STATEMENTS OF PERSUASION 15 by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel

Statements of persuasion from Hebrews…(15)

In the last post, we looked at what the ‘Cloud of witnesses’. The patriarchs of the old testament, pointed to faith in the resurrection of Christ. Hence, they, by their faith steps, provide a trail to walk in, with Christ as the end of it. In this light, we’d examine the next statements of persuasion.
The next is ‘run with patience the race set before us’. The word, ‘race’ in the Greek is a derivative of a word which means to ‘lead towards a destination’. How is the race run? ‘Looking unto Jesus…’. He is the destination. He is the endpoint. He is the perfection. This thought was previously mirrored in Hebrews 6:12, ‘That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (used in the plural to describe the different ways THE PROMISE was made).’ What promise? Acts 13:32-33, ‘And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.’ The promise was Jesus raised! He says to ‘run the race … looking unto Jesus..’. ‘Looking’ comes from a Greek word which means to, ‘look away from and look to’.
What is to be looked away from? The context tells us; we look away from the cloud of witnesses unto what their faith was a witness to, Christ’s resurrection. The last term to be studied is, ‘.. the author and finisher of faith’. The word ‘author’ refers to the ‘pioneer, or initiator, or beginner’. He is the initiator of faith in the old testament …He is the reason for the prophecies. It is on his account the dispensations (the worlds) were brought into the being. He is why Abel, Abraham, Noah etc…did what they did. Their sights were on his resurrection TO COME.
Still, they were not perfect, for his resurrection, for them, was yet to come. Not so for us! Not only is he the author of Faith…He has become the FINISHER (Fulfillment) of same; by his resurrection! Hence, we that have believed have been perfected.
The call of salvation is to LOOK UNTO JESUS, savior from sin, sanctifier, justifier and perfector. It doesn’t focus on the unsaved’s mortality or otherwise. Rather, it is fixated on God’s promise fulfilled in Christ. We’d continue later. #Dunamis

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STATEMENTS OF PERSUASION 14 by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel

Statements of persuasion from Hebrews…(14)

In the last post, we endeavoured to explain the what the statement of persuasion from Hebrews 10:23-26 was. We also found out the purpose and content of Christian meetings. We also explained what it meant for the ‘day to approach’. Today, we move on to another statement of persuasion from the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 12:1-2, ‘Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’

There are four key terms we’d examine in this portion, as we seek to explain why it is a statement of persuasion. They are, ‘cloud of witnesses’, ‘run with patience the race set’, ‘looking unto Jesus’ and ‘author and finisher of faith’. Before we analyze these, let’s examine the pretext; Hebrews 11:39-40, ‘And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.’ What is the promise that wasn’t received? Acts 13:32-33, ‘And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.’

The ‘perfect’ happened when Christ rose from the dead. This is why the Fathers in Hebrews 11 are called ‘Just men made perfect’ in Hebrews 12:23. The resurrection of Jesus is the promise fulfilled. This is why he says, ‘Therefore, seeing we are compassed by a great cloud of witnesses…let us run the race set before us…’. Let’s see those terms. Firstly, we have ‘a cloud of witnesses’. ‘Cloud’ refers to a ‘dense multitude’. ‘Witnesses’ refer to ‘those who attest to the validity of a fact’.

What were the patriarchs, witnesses to? Hebrews 11:3, ‘Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.’ Here, he says that IN FAITH, we understand that the dispensations were caused, brought about by the word of God, so that what was seen (observable activities) were made of things which do not appear. What was the word of God? It was the promise God made. Concerning whom? The resurrected Jesus.

The dispensations (Abel’s sacrifice, Noah’s ark etc) as listed in Hebrews 11 were brought into being by God’s promise of the resurrection of Christ. The patriarchs ATTEST to this ALL IMPORTANT fact of the Gospel. The Gospel deals with the glorious resurrection of Jesus.

Hence, the author in convincing the unbelieving Jew calls their attention to the focus of the faith of the Fathers; Jesus resurrected. We’ll continue later. #Dunamis

STATEMENTS OF PERSUASION 13 by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel

Statements of persuasion from Hebrews…(13)

In the last post, we looked at the call to ‘draw near’ with a true heart with full assurance of faith. The reason we can tell the sinner this is because by the redemptive work of Christ, humanity has boldness to enter into the holiest of all.

Today, we go further to yet another statement of persuasion; Hebrews 10:23-26, ‘Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,’.

The statement of persuasion here is; let us hold fast the profession of (‘our’ isn’t in the originals) faith. He then gives support to this claim; for he is faithful that promised. Salvation is a call into God’s faithfulness. It’s the celebration of God’s ability to keep his Word. He will save to the uttermost. Then, he proceeds to give a very important instruction as to the character and content of Christian gatherings. He says, ‘to consider one another to provoke one and other unto love and good works’.

Christian meetings are to foster spiritual growth. They are not to entertain the senses… Rather, they are to provide information that gives the Spirit much more influence over the mind. Therefore, we don’t have the latitude to choose what happens in our meetings. We have a pattern defined for us!

Another thing he says is to ‘exhort one another while you see the day approaching’. Contrary to what some folks think..It doesn’t refer to the rapture. What does it refer to? Let’s see a similar expression. Hebrews 3:13, ‘But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.’ He says ‘today’ here and in Hebrews 10:25, ‘as you see the day approaching’. They refer to one and the same thing. The day talked about in Hebrews, as explained in chapter 4 is the day of rest, the day of salvation. Why did the author use the phrase ‘as you see the day approaching’? Simple! He is describing faith and salvation from the thresholds of history. This is why he ends the exhortation in Chapter 10 with this; Hebrews 10:39, ‘But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.’ OF THEM?

Who are these? The first are the unbelieving Jews (Hebrews 4:2), the second are the patriarchs (whose faith in salvation as a futuristic phenomenon is described in chapter 11). Hebrews 6:12, ‘That ye be not slothful, but followers OF THEM who through faith and patience inherit the promises.’ But for us, the DAY HAS COME! It is TODAY! He emphasizes why the need to ‘exhort’ is necessary. So that, men wouldn’t sin willfully, which will be to fall after the same example of unbelief. This also informs us about the content of Christian meetings.

Whatever must be taught should be sufficient to grow people as well as persuade the unbelieving. The Scriptures are given for such a purpose. 2 Timothy 3:15-16, ‘And that, from a babe, those sacred letters, thou hast known which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through the faith which is in Christ Jesus: Every scripture, [is] God breathed, and profitable unto teaching, unto conviction, unto correction, unto the discipline that is in righteousness,’.

As Scriptures make wise unto salvation which through faith in Jesus, they are for conviction…To convince people towards faith in Christ as well as to ‘discipline’, to bring up in righteousness, those already saved. This should be the character of the messages of our meetings. We’ll continue later. #Dunamis

STATEMENTS OF PERSUASION 12 by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel

Statements of persuasion from Hebrews (12).

In the last post, we endeavoured to see what it meant to be ‘followers of them who through faith and patience obtained the promise’. We went on to see what the promise was. We found it out to be the resurrection of Christ. Then, we observed that the promise wasn’t fulfilled in the lifetime of the patriarchs. But rather, when Christ rose from the dead.

Today, we go on to yet another statement of persuasion from the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 10:19-22, ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And [having] an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.’

This is wonderful! It gives underpinnings to the call of the Gospel. There’s something interesting here. He says ‘… having boldness to enter into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way…’. What many don’t understand that this is the ‘entitlement’ of a sinner. The Gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that the sinner has boldness to enter into the holiest of all. The sinner doesn’t come in shameful trepidation, he ought to come boldly, freely with Joy!

Nobody had that right under the old covenant…Not even the high priest. Hebrews 9:8, ‘The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:’. The Holiest of all! But the call of the Gospel is that mankind has boldness to enter into the holiest of all. An interesting thing to note is that this is a call to the sinner. But we have sons of God marinating in wretched unworthiness. Men made righteous calling themselves wretches, feeling unworthy!

We that have believed have entered into the Holiest of all, our consciences have been purged, once for all! We are in the Holy place, as Holy sons of the Holy God! The unbeliever is told to ‘draw near with full assurance of faith…’. Total confidence! God is unambiguous about this! Hebrews 10:15-17, ‘[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.’

This is the basis for the call.. This is why the sinner can come boldly! God isn’t keeping sins in his mind. 2 Corinthians 5:19, ‘For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.’ (TLB).

This is how we persuade the sinner; he can come boldly before God… God’s not counting sins against them! We continue later. ?#?Dunamis?

STATEMENTS OF PERSUASION 11 by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel

Statements of persuasion from Hebrews (11).
In the last post, we examined what it meant to leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ and move on to perfection. We saw the former to mean the prophecies of the Old testament as they pointed to Christ and the latter to mean the sacrifice of Jesus.
Today, we proceed further to yet another statement of persuasion. Hebrews 6:11-15, ‘And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’
We have previously explained the end to mean fulfillment of the promises in Christ and the hope, the person of Christ as high priest. Here, the author of Hebrews begins to take his unbelieving audience on an Old testament trail of faith with Christ as the destination. So, standing on the thresholds of history with the patriarchs, he helps us understand the focus of all they did. He tells his audience to be, ‘.. followers of them who through faith and patience obtained the promises..’.
He then uses Abraham as example, who after he patiently endured, obtained the promise. Two key issues; what was this promise? And when did Abraham obtain the promise? Firstly, the promise(s) pointed to a singular person. Hebrews 6:17-20 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
The promise was Christocentric in orientation. He is the hope the promise spoke about! Acts 13:32-33, ‘And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.’ This was the promise as well as its fulfillment.
Second question, when did Abraham receive the promises? Hebrews 11:13, ‘These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.’ He didn’t receive the promises in his life time. He received it as Christ rose from the dead (Acts 13:33).
Hence, in the New testament, the patriarchs are given a new description. Hebrews 12:23, ‘To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,’. They have come into the perfection of which Christ is the perfector.
So, the author tells the unbelieving Jew, to follow the footsteps of the patriarchs to the final destination; faith in sacrifice of Christ. We’ll continue later. ?#?Dunamis?

STATEMENTS OF PERSUASION 10 by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel

We resume our series on Statements of Persuasion by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel
Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel is the Pastor of God’s DreamWorld Ministries.

Statements of persuasion from Hebrews (10).
In the last post, we established that the throne of Grace is the moment of Salvation. It is where the high priesthood of Jesus becomes effective for a man upon believing. Today, we proceed further to yet another statement of persuasion from the beautiful book of Hebrews. Hebrews 6:1-2, ‘Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.’
This is a very interesting portion of Scripture. Let’s see two major terms here; ‘Principles of the doctrine of Christ’ and ‘perfection’. For the first, some have inferred it to mean ‘basic Christian doctrine or foundation school teachings’. Let’s examine if this is true. The word ‘principle’ comes from a Greek word which means ‘first, the beginning’. He says the beginning of ‘the doctrine of Christ’. Let’s see a similar expression that communicates the same thought. Hebrews 5:12, ‘For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.’ ‘The first principles of the oracles of God’. The word, ‘Principles’ is from a word which means ‘rudiments’. ‘Oracles’ are ‘prophetic utterances, words uttered by prophets’.
Let’s see something in Hebrews 1:1-2, ‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;’. God spoke to the Jewish patriarchs by the prophets in time past and in these last days spoken in his son. Whom he hath appointed ‘heir of all (all doesn’t have a generic application here, it is purpose specific) things’. ‘Heir’ refers to ‘the one to whom all things pertain’ ..’all’ in context refers to what was spoken by the prophets. In other words, Jesus is the focus of all the prophecies of the Old testament. All points to him.
Hence, they are his ‘first principles of the oracles of God’ and the ‘principles of the doctrine of Christ’. Here, the author talks about the Christocentric nature of the Old testament revelation. Let’s look at these principles; ‘repentance from dead work and (which is) of faith towards God’ as prophesied in the old testament (Habakkuk 2:4).
The doctrine of baptisms doesn’t refer to the plurality of water baptism and Holy Ghost baptism. Rather, it refers to washings under the law. The exact same word is used in Hebrews 9:10, ‘[Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation.’ The laying on of hands refers to how the priest put his hands on the animals for sacrifice on account of the sins of the people. Leviticus 16:21, ‘And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send [him] away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:’.
The resurrection from the dead refers to the facts of Christ’s resurrection. Psalms 16:10-11, ‘For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.’. Peter explains this in Acts 2:30-31. Then, eternal judgement- Jude 14-15.
To move on to perfection is to put faith in the sacrifice of Christ. Perfection is in what Jesus did. Hebrews 10:14, ‘For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’ He is the author and finisher (perfector) of faith. It’s in faith in the sacrifice of Christ that perfection comes. The author calls them to look away from the practices of the Old testament to their object and focus the redemptive work of Jesus. We’ll continue later.. ?#?Dunamis?

Protected by the Written Word by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel

We would just be taking a break from the series “Statements of Persuasion from Hebrews” by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel (just for today anyways). I think it would be a great blessing for you to read this one, and then we will continue with the series. This was taken from Divinity Today, a devotional site of his ministry. (divinitytodaydevotional.org)
Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel is the Pastor of God’s DreamWorld Ministries.

PROTECTED BY THE WRITTEN WORD

One of the benefits of writing is the fact that it preserves ideas and thoughts. By writing, the thoughts and intents of an author are safe from corruption and being misquoted. God inspired men to write to disclose his intentions for humanity and to preserve such intentions from corruption. Contrary to most opinions, the Bible isn’t a mystical book, it was written by men inspired by God in the language of men so that men may READ and understand God.

The scriptures were written for a purpose. 2 Timothy 3:15, ‘And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.’ The Scriptures make wise (skillful, adroit, adept) concerning salvation which is through faith in Jesus Christ.

We can say the Bible is THE TEXTBOOK on salvation. It is the Sole authority on salvation. If you’d like to understand salvation you’ll have to consult the Scriptures. Understanding this fact will safeguard you from ‘prophetic’ corruptions. It will preserve you from the errors of those who go on excursions to heaven and hell. Do I believe in visions? Emphatically yes! I’m a thorough charismatic who believes the gifts of the Spirit are for every believer. I see visions.. Yet, I maintain my honor for the written word. The supernatural and the scriptures shouldn’t be mutually exclusive realities. We can have them both! In fact, if you’d rightly divide the Word, you’d function in the gifts of the Spirit with greater finesse.

That being said, Paul gives us this admonition. Galatians 1:8-9, ‘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. 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.’

It doesn’t matter how fantastic the vision is, our how spectacular the encounter was…If it is contrary to what the apostles taught… Let such an one be accursed! Why was Paul vehemently particular about this? It is to preserve the Gospel from corruption.

Our convictions should be managed by the written Word, not supernatural happenings. 2 Timothy 3:16, ‘ Every Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for convincing, for correction of error, and for instruction in right doing;’, (WMTH). The scripture is useful for convincing…for persuasion!

Why did Paul say the one who preaches any other should be accursed? It was because the facts of the Gospel are preserved in the scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, ‘Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:’.

All Jesus did …the facts of the Gospel ARE ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES. Hence, Paul says everyone who believes something else believed in vain. Thank God for the written word! As we study it in its Christocentric focus, we gain clarity in our hearts about who God is and what his salvation plan is all about! Thank God for the written word!

Confession
I hold fast to the Words contained in scriptures considering them to be my preservation from fale doctrine

Further Scriptures
Romans 1:1-4; 16:25-27