Posts Tagged ‘theology’

The Resurrection

The tomb of Jesus Christ was found empty on the third day of his burial. His is the only truly empty tomb in human history. By this we are not considering many Cenotaphs around the globe, which mark the grave of the Unknown Soldier. Those are empty tombs with a difference. The difference lies in the fact that no human remains were ever buried in those cenotaphs! Jesus Christ went through a pulsating, terrifying, agonizing, period of prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane. His agony was so great that his sweat drops became mingled with blood. At the end of the prayer, victory was won and he fully submitted himself to be crucified. He was initially exposed to a grueling, prolonged period of mockery of a trial. The witnesses assembled contradicted each other. It was Jesus himself who provided the basis for the eventual accusation and condemnation. He spoke the truth when, in answer to the High Priest’s question, he confirmed that he is the Son of God, thus claiming equality with God. According to the Jewish leaders, he had blasphemed! The penalty for blasphemy was death. Jesus was willing to die, not for the alleged blasphemy, but for the eternal plan of salvation which was drawn ages ahead with his Father, Almighty God! He was sentenced to die as a criminal. Jesus Christ was crucified on the first Good Friday, outside the city walls of Jerusalem, in-between two thieves. Thus Jesus Christ gave himself by his incarnation, gave himself at Gethsemane and gave himself at Golgotha in order to fulfill and perfectly execute the plan of everlasting salvation for mankind! Much earlier, in response to a question by a Jewish elder and scholar named Nicodemus, Jesus said:

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved(John 3: 14-17).

In the wilderness journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan, the people rebelled against God and Moses and there was instant punishment in the form of deadly fiery snakes which bit many. There was mass death. Moses and Aaron were scared and quickly cried to God for help and mercy. God instructed Moses to make a brass copy of the fiery snakes and hang it upon a pole. Moses was to tell the whole emerging nation to look upon the brazen serpent in order to recover from the deadly venom of the snake. Moses did exactly as God told him. It was a miraculous turn around because all the remaining sufferers from the snake bite who looked at the hung brazen serpent(snake) recovered and lived! Correspondingly however, anyone who defied the instruction would have perished in that wilderness episode! God Almighty, in his infinite wisdom and plan decided to re-enact the episode on a global scale using reality in place of similitude. Jesus Christ, the Son of God had to be nailed to the cross, made of two poles. Then he was lifted up crucified on Calvary Hill! The location was strategic, in that it was a public junction, with many passers- by. People from different parts of the world visited Jerusalem at that time because of the Jewish festival of Passover. The Passover lamb was killed by each Jewish family in remembrance of the great exodus from Egypt several centuries before. On that fateful Passover, the REAL PASSOVER LAMB was being killed for the whole world! Jesus Christ, the Real Passover Lamb was slain for the sins of the whole world. As it was on the eve of Jewish departure from Egypt, after 400 years of slavery, the blood of the lamb killed was collected in a basin and was applied to the door posts of each Jewish home. It was significant and strategic in that there was judgment upon Pharaoh and the whole of Egypt, resulting in the death of the first born of every family, including the first born of their domestic animals! There was sorrow, wailing and fear across the whole nation of Egypt because the LORD visited the land in judgment! In the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, no life was lost, because of the applied blood! With fear and trembling the Israelites were begged to depart from Egypt by both Pharaoh and his people! The Israelites left with great deliverance and jubilation. Egypt was literally spoiled and plundered in the sense that they willingly and hastily parted with their riches as Israel demanded PAYBACK FOR 400 YEARS OF OPPRESSIVE SLAVERY! That was the downturn for Egypt till date 2013, because the exodus marked the rapid decline of the Egyptian dominance in world civilization, economy and politics! We challenge scholars to contest this issue! This is the Twenty-first Century and the necessity for the application of the blood of the Lamb of God(Jesus Christ) is still in place for every human being! Dear friend, you need to look upon Jesus Christ nailed and hung upon the cross, lifted up on Calvary Hill, because of your sins. You look and live. Refusing to look brings avoidable disaster. The blood of Jesus Christ has been applied for you to protect you and give you victory over Satan, our No1 enemy! Underrating the situation as Pharaoh and Egypt did thousands of years ago, would become too late and regrettable for you! God planned your salvation; Jesus Christ executed it. God said earlier through Prophet Isaiah: Look unto me, and be saved, all ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else (Isaiah45:22). Jesus was nailed to the cross, his blood was shed and he died on that cross, as it was written before in the Scriptures. He was buried. On the third day he arose from the grave, as written in the Scriptures. He showed himself to Mary of Magdala, Peter and other disciples after his resurrection. Before he went back to heaven, he showed himself to over 500 witnesses at a time. Those were proofs overwhelming enough to convince any form of skepticism, logic or legalism! If you shall confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord of your life; and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are made righteous and with your mouth you confess and you are saved (Romans 10:9-10). Typologies of Resurrection: Resurrection is likened to a grain of corn or wheat after it is planted. The grain first rottens and in the process, the dormant, potential plant, called the embryo, which contains new life, emerges to produce the new corn or wheat. It is a new life emerging from death. For us human beings, when a person dies, the whole body or ash from the cremated body is buried. At the resurrection, we Christians believe that the spirit unites with the body to produce a new body which becomes immortal. However, there are two kinds of resurrection. The righteous dead come back to life never to die again. For the wicked or unrepentant dead, they come back to life to face the judgment of God before the white throne. An inevitable condemnation follows which leads to everlasting torment in the lake of fire in hell! Jesus Christ describes the state: Where their worm never dies and the fire is not quenched(Mark 9:42-48). Worm refers to the human entity. The horrible state of the wicked is such that it is one of conscious, unending torment in the lake of fire! Contrarily however, the righteous is ushered into everlasting life of joy, peace and fulfillment. Jesus Christ’s body died as a sacrifice for sin. In the spirit, he went down to the dark abode of the dead. There Jesus fought the determinant battle against Satan and all his army. Satan was defeated and disgraced! Jesus Christ snatched the keys of death and hell from Satan. After that significant victory, Jesus Christ arose from the grave, in triumph! Therefore as Christians down through all ages we are able to sing: Up from the grave he arose; With a mighty triumph o’er his foes; He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And he lives forever with his saints to reign; He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose! Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, wrote:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the Apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time

(1Corinthians 15: 3-8).
Death has been subdued by Jesus Christ! It is important to note that many Old Testament Saints appeared in Jerusalem unto many people just at the time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! These are those who trusted God in their generations. However, because of the sell-out to Satan, out of disobedience to God and ignorance of the tricks of Satan by Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, Satan took over the rightful status of mankind as ruler of this world. Satan also took charge of the place of the dead because our Redeemer has not come. Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, as SEED OF THE WOMAN wrestled against Satan, defeated Satan and took the keys from him. Jesus Christ therefore led out this multitude of saints from the captivity of Satan! In part of Chapter 27 of the Gospel according to Matthew, which definitely must have been observed before the later part of the 28th Chapter happened and was written, has the following account: And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. And came out of the grave after his resurrection, and appeared unto many(Matthew27:51 -53). There had been earthquakes between The Good Friday and early morning of the First day of the week which we call Resurrection morning. The Earth must be inevitably troubled because its Maker deliberately and voluntarily died for the redemption of mankind. The same earth was thus forced to give up the bodies of the risen saints who had been led out of captivity by their Captain, Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is the first to arise from the dead, never to die again! Thus he became the firstfruits of the dead! Jesus Christ, as the Captain of our salvation is alive forever. At the trumpet call of the archangel, signaling the gathering of saints prior to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with his Bride the Church, Saints would be raptured. We shall be given new bodies, never tiring, never sick and never dying again! We shall be as Jesus Christ is! Anyone who has this expectation or hope in him or her should keep himself pure, just as Jesus Christ is pure! (1 John 3: 1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18).
Much earlier, prior to his death, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this? (John 11:25-26). Reconciliation with God the Father has been made through the blood of his cross. There is no more enmity between us and God. God has forgiven us and given us power to become his children. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was proof of God’s approval on the redemptive work he did through the shedding of his blood on the cross. Jesus said; because I live you shall live also. His resurrection gives assurance for our own resurrection too! We believe this. Do you believe? Jesus who was initially held captive defeated his captors led by Satan. Then Jesus the former captive led out a host of captive victims in victory. In deed CAPTIVE LED CAPTIVITY!
Up from the grave he arose:

Advertisements

Having Found Your Intended Spouse, Get Married

In Daniel Defoe’s Book Robinson Crusoe we read

—Without telling my father,—-without thinking what the end of it would be; I went on board the ship.

Of course, we all know that trip ended in a ship-wreck! May your marriage never end in a ship-wreck in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. You need deep prayerful thought and divine guidance. You should marry a person who likes you, has interest in your well-being and success, speaks the truth into your life and cares for you. You should marry a person whom you feel confident in his or her presence and desire to see very often; not for selfish carnal, sinful purposes, but for life achievement and fulfillment. You have been out visiting or going out on dates with your friend. You have found a spiritual and emotional link between you two. Your lives are complementary. That is, he or she has few of the virtues or qualities which you lack and which help to make you feel total or complete. Both of you have been open, honest and sincere with each other. There are no hidden agendas between you both. Then you are on the road to a deeper promising relationship which could lead to marriage. But that is not yet sufficient. You have sought counsel from your pastor or from a matured Christian. You have become very familiar with what the Bible teaches on marriage. You have been prayerful not just because of marriage alone, but all along your Christian life. Let us consider the following also. Some of these have been touched upon before, but there is need to emphasize.
Chastity: All along, both of you should keep pure. There is no room for the crazy worldly fashion of impurity or lack of chastity, called fornication. This helps to keep the relationship pure and strong. More importantly, you would honour God and bring glory to his name. Your body is the temple of God where his Holy Spirit lives, therefore discipline yourselves by bringing yourselves under His control (Colossians3:5-7). There is no pride in going to bed before you become husband and wife. True love is patient, kind and not selfish (1Corinthians 13:4-7). Anyone who cannot wait for you, is not worthy of you. Let him or her go away for good! A tweet by Bishop David Oyedepo states: <a href="

” title=”Talk matters through; no room for laxity and impurity”>
You have prayerfully found a man or woman whom you consider suitable for you? This is the final stage when you have to be sure that you are in the right relationship. Countless numbers of questions need to be raised and answered. These are real life practical issues. Is your intended a born again Christian just as you are? Does he or she belong to a good fellowship or church? How does he react in an emergency? Does he care about you? Is she a good material for a housewife and mother? Would he make a good husband and father? Does he have a good job? Is he patient and kind? Do you naturally give compliments to each other? Are you complementary? Your intended is expected to have qualities which make up for those lacking in your own life. That is necessary for you to make a good couple. How liberal or generous is he? Is he stingy, or does he buy you token gifts? Does he or she know enough about house chores? Can he or she cook? Is he or she prayerful? Does he or she have a good knowledge of the Bible on marriage? Are you really in love or merely being drawn by infatuation? Is he easily angry? Does he or she easily forgive; or does he or she often recall past wrongs? Is he or she trustworthy? How good is he or she with handling money? How ambitious is your intended future life partner? Here is a tweet by Nicky Gumbel: <a href="

” title=”Know Your True Friend”>
Are you genetically compatible? A man with the genotype AS should not marry a lady with the same or weaker genotype; say AS or SS. They would likely have more of children who are susceptible to the sickle-cell anaemia disease, which often kills the victim or makes life loathsome and dreadful! Please seek medical experts for counsel. If you two are not compatible, then it is better to end the relationship! You are responsible for your relationship as well as the lives of children likely to be born through that relationship. Disobedience in this regard could be traumatic and grievous. Share all about each other. You should also tell each other about your past lives. Have you been in a relationship before? Why did you end that or any other relationship? Are there any other physical, medical or physiological problems to be faced and tackled before you move further? The list of questions is endless. That is why you should not rush to get married. Both of you should be bold and frank with each other in handling these questions. Please do not gloss them over. Are you a widow or widower seeking to re-marry? Then you should ensure that you marry a Christian in addition to the other points already stated. Mature singles or widows /widowers do not have a different set of guidelines from the younger, fresh ones. May each person ensure that the name of the LORD is glorified.
Here is another tweet from Abbatwit: <a href="http://

” title=”Why Do You Enter Into A Relationship?”>
Prayers for guidance from God
This is not a quick fix. It is not a formula as in solving a mathematical problem. You should already be in close relationship with God before you approach him for guidance on marriage. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and forever. He knows all things. He knows what is best for your life. Let God be your guidance today and your tomorrow would be easier to enter and enjoy. Your relationship is God’s concern, God’s pleasure and for God’s glory. You cannot afford to be careless, impatient or deceived by any man or lady. God will make a way for you. You are responsible for your choice, but God would guide you if you have learnt to commit every area of your life to him.
Counsel from your Pastors, Christian Marriage Counsellors, Matured Married Christian Couples and Parents:
You need good counsel all along and as you take the final decision. In the multitude of counsellors problems are solved and much sorrow is avoided. Safety is thus assured (Proverbs 11:14). You cannot buy experience at the super market, except buying books and tapes of those who have the mind of Christ and quite a lot to share. You acquire knowledge and understanding through the Bible, through matured Christian counselling in Christian circles. You acquire wisdom, understanding and direction through constant prayerful fellowship with the Lord. God speaks to you through the Bible and during prayers. This is a two-way communication. You talk to God and He replies and vice versa. God promises to instruct us and guide us. Psalms 32:8. Consent and Approval: Genesis 24: 57 – 58; Genesis 28:1-2. Abraham sought a wife for his son Isaac from a well-known good source. He sent his trusted servant on the important assignment. After the parents and family of the lady were convinced, they knew it was important to seek the lady’s opinion. And they said, we will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said I will go. Parental counsel, approval and consent plus the Lady’s consent should be respected and sought. Imposition is not the perfect will of God. God had used contacts through others to reveal a person’s future partner. That is not often the case. The approval of God is the greatest. Has the Lord led you in finding your future partner? Your joy and peace would be great if you really sought his guidance. If or when problems arise in the future, you would remember that you were not careless or ungodly in making your choice. That would give you added impetus to victory over any problem.
Wedding and Married Life: Getting married in the presence of fellow Christians in the church is the best option. Your marriage is also binding and legal when celebrated in a Marriage Registry before the Registrar. The legal or statutory requirements for marriage in some countries have it such that the Church building is licensed to conduct marriages. A certificate of authorization is issued from the Registry to the Church if there is no opposition to the marriage. Within a set period,say 15days notice of your intention is given to the public in order to ensure there are no oppositions to your intentions. This period is variable in different places. After the authorization, the wedding ceremony is to be solemnized within a certain period, variable in different places. The ceremony holds in the presence of witnesses. A Marriage Certificate is issued, indicating the names of the spouses, their ages, current addresses and occupations. The names of the Registrar and witnesses are also included. All such names included sign the Certificate, issued in copies, one of which is given to the wife and the other sent to the Registry. Variable sums of money are payable as Fees for notification, for the ceremony and for the certificates issued. You would check the fees when you visit your local Marriage Registry. Fees are also payable in the Church or the Registry for the Wedding Ceremony.
Importance Of The Marriage Ceremony: The choice words used carry a lot of heavy responsibility and commitment. You affirm that you do not know of any impediment why both of you may not be joined as husband and wife. By that you mean that you are stating the truth. Heaven and Earth are called upon as witnesses. The expression

AS BOTH OF YOU SHALL DECLARE ON THE DREADFUL DAY OF JUDGMENT

means that you are both accountable to God for everything you do with your marriage.

Saying I WILL and later saying I DO to the questions raised by the Registrar(the Church minister or any one so appointed) places a life-time responsibility upon both of you, as husband and wife, in the presence of God and the witnesses. God holds both of you accountable before him. Your Marriage is very important. It is for Lifetime Companionship, for Sexual Fulfillment, for Procreation and raising of good children in a decent Family under the umbrella of Jesus Christ.
In our next post, we shall consider the Marriage Ceremony and Realities of Married life. God bless you.

THE TESTIMONY OF GOD

What God Says Concerning Me: And You Too
God states :“I hereby Certify,based on the finished work through the shed blood of Jesus my beloved Son,that this my child,(Name of believing one),is very pleasing to me because he is accepted,forgiven,cleansed,made righteous,clothed,decorated,sanctified and redeemed.He is a man after my heart.I have also given him a new name. He shall not be put to shame,because he knows My Name.I am with him. Any time he calls upon Me, I will answer him quickly. While he is yet calling, I will answer.No weapon formed or directed against him shall prosper. He shall not lack any good thing.My name shall be daily glorified in him”[Signed GOD].
My Testimony: I believe and accept the Testimony of God concerning me, because it is true. It is the Testimony of God that really counts and holds true for me,because God cannot lie. Any thing contrary coming from any person, place or power is false. Such contrary opinions assumptions or misconceptions are only fit for the trash bin. Jesus is my ALL-SUFFICIENCY=my peace,joy,provision,wisdom, righteousness,sanctification and redemption[Hebrews 6:17-20;1 Corinthians 1:30-31;Colossians 1:13-14;Ephesians 2:13-15]. AMEN.

DOES GOD FORBID WOMEN BISHOPS IN THE CHURCH?

THE CASE FOR WOMEN BISHOPS IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND: THE WAITING CONTINUES
The General Synod of the Church of England has voted not to have women bishops, until it deems it otherwise fit. The decision comes in spite of the two decade-long or more deliberations on women ordination as priests. Interestingly, it turned out that it was the Laity which voted against the plan; no matter how small the majority was. For the benefit of the worried ones among the laity who are skeptical about having women bishops, it would be quite interesting to go along memory lane in the course of Church history regarding the various roles women have played and posts which they have held. A cursory examination of the Church during the First Century would be helpful. Biblical records show us that in pre-church era women had important leadership roles and posts in religious settings and society. Then it would be good to look at church membership and the position of women in church and society today. Another vital consideration is to ask what Jesus Christ would have said and done today. Having to wait for another General Synod decision for some years is a long, unnecessary but inevitable wait.
During the exodus of Israel under the leadership of Moses, he responded to Joshua’s anxiety and jealous, protective concern for him, while he urged Moses to forbid those who were prophesying outside tent where the select group of leaders and Joshua were with Moses. Joshua was not aware of the fact that those men were appointed by the LORD also. Moses was quick to encourage his assistant and said: ‘‘Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them.’’(Numbers11:29). The Lord’s gifts and ministry appointments were not and still are not the exclusive reserve or monopoly of a select few. The gifts are inclusive of the women too! Early In the Exodus, great Miriam was a Prophetess!(Exodus 15:20). Deborah was a Prophetess and a Judge in Israel during the early formative years of nationhood. By that she was NUMBER ONE person in the whole nation.As prophetess and Head of State,she heard from God and gave instruction to men and women,including Barak,who was the newly appointed military commander.Barak as a man called upon to lead the army was afraid,until this notable woman accompanied the army into battle. It should never be forgotten that whilst Barak was fearful,Deborah was full of courage and faith in God.Victory was won and all the prophecies of Deborah came true.In addition,a woman had the glory of putting finishing touches to the war(Judges 4:4-10, 21-23).
As a woman highly favoured of God, the Virgin Mary,was the vessel through whom our Lord and Saviour was born. Mary was submissive and obedient to the will of God.Greater than all other women before and after her,the Virgin Mary occupies a pride of place in the Church and an extra-ordinary place in Roman Catholicism.Eamon Duffy,in his book ’The Place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Roman Catholicism’,opines that the central Catholic teaching about Mary originates largely from the Gospels of Luke and John,from certain portions of the Pauline corpus and from the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation.He asserts further that the Roman Catholic tradition almost deifies Mary and near elevation to that of the Christ.There is much controversy over the teaching,which is not acceptable to Protestant belief.However,the fact of Mary’s greatness has never been in contention.Shortly after the birth of Christ, his circumcision and the purification rites for Mary his mother, Jesus was brought to the Temple to present him to the LORD,being the first male child that opened the womb.That was done in obedience to the Law of the Lord.Prophetess Anna was in the temple when Jesus was brought in.Like Simeon,Anna also spoke of Jesus in the hope of redemption for Israel (Luke 2:25-38). Many women were responsible, committed and reliable supporters as well as facilitators in the earthly ministry of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Who would forget so easily the ministries of Mary and Martha of Bethany, Mary of Magdala and the additional unique ministry of Mary, the mother of Jesus? These were women who stood their grounds where most of the male leaders went into hiding,soon after the arrest, crucifixion and burial of Jesus! Mary of Magdala was the first to see Jesus after he rose from the dead and the first to testify about the resurrection. (Matthew 28:7-10; Mark 16:9-11; Luke 23:55-56; 24:1-11; John 20:1-18). Did the men believe her report or testimony? Certainly not; until Jesus appeared to them later(John 20:19-20).What a pack of timid men they were before Pentecost! The fact that Mary of Magdala was sent by Jesus to the Apostles made her qualify as a SENT person. It is asserted by some that she was the Apostle to the Apostles. How true indeed! Who and where then are those ignorantly undermining the status of women in the church? A Christian woman should be able to rise to any post in the church as a Priest.A Bishop is first and foremost a Priest. The same is true of an Archbishop,Patriarch, Prelate or Pope;they are all basically Priests!The Church of England should repent and retrace her steps in the unscriptural stand which informed the decision taken at the General Synod,to prevent women from being consecrated as Bishops.
In the upper room,in Jerusalem,on the day of Pentecost,there were women among the 120.Men and women alike were all filled with the Holy Spirit(Acts1:13-15,2:1-4). The first Christian in Europe was a woman,called Lydia(Acts 16:14-15). Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles recognizes and pays respect to Aquila and Priscilla,Christian couple,who had a church in their house (1 Corinthians 16:19) at Corinth. The couple were makers of tent as their means of livelihood alongside Paul, hence their closeness. Another notable couple; Andronicus and Junia were highly respected among the Apostles and older in the faith than Paul(Romans 16:7)!
Twenty-first Century observations in the church across the world show that majority of worshippers are women. Agape Focus observes in the United Kingdom and Nigeria that female worshippers and members are in overwhelming majority.News from around the Christian world prove this also. Statistical studies by the Christian Research confirm this fact for England.The Church, by the ordination of women as Priests has already set the stage for the elevation of deserving female priests to episcopal status! To act contrarily,is a negation of the original act of the General Synod, which ordained women as priests.The conservative members of the church coming to mess up Synod decisions should reread their Bibles,revisit the past synod decisions, repent and behave better next time!
It is a fact of the Twenty first Century that women in society do hold very important posts. Her Majesty,Elizabeth II,The Queen,is by the grace of God,the Official Head of the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Spiritual Head.The United Kingdom has been privileged to have a female Prime Minister,in person of Margaret Thatcher. In her days in office,she was no push over and she was able to hold her place in the committee of nations.Women in England and across the world have proved and still continue to prove their mettle in various fields of endeavor;as educators,economists,politicians,soldiers,scientists,sportswomen,astronauts, responsible parents,priests,bishops,nuns,deaconesses,evangelists,and pastoral leaders.Women indeed are a formidable component of any category of human activity in past and modern societies. In spite of the array of evidences,one wonders yet why some so-called conservatives seem to present a stance of unawareness or ignorance about the significant roles and high potential of women!
However, it should be noted that it constitutes a disservice to Christ to appoint homosexuals as female Bishops.What is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.Having halted the consecration of a homosexual male earlier, the same standard must be upheld for any lesbian. There should be no double standard.This is not being sexist in any way! Any man or woman in true practice of celibacy qualifies for consecration as Bishop. For other prospective aspirants to the office of Bishop,such a person must be the husband of one wife(or the wife of one man). Christ,who loved us and washed us from our sins by his own blood has also made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:5-7). Let the women never be hindered again from holding higher positions(Bishop inclusive)in the ordained ministry;be it in the Church of England,other Anglican Communions,Methodist Church Nigeria,the Roman Catholic Church or any group of Churches! Which male Roman Catholic Priest in the Twenty first Century is able to match the exploits of the late Mother Teresa? Notable,diligent,zealous and faithful female priests do abound,who are competent to be made Bishops.There is neither Jew nor Greek,there is neither bond nor free,there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:28-29). In the words of the Apostle Peter we read: ”But you are a chosen generation,a royal priesthood,a holy nation,a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praise of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people,but are now the people of God:which had not obtained mercy,but now have obtained mercy.”(1 Peter 2:9-10); Earlier he described us as living stones, spiritual house and holy priesthood(1Peter 2:5). Jesus Christ,the chief cornerstone,elect and precious, is the owner of the Church. He never underrated women;neither should the Church do so this Century or ever again. Those who have ears should listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to the entire Church and not only the Church of England!

AGAPE NUGGETS 7

The Christian Marriage is likened to the union between Jesus Christ and the Church. The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Church which is called his body.As the natural human body cannot exist without the head, so can the church not thrive without Jesus Christ. In like manner,our Lord,Jesus Christ needs and cherishes us all who are his by redemption, through faith in his blood,shed when he stood in our place to rescue us from present and eternal doom. In the Christian marriage, the man,as husband and head;the woman as wife,body and helpmeet,form an inseparable entity! Any man who dishonours or abuses his wife is maltreating his own body. For such a man, there is no wisdom,peace or joy. Such a man is foolish.A true husband must be ready, if need arises, to lay his life down for the wife! Similarly the woman who disrespects or undermines her husband behaves as a headless, silly person! That woman is a walking spectacle or abnormality! A true wife must be humble and submissive(not as a slave),to the husband! In the early church,upholding the sanctity of marriage, any couple who break up their marital vows were treated as outcasts! However,some Twenty-first Century Christians think they are wiser than God,the Maker of marriage!Jesus taught and upheld that from the begining no permission was given for divorce. Moses gave his people instruction to divorce based on the stubborness of their hearts Deuteronomy 24:1-4!It is better not to marry than to take marriage as a Hollywood gamble or a scientific experiment!Divorce is the permissive will of God in case of fornication.In cases of deception on fidelity issues,divorce was permitted,if the person so wronged is legalistic and not gracious! There is no sin beyond pardon, when there is repentance. Otherwise,marriage the highest level of human relationship,becomes second rate;taking it so-so;managing it as you have stubbornly and disobediently made or found it. God is very loving and does not want you to go through hell in your marriage, if you follow his manual,the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you day by day.A couple that pray together,read and study the Bible together in obedience to God,must find peace,joy,purity ,power and courage to live successfully.Part of walking the road to success involves mutual esteem, selfless giving,unbroken communication,enjoying sex together,taking specific and joint responsibilities,based on your abilities or gifts.Never neglect to take good and healthy care of your bodies;better than you did during courtship days.In addition to these,forgive your spouse and give no room for bitterness.(Ephesians5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19). Before and when children arrive to make you a family,set and keep boundaries with authority in the home.Everyone should be disciplined. Jointly discipline and train the children together (Proverbs 22:6; Proverbs 13:24; Ephesians 6:1-4;Colossians 3:20-21). Problems would surely face any couple. No couple is free of challenges,but the obedient,loving,respectful and faithful ones would experience victory.

HOMOSEXUALITY CAN BE HEALED BY GOD:Steps towards Healing

Nothing is too hard for the LORD GOD our Maker. In Genesis 18:14 God assured Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would have a son in their old age. Abraham was 99 years old,while Sarah was 90 years old at that time. The promise of God made to them and repeated over many years, was fulfilled the following year when Isaac was born by Sarah!That was a miracle.In Luke 1:37, God sent an angel called Gabriel to the virgin called Mary to inform her assuredly that she would become pregnant by the supernatural power of God and without intercourse with a man! The strange news raised questions in the mind of Mary who was planning her wedding and still a virgin. Angel Gabriel drew her attention to another miracle which had just taken place in the life her cousin called Elisabeth, who had conceived in her old age. For with God nothing shall be impossible.The angel Gabriel told Mary that her first pregnancy would result in her bringing forth a son to be called JESUS, the Messiah, son of the Highest. He shall also save his people from their sins. God does things perfectly and orderly. God is never the author of confusion. Having sent message to Mary, he followed through to her intended husband called Joseph and assured him that Mary’s pregnancy was not due to her infidelity, but from God (Matthew 1:19-25). The days of miracles are not over, but very much with us today! God does creative, restorative and any other kind of miracle based on the need of each person who calls upon him. Your own case is not hopeless as you come trusting and obediently. Come to the God of miracles now; just as you are. If you are willing and obedient, God is willing and eager to heal you and set you free today! What must a person in need of healing or help do? Stop debating or arguing in your mind. Questions may arise in your mind? I am quite healthy and strong; you may say. Why do I need healing? Whatever you call your own peculiar situation, be it sickness, problem, vacuum or emptiness, anger, sorrow and frustration which led you into the lifestyle. Is it shyness or lack of confidence before the opposite sex, which made you think that you are not capable of heterosexual relationship? Were you abused or raped by a person of the same sex which lured you into the lifestyle? Did the regular offer of money lure you into the act, until it became your lifestyle? Did some people speak negatively into your life to harass, ridicule or bully you about your initial lack of drive towards the opposite sex? All of these and more can be taken care of in your life by God. Have you been married before, had children and yet chose homosexuality later? God is addressing your conscience now. Make a U-turn to God. Did you have certain physical deformities which led you to conclude that the choice for you was homosexuality? Congenital problems may produce physical imperfections in human beings. Congenital problems can be solved.In the sight of God, problems of spiritual, congenital, psychological, intellectual, socio-economical origins or any other not here stated, (be they statutory or legal), are no justifiable excuses for indulgence in the homosexual lifestyle! Recognize your need for help. Ask God to mercifully help you. Tell God your own particular condition or state. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ. He is the only one able to help you, having carried your problems on his body while he was flogged at the whipping post. Jesus Christ died for the whole human race and for you in particular. Because he suffered in place of you, paid the punishment for your sins by dying on the cross, God looks mercifully on anyone who puts his trust on Jesus Christ and faith in his blood so shed. Because God was pleased with the sacrifice through Jesus Christ, he raised him from the dead on the third day. If and when you call upon Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life; and believe in your heart that God raised him from death you shall be saved. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Have you done so? Now give thanks to God. Be true to God and your victory shall be permanent. Please get in touch with us at AgapeFocus for prayers and counsel to deal with your own peculiar situation. We are helpers of your joy, confident in the effectiveness of the blood and the name of Jesus Christ to solve ALL human problems brought to God Almighty. God bless you.

AGAPE NUGGETS 6

Giving cheerfully,serving joyfully,loving whole-heartedly,accommodating each other with readiness to forgive when offended,bearing one another’s burdens or problems responsibly and compassionately,are essentials or hallmarks of true,Christ-centered relationship.God calls every Christian into this quality of life.Since God proved his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners,Christ died for us,we should never underrate any man or woman.God has deposited special gems in each individual.We ought to recognize, appreciate,celebrate and enhance our neighbour’s potential or talents.Selfishness or arrogance never pays at anytime because they ruin relationships.A true friend is the one who tells you when you go wrong,but does not condemn you.He is someone before whom you can think aloud!Be such a friend. Hatred stirs up contentions,but Love covers many transgressions(Proverbs 10:12) Love is patient and kind,not envious,not boastful,not haughty, arrogant,nor selfish.Love does not condone wrong doing,but rejoices in truth.It is trustful, believing and enduring (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).