WE KNOW that there are two main groups of ministers who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world today. These two groups have existed since the establishment of the Church in the first century. The apostle Paul writes, “For we are not like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity as commissioned by God in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2: 17).
In the scripture above, the apostle discloses to us these two categories of ministers. He speaks of the first group of which he is part; they are sincere men commissioned by God and preach the gospel with God's authority, knowing that God is always watching them. The second group of ministers he talks about constitutes ministers who preach for the main purpose of making money. And he says they are many.
Throughout Scripture, we read about how the sincere ministers are used by God to rebuke and expose those who distort the truths of the Word of God to swindle and exploit ignorant believers for their selfish gain. Often, when the unbiblical activities of these false ministers are exposed, many ignorantly describe it as an attack on the Church instead of an attack on the enemies of the Cross.
True Christians ought to understand that the gospel of Christ is pure, undiluted and unadulterated. It is biblically, scripturally and doctrinally unbiased. Preaching the gospel includes defending its purity and soundness. Preaching the gospel includes protesting unsound doctrines and exposing errors introduced by false ministers.
Moreover, preaching the gospel includes destroying arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and taking every thought captive to obey Christ. Preaching the gospel includes opposing traditions of men which tend to distract and undermine its effectiveness.
Avid readers of the Bible, especially the New Testament, know that there are things which in the teaching of Pastor Peter Collins Obeng are freely given to believers in Christ. Among these things the man of God recently spoke about are blessings, healings, miracles, favours and fruitfulness which the Bible describes as “good and perfect gifts that come from the Father of lights.” (James 1:17).
Understand that God delivered up His own son, Jesus Christ, for the benefits of our blessings, redemption, privileges and breakthroughs. God wants to freely give us all things. “He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
The Scripture above declares that God is willing to provide all other things freely with Christ for His children in Christ. The Father Himself loves believers so much that He does not intend to withhold any good thing from His children. And He has made His Spirit available to believers for them to know the things that are freely given to them of Him. (1 Corinthians 2:12).
The sad truth, however, is that many modern Christians have been deceived with a false teaching which tells them to sow money as seed faith in order to activate God’s power and receive from Him. By this teaching, God has been presented as a Father who sells His gifts, blessings, healings and favours to the highest bidder among His own sons and daughters purchased by the blood of the Lamb.
Now, we need to remember how the apostle Peter’s rebuked Simon the sorcerer when he desired to pay money for the power of the gift of God. Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money.” (Acts 8:20)
In fact, God’s gifts, abilities and blessings are not for sale. The Father freely – with absolutely no cost to us – gives all things we need for life and godliness.
Today, most Christians have been trained to live like the Old Testament saints under the Law of Moses. Consequently, they want to earn their blessings, healings, fruitfulness and favours that are already given to them in Christ by sowing money as seed faith, or through works. This is sad and unfortunate.
Yes, the Mosaic Law demands that one meets certain requirements before God can bless him. Thus, God responds to the obedience of the people with gracious provisions, and meet their needs, but predicts judgment or curses for those who disobey His laws.
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God…”
“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which i command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-15).
Clearly, obedience of the people preceded God’s blessings under the dispensation of the law. But the dispensation of grace, on the other hand, invites the believer to respond to God’s provisions and blessings in Christ by faith, and not by works. This is all because of what Christ accomplished in His redemptive work on the cross.
But it must be stressed that there is absolutely nothing wrong for a Christian to give back to God in response to His blessings or graciousness. But we should not give with the aim of earning God’s blessings, fruitfulness, favours, healings and gifts under the covenant of grace.
By James Quansah