Saturday, October 14, 2017

M Min Thesis-Teaching in the Holy Spirit-by Henry Dolly

Teaching in the Holy Spirit
By Henry Dolly
A Master Thesis Submitted
In The Fulfillment of The Requirements
For Master of Ministry Degree
At The
Truth and Mercy Institute For Advanced Ministry Studies
February 2015
Mentor: Dr. Danny Abaldo
Email: truthandmercyministries@live.com


Abstract:
In this day and age ministers have gotten complacent in teaching God's word. They preach with their own understanding, for their own agendas. They are not responsive to the Holy Spirit and what he wants to relay to the congregation. They don't allow the Holy Spirit to come into and be apart of their church. They don't want to offend anyone, they tickle peoples ears in order to have large numbers in attendance, therefore taking in bountiful offerings for the church. They end up with large churches with lots of money, but the congregation suffers from lack of knowledge and spiritual immaturity. In this situation everyone losses, except the minister, he has plenty of money pouring in to the church. What he fails to remember is he is accountable for teaching, guiding, and bringing his congregation into spiritual maturity. One day he will stand before God and account for his actions. I will first show what Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit. Second, how Peter and Paul taught about the Holy Spirit in the early church. Then, why it is important for a minister to understand and know the role of the Holy Spirit. And last, discuss how we should be teaching about the Holy Spirit.

What Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit.
The teaching of Jesus is alive with instruction about the Holy Spirit. He taught often on the subject of the Spirit and His work. The first example of Jesus’ teaching about the Holy Spirit is found in Luke 11:5-13 “And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Here, in the context of His teaching His disciples about prayer, Jesus explains to them how they may be filled with the Holy Spirit. He teaches them several things. He instructs them in the vital importance of being filled with the Spirit by encouraging them to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking. If they will do this, then God will keep on filling them with His Spirit. He informs them of the wonderful availability of the Holy Spirit, as He tells them that “everyone who asks receives”. And He puts to rest their fears of a false or demonic baptism by teaching them that their Heavenly Father will give them exactly what they ask for, the Holy Spirit, and nothing else. As ministers we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be effective in our teaching and preaching.

A second example of the Holy Spirit in the content of Jesus’ teaching is found in John 3. Here, He teaches another teacher about the Holy Spirit. He instructs the Jewish rabbi, Nicodemus, concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. Jesus teaches this man about the absolute necessity of a spiritual rebirth before one can enter, or for that matter, even see the kingdom of God. He teaches Nicodemus that only “Spirit gives birth to spirit”. Then, in verse eight, Jesus gives Nicodemus a short, teaching on the nature and work of the Holy Spirit. He speaks of the sovereign will of the Holy Spirit (“the wind blows wherever it pleases”); He hints at the visible results of the Spirit’s work in the lives of men (“you hear its sound”); and both the incomprehensible origin (“but cannot tell where it comes from”); and the destiny of the Spirit (“or where it is going”). The Holy Spirit anoints us as He sees fit, when we need that anointing and direction in a certain situation.

A third example of Jesus teaching on the Holy Spirit is found in Matthew 12 where the people brought to Jesus a demonized man who was both blind and mute. Jesus cast out the demon, thus healing the man of both infirmities. The people were amazed and wondered if Jesus could be the promised Messiah. The religious leaders, however, accused him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of the demons (verse 24). Jesus used this occasion to teach two essential lessons concerning the Holy Spirit. First, He taught them that it is through the Spirit of God that we drive out demons, and thus help to advance God’s kingdom in the world (verse 28). He expands on this subject in the next verse, when He teaches that it is through the same power of the Spirit that we can “bind the strong man” and “plunder his goods.” In other words, we, through the Holy Spirit, have been given the power to bind demonic powers, and thus liberate those people who live under their evil domination.
Jesus then uses the same incident as an occasion to teach concerning the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. He teaches them that, although blasphemy against the Son of Man can be forgiven, “anyone who speaks against Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come” (verse 32). We get our power through the Holy Spirit to have dominion over the enemy.

Another example of Jesus teaching about the Holy Spirit is found in John 7. Tradition tells us that at a certain point during the last day of the week-long Feast of the Tabernacles, a procession of Jewish priests would enter the temple court with containers of water drawn from the Pool of Siloam. In the presence of all the people they would ceremoniously pour out the water as a reminder of how God had miraculously provided water when their fore bearers had thirsted in the wilderness. Jesus used this occasion to teach a great lesson about the Holy Spirit. He cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come unto me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him”. John interprets Jesus’ teaching: “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified”. Jesus taught about how the same Holy Spirit would both quench our spiritual thirsts, regeneration (John 4:10-14) and flow through us to bring blessing to others, empowering us. (John 7:37-38)

A fifth example of Jesus’ extensive teaching on the Holy Spirit is found in John 14-16. In chapter 14 He makes an amazing promise. He says that those who believe in Him will do the same works that they had seen Him do. Even more, they will do even greater works than He. Jesus is, no doubt, speaking of works of greater quantity, rather than greater quality. Jesus then tells why they will be able to do these greater works when He says, it is “because I am going to the Father.” Jesus explains that His going to the Father will result in His sending the Holy Spirit. The promise is that every believer can be filled with the same Holy Spirit who filled and empowered Him during his earthly ministry, thus enabling them to do the same works He did. In the same chapter, Jesus expands on the theme of the coming of the Holy Spirit. He tells His disciples that He would ask the Father and He will give them “another Counselor” to be with them forever. He identifies this other Counselor as “the Spirit of truth”. He then explains to them that He would not abandon them as orphans, but He would come to them in the person of the Holy Spirit. Later, He tells them that the Holy Spirit will take His place as their Teacher: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”. In chapter 16 Jesus teaches that, when the Holy Spirit comes, He will “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement”. In other words, a principal work of the Holy Spirit will be that of convincing and convicting men concerning the truth of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is with us always, teaching us and reminding us of the teachings of Jesus.

A final example of Jesus’ teaching about the Holy Spirit is found in Acts 1. This is Jesus’ last recorded “class session” with His disciples before leaving them to ascend into heaven. During this final session with His disciples Jesus could have taught about many important matters. He chose, however, to teach them one final lesson on the Holy Spirit. Luke writes that, on that occasion, He “gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen,” and “spoke about the kingdom of God”. What were these instructions, and what were these things concerning the kingdom of God that He taught about? We have the answer to these questions, in the command He immediately gave to His disciples: Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Then, He tells them the purpose of this baptism in the Holy Spirit. Its purpose was that they might receive power to proclaim His gospel to the “ends of the earth”. I could cite many more instances of Jesus teaching on the Holy Spirit, these few illustrate my point: the work of the Holy Spirit was a priority item on Jesus’ teaching agenda. Not only did Jesus teach orally about the Holy Spirit, His entire life was a profound lesson on how to walk, live, and minister in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Following the example of Jesus, the early church preached and taught frequently on the subject of the Holy Spirit. It is therefore very important that we are baptized with the Holy spirit, so we can be a strong witness to the whole and proclaim the gospel to everyone, evangelizing everywhere we go.

Peter and Paul taught about the Holy Spirit in the early church.
One example is what is commonly known as Peter’s Pentecost “sermon” delivered in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. Closer investigation reveals that this sermon was not a sermon at all, at least in the traditional sense. It was more properly a prophetic utterance. Just as the 120, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, spoke in unlearned languages, now Peter utters forth a prophetic message from God in the common language. It was in the context of this prophetic message that Peter began to give the church’s first teaching on the Holy Spirit. In this message Peter teaches several things about the Holy Spirit: 1. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit that the crowd was witnessing was a fulfillment of a prophecy made by Joel. 2. The outpouring was for all people, and it would be accompanied by supernatural manifestations such as visions and prophecies. 3. It was the exalted Christ who had received authority from the Father to pour out the Holy Spirit. 4. Those who would repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name were candidates to receive the Holy Spirit. 5. This gift of the Holy Spirit was for everyone of every age whom God would call. Thus, the first recorded lesson taught by the New Testament church was filled with teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit. We, as born again believers are may receive the Holy Spirit.

Another example of teaching on the subject of the Holy Spirit is the sermon of Peter at the house of Cornelius in the coastal town of Caesarea (Acts 10). It was through a Spirit-inspired vision, and
then a revelatory word spoken by the Spirit of God, that Peter was directed to go to Caesarea to speak to the Roman centurion, Cornelius, and his household. Upon arriving, Peter, as was his custom, declared the gospel unto them. He also taught concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life: How God annointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Since we believe that the sermons of the book of Acts are often abbreviated forms of longer sermons, we understand that a brief mention can often suggest that much more was spoken on that particular subject. Whether or not this is true in this instance, the effect of Peter’s teaching concerning the Holy Spirit was both immediate and dramatic, for the Bible says that “while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message ”. True to apostolic form, in his very first teaching to these people, Peter instructs them concerning the person and work of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit gives us inspiration, and the word to speak when we need it

The ministry of Priscilla and Aquila to Apollos is yet another possible example of teaching on the subject of the Holy Spirit in Acts. In Acts, Luke gives to us a thumbnail sketch of this mighty preacher named Apollos: Acts 18:24-25 “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.” He was an Alexandrian Jew, an eloquent speaker, and mighty in the Scriptures. Further, he possessed an accurate knowledge of the things of Christ and a burning zeal for the work of the Lord. The only baptism he knew, however, was the baptism of John. After hearing him preach in the synagogue of Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla took him aside and explained to him the ways of God more accurately. Although we cannot be dogmatic at this point, the context of this passage, particularly the parallel situation in 19:1-6, where Paul deals with twelve other disciples in Ephesus who were in the same spiritual condition as Apollos, implies that the husband/wife team taught Apollos about the work of the Spirit in his life. The effectiveness of his subsequent ministry seems to indicate that he received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

A final example of teaching about the Holy Spirit in Acts is Paul’s dealing with the twelve disciples in Ephesus (19:1-7). Upon arriving in the city, he encountered twelve men. He immediately began to teach them about the necessity of one’s being filled with the Holy Spirit. He asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Paul was inquiring into their readiness to participate in his mission of reaching all of Asia Minor with the gospel. Although the text does not say, Paul’s teaching could have continued along this vein for some time. Then, having finished his teaching, Paul dealt with their personal experience, as do all effective teachers. After having them baptized in water, he laid his hands on them and “the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied”. From these examples in the book of Acts we can draw certain conclusions concerning the Holy Spirit in the content of the early church’s teaching: First, we can conclude that the message of the baptism in the Holy Spirit was a definite priority in apostolic preaching and teaching. In almost every occasion the subject was brought up in the very first message to any group where the gospel was presented. There was no hesitancy on the part of the apostles to present the message of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the multitudes in their initial evangelistic encounter. Second, we conclude that the primitive church had much to say about the person and work of the Spirit. Teaching about the Holy Spirit pervades the book of Acts. I believe that we as ministers today, should take our cue from these first century believers. Our teaching ministry should also be filled with content about the Holy Spirit. Not only do we find much teaching about the Holy Spirit in the Gospels and Acts, we also discover that the letters of Paul are filled with teaching about the Holy Spirit.

It is important for a minister to understand and know the role of the Holy Spirit.
It should go without saying that as ministers, we must have a comprehensive understanding of what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. In our locality we must be seen as the “resident expert” in things concerning the Spirit of God. Our understanding of the subject must be both comprehensive and biblically sound. Such a thorough understanding will help us in several areas of our spiritual ministry. First, this sound biblical understanding will serve as the foundation for all of our ministry in the Spirit. Because of this understanding, we will be able to move with confidence as we minister under the anointing of the Spirit of God. In addition, this solid biblical foundation will protect us from doctrinal error. Our feet will be firmly planted in the clear teaching of scripture on the subject. Just as important, it will equip us to shield our congregation from the strange doctrine that often goes through the Christian community. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” Ephesians 4:14

Another benefit of this solid biblical foundation will be that we will be helped in defending our doctrinal position as a leader. In the area of doctrine and practice we will “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Pet. 3:15). A thorough understanding of the Spirit and His work will also help us to reach out to others with the message of God. Through our ministry their lives can be enriched and their witnesses to the world enhanced as they come into a fuller personal knowledge of the Spirit of God. It is tragic when people, hungry for a deeper relationship with God, come to a minister, only to find him ill equipped to help them. Instead of giving them clear biblical direction, he gives them a confusing jumble of inconsistencies and underdeveloped ideas.

How we should be teaching about the Holy Spirit.
We as ministers and teachers must commit ourselves to teaching clearly, comprehensively, and convincingly, about the Holy Spirit and His work. We must remember that such teaching is not only necessary, it is indeed biblical. We need look no further than the Master Teacher of the ages, Jesus Christ Himself, to confirm this fact. Following the example of Jesus, the apostles placed great emphasis on teaching about the Holy Spirit. A primary concern of the early church leaders was that the new disciples who were being constantly added to the church in its international missionary efforts, understood and experienced the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives. This is shown by the fact that teaching about the Holy was at the top of their “to do” list when they arrived in any new locality. Then, as we analyze the epistles of Paul, we are struck with the sheer volume of teaching about the Holy Spirit we find there. No matter what the subject, he seemed to always find a direct tie with the work of the Spirit of God. His letters are models of how teaching about the Holy Spirit should be present in our teaching in the church today.

We should teach about the vital importance of the Holy Spirit. Our teaching about the Holy Spirit should include, among other things, instruction on the indispensable value of the Holy Spirit to the ministry and the congregation. These brethren must sense the deep conviction of the teacher: “I cannot live or minister without the Spirit’s presence in my life.” Further, the brethren must understand the critical importance of the Spirit of God to their lives. They must be inspired to live in His presence,
and to know and experience His power. We, then, as ministers and teachers, must see it as our responsibilities to demonstrate, by word and example, how important the Holy Spirit is to our own lives. Just as Paul taught the believers in Corinth, we must teach our congregations. to “covet” and “eagerly desire” the working of the Spirit in their lives

We should teach about the wonderful Person of the Holy Spirit. Our brethren must know who He is. They must understand His divine nature and know His essential attributes. They must be able to appreciate that He is a wonderful divine Person who desires loving fellowship with each of them. They
must understand His relationship to the Father and the Son, to mankind, and to the church. They must know and understand the profound meaning of His names and titles. Our brethren must understand these things in order that they may be motivated to know and serve Him better, and live in a vital living relationship with Him.

We should teach about the powerful works of the Holy Spirit. We should teach our brethren about His works in creation, in the inspiration of Scripture, and in the anointing of the Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings. We should teach them about His work in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the New Testament believers. We should teach them about His present work in the lives of believers: infilling, anointing, inspiring, cleansing, revealing, enlightening, interceding, calling, comforting, healing, helping, teaching, counseling, empowering, illuminating, and gifting. We must teach them these things in order that they may be able hear His voice, know His anointing, and release His gifts in their lives. We must teach them how to discern the Spirit’s presence, how to hear the Spirit’s voice, how to yield to the Spirit, and how to release the Spirit’s gifts. If we teach them any less, we cannot honestly say that we are adequately equipping them to fulfill what God has for them to do. We need to teach more by who we are and by what we do than by what we say. We teach by simply being a man or woman of God, and, then, being with our brethren. As they observe our life and works, they become like us. Jesus, the Master Teacher, taught, “Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). When Jesus called the twelve to Himself and appointed them as apostles, He did it so that “they might be with Him” (Mark 3:14).

Conclusion:
If Jesus and the apostles saw the vital importance of teaching much and often about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, then we, as their twenty-first century successors, should do the same. In order to accomplish our God-given task, we must seek greater understanding concerning the role and work of the Holy Spirit in our own teaching ministries. We must become students of the Spirit. We must never assume that we know all there is to know about life and ministry in the Spirit. We must rather commit ourselves anew to learn and relearn these things. We must seek to strengthen our relationship with the Spirit of God. Before we can ever see an outflow of spiritual life and spiritual gifts in our teaching ministries, there must first be an inflow of the Spirit’s power and presence. We must, therefore, dedicate ourselves to a life of prayer in the Spirit. It must become a priority in our lives to learn to walk in daily fellowship with the Spirit of God. If we are going to keep on receiving from the Spirit, then we must “keep on asking, seeking, and knocking” (Luke 11:9). And finally, if we are to truly fulfill our role as teachers, we must learn to walk and move in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is not enough to be able to name the nine spiritual gifts of the spirit in1 Corinthians 12:8-10. Neither is it enough that we be able to define and categorize them. No amount of head knowledge, however great, will suffice. We must be able to hear the voice of the Spirit, and in faith be able to move in the gifts of the Spirit. If we are to train truly Spirit-filled believers we must know how to follow the guidance of the Spirit ourselves. If we are to train truly Spirit-empowered believers, we must ourselves know how to move in the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Having done these things maybe we can then say, “We are now teaching in the Spirit.”

Acknowledgments:
I thank the Holy Spirit for the guidance, inspiration, understanding and knowledge given to me to complete this Thesis. I also want to thank my dearest friend Betty for her encouragement and for believing in my ability to succeed. I thank the Dean, Dr. Dan Abaldo for his mentoring and encouragement throughout this course.

References:
The Holy Bible
The Holy Spirit by John Edmiston
The Gospel Of The Holy Spirits Love by Horatius Bonar

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

COUNSELING RECIPES BACHELOR OF CHRISTIAN COUNSELING By SAMUEL ODAME - ANTI.


TRUTH AND MERCY INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED MINISTRY STUDIES
TOPIC: BIBLICAL COMMENTARY ON COUNSELING RECIPES
(A SEARCH ON "COUNSELING RECIPES -TIMOTHY TOW")
PROGRAM: BACHELOR OF CHRISTIAN COUNSELING
LECTURER: DR.DAN ABALDO (DEAN)
STUDENT: SAMUEL ODAME - ANTI.
I have already discussed the need of counseling in the body of Christ in my previous work... And that every church should have and encourage members to counsel. As started in Galatians 6: 1-2
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the Spirit of meekness; considering you, least thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”. This and many other scriptures made it clear that there is the need of counseling in the Church. In this search, I would like to search and discuss Timothy Tow’s work on counseling recipes. I will discuss counseling recipes, examples of counseling recipes and why they are needed for the counselor, the counselee and the counseling process.
It is important to know what recipes are:
- Recipe is a list of ingredients and set of instruction that tell you how to cook something
- If you say that something is recipe for a particular situation you mean that it is likely to result in that situation.
Food is very important in life to the successful living of every living organism. The preparation of food need some instruction certain materials. The instruction or the materials needed depend on the type of food being prepared. So also counseling is also unique in its delivery and therefore would require some specific recipes which would be needed for a particular situation and to give positive results in that situation.
Tow talked about why we go only by the book. When one says the Book, then one is talking about a particular book. The book that Tow was talking about is the Bible
- The Bible is the book that talks about how man should live in this world and that world came into being and where he is heading.
For the importance of Bible in the counseling process the Bible has a lot to say about itself. 2Timoty 3:16 says " All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." The counseling process needs the doctrine of the Bible for:

- Reproof,
- Correction
- Instruction in righteousness.

That will always leads to good and a positive results. That is, - “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Who is the man of God here? - The man of God is the "... man be overtaken in a fault ...” as in Galatians 6:1 and is also "... Ye which are spiritual..." The Bible is the excellent tool “... to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness..." Restoration is to be done in such a way that “... the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." It should be noted that the aim of Christian counseling is to restore one into his place of usefulness in Christ. The Bible is 100% right and its doctrine has the power that restoration through the vessel - the counselor. The vessel, that is, the counsellor needs these recipes. That is the counselor need spiritual, moral as well as metal preparation to be made available for every good work unto the Lord. To be a good vessel the counselor must “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." To be able to counsel well and effectively one (the spiritual, the Biblical counselor) needs to open his or her spirit (the inner man) to the study of the word of God. The Bible is a very special book. According to Hebrews 4:12 "... The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joint and marrow, and is a discern-er of the thoughts and in tents of the heart". The Bible is powerful and is clear. It is a trusted tool. Why? It can enter and work on the soul and the spirit we must note that when one is born again, it the spirit of man that gains the born again experience, (the regeneration of the spirit). 

The soul is not born again, but the soul (mind, will and emotion) needs to be worked on by the word of God. That is why Biblical counseling is needed in the discipleship of the Christian church. The word of God has that ability to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. This means the word of God is a person which knows you. The word of God (The written word, the spoken word and the living word) knows both the counselor and the counselee. 

Hence the need of the word of God in the counseling process. The word of God as a person can bring out the healing process as it can enter into the joints and marrows. This menas that there is no problem so ever on earth that the word of God can't solve.
Tow further explained that "... in order to counsel well from a thorogh knowledge of the Bible with good understanding from a proper study of theology, let me emphasie again that we must read the Holy scriptures regularly and meditate on His law day and night! like a good pharmacist who knows the in and out of where all the drugs are stored, and what medicines are good for what diseases".

Psalm 119:97 - 104 clearly example that " O how love I thy law! . It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandment hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way."

Joshua explain that in Joshua 1:8 " This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. This verse is for both the counselor and the counselle. The counselor needs to meditate on the word of God to counsel himself first. The counselle must meditate on the word of God in order to grow in the things of God. I would like to conclude that the Bible or the word of God is a recipe of counseling.

One important thing is that the counselor should know about the orientation of human. The knowledge of the human orientation is needed in the counseling process. Man is a spirit, having a soul living in a container called the body. Paul explain clearly that human is made up of Spirit, soul and body . He said that ".... I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1Thessaloians 5:23. God wants us whole 
 
( that is without mental illness, emotional woulds or physical sickness). He desires wholeness in our spirit, soul and body. Sin damages us.Sin damages others.- Often those we love. Sin can cause illness of spirit, soul and body. Only God can heal these three different parts of our lives
( spirit, soul and body). and made us whole again. But Tow explained that there is the need to save the soul first. Yes,God wants to heal the broken and bruised parts of our lives. The Holy Spirit wants every parts of our being to be safe, sound and strong. He desires to bring healing to our bodies. But which one comes first? Tow said first save the soul, then save the Body. The Bible sometimes uses the spirit and soul interchangeability. However it is, it must be clear that what is the most important is that for one to function well according to creator, one will first need the born again experience. The counselor should always introduce the counselle to Jesus and the born again (salvation) process.This would call for repentance. Man is depraved by the fall according to Genesis 3. There is nothing that man can do to help himself. The counselle should be introduced to repentance for the spirit to be born again.Then he or she can get access to the things of the Holy Spirit or the things of God. Repentance is the first step we take to receive the salvation that God offer to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter declared in Acts 2:36 - 38.
that " Therefore let all the house of Israel know that assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus. whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.... Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Sometimes people do not have good understanding of repentance and this can effect their relationship with the Lord. 
 
Repentance is not just feeling guilty. Feeling guilty about our sin comes before repentance, but is not repentance itself. No one repents unless they first feel guilty about their sin, but not all who feel guilty repents. Some people are very sorry because of the consequences of their sin, or because they have been caught. Many people are sorry, not for what they have done, but for the penalty they receive in being caught. Paul Said in 2 Corinthians 7:10 that , " Godly sorrow leads to repentance that brings salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. Many people trying their own strength to become better person and change their way of life. Any self - effort has a root of self - righteousness in it, which does not acknowledge the need of repentance from sin. Repent is not becoming religious. The pharisees in the Bible were extremely religious in behavior and practice. They fasted and prayed and had many religious ceremonies, yet never repented. repentance is not just knowing the truth. Having an intellectual head - knowledge of truth does not necessarily guarantee that the truth has become a living reality in one's life. Believing with the head and believing with the heart are different. It is very important that we know what true repentance is , so that the counseling process should be successful, Tow explained that first save the soul, then save the body.
Repentance is about being being sorry to God for your sin. True repentance is a sorrow not just toward one's self. or toward another person, but first and foremost it is true sorrow toward God. One must be truthful about your sin. Repentance is turning away from your sin . One must turn from:
- Sin
- self
- the world
- the devil;
and then turning to :
- God
- right living.
Sin is worse than cancer, than AIDS. Sin is more dangerous than acid. Sin has affected the spirit, soul; and body and has made man depraved. So during the counseling process the major thing and the first and foremost things we must do is to dial with sin.

Another counseling recipes is prayer. James 5:16 declared that ".. . and pray one for another, that ye may be headed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Tow talked about united prayer. He said united prayer is like burning charcoal. It has great results. It is true that more prayer, more power; less prayer, less power.

Tow talks about rediscovering the power of prayer. What do we rediscover? We rediscover what we have lost . Prayer is a good and powerful tool and we need to understand it's essence and make good use of it again. It is not just knowing that prayer is powerful, but is also important that are know and understand how we can effectively employ them for effectively employ them for effective counseling and ministry. It seems that God has change and our ministry or our counselong process is nor powerful. Prayer should be seen as a counselling recipe. Who has changed, God or us? In Malachi 3;6 God said, "I am the Lord and I change not." If God cannot change, then we are the ones who have changed. Some of the problems we face as counslor are psychological, others are spiritual. However, it is,it call for spiritual warfare which involves prayer. Ministry ( Biblical Counseling) also involves binding and losing through praying. This clearly declare that we are not fighting again flesh and blood but against the force of darkness. 

" For though we walk in the flesh we do no war after the flesh .( For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" - 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. Wheather or not we are aware the bible tells us that we are in a war. our battle is not a physical one, but a spiritual one, and our main energy is the devil, God has also provided us with spiritual weapon's to conduct this war. One of the principal weapons of a christian is prayer. We must understand how prayer works for in the life of the believer, so that we must employ them effective. Answered prayer is not based on one geographical location. The pharisees loved to pray in specific places; the synagogues and the corners of the streets. To them, location was a big part of their prayer life. One day, I tried to make an appointment with a pastor friend of mine to discuss certain issues. When I asked him where he would be that weekend, he answered, " I will not be around this week. I am going for a retreat at so and so mountains to pray." This man, however, made a comment that had me very weary. He said, 'When I don't pray on that mountain, God does not hear my prayers" There are people who believe that unless they pray at particular locations, God will not hear their prayers. It could be a church building, a field, a room or place where they may have had some where they may have had some special or supernatural experience. They seen to have faith only when they pray in these special locations. The temptation to recapture and immortalize spiritual experiences becomes very strong. If you will remember, which Jesus was transfigured, Peter, James and John suggested that three booths be built so that they remain at that place. 

They wanted to make that spiritual experience permanent. In fact, there are many pastors ( Counsellors) who do not have much faith when they pray outside their church because their faith is very low. Imagine you have a gun that only works in your house. A real gun should be able to work in all locations; on the street, in the kitchen, in a mall and even in the bathroom. That is what makes it a real weapon. If it does not, then it is not a proper gun. Jesus prayed everywhere; on the mountain, at sea, at a wedding, on the streets, people's homes and whiles walking on the road. In fact, many of Jesus' miracles occurred outside the Church. this was so, because He knew that answered prayer is not based on a geographical location location.

 As a counselor when your prayer is based on a geographical location, you limit the power of God in your counseling process. That is why I pray for people any where and everywhere. I have seen miracles over the telephone, through the internet and many other means. In John 4, the Bible talks about a woman Jesus engaged in a conversation . She is commonly, know as " the woman at the well. I want us to examine part of the conversation She had with Jesus. The woman said " Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the father " John 4 : 20 - 21. In other words, she said " From my grandfather to my dad, we have always prayed on that mountains, " Her whole faith and prayer life was based on a geographical location. In essence, she was saying, "Untill I pray on that mountain top, God will not hear me."

Jesus said. " Ye worship ye know not what: we know. Jesus continued," But the hour cometh, and now is , when the true worshipper shall worship him ."John 4:23.
Prayer is driven by truth, the principals of the word of God and the leading of the Spirit. That is what makes prayer effective. As o counselor you can meet people who would need your help at any place where ever and you need to minister to them. There are people who think much speaking, or long prayer is the solution to answered prayer. This is not entirely true. long prayers are important. I personally believe in prayer hours. lengthy prayer is ans can be necessary, but it does not necessity guarantee answered prayer. Jesus Himself used to pray for long periods of time.
" And in the morning, rasing up a great while before day, be went out , and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed ( Mark 1:35).
" And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountains to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God," Luke 6:12 .

But He was the same person who said long prayers do not necessarily mean answered prayers. There are people who assure that because they have been for can all - night prayer meeting, it means their prayers have been answered, they do not see any results. Nothing could be further from the truth. A student who requests more paper during an exam, but has not studied for it , will still fail. irrespective of how many sheets he collects. It will be just waste of his time . All that extra paper will not make any difference . 

As my knowledge about prayer has increased, I have noticed that my public prayers have become shorter and more powerful. when I am alone in my closet talking to God, I usually pray for long, but publicly, I usually pray for a short time. The prophets of Baal cried all day, but their prayers were unanswered Elijah just prayed for a minute and fire fell from Heaven. His prayers were answered.When we become born again we have a relation with God the father and the son Jesus Christ as well as the Holy Spirit . We have to develop this relationship for ministry and for our benefit. Answered prayer is determined by the law of relationships. In Matthew 6:9. Jesus taught that the foundation of bedrock of answered prayer is our relation with God. After this manner therefore prayer ye our father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come - Matthew 6:9.

Jesus said when you pray, say our father . The word " father " represent the highest relationship. Father also means source. counselors should build strong relationship with the father, God who is the source of all tools, resources solution to every counseling problem. With this we will have effective counseling.
Our relationship with God is the foundation on which all prayer rests. All the promises in the Lords prayers like, Give us our daily bread" and " Deliver us from evil, " are all determined by this relationship; the father - son relationship.
In the story of the prodigal son, the younger son was bold enough to ask for half of his fathers estate. Why is it that , the hard working servants could not ask for half of their master's estate?. very simple. - A master- servant relationship is a lower form of relationship. It is lower than a father - son relationship . A master servant relationship entitles you to daily wages or a salary, but a father - son relationship entitles you at an inheritance; everything!.

If counselors want to have an effective prayer life with God results, the first thing to do is to make God their father by repenting. This will establish a father - son relationship and change your prayer life. many people week to be religious instead of developing a good relationship with God. Of a truth the power of prayer life is largely determines ed by the quality of your relationship with God. There are counselors who are children of God who have a very bad relationship with their heavenly father. This tends to rob them of their inheritance in Christ . Some Christians have unanswered prayers because of the bad relation they have with their heavenly father. A life of sin can seriously damage our relationship with God. It cuts your prayer or communication links and relationship and deprives you of the blessing of God. The story of the prodigal son describes the relationship between a rebellious son and rebellion was separation, son and , finally, hardships. If you do not have good relation with the father there will be hardship in your counseling ministry. In the story of the prodigal son, the communication between you and your father. Sometimes, when it is raining and the clouds are very dark any heavy, my TV decoder goes off and I receive a message, " no signal". Isaiah 44:22 explains clearly that " I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy sins: return unto me, for I have redeemed thee"
Jesus who is our example in ministry had good result of His relationship with the father. As counselor we sometime face difficult issues in our counseling process which seems above us. They are not above us. If it is not above God, then it is not above us, that will require for the exercise of our faith. We must remember that without faith, it is impossible to please or win the favor of God.We need the will of the Father in our. We also need the father's favor in life and ministry. One way to win the father of God is to do His will. The word " will' means the capacity to take decisions. If you obey the will of God, it will always place you at the center of Gods favor. 
 
Without prayer there will be not no power for ministry. When we mean business with God. God will also mean business with us and will release His great power for our counseling ministry. For sure, we rediscover the power of prayer. Timothy Tow also talks about rayal balm for the troubled soul. The Psalms- What do we give to our clients: the counselor. Tow talked of a lot of results by using or praying with the Psalms. I have had a lot of results. Also depending on the problems of my clients, I give them the appropriate Psalms to read and the pray with. Of a truth these are yielding much results. The Psalms includes the scriptures which Paul says are given for inspiration. Since the Psalms are inspired they must be recommended for use in the counseling process. Depending the nature of the problems, the appropriate Psalm to read and pray with them. 
 
By God's grace I have done and under gone different types of ministries - teaching, preaching, healing, prophetic, counseling and many others. For a minister to minister well, one will need many qualities, abilities, gift-ens and materials. But by the reason of what I have experienced in ministry, I put all these in three main groups. One will need :
- Anointing
- Knowledge
- Financial
Time , space and scope of this research would not allow me to explain and discuss all three. However, in the work done by Tow (Counseling Recipes). he discuss much about the importance of finance and how the christian should use money. I think this is very important to both the counselor and the counselle.The counselor should have much knowledge about finance, how finance works and the use of finance. This knowledge will help the counsellor to gain insight as to how to run his or her counselling ministry, when it comes ti financial matters. the counsellor needs financial knowledge from the Bible to be able to the the counselle who needs direction with regards to finance.
I believe that when it comes to finance it comes to finance it is more of attitude than just acquiring its. First of all I would like to refer to some statements made by Timothy Tow.T ow talked about how some people misquote Paul statement in 1 Timothy6:10, that -" Money is the root of all evil. He continued that - " This misquotation is tainted with the erroneous notion that a christian should not be involved with money, or that a christian should not become rich. The reverse is the truth. A christian who works hard and runs his business effectively is well is well compensated." He also quoted some scripture verses in Timothy and Matthew. " The laborer is worthy of his reward" ( 1 Timothy 5:18). " For unto everyone that hath shall be given , and he shall have abundance.. " Matthew 25:29. Tow explains that "What is wrong with money is not money, but the person who loves thy money..." Not only must a christian work hard to get wealth, he must release he needs God's help in the process". Here is a powerful Scripture he used " But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swear unto thy fathers, as it is this day" (Deuteronomy 8:18).

 Money is very important to God and that money must be very important to us if we will live well. I have said when it comes to the issue of money, it is more of an attitude.God want us to work for money but he also want us to be content. This is a great and required attitude of the christian. Many Christians live in the extremities. There are many people who seemingly have little or no regard for materials possessions. They accept poverty as a normal living condition, and their major concern is which doorway to sleep in.are they living as life of contentment? Hardly so.In the contrast are the affluent who have the best our society has to offer at their disposal. their homes are the community shop places, their summer cottages are more like small hotels, and their automobiles cost more than their abundance guarantee contentment? No. If money can't buy it and poverty doesn't provide it what is contentment? It is knowing God's plan for your Life, having the conviction to live it, and believing that God's peace is greater than the world's problems.

 God us to understand that money is a tool to use in accomplishing we must establish some basic guideline: -
1. Establish a reasonable standard of living.
2.Establish a habit of giving.
3.Establish priorities.
4.Develop a thankful attitude.
5.Reject a fearful spirit
6. Seek God will for you.
7.Stand up to the fears.
8. Trust God's promise.
Tow has talked much in the christian use of money. We can talk and talk and cannot cover all the God and the Bible teaches on fiances. The most important thing about this issue is that, since we are dealing with Biblical Counseling and the Bible is our major tool. I would advise and encourage every counselor to study and search the scriptures to build a godly bank of knowledge on how the christian should use money. The counselor should be a spiritual person as explained in Galatians 6:1. The counselor must grow to spiritually to gain much financial revelation from the scriptures so that if a man be over taken in a fault, the counsellor ( the spiritual) would be able to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. 
 
In my first essay I wrote on Christian Counseling. I talk against why most christian church restrict Biblical counseling to only marriage counseling. The counseling process must be holistic.God want us whole and complete - which is a process. However, the marriage counselling is very important is the christian church which must be well worked at. Christians must grow enough through the discipleship process to be able to counseling people before marriage and after marriage. It is my country much attention is given to pre -counseling than post marriage counseling. Both are important for christian growth and maturity.
Tow discuss about marriage in his " Counselling recipes" . In this area of counseling. Tow discussed the need for pre - marital counseling. He talked about the need of knowledge before marriage. This explains that knowledge is very important in the christian life. He quoted that " My people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge" ( Hosea 4:6a).

I would like to concentrate on how Tow talked about pre - marital counseling. I would explain how counselors can acquire knowledge and want knowledge they need in the pre - marital counseling process, One most important thing is that we need love and the whole world has little knowledge and understanding of love. Even most Christians have problems when it come to love.We have allowed the world to teach our people love in contrast to the teachings of the Lord. The counsellor must understand what Love is - That is, the love of God. it is the love of God that when demonstrated would established every relationship of any kind. The counsellor must go to God and His word to learn more about God.

Tow stated a lot of definition for Christian Marriage.
1." The union of one christian man to one christian man to one christian woman for life".
2." A total commitment and a total sharing of the total person with another person until death".
One cannot be commited to or share well with another without having the ability, of a total commitment and a total sharing with God. All must learn to be committed to and sharing with God. This is spiritual.
Tow talk about Dating, which is what begin must marriages in most part of the world. However, there are dating varieties from culture to culture. According to Tow Dating may be defined as " A special kind of friendship between two people of the opposite sex that may lead to courtship. love and marriage". 

Very often, people say , I am looking for the right person. I think this is a wrong mind set and that one should learn to become the right person. As I have said we must understand love. Young people cannot differentiate love and infatuated, the main interest is likely to be the physical equipment of the other person. A pretty face and a lovely figure are powerful attractions, but looks can be deceiving. They are like the wrappings around a gift box - they don't tell you anything about what is inside. And physical beauty doesn't last forever. If your love is real, your interests is in the total personality of the one you love. To be sure, there is the thrilling element of physical attraction. But it is only one of that attract you. 
 
- In infatuation, the things that attract you are usually few in number, but they can be very appealing to you. A fellow may be smitten by the way his girl smiles or the sexy way she walks .If it real love, many or most of the qualities of the other person attracts you. Each of us has a multitude of character traits, attitudes and opinions. How may of these have you observed in the other person and how many do you find attractive.? This important because , when the initial excitement of being married wears off, you need a lot of common interest to keep your marriage alive and well.

- Infatuation start fast. There is no such things as real love at first sight, but there can be infatuation at first sight. like the love song say, the eyes of the lovers meet across a crowded room, lights flash, and they just know what they are meant for each other, Actually they don't know anything except they have made a good first impression on each other. Real love always start slowly. It cannot be any other way, you have to know a person before you can truly love that person and it takes time - lots of time - to really know someone. An averagely long courtship is for better than a short one. Many who rush into marriage learn by said experience the truth of the old saying: Marry in haste, repent in leisure.
- In an infatuation, your interests in each other blows hot and cold. One reason for this is that your interest in each other blows hot and cold. One reason for that your interest grew so fast that the root are shallow . your whole relationship is shallow. In real love your feelings are likely  to be warm and they are more consistent. 
Real love grows slowly but the roots grow deep.An infatuation has a disorganizing effect upon your personality. It makes you less efficient and less responsible. Your romantic feelings are in control and you walk around in a day dream. If your love is real, the one you love will bring out your best qualities and make you want to be a better person. A fellow who was really in love said of girl, "I love her, not only because she is so wonderful, but because she's such an encouragement to me to be the right kind of person." 
 
- Infatuation, your whole " universe" revolves around that other person. Other relationship don't seem all that important things thing in your life. It can become the only thing that really matters to you. You think you are justified in doing anything for this wonderful " love" that has come into your life. In real live, your beloved is the most important person in the world to you, but your relationship with your family and friends continue to be important to you.

 What other people think of " beloved" is an important test. If you are infatuated, the changes are that your parents and many of friends will not approve of your relationship. In real love, the changes are that your parents and most of your friends will approved of the chances are that your parents and most of your friends will approve of the relationship.

- In an infatuation, you quarrel often, you may do a lot of kissing and making up, but as time goes on, the quarrels become more frequent and more severe. Your relationship is like that of the two porcupines in freezing whether. When they were apart, they shivered from the cold and when they handled together they pricked each other. In real love, there will be disagreements, but real love will live through then and the quarrels will become less frequent and less severe. Every couple should learn how to handle conflicts. It is far better to discuss differences openly and frankly than to allow them tom smolder under the surface.

One important thing we must there is no perfect marriage. From Genesis to Revelation the is only two marriages there is only two marriages that are perfect - That is:

1. The marriage of Adam and Eve before the fall of in Genesis 3.

2.Then, the marriage between Christ and the church. 
 
These are the only marriages that are perfect. However, we as counselors must learn to teach  how to choose partners wisely. Just as it is important to take Jesus Christ as your Savior, the most important decision you can make is the choice of a life partner. Some people prefer not to marry and that is certainly an acceptable choice, but most people chose to marry. Getting married is easy. Having a happy and successful marriages is not easy. You don't just "Luck" into it. There are some definite things you do that will greatly improve your chances of having a happy marriage. Here are some few ones:

- Understand Biblical marriage
-Become the " right" person.
- look to God to give you the right mate
- Choose wisely
- Seek God's blessing on your engagement.

Marriage is one of the life. It makes the entrance into a whole new way of life entrance into a whole new way of life as two people blend their lives into one. Marriage is a lifetime commitment. It is a serious thing for a man and woman to solemnly vow before God and before families and friends that they will love and cherish each other until death parts them. God takes vows seriously. God Says when you make a vow, you must keep it. God has no pleasure in those who makes vows and break them. This includes marriage vows. In His word God says. " I hate divorce". You will take a big step toward a successful marriage if both you and the one you plan to marry agree that marriage is for life and that divorce is not an option for you. Jesus said "... What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder" - Matthew 19:6. There will be problems in any marriage but there is a big advantage when both husband and wife know that they are commited to each other for life. It is provides a security and freedom in which they can work out their problems without the threat of divorce. The word " divine" should never be used as a weapon in an argument.

Most young people spend a lot of time wondering if they will ever find the right person to marry. This is important to be sure, but it takes two " right " people to make a happy marriage.. It is just as important for you to find the right person.. here are somethings that you can do to prepare yourself for marriage.

Counsellors must teach younger people how to establish a personal relationship with God. If you are a christian, God is far more concerned about whom you marry than you are. In His word, God say that the very hairs of your head are numbered: If God cares enough about you to keep up with the exact number of hairs you have on your head, you can be sure that He is concerned about whom you will marry. Marriage is serious business. it is a life time commitment. God knows how important marriage is He knows that marrying the wrong person can ruin ones life. If it God's will for you to be married, God has the right person for you. We as counsellors must learn to let God guide us to guide younger people to choose wisely. To bring my discussion to a close I must state clearly that counseling is part of the christian discipleship process. 

It is therefore important for a church to built a very strong discipleship based in the church. This is what will help the church. This is what will help people to grow to become like Jesus. So that Christ would be formed in them. It is very important in our restoring of people into their rightful place in Christ we and to be effective for the church and the world at large. Our clients, the counselles, we must make sure that they become Christians, spiritual Christians. This is because, the spiritual christian has Christ and eternal life influenced by God and His word. Is a child of God. Has fellowship with God. Is living a life pleasing to God. the spiritual Christians has Christ in his life and is spiritual alive to God. His essential nature is holy, and he is strongly influenced by God and His word. He is a child of God and His word. He is a child of God and His word. He is a child of God and pleases God and pleases God with his life.This will help our clients to have spiritual fruitfulness and to be able to bare the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is the fruit bearing that will show that God has given us good results in our counseling activities.
REFERENCE
1. Counselling recipes - through 40years pastoring – By Timothy Tow.
2. Notes from Dr. Dan Abaldo weekly letters to students.
3.Video Teaching of Dr. Dan Abaldo.




D. MIN THEOLOGY (APOLOGETICS)-By KETSHEPHAONE EPHRAIM MAKWATI


Truth and Mercy Institute of Advanced Ministry






COURSE: DOCTOR OF MINISTRY



ASSIGNMENT: D. MIN THEOLOGY (APOLOGETICS)

SUBMITED BY: KETSHEPHAONE EPHRAIM MAKWATI

COUNTRY: BOTSWANA

TO: DR. DANNY ABALDO - DEAN




DATE: 05th October 2017




  1. INTRODUCTION

1 CORINTHIANS 1:18-31

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

1 CORINTHIANS 2:14-16

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The simplicity of this definition, however, masks the complexity of the problem of defining apologetics. It turns out that a diversity of approaches has been taken to defining the meaning, scope, and purpose of apologetics. The word “apologetics” originates from the Greek word apologia, which was traditionally used for a speech of defense to an accusation. In 1 Peter 3:15 believers are told to be always prepared to “to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.” One of the famous apologists Bernard Ramm argued that the primary use of apologetic evidences is to create a favorable climate of opinion so that the Gospel may be proclaimed, and believed. In this respect he felt that miracles and fulfilled prophecy provided a factual basis for that climate of opinion. Ramm placed strong emphasis on the inner witness of the Holy Spirit verifying the gospel to the believer. According to Robert Reymond Christian apologetics follows this fourfold pattern; 1. Apologetics answers particular objections e.g. obstacles like alleged contradictions between scriptural statements and misconceptions about Christianity need to be removed (defense). 2. It gives an account of the foundations of the Christian faith by delving into philosophical theology, and especially epistemological (vindication). 3. It challenges non-Christian systems, particularly in the area of epistemological justification (refutation). 4. Apologetics seeks to persuade people of the truth of the Christian position.

The Bible tells us that God has Himself pre-determined that human wisdom should never come into par with His own wisdom, which is the foundation of God Himself. He has also placed the wisdom of His kingdom that leads to salvation and justification in Himself, therefore whosoever is to be saved or justified must first seek for and receive God.


  1. CHRISTIANITY OFFERS THE TRUTH THROUGH FAITH AS OPPOSED TO FACTS THROUGH PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

Facts represent dead data while truth is information that is spiritual or living. This is why factual data is often called the “cold, hard facts,” or the “bare” facts. Facts are simply empty forms of data without a “soul.” Truth, however, is a form of information that contains goodness. From a theological perspective, what we love disposes what we know into a belief system of values. Unused information or empty data that has merely accumulated in our memory, but not assimilated into our life and value system, dies and fades away with the death of the physical body. The difference between truth and fact is this, facts are accuracies that are within the realm of time and space which are subject to change. Truth is accuracy that exist outside the realm of time and space and is not subject to change. Truth is also a quality used to describe utterances that are from the Lord. When Elijah intervenes for the son of the widow of Zarephath, bringing the boy back to life, the boy's mother remarks that now she knows that Elijah is a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in his mouth is truth (1 Kings 22:16). The Psalmist describes truth as a fundamental characteristic of God, a characteristic that the psalmist desires to share. The wicked do not speak truth (Psalm 5:9), whereas the blameless one speaks truth from the heart (Psalm 15:2).

Our position in the Sovereignty of God

The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy, His rule, His authority and power over His creation. Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature in authority, nature and being, He is the Most High God of heaven and earth and all creatures both in heaven above, on the earth and the underworld. God’s sovereignty means that he is the Supreme Ruler of all creation in the universe and this include personal lives of both individuals and the body of believers. God’s sovereignty is a place of rest for the child of God, the cause of Christian confidence and trust in Him, and the reason for submission, praise and worship unto Him (Psalm 48:1, 95:3 & 6). Our position in God’s sovereignty is that of absolute confidence in His ability to fulfil His work in us (Philippians 1:6) and that we are God’s prized possession according to His promise; He is the sole decision maker in our destinies and He has chosen us unto His praise and for the manifestation of His glorious characters (Ephesians 1:11-12 & 1 Peter 2:9). God alone weighs the motives of our actions, the intents of our hearts and the purposes of our existence in Him. He alone has all the facts about His creatures and thus, He alone has the ability to judge with purity the motives and reasons of our plans (1 Corinthians 4:4-5).


  1. THE BIBLE IS A REVELATION OF GOD AND HIS WORD

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16).
Literally this means that the scriptures are “God-breathed” and thus expresses the concept of exhalation by God, the Father. It emphasizes that Scripture is the product of the breath of God. The Scriptures are not something breathed into God but rather out of God. For the purpose of better understanding of these scriptures inspiration must be clearly defined in terms of its biblical meaning as opposed to common use to eliminate the possibility of having wrong ideas which are inconsistent with its Biblical use. The Greek origin of the word as it is used in this scripture θεόπνευστος pronounced 'theopneustos' actually means to be “breathed-out by God” or to be given by the inspiration of God. By inspiration of the Scripture we mean that the scripture is a result of the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit upon the writers who accurately recorded the word out of revelation. This is the truth that everyone who comes into God's family must admit and acknowledge about the Bible. That it is not only God breathed but also that it is the sovereign and absolute word of God.

He that must come to God must first believe and accept His word. He must believe that it is an absolute directive of how we should accept and serve Him, and all this must be by faith and faith alone in His undiluted, absolute, unadulterated and infallible Word. Remember how it is written that Abraham by just believing the Word of God about himself it was accounted for him or imputed to him righteousness: and he came to be called by God 'the Friend of God.' (Romans 4:3 and Galatians 3:6). Now it is also written that it was not only to Abraham but also to his seed forever that the promise was made. And who is that seed of Abraham? Even Christ, (Galatians 3:16). The promise of inheritance of the world was not made to Abraham but to his seed, which is Christ, (recognise that the scriptures do not says Jesus Christ but just Christ, which means the anointing of God and the anointed of God or in other words the Word and those that received the Word according to as it is written in John 1:12). The point I want to really stress here is not one of inheritance but one of the absolute faith in the scriptures as contained in the Bible, to be the absolute direction for our companionship with God as re-instated by the victory of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, on the cross at Golgotha about two centuries ago.

It is written in the book of Romans chapter ten, that there are those of us with zeal to serve God but who lack knowledge. They therefore lacking knowledge of proper companionship with God (also called righteousness in the scriptures) have created for the satisfaction of their spiritual need a certain type of righteousness that is devoid of the knowledge of God also called in Greek terms 'epignosis'. These being ignorant to the victory of Christ for every one who believes in it, have continued to try establishing righteousness which by submission to the laws of God given to Israel, through Moses and his predecessors in contravention to the scriptures which say “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.” (Romans 10:4). But the word is nearer to us brethren even in our mouths and in our hearts, so says the scriptures (Roman 10:8). That is may come to pass that which was promised though the prophets that, there shall come a day in which God shall put His Word in the hearts of man and they shall be his people and He shall be their God. The time has come and it is now for this meant the day in which shall come to dwell in the hearts of His people by His Holy Spirit who is also called the Christ. This is the knowledge that the scriptures say has been hid for ages even generations (which the Christ in us) but now it is revealed to all the saints (Colossians 1:26-27), that man may come to the fullness of the knowledge (epignosis) of God and Jesus Christ, His beloved Son of sacrifice.



  1. AND NOW HE IS THE ONLY WAY

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (John 14:6-7)

Jesus Christ is the way to the one true God and now He is the only way to the Heavenly Father. This is Him that the prophet Isaiah was referring to when he said, 'highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.(Isaiah 35:8-10)'.It is him that John was talking about in John 1:14, 'And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.' and it is Him that John testified that He takes away or removed completely not leaving any traces the sin of the world (John 1:29).

And this is the faith that is given to all those who received Him and believe in His finished work at the cross and beyond the cross. That He was our redemption from all sin unto the righteousness of the one true God and now He is our justification in judgement unto the glory of the one true God. That is why the scriptures call Him our 'hope of glory'. F. B. Meyer has this to say in his commentary on Colossians 1:27, 'How wonderful is God! His scheme of grace embraces the world of men, but He can concentrate on individual souls as unworthy as ours. You… hath He reconciled. And He will never abandon His work until we arrive in His presence-chamber without spot or blemish or any such thing. But, of course, the putting forth of His power on our behalf is conditioned on our steadfast faith.'
And this is what I am called for, as a preacher, a teacher, a prophet, an apostle or an evangelist to bring all gentiles to the perfection of son-ship to God in Jesus Christ, through the Gospel of His grace. Not just that, but also to reveal to all the mystery that was hid for ages but now is habitant and manifest in us. That is, the one who made death of no effect; He who made utter foolishness out of the power of death and gave to everyone who believed in His victory the power for life and eternity, in accordance with His promise in John 10:10 and the scriptures that testify of the magnitude of the love of God in John 3:16.

Jesus Christ presented us with His glory beforehand that we might be one with him as He is one with God (John 17:22) and also that it might be fulfilled that which He spoke when sent out His disciples on a gospel preaching mission to the whole world saying, 'I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth' (Matthew 28:20). F. B. Meyer in commentary of John 10:9 says, 'Wherever destruction is uppermost in speech or act, you may detect the presence of the great enemy of souls. Christ is ever constructive, saving, life-giving. Let us not be content until our life has become abundant life. Our life cost the Shepherd’s life. He did not hesitate to interpose Himself between the sheep and the wolf of hell. There is possible between our Lord and ourselves an intimacy of knowledge which can be compared to nothing less than that which subsists between the Father and Himself.' This said intimacy of knowledge is hid in the Christ within every Christian, and that is the mystery of the power of the gospel of His grace that is manifested in us who believe in the victory of Jesus Christ for us. He who believes in the victory of Jesus Christ for himself receives the seal of Christ; also called the Holy Spirit, which is the seal of the new birth or the mark of justification. All that remains for us as Christians is to defend our faith from the evil imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring to captivity every evil thought to the obedience of Christ. Paul called this the good fight of faith.


  1. THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

The devil has been defeated, stop trying to defeat him. What we have left is the fight of faith, and it’s a good fight!” Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, Rhapsody of Realities.

What exactly is the implication of this exhortation to us ward who believe in the same, that is, in accordance with the gospel of Christ also called the Gospel of His Grace. He commends to us a contest that we ought to go through in which our honour, life, soul and faith is at stake. He commends us to defend the gospel of Christ which we submitted to when we were born again and to preserve the profession of our faith that were witnessed in accordance with Romans 10:9-10, which clearly state the Godly way unto righteousness and salvation. Who are we defending our faith against? Ephesians 6:12 says “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We are instructed in the scriptures that we have to unmask hypocrites, expel the profligate, purge and build up the church, live in the spirit our faith and give ourselves wholly unto the work of God. This is a call unto men of God not to be passive in defending their faith but to aggressively engage spiritual corruption, temptations and the powers of darkness. Eternal life is a crown proposed for victory in this spiritual warfare.

Apologetics is all about speaking the truth in love as it is written in Ephesians 4:15 and it shows that one is rooted upon Him who is Himself love. Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:15 cautioned believer to be always ready to defend their faith and to do it with humility and respect so as to win those in the opposition to the kingdom of God. This clearly shows that the purpose of apologetics is not to sound or look smarter or even to win arguments but rather to win souls into the kingdom of God. As believers we must always be prepared to provide sound arguments and good reasons for our faith, and answer to an unbeliever's questions and objections and that without driving away potential believers with our difficult terminology or vain and extravagant show of knowledge which in most cases seems irrelevant to their spiritual needs. It is important to note that there is not a time nor will there ever be when the gospel will be heard in isolation from the backdrop of traditions, secular believes and/or scientific knowledge (Greek 'gnosis'). In fact some societies are so post Christianity that believing in Jesus Christ will seem to them to be politically incorrect but they will rather believe in some sort of generic god. In order for believers to survive under these gospel hostile environments it is important that every believer must clear know what he believes in and why he believes in it, enough to be able to defend it when challenged to.

When you’re going through hard times and God seems distant, apologetics helps you to remember that our faith is not based on emotions or situations, but on the unchangeable and eternal truth, and therefore you must hold fast to it. This is possible only when our faith is based on godly knowledge (greek 'epignosis'), spiritual wisdom (Greek 'sophia') and spiritual understanding (Greek 'sunesis'). Paul in his letter to the Colossians said these three components of the Christian faith enbles one to walk worthy of the Lord and fully pleasing Him and being fruitful in every good work because their knowledge of God increases continually to the extend that they are strengthen with His dunamis or miracle working power according to His glorious power. (Colossians 1:9-12). As ordinary believers some of whom we all know manifest this dunamis power of God it becomes clear that this can only be God working through them, and with the conviction power of the Holy Spirit souls are won into the kingdom of God. In the book Acts chapters 3 and 4 we hear how by the same dunamis power vested upon the name of Jesus Christ a man who had been lame from his birth was healed at the gate of the temple that is called beautiful. We learn how pharasees on hearing of this miraculous act that was performed in the name of Jesus of Nazareth whom they had crusified sort to stop the spread of the gospel and were met by an equally powerful Holy Spirit filled resistance which clearly showed them it can only be of God and not man. In the book of John 20:30-31 we learn how Jesus Christ performed many miraculous acts so that people may believe that He is the Christ and be saved as they believe in His name.

In Romans 1:20 Paul in an effort to prove the existence of the invisible supernatural God draws the attention of his listeners to His creation which according to John 1:1-3 and Genesis 1, was created by the mighty power of the Word of God. Science has failed to prove the existence of the universe apart from vain claims of it springing from nothing and this proved the inability of human wisdom in explaining the supernatural acts of the eternal God. However over two centuries of studies show that the Biblical records are a perfect records both of historic events purported to have taken places and prophesies that came to pass and the Bibles claims of the existence of an invisible God is unchangeable. To record no book has proved its reliability and credibility as the Bible both in historic matters and spiritual matters. According to the Bible God actually exist and life does not end at the grave but goes on into eternity. Surely without God it will make no difference how one lives his life, trying to be morally good will be futile because morality will have no standard measure and thus, Christian view of life gives it meaning, value and purpose.



  1. CONCLUSION

In conclusion, I would say as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher of the gospel of Christ, who longs to be biblical and God-centered and Christ-exalting and eternally helpful to my people, I want to clearly state as Apostle Paul said that 'but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.' (Galatians 1:8). As Christians, we will find ourselves giving answers to challenging questions both informally in everyday situations and occasionally in more formal situations. To do this apologetic work in a way that doesn’t undermine our faith requires a strategy of enveloping all parts of the discussion with the authority and insights of the Word of God. However I would like to bring in the words engraved in 2 Timothy 2:15 'study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.' Rightly dividing the word of truth by implication means that we should give none offence in our division of the word of God, that is, give unto the Jew what belongs to the Jew and to the Gentile what is spiritual food unto him and to the church what is spiritual food unto it seeking not our own profit but rather that all may be fed and saved from spiritual death or eternal doom (1 Corinthians 10:32-33). One last caution is that apologetics should be done in submission to the leading of the Holy Spirit, lest it degenerate to a carnal one-upmanship, a social game that witnesses not to the life of Christ but to plain arrogance. Peter warns us to give our apologetic “with meekness and fear” (I Pet. 3:15). The same humility toward the Lord that He requires in personal trials of faith must be present in apologetic activities, too.






  1. BIBLIOGRAPHY


  1. Baucham V Jr, Expository Apologetics, (2004) Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois.
  2. Cheung V, Apologetics in Conversation, (2004) Reformation Ministry International, Boston, USA.
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  4. Habermas G R, Evidence of the Historical Jesus, (2015) GaryHabermas.com, Lynchburg Virginia, USA.
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  6. McDowell S, A New Kind of Apologist, (2001) Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon.
  7. Thompson B, The Case for The Existence of God, (2003) Apologetics Press, Montgomery, Alabama.
  8. Williams P S, Digging For Evidence, (2016) Christian Evidence Society, London