By Akin Ojumu

Political debates often stir up deep seated passions. Even the blood of otherwise mild-mannered and easygoing folks tends to boil, like a hot cauldron, in the heat of political arguments. Closely knitted families have been ripped apart because of politics. There are long standing friendships brought to screeching halt because of opposing views on political matters.

Similarly, zest and fervor, like a dormant volcano, tend to erupt into consuming larva whenever people engage in religious discourse. For a variety of reasons, people find it impossible to cage their emotions in order to give free rein to sound Biblical reasoning when it comes to dialogue about faith and doctrines.

In no other place in Christianity does this thought-stopping raw emotion reign supreme than on the topic of the salvation of the Believer. It is customary for tempers to fly at any venture to pry open the blindfold of ignorance about the subject of the redemption of the sinner, even if it’s by just a smidge. Many heads have rolled and countless bodies burned at the stakes simply because they held a position on redemption contrary to popular opinion.

There’s one thing I have come to realize over the years. Contemporary Christianity is rife with people with misplaced elevated sense of self-importance. There are many who go about today branding themselves as having equality with God. In fact, there are pastors who think they are gods. We’ve even heard a general overseer tell the cock and bull story of God coming to his living room to drink his last cup of tea.

The common thread that runs through all these shenanigans is satanic pride. It is the same “I will,” “I will” spirit of Lucifer when he sought to overthrow the Almighty God from His shekinah glory.

“You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High…’” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

Paucity of proper hermeneutics is the bane of a vast majority of our Christian brethren. We live in a world where emotionalism, sensationalism, esotericism, and mysticism trump sound exegesis. People are enamored by cheap cliche, and they get carried away by sleazy sound bites.

Nowhere in Scripture will you find the expression, or even a variation of the expression, “I gave my to Jesus” or “He gave his life to Jesus.” The Lord Jesus did not teach this nonsense. His chosen Apostles never preached it. This pompous concept is not in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. The idea of “I gave my to Christ” is a modern-day invention of arrogant men with reprobate minds who think more of themselves than they ought.

It is beyond preposterous for anyone to think his salvation is dependent on his cooperation with God or that God needs anyones assistance in the act of redemption when the Bible clearly and explicitly states:

“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).

In the spirit of analogies, salvation is like giving a dying person parenteral administration of a lifesaving medicine through an intravenous infusion that does not require the assistance or cooperation of the patient which is otherwise required in the oral administration of drugs.

Every aspect of our redemption is of God and by God. It is God who excises our heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh. And it is He who creates in us a new heart and new spirit without which it is impossible for us to even begin to desire to follow Him in the first place.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26).

It is God who quickens, regenerates, and revives a soul that is totally dead in 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 2:4-5).

Still in the spirit of analogies. Our redemption is the closest thing to a free lunch in this life. It was bought and paid for by the precious Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5).

Because Jesus died, through faith mankind can be declared justified, declared righteous (Romans 5:1). By faith, the person is redeemed, bought out of the slave market of sin, and set free from it (1 Peter 1:18-19) (Got Questions).

These acts just mentioned – substitution, justification, redemption – are just a few that are provided for completely by God, and devoid completely of anything human. The Bible is clear that mankind cannot contribute anything to his salvation. Any time someone thinks he can contribute to it, he is in essence working for his salvation and, therefore, entitled to boast and take credit, which is contrary and foreign to Scripture (Got Questions).
Lastly, as to the question of whether or not I’m still in the faith and or if I still consider myself a born-again Christian. It’ll be foolish of me to even dignify that with a response. Those who insinuate such from my commentaries are engaged in a straw man argument. What they are doing is muddy the discourse with ad hominem and red herring denigration. If they have trouble understanding simple grammatical constructions and use of third-person pronouns I’d recommend a refresher in English 101.

When it’s all said and done, only God knows those who are truly His. Putting on long flowing robes and funny looking hats doesn’t guarantee anyone the ticket to eternal life. Being hip and cool and having the ability to spin intelligent sounding quips is most definitely not a sure-fire passage to eternity with God.

And by the way, I do covet all the prayers I can muster. May God bless anyone who chooses to make my life and my faith their prayer point.


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