#Church #TheChristianChurch #TheChurchOfJesusChrist #unity #gates #Hell #temple
Subject – The Christian Church – The church of Jesus Christ – The gate of hell shall not prevail against it part 1
OTAKADA.org content count 471,611
6th of January 2019
Blog link https://www.otakada.org
Matthew 16:15-20 Living Bible (TLB)
15 Then he asked them, “Who do you think I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “The Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 “God has blessed you, Simon, son of Jonah,” Jesus said, “for my Father in heaven has personally revealed this to you—this is not from any human source. 18 You are Peter, a stone; and upon this rock I will build my church; and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!”
20 Then he warned the disciples against telling others that he was the Messiah.
Matthew 24:1-14 Living Bible (TLB)
24 As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples came along and wanted to take him on a tour of the various Temple buildings.
2 But he told them, “All these buildings will be knocked down, with not one stone left on top of another!”
3 “When will this happen?” the disciples asked him later, as he sat on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. “What events will signal your return and the end of the world?”[a]
4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone fool you. 5 For many will come claiming to be the Messiah and will lead many astray. 6 When you hear of wars beginning, this does not signal my return; these must come, but the end is not yet. 7 The nations and kingdoms of the earth will rise against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many places. 8 But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come.
9 “Then you will be tortured and killed and hated all over the world because you are mine, 10 and many of you shall fall back into sin and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and lead many astray. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere and will cool the love of many. 13 But those enduring to the end shall be saved.
14 “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it, and then, finally, the end will come.
Dear Brethren, welcome to a brand-new year of enlarged territories for the church of Jesus Christ. This year, we shall be looking at how it all began, what happened in the course of history, what do we have now and how can we get equipped to move forward with the call to unity and also to make disciples of all nations. In the course of the year, we shall be looking at the various Christian groups, what are the core believes, how do we defer and how can we reconcile and work together?
We will be looking at other believes outside the Christian faith. We will get to know what they stand for and how we can reach those for Christ as well. Virtually, we shall be travelling to India where there are thousands of gods, we shall be traveling to China, middle east, far east, Africa and the Americas. We shall get acquainted with the Buddhists, the Islamic faith and many more.
When we are done, you will begin to see them through their faith and the love of Christ because Christ came to die for these ones too so that next time you meet one on the plane, on the street, in the marketplace, in the classroom or hostel, you will be engaging with first class information that the Holy Spirit will energize us to reach them for Him both online and offline.
Let us begin with the church of Jesus Christ beginning today and in the course of several weeks going forward.
Christian Church is an ecclesiological term generally used by Protestants to refer to the whole group of people belonging to Christianity throughout the history of Christianity. In this understanding, “Christian Church” does not refer to a particular Christian denomination but to the body of all believers. Some Christian traditions, however, believe that the term “Christian Church” or “Church” applies only to a specific historic Christian body or institution (e.g., the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, or the Assyrian Church of the East). The Four Marks of the Church first expressed in the Nicene Creed are that the Church is:
- One (a unified Body of Particular Churches in full communion of doctrines and faith with each other),
- Holy (a sanctified and deified Body),
- Catholic (Universal and containing the fullness of Truth in itself), and
- Apostolic (its hierarchy, doctrines, and faith can be traced back to the Apostles).
Thus, the majority of Christians globally (particularly of the apostolic churches listed above, as well as some Anglo-Catholics) consider the Christian Church as a visible and institutional enlivened with supernatural grace, while Protestants generally understand the Church to be an invisible reality not identifiable with any specific earthly institution, denomination, Others equate the Church with particular groups that share certain essential elements of doctrine and practice, though divided on other points of doctrine and government (such as the branch theory as taught by some Anglicans).
Most English translations of the New Testament generally use the word “church” as a translation of the Ancient Greek: ἐκκλησία, translit. ecclesia, found in the original Greek texts, which generally meant an “assembly”. This term appears in two verses of the Gospel of Matthew, 24 verses of the Acts of the Apostles, 58 verses of the Pauline epistles (including the earliest instances of its use in relation to a Christian body), two verses of the Letter to the Hebrews, one verse of the Epistle of James, three verses of the Third Epistle of John, and 19 verses of the Book of Revelation. In total, ἐκκλησία appears in the New Testament text 114 times, although not every instance is a technical reference to the church.
In the New Testament, the term ἐκκλησία is used for local communities as well as in a universal sense to mean all believers. Traditionally, only orthodox believers are considered part of the true church, but convictions of what is orthodox have long varied, as many churches (not only the ones officially using the term “Orthodox” in their names) consider themselves to be orthodox and other Christians to be heterodox.
The Christian Church originated in Roman Judea in the first century AD, founded on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who first gathered disciples. Those disciples later became known as “Christians”; according to Scripture, Jesus commanded them to spread his teachings to all the world. For most Christians, the holiday of Pentecost (an event that occurred after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven) represents the birthday of the Church, signified by the descent of the Holy Spirit on gathered disciples. Acts 2:10 The leadership of the Christian Church began with the apostles.
Springing out of Second Temple Judaism, from Christianity’s earliest days, Christians accepted non-Jews (Gentiles) without requiring them to fully adopt Jewish customs (such as circumcision). The parallels in the Jewish faith are the Proselytes, Godfearers, and Noahide. The conflict with Jewish religious authorities quickly led to the expulsion of the Christians from the synagogues in Jerusalem
The Church gradually spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, gaining major establishments in cities such as Jerusalem, Antioch, and Edessa. It also became a widely persecuted religion. It was condemned by the Jewish authorities as a heresy. The Roman authorities persecuted it because, like Judaism, its monotheistic teachings were fundamentally foreign to the polytheistic traditions of the ancient world and a challenge to the imperial cult. The Church grew rapidly until finally legalized and then promoted by Emperors Constantine and Theodosius I in the 4th century as the state church of the Roman Empire.
Already in the 2nd century, Christians denounced teachings that they saw as heresies, especially Gnosticism but also Montanism. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of that century and Irenaeus at the end saw union with the bishops as the test of correct Christian faith. After legalization of the Church in the 4th century, the debate between Arianism and Trinitarianism, with the emperors favouring now one side now the other, was a major controversy.
Dear Lord God, too much water has gone under the bridge but we stand on the promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Your church. Thank You for keeping to this promise through the ages and what You have started, You will accomplish to the glory and honour of Your name, in Jesus name we have prayed. Amen
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org
#TheGreatExchangeForService #cross #TheCrossOfChrist #love #believe #demands #proclaim #sacrifice #die #death #obedience #obey #commitment #JesusChrist #peace #joy #righteousness #intercession #unity #peace #disunity #pride #Christianity #fruitfulness #gift #service
Subject – The Great Exchange For Service – intercession Part 10 of 10 – Grand finale to the series on disunity – The Old Rugged, Blood Stained Cross of Christ Places a COMPELLING Demand on ALL Believers to CARRY the Cross Every Day, Every time and Every where – Christ experienced and the Cross applied in our lives daily will nail and bury the coffin of disunity amongst brethren for good.
OTAKADA.org content count 471,610
30th of December 2018
Blog link https://www.otakada.org
Luke 9:23 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
23 Jesus continued to say to all of them, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me.
Mark 8:34-38 The Message (MSG)
34-37 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
38 “If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”
Mark 10:21 The Message (MSG)
21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”
1 Corinthians 1:17-21 The Message (MSG)
17 God didn’t send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—Christ on the Cross—be trivialized into mere words.
18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.
Galatians 6:12-16 The Message (MSG)
11-13 Now, in these last sentences, I want to emphasize in the bold scrawls of my personal handwriting the immense importance of what I have written to you. These people who are attempting to force the ways of circumcision on you have only one motive: They want an easy way to look good before others, lacking the courage to live by a faith that shares Christ’s suffering and death. All their talk about the law is gas. They themselves don’t keep the law! And they are highly selective in the laws they do observe. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast of their success in recruiting you to their side. That is contemptible!
14-16 For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!
Hebrews 12:1-3 message
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
1 Corinthians 13:13
So these three things continue: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.
Dear Brethren, welcome to the grand finale on our series on disunity – The Old Rugged, Blood Stained Cross of Christ Places a COMPELLING Demand on ALL Believers to CARRY the Cross Every Day, Every Time and Every Where.
Christ is love, when we truly encounter and experience the love of Christ in our lives, we become love agents and it becomes easy to carry the cross of Jesus Christ as we serve in the SPACE the Lord has allotted to us.
Note that Christ experienced and the Cross applied in our lives daily will nail and bury the coffin of disunity amongst Christian brethren for good.
All the problems with Christians and all the problems in the churches can be solved only by Christ experienced and the cross applied. There were divisions among the Corinthians because those believers paid their attention to gifts, signs, knowledge, and wisdom, but they very much neglected Christ and the cross. Therefore, there were many problems. The more gifts and knowledge we have, the more problems we have. All the divisions and denominations were produced out of gifted persons. In the past four or five hundred years, whenever there was a deeper, gifted person, a division or sect was often created, and the more gifted the person was, the greater the division was.
All the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians are spiritual gifts, not natural gifts. We may think that spiritual gifts can do no harm. In actuality, the gifts themselves do no harm, but the persons who are gifted often do a great deal of harm by the gifts. From the time of the Reformation through the present day, there has rarely been a very gifted person who has not created a denomination, sect, or division. We cannot say absolutely that there has not been an exception, but it is rather difficult for us to point one out. Almost every famous gifted person in the past centuries created a division by his gifts.
Although the gifts themselves are good, it depends on how we handle them. We must realize that Christ is the centre, and all the gifts are for Christ.
In concluding this series, we will like to state that Spiritual gifts should not be a license to come up with a new doctrine or rubbish the old. Spiritual gifts should unify us and not divide us. In our engagement with the brethren, we should take up our cross daily and pour out the love that only Christ in us can produce with grace. As we draw to the close of the year 2019, I have a question for you. Do you believe in the cross of Christ? The cross is stained with the blood of Christ. The cross indicate love; The cross indicates forgiveness; the cross indicates humility and the cross places a demand on you are me who believe in Jesus Christ. What does it demand? The cross demands that we proclaim it to the dark world around us. If we believe, we will take action no matter the cost. Are we willing to pay the price of taking up our cross daily? May the Lord grant all of us renewed grace and vigor.
Happy new year in advance. Expect to see the 10 series in e-book and paperback within 30 days.
Dear Lord God, I pray for an encounter with You the living and everlasting God afresh. I pray that this experience with You, will leave a lasting footprint upon our hearts and minds. Cause us to experience the unconditional love You have for us by sending Your Son – Jesus Christ to die the death we were not qualified to die. Cause us to exemplify this love by taking up our cross and following You daily as Your ambassadors here on earth. As many that do not know you and are reading this post, Lord draw them to Yourself this day and may they experience this love, peace and joy that can only be found in You through Your Son Jesus Christ we have prayed. Amen!
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org
#TheGreatExchangeForService #PriestandKings #RoyalPriesthood #Priest #King #kingdom #dominion #earth #slaves #obedience #obey #commitment #covenant #JesusChrist #peace #joy #righteousness #intercession #unity #peace #disunity #pride #Christianity #fruitfulness #gift #service
<strong> <a href=”https://www.otakada.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Christmas-card_otakada.orgFinal.gif”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-3730″ src=”https://www.otakada.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Christmas-card_otakada.orgFinal.gif” alt=”” width=”1280″ height=”800″ /></a> <a href=”https://www.otakada.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Citizen-child-king-otakada.org-blog.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-3731″ src=”https://www.otakada.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Citizen-child-king-otakada.org-blog.jpg” alt=”” width=”720″ height=”720″ /></a> <a href=”https://www.otakada.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/gods-kingdom-is-always-expanding-otakada.org_.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-3732″ src=”https://www.otakada.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/gods-kingdom-is-always-expanding-otakada.org_.jpg” alt=”” width=”638″ height=”493″ /></a> <a href=”https://www.otakada.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Kingdom-come-.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-3733″ src=”https://www.otakada.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Kingdom-come-.jpg” alt=”” width=”650″ height=”425″ /></a></strong>
<strong>Subject – </strong>
<strong>The Great Exchange For Service – intercession Part 10 of 9 – </strong>
<strong>You are a King and a Priest to our God, A Dominion of Kings and Priests – Every Believer Is – Your </strong>
<strong>Acceptance or Rejection of this FACT will affect Your Kingdom Service Outcomes and How God Responds to You – Believers have only two options: to live like slaves or to live as kings and priests. Part 2</strong>
<strong>OTAKADA.org content count 471,609</strong>
23<sup>rd</sup> of December 2018
<strong>Blog link</strong> <a href=”https://www.otakada.org”>https://www.otakada.org</a>
<sup>13 </sup>Then Isaiah said, “Family of David, listen very carefully! Is it not enough that you would test the patience of humans? Will you now test the patience of my God? <sup>14 </sup>But the Lord will still show you this sign:
<strong>The young woman is pregnant
and will give birth to a son.
She will name him Immanuel.</strong>
<strong>Isaiah 9:6-7 Living Bible (TLB)</strong>
<sup>6 </sup>For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: <strong>“Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.” <sup>7 </sup>His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven’s armies has dedicated himself to do it!</strong>
<strong>Luke 2:8-14 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)</strong>
<strong>Some Shepherds Hear About Jesus</strong>
<sup>8 </sup>That night, some shepherds were out in the fields near Bethlehem watching their sheep. <sup>9 </sup>An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord was shining around them. The shepherds were very afraid. <sup>10 </sup>The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid. I have some very good news for you—news that will make everyone happy. <sup>11 </sup>Today your Savior was born in David’s town. He is the Messiah, the Lord. <sup>12 </sup>This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”
<sup>13 </sup>Then a huge army of angels from heaven joined the first angel, and they were all praising God, saying,
<sup>14 </sup>“Praise God in heaven,
and on earth let there be peace to the people who please him.”
<sup>18 </sup>These are the facts concerning the birth of Jesus Christ: His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. <sup>19 </sup>Then Joseph, her fiancé,<sup>[<a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+1&version=TLB#fen-TLB-20533b”>b</a>]</sup> being a man of stern principle,* decided to break the engagement but to do it quietly, as he didn’t want to publicly disgrace her.
<sup>20 </sup>As he lay awake<sup>[<a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+1&version=TLB#fen-TLB-20534c”>c</a>]</sup> considering this, he fell into a dream, and saw an angel standing beside him. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “don’t hesitate to take Mary as your wife! For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. <sup>21 </sup>And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus (meaning ‘Savior’), for he will save his people from their sins. <sup>22 </sup>This will fulfill God’s message through his prophets—
<sup>23 </sup><em>‘Listen! The virgin shall conceive a child!</em> She shall give birth to a Son, and he shall be called “Emmanuel” (meaning “God is with us”).’”
<sup>24 </sup>When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded and brought Mary home to be his wife, <sup>25 </sup>but she remained a virgin until her Son was born; and Joseph named him “Jesus.”
<strong>Luke 4:16-22 Ease-to-read</strong>
<sup>16 </sup>When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on Saturday, and stood up to read the Scriptures. <strong><sup>17 </sup>The book of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him, and he opened it to the place where it says:</strong>
<strong><sup>18-19 </sup></strong><strong>“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors, and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to him.”<sup>[<a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+4&version=TLB#fen-TLB-22307b”>b</a>]</sup></strong>
<sup>20 </sup>He closed the book and handed it back to the attendant and sat down, while everyone in the synagogue gazed at him intently. <sup>21 </sup>Then he added, “These Scriptures came true today!”
<sup>22 </sup>All who were there spoke well of him and were amazed by the beautiful words that fell from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”
<sup>15 </sup>And then he told them, “You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. <sup>16 </sup>Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. But those who refuse to believe will be condemned.
<strong><sup>17 </sup></strong><strong>“And those who believe shall use my authority to cast out demons, and they shall speak new languages.<sup>[<a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+16&version=TLB#fen-TLB-22148c”>c</a>]</sup> <sup>18 </sup>They will be able even to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them; and they will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them.”</strong>
Dear Brethren, welcome to our 10 of 9<sup>th</sup> series dealing with division in body of Christ as a result of this subject of kings and priest, our roles, who we are, how God sees us and what we do with who we are.
Last week, we looked at the function of a priest. Today, we will be looking at who a king is.
It will be impossible to understand the concept if we do not first understand what Christ died to give us. What He is, He passed on to us to be His ambassadors here on earth. The world will be celebrating His birthday in two days and we would like to give clarity to His role as a <strong>Prophet, A Priest and A King</strong> and then we will understand our place relative to His. <strong>The King of Kings came to make us kings and priest to our God..</strong>
<strong>As believers, we are consecrated to God and anointed by the Holy Spirit just like Jesus was anointing.</strong>
Our anointing was also a sign that we are joined to Christ and share in his threefold mission as prophet, priest, and king.
The Israelites anointed their priests and kings with oil. They spoke of their prophets as being anointed with the spirit. Jesus, known as the Christ, the anointed one, fills all three roles. According to Luke, at the outset of his public ministry, Jesus read from Isaiah and claimed that the words referred to him:
<strong>The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
A <strong>prophet</strong> is a messenger sent by God, a person who speaks for God. He or she witnesses to God, calls people to conversion, and may also foretell the future. Prophets often are killed for their message.
Jesus fits this description. He is none other than the Word of God in the flesh. He called the world to turn from sin and return to the Father and was put to death for it. In Scripture Jesus is presented as a prophet. Crowds identified him as “Jesus the prophet” (Matthew 21:11). He spoke of himself as a prophet: “No prophet is accepted in his own native place” (Luke 4:24). He foretold his passion and resurrection.
A <strong>priest</strong> is a mediator, or bridge, between God and human beings. He offers sacrifice to God on behalf of all. Once a year on the Day of Atonement the Jewish high priest went into the Holy of Holies in the Temple. There he offered sacrifice to God to make up for his sins and the sins of the people.
The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews compared Jesus to Melchizedek, a mysterious, superior priest in the Old Testament who blessed Abraham. Jesus is the greatest high priest. Because he is both divine and human, Jesus is the perfect mediator. He is not only the perfect priest, holy and sinless, but the perfect sacrifice. The sacrifice of Jesus need never be made again. Jesus “entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). Jesus continues his role as priest. “He is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
A <strong>king</strong> is a person who has supreme authority over a territory. When the Jewish people were ruled by kings, they became a nation. They longed for a Messiah who would again make them great.
A King does the following
<li>Rule with the rod of authority – The rod is the emblem of the kings authority Psalm 110:1</li>
<li>Rule through prayer ( This is where the role of priest and king overlap. We cannot do without prayer…impossible – It must be based on scripture, it must be in synch with God’s mind, empowered by the Holy Spirit</li>
Jesus is spoken of as a king in the Gospels. Gabriel announced to Mary that the Lord God would give her son the throne of David his father, and he would rule over the house of Jacob forever. Magi looked for a newborn king of the Jews. When Jesus last entered Jerusalem, crowds hailed him as a king. He was arrested for making himself king, and the soldiers mocked him as one. When Pilate asked if he were king of the Jews, Jesus replied, “You say so,” and he clarified, “My kingdom does not belong to this world” (John 18:36). The charge written against Jesus was “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.” Jesus announced the kingdom of God. His mission was to have God reign in the hearts of all and to have peace and justice in the world. Jesus exercised his royal office by serving.
When He was returning, He gave us authority over the kingdom of darkness so that we can enforce our kingly authority over the kingdom of darkness and occupy the territory till He returns.
All believers are kings over the kingdom of God, enforcing kingdom mandate here on earth. No king is effective without authority. In Matthew 28, <sup>18 </sup>He told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. <sup>19 </sup>Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations,<sup>[<a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+28&version=TLB#fen-TLB-21531b”>b</a>]</sup> baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, <sup>20 </sup>and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this—that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”<sup>[<a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+28&version=TLB#fen-TLB-21532c”>c</a>]</sup>
<strong>The transfer of authority was total and absolute. If we fail to enforce it, it will not be His fault but ours. We can choose to be puppets or a king enforcing God’s kingdom authority over the territory unlawfully occupied by the evil one. What would you do today? Would you enforce it through the authority in the name of Jesus or will you back down and have the wicked one have his way? Jesus has done His part, we are the foot soldiers. May He find us faithful today as we remember His glorious arrival over 2000 years ago and His eminent return glory. </strong>
<em>Our heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of belonging to the family of Your redeemed children here on earth. Thank You for sending Your Son to die once for us all. Thank You for Jesus and His miraculous birth. Lord, we pray for many who are celebrating Your birthday this week that do not have a relationship with You, Lord we ask that You draw them to Yourself, remove the veil from their eyes so that they may see, perceive and receive You as the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you sent to be our Prophet, Our Priest and our King and by the finished work, made all of us who believe in You, priest and king, reconciling humanity to You. We pray for Your children, that we will be faithful to the heavenly mandate as we humble ourselves under Your mighty hands so You can do with us as occasion demands until the end In Jesus name we have prayed. Amen</em>
<strong>If you accept the challenge of Mathew 28:18, and Mark 16:15-19, I invite you to pray the following prayer of commitment as priest and kings unto our God whole heartedly out loud with FAITH today:</strong>
Jesus Christ, You are Lord, the Son of God, and the only way to heaven. You died on the cross for my sins and were raised from the dead on the third day. You paid the wages of my sins and redeemed me with Your precious blood. I surrender to You once more, Lord, and I present my body to God as a living sacrifice. I place myself at Your disposal. Do with me as You wish. Send me wherever You want me to go. From this day forward, I am Yours. Thank You for accepting me! Anoint me with authority and power so I can fulfill my calling as one of <strong>Your kings and priests</strong> who rules to expand Your kingdom on earth, today! I take my rod of authority and begin to use it right now. Amen!
<strong>Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org</strong>
#TheGreatExchangeForService #PriestandKings #RoyalPriesthood #Priest #King #kingdom #dominion #earth #slaves #obedience #obey #commitment #covenant #JesusChrist #peace #joy #righteousness #intercession #unity #peace #disunity #pride #Christianity #fruitfulness #gift #service
Subject – The Great Exchange For Service – intercession Part 10 of 8 –
You are a King and a Priest to our God, A Dominion of Kings and Priests – Every Believer Is – Your Acceptance or Rejection of this FACT will affect Your Kingdom Service Outcomes and How God Responds to You – Believers have only two options: to live like slaves or to live as kings and priests.
OTAKADA.org content count 471,608
16th of December 2018
Blog link https://www.otakada.org
Revelation 1:5-7 The Message (MSG)
His Eyes Pouring Fire-Blaze
4-7 I, John, am writing this to the seven churches in Asia province: All the best to you from The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive, and from the Seven Spirits assembled before his throne, and from Jesus Christ—Loyal Witness, Firstborn from the dead, Ruler of all earthly kings.
Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us,
who blood-washed our sins from our lives,
Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for his Father,
forever—and yes, he’s on his way!
Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye,
those who mocked and killed him will see him,
People from all nations and all times
will tear their clothes in lament.
Revelation 5:9-10 The Message (MSG)
6-10 So I looked, and there, surrounded by Throne, Animals, and Elders, was a Lamb, slaughtered but standing tall. Seven horns he had, and seven eyes, the Seven Spirits of God sent into all the earth. He came to the One Seated on the Throne and took the scroll from his right hand. The moment he took the scroll, the Four Animals and Twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb. Each had a harp and each had a bowl, a gold bowl filled with incense, the prayers of God’s holy people. And they sang a new song:
Worthy! Take the scroll, open its seals.
Slain! Paying in blood, you bought men and women,
Bought them back from all over the earth,
Bought them back for God.
Then you made them a Kingdom, Priests for our God,
Priest-kings to rule over the earth.
Exodus 19:5-6 The Message (MSG)
3-6 As Moses went up to meet God, God called down to him from the mountain: “Speak to the House of Jacob, tell the People of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to me. If you will listen obediently to what I say and keep my covenant, out of all peoples you’ll be my special treasure. The whole Earth is mine to choose from, but you’re special: a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.’
“This is what I want you to tell the People of Israel.”
Hebrews 9:13-15 The Message (MSG)
Pointing to the Realities of Heaven
11-15 But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent”—the true Holy Place—once and for all. He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.
1 Peter 2:5-8 The Message (MSG)
4-8 Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. The Scriptures provide precedent:
Look! I’m setting a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone in the place of honor.
Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation
will never have cause to regret it.
To you who trust him, he’s a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him,
The stone the workmen threw out
is now the chief foundation stone.
For the untrusting it’s
. . . a stone to trip over,
a boulder blocking the way.
They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted
Romans 12:1-2 The Message (MSG)
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Dear Brethren, welcome to our 10 of 8th series dealing with division in body of Christ as a result of this subject of kings and priest, our roles, who we are, how God sees us and what we do with who we are.
Working for and walking with God rises and falls with our BELIEVE in who God says we are and what we do with that information in the SPACE God has assigned us to. Because of the importance of this subject to you and I as new covenant believers in Christ, I will be running this series in two parts, to conclude next week, God willing. Please stay with me on this one.
As citizens of God’s kingdom, we are not just residents of His realm – we are kings and priests under the authority of Christ, our King and High Priest. – Revelation 1:5; 5:9-10. Our twofold role describes or portray or delineate precisely our God – given dominion on earth.
It has always been God’s intention to make His people capable of developing a close and intimate relationship with Him while carrying out their purpose as His chosen instruments to expand His kingdom on earth.
Let us discover how God wants us to fulfill the two ministries of king and priest in the here and now. We will begin by exploring the connection between covenant and kingdom – between our relationship with God and our manifestation of His presence and power on the earth
The Covenant – Kingdom Connection
The connection between God’s covenants with His people and their role in His kingdom is a thread that can be seen in both the Old and New Testaments. God told the Israelites, Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:5-6)
The nation of Israel under Moses was a forerunner of the church with its roles of king and priest. God told the Israelites they were to be a “kingdom of priest” as they blessed the world. His main goal when He redeemed them from slavery in Egypt and brought them to Mount Sinai was to make a covenant with them, present them to Himself, and establish an everlasting relationship with them. To fulfill God’s purpose, they needed to meet two conditions:
- Obey His voice,
- Keep His covenant
These conditions still distinguish a true child of God today.
The key for us is that, while the Israelites were never able to uphold their part of the covenant, Christ has enabled us to fulfill the new covenant with God. (See Hebrews 9:13-15)
Through His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection, we receive the Holy Spirit to live within us, so we can love God, obey Him, and serve Him. This will have dealt with extensively in our last blog 10 of 7 series.
The covenant with our heavenly Father that Jesus provided is similar to the earlier covenant of sacrifice that God made with Abraham, because that covenant was one that was fulfilled only by God, unilaterally, though it required Abraham’s faith. See Genesis 15
Human beings could never hold up their end of a covenant with God in their own strength and effort.
The most important requirement in any covenant is the commitment of sacrifice.
In the New Testament, we read,
To Christ Jesus who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father…(Revelation 1:5-6)
God never develops a permanent, personal relationships with anyone unless it is through a covenant of commitment. ‘Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice” – Psalm 50:5)
All parties involved in the covenant must observe the conditions of the promise and be loyal to it and to each other. The same is true in all areas of life. For example, we cannot develop healthy family or ministry relationships without a commitment between those involved. This is why God requires obedience to the covenant, which can be summarized in one word: loyalty.
We must keep in mind that it is only through Christ’s atonement and grace that we are able to remain in right standing with God. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Without a covenant of commitment, it is impossible to have a permanent, biblical relationship with God.
Picture our covenant with God like a cross: The vertical post indicates our relationship with Him, and the horizontal one our relationship with our fellow believers and other people. If the vertical relationship is broken, the horizontal relationship is affected, and vice versa. Thus, when our relationship with our neighbor is damaged, our relationship with God also suffers injury.. Matthew 5:22-24
When God liberated the Israelites from slavery, He presented them with a special threefold offer to make them a treasure, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. The parts of this offer are inseparable – one cannot exist without the others. However, over the years, Israel was interested in the covenant more for the Promised Land and blessings God offered than it was in God Himself. Unfortunately, the same is true for much of the church today.
Moreover, we find it had to rid ourselves of a “slavery” mentality, just as the Israelites did. It is our destiny to live as kings and priests. Instead, many believers lie like slaves – to sickness, depression, fear, rejection, sin, alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, pornography, food, and so on. They are kings in theory but slaves in practice. We must renew our minds to understand our kinship and priesthood, and surrender to God through a covenant of commitment, in order to receive our full inheritance in Him and experience His kingdom life.
Do I want to live as a king and a priest under Christ, or do i want to live as a slave under the condemnation and accusation of the enemy?
Believers have only two options: to live like slaves or to live as kings and priests.
Christ redeemed us to make us a kingdom of kings and priests.
There is a world just waiting for us to go and demonstrate that our supreme King and High Priest, Jesus Christ, lives today and that we are kings and priests in God’s kingdom. Many people realize that their material possessions are not ultimately satisfying, and they know that their lives aren’t working.
They are waiting for us to show them practical solutions and to manifest the power and authority we have in Christ to rule over the works of the devil; to show that the gospel of the kingdom is not mere theology, theory, or words, but that God’s power can save people, heal their afflictions, and deliver them from bondage
We are God’s representatives, called to bring heaven to earth wherever we go and in the midst of any situation we might be experiencing.
Let us now explore our two main roles in the kingdom. We begin in this 8th series with the office of the priest, because we cannot be kings until we have understood our priestly calling and have entered into it. The two roles are always interconnected.
If we have not fulfilled our responsibilities as priests, we will not be able to exercise our functions as kings.
What is a Priest?
You…are being built up…a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1Peter 2:5
Our culture’s idea of the priesthood is that it is a special calling for only a chosen few. Most of us think of a priest as a man who wears a black robe and a white collar and who is beyond the reach of the common person. He is not allowed to marry and must dedicate his life totally to God’s service, and this lifestyle sets him apart from the rest of the people.
Since this image of a priest is so ingrained in us through our traditions, it is difficult for many believers to envision themselves as priests.
The New Testament concept of a priest is someone who presents spiritual sacrifices to God.
The work of Jesus Christ is for everyone who believes in Him and who confesses Him as Lord and Savior of his life. The priesthood of all believers is included in this work. We are priests of the almighty God, able to offer spiritual sacrifices to Him, thanks to the work of His Son.
It is important to recognize that there are priests in the kingdom of darkness, also – witches, sorcerers, wizards, and so forth – who sacrifice animals (and sometimes humans) to gain power from Satan so they can dominate and control people and situations. Some people who are in position to rule over others seek such “priest” in order to gain power.
They lend themselves to these practices that offend God. As priest and kings in God’s kingdom, we are engaged in a war against the evil spiritual entities that are behind these satanic priests and that strive to gain dominion over all earthly territories.
Under the law of Moses, the kingship was given to the tribe of Judah and the priesthood was bestowed on the tribe of Levi. In those days, the king of Israel was not allowed to offer sacrifices or burn incense on the altar of the temple.
In Jesus Christ, the kingship and priesthood were united once again. Jesus served as King and Priest on earth, and He was highly exalted by God the Father as King od kings and Lord of lords after His resurrection and ascension.
On this basis of His priesthood, Jesus offered bread and wine during the last Supper with His disciples as a symbol of His body, which would be presented to God as a living sacrifice. See Matthew 26:26-29 He offered prayers, intercession, and Himself ( see Hebrews 5:7; 9:14) to His heavenly Father by means of the Holy Spirit, constituting Himself both as the Priest who ministered the sacrifice and the Sacrifice itself. After making atonement for us, He entered the Holy of Holies in heaven on our behalf and as our predecessor (Hebrews 6:19-20), so that we can now enter God’s presence, also. As we are called to be like Him in the world, we are priests and kings who extend His realm on earth.
“Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus” Hebrew 3:1. In this verse, we see two of the Lord’s titles: Apostle – one sent by God to carry out a specific mission; and High Priest – one who is the mediator between God and man. Jesus has been our High Priest for more than two thousand years – and He continues to be our High Priest today. He is high priest “forever” Hebrew 5:6. His work continues in force because no one can approach, communicate with, or bring offerings to God without the mediation of a High Priest. There, we depend totally on Christ Hebrews 7:24-25;8:6
The following are some specific responsibilities to which we are called as priests in God’s kingdom:
- Present Our Bodies as Living Sacrifices to God – Romans 12:1
- Means we are living and our lives are sacrifices unto God, this sacrifice is our reasonable service, given of our free will and made possible by God. It is something we ourselves are able to give. The altar is our heart and the sacrifice is ourselves. We will no longer offer our selves to things that displease God which are carnal but we will live for eternal purposes in carrying out God’s good and perfect will and this will help us to prove what is good and acceptable will of God. He will carry out His will on the earth in our lives.
- Offer Sacrifices of Praise and Worship Hebrew 13:15
- We praise regardless of our circumstances
- Do Good and Share with Others Hebrew 13:16
-Giving that comes from the heart and takes us out of our comfort zones is a sacrifice that is pleasing to God
- Present Physical Gifts and Offerings to God – Hebrews 5:1
- Offer Prayer and Intercession – Hebrew 7:25
Christ’s present ministry in heaven is to make intercession on our behalf. He offered prayers, intercession, and Himself on earth, and now he lives to mediate for us. Since we are the extension of His ministry on earth, we also should prioritize prayers and intercession on behalf of other people. There are countless plans and purposes of God that cannot be carried out until we birth them through prayer.
Therefore, we must align our prayers with Christ’s prayers…Expansion of the kingdom, salvation of souls, manifestation of Gods children, amongst other things. What an honor and privilege to be part of this ministry. This is not time to leave the job for the privilege few, this is time for us all to roll up the sleeve and swing to action in the kingdom. We do not have the time to relax in the pews so let us get into action today. The Lord is waiting. Are you ready?
Dear Lord God, thank You for the privilege of callings in as priest and kings in your kingdom here on earth. We pray for a willing and obedient heart to this role as we receive grace from you to excel in the enforcement of kingdom mandate upon us all in Jesus name, amen
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org
#TheGreatExchangeForService #HolySpirit #HolySpiritBaptism #Helper #comforter #standby #power #dunamis #peace #joy #righteousness #intercession #unity #peace #disunity #pride #Christianity #fruitfulness #gift #trinity #JesusChrist
Subject – The Great Exchange For Service – intercession Part 10 of 7 –
The gift of the Holy Spirit – Rejection of this awesome gift by any church in this era is an acceptance of Powerlessness, Frustration and Fruitlessness in our WORK and WALK with the Lord.
OTAKADA.org content count 471,607
9th of December 2018
Blog link https://www.otakada.org
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you
John 15:26 – “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
John 16:7 when Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Prakletos) shall not come to you, but if I go, I will send Him to you.” The Holy Spirit is a parakletos for Christians.
John 20:21-22 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I Also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Acts 1:4-5,8 – And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father, “ which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 2:1-4, 38-39 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 38 The Peter said to them, “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Acts 4: 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Acts 8:15 –20 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when the had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then the laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
Acts 9: 17-18,31 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Acts 10: 44-47 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
Acts 13:2,3 As the ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Acts 19:1-6 – And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into John’s baptism.” The Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and the spoke with tongues and prophesied.
Dear Brethren, welcome to our 10 of 7th series dealing with division in body of Christ as a result of our understanding, working and application of the personality of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity in our dispensation.
We have brought this up as number seven in the series because of the importance of the subject of the Holy Spirit. Nothing has divided bible believing Christians even within the same church setting like the subject of the Holy Spirit.
The devil has gotten us exactly where he wanted us- In the position of helplessness, hopelessness, powerlessness and defeat on all fronts. We have settled nicely and comfortably into running our Christian race on one cylinder with an engine that has capacity for 16 cylinders on full throttle.
We cannot even begin to contemplate what we loss by relegating the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the back seat in our everyday lives. Yet, it is a gift which we can decide to accept or reject, we will still make heaven. We will still struggle with ministry, pretending everything is ok, we will still continue to procrastinate on witnessing to the Lord in our sphere of influence, we will still be powerless as it relates to bringing comfort to those who are comfortless. We will continue to struggle with healing the sick and bringing light where there is darkness.
We will continue to preach without conviction that only the Holy Spirit can bring to the hearers. We will continue to preach and teach without real transformation in the lives of the listeners. We will continue to go on the field for evangelism without the supernatural accompanying the efforts. We will continue to be blunt to the promptings, leadings and speaking of the Holy Spirit on very personal issue we can’t discuss with anyone. we will still continue to go along with the hustle and the hassle that everyone else faces as humans here on earth without divine electricity or powerhouse that can distinguish us from the dying and decaying world around. It’s a choice between daylight and darkness. It is a choice between working and walking in blindness in broad day light.
Are we still surprised that we are taking casualties on all fronts because as the saying goes, my priest is permitted to perish for lack of knowledge the Lord God declares in the book of Hosea 4:6 because we have ignored the instructions in His word.
The world is crying and weeping for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Read – Romans 8:1-11, 22-25 The Message (MSG)
The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms
8 1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
9-11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
The world seeks the supernatural but can’t find it even in our churches and they will run to the counterfeit power from the realm of wickedness. We can’t take the world for Christ without the continues outpouring, infilling, empowerment and leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Mission work and going to make disciples begins with the Holy Spirit, is sustained by the Holy Spirit, is directed and accomplished by the Holy Spirit. There is no other way….
Brothers, and sisters, don’t be satisfied with water baptism, kneel down today and ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You need this for effectiveness in intercession, you need Him for service unto the Lord, you need his help when discouraged… this is the era of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity..Do this and see how you fly like the eagle today!
It is a gift, fully paid for, God promised it for everyone who calls for it. When Philip went on crusade to Samaria, the people accepted Jesus and where baptized with water in the name of Jesus Christ but hands had to be laid on them by the apostles for them to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. You can receive Him in your room without the laying on of hands by faith.. do this today in faith! Some of us have grieved the Holy Spirit and we have silenced Him out of our lives. Repent, ask Him to return, He is more than willing and waiting to come back to you in fullness. As Christians, we all have the Spirit of God rekindled in us..But for the work of ministry, we need Him in fullness and it is not one time affair. Take time to pray, fast and ask for His fullness today! We are agreeing with you in prayer. There is no distance in the realm of the spirit.
Prayer: Dear Lord God, Thank you for today, the gift of access and the gift of the Holy Spirit through Your Son Jesus Christ. We stand in agreement today with our brothers and sisters who are desirous of the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the divine attribute of power, presence, comfort, helper, intercessor, healer, deliverer, godly living, obedience, witnessing and service.
Lord baptize them today as You have promised. Let there be a sign that you have done this because no one remains the same with the full embody of the trinity in us and through us. Thank you for we have accepted this gift today by faith in You and the promise to them whom You have called and they have believed in Jesus name. We bring before You teachers in Christian gatherings around the world who have been blinded by the evil one, Lord, open their eyes today so that they can amend their ways and receive this gift as they begin to operate in new dimensions in You in Jesus name we have prayed with thanksgiving amen.
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org
#TheGreatExchangeForService #Gospel #compromise #conformity #motivational #motivation #prosperity #historical #GospelOfTheKingdom #GoodNews #maturity #kingdom #division #separation #command #believers #behavior #faults #peace #joy #righteousness#intercession #unity #peace #disunity #pride #Christian
Subject – The Great Exchange For Service – intercession Part 10 of 5 – Digging Deeper into the uncompromising Gospel of the Kingdom of God – Don’t allow division to cause you to settle for crumps when you can have a full course meal
OTAKADA.org content count 42,338
25thof November 2018
Dear Brethren, welcome to our 10 of 5thseries dealing with division in body of Christ predicated on the different versions of the gospel of the Kingdom of God in our midst. We will drill down the various versions of the gospel message out there and how the bible explains what the gospel of the kingdom of God really is with the intent that it will help us discern, engage and intercede for the misled brethren. We have put together five (5) versions of the gospel messages that does not pane out with the true gospel message and how we should handle them.
Let us start with the bible… 20 bible referencesprovided hereunder for your reading and meditation to help drill the message home…
Galatians 1:9 – If anyone preaches any gospel to you than what was you have received, let him be accursed.
Matthew 4:23New King James Version
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
Luke 4:43Contemporary English Version
But Jesus said, “People in other towns must hear the good news about God’s kingdom. This is why I was sent.”
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
But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God
Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits if it.
Matthew 24:14 New King James Version
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come
10-12 When they were off by themselves, those who were close to him, along with the Twelve, asked about the stories. He told them, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works. But to those who can’t see it yet, everything comes in stories, creating readiness, nudging them toward receptive insight. These are people—
Whose eyes are open but don’t see a thing,
Whose ears are open but don’t understand a word,
Who avoid making an about-face and getting forgiven.”
26-29 Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!
30-32 “How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.”
26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should [f]scatter seed on the ground,27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”
To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God.7 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
And He said to them, “God into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe; In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Galatians 5:19-24 The Message (MSG)
19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.
22-23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
23-24 Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
1 John 3:8
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the labourer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘the kingdom of God has come near to you.’
But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’16 He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he comes to Me shall never thirst. 51I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Many religions have their own “gospels,” and they announce good things. However, they lack supernatural power to deal with people’s sin and rebelliousness and to transform their lives. They lack the power to heal a sickness or to deliver someone from mental or emotional oppressions. They are substitutes for the true gospel.
Even in much of the church, parts of the gospel message have been diluted or abridged into various human versions that lack power.
In some cases, these human versions are even anti-power. The message of the gospel of the kingdom is not being presented as it was by Jesus and the early church. These significant elements have been left out: A call to wholehearted repentance and manifestation of God’s presence by healing, signs, wonders, the casting out of demons, and the raising of the dead. As a result, the church has become accustomed to hearing an incomplete gospel..
Paul said in Galatians 1:9 – If anyone preaches any gospel to you than what was you have received, let him be accursed. As we call believers to unity, it is imperative that we all work from the same biblical perspective. God wants to restore the true gospel in the church, so that the good news can be preached to the world as it ought to be. Let us look closely at what we have out there.
1 – The Historical Gospel
Many Christians of various denominations are fixed in a historical, traditional gospel that lacks the presence and power of God They believe in a God of history but not in a God who is with us today – a God whose name is in the present tense: “I am who I am”. IF we can’t bring Jesus to the here and now, then His death, resurrection, and ascension to the throne at the Father’s right hand in heaven have no meaning or purpose for our present circumstances.
2- The “Future” Gospel
The mentality of much of the modern church is to present a gospel that simply proclaims forgiveness of sin so that a person can go to heaven when he or she dies. Although that is certainly part of the good news, it is not the whole gospel of the kingdom. It says nothing of reigning with Christ on earth now with dominion authority and power.
Other believers reflect a different aspect of the future gospel. They believe that God can bring healing and deliverance to the people on earth. Nonetheless, since their mind-set is always that God “will” do these things, they never receive or minister them. For example, they may say, “I believe that God will heal, deliver, prosper and bring revival at some point.” In other words, it will happen later, at an unspecified time in the future. Yet God is the God of the now. It is true that He acts according to His sovereignty. However, these believers keep waiting for something that God has already promised and that Jesus has already provided through His death and resurrection
3- The Social Gospel
While the “future” gospel focuses on heaven, the social gospel centers exclusively on the earth; its advocates seek to relieve societal problems, such as hunger, poverty, and injustice. Addressing people’s physical needs and concerns is central to kingdom living, because God wants us to love others as He loves us. However, they often downplay or ignore the spiritual element of a relationship with God the Father through Jesus His Son. They do not seek or rely on God’s supernatural power, through which people can be healed physically, emotionally, and mentally, and through which they have access to God’s abundant provision, power and strength. Therefore, they do not present the complete gospel.
4- The Gospel of Conformity
This human “gospel” leaves people in a spiritual stagnant condition, unable to move forward, retaining their sin and never regaining their authority in Christ. It neither deals with the rot of rebellion nor challenges people to change, so that they are left in sickness, scarcity, and oppression. A gospel that doesn’t produce change is contrary to the kingdom message of repentance that Jesus preached, and it fails to bring about the transformation that Paul urged believers to actively seek.
5- The Motivational and or Prosperity Gospel
This is a “self-help” gospel in which God’s Word is spoken without power; the cross and the resurrection of Jesus are not proclaimed, and the supernatural is absent. It is a gospel adapted to what people want to hear, and it fails to confront them with the destructiveness of their sin, in an effort to avoid offending them. Its main purpose is for people to walk away feeling satisfied with themselves and encouraged to reach their personal goals. While it is good to have goals and to accomplish them, Jesus came to announce much more than that. (Matthew 6:33)
The gospel of the kingdom lovingly confronts us with our iniquity and challenges us to live in holiness through the resurrection life of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus message does not leave us comfortable in our sinful nature.
The other version of the motivational gospel is the prosperity gospel. Please understand that God promises prosperity, and He wants to give us His provision and abundance but if all we think about is money and material goods, forgetting holiness, prayer, and serving others, then we have put the cart in front of the us.
In concluding, churches and ministries that don’t preach the gospel of the kingdom produce a complacent Christianity. They make no room for the supernatural, and they do not believe that all things are possible with God. This is precisely why we do not see the manifestations of God’s power in the church which is the evidence that God is at work in our midst.
As we engage with our brothers and sisters in small groups, fellowships and churches, we need to discern the type of gospel at play. We need to lovingly point out these issues while praying for our brethren that the veil be removed from their eyes that they will walk in ALL that Christ came to give us all and proclaim aright to the world around us. But to abandon and not engage with other believers is folly and recipe for disaster waiting or already happening in our midst.
We travel the whole world to get a convert and make them sons and daughters if the devil. Jesus’s rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees apply nicely here.. Matthew 23:15– “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves… Message says – “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him, you make into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.
Prayer:Our heavenly Father, as we seek the unity of the Spirit amongst the brethren, open our eyes to discern the wolves in sheep’s clothing amongst us as in Matthew 7:15 Luke 10:3. We ask that You expose them for who they really are. If they are unrepentant, we as that You silence them for Your name and Your work sake. Grant unto us boldness and courage to confront and to pray for our misled brethren to amend their ways. As we humble ourselves and are willing to learn from you, help us to stay through to the authentic gospel message to the very end. As many that seek the manifestation of Your power and presence to heal and deliver, Lord visit them today, give them the revelation of You. Heal the sick, provide for those who lack and bring comfort to the brokenhearted in Jesus name we have prayed with thanksgiving.
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org
#TheGreatExchangeForService #criticism #maturity #division #separation #command #believers #relationship #worship #hair #dress #behavior #faults #peace #joy #righteousness#intercession #unity #peace #disunity #pride #Christian #grace #humility #problem
Subject – The Great Exchange For Service – intercession Part 10 of 4 – Disagreement and Division over Lifestyle differences between Younger and Older believers – How do you handle it? Criticism
OTAKADA.org content count 22,337
18thof November 2018
Dear Brethren, welcome to our 10 of 4thseries dealing with division in churches especially between the older and younger believers in Christ over differences in lifestyle and how these breeds toxic criticism amongst the brethren that causes division within and between churches and how best to handle it. Issues like day of worship, what one eats or drinks, how one keeps the hair or dresses has divided churches. Let us look at what Jesus and Paul has to say about these in scriptures below to help provide core content relevant to this challenge and how these issues were dealt with then and how we can apply them now to foster unity in the body of Christ.
Matthew 7:3-5 The Message (MSG)
A Simple Guide for Behavior
7 1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor
Romans 14:1- The Message (MSG)
Cultivating Good Relationships
14 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.
2-4 For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.
5 Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.
6-9 What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.
10-12 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:
“As I live and breathe,” God says,
“every knee will bow before me;
Every tongue will tell the honest truth
that I and only I am God.”
So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.
13-14 Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.
15-16 If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don’t eat, you’re no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell over an item in their diet? Don’t you dare let a piece of God-blessed food become an occasion of soul-poisoning!
17-18 God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.
19-21 So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you? I said it before and I’ll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don’t eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.
22-23 Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.
Divisions in churches often occur when disagreements over lifestyle issues grow into major arguments and church splits. Paul warned the church not to pass judgement on younger believers whose faith is still young and growing. The kingdom of God is about goodness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Anything outside this is of the evil one. Jesus went on to emphasis the importance of assessing our own stand, confirm that we are standing before we are qualified to point at other’s faults and failings. What we eat, what we wear, how we dress, where and when we worship should not divide us.
Prayer:Dear Lord God, thank You for the simplicity in walking with You. Help us to be led by Your Spirit always and not to be a stumbling block to others in the race of faith. Your Spirit is love, joy and goodness. Cause us to do an internal audit of ourselves continually so we can stand blameless before you. Help us to open ourselves and welcome all who names the name of Christ and extend the heart of love in Jesus name we have prayed with thanksgiving.
By authority in the name of Jesus Christ, I speak to every raging storm in the lives of those who are reading this blog today, I join my faith with theirs, be it in relationships, health and finance, we proclaim peace be still, be healed and be restored in Jesus name we have declared with thanksgiving
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org
#TheGreatExchangeForService #Corinth #grace #division #separation #command
#intercession #unity #peace #disunity #pride #Christian #resources #grace #humility #problem #https://www.otakada.org/the-great-exchange-for-service-intercession-part-10-of-3-solving-the-problem-of-disunity-by-the-corinthians-example
Subject – The Great Exchange For Service – intercession Part 10 of 3 – Solving The Problem of Disunity By The Corinthian’s Example
OTAKADA.org content count 14,336
11th of November 2018
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
- Now I am calling you over, brothers,
on account of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in order that you might keep speaking the same thing
and that there might not continue to be divisions among you,
but that you might be mended
through [having] the same mind
and through [having] the same opinion.
- for it has been shown to me
concerning you, my brothers,
by the men from Chloe,
that quarrels continue to exist among you.
- Now [what] I’m saying is this: that each of you are saying,
“As for me, I am of Paul,”
and, “As for me, I am of Apollos,”
and, “As for me, I am of Cephas,”
and, “As for me I am of Christ!”
- Christ has been divided!
It wasn’t Paul who was crucified for you,
neither were was it into the name of Paul that you were baptized!
- I’m thankful to God that I baptized none of you
except Crispus and Gaius,
- in order that no one might say that you were baptized into MY name.
- Now I did also baptize the household of Stephanus.
As for the rest, I don’t know if I baptized anyone else.
- For Christ did not commission me to baptize, but rather to evangelize –
[and that] not by sophistication of words,
so that the cross of Christ would not be nullified.
Some Illustration to reflect on:
Tuning fork: A.W. Tozer, “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to be come ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.” (The Pursuit of God)
- The Problem – introduction:
- Situation in Corinth
- The church in Corinth was divided over a lot of issues:
- They were arguing about whether or not Christians could eat meat offered to idols,
- They were arguing about whether or not Christians could marry,
- They were showing off with spiritual gifts in order to prove that some were more spiritual than others,
- People were interrupting public worship by disorderly conduct,
- They were aligning themselves behind one Christian leader and criticizing the rest of the people in the congregation who were aligned with a different Christian leader,
- They had a feminist group vying for power,
- Even during communion, they were dividing into rich people at one table and poor people at another,
- and Christians were suing each other in the public courts.
- Since Paul had planted the church in Corinth, he had kept tabs on the church:
- Paul seems to have paid a second visitto Corinth before writing his epistle, For in 2 Cor. 12:4; 2Cor. 13:1-2, he speaks of his intention of paying them a third visit, implying he had already twice visited them.
- During his three years’ stay at Ephesus he could have easily hired one of the many ships that travelled between Ephesus and Corinth and revisited his Corinthian converts.
- This second visit was probably a short one (compare 1 Cor. 16:7); and was probably painful and humiliating to Paul as he saw (2 Cor. 2:1; 2 Cor. 12:21), the scandalous conduct of so many of his own converts. (JFB)
- Apolloshad gone to Corinth with letters of commendation from Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:28-19:1), but apparently left because of factions in that church (1 Cor. 1:10-12) and returned to Ephesus. When Paul urged Apollos to go back, he declined (1 Cor. 16:12).
- Paul then sent Timothyover to Corinth to put an end to the factions (1 Cor. 4:17), but the outcome was uncertain (1 Cor. 16:10.)…
- Some of the household of Chloewho were familiar with the situation in Corinth had also brought word to Paul in Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:5-7)
- The church in Corinth also had sent a committee(Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus) to Paul in Ephesus.
- And Paul had also already writtena brief first letter to the Corinthians directing them “not to associate with fornicators.” (1Cor. 5:9-12) That letter probably also mentioned the fund-raiser he was organizing for the poor in Jerusalem (1Cor. 16:2) So 1st Cor. is actually Paul’s 2nd letter to them.
- Verse 12 mentions 4 factions in Corinth: For the most part we can only guess:
- “I am of Paul” party:
- May have been people converted under Paul’s ministry
- Perhaps baptized by Paul
- Probably liked systematic theology because that’s how Paul taught
- Probably also were hard-core about the Gospel for Gentiles
- Paul also had refused to be supported by a patron, but rather worked for his living at Corinth, so he may have been the blue-collar working-man’s apostle of choice
- Apollos Party:
- From Alexandria, Egypt – maybe black.
- Came after Paul and baptized people. “I planted, Apollos watered” (3:6).
- Preferred his teaching style – philosophical, rhetorical, eloquent.
- Maybe like a Barak Obama.
- Cephas Party:
- Aramaic for Peter (Jn. 1:42).
- The “real” apostle.
- Probably name-droppers, not representative of Peter himself.
- Probably Judaizers (Gal 2:11-14), who insisted that Gentile converts get circumcised and follow Jewish food laws and customs.
- Christ Party:
- Perhaps they weren’t willing to submit to any of the apostles.
- Perhaps they thought they could hear straight from God and didn’t need the Bible.
- Perhaps like the Christian Church of today, they got fed up with everybody’s denominationalism and conflicting creeds and tried to form a non-denomination which had “no creed but Christ” and turned into just another denomination.
- Archaeology and house church size in Corinth
- Some amount of splitting up would have been natural in a home-based church.
- Romans 16:23 – Gaius’s house was where the church in Corinth initially met.
- Thistleton cites archaeological evidence that churches in that era tended to break up and meet in two different homes once they got up to 40 people in attendance.
- Dividing into multiple meeting places because no one place is big enough for everybody to meet is fine.
- There may even be cultural reasons to preserve and enjoy different historical worship traditions.
- But splitting over schools of orthodox doctrine or splitting over interpersonal conflict was not o.k. in Paul’s book.
- Clement testified to continued divisions in Corinth in 95AD
- First Epistle starts, “The Church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the Church of God sojourning at Corinth, to them that are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be multiplied.
- …we feel that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the points respecting which you consulted us; and especially to that shameful and detestable sedition, utterly abhorrent to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-confident persons have kindled to such a pitch of frenzy, that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be universally loved, has suffered grievous injury…
- (Chapter 45) Ye are fond of contention, brethren, and full of zeal about things which do not pertain to salvation. Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit… Why are there strifes, and tumults, and divisions, and schisms, and wars among you? Have we not [all] one God and one Christ? Is there not one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And have we not one calling in Christ? Why do we divide and tear to pieces the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and have reached such a height of madness as to forget that “we are members one of another?” Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how He said, “Woe to that man [by whom offences come]! It were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yea, it were better for him that a millstone should be hung about [his neck], and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones.” Your schism has subverted [the faith of] many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all…
- Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you at the time when the Gospel first began to be preached? Truly, under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you. But that inclination for one above another entailed less guilt upon you, inasmuch as your partialities were then shown towards apostles, already of high reputation, and towards a man whom they had approved. But now reflect who those are that have perverted you, and lessened the renown of your far-famed brotherly love. It is disgraceful, beloved, yea, highly disgraceful, and unworthy of your Christian profession, that such a thing should be heard of as that the most stedfast and ancient Church of the Corinthians should, on account of one or two persons, engage in sedition against its presbyters. And this rumour has reached not only us, but those also who are unconnected with us; so that, through your infatuation, the name of the Lord is blasphemed, while danger is also brought upon yourselves.
- (Chapter XLVIII.) Let us therefore, with all haste, put an end to this [state of things]; and let us fall down before the Lord, and beseech Him with tears, that He would mercifully be reconciled to us, and restore us to our former seemly and holy practice of brotherly love… Let a man be faithful: let him be powerful in the utterance of knowledge; let him be wise in judging of words; let him be pure in all his deeds; yet the more he seems to be superior to others [in these respects], the more humble-minded ought he to be, and to seek the common good of all, and not merely his own advantage.
- We see here some of the solutions proposed by Clement of Rome, a godly man a generation after Paul, but let us look at what Paul himself writes in I Cor. 1 about the solution to this problem:
- God’s solution:
- Fight against church splits by maintaining a unified front and working to be mended in the same thinking patterns.
- The father of Alexander the Great perfected a fighting technique that made the Macedonian army almost invincible. It has been nicknamed the “Turtle” formation, because the soldiers would form patterns where everyone’s shield was positioned facing the enemy so that the whole army was covered by a “shell” and not vulnerable to arrows.
- Imagine what would have happened, however, if two soldiers were to get mad at each other and turn their spears and shields to face each other? They would then become vulnerable to the enemy’s arrows because their shields wouldn’t be facing the enemy anymore. As Christians, we need to maintain a unified front so that we don’t get taken out by our own in-fighting.
- Paul’s words in v.10 are literally “keep speaking the same thing” rendered “agree” in the modern English versions.
- Paul uses a term for mending fishing nets (Mt. 4:21) toward the end of v.10 – translated “perfectly joined together/united/made complete” in some versions. The word means “to put in order, restore to former condition” .
- How do we get this restoration?
- By being of the “same mind and same judgment/opinion/purpose/intention/thought.”
- This means that Christian unity is a thinkingunity, not a mindless ecumenism.
- We achieve that unity by studying the same Bibletogether and coming to the same conclusions on the major issues together. It is unity in knowing sound doctrine.
- Calvin explains that the “same mind” means having the same faith in God, and “judgment” means having a will to loveyour brother.
- God’s Call to unity in:
- John 17 – Jesus prayed that His people would be one as He is one with God.
- Eph 4 – One lord, one faith, one baptism
- Phil 2 – have this mind in yourselves which was also in Christ…cross
- Solution #1: Maintaining a unified front and growing together in the same Biblical thinking patterns.
- Keep Christ central rather than yourself.
- ILLUSTRATION: Tuning fork: A.W. Tozer, “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to be come ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.” (The Pursuit of God)
- v.10 “I exhort/beseech/appeal to you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
- v.13 – “Is Christ divided?”
- Absurdity of a cutting Jesus in half and the two halves doing different things
- “We murder, to dissect” – William Wordsworth
- “Was Paul crucified for you?”
- By this bit of humor, Paul puts the focus back on the centrality of Christ
- We were redeemed by Christ in His death. When you were baptized into Christ, you were enlisted under his banner and will never have any other spiritual lord.
- “Were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
- Baptism was to be in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Mt. 28:18ff – not anyone else.
- It doesn’t matter who baptized you. It doesn’t matter if that person was a fake Christian who left the church later. What matters is that you received the sign and seal of your covenantal relationship with God.
- “Jesus is enough. He is substantive enough to be the basis of your unity… If [you] would be Christ-centered instead of people-centered or issues-centered, disunity will take care of itself.”
- Preach the cross rather than getting involved in intellectual rabbit-trails.
- Don’t get off on the rabbit trail of baptism. Keep the cross central. Some of us were immersed, some were effused, some were sprinkled. Some here were baptized as infants, others as adults. It’s over now; don’t get worked up over whether you got wet the “right” way. The Bible doesn’t teach us to make issue of how you were baptized. Christ’s work on the cross is what saves you, not your baptism.
- (v.17) “not with sophistication/wisdom/cleverness/eloquence of words/speech lest the cross of Christ be made of none effect/void/nullified/emptied.”
- Calvin: “No effect if… just eloquence and show… the teaching of the gospel… should savor of the nature of the cross… despised and contemptible rather than glorious in the eyes of the world… The … Corinthians were tickled with a silly fondness for high-sounding style, hence they needed… to be brought back to the abasement of the cross… the gospel in its simplicity without false ornament.”
- In Corinth, the cosmopolitan merchants were using Christianity as a way to gain social status.This has been a problem throughout history.
- Today, missionary friends in majority-world countries have told us that most seekers want to become Christians so that they can move to wealthy nations and get wealthy. It’s a constant struggle to explain to people who come with worldly motives that becoming a Christian is about being a follower of Jesus. It’s about the way of the cross.
- Identify your unique calling and stick to it.
- “I was not sent to Baptize but to Evangelize” v.17
- Paul’s commission in Acts 9:15 does not mention baptism.
- The chief thing for Paul was to make Jesus known to “Gentiles, kings, and the Children of Israel”
- Doesn’t mean he repudiated baptism – Paul obviously baptized Crispus (the former president of the synagogue in Corinth) and Gaius and everybody in Stephanas’ house
- (and, by the way, I Tim. 3:4 says that Paul considered a man’s children to be part of his house.)
- Exposure of public to gospel is the first step, the apostolic calling. Church development happens after that – that’s apparently what Apollos was good at.
- What is your calling in life?
- What have I noticed in the Bible that God commands me to do?
- What do I love to do?
- What do Godly counselors urge me to focus on?
- What opportunities has God opened up for me already to do?
- When these things line up, you can be confident that you have a calling.
- Once you are clear on your calling, don’t get distracted from it. Keep it front and center. This will help the church stay unified.
- Jesusis another great example of this kind of focus on calling. His calling was to save the world (John 12:47). He was perfectly capable of judging the world and being a great king, but He didn’t take that path when He was sure that His father wanted him to save the world through dying on the cross. While Jesus was suffering for our sins on the cross, He could have called a thousand angels to rescue him and kill all the bad guys, but He didn’t because He knew He needed to stick to His calling. Without His death there would be no church to call into unity.
Follow Christ’s example. Stick to your calling. Preach the cross. Get yourself out of the way and keep Christ central. And present a united front with your fellow believers by working to be of the same mind. And by God’s grace, this church will not break apart.
Prayer: Dear Lord God, visit us today. Cause us to focus on You and what You stand for. Help us to take attention off ourselves and let it rest on You. Help us to keep You central in everything that we do while allowing channels of engagement with our brothers and sisters in the faith despite our deferring styles and method of worship. You have a purpose and plan for every one of us that fits perfectly into Your grand plan. Open our spiritual eyes Lord to see and to pursue this without distractions and help us to present a unified front with our fellow believers always to the glory, honour and adoration of Your name, in Jesus name we have prayed with thanksgiving
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org
#TheGreatExchangeForService #love #paradox #law #grace #division #separation #command
#intercession #intimacy #unity #peace #disunity #pride #christian #resources #grace #humility #https://www.otakada.org/the-great-exchange-for-service-intercession-part-10-of-2-subtle-issues-that-divide-us-and-how-to-respond
OTAKADA.org content count 14,335
4th of November 2018
John 13:34-35 New International Version (NIV) – A New Commandment to All Believers in Christ
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Ephesians 4:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT) – You don’t have all that it takes, we need each other!
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Mark 1:23-27 New Living Translation (NLT) – The Devil is in Our church gatherings, dividing us – Beware! – Don’t open yourself up to manipulation by the evil one.
23 Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil[a] spirit cried out, 24 “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 But Jesus reprimanded him. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. 26 At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.
27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!”
1 Corinthians 11:28-30 New Living Translation (NLT) – Don’t be in a hurry to take communion, check yourself, it can cause, sickness and even death! Don’t mess with God, God does kill Christians too! Remember Ananias and Sapphira
28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ,[a] you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
2 Corinthians 10:2-8 New Living Translation (NLT) – Stop fighting in the physical!
2 Well, I am begging you now so that when I come I won’t have to be bold with those who think we act from human motives.
3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 6 And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.
7 Look at the obvious facts.[b] Those who say they belong to Christ must recognize that we belong to Christ as much as they do. 8 I may seem to be boasting too much about the authority given to us by the Lord. But our authority builds you up; it doesn’t tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority.
Dear brethren, welcome to the month of November and continuation of our second series on the need for unity in the body of Christ. We will be looking at those subtle issues that divide us and how we should tackle them. Enjoy the reading and take decisive action to engaging other believers as part of one body in Christ today! Our disunity undermines our message to the lost. There are many that are waiting on the sidelines to see sanity in us believers, don’t be seen as hindering Gods work of redemption among men.
While some divisions or disunity among Christians are obvious, others are subtler. Why does God allow it? Is it because He wants to make it hard on us? Or are the reasons as old as the church itself? Satan has always been involved in the church. It is notable that the first place Jesus cast out a demon was in the synagogue, which was Jesus’ church (Mark 1:23-27).
The devil has always been at work in the church. I guess he felt if he couldn’t beat them, he would just join them. His ways are subtle, so it is important to see how he has caused such division. With this in mind, let us explore the methods of this master tactician and how we can overcome his influence.
- Inability to Understand God’s Paradox
Honest people who are sincerely seeking God can come up with very different notions about the teachings in the Bible. This is because God has purposely put paradox in Scripture. He doesn’t want us to approach Him through knowledge, but rather through childlike faith. It is His paradox that confounds knowledge and the wisdom of the world. Here are a few paradoxes in Scripture: law and grace; predestination and free will; one God in three; Christ as God and Christ as man; salvation by grace and work out your salvation with fear and trembling; judge not and he who is spiritual judges all things (Isaiah 55:8-9).
If I only believe in the law of God, I may become motivated by fear of God, which affects my intimacy with Him. If I only focus on grace, I may not fear the consequences of sin. Both sides of the paradox must be balanced by each other. The Corinthians received the message of grace and then began to sin with reckless abandonment. They believed they were no longer under the law. The result was death and sickness in the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 11:30). In the same way, Jesus taught us grace and love, but was unwilling to cast aside God’s law (Matt 5:17-19).
Every doctrine that divides the church has paradox in it. We will begin to know the true spirit of God when we can embrace both sides of the paradox by faith. Only then can we say all things are predestined and yet I have free will to choose. Only with God is such a thing possible. We say that we believe, with God, all things are possible, but then deny that paradox is possible. Childlike faith has no problem accepting the impossible. When Christians begin to appreciate each other’s viewpoints without feeling threatened, we will no longer be separated by the paradox of God; we will be united in the spirit of love.
- Confusion of Temporal with Eternal Principles
There is much confusion over temporal and eternal truths. As I stated earlier, many Christians want to argue over a particular viewpoint in Scripture without considering the passages in paradox to that viewpoint. Because we want God to fit into our logic box, we discard any nonconforming Scripture, or simply ignore it. If we acknowledge the opposite Scriptural reference, our doctrine must be modified to accommodate both Scriptures. In the temporal, God’s law is still in effect. By this I mean we have consequences by not following the law. I hear the principle of grace being preached from many pulpits, too often at the expense of the law. The grace is an eternal law that is applied to our eternal spirit, but it should not give us the idea that we can sin with no temporal affect.
In the natural, if you break the law, you will suffer the consequences. If you are speeding and you get a ticket, you might argue to the policeman that you are not under the law, but I doubt it would do any good. The eternal law of grace will keep us out of the lake of fire but will not keep us from the consequences of violating the law in the temporal. Obedience to the law doesn’t save us, but it will keep us out of a whole bunch of trouble. The confusion over law and grace has caused many Christians to be entrapped in sin and division (Romans 7:7-8).
Confusion over the temporal and eternal principles often divides the body of Christ. True wisdom comes when we can be gracious with brothers and sisters who have not yet come to a fuller understanding of the temporal and eternal truths. Jesus said to His church, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin (John 8:34). In other words, Satan can gain great authority in our lives if we reject the commands of Christ.
- Incorrect Motives of the Heart – 1 Cor 13:1-3
When did God ever make our relationship with Him and people about knowing all things, gifts of the Spirit, or pious acts? Too often we make fellowship too much about gifts, doctrines, good works, and sacrifice. According to the Scripture above, none of these things matter to God if they are not motivated by love. All gifts of God are wonderful, but they are not an evidence of a right heart. They should never be seen as a badge of spirituality. Even our sacrifices to God do not impress Him if we are not motivated by love.
The true mark of a Christian is not his knowledge or doctrine, but rather is the spirit of love. Satan has deceived Christians into believing that fellowship must be based on particular viewpoints and doctrines. How sad to see the division in Christianity because of differing doctrines. Too often Christians accuse one another of heresy, blasphemy and the like, thereby becoming an accuser of the brethren. We must be careful not to take on the role of accuser. This role belongs to Satan and we should always steer clear of it. If I am motivated by anger and hatred, how can I say the love of God abides in me (1 John 4:20)?
We need to understand that God is perfectly fine with differing levels of understanding. Not all children learn at the same rate or are they the same in gifts and personality. We should never be angry or hateful when a brother has been taught or experienced a differing view. There is truth in most doctrines, but perhaps the balancing paradox has been overlooked. One person may have come out of the bondage of fear and can only see the grace of God, while another may have come out of the bondage of anarchy and appreciates the discipline of law. One may focus on law while the other focuses on grace. One might be caught up in gifts while another might be focused on the Word. Why should either focus upset us? Rejoice that they have received understanding of God’s truth, especially when they needed that part of the truth at a critical time in their life.
Be patient and love your brethren and perhaps they will be more attuned to what God has taught you. Both sides can be wrong if motivated incorrectly. If my focus on the law is because I’m afraid God will get me, then I am really motivated by the spirit of fear, not love. If I take advantage of grace and violate the law, I am motivated by the spirit of selfishness, which has no love in it. The subtlety of wrong motives divides the body of Christ.
- The Religious Spirit – Luke 9:51-56
What is a religious spirit? A religious spirit is when we take the Word of God and use it to destroy others. It was the spirit of religion that found reasons to put Jesus to death though there was no evil in His actions. Too often we have been deceived into thinking we are defenders of the faith when really we have succumbed to a religious spirit. From the Great Inquisition to an argument in Sunday school, the religious spirit disrupts and divides.
The reason Jesus rebuked the disciples is because, in one moment, they threw out the teaching of Jesus to love your enemies and those who despitefully use you. Instead they wanted to kill an entire population of people in the name of Jesus. While they thought they were righteous, Jesus’ rebuke showed them that their true motive was evil before God. Think about it—they wanted to murder everyone in the village, including women and children, in the name of God!
“When Satan spoke through Peter, Jesus sternly rebuked him as well. But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men'” (Matt 16:23). Peter had no idea that the thoughts that came into his mind were not his own. Jesus pointed out the true author of his words and would have nothing to do with them.
The religious spirit is a divider of the body of Christ. Its purpose is to cause us to be caught up in doctrines and disputes rather than yielding to the Holy Spirit of love (1 Tim 6:3-5 & James 1:12-13).
We are not approved by our knowledge of God or our doctrines; we are approved by what manner of spirit we are. Does the spirit of love rule your heart, or are you ruled by disputes and self-righteousness?
It is time for the whole body of Christ to come together to present a unified spirit of love to the world. The religious spirit is hated by the world. Even they can see it is full of hatred, murder, and condemnation. It is time in these last days to say, “I love my Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Charismatic, Methodist, and Pentecostal brethren even though we are all striving to better understand the paradox in Biblical doctrine.” None of us have arrived yet. We all agree Jesus is Lord and it was God who sent Him to give us life eternal. Maturity in Christ is not gauged by the knowledge of God but by the Spirit of God in us (2 Cor. 10:5).
Prayer: Dear Lord God, we pray for Your body of believers today, by the authority in Your name, we tear down every subtle walls the enemy has built up between us to divide us and re-establish the wall of love amongst us because You said, people will know we are Yours by the love we have for one another independent of institution, creed, doctrine and unspoken rules in Jesus name we have prayed with thanksgiving. Make us one Lord in Spirit, Amen.
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org