At a time when everything seems to be caving in, Christians are struggling to keep the faith in a world akin to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Living a righteous life is perceived as a Herculean task and many have found it difficult to catch up. “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law, rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3:20. Sin has eroded mankind over time and increasingly many have died because of ignorance or neglect.
Dr. Festus Azaka, an elder in Christ Chosen of God opines in this new book that every Christian needs more than just grace to attain the ultimate goal, which is making heaven. He reckons that sin has breached the cordial relationship between God and man.
With the advent of the global village and Internet, crimes are committed all across the world and many are losing touch with Biblical precepts. But more importantly, it is dangerous for anyone to assume that he can live in this vulnerable world without anchoring on Christ.
1 John 1:8-10 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”
The scripture explains that everyone is vulnerable to sin and needs more than just discipline to pass through the rigours of life. We need the Believer’s Armour which is embedded in the word of God, the Bible.
Chapter one of the book addresses the major stumbling block of every man, which is sin. The chapter enumerates the intricacies of sin extensively. It also spells clearly how believers can live without blemish in life. It reveals that repentance, restitution and total surrender are key to living a life free of sins.
The second chapter addresses perhaps the greatest predicament of modern day Christians —backsliding. The author says this quiet attitude, which is not a conscious action by Christians needs to be watched carefully. Rather, they are encouraged to confess their problems and sins and look to God for salvation.
Chapter three explains Temptation in details. How we can recognize sin, run away from it, and resist it by using the word. Believers are encouraged to admit their vulnerability to sin but to flee from anything considered evil. The major antidote for coming out of all these is confessing words of truth and salvation. When the albatross of sin is hanging on one’s neck, the most potent drug, according to the writer, is to repent as quickly as possible.
Chapter 4 addresses one of the salient issues most Christians have found difficult to do and respect as the metaphoric armour —vows. Azaka defines vows as a promise made to God which should be binding. He narrated the miracles of vows in the Bible, most notably, that of Jacob in Genesis 28: 20-22. Other mentions were those of Hannah and David.
He cautioned Christians against making vows and promises in haste, given that the Bible stated that “it is snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, and afterward to reconsider his vows,” Proverbs 20:25. Christians are also expected not to give carnally to God. An account of Cain and Abel showed God’s anger towards Cain’s for carnally offering his sacrifice is buttressed as a leading instance.
Chapter 5 explains the benefits of yielding absolutely. The author admonishes Christians to relinquish control over all that we consider ours like property, time and “our” rights. He implores believers to submit themselves to God by studying the word of God always, as it is written in Joshua 1:8 “This book of law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shall mediate therein day and night, that thou mayst observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then thou shall make thy way prosperous, and then thou shall have good success.”
Fellowship with the brethren is also identified in this chapter as a key to submitting all to God.
Chapter Six, only after submitting yourself to God can any believer meet with God in truth and in spirit. This chapter elucidates the importance of forgiving others, living in love and praying in accordance with the will of God as written in Mathew 6:33. Faith, Hope and a holy heart are other ingredients that will help any believer enjoy a good relationship with God.
Chapter seven, which is the last chapter, talks about our personal relationship with God through prayers and retreat. Jesus Christ admonished Christians to fast and pray, only then can we enjoy a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Azaka suggested that to partake in a personal prayer retreat, one must take the following resources, a familiar Bible, notebook, clock, worship music, walking shoes and a devotional.
The supreme precept law as established in the text to Christianity is to read the word (Bible) and observe all that is written in it in total loyalty to God.