“ASK AND it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).
Humans particularly believers have the right to ask God and their fellows for their needs. The principle may also apply to asking questions; and when questions are asked there is the need to give answers. These things occur daily throughout the world.
When you interact with people or listen to the radio, television and read newspapers, magazines and books, one moral question which is often asked is: “How come we have many Christian churches and other religions in Ghana and almost in every country yet sin is widespread in the world?
Sin is a silent destroyer and killer; it has inherent pleasure but it is not harmless as it makes the world unpleasant place to live in. Corruption, rape, defilement, fornication, stealing, hatred, envy, jealousy, witchcraft, drunkenness and such other things are acts of sin. And they are rampant in our homes, churches, markets, offices and governments.
People give various reasons for this problem. While some people attribute the situation to the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, citing 2 Timothy 3: 1- 4, as an example, others argue that Christians cannot live holy and righteous lives. It is a fact that sin can never be eradicated from the world in which Satan and his minions roam about always tempting and influencing people to commit all manner of evil against God and humanity.
However, God has given the church, His children power and authority to overcome the works of the devil, and live in the world as its light and salt. This triumphant power and authority are vested in the Word of God, the name and the blood of Jesus Christ. Thus, the child of God has a role to play in realizing this victory in Christ. They must exercise the authority in the name and blood of Jesus Christ and live by the Word of God.
The book of James admonishes disciples of Christ to “…be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror…But the one who…being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22-25).
From this passage of Scripture, two important things can be learnt such as HEARING and DOING the Word. But inherent in hearing and doing the Word is the third important thing, preaching/teaching the Word. Thus, Paul, the apostle asks, “And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
This means that God's Word, His commandments, which are summed up in a phrase, “love your neighbour as yourself” must be preached, heard and done, acted upon, obeyed or lived. James teaches that the blessing of God's Word is in doing it. The blessing does not lie merely in preaching or hearing the Word.
It can therefore be asserted that preaching and teaching the Word of God for hours, days, weeks, and years without doing, living or acting on it profit nothing. In other words, a person who obeys, does, or acts on the implanted Word of God demonstrates wisdom than one who merely preaches it. This also means that the hunger to do, live or act on the Word of God must exceed the hunger to preach and hear it.
In the believers' walk with God, they are given the Bible to act it, live, obey it or do it after being preached or taught and heard. However, a key challenge that face most Christians in this generation is that though they greatly exposed to extensive teaching and preaching of the Word on radio, television, newspapers, books, magazines and above all social media, many fail to act on what they hear.
The consequence is the prevalence of sin, unhappiness, confusion and lack of contentment all over the place. The Kingdom of God would be realised reigning on earth when God's children learn to act on, live and do the Word of God after hearing it preached or taught. There is blessing in doing or acting on the Word of God.
People, who blame the prevalence of sin in the world today only on the end-time prophecy, need to look at the scripture carefully. The scripture does not say that in the last days true Christians will stop being the light of the world or stop living holy and righteous lives. But it speaks of unbelievers and hypocritical church goers.
When a person is saved after being adopted by the Holy Spirit by hearing and believing the gospel of Christ, he receives the grace to live a holy life. Then the believer is expected to grow in grace and knowledge of God as he lives, moves and has his being in Christ Jesus.
Similarly, people who argue that believers cannot live righteous lives need to read their Bibles carefully. The gospel of Christ has power to break sin's power over Christians. We learn in Matthew 1: 21 that Jesus Christ came to save His people from their sins. This does not mean Christians will not make mistakes but the truth is that when a person is TRULY SAVED, sin will not have dominion over him to enslave him again (Romans 6:14).
As sinless Christ Jesus conquered sin, so shall a true maturing Christian be helped by the Holy Spirit to overcome sin. Even though a Christian may sometimes be tempted to sin as long as he lives in this corrupt and wicked world, sin will not have control over him.
By James Quansah