THE GENESIS OF OUR PROBLEMS IN THIS WORLD!

0A7D64AF-3CC8-4A4D-92EA-C46D0FDA4C5D

Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:9-13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

#Sin(failure,mistakes and breaking the law )…..

produces #guilt (self condemnation)……….

guilt produces #shame(fear of outside condemnation)———

shame produces BLAME and SELF-JUSTIFICATION.

People fight, argue, offend others, cheat on friends, lose jobs, destroy marriages and every relationship because whatever bad is happening in their lives or the world, they BLAME it on others and are always quick to rationalise.

Read genesis chapter three and you’ll notice that things haven’t changed that much.

Now listen, the only reason you and I move from Sin to the city of Self-justification, is this:

……FEAR OF JUDGEMENT, we want to escape judgment and we can do everything to achieve that!

That’s the Bad News up there , all of it and you are part of it!

Here’s the GOOD NEWS:
God placed on Christ every single sin that you will ever commit ( yes whatever sin is in your mind, and some that you are yet to do) all your sins were placed on Jesus Christ and He had to die because of those sins and after three days God raised Him from the dead , thereby making you free from condemnation (judgment).

72E25331-CD9C-42FB-913F-B14339FFA41F

That’s the gospel! The news that someone (Christ) suffered already the punishment on your behalf!

So you are free to stop hiding, stop pretending, stop blaming others, stop wearing masks, believe the gospel and you will discover a different world, a world of freedom, free of guilt and shame!

Because of our sins he was handed over to die, and he was raised to life in order to put us right with God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:25‬ ‭GNB‬‬

Soli Deo Gloria

Alexander Chapota.

Advertisements

MONEY AND THE GOSPEL.

C1923977-7B88-444B-99E5-C8DE9E8D32E7

Prior to the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic teaching  stated that faith alone cannot justify a man before God.

The Roman Catholics believed that justification depended on charity and  good works.

However, the benefits of  good works  on earth can be obtained by donating money to the church, rather than actually doing something charitable and that is what Martin Luther “protested” against.

6783DE3C-1F8D-45B3-AFC9-2C35CFF286AD

Martin Luther was a German priest, a professor of theology, and an iconic  figure of the Protestant Reformation.

When he was younger, he dedicated himself to a monastic life, fasted, prayed a lot, and always confessed to keep himself clean from sin.

Sometime after becoming an ordained priest, Luther led the protest against the doctrines and rituals of the Catholic Church in a movement (later) called the Reformation.

He did not agree with the idea that sins could be forgiven by paying money, then called indulgences.

Today, the Protestant Church is back in the business of indulgences, yet in a different and subtle package.

In theory many evangelical Christians confess the reformational doctrine of justification by faith alone. If you were to ask the average churchgoer about the doctrine of salvation, like how can a sinner be forgiven of her/his sins before God? Without any hesitation, they will give an answer that salvation is by grace. 

Ephesians 2:8 is memorised and can be referenced by folks who don’t attend church services. ( “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

But on the functional level things are not so, while during the medieval period the question was the problem of sin, without fully understanding the truth of the forgiveness of sin, today the church is bent on the question of favour/better life.

Is there something one can do or give in exchange for favour or abundant life (prosperity) from God? On the surface no one is asking that question, but if you look beneath the lives of many Christians, that is exactly what they are wrestling with.

As usual the church is promising a solution to this problem, and yes, the answer is give money (sow a seed) and in return God will bless you materially!

The gospel is not like that, the forgiveness of sin, victory over the devil and death, blessings in this world and beyond are solely by faith in the finished work of Christ.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:8-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The gospel is a word of promise, a word of comfort and rest. There’s no command or threat in the word of the gospel. It doesn’t make any requirement at your hands; but only  to bring you a free gift.

In his wonderful book titled ALL OF GRACE , Charles Haddon Spurgeon said something like this;

(He makes those just who are unjust, forgives those who deserve to be punished, and favors those who deserve no favor. You thought, did you not, that salvation was for the good? that God’s grace was for the pure and holy, who are free from sin? It has fallen into your mind that, if you were excellent, then God would reward you; and you have thought that because you are not worthy, therefore there could be no way of your enjoying His favor. You must be somewhat surprised to read a text like this: “Him that justifieth the ungodly. “ I do not wonder that you are surprised; for with all my familiarity with the great grace of God, I never cease to wonder at it. It does sound surprising, does it not, that it should be possible for a holy God to justify an unholy man? We, according to the natural legality of our hearts, are always talking about our own goodness and our own worthiness, and we stubbornly hold to it that there must be somewhat in us in order to win the notice of God. Now, God, who sees through all deceptions, knows that there is no goodness whatever in us. He says that “there is none righteous, no not one.” He knows that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” and, therefore the Lord Jesus did not come into the world to look after goodness and righteousness with him, and to bestow them upon persons who have none of them. He comes, not because we are just, but to make us so: he justifieth the ungodly.)

The gospel is unlike any other philosophy out there of coming before God. In the gospel, God himself comes down to us, works for us, forgives us, and rewards us for free!

It is called grace simply because we are not deserving of any love from God due to our sins and in Christ, God the father pays for our redemption and through faith we are forever loved because of His defiant grace.

If you are to give money to any church or charity organisation, it must come from the understanding that you are completely blessed and forgiven in Christ and everything else is a mere ‘thank you Lord’ for the glorious gift!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Alexander Chapota.

THE GOSPEL HERESY!

58484FFA-8E57-42BB-B889-6ED5839FAAAF

Stephen was full of God’s grace and power. He did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. But members of the group called the Synagogue of the Freedmen began to oppose him. Some of them were Jews from Cyrene and Alexandria. Others were Jews from Cilicia and Asia Minor. They all began to argue with Stephen. But he was too wise for them. They couldn’t stand up against the Holy Spirit who spoke through him. Then in secret they talked some men into lying about Stephen. They said, “We heard Stephen speak evil things against Moses. He also spoke evil things against God.” So the people were stirred up. The elders and the teachers of the law were stirred up too. They arrested Stephen and brought him to the Sanhedrin. They found people who were willing to tell lies. The false witnesses said, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place. He also speaks against the law. We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place. He says Jesus will change the practices that Moses handed down to us.” All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked right at Stephen. They saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”  ‭‭Acts‬ ‭6:8-15‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

Much of what is sold today as Christianity, is simply not the true Christianity as it is revealed in the New Testament.

Christianity is not about what you do.

For God.

Or your neighbor.

It’s about God becoming your neighbor in Jesus Christ and, just as he did with his neighbor Lazarus, making you, who were stinking and dead in your sins, alive again.

Martin Luther said that the Gospel of salvation by grace alone in Christ alone through faith- not good works- alone condemns everything that we think is right and good in the world.

The Gospel of grace, which begins with us in the grave, offends our high anthropology, our high assessment of our goodness and abilities.

The Gospel of grace enrages us who are addicted to doing and using our doings as a way to elbow ourselves a notch or two above our neighbors.

The Gospel of grace upends the comforting system of merit and demerit by which we arrange our lives, navigate our relationships, and make sense of the world.

Think about it.

The Gospel of grace means you’ve been handed Christ’s own permanent perfect score, which makes all of our scorecards obsolete, which is offensive if you think you’ve earned a high score all on your own.

And it’s even more worse if you’re convinced someone deserves a low score because of what they’ve done to you.

Since most of us don’t really believe we’re sinners- We don’t really believe we’re greedy. We don’t really believe we’re unforgiving or inhospitable. We don’t really believe we’re racist or prejudiced or liars and hypocrites.

Since we don’t really believe we’re sinners, the Gospel message that you are not what you do is rude. It’s rude if you’re proud of the good you do.

When Stephen began preaching the gospel, the teachers of religion OPPOSED his theology and he was branded as a heretic!

One of the scariest moments for me when I am sharing the gospel, is when the person hearing me is not confused! Yes, I vividly remember that what led me to search more about the gospel was that I was confused!

 

“Then in secret they talked some men into lying about Stephen. They said, “We heard Stephen speak evil things against Moses. He also spoke evil things against God.””
‭‭Acts‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

Most of what is preached in the church today can best be described as GLAWSPEL( a mixture of law and gospel)

A lot of churches have made something other than the Gospel thing the main thing.

The church today does  package and sell Christianity in terms of its #utility:

-practical advice,

-spiritual practices to relieve stress,

-biblical principals for daily living,

-how to be a Christian parent,

-how to have a happy Christian marriage.

There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, per se.

They’re just not the main thing

Rather than the Gospel news that though you are unrighteous, dead in your sins in fact, God has reckoned Christ’s righteousness to you as your own- rather than that, a lot of Christianity out there wants you to prove your righteousness based on where you stand on a particular political/social  issue.

It makes social justice the main thing.

It makes community building the main thing.

It makes serving the needy and the neighbor the main thing.

Again, not that social justice isn’t worthy and urgent. Not that building community isn’t part of the church community’s task. Not that serving the needy and loving our neighbor aren’t works that God puts before us and places us into.

They’re just not the main thing.

The Gospel is not a blank screen on to which we can project whatever Jesus-flavored thing we wish.

“They found people who were willing to tell lies. The false witnesses said, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place. He also speaks against the law.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭6:13‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

The true preaching of the gospel is always dangerous and heresy to the good, religious folks. It strips them of their religious pride and control.

The Church is not a social program. It’s not a charity. It’s not a fellowship group.

It can include all of those things, but the Church, as Paul tells the Corinthians, is an embassy of the Gospel. We’re the only business, the only institution on earth given the authority to proclaim the forgiveness of sins. And we do so by our worship. We do so by our preaching and writing. We do so in bible study with our children. We do so by serving our needy neighbors. Work that isn’t “help.” Work where we are ambassadors for the Gospel.

If the gospel you have received doesn’t bring you charges of heresy and opposition from the religious elite, you have believed the wrong gospel. Stephen was the first to be stoned to death not because he was found committing adultery, no, rather he was falsely accused of preaching against the law.

THINK ABOUT THAT!

Soli Deo Gloria!

The Christian Life: Struggle, Resist, Be Forgiven, Repeat

Free to fail doesn’t mean, do whatever you want. It means sometimes, we do “whatever we want” and we feel convicted, and guilty, and we bend a sorrowful knee. At that bended knee we find no condemnation, no casting out from God. We find ourselves, like the prodigal son, restored, even more, treated as if we’ve never fallen from grace.

The Defeated Victor

Maybe, I’m just not a good Christian. I say that because I’ll never admit total victory over any of my sins. I know how they creep up around me, hiding in the shadows, waiting to pounce, even just for a moment. I know victory is mine, and I know this because Christ has defeated sin and death at the cross and from his empty tomb. Because of this, someday I’ll reap the benefits of that eventual reality once I’m separated from this body that still wants to draw my sin out of the shadows at time. 

View original post 1,538 more words

YOUR PROBLEM IS UNBELIEF NOT SIN!

479DA0B8-28D3-4FE3-BC47-DABC1AE890FB

 

There are two crucial moments in the life of a believer that one is tempted to question/doubt God’s love. When we fall into sin, the default question we ask ourselves is whether God isn’t mad at us. The second scenario is when tragedy comes our way, this triggers the question as to whether God truly loves us, and if He does, why does he allow us to go through such pain/difficulty. Does He care?

Author Jerry Bridges tackles these questions brilliantly below:

The apostle John wrote: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9–10).

I often say, “If you want to see the love of God, look first at the Cross,” because that is the preeminent display of His love. It was to the cross that God sent His only Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Propitiation, though a good Bible word, is seldom understood by today’s Christians. Perhaps the best way to think of it is that it is the act of Jesus bearing on the cross the full brunt of the just and holy wrath of God that we should have borne.

All of us deserve the wrath of God because of our sin — not only the sin of our days as unbelievers but also the sin we commit everyday as believers. But if we have trusted in Christ, we will never experience one drop from the cup of God’s wrath. Jesus drank the cup in our place as our substitute. And John tells us that God, in His love, sent Jesus to do that for us.

There are primarily two occasions when committed Christians tend to doubt God’s love. The most common is when we are, for some reason, deeply aware of our sinfulness. Perhaps it is some persistent sin pattern in our lives or maybe the overall sinfulness of our whole being. At such times we tend to think, “How could God possibly love someone as sinful as I?”

In either instance, we need to look again at the Cross and see Jesus bearing those very sins that make us feel so guilty. And then we need to remind ourselves that “For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). God took our sin — even that which causes such immediate distress — and charged it to Christ, and He took His perfect righteousness and credited it to us. God did this not because we were loveable but because of His own self-generated love. As John said in the above text, it was “not that we have loved God but that He loved us.”

The second common occasion that tempts us to doubt God’s love is in times of adversity. We might think: “If God really loved me, He wouldn’t allow this to happen to me.” At such times of doubt, we need to look again at the Cross and see God giving up His Son to die in our place (Rom. 8:32). After all, it was in that context that Paul asked the question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” And a few sentences later he answers his own question with a ringing affirmation that “nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35–39).

The great Puritan John Owen once wrote, “The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to Him is not to believe that He loves you.” We might have expected Owen to say that the greatest sorrow you could lay on the Father is to commit some scandalous sin that dishonors His name. Surely sin does grieve God, but Owen tells us that doubting His love grieves Him even more.

So when you are tempted to question God’s love either because of your sin or your difficult circumstances, look at the Cross, and remind yourself that on the Cross God proved His love to you beyond all doubt. In fact, don’t wait for those hard times. Take a good look at the Cross everyday to fortify yourself against those times of doubt and discouragement.”

 

THE DANGER OF OVERCONFIDENCE!

B8BACB59-7912-4FD2-A589-427B39585ABF

Yesterday I had fellowship with my pastor and he talked about the story of the Prodigal son found in Luke chapter 15. The story in this chapter is a picture of the human heart seeking independence (freedom)from God. The son wanted to live his life in his own way, making own rules and choices. That’s what our foolish hearts want all the time.

According to my Pastor’s exposition of this story, there are six levels of the human heart depicted in this story.
The first level is #OVERCONFIDENCE .

(“The younger son said to his father, ‘Give me my share of the property….”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:12‬ a NCV‬‬).

When he confronted his father about this issue, he was confident that he would succeed without the father. Not foreseeing what was ahead, the son was blinded with overconfidence.

The world talks about Self motivation, self awareness, self love, self improvement and almost self everything. We are told again and again that the power is within self, to succeed you must believe in yourself! It sounds logical. It makes a lot of sense and we love stories that talks about us being captains of our own ship. And who doesn’t want to be a captain 👨‍✈️ ? Unfortunately, the message of the bible is counterintuitive.

(“Those who trust in themselves are foolish….)
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭28:26‬ a NCV‬‬

We fall into all kinds of trouble because of trusting our hearts . And that’s what the bible calls foolishness. As Christians we have to put our trust (confidence)in Jesus Christ, in our business, career and marriage we will always face difficulties and the way out is not within us, it is without. It is found only in Christ.

When Jesus Christ is small in our hearts, problems are always bigger and they can destroy our businesses, careers or marriages. When we focus on these problems instead of Jesus who is bigger than any other problem, we shall find no peace nor true success.

TRUE FAITH IS WHEN I UNDERSTAND THAT MY PROBLEM IS SMALLER THAN JESUS CHRIST AND POSITION MY HEART INTO THAT REALM UNSHAKEABLY.

#HappyAfricanFreedomDay

IN CHRIST!

6B7443FA-9065-4172-9BAA-D72FE43C61FE

 

WHY GOD ACCEPTS YOU

‘…Approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him…’ 2 Corinthians 5:21 AMP

The world tells us that our value is connected to our ‘doing’. Growing up, we’re constantly compared. When asked why we weren’t doing as well as our brother or sister, we felt we were doing our best and we had no answer. So we resolved to try harder, but no matter how hard we tried, someone still wasn’t satisfied.

We were still getting the message, ‘Something’s wrong with you.’ This leaves us burned out, confused and turned off. It drives many of us into counselling, when all we need is the assurance of God’s unconditional love! Your wrong behaviours won’t be changed until you know you’re loved by God apart from what you do. And that’s what Jesus made possible through the cross. Why is this important to believe? Because until you know who you are in Christ, you’ll stumble along believing that your acceptance with God is performance based. Your acceptance with God is based on performance, but not yours – Christ’s! Jesus loves you unconditionally and is committed to working with you.

And the best part is, He doesn’t condemn you while He’s doing it! He understands your temperament, your struggles, and even the faulty foundation upon which you’ve based your selfworth. He not only understands – He cares. Once you enter into a personal relationship with Christ He begins a process of relieving your pain, revealing your true value, and releasing your gifts. Bit by bit, He restores everything Satan has stolen from you. And while all this is happening, you are positioned securely ‘in Christ‘. Therefore you’re always acceptable to Him.