Saturday, 17 December 2011

What is sin?

Can't man just obey simple instructions? what kind of a people are we that when told not to we do and when told to we don't, what makes you feel if you were Adam you would have obeyed yet when told not to do you still keep on doing it and when told to do you don't yet you know the consequences of each or both. Perhaps this(sin) happens to be one of the most commonly heard word in our life though among the hard things to opt to talk about, it reminds me of my first question among my youth group in my current placement; what is life. The reality of the matter is that sin is there its real and it exist among the people and in fact its one of the things that the scripture says has a wage which is death. I do not really know what comes to your mind when you hear this name mentioned. Do you think of  racism, terrorism, tribalism,pride,covetousness,cohabiting, environmental pollution,sexual immorality, idolatry, corruption, materialism, godlessness,hatred, anger, rape, murder, theft, cheating, gossiping, or evening making a computer viruses or even human viruses, devil worshiping.. and the list is endless or do you think of sin according to levels where you think some sins are more sin than others or do you just simplify sin to right and wrong?
Lets see what the intellects are saying in Oxford Dictionary; n. Transgression, esp. conscious, against divine law or principles of morality ., deadly or mortal-, such as causes death of the soul or is fatal to salvation

I also found this in a website called; All About God;
"We live in a culture where the concept of sin has become entangled in legalistic arguments over right and wrong. When many of us consider "What is sin?" we think of violations of the Ten Commandments. Even then, we tend to think of murder and adultery as "major" sins compared with lying, cursing, or idolatry. The truth is that sin, as defined in the original translations of the Bible, means "to miss the mark." The mark, in this case, is the standard of perfection established by God and evidenced by Jesus. Viewed in that light, it is clear that we are all sinners."

Well i believe all this are good definitions or remarks about sin but they may not be satisfactory, well one thing i keep asking myself  is how did sin come about. Its originated from Satan Ezekiel 28:15 and his angels and then it came to man. Its a wide topic but we will try to see how man fell from his perfect relationship with God. I personally believe the Holy Bible which is the word of God and it says very well about the origin of man's sinfulness which is in Genesis 3. Its wise to acknowledge that God had  created a perfect world and its not his fault that sin came up. The Holy Bible clearly indicates to us that God gave man an opportunity to rule all the earth and to be fruitful and above this he was given simple instructions of what to do and what not to do. One of the options was to obey God and that is what God told him to, however the devil deceived man and man ended up taking a wrong advice and evil in exchange of the divine one from God  the sad bit was that it was based on a lie for there was no way and never will there be a time when the created will be in the same position as the Creator. I find this as the first 'sin' or the original sin, man wanting to be equal with God. Sin is not just doing bad, it is more serious than that, it is a rebellion against the Almighty God. Its about going against God's will and ways. Adam and Eve wanted to please themselves, not God. They did not want God's direction on what to do  yet he created them and gave them the mind and intellect, the Holy Bible says he made man in His own image. We who are Adam's children sin like him. In Adam's case he wanted to please his own desires and we too when we sin fulfill our evil desires instead of what God wants for us.
Ultimately sin is an act against God and it affects our whole being as N.I.V puts it; it can be seen in the outward acts that people commit though its a manifestation of a corrupted moral and spiritual nature that causes us to commit this acts.
It affects our will (John 8:34), our Mind (1Cor1:21), our emotions(Romans 1:24-27), our thoughts(Mark 7:21), Our behavior(Gal 5:19-21), Our speech(Psalms 5:9).  Sin came with the following consequences.
1. Sin made man ruin himself; he felt ashamed and feared to stand before God. (Gen 3:7)
2. Sin made men ruin each other; hatred and fights (Gen 3:12,16)
3.Sin ruined and still ruins the world (Gen 3:17-19)
4. Worst of all sin spoiled our perfect relationship with our Maker and God (Genesis 3:10,22-24)
This does not mean that this all there is about sin for its only an overview. However I will conclude by saying that; Sin is the root cause of all evil and all mankind problem's, be they wars, crimes disease, poverty or death. The ultimate penalty was passed on to us by God which is death - in the present; separation from God and in the future being cast into eternal damnation in hell. Feel free to comment on this or to ask any question as we await to know how or where then is our hope.

Gatambia Newton.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Who is God?

Not long ago a friend of mine had invited me for a lunch treat and we started sharing on matters related to our faith, well we said a lot of stuff but among the many thing we touched on it became clear to me of the Post modern believe by the people whom I choose to call the 'in between', its the people who do not deny God's existence and yet do not acknowledge his existence. They are known to say that they do not disbelieve and at the same time they do not believe.... this a long discussion for another day anyway but be on the look out for such.
God is indeed Who He is, whether I'm going to describe him or not, whether you will do it or not it will not affect who God is. I personally believe that God is there; He is not an imagination but He is real, He is loving, approachable and mysterious. God has power not only beyond man's full description but even power beyond man's full denial of existence. This means you cannot define him fully and you cannot dispute him fully, we only know what he reveals to us and those who claim his non-existence only do so to the extent of their little knowledge which is foolishness in comparison to his wisdom.
I did post this question about who God is on Facebook and I did not have as much zeal for knowing him as I do at the moment. The more I have desired to know him the more i have desired to know more about him. Reason being that he has been revealing himself to me through his written word and also through what others have said about him, at times I have to ask him directly who he is.  I have had to read quite a number of books on this topic and its amazing how all of them have a uniform definition of who God is.
Its common practice for anyone who try to define something to start by saying what the Dictionary says about, well the Oxford Handy Dictionary defines God this way "Supreme Being, Creator and Ruler of universe" We also have a different definition in my small Oxford Minidictionary as " Creator and Ruler of universe in Christian, Jewish and Muslim teaching" Earlier on as quoted by J.I.Packer C.H.Spurgeon has also said about God as i cited earlier on our Facebook group . Packer goes on to say that knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives and gives this true fact;"The world becomes a strange,mad, painful place and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as if it were with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you." Well I obviously recommend the reading of this book; Knowing God by J.I.Packer. I will now go on to tell us about the five principles tha Packer says are foundational towards knowing about God
    1. God has spoken to man and the Bible is his Word given to us to make us wise unto SALVATION.
    2. God is Lord and King over his World; he rules all things for his own glory,displaying his perfections in   all that he does in order that men and angels may adore and worship him.
    3.God is Saviour, active in sovereign love through the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue believers from guilt and power of sin, to adopt them them as his children and to bless them accordingly.
    4. God is Triune; there are with the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and the work of salvation is on which all the three act together; the Father purposing redemption, the Son securing it and the Holy Spirit applying it
   5. Godliness means responding to God's revelation in trust and obedience faith and worship prayer and praise, submission and service. Life must be seen as lived in the light of God's word. This and nothing else is the true religion. 
I have also posted about the definition and good research done by Marilyn Adamson about God its very important to read through it and see the great explanation she makes. All i have written have read revolves around the same things that the Bible which is the word of God says about him. We shall at one point be looking at the authenticity of the Bible but not right now.
  The Bible has all we see, say believe and have heard about our God, it has enough evidence to help us not only know about God but to even help us know about ourselves. Genesis one clearly refers to him as the creator of all that is, it helps us know how he started it all and this is indeed how it all started. I love the creation story and how it unfolds helps me appreciate how mighty my God is. Gen 1:1 says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" Gen 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in His own image He created him, male and female he created them" Exodus 3:14 "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I  AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you." "
  I do still recall when our iServe Africa team leader Harrison helped us know how well God is described in the bible in relation to his nature, actions and some direct descriptions; He is God the Creator, the Saviour, the Redeemer, the Alpha and Omega, Jehovah Jireh, Yahweh, Elohim, Nisi, Adonai, Elshadai, Rapha, at times as the Judge and other times as the King. David in the Psalms shows his practical experience with God in Psalms 139 by portraying the three main powers of God; Omnipotent (All powerful), Omnipresent (Everywhere) and Omniscient (all knowing).
 Going back a little bit on packer's work he tells of the following as God's perfections which he says are part of his moral characters; his holiness, his love and mercy, his truthfulness, his faithfulness, his goodness, his patience and his justice. I'll see briefly what John Stott has for us in his 1972 Edition; Understanding the Bible; he says this about the Bible; "So the Bible is primarily a book neither of science, nor of literature, nor of philosophy, but of salvation..... Salvation is far more than the forgiveness of sins. It includes the whole sweep of God's purpose to redeem and restore mankind, and indeed all creation. What we claim for the Bible is that it unfolds God's total plan."   I'm sure that i have not done all that can be done but i wish to advice us to read more from the Bible and other book as well as to seek God with all our hearts. To draw us to a conclusion on this I will say that the key thing is not to just know about God but make an extra step of submitting to his Love. Read Jeremiah 29:13. God be with you. Bro. Newton.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Defination of The name.

To many Jesus is a MEans/meANS to an eND meaning He is sort of a where we source our needs, thinking of the era we are in many see Him as a sort of an ATM machine. On the contrary we all know the best way to know someone is by asking them who they indeed are and on this view I seek to know who Jesus said he were. In his words he made a declaration that He is the way, the truth and the life, He also says that whoever  sees Him has seen the Father and so He is the full embodiment of the Father. He is the beginning and the end or in Greek the Alpha and the Omega. He is our all in all and hence bigger than just a means. When we have Him we have it all, know it all and hence are fulfilled for His name's sake.

Looking at the world today makes it clear to everyone that there is an emptiness we face in all  the days of our lives. Indeed all the religions unanimously agree that there is something wrong with humanity though not all agree on the way to fix it. One needs not to be a genius to acknowledge how uncertain the situations we face are and continue to be. My inspiration to start this blog resulted from my going to the regroup bible study where we went through a book by Skye Jethani; A Divine Commodity. Through our studies God has helped me to see more clearly about his position and our position in this world. I do realize very well that God has been faithful and just and to a very sincere extent merciful to us. I hope together God will help us grow and learn how we should relate to him, all this for his glory.

HOPE; Any one uses the word hope so occasionally and for various reasons, well oxford dictionary defines hope as "Expectation and desire (of thing, of doing, that); trust (SET ones hope on)" Well Skye defines it as follows "The conviction that despite what we may see and experience, everything is not meaningless. There is order amidst the Chaos; there is a story driving all things to a culmination." Whichever way its defined all of us need something to count as our hope.

FOR; a prep. in defence, support or favour of.. for the sake or benefit of.

THE WORLD; most people tend to think of the rest as the definition of the word world, well in this situation i mean myself and you, all inclusive, all that was created by God, both visible and invisible.

IN JESUS; i would have thought it wise to separate Jesus from in but i won't do so. We got to see the whole picture about the Son of God . We have no better thing to do but to know and believe the whole story of Jesus; His birth, His Life, His Death and His Resurrection.

"and The events surrounding are recorded in such a way to show that Jesus went to his death freely and deliberately--not because he actively chose death itself, but because he continued to commit himself to the mission of the kingdom in the face of opposition and evil. The act of the cup and bread at the 'last supper' symbolizes the totality of Jesus' life, a life lived in loving service of others. and The events surrounding 
the suffering and death of Jesus, along with all other instances of violence and murder, are ultimately outside the powers of rational explanation. The most we can do is to acknowledge in faith that the mystery of God's love is finally more powerful than evil and death. Jesus' death, too, needs to be recognized in this light. 
He choose to become sin that through His nailing on the cross I may get my redemption, oh what a faithful friend He is to us, all our sins and griefs to bear,He choose us for there was no other way for us, sin had separated us from the Father but we are now one through His death - an atonement for my sins, how therefore i Cherish Him for such love for the sinners.

Friends there is only one way,one truth and one life and that is Jesus the son of God." Newton JGK on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 2:54pm.

May God be with in this Journey of faith as we in Love, in Faithfulness and in Full tell the good news, welcome on board brethren.