-BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE
True believers must dare to stand out for the Lord, dare to be different, no matter the circumstances.
This was the submission of the Rt. Rev’d Dr James Odedeji, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Lagos West as he delivered his sermon at a Sunday service at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Bishop, who spoke on the topic, “A chosen generation, a royal priesthood and a holy nation” pointed out that even in perverse situations, God has a way of distinguishing His people and therefore, believers need to acknowledge their identity and know who they are in Christ.
He said, “Wherever you are, you must recognize that you are a child of God.”
Bishop Odedeji argued that the biggest challenge of today’s church is identity; explaining that the Church can no longer be differentiated from the world because the Church has become mixed up with the world. He asserted that Christianity is not a matter of convenience, but commitment, because a child of God is bound to face persecution. He said a Christian cannot do whatever he or she likes, but what God wants. Therefore, according to him, “If your life is not holy, you are not part of the chosen generation.”
He emphasized that it is not only when one enters into the altar that one is expected to offer sacrifices to God; stating that one’s life must be a living sacrifice. The cleric remarked that Christians are helpless, miserable, and fruitless when they separate themselves from God. Hence, he urged all who have backslidden, to return to God, because He is ready to restore them. He added that as long as one is on this earth, one can retrace one’s steps.
The Rt. Rev’d James Odedeji highlighted the benefits of being a chosen generation and the qualities of a believer; stating that the Holy Spirit guides children of God, in their thoughts, words and behaviour.