Archive for July, 2012

 

I was talking to a good pal of mine yesterday about what they were taught on Sunday in some church meeting. She willingly indulged me in the details of the meeting, God bless her. Unfortunately, most of what she told me they were taught and the lessons she got, were unbiblical truths. I decided to do a write up of what they were taught using what she gave and give the biblical view of it. Correct me where I am biblically wrong. Read on:

1. CURSES

They were taught about curses, their origins and how they extend to the third and fourth generation. They were told to confess and repent of the sins of their forefathers, grandparents, great-grandparents for anything they might have done that may/will follow them presently in their lifetime. Below are the scriptural references read to them to support that:

a) Lam.5:7 – Our fathers sinned and are no more, and we bear their iniquities

b) Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18 & Jeremiah 32:18 – Which talk of how God will visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.

c) They were then told the story of Daniel and how the situation they were in was because of the sins of their forefathers.

What is the Correct Biblical Interpretation (Exegisis)?

Lamentations 5:7 was very true. The Israelites were in exile and it was because both they and their forefathers had sinned against the Lord and God had in turn punished them.  If you read the whole chapter, you will see that it is actually a prayer for God to restore them. We see the events that led to this in Jer.25 where Jeremiah calls the people of Judah and gives them a word from the Lord, telling them how they are going to captivity because they had disobeyed the words of the Lord repeatedly.  The captivity period was to last 70years.  Then in Jer.29, Jeremiah writes a letter to the exiles telling them what the Lord required of them in their country of exile and that’s where we find the infamous verse of, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord……’ God’s plan was that even though they were in captivity at that time, he was giving them hope in that letter and assuring them of his plan to deliver them come the 70years. God was faithful to his word and delivered them at that exact time, not two years later as my pal was told. We read clearly in Daniel 9 that after Daniel perceived the number of years (70) that God had set, implying that either it was the 70th year or thereabouts, he turned to God in repentance and asking for mercy. God delivered the Israelites not because Daniel had prayed, but because that was His plan from the beginning and He had made it so clear to them.

What about Ex.34:7, Num.14:18 & Jer.32:18?  They were all right at the particular time they were written but we cannot use them today. Generational curses do not exist. Why you may ask? Because God revoked that line of thinking in Ezekiel 18 where he strongly says that the proverb of the ‘father eating the sour grapes and the children feeling the bitter taste’ shall no longer be in use. He says that the SOUL THAT SINS SHALL DIE. God clearly renounces the collective responsibility and installs the individual responsibility. He further asks, ‘Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father? When the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die, The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father nor the father for the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.’ That is the word of the Lord. This individual responsibility  was enhanced from that time to the book of Revelation. We see Rom.2:6 saying that God will render to each one according to his works.  Revelation 22:12 reiterates it by stating, ‘….. I will give each one according to what He has done. ‘ With biblical support, we can outrightly see that the  sins of your fore fathers (generational curses), will not follow you, every man will be judged on his own. Secondly, it just does not make sense confessing and repenting of sins of someone who is already dead and whose fate has been sealed. The only recommendation we have in the bible is, ‘Confess your sins one to another that you may obtain mercy.’ Nowhere are we told to confess the sins of our fore fathers, the best we can do is pray for our living parents and grandparent who may still be indulging in sin that they may obtain mercy.

In conclusion, curses do not trickle down to generations. If it were so, then we would also categorically say that righteousness is passed from generation to generation.  If you are in Christ, you are a new creation and Christ has taken up all your iniquities.

 

2. My pal is of the understanding that as Christians, we should not be struggling with sin or stuff like barrenness, disease, etc. That we should just speak to them and command them to leave because of the power within us and also because by his stripes we have been healed and Christ bore our curse. True or False?

False! Why? First, man is inherently sinful. From birth, we already are sinners. Sin came into the world through one man Rom.5 which led to condemnation for all men. That’s why Rom.3:23 says, ‘All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, while Romans 3:11-18 talks of no one on earth being righteous.’  So yes, Christ bore our curse by becoming sin that we may be righteous, Gal.3:13 talks of that. Anyone who did not keep the whole law was cursed. So all of humanity was cursed from inception since we cannot keep the law. Our first inclination is to always sin and that’s where Christ came in and bore our curse, for again it says, ‘Cursed is anyone hanged on a tree.’ In and of ourselves, we cannot do away with sin, that’s why a Saviour came.

What does the bible talk about when it says, ‘by his stripes we are healed found in Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2:24?’ Anyone who reads with me carefully the whole chapter will clearly see that God is not talking about sickness but sin. Isaiah says, ‘he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace and with his stripes we are healed, all we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord has laid the iniquity of us all.’ Peter says it abit differently, ‘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.’ Isaiah was prophesying what was to come while Peter was testifying of what had already happened.  We have been healed of our sins, we are no longer slaves to it and God has imputed Christ’s righteousness on us, justification, 2Corinthians 5:21.  So sin no longer controls us, how then can we explain our battle with sin?

What happens is this, though sin no longer controls us, sin still dwells in us. So a believer is not controlled by sin, the flesh, rather fights it, struggles with it and thus the whole concept of sanctification. Sanctification is the process by which a converted soul is being transformed daily into the image and likeness of Christ. You begin to abhor sin the way Christ does and you start doing the things he says you do. We are transformed in the renewal of our minds that sin no longer has dominion over us because we are under grace and that is why Paul says in Rom.6:12, ‘let not sin reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions.’ That means sin is in you, but it should not rule over you.  Why? Because we have the Spirit of God who helps us not to gratify the desires of the flesh and to say no to all ungodliness. Because it is no longer us who live but Christ who lives in us and whose will it is that we may be sanctified, 1 Thess.4:3.  Because the fruit we get from being slaves of God is sanctification, Rom.6:22.  Rom.7, Gal.5:16-26 and James 4 shows explicitly how the battle between the flesh (indwelling sin) and the Spirit is. That is why Gal.6:1 talks of restoring a brother wh has transgressed in gentleness, because we are still struggling with sin. This indwelling sin is the kind that Paul talks of when he says, the things I want to do, I don’t do, the things I don’t want to do, I do. That is why there are so many exhortations in the bible of how to live right, walk in the Spirit, be transformed plus many others encouraging the process of sanctification, so that we may beat the desires of the flesh. You cannot just speak out sin that is an exercise in futility. You need a Saviour, you need the word. Yet not by our strength but by the grace of God.

3. Lastly, let me tackle the issue of barrenness, disease, as per the way she had referred to them above.

We live in an imperfect world and for as long as we are in this world, sufferings will be there. Any person who preaches a gospel that does not involve suffering is not of the Lord. Fortunately, we serve a loving God who has warned us of all these. He told us sufferings will come but we should stand firm because he has overcome the world. Barrenness and diseases are not curses. They can be regarded more as afflictions even though some diseases can arise out of our sinfulness. So what does the bible says about these? Rom. 5:3 says that we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame. James 1:2-4 reiterates the same point by telling us to count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds for we know that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness and we need to let steadfastness have its full effect, that we may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing. 1 Pet.4:12 basically talks of the same, that we should not be surprised at the fiery trials that come to test us but rather we should rejoice that we share in the sufferings of Christ. The letter to the Philippians in 1:29 tells us that it has been granted to us that for the sake of Christ we should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake. Then 2 Cor.1:3-11 reminds us that we have the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s suffering, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

I do not know what kind of suffering or affliction you may be going through right now, some are for a season then the Lord does away with them, some are for a lifetime for the glory of God. Find out which one is yours, be content, rejoice and use it for the glory of God.

I hope all this has edified you and driven you to study and prayer. This was not me, trying to influence you to support my thinking but me trying to encourage us to read the bible in context that we may interpret it rightly. This was all for the purpose of edification and for the glory of God.

Grace be with you.

MURDERED LOVE

Posted: July 10, 2012 in Poetry
Tags: , , , ,

 Love watched from afar, Love grieved from afar

A people so wicked who will redeem them

His wrath was boiling over and the creation became His enemies

Doom and destruction was certain, for the cup of his wrath was full

Man after man, plague after plague, prophet after prophet They just never learnt,

The flood was quickly forgotten Sodom & Gomorrah became a mythical story

Messengers were constantly killed but still there was no solution

Then love came down, Love decided to dwell with men

How else would he save them unless he went to them

So love left His holy place and came down to sinful earth to provide a solution

A solution that only Love could give, Only Love could understand

The day was set and the heavenly glory left behind

Even though the whole fullness of deity was still in Him

Love became man, Love dwelt among men, Love had compassion on men

Love even became a messenger, delivering the message of deliverance

But would they hear it, would they listen to Him Did they even know who He was

The people He planned to save started planning His death

Oh wicked men, if only you knew who walked with you on this earth

Love could have thwarted their plans, for he knew them

He is the one who actually works in us to will and to act

But He let it be, the cup was near, it was already tilted

He had to drink the content or the people He loved would

So like a sheep to the slaughter house, Love let them lead Him

With songs of crucifixion they led Him With eyes of love He looked at them

Hoping they would gaze deeper and see who He really was

But nay, they were a stubborn people & Love had already decreed his own fate

To the cross, they led Him amidst flogging and mockery

To the cross, they nailed Him with nails so long and thick

On the cross, they raised Him with arms of love still outstretched

On that day, redeeming love and retributive justice joined hands,Murdered Love

So blind were the people that they could not see his love

So they ‘Murdered Love’

Thinking he was just like them, not knowing that Love, true Love can’t be killed

Not with stones, not with nails

With groans and pains, Love gave up his soul With joy and praise Love resurrected from the dead

Love resurrected and this time Love is ready to pour out His wrath to sinful man

Murdered love, that we may receive life

Do ye not see?

Grace & Peace