Contending for the faith Pt. 4
"Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ."
One of the challenges to the Christian life is poor understanding of scriptural truth as it relates to our stand of faith in Christ. As a result of this void, many false teachers come in different shades to pervert the gospel of Christ. To pervert is to distort or corrupt the original course, meaning, or state of (something). It also means to lead (someone) away from what is considered natural or acceptable. False teachers use the ignorance of many believers to deceive, delude and manipulate them. It is on that basis therefore, that the Apostle Jude drew our attention to the fact that we must earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto us. In my generation today, all manners of unthinkable false teachings are filtering into the church and the most critical reality is that many persons parading false teachings are big general overseers who have results to show.
Paul warns the Galatians about those who will take advantage of their ignorance to pervert the gospel of grace. The basis of our faith is Christ and his finished works of redemption. Our hope, belief and profession is Christ. Sadly, we have moved away from Christ as the author and finisher of our faith to putting our faith in rituals, observances, sacraments, practices and activities. Sowing seeds, giving, tithing are NOT the basis of our faith, never! It is therefore perversion of the gospel for any preacher to teach that we use sowing seeds of any form of giving to attract the grace of God. The grace of God is free and it is based on what Christ has done and not what we can do or ever do. Preachers claim that when you do not give your tithe, things will be tight for you. This is a perversion of the gospel. Every believer in Christ is already blessed and cannot be cursed. The blessings of God on a believer is not dependent on his tithing rather it is dependent on the grace of God through Christ.
Is it wrong to pay tithes? No! Is it right to sow seeds?, Yes! but these are practices we carry out as believers in Christ. There are so many pervasions of the gospel today as it relates to financial issues. Paul the Apostle made a very profound statement concerning giving. 2 Corinthians 9:7
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”. Giving in any form must never be by compulsion. Any preacher that is putting serious pressure on you to give is only interested in your pocket. In the new testament, we give as a response of our love to God. Do not let anyone deceive you.
There is a remarkable amount of liberty we have in Christ [Gal 5:1].
To be continued!
Rev’d Ikponmwosa Timothy Iyoha
President, Insight & Foresight Ministries Int’l