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The Traditions of the Gospel


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"Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed a way; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5: 17).

 

W

hen a person is born again, he becomes a new creature. The old things he had been doing pass away, and they no longer have any room in his life. Paul was an example of a sinner who came in contact with the Lord. Jesus met him on his way to Damascus. He asked, 'Who art Thou, Lord?' Jesus said, 'I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.' Paul said, 'What do you want me to do, Lord?' Jesus answered, 'Go into the city, and you will be told what to do.' From that time on, Paul did not reason carnally. He obeyed, left his old ways, followed the new way, and pleased Jesus to the end.

 

God is concerned about your spiritual welfare. He is not willing that any should perish. Paul said in Acts 17:30 that God winked at the time of ignorance, but now He commands everybody to repent. In Philippi, when Paul and Silas sang and prayed in the prison, the Lord sent an earthquake and all the doors were opened. The jailer thought that the prisoners had all run away. He wanted to kill himself because he knew his life would be taken for the life of the prisoners. Paul said, "Do thyself no harm: for we are all here." The jailer came trembling and said, 'Master! what must I do to be saved?' They told him, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Believing in Jesus is the first step in the traditions of the Gospel. If you are not born again and your name is not written in the Book of Life, you are not a member of the Church of Christ.

 

God told Abraham, 'Be thou perfect.' This is sanctification, the second step in the traditions of the Gospel. It makes us to be at peace with God and our fellow men. Many of us have received this experience. If anybody tells you that there is another way to perfection, you should refute it.

 

"AND it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

"He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost" (Acts 19: 1,2).

 

The third step in the traditions of the Gospel is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. A tradition belongs to a people. The baptism of the Holy Ghost belongs to true children of God who have been saved and sanctified. You must be endued with power so that you can preach what you have received, Some people, through drumming and dancing, become ecstatic and think they are doing the work of God. They speak in false tongues and give false prophecies. To receive the genuine baptism of the Holy Ghost, one must be saved from sin and be sanctified.

 

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive "(Ephesians 4: 14).

 

God wants the Church to be one, fold, believing the sound doctrine, standing on the Word of God, which nothing can move, so that wherever you are, whether you are alone, or in a group, you will not be tossed about by false doctrines. If you embrace any false doctrine, it is your own problem. We want to maintain the traditions of the Gospel in our teaching so that we will not be moved.

 

Prayer

 

Another tradition of the Gospel is prayer.

 

"As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.

"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice" (Psalm 55:16, 17).

 

Prayer is a tradition we have to practice. The  Psalmist said he would cry aloud unto the Lord, morning and evening and he was sure God would hear him. That is individual prayer. You owe it a duty to have a personal prayer time: It is important to pray. We remember the widow who went to the judge and said, 'Avenge me of my adversary.' She kept going all the time and the judge said, 'I don't fear God or man but this woman continues to worry me, I will avenge her.' Jesus said, 'Look at a wicked judge who does not fear God! But because of the persistence of the woman he said he would avenge her.' Jesus then asked, would He not deliver His own elect, who call upon Him day and night? Jesus did not allow His disciples to reply but He Himself answered the question and said, He would deliver. Personal time of prayer is a time when you allow God to speak to you; it is very important. If we don't pray, we shall be weak. It is Christian tradition to take everything to God in prayer.

 

What to friend we have in Jesus!

All our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer.

 

Keep on praying! God will answer every prayer.

 

And when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

"And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:31, 33).

 

This teaches us the importance and necessity of collective prayer. Jesus said, 'Where two or three are gathered in my name,' He will be in their midst to grant their request. God wants us to come together in prayer. He wants us to stand as a fold in collective prayer. When we come together, God manifests Himself and we are blessed.

 

Restitution

 

Another tradition of the Gospel is to make restitution because God requires that which is past (Ecclesiastes 3:15). When you have harmed somebody, knowingly or unknowingly, and you come to the knowledge of the Gospel, you have to go and make amends because you want to maintain a clear conscience towards God and man. When you do this, your prayers will not be hindered. When John the Baptist was preaching, people came to confess their sins publicly. When Paul was preaching, those who had magic books brought them and burnt them. That is what John the Baptist meant when he said every hill shall be brought low and every valley filled and the crooked made straight. We want all our crooked ways to become straight, and all the hills and bumpy places to be levelled. In Leviticus 6: 1-5, God explained to the Children of Israel, how to make restitution. He requires everybody to make restitution. If you have told lies or got something falsely or picked somebody's property without his knowing, the Bible says you should go and restore it. The day Zacchaeus met Jesus, Jesus had not told him anything yet on restitution. Jesus just looked into his heart and those fiery eyes pierced into his conscience. Zacchaeus immediately said, 'Lord, if I have received anything from any man by falsehood, I will repay fourfold.' That is our tradition. If you line up, it is life for you. There is joy among the angels over one sinner that repents. Don't listen to the devil; go in faith and make your restitution. If it is a difficult one, take the advice of your pastor, God will be with you and nothing will hinder you from getting to Heaven.

 

 

Healing

 

"He sent his word, and healed them, and I delivered them from their destructions" (Psalm 107:20).

 

That is our God. His Word is enough for us. When He speaks, it is done. He sent His Word and healed them. Jesus said, 'These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. "Is any sick among you, let him call for the elders. The prayer of faith shall save the sick.' That is our tradition and we want to keep this tradition for ever.

 

"Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness With sobriety" (1 Timothy2: 15).

 

God has promised our women safe delivery with a condition — if they continue in faith, love, holiness and sobriety. Determine today that you will meet that condition.

 

When Pharaoh directed the midwives to kill the male children of the Israelites in Egypt, they feared God and did not obey the king's command. When the king asked them why they were not killing those innocent children, they said:

 

"... Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them" (Exodus 1:15-19).

 

"Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth ? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God" (Isaiah 66:9).

 

The Christian women today, like the Hebrew women are lively, they have sound mind and body. They have nothing worrying them, their troubles are laid on Jesus, so they are lively in spirit. If our faith is sound, God says He is going to deliver without hindrance. You must know that you are different from the world. God has cleansed you and purified your heart. Have faith in God.

 

Adornment

"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God" (Deuteronomy22:5).

 

The Bible tells us that anybody who does these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. No fornicator, adulterer or murderer shall inherit the kingdom of God.

 

We neither dress nor adorn ourselves like the worldly people. This is another tradition of the Gospel. We have tracts on the dress question. Women have great difficulty because of the ever changing styles and fashions. Men are getting to that stage too, where they want to change with fashions. However, our admonition is that we do not adorn ourselves like the people of the world.

 

The Bible condemns a man wearing something pertaining to women. It also forbids the women from wearing men's garments. When we look into our cities, we will lament for our nation, that many are doing abominable things. Such abominations bring God's anger on a nation. Who knows whether that is why we are suffering as a people.

 

In the days of Noah, when people did not listen to the Word of God, God did not look at their beauty in determining their destruction. He looked at their hearts and found that their hearts were wicked. Then He sent judgment; the rains came and swept all of them away.

 

The Gospel is clean from worldly make-up. If you leave your face as God created you, God will be proud of you. God wants you to work for Him in Africa and to be a light to the continent. Christians don't put on artificial things to make them look like what they are not. Such is the pride of life.' The Bible says we should not be a part of it, we should not love the world neither the things that are in the world, the  pride of life, and the lust of the flesh. If you want to be like the  world, you cannot make Heaven.

 

One of these days, our Lord Jesus Christ will come and catch up His Bride. All the wicked people will perish. May we not perish with the wicked. We want to be a glorious Church. May God help us.

 

 

 

Rev. Kalu Johnson Okorie was saved in 1960. He was a choirmaster, organist and composer. He served as a pastor in many branch Churches and a District Overseer of The Apostolic Faith. He preached this sermon in August 1994. 94,,N,


By Rev K. Okorie
 

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