ONLY THROUGH JESUS
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin Romans (7:25).
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).
There is a part of man that loves home. Being long away from home, a person may begin to feel homesick, especially when there are pleasant memories about home or if there is a certainty of better experience at home than at elsewhere. Going home to meet one’s father and family is always lovely except there is a painful bone slidden into the gum or thorn into the tongue. Humans have the tendency to feel homesick. That is not only natural but also original. The nascency of humanity was favoured with tangible utopian Eden prepared by God for the comfort of man. It was favoured with an earth full of bliss and loads of enthralling verdure and fauna. It was completely devoid of curse and crisis. Were it not now only imaginary who would not like to be there? The imagination of utopia in itself is a homesickness of the spirit of man. Regardless of disputations, humans all in their dissimilar or similar races and cultures come from one source- Adam- and Adam from God. So, we are all from “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:6).” This does not mean that we are all of God. Some belong to the Devil (John 8:44) and God knows those who are His own (2Timothy 2:19).
Humanity has its root in divinity. However, many humanists now advance mankind away and far away from God, going fast farther day by day into abominations. The catastrophic result is intentionally detached from its cause by many of those who interpret phenomena around the world. Obviously, such teachers are not of God! We must return to God. In general term, humanity must return to divinity- to God the creator. The Way to ‘Eden’ where God would come in the coolness of the day to commune with man must be taken. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). Anyone who believes in Jesus will have the Identity Power to be seen and known as, being truly, a child of God. We learnt from Genesis 3:24 that God “drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. Since man, from God, became not entirely or not at all of God then Adam was not allowed in the Edenic palace of peace. However, anyone who accepts Christ is reconciled with God (Ephesians 2:16; Col 1:20-21). If that person will reach the gate of Eden and the Cherubims wonder, “How dare you come here?” and he or she would say, “I am a Child of God, redeemed by the atoning death of Christ” what will happen? Faith in Jesus, Believing Jesus is the Identity Power, like an ID card. The Cherubims, being spiritual, will confirm that and then open the way. The person goes up into Eden and meets with God in the coolness of day there. That’s glorious! Nevertheless, should a person truly follow The Way, Jesus Christ’s path, there will be no stopping him or her at the gate. The believer simply goes in and up to God. That is holily glorious!
Supposedly, a reader of this book is a Christian or a believer of Jesus Christ. That’s lovely. The point is that only we have the chance, in fact, the right to reach God and pray to God. This is God’s doing. Thank God! Ephesians 2:18 asserted that “through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” It’s the reason why Paul gave thanks to God THROUGH JESUS CHRIST (Romans 7:25). At the name of Jesus only must every knee everywhere bow. Thank God we are not hostile to the name of Jesus. We have been chosen to be justified. Many never agree that the name is mighty to save or that Jesus is Lord but we do. So, why should we not go to the father in Jesus name? No book barrier, no brain barrier, no veneration or godlessness barrier, we’re the simple but wise and we’re beloved. We’ve got to pray! Shall we?
GOD DOES NOT HEAR SINNERS
We might be troubled with the fact that God does not hear sinners. A man who believed Jesus so proudly that he witnessed Him to Moses’ votaries said “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth (John 9:31). The man was blind but Jesus cured him of blindness. That means God could hear Jesus. Yes, of course, Jesus was never a sinner. A Psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me (psalms 66:18).” It then means that we must be sinless to reach God? Yes, we must be. He’s holy and will never be reduced to tolerate unholiness. So, what’s the use of praying if we of insufferable filthiness aren’t acceptable to God? Well, people in the old times prayed and God listened. Daniel, Moses, Hezekiah, Hannah, Job, Eliezer of Damascus, Elijah, David, Solomon, King Manasseh, Jonah, Jesus and the Apostles prayed. Miracles that substantiate God’s love and attentiveness and his care happened in the Bible in the Old Testament. That was before Jesus who took away the sin of the world was born in the flesh. Here is the point: If they at that time when sin was not dealt with could be sanctified to pray to God, we have greater reason to pray- GRACE in the Lord Jesus. We’ve got to pray with confidence. People then were praying to God and he heard them. That does not mean that they were sinning and praying at the same time. Oh no, they didn’t do that! THEY REALLY FEARED GOD!
NONE IS RIGHTEOUS
Yes, they feared God in the Old Testament though with swaying commitment and sense of reverence. Nevertheless, we know in Psalm 14:2 and 3 that “The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Paul exposited on that in Romans 3: 9 and 10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” So none can really pray to God? If God does not listen to unrighteousness how come he heard those who prayed to him in the Old Testament? Maybe there are righteous people. Maybe Job or Noah or Abraham, Abel, Enoch or the prophets? Was anyone of them righteous or sort of Perfect? Yes, in a sense, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” Also, in a sense, “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” These men were just, righteous and perfect! Wow, that’s a miracle! The perfect Noah would later get drunk and curse his grandson. The perfect Job would later challenge God and speak many words of ignorance. The truth is Job’s case was really worthy of some exoneration than that of Noah. It’s easy to criticize Job’s ‘foolishness’ when we are in comfort than in pain. Has anyone ever experienced Job’s kind of misery: all his property perished and all children died in one day and painful boils of Devil’s fury all over his body? Nevertheless, he still showed that he is not perfect in and on his own. Anyone who prayed to God must be holy: sanctified or consecrated to God. People prayed and he answered. They were indeed holy! Holy and righteous? Oh yes! So, who was righteous and how?
FATHER LONGING FOR SON
King Darius and Daniel
Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not (Daniel 6:6-8).
Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 6:14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him (Daniel 6:13-14).
Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions (Daniel 6:16-20)?
Let the King be a god figure who loves his son, Daniel. The son was now trapped such that it is the father’s law, a fixed law, that was broken by the son and it is the Father that must sentence the son. Now, let the den of lion be the outer world from Eden, the stone at the mouth of the den should be the Cherubims and flaming sword. Daniel on his own could never come out and up to his King and father. He is rather in danger of the Lions. We know and haven’t forgot that God Almighty saved him from the lions anyway. We only see that the king wanted and in fact sought to deliver Daniel. But he was a king of truth and justice. He stood for justice and could not betray his status. He was greatly displeased to have sentenced Daniel unavoidably, to danger or death. He knew no joy till morning and early he sought for his son. What a loving father longing for his endangered son with the hope that the son be safe! It’s a matter of love! Love! The love of a child makes the parents filled even without food. Love cares!
Jacob and Joseph
And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him (Genesis 37:34-35).
forty five twenty seven.. And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: twenty eight… And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die (Genesis 45:27-28)
When Jacob learnt of Joseph’s being alive and blessed, he rejoiced greatly. But beyond his joy was the yearning to meet Joseph, his beloved son. He had mourned for days and refused to be comforted. It was his son or death. He hoped to die so he could meet his son. He greatly grieved. He wanted to meet Joseph whom he now learnt is alive and blessed. It was the last and only thing he wished for before he died at that time. Actually, he had been longing for a supposedly dead son. Perhaps he wanted to die quickly so that he could meet him in the afterlife. It’s a matter of love! Love! The love of a child makes a bereaved parent apathetic to other things. Love bonds!
David and Absalom
But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead (2Kings 13:37).
Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom (2Kings 14:1). And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished (2Kings 14:13). And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again (2Kings 14:21). And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face (2Kings 14:24). So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face (2Kings 14:28). So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom (2Kings 14:33).
And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son (2Kings 18: 32-33)! And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son (2Kings 19:1, 4)!
Absalom was a murder. He killed his father’s son, Amnon who had incest with Tamar. Tamar was step to Amnon and sister to Absalom. We are not treating the curse on David. Rather, the fatherly love David had towards Absalom. He longed for Absalom and it must have been noticeable. For Joab to have perceived such longing, something suggestive of that longing must have been habitual of David after those three years. The King did as if he never missed his son. Nevertheless, he felt better that Absalom returned home. Father and son met and kissed.
After Absalom led a revolt and was killed David wept loudly and wished he died in Absalom’s place. It’s a matter of love. Love! The love of a child makes a parent disregard his errors. Love pardons!
If a young man commits murder will the parents reject him or refuse to help him? Yes? That yes, if true, is a rare possibility. The parents get a lawyer, seek help and desire that the man be pardoned. They should never hope that their child be put to death. Now, if the penalty is imprisonment will the parent abandon the murderer child of theirs? No! They suffer his miserable state and visit the prison. Anyone who loves, for example, a wife or a husband is expectedly supposed to protect a beloved from death and misery; no one is expected by law to cover u crimes but family are meant to stand up for an accused person of theirs. Love pardons! The fact must be that when Absalom returned David never needed (love won’t let him need) to retreat Absalom’s crime. He simply lovely kissed him.
Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:1-10).
It should surprise us that Jesus defended his dining with sinners when he went into Zaccheus. Then He said those who are well need no physician! Now, sinners come to hear Him. But the boastful selfish Christians murmured. Jesus didn’t fear the Jews as Peter would do when he ate with converts. Most times, many Christians detach from new converts. They knew the babes aren’t yet firm on their feet. That’s why many of those who are mature would stay away from babes. What a reason! It’s a reason out of fear and not sound mind because the master said when we bear fruits our fruits must stand also. The parable above is self-explanatory. Love! Love locates the lost! Love searches for a missing fellow or beloved and would long for that one such that there would be a rejoicing when the lost returned. From the parable, it is underlying that the sinners are compared with sheep and silver (valued currency) that shows that even sinners are precious, they are treasured, loved. No, their sins aren’t loved. But rather than kill the sinners, the loving shepherd will deal with sin and free the sheep. That’s love. Love! Love saves! Reading this should make us love that sinners come to God and to get pardon and life.
JESUS’ PARABLE ON FATHER’S LOVE
The next text is actually the remaining of Luke 15. We will go through all of it here. It is because the words are important to the points we are making and many times when we read a book and are referred to a text in the Bible we don’t always check it. We read the book further and ignore the Bible text. I didn’t say always anyway. I do that at times too. So let’s read the text on the page here.
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found (Luke 15:11-32).
A singer sang ‘‘I’ve Got Two Lovers and I love them both the same. One is good and one is bad and both are actually the same. On the one hand, the passage above can be explained in that light. Meaning that the two sons actually refer to the same person. Really? Yes, the two sons represent a man. One aspect belongs to God. That’s the spirit. The soul then took a forbidden token and wandered away from God, searching for pleasure: anything good for food, pleasant to the eyes and desired to make one wise. The result of the mind’s fixity on pleasing self rather than the father is misery and condemnation. That was what happened to Adam with Eve. They are in the image of God but they are now cursed and banished from his presence. God still loved Adam and cared for him and his wife. In Genesis 3:21 after man is long gone from the glory of God, we read that “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” So, the one who had come short the glory of the father was still a beloved because he was a son of God as revealed in the Gospel of Saint Luke. The point of this peaching is that when Christians see sinners they should not see them as enemies of God but as fragmented and degenerated children of God. Of course they might be enemies of truth; they themselves might think they are enemies of God but God isn’t their enemy. How sure are we that He loves them? Well, the Bible says “for God so loved the world that he gave His ONLY begotten son…” God wants no sinner to perish. He is not slacking in His promises but He is patient that people come to repentance. In Jesus story we see that though that son was gone, has suffered and was humbled the Father still longed for him and rejoiced when he returned.
On the other hand, we can see that the story also presents Christians as the son who is at home with the father and sinners who are far away. How do we react when we see the father being favourable to a sinner? He made a feast. What the son said to the father when he returned was ‘prayer.’ Let everyone now get the courage and desire to go to God in prayer through Jesus Christ. If God would be willing to listen to a baby’s babbling would He not listen to a mature child speaking in Holy Ghost clear language? He hears us!
FORBADE THEM NOT
And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein (Luke 18:15-17).
Who are the infants? Well, they are babes. They need love, care and affection to grow well. Those who are mature children need to cooperate with the parents and take care of their baby siblings. Is there any grown person who tells a baby, “you’re just a baby, you can’t reach the father?” No one, no sane one does that. Actually, the language of babes may be incomprehensible and their understanding, their seriousness and playfulness will certainly portray their immaturity. Still we cannot forbid babes from reaching the father.
Who are we to think someone isn’t worthy to pray to God in Jesus name because of our judgmental and crucifying attitude? Or who are we to disregard the how a baby prays. For example, some detest other Christians only because they think speaking in tongues is out of point. The hate is serious that they think Devil is the one ruling those ones speaking in tongues. I don’t think those speaking hate those afraid or unwilling to speak in that gifted spiritual language but they should not mock or feel better than those not speaking. When we are in one accord, our prayers are surely unhindered. Who are we to tell who is qualified to come before God? At this point, the points we are making with stories and samples should be clear: no Christian should feel or be made to feel unqualified to pray to God. Rather, every Christian should be confident when we approach the throne of mercy in Jesus name to pray to God as His saints. I mean, He is eager to hear ALL Christians. Christians are not sinners! Christians should not sin either! God listens to us. Knowing this should make us eager to pray to God. Before Jesus came to show us the way to the father, messengers, prophets were the media God used to communicate to His wonderful children. A son was forbidden to reach the father, messenger, letters and prophecies were sent to him but father still want to see him. If we know the father really wants to meet us (through Jesus) then what should hold us back? Ignorance, weariness, fear or SIN? Nothing!
NONE SHOULD COME AS RIGHTEOUS BUT IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:9-14).
Being of Adam, “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6). We must be perfect as our father is perfect. But we must ask why Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” and Matthew 6:14 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” are part of the prayer Jesus taught us. Well God “meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved (Isaiah 64:5).” We shall be saved and we are saved.
When we come to God in prayer we come not with golden bell to jingle in case we die.
“And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not (Exodus 28:35).” But we “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus (Hebrew 10:19)” can pray to God the father without an Aaronic intermediary.
In this chapter, we have established the truth that God is not going to cast away anyone who comes to Him no matter what as Jesus said. We try to raise the point that we do no one should feel exclusive to God because of maturity but we all must be humble and loving to babes and help them to Grow. Also, that I know that God is longing for me, ready to hear me and answer my prayers and talk to me should make me pray. Oh, I’m going to pray!
It Must be said that there is a caveat. There is nothing in this chapter that suggests that we have a license to sinning. We cannot take grace not for granted. Righteousness and Holiness must be emphasised and will be discussed. If we love God, if we are saved we will not be sinning!
Now, have we more courage to approach God, do we have more desire to pray to God through Jesus? If we have believed Jesus, we can pray to God and commune with Him in pray freely and heartily. Shall we pray?