live in victory.

If the queen didn’t know who she was she would never be able to exercise the authority she has, even though she has it. And i think its the same way with some Christians. We really do take a lot of nonsense from the Devil because of the lack of knowledge of who we are in Christ. We live in guilt and condemnation and do not operate in the gifts Christ has distrubuted to every member of the body of Christ, for the building of the church. Many christians live under the old covenant where priests had to be the go-between, between God and man. We replace our pastors with Jesus, and make them high priests interceeding to God on our behalf. Jesus Christ is the great High priest of every Christian. You can speak to God, in the name of Jesus. That is an obvious truth, but even when people know this, they still feel the need to go to a pastor to pray on their behalf to God. They think God hears the prayers of their pastors faster or more because their pastor is ‘holy’. Let me put it straight to you that whatever prayer you make to God has as much effect as the prayer from a pastor because we do not pray in our names.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 says: 5For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

6Who gave Himself as a ransom for all [people, a fact that was] attested to at the right and proper time.

When we pray in the name of Jesus, God looks at Jesus, and because Jesus is righteous, God listens to our prayers. Your pastor’s name is not respected by God. Well it depends on the motive behind you asking your pastor to pray for you but what i’m talking about is asking your pastor to pray for you because the Devil has deceived u and told u he(your pastor) is more righteous than you are. His righteous acts are nothing compared to the righteousness of Christ. So its got nothing to do with your behaviour sometimes. Because you don’t pray in the your name, but in the name of Jesus. It is not really you asking God, but Jesus asking the Father. And because Jesus is Holy and Righteous enough God listens to Him, and hence us. That is just a tip of the ice-berg of what Jesus did through his death on the cross for us. He is constantly standing at the right hand of the Father, interceeding for us, every minute and hour and day. I’ll try and briefly list some things that we became in Christ, because of his death and resurrection. The real you is not who you are in the flesh but who you are in Christ.

  1. First and foremost, you are righteous in Christ. Romans 3:22 says:  ‘Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction’. This is very important because the devil deceives many christians into feeling so guilty because of their mistakes. But God doesn’t want us to feel guilty. Feeling guilty is different from grieving over your mistake. Isaiah 53:11 says Jesus bore not just our sin on the cross but our guilt.Guilt is from the Devil, and guilt is what makes you feel your mistakes or life determines how much God loves u. God loves u the same way all the time; his love in unconditional.
  2. Ephesians 2:6 says: 6And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Basically, this is simple. You are seated together with Christ in heaven NOW, because when you became born-again you died to the adamic nature, and you were raised up by the same power that raised Jesus up from the dead into the very presence of God. The Bible says God raised us up together with Christ. Not that he will, but he has already. Though you might be in the body now, spiritually, you are seated together with Christ in heaven because the fullness of Christ is in you, and the fullness of you is in Christ.
  3. In Christ, you are dead to sin, and alive to God. This means you have already died to sin spiritually, meaning your spirit is dead to sin. God lives in your spirit now. But daily, God works out what he has already done in our spirits into our souls and bodies. So if you progressively live according to the spirit, your flesh gets weaker. The ultimate death of your flesh to sin is when Christ gives u a new body(In the second coming of Christ, our bodies will be raised from the grave and transformed into a glorified new body-1 Thessalonians 4:16)
  4. You are God’s son in Christ. Galatians 3:26 says 26For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. Most christians would say they know that but deep down they don’t really know. Do you understand what it means to be called God’s son? You have his spiritual DNA. The Bible says in Romans 8:22-24 that all of creation await for God’s sons to be revealed. Do we really act in the sonship authority given to us by our being in Christ? Romans 8:23 also says that we have had only had a foretaste of the Holy Spirit. Are we operating under the authority given by being sons of God?Our sonship makes us joint heirs with Christ
  5. In Christ, we are members of the Body of Christ worldwide. I think this is important because people have to realise that, the christian life is personal but not private. God wants you to be involved in the building of the church before he comes and he has given you a particular gift for that purpose. That is the main reason why we have to go to church. You’re not just there for the fun of it. You are a member of the body of christ and you are expected by God to perform your specific function. Again i have to emphasise that the gifts of the spirit are not meant for just church leaders. Surely, they have their specific functions. But so do you! You have a part to play, and it is as important as the part your pastor has to play. The body of Christ is one and so if any part suffers, the other parts suffer. If any part rejoices, the other part rejoices. No part is greater or less than another so the next time you go to church, after receiving a word from God through your pastor, or worship leader or an usher, be ready to give something. And of course God can help us to use our gifts outside of the church in our workplaces or schools. If you have the gift of healing, heal the sick people you meet. If you can discern, or prophecy, or teach, use it to God’s glory for the building up of the church.