GOD-KIND OF FAITH: DOES GOD TRULY NEED FAITH LIKE MAN?

By: Evang. Theophilus Izobofolo


GOD-KIND OF FAITH: DOES GOD TRULY NEED FAITH LIKE MAN?

The Word of Faith (WoF) teachers are in the habit of saying people should have God-kind of faith.

This is premised on the Greek rendering of Jesus’s statement in Mark 11:22b, “Have faith in God” (echō pistis theos). This can be fairly translated to “Have the faith of God” or “Have faith in God” but the WoF teachers translate it to “Have God-kind of faith.”

With this phrase, the WoF teachers say God exhibited faith at creation when He spoke the world and its contents and the planetary bodies into existence (Gen 1:1-30). They also say He used this faith to give a child (Isaac) to Abraham in reference to Romans 4:17, “(As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were.”

They say God used repetitive faith confessions to “call those things which are not as though they were.”

Does God truly need faith like man as these people claim?

We need to be aware that the Greek language is different from the English language in a variety of ways. In several places in the New Testament, there are no conjunctions like “of” or “in” between “faith” and “God” or “Christ” when these words are used together. It is usually the translators that supply these conjunctions with discretion. This is why many modern English Bible translations now exchange “of” with “in” in such places in contrast to what obtains the old King James Bible.

Here are five examples to buttress our arguement:

“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the FAITH OF GOD (pistis theos) without effect?” (Rom 3:3)

“Even the righteousness of God which is by FAITH IN JESUS (pistis Iēsous ) Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” (Rom 3:22)

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the FAITH OF CHRIST (pistis christos), and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Gal 2:16)

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the FAITH OF THE SON (pistis uihos) of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)

“And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the FAITH OF CHRIST (pistis christos) , the righteousness which is of God by faith.” (Phil 3:9)

So, in line with this thought, it is correct to translate Mark 11:22b to “Have faith in God” like we have it in most English translations of the Bible.

Christ was not telling the disciples to have God-kind of faith like the WoF teachers say, He was simply telling them to have faith in God as we have it. So, it is of no use making a doctrine of a mere grammatical issue.

Roman 4:17 can also not be used to teach that God was making faith confessions to Abraham like the WoF teachers say.

If we consider Romans 4:17 in conjunction with verses 18-22 of the same chapter, we would see clearly that God wasn’t making any faith confessions here. Rather, these scripture refers to the repetition of God’s promises to Abraham as we have it recorded in Genesis to reassure him that He would do as He promised. It was a reassurance thing and not a faith confession issue.

17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were. 18  WHO AGAINST HOPE BELIEVED IN HOPE, that he might become the father of many nations, ACCORDING TO THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN, So shall your seed be.19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” (Rom 4:17-22)

It was not God “who against hope believed in hope”. It was Abraham who did that.

Would it not have been ridiculous if God, who created the world by mere pronouncements of “let there be”, had to make repetitive faith confessions to make Sarah conceive a child?

This type of teaching results from lack of understanding of the nature of God and the use of words.

GOD-KIND OF FAITH: DOES GOD TRULY NEED FAITH LIKE MAN?

Man is finite but God is infinite. Faith is only needed when a person is limited either by knowledge or ability. For example, a Christian does need no faith to collect money he has in his bank account but he needs faith for provision when he is broke. 

Unlike man who needs faith for tomorrow because of his limitations, God does not relate to time the way humans do. The past, present and future are the same with Him in terms of His knowledge. He is all-knowing. Not only is God all-knowing, He is also all-powerful. So, God doesn’t need any faith.

God is infinite. He is sovereign. “In him we live, move and have our being.” The Sovereign Lord needs no faith. It is finite beings like man that needs faith.

Again, faith does not exist in isolation. Faith is a relational word. It is the lesser being that exhibits faith in the higher being. We know God is the Highest. There is no one above Him.

If God needs faith indeed, in whom will He have it?

Shalom!

A CLOSED MOUTH IS A CLOSED DESTINY – words activate faith!

AFRICA AND THE BURDEN OF FUNERAL RITES – The Lessons not Learned!

By: Theophilus Izobofolo


AFRICA AND THE BURDEN OF FUNERAL RITES – The Lessons not Learned!

Africans have great value for celebrations. Death is celebrated even more than birth unless the death of an infant or a young person.

The death of a father, mother, grand and great grand parents is a celebration of life, which brings together all members of the family. Including extended family members, friends and associates, colleagues, neighbours, and towns people. It’s a fun fair that hold great tourism value.

The length of the funeral varies from place to place ranging from three to seven days or more. Food, drinks, clothing, decorations, musicians and dance groups, canopies, chairs, security, transportation, casket, and requirements for traditional rites constitutes the sum of the budget for funeral.

The traditional funeral rites which is the burial itself has witnessed evolutionary transformation. Chickens were acceptable for the burial of women, goats for men and cows for tittle holders (chiefs and kings) depending on the financial status of the affected family. In modern times only cows are acceptable for funeral rites which cost between One Hundred and fifty thousand and three hundred thousand naira (N150,000.00 – N300,000.00). Today, poor families use between two to three cows while the rich may use between five and as many as ten or twenty.

Financing the funeral is a huge burden. Some families have had to sell family assets such as land, plantation or borrow from money lenders at exorbitant interest rates. In recent times, family members have resorted to sharing the total budget as levies. In some cases, unemployed youths and women are also task to pay the compulsory burial levy.

Every family member strives to pay the levy so as to participate actively and fulfill the wish of their parents.

The unemployed members of the family usually will face some conditions that reminds them of their financial status. There are cases where they have to borrow money to pay the transport fare back to the town or city. After the funfair, everyone returns to his or her place.

While family celebrations and parties are good in themselves, the issue that should be of serious concern to every African is the financial implications imposed on poor people in the family and society.

Can’t a family task themselves in like manner to start a family business and provide employment for their members? Imagine if the N5,000,000 or N7,000,000 spent for funeral was invested in some viable members of the family or on a viable venture that can empower members, or relations.

Imagine how many assets has been lost for funeral of parents.

Educated Christian elders who retire to their communities have a great role to play here. The culture of exorbitant funerals must be discouraged. Funeral should not bury assets of the family along with the dead. The imposition of levies upon the viable members of the family is good where the proceeds forms a family pool to empower her members or create a family business.

 

IS SEX EVIL OR GOOD?

By: Evangelist Theophilus


IS SEX EVIL OR GOOD?

SEX – The topic frequently in the mind of most young adults and even old people no matter how spiritual, yet, the least talked about.

It is an act people engage in frequently but feel uncomfortable to talk about.

The information most people have on it are obtained from the ‘gutters’ because traditional institutions and other standard channels of communication and education will not talk about it. When they do, it is in hush tones.

I remember a friend hosted me on radio for a few weeks as we explored sexual dysfunctions among adults. By the third week, the program director had ordered the program shut down. May be I was too blunt, calling a spade a spade.

Many people know the danger of sex, both physical and spiritual but no one seems to be comfortable to talk about it’s good sides and the factors that influence them.

In many quarters and to many people, sex is just a necessary evil. I have met married couples who often felt guilty after having sex with themselves and I kid you not. A newly married guy once told me, he has been asking for forgiveness of sin after having sex with his wife and he couldn’t place why.

Some of you speak in tongues immediately after having sex with your wives, you know yourselves. It may not be because you are spiritual. You are probably battling with subconscious mixed feelings involving guilt over appropriateness of sex, even within matrimony. There are many who have become poorly sexually adjusted by reason of the things they have been taught while growing up about the evil in sex. This followed them to their matrimony.

A story was told of a king who newly became a Christian, in the mediaeval times who commanded his wife to be burnt at the stake the following morning after having sex with her. Her offence? He claimed  She enjoyed “the pleasure of sin” by moaning during sex. This is how “her ringing tone” sent her to an early grave. But it was not really her fault, she died due to the ignorance of an overzealous  king who was mistaught and misguided that sex is inherently evil.

Friends,  much has been said about how the devil uses sex to destroy people to the point that Sex now looks like the creation of Satan.

Truth be told, sex is good, when used appropriately. Sex is a gift from God and not from the devil. The devil only seeks to pervert it. Many petty problems that happen in marriages for which you disturb your pastors can be deleted by just one mind-blowing sex between couples.  Yes!  You heard me right.

Today, a lot of people suffer from various sexual dysfunctions but they can’t talk about them for fear of being viewed as “spoilt” or sinful.

I once attended to a man who had been running from home simply to avoid the chance of sexual encounters with his wife.  He worked shifts in a Hotel so he decided to do all the shifts,  just to stay away from home.

This man could not sustain erection for more than 2 mins and he was in a mismatched relationship with a woman who wanted it for thirty minutes and more.  The fear of poor performance drove him from home.

I insisted on seeing the wife and the day she showed up, it was drama. She did all the talking as she pounded away on my table.  “My body is not wood…” He has to do something about this otherwise…. ” she yelled.  It was one threat after another.  Then she grabbed her hand bag and left without completing the session. To a stranger like me, she simply cut the picture of trouble and I could only imagine what the man was going through in her hands.

Now, here’s the point.  There are many women in this position but they don’t know they are a serious part of the problem. Let me tell you something.  In a committed relationship (not hit and run) , the woman retains the power to either sustain a man’s erection or to kill it.

About 50 percent cases of erectile problems in men are purely of psychological origin. The brain is the most important sexual organ, not the genital.  If a man’s mind is at rest in the home and he’s happy with you,  he will have erection with you. This is basic truth.

I once attended to a woman who previously had been dragging her husband to pastors for prayers and made him a prayer point among her prayer partners for inability to perform in bed.  I requested to see her husband as usual and after much hesitation,  he showed up. It turned out the man had no erectile problem unless the wife was involved.  He said if he had full erection and his wife as much as touched him with a finger, he would lose it. In his own words there had been some conflicts and It was a delicate peace they had had at home. The wife had been winning all the arguments in the house without knowing she was also losing the man. What they needed was conflict resolution, not prayer vigil or medication.  Dear woman,  your mouth can do wonders, both physically and psychologically. If you know, You know…

Worse still some women will be behaving as if they are lame in bed. They can’t use their hands and they won’t use their mouths. They Just lay down like universal recipients. What kind of tradition is that?  What has that got to do with holiness?

I know by now somebody is thinking this man is spoiled o,  or may be his account has been hacked.  If you read up till this point and you haven’t stopped, na you spoil pass! So let’s continue…just kidding!

Women are not left out as victims in this sexual problem. As a matter of fact,  more than 50 percent of women don’t know what orgasm is, in all their existence.  They hear people talk about  it but they don’t believe it really exists and they are scared of asking their husbands to help explore possible ways to achieve this.  Many of them don’t even get aroused with their husbands but they can’t talk about it.  Many husbands have turned themselves to terrorists in their homes.

Dear husbands, I need your help. How do you manage to speak in tongues and still throw punches at your wives? There are testimonies of godly men who never raised a finger against their wives of many decades in spite of provocations. Please follow the examples of these men and stop damaging your wife physically and emotionally. That “Mike Tyson” in you must die finally.  May God’s grace be sufficient for you.

It is so unkind to abuse your woman and get home only to pull her panties like a mechanic trying to start a generator. What is your intention? It doesn’t work like that.

Let there be mutual respect in the home.  Resolve conflicts as they come. This has tremendous effect on what happens beneath the sheets. Like I said before, the human brain (the seat of the mind) is the most important sexual organ, not the genitals.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you have any question or objections, kindly ask your pastors and pastors’ wives or go see a therapist, not me. I’m a learner ooh.

It is a new day!  

REASONS WHY MEN ALWAYS ASK YOU FOR SEX

THE BURDEN OF RELIGION VS THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE 

By: Evangelist Theophilus


THE BURDEN OF RELIGION VS THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE 

There are many in the church today that are carrying heavy loads that have nothing to do with their faith in Christ. They are burdened by a lot of obligations that have been placed on them by the religious system.

The long list of obligations to be met, all in an attempt to procure  God’s favor and be loved by Him stares them in the face, day in day out. That’s what they have been taught. Much like the Pharisees during Jesus’ earthly ministry, their teachers have laid heavy burdens on them.

But when Christ came He declared to his listeners “come unto me,  all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”.

Friends, rest is what Christ brought you, not religion, and definitely not a long list of obligatory meetings, conferences, programs, offerings and sacrifices.

Check it well sir, If it is getting too burdensome, there’s no Christ in it.

If it is getting too heavy, it doesn’t belong in Christ. It doesn’t belong in your new testament reality. Rather it is in the domain of mere religion. Believe me, much of what goes on in the denominations is mere religion.  The deeper you go into religion, the more burdensome it gets.

But Christ has called you out of religion unto himself, why sink back into it?

Please take a good look at The Message translation of Mt. 11:27-29:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

” Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 MSG.

From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that if it is “heavy” then it is not in tandem with the “unforced rhythms of grace”. Let no man deceive you into paying a heavy sacrifice that is outside of you willingness. No sacrifice can be heavier than the one at Calvary. And it was done on your behalf.

Friends, It may interest you to know that aside the “mega pastors” that get tongues wagging by their bogus teachings and ostentatious lifestyles, many young and unsong pastors are depressed, anxious and worn out. Yes, they are burnt out on religion. They bear heavy burdens that Christ Has not put on them.

They are under pressure to remit money to the headquarters. They want to build “befitting places” of worship. They want to  start counting “their members” in several thousands.

They want signs and wonders to validate their calling before men. They want a raised profile to the status of “international conference speakers”. They are struggling to  “network”. They want the fame, the money and the influence.

Many think they are in ministry but they are not. They are fiercely in business. Beneath their pius skin is a desperate lust for self-projection and ego-pampering. They have been caught in a rat race.

In the same vein, they muzzle their members by teaching all kinds of ill-timed messages. They lay on them all kinds of burdens in order to achieve the things misconstrued as “success in life and ministry”.

In the long run both the pews and the pulpits are caught in a thick web of religion. The “rest” that Christ promised is lost on them. It is a given, religion will wear you out,  but Christ will give you rest.

Dear friend, on what divide are you? Are you in religion or are you taking a rest in Christ Jesus? The choice is squarely yours.

“But there remains a Sabbath-rest for the people of God……”

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

Reference: NINYO

CHRISTIANITY VERSES RELIGION

CAUSES OF SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION

CAUSES OF SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION

(1) WHEN THERE IS FAMINE IN THE LAND:-

When the society, land or country is moving forward, this can lead to a serious depression and then suicide. In a country where the government has failed to provide jobs and eliminate poverty but choose to keep the country stagnant by enriching themselves only can cause one to think of committing suicide.

There are so many graduates scattered on the streets of Nigeria who have tried to secure a job but was turned down and rejected. When there are no Jobs, it causes poverty and when there is poverty, there is hunger and when there is hunger, it can make some to begin to hear strange voices telling them to end their life by giving them reasons to believe that they are not needed here. Until this is handed well, the stoppage of suicide is not guaranteed.

(2) WRONG RELATIONSHIP/MARRIAGE:-

This is another tool and instrument Satan uses to cause depression in the hearts of people and make them kill themselves. Wrong relationship and wrong marriage can cause depression and lead to suicide when one of the spouse threatens to leave the relationship or maybe cases of cheating and being caught and avoiding being exposed.

If the relationship you are into now is giving you serious headache, please gently walk away from it. Any relationship that gives you trouble and threatens your peace of mind won’t last long and can harm you if you continue to push further. Just walk away from with without saying a word and make yourself happy. Apart from God, no one can love you better than yourself.

(3) LACK OF PATIENCE :-

Lack of patience can make someone depressed and then lead to suicide. You can have everything you want in your own time. It can’t and will never happen in your own time. It can only be possible in God’s time. If God had promised you something, please wait for it. God is not a man that he should lie. He can’t forget his promises towards you.

It will take a little time but trust me it will surely come to pass. As long as rapture tarries, please keep waiting on him. I know that it has started choking you but please hold on a bit. The answer is older than the problem.

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry”. (Habakkuk 2:3).

(4) NOT BEING ROOTED IN GOD’S WORD:-

When a Christian, a child of God, a believer is not rooted and planted in the word of God, it can create room for familiar spirits to afflict him/her with the spirit of depression and then suicide. When you are rooted in God’s word, the devil can’t overcome you. When you are rooted in the word of God, you will be able to dictate the strange voice of Satan when he is speaking.

When you have strong root in God’s word, there are scriptures that you can use to defeat depressions and overcome them. Satan always wants you to see reasons to hate yourself, he wants you to see the inability in you without seeing the God giving abilities in you. But when you know your stand in God’s word, you can take your stand and rebuke him.

(5) REFUSING TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF:-

So many youths are depressed today because they refuse to believe in themselves. Everyone has a God given ability in him/her. And until you activate it, it will remain dormant.

Since the government has failed the youths which are the leaders of tomorrow, you can choose to make a difference. You can be creative, you can be self employed. Yes you can do it only if you will believe in yourself. The strength is in you, the talent and gifts are all dwelling in you.  Just tell yourself “I CAN MAKE IT”.  Once you believe on yourself and work towards it, the spirit of depression and suicide won’t have access into you.

Ending your life by yourself is not the best. You can be the best thing happening in your generation…

 

(Dr Chinomso Jude Nwala)