By Akin Ojumu

“Remember that favor can only be activated by fasting. Esther activated her own favor by fasting.” 

So says Leke Adeboye, the son of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. 

Last time I checked, favor – which in this case means the divine favor of God – is something that God gives freely and not something that can be earned. Favor is an unmerited gift that God bestows according to His sovereign will. We don’t earn it by the multiplicity of our good works. And we most certainly don’t deserve it because of our long record of good deeds.

Apostle Paul made this abundantly clear in his letter to the Church at Ephesus, when he wrote:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The word translated “grace” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word charis, which means “favor, blessing, or kindness.” We can all extend grace to others; but when the word grace or favor is used in connection with God, it takes on a more powerful meaning. Grace or favor is God choosing to bless us rather than curse us as our sin deserves. It is His benevolence to the undeserving (Got Questions).

The type of grace that is earned by fasting or any type of work can only be found in the religion of human achievement and never in the Gospel of divine accomplishment. Now, that’s not to say God does not look favorably on those who perform demonstrated good deeds. 

In fact, we read in the Book of Prophet Isaiah:

“These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2).

Likewise, in Second Chronicles we find:

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (2 Chronicle 16:9).

But we do know, however, that it’s impossible for man to be humble and contrite in spirit, tremble at God’s Word, and have a heart that is perfect towards God unless the Spirit of God first quickens his dead heart. This quickening of the sinful heart by the Holy Spirit is the starting point for the regeneration of a soul dead in trespasses and sin. The end result is that the man, who was once alienated from God, is now considered justified before God being clothed with the righteousness of God.

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1-9).

And all of this is divinely accomplished by the unmerited favor of God. It is God who, out of His grace and mercy, gives the faith to respond to His effectual call to salvation. When a man responds, he becomes a new creature, filled with the Holy Spirit, and empowered with the ability to be humble and contrite in spirit, tremble at God’s Word, and have a heart that is perfect towards God.

“For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’” (Acts 17:28).

Just as being made alive from the dead is the work of God, so also is living and moving in our new lease on life. Everything starts and ends with the grace that God lavishly bestows on the undeserving. It’s by His grace that we are justified and it’s by His grace we live sanctified.

That Leke Adeboye thinks grace is something you earn by fasting shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The young man is simply preaching the message of the religion he knows and is familiar with. And this religion is the religion of human achievement that’s practiced in most Churches today.

Some reading this commentary may wonder why what Leke Adeboye preaches would even merit any attention at all. And I’d agree with such folks; they are absolutely spot on. Ordinarily, the young Adeboye flubbing the Scripture wouldn’t deserve any mention. Featuring him in this commentary, however, is to spotlight the nepotism prevalent in the modern-day Church. 

Leke Adeboye standing in the pulpit of Redeemed Camp to preach is the quintessential example of that nepotism in operation. What qualification does the young man have that makes him suitable to hold a microphone and stand in front of thousands of people in Redeemed Camp to spew out garbage other than the fact that he’s the son of the General Overseer? 

There are certain requisite qualifications a man must have before he can be made a pastor in the Church. These qualifications are spelled out by Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5–9. One of them is that the person must be able to teach sound doctrine.

“Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.” (1 Timothy 3:2).

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9).

A man who believes that the grace of God can be activated by fasting is not teaching sound doctrine. Such a person is, therefore, not qualified to be a shepherd over God’s flock.


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