The General Secretary of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, says that the consistency in observing the commands of God (righteousness) is the mark of every true Christian.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi maintains that righteousness is what distinguishes Christians from the people of the world and that it is expected of every believer to lead lives that conform to God’s will.
“Consistently doing good deeds and doing right is the fruit of true sonship in Christ; it is the fruit that shows that Christ lives in us. One can, therefore, not claim to be in Christ without living a life of righteousness,” he charged participants of the ongoing National Officers’ Retreat (Apostolisation) at the Achimota Zone of the Achimota Area yesterday.
In his presentation on the topic “Righteousness; The Authority of the Kingdom,” the General Secretary defined righteousness as the act of being aligned with how God ordained and sees things in the natural, moral or legal sense.
“It also means acts, words, deeds, and attitude that are considered right,” he explained.
According to him, the primary reason why Jesus came to earth to die on the Cross was to make it possible for humanity to be restored to God’s righteous standards.
Quoting 2 Corinthians 5:21, he said that Jesus fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the Mosaic law and took the sins and curses of humanity upon Himself on the Cross. For this reason, God made Jesus who knew no sin to bear the sins of humanity so that they (humans) can become the righteousness of God in Christ.
“Essentially, by this finished work of Christ, we have been imputed with God’s righteousness and have been empowered to live a life of righteousness in attitude, words and deeds,” he said.
Hence, it is unacceptable for any believer to indulge in unrighteous acts because through Christ’s vicarious death, believers have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness (in which they previously belonged) into God’s kingdom of light, he added.
“In the kingdom of God, the scepter, emblem, totem or symbol of authority is righteousness. That is why we the people of the Kingdom must love righteousness and hate evil (wickedness),” he said while referring to Hebrews 1:8-9.
He, therefore, reiterated that the greatest burden or preoccupation of every Christian must be to lead righteous lives.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi also urged Christians to guard their hearts against evil by putting on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14).
“We must put on our moral character (breastplate of righteousness) which serves as the believer’s defense because it protects our hearts from evil,” he said.
He further explained that to protect one’s heart from evil is to be careful of where one sits, stands and walks (Psalm 1:1-3).
He also advised Christians to be very cautious of the people they choose as friends and acquaintances, stressing that “The people you associate with will determine how far you go in Christ.”
Highlighting the significance of righteousness in nation-building, the General Secretary said that nations whose citizens lead lives that conform to the will of God are prosperous.
He further explained that it is not enough for leaders to enact laws for their respective nations, rather, what the world needs are leaders who pass right laws and apply them.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi, therefore, urged national leaders not to emulate the hypocritical behaviours of the Scribes, who only taught the laws, or the Pharisees, who were selective in the application of laws. Instead, he advised them to subject themselves to the laws of their nations and to put in place systems to ensure that other citizens adhere to them (laws) as well.