HOW FIRM IS YOUR FAITH, AND
HOW PREPARED ARE YOU TO DEFEND IT?
by Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
The father is allowing the New Age culture and philosophy of the days we live in to challenge and make demands on every aspect of what you claim to know or believe, to the level that you will almost begin to doubt even the very experience you once had with God in his presence or at the backside of the wilderness.
The society, many of us live, particularly here in Africa is still very much insulated from the brutal attacks and criticism confronting many of our Christian brethren in Europe, America, and a major part of the Arab world, and am afraid it’s only a matter of time before that flood of full-blown assault reaches our shoreline. My worry, however, is, how ready and prepared are we taking into the cognizance the weak, unbiblical promotion of what is termed Christianity today.
As long as what determines the major core of our Christianity still centers around personal economic breakthrough, am afraid, we cannot be fully prepared for this evil tide coming. As long as our ideology of Christian faith is still very much tide to our ancestral traditional beliefs and culture, we are no match for the flood of deception coming to sweep many away. For as long as our desire is to merely select what suit our narratives faith for our own self-center gain, we will certainly not be able to stand and challenge the issues of our day.
1 Peter 3:14-17
14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their intimidation; do not be shaken. 15 But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to articulate a defense to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But respond with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you will be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
What a template of truth that lays for us our marching order in engaging the 21st century, humanist, New Age society already knocking down many churches in the west. Unfortunately, I do not think many of our leaders see the urgency of this eminent battle coming to our shoreline of the church in Africa. Since we live in a borderless cyber world, we need to get our priority straight if we must be prepared to face this assault of hell.
This scripture outline for us what we need to do in terms of positioning ourselves as we respond to the sons of darkness. We will have to go beyond the equation of bible passages to knowing and understanding how to break down the principles and values of truth in a manner that allows us to effectively and strategically answer the hard question of the Pilate, Pharaoh, and the queen of Sheba approaching our kingdom space.
The presumptive and assumptions of Christian theology, and of course, the populace false sense of spirituality floating around many of our church communities in the last two decades or so, has cost the church dearly, particularly with the teens and young adult. The inability to define, and precisely articulate in clear terms what truth is, and how truth relates to their day to day choices and productivity are a major problem I have noticed. When Pilate asked Jesus Christ, what is the truth, he was actually echoing the general philosophical challenge the world of his day was faced with.
The lack of a logical sense and the spiritual base to correlate the entire Greek philosophy of spirituality in a powerful political and military dominance of the Roman empire was a major concern not just to Pilate, but to the greater philosophers and thinkers of the ancient world. This philosophical problem explained where the Greeks have so many gods that literally competes with human’s population just like the Hindu religion of India.
What further compounded this issue was the fact that some bunch of so-called illiterates who claimed to be the very custodian of the embodiment of the truth kept preaching and teaching everyone that Christ is the truth, and they were proving the facts of their message both in doctrine and through the power of signs and wonders. The early believers clearly understood the doctrine of the apostolic truth, and their lifestyle mirrored this truth for the rest of the world to see.
The unfortunate thing is, Pilate never waited for Jesus Christ reply to his question, I have no doubt that our Lord would have given him a full definition and explanation of who the truth is, and how he can connect to this truth as the only way, the only truth, and the only life to God the author of all things seen and unseen.
There’s no doubt society today, just as in the days of Pilate, are also in deep search for the answer to this great question, what is the truth? The question of what is the truth is both an ancient and contemporary question, but many Christian leaders do not really see the importance of the question as a powerful strategy to win the world back to Christ.
While we claim we know the answer to this great question, many, however, have stopped searching the word like the Bereans Christian for the right principle of conveying the mystery of truth to a blind world in a manner that can restore their sight. today, Spiritism and false beliefs have replaced the quest for sound, biblical knowledge that can offer the answer to a world in need to God. there are just too many in the church who have become religious Pharisees, meaning, they are merely professing a faith their heart and thought no longer follow.
To seek to accept or declare biblical truth that your own life’s values and philosophy does not agree with in practice is the highest level of self-delusion if you ask me. What makes the truth true to you I, not a matter of who preached, or taught it, it’s a matter of personal conviction.
Conviction is the footing of establishing truth within human conscience. When truth, or anything that sounds like the truth to you, finds its way into the human conscience it alters one’s perspective and belief. However, when biblical truth which is both written and revelatory by designed finds its root deep into the human heart, it redesigns conscience in a man to remove the fallen idea of how humans see right and wrong to how heaven defines truth.
We know that there are three compound words that hold Christianity together like a cord of sound spirituality; and they are faith, hope, and love. Each of these words defines the basis of how we see and relate both to Christ, his Church, and the world in general. If any of these three are not properly understood, and corporately flowed in relating to life and the various challenges thrown to us, we will, at some point begin to doubt our foundation and trust in what we believe.
One of the three compound words is faith, and personally, I think we still have a long way to go in truly understanding what faith actually means from God’s viewpoint. However, Hebrews chapter 6 informs us that faith is not abstract but rather substantial. If this is true which I know it is, how do we substantiate this truth with biblical facts in a manner that our faith does not stand in the knowledge and wisdom of men?
Indeed, faith is the [element] substance of things we hope for… and the very evidence of things not seen, the big question then will be, what defines and constitute the substantial evidence of such faith? Too many Christians, as a religious practice now and confesses what the scripture says, but in actual fact, their belief is actually established on something else.
This something else is that which family, society, friendship, or past circumstance that falsely establish within the subconscious. When our Lord Jesus Christ made this profound statement, these people worship me with the mouth, but their heart is far from me, he was establishing the basis of duality within a man’s ideology that says you confess Christ with your mouth but can also place your allegiance or philosophy somewhere else.
The reality is, the Lord is not seeking for a ritual of worship from his followers. In actual fact, he was seeking a concept of lifestyle individuals called worshipers, whose philosophy and culture of existence is firmly established around the very character nature of his person. Christ by design is the anointing, or the grace that enabled Jesus, the Son of man to function within the reality of what has been prophetically written about him.
The days we live demands we go beyond the veil of what we believe and confess, to the next realm of experiencing truth to the degree that the truth becomes the very philosophy and culture that drives the understanding of our interaction and engagement with every aspect of existence.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we will not be challenged; in fact, the very purpose of coming into this realm of truth is to be able to stand firm in the days where you and I will be challenged like Joseph in Egypt, and Daniel in Babylon.
Only they who know their God will be able to stand and do exploit in this new day. Remember, the scripture says the devil also believes and tremble, but such believe did not cause him to change his mind. A believe that carries no power to change our stand and position is a weak belief!
There are simply too many ‘truth’ being postulated out there without a concrete, solid foundation laid within the hearts of the community of the body of Christ to hold firm these revelatory, apostolic truths. Many members of our churches are starting to give in under the weight of some so-called revelation they’ve been running with without precise, solid footing to hold the such ‘truth’. You cannot build nor establish truth beyond the quality, strength of your foundation.
Revelatory truth is likened to building a house. You need to first establish certain biblical principles and values standard to solidify the foundation of what you intend to build before the main structure begins. The church likes to quote the end-result of a truth in the bible without first understanding the process and mechanism that makes such truth becomes a reality.
There are two concepts of truth in the word of God. The first is defined as a progressive principle, in other words, it requires that you take an action based on faith and believe while the second concept deals directly with the result of the first; meaning, the final manifestation.
We must shift from merely declaring the manifestation of the end-result of truth, and start understanding how to align ourselves with the values and process of truth so we can arrive at the point of matured understanding of the intended will and objective of Christ for us. this indeed is knowing the truth that will eventually set us from the assault of darkness. i hope this piece of truth will assist us from becoming serious with our spiritual journey.