(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
The Professor Jerry Gana has reiterated that the central message of the gospel is the atoning work of God in Christ Jesus, because according to him, it explains that Jesus took upon Himself the sins of man, and nailed it to the cross, which is the reason, man can now be forgiven. Prof. Gana made this known on the day 7 of the weeklong Lenten programme tagged, “The Way of the Cross,” held at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja.
He explained that through the atonement, God revealed His saving grace and redeeming love to humanity, demonstrating that He had not come to condemn the world but to redeem it. He added that because of Jesus’ sacrificial and sanctifying atonement, Christians have received the right to become children of God. Hence, he described this translation from death to life and from an enemy of God to not just a friend but a child of God, as the heart of the Christian gospel.
Speaking on the topic, “The Power of Atonement,” the guest preacher pointed out that through Christ’s amazing sacrifice, a way has been provided for the cleansing and forgiveness of sins. He said that salvation is not dependent on what a person can do, because man’s righteousness is like filthy rags, but it is dependent on the atoning work of Jesus. He said that if good works could save man then Christ would not have died, adding that sin had to be fully punished, which is why atonement was absolutely necessary. Professor Jerry Gana emphasized that there is no way that good works can appease sin, stating that the way of the cross is the only way, which is why Christ had to die.
The erudite scholar said that salvation is not a cheap thing, and that even Christ prayed for the cup to pass over Him. But, according to him, atonement was essential and so, Christ had to die. He used hymns to buttress his message, explaining that sometimes certain aspects of the gospel is better delivered in these hymns that were inspired by God. He quoted profusely from the scriptures, highlighting the benefits of being a child of God.
He pointed out that as a child of God, one is at peace with God, gains access into God’s abundant grace and becomes more than conqueror and a victor. Prof. Jerry Gana ended his message with a charge to all to accept this love of God in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, adding that it is only through faith in Jesus that one can be forgiven and receive the power to become a child of God.