The Deity Of Christ

light-through-clouds-1264548_1920

John 5:15-29

In a world of religious plurality, every religion and religious leader makes some claims. Of all the claims, Jesus’ were the most astounding. He made many exclusive claims no religious leader ever made. And that got Him killed.

He claimed to be God.

This claim sets Him apart from all other religious leader who ever lived. And if the claim to be God is false, then, it is blasphemous and Jesus cannot be trusted. Looking therefore at the gravity of His claims, either Jesus is God or He is not. There is no middle ground as C.S. Lewis says in his popular work, Mere Christianity:

Either this man[Jesus] was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God

Lord Over The Sabbath

In the opening text, a controversy over the identity of Christ occurred when He healed a man on the Sabbath (vv. 1-9). In verse 16, John tells us this miracle “…was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath“. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day added their own human traditions to the law and with these they sought to keep God’s people in bondage. Their interpretation of the Sabbath forbided doing good to our neighbour. They overlooked  God’s command of love towards ones neighbour. Jesus elsewhere asked them: “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:11-12).

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5) and His words “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” (John 5:17) brings that out in clear terms. God doesn’t cease working because of the Sabbath. He is actively involved in running His world and taking care of people. The world is not on auto pilot. There is a God at work in sustaining and directing the course of the world. Christ says He is this God.

Christ’s Deity

When Jesus said “My Father is working until now, and I am working”, the Jews who heard Him clearly understood what He meant when He called God His Father and this exacerbated their resolve to kill Him:

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God (v.18).

Now, apart from the charge of breaking the Sabbath, Jesus was also charged with “making himself equal with God” and they understood His claim to be a claim of Deity. Church history is littered with many controversies over the person of Jesus Christ. The Nicea council, for example, in opposition to the arianian heresy which claims Jesus was a created being; stated that “Jesus is begotten, not made, and that His divine nature is of the same essence (homo ousios) with the Father”. ¹ R.C. Sproul explains that

This affirmation declared that the Second Person of the Trinity is one in essence with God the Father. That is, the “being” of Christ is the being of God. He is not merely similar to Deity, but He is Deity”²

One place we see the divinity of Jesus in the text is His assertion of His worthiness of honour just as the Father is worthy of honour: “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him”. (vv. 22-24). Jesus is worthy of our worship–honour, just as we honour the Father. You can’t claim to honour or worship God and yet claim to not honour Jesus Christ or accept the claims He made about Himself. To honour God, you must also acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God who was sent by God to die for the salvation of sinners (John 3:16). Again, to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God is to acknowledge Jesus as God. He is God who was manifested in the flesh (John 1:14)

The Unity of the Godhead.

The doctrine of the Trinity is a fundamental Christian doctrine which speaks of God in three persons who are co-equal and co-eternal in existence. While defending Himself, Christ reveals to us the unity which exists in the Trinity: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise (v.19).

Divine work is Trinitarian in nature and the Godhead is in agreement in all they do. The Father works and Christ works. We see this from creation and in the work of Salvation. In Salvation, we see the active participation of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Salvation is Trinitarian: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). As we read further on in Ephesians, we see the Father predestined those who will be saved in the Son. The Son dies for those the Father predestined and then the work of the Son is applied to the heart of the elect into Salvation. Christ tells us He doesn’t work alone. What the Father, who is God does; the Son, who is equally God also does. Christ doesn’t work independently of the Father neither does the Father or the Holy Spirit. Because they are One, they always work in unison.

No claim offends religious people than the claim of Christ’s Deity. But for the Christian, any departure from the Deity of Christ is a departure from truth and from Biblical Christianity.

Notes:

1: R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith ( Kindle Edition)

2: ibid

The Sovereignty Of God In Salvation

FB_IMG_1444167538706

In John 5:1-9 , we are introduced to a miracle Jesus performed on a man, who the Scripture tells us has “been an invalid for thirty-eight years”. He has been waiting for a miracle that long. There was, then, a popular belief among the Jews, of an event where an angel stirs up a pool and anyone who steps in first receives a miracle. This however is discounted not to be a part of Scripture but a myth people believed:

The material about an angel of the Lord stirring the water and bringing healing appears in some early manuscripts, but not the earliest. Thus v. 4 should not be considered part of Scripture. Still, v. 7 (which is in all manuscripts) shows that people believed something like what v. 4 reports.¹

This invalid, we are told, has been waiting to enter the pool when it is stirred. But there is a challenge. Because of his paralysis, others always step ahead of him. Remember according to the myth, it is the first sick person who steps into the pool that gets healed when the pool is stirred. This miracle, as we will see shortly points us to some truths about how God works in the salvation of sinners.

Firstly, we see the helplessness of sinners to save themselves. The Bible teaches that all human beings are sinners. Naturally, we are dead in sin and separated from God. Because of our spiritual death, we are bereft of the ability to draw close to God by ourselves. We are dead in sin and dead people cannot give themselves life. They can only remain dead (Psalm 51:5, Ephesians 2:1, Romans 3:10-19, John 6:44). The picture we see clearly points us to the truth of humankind’s inability to save themselves.

Note that the man’s sickness was a result of sin: “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”(v.14).  This is true in a general sense: All sicknesses have their root from sin. Sin brought the punishment of death on the human race ( Genesis 3:16-19, Romans 8:18-23 ). It is also true in a particular sense in that some sicknesses are directly related to particular sins and are God’s way of discipline and chastisement of his children (1Corinthians 11:27-32). Not all sicknesses are a result of particular sins (John 9:1-3).

As the story unfolds, the man’s inability emerges clearly. While Jesus extends a hand of healing, the invalid man utters a statement pointing to His inability: “Sir , I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” (v.7). That invalid is like us. Without Christ, we can do nothing. Without Christ, we are dead in sin deprived of eternal life.

Secondly, we come face to face with the reality of God’s  sovereignty in salvation. We are told when Jesus saw the invalid man, He knew the man has been at the pool for a protracted length of time (v.6). This speaks of a divine attribute. Christ is Omniscient. He knows all things. He knew the invalid has been there for long. Of great interest also is the “…multitude of invalids— blind, lame, and paralyzed [ lying by the pool] (v.3). In spite of this, Jesus attended particularly to this one man. He didn’t heal everyone though He could have. God saves sinners according to His divine prerogative ( John 1:12-13, Romans 9:11-16).

Finally, the narrative teaches us that God brings sinners to faith through His word. In John 6:63, Jesus said “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life”. There is life in Christ’s words. The narrative records that, Jesus commanded the invalid “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” (v.8). There is power in Christ’s word. It has life. The effect of Jesus’ command—His word— is  worth noting:

…at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked (v.9).

The invalid by Christ’s word was healed. But more than a need for physical healing; what we need most is spiritual healing—forgiveness of our sin and reconciliation to God. Like the man in this story, Christ asks you: “Do you want to be healed?”(v. 6).

Note

1: The ESV Global Study Bible (Crossways, 2012) study note on John 5:3 [kindle edition]

Unconditional Election: Salvation Is Unmeritorious

tulip_red

Election refers to God’s choosing whom to save. It is unconditional in that there is no condition man must meet before God chooses to save him… we are not saying that final salvation is unconditional. It is not. We must meet the condition of faith, for example, in Christ in order to inherit eternal life. But faith is not a condition for election. Just the reverse. Election is a condition for faith. [1]

Probably the most commonly used word in Ghana, among Christians and non-Christians alike is the word grace. Ask someone “how are you?” and you are likely to hear a response “By the grace of God I am fine”. No doubt, it is a word we love to use. A Christian going for a job interview will believe that “by the grace of God, he will get the job rather than the other candidates. A business woman bidding for a contract, will believe that by the grace of God she will win the bid. And a young Christian who has just applied for admission to a university will believe that by the grace of God he or she will gain admission. Clearly, in our everyday use of grace, we do acknowledge we get something from God we do not deserve. If you ask any Christian what grace is, you are sure to get an answer “God’s unmerited favour”. And indeed that is what grace is. It is God’s favour and mercy we contributed nothing towards.

Now far more important than favour over another candidate in a job interview or contract bid or admission to an institution; grace is the determining factor in the salvation of sinners. Without grace, no soul will be saved. Paul says, in a very popular scripture that “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8). Paul tells us we are saved by grace and this grace is accessed through faith. Also grace is a gift of God. To know what we are saved from, it would be helpful to take Paul’s words in its full context. Beginning from the opening verses of Eph 2, Paul describes the state of the Ephesian believers prior to their regeneration. They were dead in trespasses and sin (v.1). Not only them, but this is true of every believer today. We were previously dead in sin. Furthermore, this is also true of every unbeliever. The former state of the believer is the present reality of the unbeliever; they are dead in sin. 

This throws us back to the previous article in this series—Total Depravity: We Are All Sinners. If naturally, the unbeliever is dead in sin, it simply means they will remain dead in sin. Corpse don’t have life, neither can they give themselves life. So for a sinner to come to salvation which is life, a power beyond them will have to intervene. This power, so to speak, is the Holy Spirit who convicts sinners to come to salvation. Without this conviction of sin unto repentance, no sinner will be saved. As Paul says in 1Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned”. The natural person here is anyone who has not come to the knowledge of salvation. And before any one will come to the appreciation of spiritual things, that is, things pertaining to God and salvation, they have to be first regenerated –be born again.

Regeneration is solely a work of God which He does on a sinner. God makes a sinner’s heart come alive and then He gives them the gift of faith to believe. Reformed Theology affirms from Scripture that those the Lord regenerates are those He has chosen and predestined unto eternal life. These chosen and predestined ones are called God’s elect: “Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace” (WCF 1.5).

Unconditional election is biblical. Surprisingly, some Christians do ignore the fact that there are a group of people called God’s elect. Speaking about election, Paul says of Jacob and Esau; “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad— in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written , “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:11-13). The only reason to explain the choosing of Jacob over Esau as Paul says is “that God’s purpose of election might continue”. God’s elect were chosen before the foundation of the world and that’s what unconditional election is about (Ephesians 1:3-6).

1. Five Points Towards A Deeper Experience Of God’s Grace, by John Piper (Christian Focus Publications, 2013, kindle edition).

But God

sprout-1136131__340

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Paul here contrasts the life of the Ephesian believers when they were unbelievers with their lives when they became believers.

Dead In Sin

Prior to conversion, the Ephesians were dead in sin. They were unregenerated, unbelievers and sinners born in sin. This is not only true of the believers in Ephesus. It is true of everyone today who is a believer. Previously, you were dead in sin and naturally couldn’t obey God. This is also the current state of every unbeliever. You are a sinner dead in sin who needs life from God: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins”(v1).

Under Satan’s Control

Because the Ephesians were dead in sin prior to conversion, they were by nature under Satan’s dominion. They live to do the bidding of the “prince of the power of the air”(v2). This was not only true of the Ephesian believers. It was true also of the apostle Paul who wrote the letter. See how he uses inclusive language: “we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind”(v3).

Further, this is equally true of any one who has not tasted of the salvation of God. You are in bondage to Satan. You are a child of disobedience. You are under the wrath of God and if you don’t repent, God’s full wrath would be poured on you one day: “because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed”(Rom 2:5).

From vv 1-3, we see the hopeless state of every sinner. He is dead in sin. That is, he has not got the ability in himself to respond to God: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day”(John 6:44).

In fact, if left on her own, the sinner would not come to God. She needs help from outside herself. To be dead in sin is comparable to a corpse. A corpse cannot give life to itself can it?

But God

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved (vv4-5).

“But God”. This juxtaposes God’s ability with our  inability: what we couldn’t do with what God did in our  regeneration. Out of our despondent, desperate, hopeless situation as sinners, hope sprung from God. From v4 onwards, we see the love and mercy of God at display towards the sinner

A New Life

When God intervenes in our deadness, He gives us eternal life. Not only life in this world, but in the world to come. The sinner who once had no hope is now given hope in this life because he is now united with Christ and reconciled to God: “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”(v5). We are seated in the heavenly places. We are citizens of heaven. We have hope now and hope in the life to come. God has purposed  to show us “in the coming ages…the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus “(v7).

This new life is not a result of anything good or meritorious work in us. It is a new life that springs from the love, mercy and grace–unmerited favour– of God:”For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (v8-9).

Would you lay hold of this new life by Faith in Christ? “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Depart From Me…A Sinful Man

2015-09-12 01.31.00

Luke 5:1-10

Have you ever thought about it? What is the greatest need of humankind? This question will generate a lot of response. Probably, for the majority, top of the list will be eradication of poverty and disease. Others will put forth world peace, eradication of drug and sex trafficking. To others, equal rights for all humankind will top the list. These indeed are commendable, but they are not the greatest need of humankind. The Bible gives us the answer:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

This is the divine verdict from God. All humankind have sinned. Not only that, but by our sins, we are  enstranged, alienated and separated from God. We are enemies of God and liable to receive the just punishment for our sins. Paul describes our hopelessness in Ephesians 2:1-3 saying , “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind”.

The above is true of every human being. It is the present reality of the unbeliever and it was the reality of the believer who has now come to Faith.

Now the reality of sin as our greatest need came home to me again very strongly today when I read portions of Luke’s gospel for my devotion. In Luke 5, the story is told of Jesus using the boat of Peter to preach and afterwards, He issued a command saying “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (v.4). Here is an experienced fisherman who has toiled all night and caught nothing, so he might have been surprised by the command from Jesus. Indeed he was and his response tells:

And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!”(v5a).

However, I suppose having heard Jesus preaching, his heart might have been convicted to obey. So he didn’t stop at questioning Jesus’ instruction. He responded positively afterwards: “But at your word I will let down the nets.”(v.5b). After they heeded Jesus’ instruction, we are told a miracle happened. They had a great catch to the extent they had to signal other fisherman to assist with bringing their catch (vv.6-7).

Simon’s report in the narrative  is what caught my attention: “But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”(v.8).

A miracle has taken place. But it seemed the miracle didn’t matter to Simon. We are looking at a great breakthrough for that day. They have a great abundance. But in the midst of that abundance, the state of Simon’s heart was laid bare. He was convicted: “he fell down at Jesus’ feet”. He was broken. He lost himself. Before Him was no ordinary man but Jesus, God incarnate.

In that moment of a great miracle, his sinful heart all played before him in front of a Holy God: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord”. Anyone who encounters the holiness of God is always struck with the wretchedness of their soul (Isaiah 6:5, Romans 7:24). Sin is our greatest predicament (Psalm 51:5, Jeremiah 17:9, Isaiah 53:6) and until we are reconciled to God, nothing else matters that happens to us. A miracle or breakthrough is of no significance to a heart dead in sin.

Like Simon, we must all fall on our knees at the feet of Christ and plead for forgiveness and reconciliation. Our sin must not drive us away from God, rather it must drive us to Him. Jesus didn’t drive away Peter, but He spoke forgiveness to the need of his sinful heart: “And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”(v.10).

Here is the mercy of God in action; a man not only forgiven, but his life takes on a new direction. A sinful man cleansed and reconciled to God and commissioned to be a soul winner–fisher of men. Our greatest need is to be forgiven of our sins and reconciled to God. That is the foremost reason Christ walked this earth (Ephesians 2:14-17).

THE TRINITY

download

The Old Testament stresses monotheism, yet we confess our faith in a triune God. The doctrine of the Trinity, one of the most mysterious doctrines of the Christian faith, has caused no small amount of controversy throughout church history. Some of the controversy stems from misunderstanding the Trinity as three distinct gods— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This idea is called “tritheism,” which is a form of polytheism.

How can the Christian church affirm the Trinity, that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? The doctrine of the Trinity is established by the New Testament itself. The New Testament speaks of God in terms of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. No text expresses this concept more clearly than the opening chapter of John’s gospel, the prologue of which sets the stage for the church’s confession of faith in the Trinity:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God , and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1: 1– 5)

We translate the Greek word logos as “word,” so the actual Greek reads: “In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.” John makes a distinction between God and the logos. The Word and God are together yet distinct—“ the Word was with God.”

The word with may seem insignificant, but in the Greek language there are at least three terms that can be translated by the English with. There is sun, which comes across as the English prefix syn-. We find that prefix in synchronize, which means “to occur at the same time”; we synchronize our watches to gather at the same time. The Greek word meta is also translated as “with.” In the term metaphysics, meta is used in the sense of being alongside of. A third word for “with” used by the Greeks is pros, which forms the basis of another Greek word, prosōpon, which means “face.” This use of with connotes a face-to-face relationship, which is the most intimate way in which people can be together. It is this term John uses when he writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” By using pros, John is indicating that the logos was in the closest possible relationship to God.

So we see that the logos was with God from the beginning in an intimate relationship, but the next clause seems to confuse that: “and the Word [the logos] was God.” Here John uses a common form of the Greek verb “to be,” a linking verb used here in the copulative sense . This means that what is affirmed in the predicate is found in the subject, such that they are reversible: “The Word was God and God was the Word .” This a clear ascription of deity to the Word. The Word is differentiated from God, but the Word is also identified with God.

The church developed the doctrine of the Trinity not only from this New Testament text but also from many others. Of all the descriptive terms used for Jesus in the New Testament , the one that dominated the thinking of theologians during the first three hundred years of church history was logos, because it gives such an exalted view of the nature of Christ. John also gives us the response of Thomas in the upper room . Thomas was skeptical about the reports he had received from the women and from his friends of the resurrection of Christ, and he said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (John 20: 25). When Christ appeared and showed His wounded hands to Thomas and invited Thomas to put his hand into His wounded side, Thomas cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28).

The New Testament writers, particularly the Jewish ones, were acutely conscious not only of the first commandment of the Old Testament but also of the second commandment, the warning against making graven images. The prohibition against all forms of idolatry— creature worship—is deeply rooted in the Old Testament. Because of that, the New Testament writers were aware that Christ could be worshiped only if He is divine, and the fact that Jesus accepted the worship of Thomas is significant.

When Jesus healed on the Sabbath and forgave sin, some of the scribes objected and said, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2: 7). Every Jew understood that the Lord of the Sabbath was God, the One who had instituted the Sabbath, so when Jesus explained that He had healed the man “that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He was declaring His deity (v. 10). Many reacted in anger because Jesus was claiming authority that belongs only to God.

When John writes, “He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made,” the logos is identified with the Creator. John also says, “In Him was life.” To say that life is in the logos, that the logos is the source of life, is clearly to attribute deity to this One called “the Word.”

In a similar fashion, the New Testament attributes deity to the Holy Spirit. This is often done by ascribing to the Spirit attributes that pertain to God alone, including holiness (Matt. 12: 32), eternality (Heb. 9: 14), omnipotence (Rom. 15: 18– 19), and omniscience (John 14: 26). The divinity of the Holy Spirit is also demonstrated when He is placed on the same level with the Father and Son, as in the baptismal formula in Matthew 28: 18– 20 or Paul’s benediction in 2 Corinthians 13: 14.

~Excerpt from  Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology by R.C Sproul (Reformation Trust Publishing, 1994, page 53).

Night of Bliss: Four Things You Must Know About Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s Teachings.

 

nob

Today 5th February, 2016 Pastor Chris Oyakhilome is in Ghana for: “NIGHT OF BLISS ACCRAGHANA-2016 WITH PASTOR CHRIS OYAKHILOME”.  Principal streets in the capital Accra have been blocked because of night of bliss. Now who is Pastor Chris? A visit to his website will give further information about him.

But my main focus in this article will be on what he teaches–his doctrine.

1: Word Of Faith/ Prosperity Preacher

Chris Oyakhilome belongs to the band of false teachers who teach and preach that God’s will for Christians is to live in prosperity, health and wealth. This teaching is recorded nowhere in the Bible, but word of faith preachers conveniently twist scriptures to propagate this dangerous doctrine. In a message he preached titled “Increase In fortunes” Pastor Chris shared excerpts of the message on his facebook page. He wrote:

My name is on every naira, every rand, every dollar, every cedis, every euro, and every pound, Just look at them closely with the eyes of faith and you’ll see my name boldly written on them. Glory to God!Yes! my name is on every million, every billion, every trillion of dollars. My name is on every property, every vehicle, and every aircraft for I’m a joint-heir with Christ. I am Abraham’ seed, possessor of all things, things present, things to come (1 Corinthians 3:21-22) Glory to God!!!!!!

Will any bible believing Christian take this message serious? Unfortunately, some do.

Now the Bible clearly warns against equating Christianity or godliness with gain. In the face of the obvious that nowhere in Scripture does God promise us material prosperity, word of faith preachers go every length to lead many astray. This they do by twisting and perverting Scriptures. Word of faith and prosperity preachers have a very low view of Scripture, hence interpreting every biblical text that speaks about blessings as material blessings.

This is fundamentally what word of faith proponents believe. Jesus died to make us rich.  The proponents of this heresy have corrupt minds and corrupt the minds of their followers. They are greedy. They pry on the innocent, using their position of influence to lead people astray. They are robbers who fleece the sheep for selfish gains. They are deprived of truth not understanding the truth of God’s word. Anyone who believes and accepts the prosperity and divine health nonsense is clearly guilty of thinking godliness is a means of gain, which Paul says “does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness” (1Timothy 6:1-10) .

2: Jesus Was Born Again

When Jesus rose from the dead he was born again. He came out with a new life (Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5)In John’s gospel, He is called the only begotten of the Father (John 3:16). However, in the epistles, He is called the first begotten of the Father. That’s because until He was born again, He was the only begotten of the Father, but after He rose again, He became the first born among so many brethren” (Healing from heaven vol 3, pg. 39).

This probably is the most heretical statements of everything Pastor Chris teaches. Unfortunately, he is not alone in the word of faith movement who teaches this. It seems to be the latest illumination they have pounced on. Joyce Meyer teaches same. To say Jesus was born again is to commit a serious biblical error, that’s is, denying the sinless nature of Jesus. It is only sinners who have to undergo regeneration. It is only us, sinful humanity who need to be born again to be able to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

There are indeed many questions to ask if someone asserts Jesus was born again. Did Jesus have a sinful nature that needed regeneration? Can we say of Jesus that He was dead in sin and trespasses as Ephesians 2:1 describes every unregenerate person? How we answer this determines what we believe about Jesus. If Christ, who is described as”…the precious…lamb without blemish and without spot”(1Peter 1:19) was born again, then indeed His sacrifice wouldn’t have appeased God. Because what God demanded for a sacrifice is a lamb without blemish (Exodus12:5).

It is  heresy to say Jesus was born again. Jesus was not “born again”.

3: Second Blessing

A second blessing is a teaching that can be viewed from two perspectives. One is with regard to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the next is sinless perfection. Pastor Chris preaches all two. In his book Healing from Heaven , he makes a distinction between when one is born again and when one receives the Holy Spirit.  “After you’re born again, experiencing the Holy Spirit is the most important thing in your life…If you have already received the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues is a spiritual necessity” (Healing from heaven vol 3, pg.111).

This teaching doesn’t align with what the Bible teaches. There is no time lapse between when a person is regenerated and when they receive the Holy Spirit. In fact, without the Holy Spirit, no one can be born again. Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit. When a person is born again, they immediately receive the Holy Spirit.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5).

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him (Romans 8:9).

On sinless perfection, recently, he made certain statements that allude to the fact that he was preaching sinless perfection. “If you study the scriptures, you will not find one man of God go against God, sinning against God”.

The question we might ask is that, can a person get to a point in their lives they are not sinning against God? Indeed the Bible calls us to a life of holiness but that doesn’t warrant a sinless state in this life. To this, the Apostle John says “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1John 1:9).

4: His God Is Not Sovereign

In the 4th February, 2016 devotional reading For Rhapsody Of Realities, a devotional written by Pastor Chris, he openly displayed an affront to the Sovereignty of God with the title “He Needs Your Permission”. Writing from Psalm 115:6, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men”, he expounded that God needs humankind’s permission before He can intervene in human affairs.

Now, here’s how it works: God gave the first Adam, a lease on this earth; God gave him authority over this earth; but the earth always belonged to God. The Bible says “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof…” (Psalm 24:1). However, He put it in the charge of Adam. And as long as that lease is on, God has no “right” to intervene in the earth.

God requires human permission before acting on earth. Is that what Scripture teaches? The error here is that Pastor Chris just took the text and engaged in eisegesis—reading into the text a meaning that is not there.

Though Psalm 115:6  was the theme Scripture for that devotional, it seems Pastor Chris didn’t see verse 3 that reads:”Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” Does this suggest to us God needs our permission before intervening on earth?. Now if the Bible says “The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man”(Ps 115:16) it doesn’t mean He has relinquished His authority. It simply means God has given us the earth as the dwelling of humankind, of course with rules and commandments to keep with consequences for disobedience.

Beyond the acknowledgement that God has given us the earth to dwell on, there is nothing in that verse that suggests God needs our permission before doing anything on earth. That is absolute sacrilege. God is fully in charge of His creation and He doesn’t need our permission to rule in His creation: “…the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.”( Daniel 4:17).

There are indeed many other biblically inaccurate statements Chris Oyakhilome preaches and writes in his devotional and other books. But I believe these four are enough to get anyone who follows him to be discerning.