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

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

THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD – WORKING WITH FAITH

faith-road-sign-with-dramatic-clouds-and-skyNow that we Have Faith, what’s next?
It’s simple – WORK BY FAITH.
Put your Faith to Work
James 2:14,26
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD also.

Yes there’s faith, but you are now supposed to make use of it in life’s situations.
How? Use your words, use your actions.
When a mountain shows up and you remember Mark 11:23, don’t just look at it, put it to work.

Speak the Word, make moves – ACT. That’s how to work with Faith.
It’s that simple.

Jesus is Lord, We Win Always!

THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD – FAITH CONCEPTS 3

faith-road-sign-with-dramatic-clouds-and-skyFAITH CONCEPTS 3

HOW ABOUT UNBELIEVERS, DON’T THEY HAVE FAITH?

Hmmm… this is a dicy one.
Faith comes by hearing the GOSPEL (Romans 10:17)
NOW TO THE QUESTION OF TODAY.
Faith is contained in the gospel. The gospel is preached to unbelievers, hence faith COMES to them.
But the question is this: Who is an unbeliever? An unbeliever is someone that doesn’t believe…lol.
An unbeliever is one that has not believed something. He was given the chance to believe, but he refused to believe. It’s from the greek word apistia.
It means WITHOUT FAITH or AGAINST FAITH.
Meaning that the message was preached, but the fellow rejected the message.

That person not only rejected the message, but also rejected the faith that came with the message.
Hence, unbelievers don’t have faith. Faith was offered to them, but they rejected the faith that was offered. That’s why they are called unbelievers, for they are AGAINST FAITH, and they LACK FAITH.

Jesus Is Lord, We Win Always!

THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD – FAITH CONCEPTS 2

faith-road-sign-with-dramatic-clouds-and-sky

FAITH CONCEPTS 2
We have been looking at Faith as it is presented in the written word of God, and we have
established that Faith comes from the Gospel of the Lord Jesus, and hence is accessible to anyone
who hears the gospel.

2. CAN SIN MAKE ME LOSE FAITH?

No, but it CAN MAKE YOU REDUCE THE USE OF YOUR FAITH.
How is that possible???

Let’s take a look at this scripture:
Romans 9:17-22
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I
might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that
formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and
another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much
longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Reading this scripture, we have the conclusion that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and that was his
undoing.
It now looks like God hardened his heart actively, but that conclusion isn’t true.
God never hardened Pharaoh’s heart actively. It’s inconsistent with God’s nature.
God never does evil, and he never tempts. James 1: 13 says so: “Let no man say when he is tempted,
I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

Now, the question is who hardened Pharaoh’s heart? Simple: Satan did it. Satan closed up his heart just as we see in 2 Corin 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” The word minds there is the same word heart by implication, as seen in Romans 10:9- 10.
Hence, only one person is responsible for actively hardening pharaoh’s heart towards God – Satan is the one.

Now here is the issue with Sin and Faith:
When someone lives a sinful life, he will fall into the accusations of the devil, and he’d think he deserves less than that which God has for him. He gives the devil something to work with, and hence color his mindset to think below God’s plan for him. This causes the fellow to use his faith less. The major device of the enemy in reducing the faith operation of God’s kids is the weapon of accusations and CONDEMNATION. Once you fall into it’s grasp, your faith becomes dampened and
hardly ineffective. Yet, when someone gives in to the act of sin ove rand over again, it causes a hardening of the heart as it makes him see it as a normal way of life, and it consequences, hence faith becomes inoperative. So when God’s goodness in the gospel is preached to such a person, he sees it as impossible.
THIS WAY, HIS FAITH IS MADE INOPERATIVE, AND ITS USE REDUCED.

Jesus Is Lord! We Win Always!