THE MESSAGE NOW
Vol. 4, No. 34 – Monday, 2nd September, 2019
To every organization there are agreed rules and regulations more properly known as binding code of conducts. Every code of conduct is designed in order to enforce order, mutual respect, discipline and decency (1 Cor.14:40).
In the same perfect semblance, doctrines and their strict followership trigger blessings, act as compass for giving direction and their disobedience incur divine judgement (Deut. 4:1, 6:2, 17).
Indeed, in sound spiritual fact, doctrines point us in the direction of heaven. Therefore, any church who is vested with the best message but which does not preach or enforce doctrines of the Bible is a spiritual “marcopolo bus” conveying myriads in the downward direction which leads to hell.
Put more aptly, Bible doctrines are non-negotiable. And it does not matter whether one big individual Man of God fails to practice them. The Bible is a divine institution and any big Man of God is merely an individual; and at no point will individuality defeat institutionalism.
So, whether we accept or not, doctrines remain God’s unchanging standard in a world so spuriously changing. Amidst these doctrines are the following:
1. Water Baptism (Mark 16:15-16, Matt. 28:19, Acts 19:1-7). Water baptism is a qualifying criterion for entry into heaven in as much continuity of life permits after salvation. Did you get that? Water baptism comes after the soul has been saved, not prior to the saving of the soul.
This is where the question of child baptism comes into the equation. Should children be baptized? The point of baptism is an emphasis for realization; realization in the sense of understanding the import and the importance of the interest behind baptism.
A child who is yet to understand what sin is all about, what the purpose of water baptism is, and what difference it will make in the life of the Christian should not be baptized.
Should such a child be baptized at this point, then when salvation is eventually gained by that child after realization, water baptism will need to be conducted afresh.
There is a further issue about water baptism. This is the issue of conducting water baptism in the form of water sprinkling. Clearly, this pattern is purely unbiblical. The guiding compass as contained in the Holy Scriptures speaks about emersion, deep inside water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the sole approved form and pattern, not by sprinkling (Rom.6:4, Col. 2:12).
More than what is physically understood about water baptism, there is a serious spiritual angle to being ‘buried with Christ in baptism’. This act of immersion is a perfect and unbroken union between the saved soul and Christ. The experience of water baptism to a genuinely saved soul is so real that its spiritual and physical impacts are unmissable.
2. Restitution (Exo.22:1-31, Num.5:5-8, Matt. 5:23-24, Luke 19:8): The immediate question vastly and very much fast resonating here is the question about what restitution means. The answer is not far-fetched. Restitution is the act of making wrong(s) right.
The truth is that salvation paves the way for further growth in the Christian race. Salvation is never the stop point. For until salvation combines with restitution, some sins remain unwashable. The question here is the question about how and why.
After salvation has been gained by the saved soul, if there has been some physical sins committed which involved other persons, restitution will be required in order to perfect the gained salvation. Understand that salvation (and indeed sanctification which is the second work of grace) only takes care of sin in the heart. It is the carrying out of the doctrine of restitution which deals with outward sin. Again, the how question resonates.
If for instance, a man before gaining salvation had stolen my car, after salvation and having prayed and sought guidance from seasoned spiritual leaders, such a man will need to approach me and confess that theft to me. That man will equally need to return the car which he stole from me. But understand that collecting the returned car is the sole choice of me the owner of the car. But the initial confession is a necessary condition that cannot be overlooked.
Note that such a man should not delay to bring the theft issue to my knowledge even when he is yet to buy another car should the car be out of his hands. Confession of the act of theft even before return of the stolen property is most necessary. Because who knows rapture might occur before the return of the property stolen.
The act of restitution does not involve properties only. It is inclusive of situations where one person has told a lie against another, etc. So long as the Holy Spirit reminds one to restitute a matter, that matter is a matter calling for restitution. At other times, it may just be that one’s mind reminds one about such matter, then the needful must be done.
Restitution is a confirmation of the Holy Scripture in Matt.3:8. Thus restitution is an outward show of genuine repentance. Restitution associates us with the holy God (1 Pet.1:16, Matt.5:48). Please understand the doctrine of restitution more clearly with the given scenario below.
To every political party in the secular world, there is the necessity of open affiliation especially when an individual decamps from one party to another. In the same connection, when we are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s own dear Son (Col.1:12-13), there must be not only a spiritual translation there must of necessity exist a physical one also.
Therefore, restitution is an open declaration of belonging to Christ. Understand this mystery about restitution. This mystery is to the effect that whilst salvation announces man to God being a moment of loud rejoicing in heaven (Lk.15:7, 10), on the other hand, it is restitution which announces God and godliness in man to all men in general.
Restitution is a special way of evangelising Christ and His divine nature. The act of restitution therefore gives us the opportunity to have a conscience void of offense towards God and toward man (Acts.24:16).
If therefore, salvation is the passport en route heaven, restitution is certainly the landing visa. And of course, the ultimate is sanctification which is the visa and the ticket to heaven combined.
Dearly beloved, do you know that failure to obey the doctrine of restitution may be the reason behind that delayed breakthrough? (John 15:7-10). What do you have to restitute my sister, my brother. Whom do you have to restitute to Sir and Madam?
Have you maligned or talked negative about men of God, Christian brethren or even persons of any nature, kind, colour and creed?
Have you cheated on your spouse? Have you stolen money or received bribes from and in your office? Have you snatched another’s man’s wife or another woman’s husband? Did you steal from your parents like Rachel in the Bible? (Gen.31:19). Have you shortchanged God in your tithes and offerings? Do you criticize people constructively or destructively?
There are some fellows who argue that restitution is not necessary. I hope such fellows don’t realize the truth at the gate of heaven when it would have been too late. If you argue that restitution is unnecessary, what you are invariably saying is that that part of the Bible is unnecessary.
Really! So, to you certain parts of the Bible have become obsolete? The reason for their argument sometimes is pitted on the foundation that restitution is a containment of the Old Testament.
But the divine statement that ‘I am the Lord that healeth thee’ is also contained in the Old Testament. Why do you uphold the healing Scripture and upturn doctrine contained in the same Old Testament? Besides, is Luke 19:8 and Matt. 5:23-24 not containments of the New Testament? What then is the basis of your argument? Or are you just seeking an avenue to justify yourself and avoid obeying divinely laid down rule?
Understand that all the doctrines of the Bible add nothing nor take away anything from God. They are all for our benefit. Therefore, pursue that which is beneficial.
Hear the divine counsel of God to you o brother, o sister in Deut.30:19 ‘I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live;’.
IN THE END, WHAT WILL YOU NOW DO? REMEMBER ACTS 5:29.
Question and Answer Section:
Question: Is your refusal to obey Bible doctrines a function of your hatred for your pastor or the author of this piece of Scriptural writing?
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Backslidden – living in sin – needing fresh recommitment (say):
Christ Jesus, You are the Anointed One of the Most High. I come to you today as I am. In your mercy, help me out of my situation. Heal my soul, my spirit, my body, my life and my destiny. I acknowledge you as the only true lover of my soul. Please, deliver me on every side and save me through and through. I promise from the depth of my soul to be yours from henceforth, in Jesus name. Help me now O God. Be my Lord, my Saviour and my all in all from this day. Thank you Lord (read Ps.54 in closing and pray more).
HYMN: Faith Of Our Fathers
1. Read Job 34:32 and pray for yourself earnestly and genuinely.
2. O God, please give me the grace and the determination to live holy.
3. Let me O God never be a pleaser of men but a pleaser of God.
3. O God, let not Express Image Glory Ministries deviate from the path of truth.
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