Monday, 18 April 2016

Depart From Me...I Am A Sinful Man

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).

Friday, 25 March 2016

Christ Our Sin Bearer

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Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It is also the book of beginnings because it tells us the origins of life and accurately explains the main problem of the world--Sin.
From the first two chapters of Genesis, we are made to know there is a Creator who created the world and all that dwells in it (Genesis 1:1, 31, 2:26-27). After creation, God saw that everything He had created was good (Genesis 1:31). But today, in contrast to Genesis 1:31, the world in its current state is not good. It is a world filled with pain, tragedy, wickedness, cruelty and every horror imaginable. How do we reconcile the current state of the world with God's proclamation that "everything that he had made...was very good". The answer is that sin entered the world. So;
What Is Sin?
Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God [a]. Lev 5:17;   Jas 4:17;   1 John 3:4
~Westminster Shorter Catechism Q14
In these words we see what sin is. Sin is breaking God's law by omission or commission. In modern English, the words, "want of conformity" will read something like inability to conform to the law of God or failure to measure up to or obey God's command. In Greek, the word hamartia is used in explaining what sin is. Sin is "missing the mark" and rightly so, we are all sinners because we have missed the mark of God's rigtheous standard (Romans 3:23).
Now, how did sin enter the perfect world God created? We again go back to Genesis, the book of origins. In Genesis 2:16-17, we read of a commandment God gave Adam, the first created man, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die". Fast foward to Genesis 3, Adam disobeyed God; he ate of the forbidden tree and by that act of disobedience, sin entered the world.
Adam in the garden of Eden was acting as a federal head for all of humankind therefore his fall became the fall of all who will ever walk this earth: "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned"(Romans 5:12).
Except Jesus who lived a perfect life without sin, all humankind inherited the consequences and effects of Adam's fall; physical and spiritual death. Our nature was badly corrupted and we were alienated from God. The Psalmist said "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5).
What he means here is that he was born with a sin problem. He inherited sin. We are by ourselves unable to please God: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:11-12). These words describes the helpless state of humankind without Christ. They are enemies of God, separated from Him and guilty of eternal damnation.
However God didn't leave sinners to our fate to try to work our way to Him. God made the first move towards reconciling sinful humankind to Himself. If you read Genesis 3 again, we see that even in their sins, God's mercy was manifested. Firstly, God proclaimed what theologians refer to as protoevangelium--the first gospel. God announced His plans towards reconciliation. A curse was pronounced and a remedy for that curse was also revealed:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel (Genesis 3:15).
The seed of the woman being referred to here is Christ who the Bible speaks of by saying "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil"(1John 3:8). The works of the devil is sin that separated us from God. And it is this, Jesus died to destroy. He took the punishment that belonged to sinners. He died in our place to appease for our sins and reconcile us to the Father. Our sins was imputed to Him. He became our substitutionary atonement  (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Secondly, God covered the nakedness (guilt and shame) of Adam and Eve revealing a type of Christ's imputed righteousness to those who will come to Faith through Jesus Christ. Paul aptly captures this saying, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2Corinthians 5:21).
Christ was murdered on the cross because of the sins of you and I. And He resurrected to give eternal life to all who will come to Him in Faith  If you have not come to saving faith through Christ, you are condemned to eternal damnation and an enemy of God. One day, you will have to answer for your sins before a Holy God and nothing you will present will measure up to God's Holy standard. Your good works outside of Christ are like filthy rags. Repent from your sins and turn to Christ for forgiveness.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Life Under The Providence Of God.


It was 21st March, 2016 at about 9:30pm and I was trying to catch up with a bible reading plan --Luke 1:1-38
--I had missed in the morning. While reading, verses 8-9 caught my attention "Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense" (Luke 1:8-9).

The priest in question here is Zachariah, the Father of John the Baptist and husband of Elizabeth. Prior to vv8-9, Luke briefly profiled their lives: "In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years".

Here is a couple described as rigthteous and walking blameless before God. However, there was a problem: (i) they had no child, (ii) Elizabeth was barren and they were (iii) both advanced in age. That last one sums up the seemingly hopeless situation of their lives. As I read on and the narrative progressed, my mind was fastened on vv 8-9 especially the last words: "he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense."

You see, events that unfolded that day hinges on the fact that Zachariah was chosen as the priest to enter the temple and burn incense by casting of lot.  The lot could have fallen on any other priest than Zachariah and we probably might read Zachariah's story in a different context. In this ordinary human act of casting lot, we see the Providence of God explicitly revealed in the narration.Though men made their choice, God through His divine Providence ordained His purposes through their action: "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD," (Proverbs. 16:33).

On this day, I believe Zachariah never expected what unfolded in the narration prior to his entering the temple (at least the text didn't tell us). I also believe the team of priests who were involved in choosing him didn't envisage what transpired on that day. The people made a choice, their choice sent Zachariah into the temple to burn incense and the events of that day changed the life of Zachariah and Elizabeth because the Providence of God was at work.

So what is Providence?
God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy (Westminster Confession Of Faith 5:1).
According to gotquestions.com, Divine providence is the governance of God by which He, with wisdom and love, cares for and directs all things in the universe. The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. He is sovereign over the universe as a whole (Psalm 103:19), the physical world (Matthew 5:45), the affairs of nations (Psalm 66:7), human destiny (Galatians 1:15), human successes and failures (Luke 1:52), and the protection of His people (Psalm 4:8)
 
God's Providence is a pillow believers can lay their heads on and sleep soundly. Nothing can happen to a believer that catches our heavenly Father by surprise. Though Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, he later informed them they meant it for evil but God meant it for good. Moses was left in a basket in the river Nile and as we know he went on to become God's chosen vessel to deliver Israel out of slavery.

The believer's life is not left to chance. Every single event in our life is part of God's grand design to bring about His purposes and plans to pass. We serve a living God who is not bewildered thinking what to do next with the situations that confronts us. He has it all covered. He is personally involved in every detail of our lives including what we might consider mundane:
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?(Matthew 6:26).

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Syrophoenician Woman and Jesus

But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs. (Mark 7:25-27)

The text records a woman who approached Jesus to ask for a miracle on behalf of her daughter. Now, if Jesus indeed “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil”(Acts 10:38), isn’t it startling, the response He gave to the woman? “She begged him”…yet, we see Jesus responding in a seemingly derogatory manner. But was He being offensive?

There are two perspectives to approach this incident.

Firstly, in Mark 7:24, Jesus had entered a hideout, away from the crowd, probably to rest with His disciples from the rigours of public ministry. We get a hint about this when we look back one Chapter: “And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat (Mark 6:31).

Unfortunately, Jesus and His disciples didn’t get the needed rest. The Bible says the people run ahead of them to their destination. When Jesus and His team got to their desired resting place, a crowd was waiting for them. So instead of resting, Jesus “…began to teach them many things”(Mark 6:34). After attending to the crowd and other ministry needs, Jesus sought another opportunity to rest: “And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.(Mark 7:24).  It is on this background the woman enters the narrative: “But immediately…”
If you can envisage the frustration of Jesus and His team, you can empathise with them. After losing their first opportunity for rest, they were on the verge of been deprived this also. His statement to the woman could therefore be viewed as He saying; “let me attend first to myself and my disciples, then I will attend to you later. It is not right to give time I have set aside for myself and my disciples and attend to you."

It appears Jesus was apathetic to the woman and her possessed daughter.
But looking at the text from the second perspective, one fact of the gospel emerges; by faith, sinners can come to God through Christ for salvation. Salvation is for whoever will put their trust in Christ: “For God so loved the world , that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).

Now, there was a time in God’s redemptive history when non-Jews were outside of the covenant family of God. To the Jews, anyone apart from a Jew was a “nonentity”. David called Goliath an “uncircumcised philistine” in 1Samuel 17:26. In John 4:22, Jesus, talking to a Samaritan woman, made a statement worth noting here: “…salvation is of the Jews”. Jesus’ earthly ministry was first confined to the Jews. But in the scheme of God’s redemptive plan, salvation will be extended to other persons outside of what Paul calls “commonwealth of Israel” (Ephesians 2:12).

We see clearly, the Bible was specific in telling us who this woman was. She was a Greek, a non-Jew, one separated from the covenant family of God. She didn't qualify to receive anything from Christ. But Jesus’ strong words didn't put her off. She didn't get offended, rather, in faith, she answered “…Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs”(v28). That caught Jesus’ attention. “And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter” (v29). Jesus praised the woman’s faith and granted her request.

The message is simple for today’s Bible reader; the door of salvation is opened for anyone who will believe and approach Christ in faith. When Christ died, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51) signifying an open access to God for people from “all tribes and languages” (Revelation 7:9).

In Christ, there is neither Jew, Greek, Roman or Gentile….
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us”(Ephesians 2:13-14).


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Gospel, Grace And Good Works.


I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel (Galatians 1:6).
In every generation, the gospel -- the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of sinners  by grace alone through faith alone for justification before God has always been under attack. Recently, I met with a group of friends and from Galatians 1:6-10, I admonished them to go back to their churches and start listening well if the gospel is being preached on their churches' pulpit.

Now a church that doesn't preach the gospel and salvation by grace is not worth the name church.

Sadly, many believers have stopped listening and reading with discernment, hence, all kinds of errors are passing on for gospel preaching on many pulpits in our country. Among the numïerous errors, there are two extremes by which we see the abuse of the gospel: Legalism and Antinomianism. These two are opposites to each other and are all wrong. Legalism is simply seeking justification with God through good works or by keeping the law -- (10 commandments, holiness laws, etc). There is also another side to Legalism where we look to the law and good works to maintain our salvation. All these fly in the face of Scripture because "...one is justified by faith apart from works of the law" (Romans 3:28). What Paul means here is that, justification is by faith alone; believing and trusting in Christ's death alone for salvation.

This naturally raises questions about whether we can live our lives anyhow since we are justified by faith alone. The question usually arises from a misunderstanding of the place of the Law in the Christians life. There are those who insist that because of grace the law of God has no place in the believers' life. Such position leads us to the next error that confronts the gospel---Antinomianism. Antinomianism teaches that the Law has no place in a Christians' life. But that is far from the truth. In an online article, The Threefold Use Of The Law, R.C. Sproul wrote on three uses of the law in the Christian's life. He stated that:
Every Christian wrestles with the question, how does the Old Testament law relate to my life? Is the Old Testament law irrelevant to Christians or is there some sense in which we are still bound by portions of it? As the heresy of antinomianism becomes ever more pervasive in our culture, the need to answer these questions grows increasingly urgent.
You see, the preaching of the gospel is the means by which God brings people to salvation and it is of utmost importance it is not misrepresented or watered down. A watered down gospel lacks power to save. "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1Corinthians 1:18).

But what do we see today? We live in times when the preaching of the gospel has been replaced by human and secular philosophies which has no power to save anyone. The Galatian church to which Paul wrote his letter, were, just like today, invaded by false teachers propagating a false gospel. Paul described them as trouble makers and those who distort the gospel of Christ(v7).

The gospel is central to the salvation of sinners and any false representation of it must be a cause of concern to every believer. We see Paul registering his disapproval of what was going on in the Galatian church in a rather forceful manner: "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel".

Rightly so, Paul was astonished--greatly amazed, surprised--that a people who have been "called...in the grace of Christ" are "quickly" moving away from the gospel; not gradually, not slowly, but quickly, rendered as as hastily(tacheós) in the original language. It was a concern to him, that a people who have once believed in the gospel and have been justified by grace through faith alone are now shifting from grace to works salvation. Any departure from the proclamation of the gospel must just as Paul, astonish us who call on the name of the Lord.

The Christian is saved by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) and this truth must remain at the back of our minds throughout our Christian journey. Grace doesn't only bring us in. Grace keeps us till the end of the journey (Jeremiah 31:3, John 10:27-29). It is important, unlike the Galatians, we keep focus on the grace of God and continue in Him (Colossians 2:6-7, Hebrews 4:14-16). Many believers after they are saved by grace go on to live their lives as if they have works to add to their salvation.

Of course the Christian is saved to do good works. But the Christian is not saved by doing good works.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
In conclusion, just as I admonished my friends to start listening for the preaching of the gospel on their church pulpits, permit me to put the same charge to you my reader. Start listening for gospel preaching on your church pulpit and count how often sinners, guilty of the judgement and wrath of God are called to repentance by pointing them to the death and resurrection of Christ for sinners. Listen also how often believers are admonished to continue in the grace of God.  Anything short of this passes for "a different gospel".

Nothing else will do but gospel preaching and gospel centred ministries.


Friday, 30 October 2015

Seeing Through The Lenses Of The Bible

I recently visited an optician for a routine check-up. As I sat to read the vision test chart, the poor state of my eyesight became evident. The diagnosis: nearsigthedness. The solution: corrective lenses. So now I wear glasses.

Drawing an analogy, the Word of God is like corrective lens. It aids the believer with an accurate view of life
and of themselves. The Word of God delineates the worldview of the believer and of humanity. It is in the Bible we are made conscious of our depravity. In the Bible we appreciate we have offended and continue to offend a Holy God. Humanity, without faith in Christ, is sinful and alienated from God; dead in sin. In the Bible we are told what we have done wrong and what we need to do to restore our relationship with a Holy God(Genesis 3, Ephesians 2:1-10, John 1:12-13, 3:16,Romans 3:23).

The whole theme of the Bible is about God's plan to restore fallen sinners unto Himself. Under the lenses of the Bible, we see well: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."(Psalm 119:105). In an age of self-obsession and numerous self-help strategies, which only deals with the superficial, the Word of God comes as the only trustworthy source of diagnosis of our fallen human condition. Hebrews 4:12-13 gives a proper description of the ability of God's word to reveal our true self to us.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

When I was growing up, I knew of only the x-ray machine as the only machine that can “look” into the human body. There might have been more. But in my small world, it was the x-ray machine. Today, medical science with sophisticated machines can pick up any ailment hidden anywhere in the body. Apart from medical sciences, there are other equally sophisticated scanning devices in other fields that can pick their targets even through opaque objects.

We are advancing in technology and knowledge. However, these advancements have limitations. You can’t use an MRI scan to detect the sicknesses of our spiritual being. In Jeremiah 17:9, God through the prophet, testifies about the condition of the human heart. This is not referring to the organ that pumps blood and sustains our physical life. He is talking about the state of our whole being. He says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” No machine, notwithstanding of degree of sophistication can detect the evil and wickedness wedged in our hearts. Only God’s word can. Not leaving us in utter despair of our state, at the very place where God describes the depravity of our hearts, He went on to further tell us, what He alone can do.

I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.(Jer 17:10).

That is humbling. The dispositions of our hearts are laid bare before Him. Nowhere to run for cover.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.(Ps 139:1-6).

The Psalmist here awes about God’s omniscience: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” Nothing, not even our own self can do an accurate diagnosis of the state of our hearts than God can. Through His word, He meticulously searches and reveals the true state of our hearts. Like corrective lenses, the Word leads us in the path of righteousness(Psalm 23:3).  God's Word convicts us, it reproofs, corrects, and trains us in righteousness (2Tim 3:16). God through His Word renews and transform us (Rom 12:1-2). He washes and sanctifies us by His word (John 17:17). Jesus said "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."(Matthew 4:4).

The Word of God is a lens that will not distort our worldview if faithfully studied, applied and obeyed.

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you(Ps. 119:11).



Thursday, 29 October 2015

Three Reasons People Believe The Prosperity Gospel

For a greater part of my christian life, my understanding of christianity was shaped by the Charismatic and Word of Faith movement. The idea that God saves us to bless us with material wealth, divine health and a good life is characteristics of the movement. Prosperity, divine health is my portion! I am walking in blessings and divine health! These are but just a few cliches of the movement.

252px-Ghana_Cedi_banknotesFundamentally, the theology of the movement isanthropocentric, oppossed to Christianity been theocentric. In the prosperitygospel, also known as the "Word of Faith," the believer is told touse God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just theopposite"God uses the believer. Word of Faith or prosperity theology seesthe Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills.

About three years ago, I began drifting from the beliefs of charismatism. The drift was precipitated by a number of books I read by CharlesR. Swindoll. One of the titles that made a difference in my life was; "So,You Want To Be Like Christ? Eight Essentials To Get You There". That book disturbed my theology. My drift however, was gradual, at a snail's pace, as I had not fully grasped what was wrong with the prosperity, health and wealth gospel. Many of my friends held to do those beliefs and still do, and not having the requisite knowledge to counteract it, I kept what I had encountered to myself.

During the same period also, I was exposed to ReformedTheology. My world was thrown into complete chaos--positive chaos if there is a phrase like that. All the beliefs I have held before were challenged. All my "heroes" were been described as false teachers. That was too much to take. But gradually, dedicating myself to reading and studying the Bible, the puzzles started falling in place. I haven't fully grasped all there is to the Christian faith, but I have gained some understanding I believe I can share.

Of prosperity and divine health, I have come to three conclusions of what's behind this heresy.

1: A Depraved Mind Deprived Of Truth

1 Timothy 6:3-10

There is no place in the Bible believers are promised prosperity and divine health. To believe God saved us to prosper us is a sign of a depraved mind. The proponents 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.

The Bible clearly warns the love of money is the root of all evil. Yet, point this out to the proponents of the prosperity gospel and they will in turn inform you "it is the love of money that is evil not money". Very well said, money indeed is not evil, but the love of it. But how can one have money at the root of their theology and yet deny they love money? If you believe in the prosperity gospel, you love money! However you try to look at it, you love money. At the root of your desire for riches, is the love of money. You want to be rich, and you desire that so much, don't you? The diagnosis: you love money.

2: A Low View Of Scripture

To believe Jesus Christ died to make you prosper and successful is a blatant lie. It is a result of under valuing the weight and glory of Holy Scripture. Much of the proof texts used to propagate prosperity and divine health are complete mishandling and distortion of the word of truth. I will examine two popular ones:

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.(2Corinthians 8:9).

(i) "Though he was rich,yet for your sake he became poor"...This in no sense speaks of material prosperity. The riches been spoken about here is the glory He left behind in heaven, putting aside His divinity to live the life of a human being. If we are to interpret the riches here as something earthly, the question we must answer is that, where He came from, i.e. heaven, was there transactions of money which makes Him rich? No, the riches is the glory He laid aside to become human and live amongst us. (Phillipians 2:5-9).

(ii) "so that you by his poverty might become rich" All human beings by virtue of our sins are wretched and separated from God's glory (Rom 3:23). To be separated from God's glory makes us poor and souls deserving of God's wrath. But Jesus stepped in, He descended from His glory to make us who will believe in Him, rich, not in terms of material blessings; but reconciliation unto God and restoration from from our sinful state to live lives glorifying to God.( Eph 1:3-4) When we read riches as material blessings, we under value what God did for the Christian through  His death and resurrection. He died to reconcile sinners to God, not to make sinners rich.

The next popular representing divine health is a little phrase "By his wounds you have been healed" which is pulled from "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness . By his wounds you have been healed.For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."(1Peter 2:24-25).

Now, "By his wounds you have been healed" is another blatant abuse of the text to say what it is not saying. That phrase in the context it appears says nothing about physical healing.  The healing in the context is simply forgiveness of sin in Christ. The context is so clear, I wonder how we twist it. Sin is a disease, a disease that separates us from God. And by Jesus' wounds on the cross, we were healed of the disease of sin and brought back into fellowship with God.

3. Disregard For Sound Doctrine

Sound doctrine--rightly dividing the word of truth has been replaced by messages to entertain and stimulate itchy ears. In the last days, we are told "people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."(1Timothy 4:3-4).

We indeed are living in the days and the descriptions above fits many church folks. What their Pastor or spiritual leader says is the truth and they won't hear anyone else, not even when you point them to the truth as revealed in the Bible. Paul admonishes Timothy to "...flee these things"(1Timothy 6:11). Why will you not flee from that which will lead you "...into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction."(v9).

In conclusion, we must indeed  work and be good stewards of what God blesses us with. We must however not approach God with the false notion of prosperity. God doesn't owe us anything. But if by His Sovereignty and Providence, He gives us riches to enjoy, we must live our days in gratitude and generosity:


As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.(1Timothy 6:17-19).