Of transactional gospel

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920

Every Bible-believing and practising church (read denomination or ministry) has as part of its creed that the Bible is the final authority on matters it talks about. If anyone wakes up and says that God told her/him something that contradicts the spirit of the scriptures, we quickly throw it into the dustbin. The Bible is interpreted in the mind of Christ and not the mind of the preacher, scholar or theologian. Furthermore, the Bible is Christocentric or it is Christ’s book.

The Bible is conclusive. This means that no issue is left to the discretion or persuasion of the expositor. There are no hanging issues. The New Covenant of which we are beneficiaries was between God and God in Christ. Our part there is to receive (believe), partake and enjoy with thanksgiving. When Jesus was born of virgin Mary (incarnation), it was God humbling Himself to redeem us as a human being.

Let us prove. 2 Corinthians 5:19, New King James Version reads, “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” So the New Covenant was cut between God and God. We sustain further in John 14:8-10, “[8] Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. [9] Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? [10] Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

We simply receive freely. Jesus Christ is our Seed. Any gospel that requires you to pay is another gospel. Apostle Paul warns in Galatians 1:6-9, “[1] I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: [7] Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. [9] As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Widely quoted and misunderstood John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Christian Faith is a gift from the Father. No self effort, works or good deeds in the equation. Galatians 3:2 poses a rhetoric question, “This only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Romans 8:32 is instructive, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

We did not move over to Christ but rather God brought us back in Christ. In prophecy, He had spoken in Ezekiel 36:26-27, “[26] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. [27] And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” We have the fruit of the Spirit. He moulds our conduct.

This resonates with 2 Corinthians 3:3, New King James Version, “clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” All this is proving that God Himself sees to it that the believer is His business as opposed to the Old Testament.

Earlier we stated that Jesus is our Seed. Remember He is the Word. Jesus explained in Luke 8:11, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” So money, cars, houses or material things are not the Seed. Why do we then support the church. We are grateful for the sacrificial death of Jesus. Where we were supposed to die, He died for us. In us is the spirit of generosity. The Word makes us mature and responsible. We give not pay that evangelism and soul winning continues. Remember that the Father’s desire is that no one should perish.

We do not pay to tap into the anointing, to get deliverance, to be healed, to be married, to get jobs or to prosper in business. These all are part of the finished and accomplished work of Christ. When we go to church, we know that the chairs to sit on need money to acquire. We

are not stingy and we are generous beyond 10% not by manipulation but by choice or freewill. A certain “prophet” was trying to convince his audience that tithing is as much an Old Testament requirement as a New Testament requirement. He used Matthew 23:23, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

Do not force the Bible to mean what you want. Be patient. It has its context. You do not need to be a theologian to know that the Gospels are Old Testament. We are told in Galatians 4:4-5, “[4] But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, [5] To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.