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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (17)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Never read your mindset into the bible, else it is your mindset that you will interpret afterwards as explanations.

We saw in our last study that just like the word “read” (anaginosko) was frequently used by Jesus in the four gospels in response to the questions posed to him by the Pharisees and Sadducees, this word also had a regular frequency in the book of Acts; and we examined a couple of texts to buttress this. One important rule in bible reading and interpretation is: Never read your mindset into bible text; hence, you will not be interpreting what the author intends to be the intent of the interpretation. So, interpretation out of the authors’ intent is interpreting your own intent, and this is possible because while reading in the first place, what you read was your intent and not the authors’ intent. Furthermore, in the epistles, this word “read” (anaginosko) also had its occurrences which we will examine.

In 2Corinthians 1:13, Paul has this to say “For we write none other things unto you, than what you read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end”. Paul echoes this in chapter 3 of 2Corinthians “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all of men… But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ” (2Corinthians 3:2, 14). In Colossians 4:16, Paul used the word “read” (anaginosko) three times in a singular verse, it reads “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea”. In simple terms, Paul in Colossians 4:16 instructed them “Whatever I wrote to Laodicea, read it and let the church at Laodicea also read what I wrote to you (to the church at Colosse)”. We’ve seen so far that reading is so emphasized in scriptures. And as far as bible interpretation is concerned, you can’t miss it at reading and aim to get it at interpretation. You therefore cannot be a true student of the word without being an ardent reader. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: You have to be an ardent reader.

PRAYER: Father, I declare that the zeal for fervent and diligent reading is ignited in me, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: A student who does not study has a question tag on his studentship.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 2CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 1 EVENING: 2CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 3

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (16)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: The intent to be interpreted in bible interpretation is not your intent but the authors’ intent.

It is impossible to arrive at a detailed interpretation of a bible text that has not been read in details; therefore, the emphasis so far is on reading. From Jesus’ use of the word “anaginosko” in the synoptic account, what he implied was that the Pharisees or Saducees did not read the scriptures properly; in other words “have you not read properly?” Jesus in all of those responses to the questions posed to him was saying: Pay attention to details. It thus suffices us to say that the kind of reading involved in bible study is to take note. The scriptures have to be read because that is where understanding comes from. The book of Acts also has an emphatic frequency in the use of the word “anaginosko”. Let’s investigate into a few: In Acts 13:27, it echoes “For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him”.

Acts 15:21 where we have another use of the word says “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day… Vs 31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation”. Acts 23:34 reads “And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;” If you observe carefully Acts 13:27 and Acts 15:21 above, you will see again the importance of reading; it was done consistently and continually. Also, in Acts 23:34 above, the governor read the letter of judgment. Even though it was a letter communicating judgment, note that the author (Luke) used the same word “anaginosko” (translated as “read” in normal parlance). It has to do with careful reading. The governor was not to read his own mindset into the letter. The essence of writing in the first place was to convey information, and his actions would stem from what is read. Take note: In proper reading, you don’t read your mindset into what is written; if not you will make what is written say what it is not saying. Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: Never read your mindset into the bible.

PRAYER: I declare that I am committed to the study of God’s word like never before, in Jesus Name. Amen.

QUOTE: In bible interpretation, it’s not your intent that is the intended interpretation but the authors’ intent.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: ACTS CHAPTER 13 EVENING: ACTS CHAPTER 15

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (15)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: There is properness in reading and until you address your mind to this properly, you will not properly read the scriptures.

We saw further in our investigation of the word “Anaginosko” that Jesus used it severally and in his usages, it was mostly in response to the questions posed to him. By Jesus always using this response, “Have you not read”, it suffices to say firstly that this response reveals that he had certainly read the entire scriptures. Secondly, in most of this interactions, he was speaking to Pharisees; men who by their status and training had read the entire scriptures. In other words, examining the kind of questions Jesus asked in his responses further shows that “anaginosko” is not just to have read it and known the verses; it goes beyond that, more so because what he said was not a revelation to them. He was simply saying “address your mind to what is written in the scriptures”. You are asking this question because you have not properly addressed your mind to the facts.

“Have you not read” means to relive the moment; to see it again. Interpreting Jesus’ response in today’s language would be “Go and read it again” because what he said implied that they had an idea of the texts but were not reading it properly. Again, there is properness in reading where you address your mind to the issues. It is clear that Jesus did not say or was not saying they did not read the scriptures, he rather implied they did not read them properly; in other words “have you not read properly?” In essence, he was saying “pay attention to details”. This is because every time he said “have you not read?” those verses he referred to were verses among other verses which implies, “Didn’t you take note of this in your reading?” This would mean the kind of reading involved in bible study is to take note. The scriptures have to be read because that is where understanding comes from. Take note: Properness in reading is paying attention to details; paying attention to details is observation and observation is reading.  Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: Always read to capture details.

PRAYER: My eyes of understanding are enlightened and sharpened as I spend time on your word Lord in the place of reading, in Jesus Name. Amen.

QUOTE: It is a misunderstanding to aim at understanding in the absence of reading.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2 EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (14)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: An in-depth understanding of scriptures will be an offshoot of an in-depth reading of scriptures. 

We have seen in Ephesians 3:3-5 that Paul’s use of the term “when you read” which is “anaginosko” in Greek implies continuous reading, that is, you must keep reading. It also means to read properly, to pay attention to details when you read. The word “anaginosko” thus speaks of properness in reading; reading with rapt attention in order to come to a place of understanding. So, in Ephesians 3, Paul’s words point to us that understanding revelation is related to how diligent we are in reading. We must therefore keep reading the scriptures; it must be a continuous work. We must read to capture the details of what is read (that is, “anaginosko”). Hence, the first key in bible study is reading, that is, observation. What is not properly read cannot be properly interpreted. One must never assume he knows the meaning of a text when he has not properly read the same.

Let’s take this further: In the synoptic/four gospels (Matthew to John), our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ also used the word “anaginosko” several times. He used it often in responses to questions posed to him by the Pharisees and Sadducees. Let’s see few instances: In Matthew 12:3, he says “But he said unto them, have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him”. In Matthew 19:4, he has this to say “And he answered and said unto them, have ye not read, that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female”. Hear Jesus in Matthew 21:42, “Jesus said unto them, did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”. In Mark 12:26, he echoed, “And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”. From the above texts, Jesus mostly answered questions posed to him by asking, “…Have you not read…” His responses showed firstly that he had certainly read the entire scriptures. Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: Always be in-depth in your reading of scriptures.

PRAYER: I declare that my eyes open up to revelation knowledge as I have an in-depth study of your word Lord, in Jesus name, Amen.

QUOTE: You cannot be in-depth in scriptural understanding if you are not in-depth in scriptural reading.

DAILY READING: MORNING: MARK CHAPTER 2; EVENING: MARK CHAPTER 12

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (13)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Consistency in reading is a vital quality that shows you are either diligent or not.

It’s clear and unarguable that reading plays a vital role when it comes to understanding and interpreting texts of scriptures. When reading is out of place, understanding the scriptures can’t be in place. So, understanding the scriptures will begin first by reading any written material at all. The vitality of reading is so critical in scriptures that its emphasis was/is overwhelming. That’s why Paul while writing to Timothy who was his mentee says “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1Timothy 4:13).  In Ephesians 3:3-5, Paul in verse 4 uses a phrase “when you read”. Verse 4 of Ephesians 3 already tells us why he wrote to them “…Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand…” hence, Paul wrote to them so that the epistle can be read but the essence was for them to read and understand.

That term “when you read” used by Paul in verse 4 of Ephesians 3 is “anaginosko” in Greek and we’ve seen that it was gotten from two words: “ana” meaning again and “ginosko” meaning to recognize. “Anaginosko” therefore implies continuous reading, that is, you must keep reading. “Anaginosko” means to read properly, to pay attention to details as you read. This word is used to relive an experience. You keep reading it again and again. In historical times, “Anaginosko” was used for judges when they read their judgment on matters of justice brought before them. It was used 33 times in the New Testament books of the bible. The frequency of its usage by the authors points our attention to the importance of the word “read”. Hence, what Paul said to the church at Ephesus can be better understood as, “as you keep reading, you may understand”. Paul again pointed out that understanding revelation is related to how dutiful (diligent) we are in reading. The believer, therefore, has a duty not just to have read the scriptures but to keep reading the same. This is why the very first rule in bible study is reading, that is, observation. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Your reading must be continuous.

PRAYER: I declare a boiling fire and passion within me to drive me to a place of reading God’s word consistently and continually, in Jesus name, Amen.

QUOTE: Reading that is not consistent lacks the quality of diligence.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 21 EVENING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 22

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 JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (12)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Reading for understanding is reading with observation.

Reading plays a very vital role in study and interpretation. Observation plays a key role in reading; it is from reading with observation that understanding will be arrived at. Meaning:

  • You cannot understand in reading if you don’t comprehend the read material.
  • You can’t comprehend the read material devoid of observation.

So when it comes to understanding and interpreting bible texts, reading plays a very vital role. Thus, understanding the scriptures begins firstly from reading. If you cannot read, you cannot comprehend or understand. Reading is so emphasized in the scriptures that Paul also instructs Timothy; a minister of the gospel, a bible teacher to give attendance to reading; thus, in 1Timothy 4:13, Paul had this to say, “Till I come, give attendance to reading to exhortation, to doctrine”. In Paul’s words in Ephesians 3, he had this to say “How that by revelation, he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit” (Ephesians 3:3-5). Verse 4 clearly tells us why he wrote to them, “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand…” Hence, Paul wrote to them so that the epistle can be read but the essence was for them to read and understand. The term “when you read” used in Ephesians 3 above as documented by Paul was translated from a compound word in the Greek Lexicon “anaginosko”. This word is important in our study, it was gotten from two words in Greek: “Ana” which means again and “Ginosko” which means to recognize. What in essence does “anaginosko” mean? To be answered in next study. Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: While reading, don’t miss out of observation.

PRAYER: My eyes of understanding are sharpened as I study through your word, even as I consecrate myself to the place of reading your word diligently now and always, in Jesus Name. Amen.

QUOTE: You can’t skip observation in reading and aim to arrive at understanding in reading.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 12 EVENING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 19

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (11)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: For there to be understanding in the place of reading, you cannot ignore, neglect or exonerate observation from the picture.

In Acts 8:27-35, the question Philip asked the Ethiopian Eunuch who read from Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 53:7-8 in Acts 8:31-33) was “Understandest thou what thou readest”. Meaning, in interpretation and studying, proper reading is the key. From Philip’s question in verse 30 of Acts 8, the first thing to be deduced is that the Ethiopian Eunuch read from the scriptures. Secondly, Philip was able to explain the verse that the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading because he also must have read the scriptures. The phrase “began at the same scripture” in Acts 8:35 (as documented by Luke) imply Philip used other scriptures to explain that same verse to him. Thirdly, based on that explanation, the man of Ethiopia believed; he received salvation (Acts 8:37).

This shows you that reading plays a very vital role when it comes to understanding and interpreting texts of scriptures. This explains why Philip’s question bothered on the Ethiopian Eunuch understanding what he read. So, we can say that: Understanding in reading cannot be arrived at if reading is done with zero percent observation. Also, it can be deduced that: Understanding the scriptures would begin firstly by reading. So, reading without observation cannot land you in understanding. Meaning, to understand what is read, observation must be given to what is read, and you have not observed what is read until you pay attention to the details of the read material. Reading for understanding demands observation and that is how understanding can be arrived at. See this:

  • For you to arrive at study, you have to read.
  • For you to arrive at interpretation, you have to read.
  • For you to arrive at right/proper reading, you have to observe.
  • For you to observe, you have to pay attention to details.
  • For there to be comprehension in reading, you cannot neglect observation.
  • If you cannot observe what is read in order for comprehension, you cannot arrive at understanding. Think! Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Meditate on the study carefully.

PRAYER: I declare my commitment to the reading of your word Lord, no more in a lazy and carefree attitude, but with the attitude of diligence, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Until observation begins in reading, reading has not begun; understanding will not emerge.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 1TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (10)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Interpretation and studying begins with reading and proper reading begins at observation of what is read.

Interpretation and study begins with reading; if you can’t read, you can’t study and if you can’t read, you equally can’t interpret. So, the bedrock of both studying and interpretation is reading, however, the bedrock of right reading and deep reading itself falls down to observation. Observation in reading will mean paying attention to details in the material. If you miss it at observation, you will miss it in all the processes (that is, reading, interpretation and studying). The minute you fail to pay attention to details when reading, it simply means you will fail to properly interpret it. A major work of a bible student is to be observant, because what you do not observe, you cannot interpret; and thus, you did not study at all or you were just doing a shallow study. To go deeper in bible interpretation, go deeper in bible reading. Your expertise in interpreting bible text falls back to your bible reading ability.

Reading is so important that in Acts 8:27-34, where we have Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, Philip asked the Ethiopian Eunuch who read from the Prophet Isaiah “Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30). From Philip’s question in verse 30 of Acts 8, it is first important to note that the Ethiopian Eunuch read from the scriptures and the place he read from was Isaiah 53:7-8; Acts 8:31-33 shows that. And Philip was able to explain the verse to the Ethiopian Eunuch, why? Philip was able to explain the verse that he was reading because he also must have read the scriptures. Observe what Luke wrote in verse 35 of Acts 8 “…Philip opened his mouth, and began at that same scripture…” The phrase “began at the same scripture” means Philip used other scriptures to explain that same verse to him. So reading is very critical and pivotal to proper bible interpretation. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Read your bible.

PRAYER: Thank you father for the instruction from your word as touching reading, I yield myself to this instruction as I am diligence in the place of reading and my eyes open up to revelation knowledge, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Reading with zero observation is no reading at all.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: ACTS CHAPTER 8; EVENING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 12

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (9)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Studying demands reading, interpretation demands reading; however, proper reading demands observation, and reading without observation will not make you have the appropriate interpretation.

One of the critical aims of this study is to fully equip us with critical facts surrounding bible interpretation; how the bible ought to be read. And it is this fact that will be applied to Isaiah 60:1-5 to bring the study to the spotlight. Previously, we came to establish that if you miss it in proper reading; you can never get the interpretation right. And we thus established that a vital key to proper reading of bible text is observation. You can’t read the scriptures carelessly and lackadaisically, and aim to get the interpretation right. Proper reading demands close observation. Observation will be to ask:

  • What does it say?
  • What is the content?

Truth is:

  • If you cannot read, you cannot study.
  • If you cannot read, you cannot interpret.

You cannot interpret what you assume or thought was there. You can only interpret what you have read. Observation is important to reading and bible interpretation. Any reading without the observation of what is being read is just a shallow reading or no reading at all, but any reading with the observation of what is being read is deep reading. So far in our study, let’s answer the following questions:

  • How do you study bible text? By reading.
  • Why is the first answer “by reading”? It is because if you don’t read, you cannot study.
  • How do you interpret bible texts? Also by reading.
  • Why is the answer to question 3 also “reading”? It is because if you cannot read, you cannot interpret. Meaning, you cannot interpret an unread material. You cannot study if you are not reading. Studying will thus begin with reading and interpretation begins with reading.
  • Why is the answer to the first sets of questions above “reading”? It is because reading is the bedrock of studying and interpretation.
  • What is the key ingredient in proper reading? Observation
  • What is observation in reading? In reading, observation is paying attention to details. Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: Don’t read with your mind wandering about, pay attention to details.

PRAYER: I declare and stir up a reading atmosphere over my life; I will be enthusiastic and passionate of studying God’s word now more than ever, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: In bible interpretation, if you miss out of observation, you can’t arrive at proper bible interpretation.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: ACTS CHAPTER 8; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (8)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Never try to interpret a text you haven’t read properly, if you do so you will be abusing the authors’ intent.

We have established fundamentally that bible study and bible teaching demand carefulness, hard work and diligence, because bible texts must be presented in their exactness. We can’t read our meaning into what has been written already, because doing that becomes an abuse to what was intended by the author in such a text. No one is at liberty to give a personal interpretation or meaning to a text. Don’t forget, the Greek word “orthotomeo” from which the English term “rightly dividing” was translated from in 2Timothy 2:15 brings to the fore that Paul’s use of that terminology was to let us know that in bible interpretation, we don’t innovate, we excavate. We don’t read our intents into bible texts; we study bible text carefully allowing the authors’ intent find expression in our interpretation.

Recall, reading plays a vital role as far as interpreting bible texts is concerned. As far as you miss it at right reading, you cannot get it at right interpretation. Is it not saddening that most folks teach or try to explain bible texts that they’ve not read properly. And some even try to explain bible text that they’ve not by themselves read. The question is:

  • How can you explain what you have not read?
  • How can you explain properly what you’ve not read properly?
  • How can you even read properly when you don’t know how proper reading is done?

This must be settled in our minds: Reading plays the greatest role if bible texts must be rightly divided. This, therefore, brings to the fore the importance of reading, because you cannot successfully interpret a text you did not properly read. Hence, in proper bible interpretation, one vital key is observation. This is because observation is important in proper interpretation of texts of the books of the bible. You can’t aim to get it at right interpretation when you had missed it at proper reading. Observation in reading or bible interpretation will be to ask these questions while reading bible texts: What does it say? What is the content? Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: When you read, observe.

PRAYER: I stir up a reading appetite in me now more than ever, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Error in right reading equals to error in right interpretation which equals to error in right application.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: LUKE CHAPTER 23; EVENING: LUKE CHAPTER 24

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (7)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Never forget this, the scriptures will not bow to your experiences, views or opinions; your experiences, views or opinions will bow to the scriptures.

From our studies so far, it can be deduced that bible study or bible teachings demand hard work, diligence and carefulness, because scriptures or bible texts must be presented in its exactness. At no point must we read our meaning into what has been written already. Nobody or no one is at liberty to give a personal interpretation or meaning to a bible text. That’s why in bible interpretation, a golden rule is:

  • A bible text can never mean today what it never meant when it was first written;
  • Your wrong interpretation of a text can never change the intended interpretation of the author of such texts;

Hence, you can only find out the interpretation of a text. It has to be what the author intended when he wrote it, not after and not even before. Any meaning, interpretation or explanation gotten afterwards can never be the intention of the author. Therefore, bible interpretation should be devoid of your opinions, feelings, and experiences. Take note:

  • At no point should you subject the scriptures or a bible text to your opinions; rather, subject your opinions to the scriptures.
  • At no point should you subject the scriptures to your views and perspective, you should rather subject your views and perspectives to the scriptures.
  • At no point should you subject the scriptures or a bible text to your feelings and emotions; rather, subject your feelings and emotions to the scriptures.

Your feelings, emotions or experiences don’t give validity to the scriptures; neither does it authenticate its trueness. The scripture is true, authentic and valid without your experiences; your experiences don’t make the word of God the word of God, the word of God is the word of God irrespective of experiences. So, experiences shouldn’t be the radii or yardstick you use to interpret scriptures, if not you are not far from misinterpreting bible text. Your experiences sometimes can be false, but the scriptures will not change from being true to being false because of your experiences. The bible will not mean today what it didn’t mean when it was first written. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Follow through the study carefully.

PRAYER: I declare that ability is given me to be diligent in the place of bible study and interpretation, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: Experiences don’t define the truth of God’s word; the truth of God’s word is static regardless of experiences.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 2; EVENING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 3

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (6)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Never explain the scriptures to back up your intent, allow the authors’ intent find expression in your interpretation.

From the explanations done so far from Paul’s words in 2Timothy 2:15, we have come to see that a vital attitude a teacher or student of the scriptures must possess is the quality of diligence; hence, Paul’s use of the word “study” (“spoudazo” in Greek meaning diligence). Paul further used a critical term “rightly dividing” which was translated from the Greek word “orthotomeo”. And we said if the word of truth can be rightly divided, it thus follows that it can be wrongly divided. From our investigation of the word “orthotomeo”, it’s thus clear that Paul used this word as a direct opposite of innovation. Your creativity is important in any of your field of study, but when it comes to the bible, you can’t be creative with bible text. Bible interpretation is an excavation and not an innovation. At no point are we given the liberty to innovate into bible text, we are to excavate from bible text. Just like a miner mines, the minister of the gospel is a miner and the scripture is the mineral he is to mine from.

Just like the miner doesn’t do anything to create the minerals, the minerals are already there or available, all he does is to mine from what is already available; he is not doing anything to create the mineral, he is to extract from the already created mineral. Similarly, the minister of the gospel is not doing anything to create the interpretation of a bible text, the interpretation is already there, he is only to find out its interpretation by abiding to rules of bible interpretation and then extract from the same. In bible interpretation, you don’t talk to the scriptures; you let the scriptures talk to you. If you always look for scriptures or bible texts to back up an idea, view, opinion or experiences, you are not far from misinterpreting bible texts. That is why bible teaching is not looking for scriptures to back up your opinions, ideas, and experiences; rather, it is to teach exactly what has been taught and well explained in the scriptures. Never go into the scriptures to defend anything but the scriptures. Never have a preconceived notion or mindset, and then go into the scriptures to back them up, it will disallow you from seeing the truth and rightly dividing the same. Hallelujah! 

INSTRUCTION: Never talk to the scriptures, always let the scriptures talk to you.

PRAYER: Father I declare today, that my accuracy in rightly interpreting bible texts is sharpened, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: You will miss out of the authors’ intent if you go into the scriptures to back up your intent.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (5)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: You can be creative in other disciplines or professions, but with the bible, your creativity is not needed.

We have seen that in Paul’s use of the term “rightly dividing” in 2Timothy 2:15 which was translated from the Greek word “orthotomeo”, two comparisons come to mind. The first is that the earlier writers used this word for those into mining. In mining, you are not doing anything to create a mineral; rather what you are simply doing is extracting what is already available. Secondly, it has to do with cutting a line straight; being very careful and precise in your use of measurement. Since Paul was a tent maker, it could thus be said that his professional discipline influenced his choice of words. So, the interpreters or translators of this word allude to something: Paul used the word “orthotomeo” as the direct opposite of innovation.

In essence, when preaching, one cannot innovate what is not included in the texts; your role is to bring out what is already there. You can’t afford to be creative with bible texts. Bible interpretation does not need your creativity, you are to extract. Your creativity is important in other fields but not with the bible; you are not to innovate into bible text. An innovation is when thoughts are already in your mind, and then you look for scriptures to back it up. That certainly is the mother of error. “Orthotomeo” is therefore an excavation not an innovation; you are to cut through it; you are not to add to it or subtract from it. You are not to read your minds to it, you are to let the intent of the author to be communicated to your mind and find expression in your interpretation. This means that your interpretation of the scriptures must align with the authors’ intent and interpretation. This further explains the fact that the preacher or minister of the gospel has a duty to be diligent, to toil, to labour, to work hand in hand in order to see exactly what the scriptures say and teach the very same. If you miss out of the authors’ intent and interpretation of a bible text, you will be preaching your own intent and interpretation which is an innovation to bible text and thus, an abuse to bible interpretation. Hallelujah!    

INSTRUCTION: Never apply your own creativity to the bible.

PRAYER: I stay with the word of truth and rightly divide the same in my interpretation of it, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: In bible interpretation, out of the authors’ intent is preaching your own intent.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4

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 JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (4)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: Bible study is labour, it must not be given a lazy approach; hence, it demands a quality of diligence.

We have seen that bible study and bible teachings are labour and thus, demands diligence. Paul in essence was telling Timothy in 2Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. The word “rightly dividing” was translated from the Greek word “orthotomeo”, which was gotten from two words:

  • Temno – means to cut
  • Orthos – means straight

Hence, the term “rightly dividing” as used by Paul will imply to cut straight, to cut properly. Also, when the word is used, it is used basically to show carefulness; that is, the teacher of the word has to be careful in how he handles bible texts. The word “orthotomeo” was gotten from a word in an Old Testament text rendered as “direct thy paths” in Proverbs 3:5-6; it reads “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. The word “direct” in verse 6 of the above text is the Hebrew word “yashar”. It means smooth, straight, proper. It is mostly used for proper direction; it means to make straight or to straighten and that is where we get the word “rightly dividing” (orthotomeo) from. This term “direct your paths” is to direct your path to something. This, in other words means cutting things into two to make the path straight. That’s why a further investigation into this word “orthotomeo” will show that whenever this word is used, two comparisons are intended:

  1. Earlier writers (Pre-new Testament) used this word for those into mining. In mining, you are not doing anything to create the mineral; rather, what you are doing is extracting what is already available.
  2. Secondly, it has to do with cutting a line straight; being very careful and precise in your use of measurement.

Notice that Paul was a tent maker (Acts 18:3). In today’s language, Paul would have been described to as a builder; his professional discipline thus can be seen to have influence in choice of words. So, those translators who interpreted the word therefore allude to something. Paul used the word “orthotomeo” as the direct opposite of innovation. What does this tell us? Let’s see it in next study.  Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: Don’t be lazy in bible study.

PRAYER: I declare my appraisal of the written word revealed in my continuous commitment in the study of it, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Bible interpretation is not an innovation into bible text but an excavation from bible text.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 2; EVENING: PROVERBS CHAPTER 3

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (3)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: The quality of diligence is a needed quality in the place of bible study.

So far, we’ve begun pointing to the necessity of bible interpretation. The bible is one material that once it is wrongly interpreted, a vital truth will be lost. Let’s begin to clarify this as we start paying keen attention to Paul’s word to a mentee of his by the name Timothy. Paul in his second letter to Timothy (who was his son in the faith) has this to say “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Timothy 2:15). Let’s begin to pay attention to key words: The word study is the word “spoudazo” in Greek; it implies to be diligent, to be eager, and to make effort. This word speaks of putting in handwork; hence, it goes beyond just reading the bible. Paul used this same word “spoudazo” in 2Timothy 4:9, 21 and it was translated here as diligence. Similarly, in Titus 3:12 where he also used the word, it was rendered as diligence. In essence, Paul was telling Timothy to make an intense effort in the place of study; Timothy was to exert himself. So, the word “diligence” clearly explains or interprets the word study. In other words, the instruction to Timothy (a minister of the gospel) was for him to be diligent with the scriptures.

Thus, in the next statement, Paul says “…a workman…” and that term “a workman” was translated from a Greek word which implies a toiler, a labourer (it’s the Greek word “ergates”). This again, further makes us see the importance of hard work on the part of the minister of the gospel in studying and consequently teaching from the scriptures. The study of the scriptures therefore demands the quality of diligence. As a student of the word, as a teacher of the word, the place of diligence in bible study cannot be overemphasized. You cannot give the bible a lazy approach in the place of studying. Recall, Paul’s words here lets us know that the study of the scripture is hard work; therefore, one cannot be lackadaisical with the bible. Don’t forget wrong bible interpretation will be the hotbed for wrong bible application. Place premium on proper bible interpretation. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Right bible interpretation should be of utmost importance to you.

PRAYER: I declare that the zeal to study your word boils in me and the desire for right bible interpretation is ignited in me, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Missing it in proper bible reading will make you miss it in proper bible interpretation.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4; EVENING: TITUS CHAPTER 3

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JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (28)

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: The believer shouldn’t subject scriptural interpretation to hearsays and nuances.

We have come to see that the bible in our hands is God’s word clothed in man’s word. God’s thoughts and words has been expressed and communicated in man’s language in a body called the bible. Thus, the language of men is the language of God’s word; the bible therefore, is a literature with spiritual information. Let’s look at 2Timothy 3:15-16 and see something else worth noting, “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. All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. The word “doctrine” in verse 16 is equally a key word in that verse. That word is derived from the Greek word “didaskalia” which implies teaching, learning and it is in the doctrine of Christ that we find reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. The word “reproof” (verse 16) is the word “elegchos” in its Greek equivalence. “Elegchos” implies eveidence; it is used for evidence in the law court. It was also used by the writer of Hebrews in his epistle: Hebrew 1:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Thus, it is important to emphasize that the scriptures were given for evidence. Every doctrine, teaching, belief, and opinion must have its basis from the truth revealed in the scriptures. Believers are not expected in any way to live based on assumptions, feelings or hearsay. Therefore, it is the believer’s responsibility to find out and understand what has been written, as a text of the scripture can never mean what it never meant. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Scriptural interpretation and analysis shouldn’t be subject to idiosyncrasies.

PRAYER: I declare that I am committed to proper bible interpretation now and always, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: A vital truth is lost and a lie is innovated when the bible is wrongly interpreted.

DAILY BIBLEREADING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 1; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (12)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” – Hebrews 9:27-28

LIGHT FOR NOW: Jesus kept the appointment with death on our behalf.

Forgiveness is used in present tense participle; used always for believers to forgive one another or others. But it is used or taught in the past tense and as a gift of God given without condition in the epistles. We may therefore need to ask, “Is forgiveness what God does or what He has done?” (Ephesians 4:32 says, “… God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”; Ephesians 4:7 says, “… they whose iniquities are forgiven”; Colossians 2:13 says, “…having forgiven you all trespasses”; and 1 John 2:12 says, “… because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake”. These all emphasize a past tense act which implies that forgiveness is not what God will do or what He does, but rather what He had done in Christ and for Christ’s sake. So forgiveness is not what God does neither is it an ongoing work; forgiveness is what God has done for us in Christ and it is received by faith. All who believed the Gospel had received forgiveness and have forgiveness as a present- day reality. Our theme text tells us that we were supposed to die for the sins we committed but Jesus kept the appointment with death for us. That verse of the scripture is not talking about another appointment with death for men because Jesus did that in our place. God desires that ALL be saved and He proved this when He became man to die in the place of man (1Timothy 2:4). It means that no matter who the person may be – a native doctor, a robber, killer, terrorist, rapist, kidnapper, ritualist, harlot, homosexual, atheist, drug addict etc., He can be saved if he believes in Jesus’ sacrificial death.

Again, our theme text tells us that Jesus was once offered to bear the sins of ALL: “…so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…”Christ did not only take the sins of the world upon Himself, He bore the judgment, verdict and punishment required for our freedom from sin. Note that it wasn’t the beatings of Jesus that saved us; if He bled for hours, hung on the cross without dying, there wouldn’t be salvation. “Our salvation is because He died, was buried and He resurrected”; the climax of our redemptive process was the fact that He resurrected. So Jesus kept the appointment with death as was required, for there to be salvation for ALL who believe in Him. Hallelujah. So if you believe in Jesus’ vicarious death and His resurrection and ascension, you are therefore eternally and completely saved. GLORY!

INSTRUCTION: You are eternally secured in Christ. Think about it.

PRAYER: Dear Father, thank you for your substitutionary work for my redemption that has brought my salvation, in Jesus name – Amen.

QUOTE: The climax of our redemptive process was the fact that Christ resurrected.

DAILY READING: MORNING: MORNING: 1JOHN CHAPTER 2; EVENING: 1JOHN CHAPTER 4

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (11)

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission” – Hebrews 9:22

LIGHT FOR NOW: The shedding of the blood of Jesus was not on the cross.

The truth is that every believer ought to know that Jesus paid the price for sin and He did it with His own blood; this is the bedrock of Christianity. This event is in relation to our redemption – that which Christ did for man. But it is bemusing to see the many uses of the blood of Jesus today. We see the blood of Jesus used as a means of protection, deliverance, promotion, judgment and all sorts. The fact is that when the believer does not come to the full appreciation of the blood of Jesus, he gets involved with the practices mentioned above. The believer loses the importance of what Christ did when the blood was shed where he or she begins to use the blood or as it is called, plead the blood for protection or deliverance from danger. That is why before a local church gets involved in doctorial matters and practices, there ought to be a thorough explanation and examination of the subject in the scriptures; we should only rely on the explanation given to us in the epistles. We should be loud where the apostles were loud and silent where they were silent. According to Leviticus 16:15-19, the concept of shedding of blood was established under the old covenant; it was a shadow of what Jesus was going to do. It was an act exclusive to the High priest under the Old covenant; where he would kill an animal and sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat. The shedding of blood was done behind the veil in the holy of holies and only the High priest went in to carry out this act; it was done once a year for the atonement of the sins of Israel. So the atonement was therefore the result of the shedding of blood. “For the life of the flesh (is) in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it (is) the blood (that) maketh atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).

Now, the short coming of the old covenant was that the atonement was only a covering for sin, it didn’t take away sin. Hence, the sacrifice had to be done yearly. The shedding of the blood of Jesus was not on the cross, the writer of Hebrew says, “for Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, (which are) the figure of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear, in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24). Jesus shed His blood in the heavens implying that where Jesus shed His blood is immaterial – not a physical place. Verse 14 of Hebrews 9 says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God”? That which Jesus did, by shedding His blood once and for all have brought unto us that believe salvation. We are eternally saved, justified and preserved. Nothing can undo that which the blood of Jesus has done. GLORY!

INSTRUCTION: You are eternally secured in Christ. Think about it.

PRAYER: Father, I thank you for the gift of Jesus who shed His blood for the remission of my sins, in Jesus name – Amen

QUOTE: We are eternally saved, justified and preserved.

DAILY READING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3; EVENING: 2PETER CHAPTER 3

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (10)

“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” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

LIGHT FOR NOW: The forgiveness of sins is only available in the blood of Jesus.

God’s ultimate solution to sin is the death and resurrection of Jesus. The solution never came from man but from God, as man couldn’t contribute anything to procure his salvation; hence, as believers, we ought to remain eternally grateful for the assurance of salvation. The forgiveness of sins is only available in the blood of Jesus. And it is repeatedly captured in scriptures that the mission of Jesus Christ to this earth was to deal with sin. For example, in Matthew 1:21, the scripture says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins”. Beloved, why you will never be condemned as a believer is because Jesus was punished for your sins even before you committed them; and that is what the gospel is about. “For God so loved the world that he gave is only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). “For when were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:6-9). Jesus came to die for the common and universal problem of mankind – sin. Money, good health, good marriage, good job and personal comfort are not the universal problems of man because; it is not every man that has problems in those areas.

But sin was the problem of man which brought about spiritual death (separation). Jesus became the price for the sins of all humanity; He paid for sin via His dead on the cross. Here we see the love of God for the sinner displayed; He never proved His love for us by His great speeches or promises, rather, He proved it by what He did.(by becoming the sacrifice for sin) “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13) The work of redeeming man began on the cross; that was when Jesus was “given”; there He was made sin for us, and the result is that today, we have been made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree….” To bear means to take responsibility for actions of other people. “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. He would live to be High Priest. This he would do after being raised from the dead by shedding of blood” (Hebrews 7:24). Shedding of blood is not outpouring of blood; not the blood that poured on the cross. Remember the sprinkling of blood on the mercy seat in the Old Testament (Leviticus 16:15-17). The High Priest did this only on the Day of Atonement. Jesus must do this as our High priest and the book of Hebrews relates with this; showing us Christ from the ceremonies of the law (Hebrews 9:11-12, 22-24; 10:19).The shedding of Jesus’ blood happened in heaven; to make a way for us in God’s presence. But the shedding shouldn’t be imagined to be in a bowl of blood. Jesus’ blood speaks of His human life; under the law, the blood of animals sat on the mercy seat, but in heaven, Jesus Himself sat. So the sprinkling of the blood is Jesus sitting right there and it connotes the eternal nature of our salvation.

INSTRUCTION: You are eternally secured in Christ. Think about it.

PRAYER:  I affirm that I am eternally saved as I am found in Christ – Glory.

QUOTE: Shedding of blood is not outpouring of blood.

DAILY READING: MORNING: JOHN CHAPTER 3; EVENING: JOHN CHAPTER 1

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (9)

“And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his son. He that hath the son hath life, and he that hath not the son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” – 1 John 5:11-13

LIGHT FOR NOW: The believer is a partaker of the divine nature.

Those who have received eternal life are those who through faith have believed in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And as a result, they have been made the off-springs of God by reason of the life of God in them. What eternal life does is to identify you with the Father; meaning you have the God-kind of life now in you, your natural background or history notwithstanding. You are of the class of God now. As a believer, permanent in you now is what makes God who He is. Jesus responding to Martha in John 11:24-26 said, “… I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he be dead, yet shall live…” From the above statement of our Lord and Saviour, it shows that resurrection isn’t a mere event, but a person. Jesus is the resurrection! That was why when He came face to face with death in Lazarus’ case, right inside the sepulchre, life (JESUS) brought him out, because eternal life will always prevail over every activity of darkness. The resurrection of Jesus from the death is what has made eternal life available for all who believe in Him. Today, the very life and essence of God can reside in every man who believes in Christ Jesus. Our faith in the finished work of Christ is what gives us the ability to house eternal life. Eternal life is God’s life; it is a product of eternity and it means timeless, indestructible, imperishable, not subject to failure or death. It is eternal life in the believer that has brought him into a vital union with God. Eternal life in the believer is the reason for the inseparable union or an impossible-to-break union between deity and us who have believed in the Gospel. Anyone who has received eternal life via salvation has brought Jesus under an obligation to keep him saved and safe. (John 10:28-30).

“…That by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). The believer is a partaker of God’s nature; He has been made a royal priesthood, a holy person, a righteous person, sanctified, forgiven and reconciled to the Father in Christ. The greater one (the Holy Spirit) lives in him; he cannot be condemned nor be disadvantaged, His beginning and ending is Christ “ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he….” (1 John 4:4). Eternal life in the believer is his assurance for rapture and eternal security. Rapture is one of our inheritances in Christ. “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory”(Ephesians 1:14). No believer shall be left behind at rapture because we have received eternal life which is the proof of our heavenly citizenship. GLORY!

INSTRUCTION: You are eternally secured in Christ. Think about it.

PRAYER: I affirm that, eternal life is my present hour reality, hence I am a winner on every count, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: Rapture is one of our inheritances in Christ.

DAILY READING: MORNING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 1; EVENING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 2

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (8)

“And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his son. He that hath the son hath life, and he that hath not the son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…”- 1 John 5:11-13

LIGHT FOR NOW: When a man hears and believes the gospel, eternal life is imparted unto him instantly.

Apostle John in his synoptic account stated that the reason why he wrote was for men to believe. “But these are written, that ye might BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, The son of God; and that believing ye might HAVE LIFE through his name”(John 20:31). This opines that the purpose of the synoptic account (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is to the end that men will believe and out of their believing, they will have life through His name. But in our theme texts, John stated that the reason why he wrote his epistles was so that his audience MAY KNOW THAT THEY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. And this is consistent with what we see in the entire apostolic writings. The fact is that when a man hears and believes the gospel, eternal life is imparted into his spirit instantly. Therefore, a basic fact of Christianity is that anyone who believes in the gospel (Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, ascension and glorification) receives eternal life instantaneously. It must be noted that eternal life is a gift to be received and not what you work for. The greatest discovery a Christian can make is that of the power of eternal life. Eternal life can also be said to be the name of God; the life of the believer now isn’t something he is trying to get or what he is having faith for; it is a vital and present reality in you if you are born again. Unfortunately, some folks think they will have eternal life when they get to heaven hence, they have their lives subjected to the elements of this world. But according to Apostle John, eternal life is in God’s son and whosoever has the son has this life now. Jesus rightly said, “…as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the son to have life in himself” (John 5:24-26).

Jesus came to give us eternal life and with this life you cannot perish (John 10:27-29); eternal life is the guarantee for our eternity with the Father; It is what preserves us from death and protects us against the forces of darkness of this world. Eternal life is what reveals God’s love towards us and the power that makes us His offspring. It is what we have presently, it is what has made us who we are in Christ; it is what stirs up in us the joy of salvation; such that no circumstance can molest nor get us depressed. Eternal life is our assurance for a blissful, triumphant life now and in eternity. Eternal life in us implies that we are God-class-GLORY!

INSTRUCTION: Acknowledge that you have eternal life.

PRAYER:  I affirm that I have the spirit of God in me which is the assurance of my eternal salvation. GLORY!!!

QUOTE: All that Christ wrought in His substitutionary work belongs to the believer.

DAILY READING: MORNING: ISAIAH CHAPTER 53; EVENING: JOHN CHAPTER 1

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (7)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” – Ephesians 1:7

LIGHT FOR NOW: All that was purchased in Christ for us is legally ours.

It is important to know that until one becomes conscious and well-armed with the revelation of the legal and vital aspects of our salvation, there will be haziness in our teaching and a lack of firmness in our thinking and living. The legal side of our redemption is what the Father did for us in Christ, and it is in the past. Apostle Paul illustrating this in Romans 4:25 said, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification”. This fact is also affirmed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “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”. These two references perfectly illustrate to us what the Father did for us in His redemptive work. The vital aspect of our redemption refers to what we really have now in Christ and what the Holy Spirit is doing in us today as affirmed in Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus….”, Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins”, and our theme text Ephesians 1:7. If we only had the legal side of the plan of redemption, it would lead us into formalism where our sense knowledge would rule. And vital revelation alone will lead into fanatism, magnifying experiences above God’s word. When we understand both the legal and the vital aspects of our redemption, we will be fully aware of the fact that in Christ, the work of redemption has been perfectly completed (legal) and based on that, all that are Christ’s are ours(vital). We should know that all that is legally ours could become vitally ours by the ministry of the Spirit through the word in us; hence, Apostle Paul would say, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom….” (Colossians 3:16)

Having the revelation of both aspects of our redemption will help us to know and function in our place of sonship; we will learn to take our place in Christ; we will enjoy our privileges, and the vital side then becomes our every moment reality. It is very important that we recognize the fact that all that has been wrought for us in Christ in His substitutionary sacrifice belongs to every believer. And the very background of this great substitutionary work is the fact that He absolutely conquered the forces of darkness before He rose from the death. “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). He was not only crucified, but in Romans 6:8 it says, “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him”. We were crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20); we were buried with Him (Colossians 2:12); we were made alive with Him (Colossians 2:13) and we were justified with Him (Romans 3:24). In these scriptures, we get a living picture of the entire substitutionary work of Christ, in which we have a perfect identification – It was done for us! Now we can see the background of our vital union with Christ; we can understand what it means to have Paul say, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). This is the resurrection life in us displayed; the Holy Spirit working in and through us by the word. The nature of the Father (Zoe) has swallowed us up; we are immersed and overwhelmed in the reality of whom and whose we are. All that was purchased for us in Christ is legally ours for our daily walk. And as we daily display the virtues of this life, all the Father would say is “These are my beloved sons, in whom I am well and perfectly pleased and satisfied”. Glory!

INSTRUCTION: You need to know the legal and vital aspects of your redemption.

PRAYER:  I affirm that I am firmly established in the knowledge of the legal and vital aspects of my redemption. I am conscious of who and whose I am in Christ. Glory!

QUOTE: All that Christ wrought in His substitutionary work belongs to the believer.

DAILY READING: MORNING: 1JOHN CHAPTER 2; EVENING: 1 JOHN CHAPTER 4

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (6)

“And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his son. He that hath the son hath life; and he that hath not the son of God hath not life” – 1 John 5:11-12

LIGHT FOR NOW: It only takes a man who is born again to house God.

In our fellowship with the Father and the son, Jesus Christ, we’ve been given eternal life – the God-life. It’s the life Jesus came to give to those who believe in His name. 1 Peter 2:9 describes those with this kind of life as God’s chosen breed; God’s chosen species; His peculiar treasure. That’s why they can boldly declare their completeness in Him, who is the head over all authority – of every angelic and earthly power (Colossians 2:10); they can declare that they are alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5); that they are far from oppression, and should never live in fear (Isaiah 54:14); that they are strengthened with all power according to His glorious might (Colossians 1:11). Interestingly, in Christ, the new creation is dead to sin, their relationship to it (sin) is perpetually broken, they are alive to God, living in unbroken fellowship with Him (Romans 6:11). Romans 5:17 that says, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which RECEIVE abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ”, implies that in Christ, we’re different from the folks in the Old Testament. They couldn’t attain the God-kind status because they were men of the senses; God couldn’t live in them because it only takes a man who is born again to house God. New birth is what gives us the capacity to accommodate God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” The word “creature” refers to “strange living thing,” something that really can’t be described; a type of being that’s only sourced from God; that’s who the believer is. Jesus came to give us this life; He came to undo what the disobedience of Adam brought on mankind, thereby making us possessors and distributors of the God-life. Because we were sourced from Him in whom dwells all the fullness of God, (Colossians 2:9-10) we have taken over Jesus’ place here on earth.

Unfortunately, everything in man’s world is captivity, but in God’s world and by the Christ-life, things are different. Remember, Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fishes, talked to them and they multiplied, such that about five thousand men were fed (Matthew 14:17-20). In Mark 3:1-5, Jesus looked at the man who had a withered arm and got him completely restored. He spoke to lame legs and they were revived. At Lazarus’s sepulchre, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth”, and Lazarus, having been dead and buried for four days, came out alive (John 11:41-44). In Christ, there’s no such thing as death, waste or vanity. On earth, Christ demonstrated the liberty of the Spirit that He brought to us and we are called to do same today. When we preach the Gospel and people believe it, the same life of God in us is imparted unto them. “… and he said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained”(John 20:22-23). However, new believers must be trained by the word to walk in the consciousness of the new life they received, because no Christian can enjoy the benefits, power and influence of this life except he or she is aware of it. Beloved, you are here to give life, hope and assurance to the dying world; so be responsible enough to fulfill this calling. It’s in your place to liberate everyone in your sphere of influence; you’re to speak blessings to everything around you that’s “dead” and bring deliverance to them. You’re to take them out of bondage and corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Everything in and around you ought to be excellent, perfect, and full of beauty because the God-life is working in and through you. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: You are a life-giving spirit. Think about this.

PRAYER: Dear Father, thank you for the life of yours I have in me; therefore I release words of prosperity, health, blessings to everything in and around my world- Glory

QUOTE: New birth is what gives us the capacity to accommodate God.

DAILY READING: MORNING: JOHN CHAPTER 3; EVENING: JOHN CHAPTER 1

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (5)

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” – Ephesians 2:1

LIGHT FOR NOW: You cannot have faith in Him and not know yourself.

Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power; after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…” The Lord Jesus before His ascension gave the church a supernatural assignment or work. Remember He said, “… Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). He left us with this assignment, but not without a supernatural enablement – His spirit. He had earlier said in John 15:5,”… for without me ye can do nothing.” And today, the new creation is indwelled by the spirit of God. This implies that we’ve been lavishly furnished with the maximum load of God. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13). The believer has inherent power in him to cause changes. At salvation, we received the supernatural ability, effectiveness and efficiency for the work of ministry. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Corinthian 3:5). God isn’t looking at what you can do through your own human ability; rather, He’s looking at what He, by His spirit, can do through you. Every believer is called; no believer has an independent call. Along with the call to salvation is the call to ministry. “There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). And the call to ministry is not anything spectacular but SALVATION. At salvation, we became able ministers of the New Testament (2 Corinthians 3:6); but our own commitment to ministry makes us good and faithful ministers (Matthew 25:21). As believers, our priority is different from the world; because you are in Christ, what moves you should be what moved Christ. What shall make us ashamed at His coming will be that we didn’t fulfill our ministry (I John 2:28).

The word quickened in our theme text means to be made alive. “And you (he made alive)…” (Ephesians 2:1 AMP). This is the consciousness God wants us to have as His children. We’ve been made alive in Christ; God, in His spirit and by His spirit has taken abode in us. The life of Christ is at work in us. The lives of the apostles bore ample testimony to the extraordinary enablement of the encounter they had on the day of Pentecost. They became mighty instruments in the hand of the Almighty God. We all must live our lives to show that Jesus Christ came alive in us at salvation; therefore, live up to His dream because that’s the essence of the new life in you.

INSTRUCTION: Acknowledge that you are alive in Christ.

PRAYER: I affirm that, the spirit of Christ in me isn’t vain because I am a good and faithful minister of the New Testament – Glory

QUOTE: The life of Christ is at work in us.

DAILY READING: MORNING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 1; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 1

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (4)

“Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

LIGHT FOR NOW: We have been taken out of the realm of darkness.

The above text of the scripture was actually a promissory note, as no one received light until Jesus died, was buried and resurrected according to the scripture. By revelation John said, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). So, the light being spoken of here is the Christ life; having this life is called sonship “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).Our theme text is perhaps one of the greatest statements that ever came out of Jesus’ mouth; he said, “I am the light of the world; he that followed me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Jesus dared to say that he represented a new order, a new type of man, that in Him was the light; that is, the wisdom that comes from Eternal life. It means the people, who follow Him, walk in His footsteps and do His word, should never be caught in the realm of darkness where they cannot see. We have been taken out of the realm of darkness where men walk by the senses; we have been translated into the kingdom of the son of His love, or in other words, into the very family of God. The sufferings of Christ is the platform of (for) all gifts available in Him, we thus lay claim to this life because His death is ours. We have the son, we have His life and John affirms this thus; “And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his son. He that hath the son hath life; and he that hath not the son of God hath not life” (I John 5:11-12). We are now masters over darkness hence, there’s no room for confusion in us. We must acknowledge that we are in a vital union with the Father – a union that has absolute life. Romans 6:11 says, “Likewise reckon ye also yourself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

To reckon means to take cognizance of; we must acknowledge that we are alive in Christ. We must recognize that we are different, called to be a blessing to others; to be a lifter of others. We can count on the relationship and fellowship we have with the Father to be able to do this. We are now light in Him; we function with supernatural endowment – His life, His light. If you have caught a glimpse of the revelation of the new creation in the apostolic writings, you will realize that we have actually taken Jesus’ place on earth. This is because we now have the same nature with our Father. And with this nature comes all the attributes that made Jesus so beautiful to the world; and made Him stand out as the most unusual character the ages have ever seen. Every attribute that made Christ beautiful is in us now. We have the same life that dominated Him – that love nature.

INSTRUCTION: Acknowledge that you are alive in Christ.

PRAYER: I affirm that by the Christ life I have now, I am a representation and a representative of God, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: You cannot have faith in Him and not know yourself.

DAILY READING: MORNING: HEBREWS CHAPTER 9; EVENING: HEBREWS CHAPTER 10

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (3)

“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak.” – 2 Corinthians 4:13

LIGHT FOR NOW: Our true identity is unveiled in Christ

Many believers are afraid to say that they are in Christ and that they are righteous; they are afraid to act as though it is not true. But God has declared in His word what we are in Christ, though we still find believers seeking to obtain what the Father has already given them. The problem is that, most believers are not taught, hence, they are missing out of the reality of Christianity. We ought to be taught to know who we are and what we have in Him. Who we are, what we have and what we can do in Christ is a result of Christ’s finished work; and when Christ arose from the dead and presented His own blood before the supreme court of the universe, it was accepted as eternal appeasement for sin, our redemption and dominion became a settled thing. Then He sat down at the right hand of the majesty on High; and when He sat down, Satan had been defeated; everything that justice had demanded had been accomplished. Now God had a legal right to give man eternal life, but He hadn’t the right until there had been a perfect redemption. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). You must understand that we are justified freely by His grace, through the redemption God wrought in Christ, whom he set forth to be the sin substitution on the ground of faith and His blood. Until you know who Jesus really is and what He has achieved for us in His death, burial and resurrection, you cannot have faith in Him and you wouldn’t know yourself because our true identity is unveiled in Christ. No wonder the Bible says, “… as he is, so are we in this world” (I John 4:17).

All of divinity was found in Christ; He was God alive, walking and talking in a human body. That’s the same fullness found in you today. “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10). It is very important to know that in the entire epistles, there’s no place the believer is asked to fight the devil, this is because he has been defeated. The believer is only asked to acknowledge and enforce his rights and privileges in Christ. This is the only way he can live daily, reflecting the full character of the Father. In recognizing and endorsing our God-given potentials, we are able to live out the Christ life in us. The Christ life is a clean break from the past; we were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13). So telling a believer that he or she is affected by generational curses or possessed by evil spirits is untrue and inconsistent with the provisions of our salvation in Christ. Beloved, stop looking at your present physical condition because that doesn’t describe who you really are in Christ; be bold to only say what the word of God says about you.

INSTRUCTION: Be bold to say what the Word of God says about you.

PRAYER: I affirm that I am established firmly in the revelation of Christ where I am fully unveiled. I am glued to my identity in Christ Jesus. Glory

QUOTE: You cannot have faith in Him and not know yourself.

DAILY READING: MORNING: ROMANS CHAPTER 7; EVENING: ROMANS CHAPTER 8

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (2)

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” – 1John 4:4

LIGHT FOR NOW: You cannot be God-inside- conscious and not be a victor on every aspects of your life.

If we are new creation-conscious; conscious of the fact that we have the nature and life of the father in us, as we are of the things of the senses, then we would walk in the realm of unending victory. You cannot be God-inside-conscious and not be a victor on every count. You must allow truths such as our theme text become a reality to you. These truths that reveal your present status in Christ must soak into your spirit consciousness for you to start enjoying the reality of your salvation. That is when you can boldly say over and over again, I am born of God; I am born from above; I am a master of everything connected with the old creation. Satan has no dominion over the new creation; hence he has no power over me. You should be aware of the fact that the old man with its weaknesses, failings, doubts, fears and sense of servitude to circumstances is all gone; and the new man in Christ is now a master where the other was a slave. You see, the reason most believers are not living in this realm of victory is their lack of accurate knowledge of the word of God; and the fact of this lack of knowledge actually goes beyond what we believe into who we are and the kind of life we live as believers. When Jesus was on earth, He was really the righteousness of God unveiled; He had no sense of sin or inferiority. He was master over demons, disease and sickness. And when we came into Him at salvation, He became our righteousness, thereby making us the righteousness of God in Him by identification. Therefore, if we are taught about our righteousness and freedom in Christ; if we know that we are masters over demons in the name of Jesus, if we know that we have authority over the enemy; if we know that we could stand in the presence of the Father just as freely as Jesus, with no sense of inferiority, no sense of unworthiness; if we realize that we are the sons of God. We would be living always in total victory. Having accurate, precise and comprehensive knowledge of our in- Christ status will liberate us from the bondage of religion to growth in the word, evidenced in our daily faith walk as believers. It is a fact that at salvation, we came alive in Christ but to live in the reality of this life, we must be fully equipped with all available knowledge about this new life as contained in the word of God.

You are the first and the best of all that God created; you are topmost and first class; God didn’t create you to be subject to the devil, sickness, disease, infirmities, pain and depravity. God created you superior to Satan! So it makes no difference if this hasn’t been your experience, the word of God and the victory Christ won for us holds true; and the mindset is the only ticket to winning out the Christ life.

INSTRUCTION: You have to know that God lives right inside of you.

PRAYER: I affirm that I have the Christ-life in me, a life of glory, dominion and excellence; free from sickness, disease and infirmities. Nothing hurts or frightens me-Glory

QUOTE: You are the first and best of all that God created.

DAILY READING: MORNING: LUKE CHAPTER 24; EVENING: 1CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 15

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ALIVE IN CHRIST (1)

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” – Romans 6:4

LIGHT FOR NOW: The Christ life is God alive in a man.

Romans 8:11 that says, “But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ from dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you” affirms the fact that it wasn’t a mere change that took place in you when you became born again. Actually, a supplanting or replacement of our former life took place. You now have the God – life in you by His spirit which implies that you can no longer be described as someone who used to be this or that because you have no past. You are a brand new specie according to 2 Corinthians 5:16-17. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believe, ye were sealed with the holy spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13). At salvation, we were catapulted into the kingdom of God’s dear son. “For you were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). We have been brought into a life of triumph. And Paul affirming this said, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…” (2 Corinthians 2:114). The Christ life is God alive in man; it is the amalgamation of immortality with mortality; it is the union of deity with man. Why the believer is called “son of God” is because of this union. The Christ-life is God in His spirit and by His spirit, living out through the believer; it is divinity at work in humanity.

But sadly, many believers don’t understand the implication of God dwelling in them by His spirit; and that is the trick of religion. And as a result, they live below their calling; they walk as though they had never received eternal life. After being recreated (after salvation), the mind of the believer ought to be educated, trained and developed by the word, to adapt to his new status in Christ. As long as we keep allowing our senses to dictate for us, we will keep walking as mere men. The believer has limitless possibilities within this divine life; there is no limit to this new life. The ability of God that is within us is utterly limitless. Hence, you have to be taught to have the revelation of this triumphant and exultant life of the supernatural that you’ve been called into. Such an understanding will put springs in your steps; to know that you have the very nature of God in your human spirit and His pulsating life in every fiber of your being. Such will entirely change your perception in life. Our heavenly Father wants us to be redemption-minded; victory-minded; not circumstance-minded; sickness-minded or failure-minded. 2 Corinthians 3:5 reminds us that our sufficiency is of God; and the Greek word for “sufficiency” is “hikanotes” which refers to competence, being qualified enough to be able. So our ability is drawn from God; He is the very strength of our lives; we don’t need to cry for faith; nor strength because in Christ, we have it all. Beloved, know because of the Christ life in you, victory belongs to you; there’s no limit to what you can achieve in life. GLORY!

INSTRUCTION: You have to know that God lives right inside of you.

PRAYER: I affirm that I am conscious of the Christ-life in me; I live the triumphant life in Christ daily. Glory!

QUOTE: In Christ, there are no limits.

DAILY READING: MORNING: HEBREWS CHAPTER 6; EVENING: HEBREWS CHAPTER 7

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PAID IN FULL (4)

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” – Romans 3:24-25

LIGHT FOR NOW: Jesus Christ is God’s place of mercy for us.

In Exodus 25:22, God said, “And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony…” The Mercy Seat covered the ark which contained the three emblems of man’s rebellion: the golden pot of manna – man’s rebellion against God’s provision; two tablets of stone on which was the Ten Commandments – man’s rebellion against God’s standard; and Aaron’s rod – man’s rebellion against God’s authority. And once a year on the Day of Atonement, the Priest would sprinkle the blood of the sacrificed animal on the Mercy Seat and so make propitiation for the sins of Israel. Today, it is not the blood of animals that makes propitiation for our sins, but the Holy blood of Jesus Christ. The Greek word translated “propitiation” in our key text is “hilasterion” and it means “Mercy Seat”. It implies the removal or cleansing of sin – “the removal of the reasons for punishment”. Propitiation means “to make favourable”, and it refers to averting judgment for sins. Because of the completeness of the appeasement, propitiation is also understood as “satisfaction”. The Greek term “hilasterion” was used several times to translate the Hebrew term “kapporet”, which specified the lid of the Ark of the Covenant. So the “mercy seat” is “hilasterion”. Jesus Christ is God’s place of mercy for us “In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice)for our sins”(1 John 4:10 AMPC). Therefore, just as the Mercy Seat was the place of atonement of sins in the Old Testament, a place where God met with the priests; a place where the blood of sacrifice was sprinkled in the presence of God, a place of atonement; today, the Lord Jesus Himself is the propitiation and atonement for the sins of the whole world.

But unfortunately, the Jews are still observing the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). For us believers, the feast pointed to Jesus and what He did for us in His death, burial and resurrection. We now have a permanent Mercy Seat in Christ because of His sacrifice; all our sins have already been perfectly atoned for. God in His righteousness and equity completely wiped out our sins as though they never existed. We have been justified, declared righteous freely, by the grace of God through the redemptive work of Christ.

INSTRUCTION: You have been eternally forgiven. Think on this!

PRAYER: I affirm that I’ve been justified, declared righteous freely by the grace of Christ, through the redemption that’s in His blood. Glory!

QUOTE: Jesus is the propitiation and payment for the sins of the whole world.

DAILY READING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 1; EVENING: JOHN CHAPTER 1

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PAID IN FULL (3)

“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” – Acts 13:38-39

LIGHT FOR NOW: Nothing can be added to the finished work of Christ.

Through the offering of the blood of Christ, we were sanctified once and for all. He offered one sacrifice for sins forever, and then sat down, expecting His enemies to be made His footstool. “By they which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ one and for all. But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrew 10:10, 12-14).One offering sorted man’s sin problem permanently. So, all sins without exception were remitted by the blood of Christ. It was a perfect and complete job that He did for the salvation of mankind; nothing can be added to the finished work of Christ! “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sin” (Acts 10:43). The phrase ‘remission of sins” implies the removing or the wiping away of the evidence of sins; in the Old Testament, sins were not remitted, but were covered for twelve months, hence there was a remembrance of sins after every twelve month and the ritual of the atonement was repeated. The circle continued for ages because the blood of animals could not effect a permanent solution for sins. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).

Apostle John in his epistle says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if, any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but only for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:12, 1 John 2:2). Today, Jesus is the propitiation (sacrifice) for sins, He is the one that paid for sin, and fulfilled the demands of justice. It is not in the nature of the believer to sin, however, if he does, he has an advocate with the Father and can, therefore, receive forgiveness. Sins are not taken away by confession, prayer or fasting, they are taken away by a person. That’s why God was made manifest in the flesh; He came for sin and the scriptures emphasize this truth. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified”(Hebrews 10:12, 14). Jesus is the propitiation for sins; He is the payment for sins forever; our sins are not forgiven in phases neither are they forgiven based on our faithfulness at confessing them. If that was the case, then forgiveness of sins would have been uncertain. But thanks be to God, we are eternally forgiven of all sins: past, present and future. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: There is no record of sin for the believer in Christ. Think on this!

PRAYER: I affirm that I am accepted in the beloved because by Jesus’ singular sacrifice, I am eternally saved

QUOTE: Jesus is the propitiation or payment for our sins.

DAILY READING: MORNING: ACTS CHAPTER 20; EVENING: ACTS CHAPTER 25

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PAID IN FULL (2)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” – Colossians 1:14

LIGHT FOR NOW: God didn’t go soft on sin; He made the absolute overpayment with His blood.

Apostle Peter, in his epistle explained that we were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. “For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your Fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). It was the precious, priceless blood of Christ that paid for our sins as nothing else in this world could have done that in order to give us the life of God. The wages of sin could only have been death; that is, sin always brings death, and that penalty must be paid. It’s a fact that for decades upon decades, God has been portrayed as an angry God by the devil, and unfortunately, many preachers have unwittingly helped him (the devil) by painting a picture of a wrathful God. This depiction of God is an error. God is not angry with anyone because of sin because that had been settled at the cross. God doesn’t roar at you when you fail; the understanding of this will set you on a trajectory of freedom from all your fears, guilt and addictions. The beautiful thing is that Jesus didn’t just pay the sin debt, He overpaid it. He didn’t offer the blood of bulls and goats for your sins like the High Priest of old; He offered Himself as the sacrifice for your sins. God didn’t go soft on sin; He made the absolute overpayment for your sins with His blood. Only Jesus could meet up with the demands of justice; God gave Him up to die for the ungodly and in His offering, He took our sins, facing the judgment in our stead. Our liberty was consummated in His death, burial and resurrection. Forgiveness of sins is a gift, a part of the inheritance of the man in Christ; it is available to all men, however it must be received to be enjoyed. So you must believe on Christ who is the author and finisher of our salvation to have it. Forgiveness of sins is unconditional and eternal; we all received it in full at salvation.

Forgiveness of sins is not a reward for man’s faithfulness or personal efforts as Ephesians 2:7-9 says, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:7-9). And contrary to the opinion of many, Romans 10:9-10 says nothing about confession of sins in receiving salvation. It rather says if a person confesses the Lordship of Jesus, and believes in his heart that God raised Him from the dead, then that man shall be saved. So the confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ is salvation. The writer of the book of Hebrew shares with us a very important fact about our salvation in verse 12 of chapter 8: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more”. Here, God is not saying they will not do wrong, but that He will be merciful to their unrighteousness. And that their sins and iniquities, He will remember them no more. The phrase “remember them no more” does not imply a loss of memory of their sins and iniquities; rather, it means He will not hold them accountable. So through the offering of the blood of Christ, we were sanctified once and for all – Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins forever. Therefore, the man in Christ does not need to be asking the Father for forgiveness of sins because you cannot be asking for something you already have. Beloved, you have eternal forgiveness of sins in Christ.

INSTRUCTION: There is no record of sin for the believer in Christ. Think on this!

PRAYER: I affirm that I have eternal forgiveness of sins in Christ, in Jesus name – Amen

QUOTE: The confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ is salvation.

DAILY READING: MORNING: 1JOHN CHAPTER 4; EVENING: 1TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4

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PAID IN FULL (1)

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin…” – Isaiah 53:10

LIGHT FOR NOW: it is not the confession of sin that saves a man.

Colossians 2:13-14 (NIV) says, “He forgave us all our sin, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross”. This is very instructive considering the fact that we were the ones that owed the debt but He (Jesus) came and paid it all. You know how financial debt can be challenging, and even overwhelming. However, spiritual debt is much more dangerous, because its impact is eternal. We all had a spiritual debt we couldn’t pay, but the Bible tells us he God, in Christ has paid that debt! And anyone who believes in that Jesus’ vicarious, sacrificial death is granted freedom from sin permanently. In Christ, we’ve been reconciled to the Father because we believe. We are free from the debt of sin. The salvation wrought for us in Christ Jesus is beyond what a lot of people think; some say that were lost in sin, but Jesus reached out His hand and rescued us. Really? Sounds simple! The fact is that Jesus died in your place, because you were supposed to die for your sins. He was condemned in your place; He never sinned but became sin for us, thus paying the full penalty for our sins. It wasn’t the confession of your sin that saved you, it was because someone died your death and you believed in Him, that is why you are saved today. The scripture says, “The soul that sinneth it shall die…” (Ezekiel 18:20). You were condemned on account of your sins, but Jesus stepped in, took your place of condemnation and died in your place. “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities… ” (Isaiah 53:5). Freedom from sins is far beyond confession of those sins, someone actually died in your place because you were supposed to die for those sins you committed.

Salvation in Christ is not a temporal provision; God did not have it in His plan to save you today with no future assured. He called us to give us eternal inheritance. We were begotten into a lively hope by the resurrection of Christ. Christianity came out of the resurrection of Christ, so as a believer, your sins are not just forgiven you for now, and they are removed forever! Jesus’ death was for our offences and His resurrection was for our justification.  “Who was delivered for our offences and was raised against for our justification” (Romans 4:25).Beloved, everything was a gift; He did it because of the great love wherewith He loves us! We do not earn forgiveness because we confessed our sins; we are forgiven because we are in Christ. We were forgiven the very time Jesus went to the Cross and rose again from the dead. It should also be known to you that forgiveness of sins is preached and not prayed. “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38). We were forgiven on the account of Christ; and this is a finished work in Christ. There is no part of the New Testament book that links salvation to the confession of sins; it is lack of the knowledge of God’s word to hear people say that confession of sin is a prerequisite for God’s forgiveness. This is totally wrong! When Jesus died and was buried, He paid in full for the sins of humanity, and His resurrection has brought justification to us who believe. We therefore need to spread this message of God’s love to everyone we come across; and whoever believes, his obligation is paid in full, thereby enabling him to live free of sin.

INSTRUCTION: Spread the message of his love

PRAYER: I affirm that Jesus paid in full for my sins through His death and His resurrection; I am eternally justified, in Jesus name – Amen

QUOTE: Forgiveness of sins is preached and not prayed.

DAILY READING: MORNING: GALATIANS CHAPTER 1; EVENING: GALATIANS CHAPTER 3

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EXPLAINING THE DOCTRINE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (7)

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference”- Romans 3:21

LIGHT FOR NOW: The greatest miracle happens when a man believes the Gospel.

The righteousness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe. It is for “ALL WHO BELIEVE” in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. There’s no difference, no extra qualification to obtain it. If the believer is conscious of his righteousness, his identification with Christ, and his oneness with the Father, just as he’s conscious of his physical environment, he will never struggle in his Christian life. Just as we readily agree with our physical environment, we are also supposed to agree with the present hour reality of our status of righteousness in Christ. Being rooted and permanently established and growing in the consciousness of who we are in Christ is what utterly destroys the sense of unworthiness that keeps most believers down. In fact, when you know and fully endorse the fact that righteousness is your new nature, it will then be easy to express it in words and actions. When the consciousness of it keeps growing in your heart, it will cause you to prevail over circumstances as they come. The result would be that you will be bold and courageous. The scripture says that the wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous are bold as a lion (Proverbs 18:1). Righteousness and the consciousness of it is what life effortlessly because that is who has been recreated to be and how he is expected to function. “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which received abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17). Also by making you righteous, God is showing Himself righteous “To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness that He might be the just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3: 26 NASB).

“And not found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9). Anyone not found in Christ, does not have the righteousness of God. And one can only be found in Him by believing in Him. Believing is the access point into this righteousness – the righteousness of God which is devoid of human efforts. In Christ, we are not in bondage because the righteousness of God having been imparted into our spirit gives us a sense of authority and assurance in the place of prayer because we use the name of Jesus; we act and speak in Jesus’ stead. The limitlessness, eternal and ever abiding nature of this righteousness is what enables us to stand in the Father’s presence without a sense of guilt or condemnation; now we can stand and confront Satan and his cohorts of darkness without fear or inferiority. Romans 10:6 that says, “… the righteousness which is of faith speaketh…” implies that by knowledge, the believer ought to keep declaring openly his righteousness. This keeps us above the crippling influences of this world. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Believe the gospel.

PRAYER: I affirm that in Christ, I’ve been made the righteousness of God; hence, nothing can molest or frighten me in this world, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: The righteousness of God is devoid of human efforts.

DAILY READING: MORNING: 1TIMOTHY CHAPTER 2; EVENING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 3

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EXPLAINING THE DOCTRINE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (6)

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” – Hebrews 2:14

LIGHT FOR NOW: The greatest miracle happens when a man believes the Gospel.

The word “destroy” in the verse above was translated from the Greek word “katargeolj”, and it means “to bring to nought”, meaning that Satan has been brought to nothing; he was made powerless – he and his cohorts of hell. Colossians 2:15 says, “He DISARMED the Principalities and the Powers [which fought against Him….”The principalities and powers have been disarmed by Jesus. Hallelujah! The Phillips New Testament puts it thus: “And then having drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us, He exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in His final glorious triumphant act!” He exposed them; got them stripped and took away all that was valuable to them. The King James Version uses the word “spoiled”(Greek: “epekduomai”) and it means to strip off. After He triumphed, He made a show of them, that is, us (the spoil) in confidence. The display is that of the believer who has been freed from the claws of sin. That which was valuable to the devil was the unsaved man; the person who was displayed at resurrection was man-the believer. Hence, there will be no suffering in hell for the man in Christ; and the good news is that, it is very easy to be found in Him. Jesus speaking in John 6:27 said, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life”. The man outside of Christ cannot confess the Lordship of Jesus and declare that he knows Christ died for his sin and resurrected for his justification, without receiving the nature and life of God. Hence, the greatest miracle happens when a man receives eternal life; when a spiritually dead man passes out of the realm of Satan into the realm of life (into the kingdom of the son of God’s love), that’s the miracle of miracles. The moment a man believes in Christ Jesus, he immediately becomes a new creation.

Christ was made to be sin who knew no sin, so that anyone that believes in Him should be MADE righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). Unfortunately, many people in the church have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God; they go about trying to establish their own righteousness which is founded on rules and regulations. But the righteousness of God does not come by applying principles, it isn’t established by our own code of conducts, neither does it come in steps. It only comes once by believing the gospel – the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:2-4). Hence, at salvation, every believer has a permanent status in God the Father having been declared blameless. Colossians 1:21 -22 affirms this: “And you that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy an unblameable and unreproveable in his sight”. Accessing God’s presence is neither by our way nor our deeds; not our efforts but by faith in the finished work of Christ. And in Christ, we reign as masters and kings “For if, through the transgression of one individual, death made use of the one individuals to seize the sovereignty, all the more shall those who receive God’s overflowing grace and gift of righteousness reign as kings in life through the one individual, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).In Christ’s righteousness which has become ours, we have become masters and conquerors. In Him we’ve been taken from slavery to the throne; we’ve been set free, and in His name, we’ve become bondage – breakers for the rest of the human race – Glory to God!

INSTRUCTION: Believe the gospel.

PRAYER: I affirm that by faith in Christ I am made the righteousness of God; I stand as a master, a conqueror and a bondage – breaker in my generation – Glory!

QUOTE: The righteousness of God does not come by following principles.

DAILY READING: MORNING: GALATIANS CHAPTER 1; EVENING: GALATIANS CHAPTER 2

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EXPLAINING THE DOCTRINE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (5)

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” – Genesis 2: 1-3

LIGHT FOR NOW: A man enters into the rest of God by believing in the Gospel.

Most people do not know exactly what happened to Adam in the garden or what he actually did. If it was killing or fornication, who could have been involved? Let’s see what really took place as we begin our study with our theme text. The word “finished” was translated from the Hebrews word “kalah” and it implies to come to conclusion. The word “rested” in verse 2 was translated from the Hebrews word “shabath” which implies to do nothing; without actions. It actually means to stop. And in verse 3, the phrase “that in it he hath rested” is the Hebrew word “shabath” which implies to do nothing. And there is no way this would refer to God because in verse 3 the writer said He finished His work and he now said “do nothing”; He could not have been asking Himself to do nothing. Rather, God would have been referring to a third party and not Himself. The question therefore is who then was to do nothing? The writer of Hebrews carefully explained this text (Genesis 2:3) in his epistles: “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, and God did rest on the seventh day from all his work. And in this place again, if they enter into my rest” (Hebrews 4:3-6). Observe the key words, “seventh day”; “the works were finished from the foundation of the world” and also the “rest” of God (my rest). He said, we which have believed do enter into rest (verse 3). Hence, “the rest” was made by God for man; man was to enter into the rest by his faith in the promise, the Gospel of Christ.

The writer in verse 5 quoted Psalms 95:1 “Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” And this statement by David was made several years after Genesis 2. So, the seventh day was not referring to days or a particular day in the week, as the writer explains it further in the proceeding verses “And in this place, if they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief”(Hebrews 4:5-6). They did not enter because of unbelief and this was specifically unbelief in the promise; in the Gospel. “Let us therefore fear lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preach, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrew 4: 1-2). Thus a man enters into the rest of God by believing in the Gospel. So evidently, what Adam did in Genesis 2 was disobedience; unbelief in the promise of God (His rest). And this was what Paul explained in Romans 5:17-19. Adam rejected the offer of God; he did not receive the rest of God. Righteousness is faith in what God has done. Becoming righteous and remaining righteous are all by grace through faith in Christ. As long as Jesus is alive, the believer remains righteous. Jesus’ life is our guarantee to remain righteous forever.

INSTRUCTION: Believe the gospel.

PRAYER: For I affirm that in Christ, I have entered into the rest of God – Glory!

QUOTE: Righteousness is not from man, it is a gift from God.

DAILY READING: MORNING: JOHN CHAPTER 14; EVENING: JOHN CHAPTER 16

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EXPLAINING THE DOCTRINE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (4)

“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed”- Galatians 3:7-8

LIGHT FOR NOW: Righteousness through faith was not an afterthought.

According to Apostle Paul in the above text, Abraham believed the Gospel that was preached to him; he had faith in the Gospel; he had faith in the resurrection of Christ which was given as a promise. The phrase “… justify the heathen through faith…” implies that Abraham was a heathen who was justified by faith in what God told him – the Gospel. Hence, righteousness is received by faith in Christ (in His resurrection from the dead). Abraham’s faith therefore is righteousness; Abraham’s faith does not produce righteousness. That is, believing in the Gospel is right living. “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10).That was why He explained earlier in Romans 1:16–17 that the righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel of Christ. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; … for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith”. This faith in the Gospel is right living before God. And that the righteousness that existed before the law was given; this is a key fact in Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome (Read Romans 4:3-11, 22). Righteousness clearly was faith in the Gospel, in the promise; in the resurrection of Christ. In essence, righteousness through faith therefore was not an afterthought. Righteousness primarily means “to believe” and not “to do”, neither is it “to perform”.

“For what said the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). Recall, we said earlier that the word “counted” was translated from the Hebrew word “chasab” and it is the exact transliteration of the word “counted” (logizomai) used by Paul when he quoted the same text (Genesis 15:6). And he used it consistently (11 times) in the same chapter as he explained the subject of righteousness. The words “Chasab” and “logizomai” both imply to think of; to consider, having an opinion about. Thus, God’s opinion about righteousness is faith in Christ; in His resurrection, in the Gospel of Christ. Righteousness has never been from man, it has always been a gift from God to man. In Romans 5:17, Paul explained it a gift from God (gift of righteousness). Righteousness, which also implies right living, moral uprightness before God, has never been by “work”, “to do” or “to perform”, rather, by faith in the Gospel of Christ and it pre-existed the Law of Moses. Right living before God, therefore is faith. That is, God’s opinion about right living is right believing (faith in the gospel of Christ; His son; in the resurrection). In righteousness, not only do we have dominion over the devil and circumstances, we live in the righteousness of God, and as the righteousness of God, nothing and no one can condemn us anymore, because God has justified and acquitted us; and it was righteous for Him to do this for us “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

INSTRUCTION: You are made righteous. Think on this truth.

PRAYER: I affirm that in Christ, I have been made the righteousness of God – Glory

QUOTE: Righteousness is not from man, it is a gift from God.

DAILY READING: MORNING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 3; EVENING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4

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EXPLAINING THE DOCTRINE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (3)

“And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness”- Genesis 15:6

LIGHT FOR NOW: The righteousness of God is only revealed in the Gospel of Christ.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 1:16-17 explains the reason why many are unable to attain righteousness or even comprehend what it means. He said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith…” He’s saying that the righteousness of God is only revealed in the Gospel of Christ; so until one accepts the Gospel of Christ, he or she can never be said to be righteous. That is why we can’t afford to be quiet about the Gospel because it is the only way men can become righteous. Righteousness is absolutely unattainable by man, therefore, in God’s benevolence, He bestows, attributes or imputes to us His righteousness. Observe carefully from our theme text that the author used three key words: “believed” in the Lord, “counted” unto him for, “righteousness”. The phrase “and he believed” was translated from the Hebrew word “aman”, which implies to support, to corroborate. From the way the word “aman” is used in our theme text (Genesis 15:6), It suffices to say that the righteousness of God will only come from what God says, that is, God speaks and then you believe what He has said. So, what did God tell Abraham? Apostle Paul explains in Galatians 3: 7-8 “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed”.

The phrase “…justify the heathen through faith…” implies Abraham was a heathen who was justified by faith in the Gospel that was preached to him. Thus, Abraham had faith in the Gospel; he had faith in the resurrection of Christ which was given then as a promise. Hence, righteousness is received by faith in Christ (in the resurrection from the dead). The word “counted” was translated from the Hebrew word “chasab”, and it implies to consider; to think of; to have an opinion, that is, to consider something. And according to our theme text, God considered Abraham’s faith in what He told him (the gospel – Galatians 3:8) as what is right. The word “Chasab” was also used in Genesis 31:15, Genesis 38:15, Genesis 50:20. The word “righteousness” was translated from the Hebrew word “tsedaqah” and it’s a word used for merits, good behavior and honesty. In essence, Abraham believed in the Lord and He described it as righteousness, that is, the moral and proper thing to do. Abraham’s faith was described by God as honesty, good behavior, morality and the right thing to do.”But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justified the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”(Romans 4:5). The word “worketh” was translated from the Greek word “ergazomai”, and it implies a continuous action. Hence, when Paul used the phrase “… worketh not, but believes”, it was to emphasize the fact that righteousness is believing and not of works. That was why Paul said in the verse before (verse 4) “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt”. He uses the word “grace” which was done intentionally to differentiate righteousness from works. In verse 2 of the same Romans 4, Paul said, “For if Abraham were justified by works he hath whereof to glory; but not before God”. The word “justifieth” used in the above text, was translated from the Greek word “dikaioo” it’s a verb and it implies to “vindicate” or “to make right”. It is a word used for judges; those who judge between two parties in order to determine who is right. Hence, the action is not done by the recipient but by the one who justifies. Here Paul explains that justification before God is not by works, hence no one can boast in his own works before God.

INSTRUCTION: Believe and be made righteous

PRAYER: I affirm that because I am found in Christ, I am justified; not by works but by Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUOTE: Justification before God is not by works.

DAILY READING: MORNING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 1; EVENING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 2

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