Communique Issued At The End of The Bishops And Wives Retreat At Bariga LagosJanuary 18, 2023
- Ngozi Maduoma
- October 16, 2018
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(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
“Christians are meant to be a specified type of letter: living letters of Jesus Christ, bearing a message of good tidings of great joy unto a dying world.”
These were the words of Mrs. Nkasiobi Okoh, wife of the Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion and President of women’s organizations, Diocese of Abuja while delivering her presidential address at the 19th Annual Diocesan Women’s Conference held at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja. She explained that God designed every believer to be a bearer of the good news that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life; adding that Christians are designed to convey the mind of Christ to men. Mrs. Okoh noted the possibility that some may reject the message of the gospel, but according to her, they cannot but recognize and acknowledge the testimony of a consecrated Christian life. Hence, she urged believers to live lives that will cause unbelievers to give glory to God.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s Conference, “Be a Living Epistle,” Mrs. Okoh enjoined Christians to live lives consistent with the word of God and devoid of any form of hypocrisy. She highlighted certain lifestyles such as attitudes of selfishness, pride, tribalism, nepotism, lust, deceit and others as lifestyles that hinder the delivery of the message of God through an individual. She added that many are also obstacles to the delivery of the gospel because they are ashamed to profess Christ through words and actions. Thus, she said that God is calling the Church collectively and individually, to be channels for the broadcast of the gospel to the world.
The President of Women’s Organizations in Diocese of Abuja Anglican Communion explained the consequences of the failure of Christians to deliver the message of the gospel, stating that believers will answer for every soul they send away from Christ. She pointed out the enormous challenge Christian women have to face being living epistles on three different fronts, namely the home, Church and society; emphasizing that a Christian woman has the power of the Holy Spirit to transform her home, community and nation. Using the example of Alice Bailey and her ten point agenda created to attack Christianity, Mrs. Okoh highlighted how a single woman negatively influenced humanity; further urging Christian women at the conference to influence their homes, society and nation positively. She said a Christian woman should be a virtuous woman and living epistle to her husband and children; she must learn contentment in private and public life, should not focus on outward appearance and put her emphasis on good deeds.
Mrs. Nkasiobi Okoh observed that Christians today lay more emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and less on the fruits of the Holy Spirit. She however stated that no Christian woman will succeed in fulfilling this divine mandate of being a living epistle without being able to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit. She said that any genuine child of God would possess and manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit and also be living epistles of Christ to the world; explaining that the degree to which one possesses and manifests the fruit of the Spirit will determine how impactful one will be as a living epistle of Christ.