FULL TEXT + VIDEO: Primatial Address at the 14th General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.September 22, 2023
- NGOZI ADIGHIBE
- December 19, 2018
- 0 Comments
In recent months there has been an escalating rise of immorality especially among celebrities, sporting personalities, politicians and church ministers. At one stage, every time I opened the newspaper or turned on the TV another person had been exposed for moral failure. Immorality is nothing new and has been around since man fell into sin but recent events have led to an almost unprecedented number of Christians falling into moral failure.
Something is seriously wrong in the world, we know that to be true, but what of the Church world? One statistic I read recently said that the divorce rate was higher in the Church than it was in the world. Many men of God revered in this nation from different Christian denominations being exposed with serious sexual and moral failure. Something is wrong! If we continue to ignore these alarming trends then the Christian Church will become the reality of it’s greatest insult, hypocrites.
Holiness is God’s way to living a powerful Christian Life. Correct teaching, uncompromising teaching in this area is of paramount importance today for every believer. So we must deal with Ministers and Church Leadership.
Of the last five (5) invitations to Ministry gatherings they have all been orientated around Church growth, cell-groups, vision, raising more finances, making church relatable, etc. etc. It seems to me that the most important need for the Church today and for its ministers is Holiness and Consecration. Whatever we focus on, we will bear the fruit of it. It seems to me that today the hyped up, seeker friendly church is totally focused on numbers at all cost! Yet, a Holy and consecrated life as a Christian separate from the world is put down to being yesterday’s message. Celebrity churches produce celebrity leaders and “celebrities” have not place in the Lord’s House. After all, isn’t Jesus Christ the one we worship!
Where are the Men of God who will preach the Gospel and not some motivational message designed to make people like them so they give more? Jesus Christ said that the “Truth will set you free”. But the Gospel’s heart is the Cross and through the Cross we can come back to God. It is sin which separates man from God and sin is ugly in God’s eyes. Yet, God loves us enough to forgive us when we choose to obey His Word and live a life honouring Jesus Christ.
When we talk about sin some people get offended and leave but many, Praise God, are obedient and deal with the sin so that they can be free. It takes the Minister speaking the “truth” about the sins people are engaged in for them to deal with it. To use that easy, empty excuse that “…the Holy Spirit will convict the person…let’s leave it to Him”. But the Bible says that God “has in due time manifested His Word through preaching”.
Praise God there are still many Ministers today who are preaching the uncompromised Word of God fearlessly and without concern what response people may have. The key is doing this in a loving and caring way which is motivated by love to win people to God.
Do we take for granted that Men of God understand Holiness and Consecration just because they have been called into the ministry?
I believe that we as Christians have all been called to a Holy and Consecrated Life, first and foremost. The above scripture tells us the importance of Holiness.
What is Holiness?
Holiness is simply living according to God’s ways. A Holy Life is a Life that is in obedience to God’s Word. A life free from the fear of sin. A life that is orderly and set-apart for God. To have a correct and thorough understanding of Holiness one must have a correct understanding of sin. When we can identify this we can then deal with it and begin to live Holy unto the Lord.
The Bible says in 1 John 3:4…
“Whoever commits sin commits lawlessness and sin is lawlessness”
Sin is LAWLESSNESS! The Greek word for “lawlessness” is anomia which is translated to mean: not submitting to God’s authority. There you have it! Not submitting to authority is sin.
The Bible says that there are four types of authority which exist that we must submit to:
Family – Parents, elders, etc.
Social – Teachers, Employers, etc.
Civil – Government, Police, etc.
Church – Ministers, Leaders and Holy Bible, etc.
God’s Word is God’s final authority.
So obedience to God’s Word is essential Simple obedience! To obey one must have an inner conviction of what is right and what is wrong. Without this inner conviction, one will never be able to obey. There will always be a struggle. Sooner or later that person will become “shipwrecked” in life. They will blame God, Church, Pastor, anybody but themselves for their own undoing.
AN INNER CONVICTION OF WHAT IS RIGHT AND WRONG!
This comes through a humble life, a repentant life. A life that is broken and contrite before God. Ask God to give you this inner conviction to know how to act on what is right and wrong. The ability to choose life over death, blessing over cursing. Meditate on this. Understand it fully and you will find victory over sin with God’s Power!