- W’afa m’nimguase de ko asendua no so
- He died that we might live
- Once I was a sinner save by grace
- Yesu wo botae bi nti a…
Passage: 1 Cor 2:2; 2 Cor 5:14-21; Colossians 3:1-16
25 Na ogyaa nea sakasaka ne awudi nti wɔde no kɔtoo afiase a wɔsrɛɛ no no maa wɔn, na Yesu de, oyii no mae sɛnea wɔpɛ.
2 Cor 5:21
21 Efisɛ, nea onnim bɔne no, ɔde no yɛɛ bɔne maa yɛn, na yɛayɛ Onyankopɔn trenee wɔ ne mu.
Jesus died that we might live. W’afa m’animguase de ko asendua no…
Foreign Exchange (forex or FX) is a global market for exchanging national currencies with one another.
Cedi to dollar rate
Ghs 7.5 to $1
If USA decides that no matter what, it will fix the rate at $1:Ghs 1.
Ghana’s economy will be strong and we all will celebrate. But will have to work hard and put in some measures to maintain it. In 2007, President Koffuor devalued the cedi; $1:ghs1: but it later lost value.
When it comes to our life, Isaiah says our righteousness is like filthy rag before God.
Because of the fall of Adam, bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)
When we stood before God in we had no value; as a matter of fact we were indebted, negative;
According to Isaiah,
Isaiah 64:6: “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (KJV), or “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (ESV).
4 Nanso Onyankopɔn a ne mmɔborɔhunu dɔɔso no nam ɔdɔ kɛse a ɔdɔɔ yɛn no so,
5 ama yɛn a anka yɛyɛ awufo wɔ mfomso mu no ne Kristo anya nkwa, “ɔdom na wɔde agye mo nkwa”.
6 na wanyan yɛne no na ɔde yɛn abom atena ɔsoro atenae hɔnom wɔ Kristo Yesu mu,
7 sɛnea ɛbɛyɛ na bere a ɛreba no mu no, wobeyi n’adom ahonyade a ɛboro so wɔ n’ayamye mu no adi akyerɛ yɛn wɔ Kristo Yesu mu.
So God decided to bear the cost by paying our indebtedness and setting us free with credit.
In Christ we have been Forgiven, justified and sanctified; we have become the righteousness of God. Our former standing and status has been restored; the image and likeness of God.
1 Cor 2:2
1 Corinthians 2:2
2 Na mebɔɔ me tirim sɛ merenhwehwɛ biribiara wɔ mo hɔ, sɛ Yesu Kristo ne sɛ wɔbɔɔ no asɛndua mu no.
And Him Crucified: refers to the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary. Part of that work was the expiation of our sins, where sin and guilt was removed from our account forever – because Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, sent by the Father to take away the sin of the world. But He was also the propitiation for our sin.. for by being born into the human race He became our kinsman-Redeemer – Whose sacrificial death and glorious resurrection paid the price of our sin with His own death – a penalty all guilty sinners justly deserve. Yes, Jesus Christ was the propitiation for our sins – turning the wrath of God, which we all justly deserve.. away from us and upon Himself, so that by faith in Him we might be made the righteousness of God.
Not only is our sin and guilt removed and God’s wrath against sin fully satisfied through Christ’s work on the cross.. but He reconciled us back to God… removing forever our alienation from God. Although we were born into this world as enemies of God.. the death of Jesus Christ reconciled us back to God.
Although we were at enmity with God, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son. How much more, therefore.. having been reconciled to God.. brought back into a right relationship with Him, shall we be saved by His life. Yes, Jesus identified with our death so that we might be identified with His life. And He identified with our sin so that we might be identified with His righteousness.
Our many sins together with our sin nature had made us slaves of sin – but Christ Jesus redeemed us in some amazing ways:-
1) He redeemed us from the curse of the Law;
2) He redeemed us from the guilt of our sin and
3) He redeemed us from the power of sin. And
4) the day is coming when our mortal bodies will also be redeemed – and we shall put on immortality. Our corrupt bodies will put on incorruption and we will finally be redeemed from the presence of sin as well as it penalty and power, forever and ever, amen.
But as we seek to live for God in a world where He is being eliminated, one of the most amazing parts of Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross – is that He not only died FOR our sin as our sin-substitute… but He died TO sin on our account, breaking the POWER of sin as well as paying the PRICE of sin. He identified with us so that we could identify with both His death and His resurrection – so that HIS death became OUR death (death to the self-life) and HIS life became OUR life (our new eternal life in Christ). He bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to God, through the power of Jesus Christ our Lord and our Life.
The cost or price of our salvation
1 Cor 6:20
20 Efisɛ wɔtɔɔ mo aboɔden. Enti monhyɛ Onyankopɔn anuonyam wɔ mo nipadua mu
The salvation that we have cost Jesus Christ His life. Salvation is a gift to us, but it cost the life of an innocent man.?
3 Wobuu no animtiaa, na nnipa paa no; ɔyɛ onipa a ohuu ayayade na onim yare. Na yɛde yɛn anim hintawee na n’ani antɔ yɛn anim. Wobuu no animtiaa, na yɛammu no hwee.
4 Ampa, ɔno na wafa yɛn nyarewa; na yɛn ayayade nso, wasoa; na yɛn de, yebuu no sɛ nea wɔahwe no, nea Onyankopɔn aka no de no ahyɛ amane mu.
5 Nanso ɔno de, yɛn mmarato nti na wopiraa no, yɛn amumɔyɛ nti na wɔdwerɛw no; yɛn asomdwoe ho asotwe daa no so, na ne mmaa ntape na wɔde asa yɛn yare.
6 Yɛn nyinaa wowɔɔ ntwɛtwɛdɛ sɛ nguan; obiara faa ne kwan. Na Awurade de yɛn nyinaa ammɔyɛ guu no so.
7 Wɔhyɛɛ no ahoɔyaw na wɔpiraa no, nanso ɔno de wammue n’ano, wɔde no kɔɔ sɛ oguammaa a wɔrekɔku no, sɛ oguanten a watɔ nwitwitwafo nsam na wayɛ komm no, saa nso na wammue n’ano.
Sɛnea ne ho yɛɛ nnipa pii ahodwiriw no, esian sɛ n’anim asɛe a ɛnte sɛ onipa de, na ne nipaban nte sɛ nnipa mma de bio no nti,
16 things that happened to the Messiah as a fulfillment of the prophesies recorded in Isaiah 52 and 53
- He was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering
- Marred His Visage/form – His face was deformed (52:14; 53:2-3)
- Disbelieved Him (52:1)
- Despised Him (53:3)
- Rejected Him
- Hid faces from Him: He was like someone we don’t want to look at
- Esteemed Him of no value
- Esteemed Him as suffering justice for His own crimes (53:4);
- Went astray from Him (53:6)
- Ignored him
- Oppressed Him (53:7)
- Afflicted Him;
- Slew Him in anger (53:7-8);
- Took justice from Him (53:8-9)
- Crucified Him among the wicked (53:9)
- Classified Him as a criminal (53:12)
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NKJV).
Nanso ɔno de, yɛn mmarato nti na wopiraa no, yɛn amumɔyɛ nti na wɔdwerɛw no; yɛn asomdwoe ho asotwe daa no so, na ne mmaa ntape na wɔde asa yɛn yare.
- He was pierced (wounded) for our transgressions
- He was crushed (bruised) for our iniquities
- He took our infirmities
- He carried our sorrows
- The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him (Jesus)
- By His wounds we are healed
- The LORD laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.
Song: wo Calvary bepow no so, wo kum Kristo Nyame ba no…
Why did God allow Jesus to go through all these?
2 Corinthians 5:21
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
God gave Jesus, His pure sinless Son, as a sin-offering so that Christians might be able to do everything God wants them to do.
In 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Paul tells us that God has made it possible that we be brought back into His friendship through Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Sin broke the friendship between God and humans, but Jesus fixed that. Now we have the ability to be reconciled into God’s friendship. So because God did this for us, Paul prays that sinners turn to God, read and believe His Word and follow a Christian life.
1: “God made him who had no sin…”
God made his Son, Jesus, into a man on earth. Jesus was without sin (Hebrew 4:15, 1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5).
2: “…to be sin for us…”
The prophet Isaiah wrote of the purpose of Jesus’ death centuries before it actually took place:”He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Scripture is very clear about the fact that Jesus had to die for all people of all time and for crucial reasons. He had to die because of human sin—yours, mine and everyone else’s.
The Bible clearly show the necessity of Jesus’ death—that it was required because of sin. Without sin, there would be no need for Jesus’ death, the shedding of His sinless blood.
Sin is the violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4). It requires a price to be paid because, as Romans 6:23 tells us,”The wages of sin is death.” Without some payment for that awful penalty, human beings would face oblivion through death with no hope beyond the grave .
The New Testament letter to the Hebrews states plainly that”without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (9:22, NRSV).
One purpose for this letter was to explain that Jesus Christ was the very Son of God and that He gave His life’s blood for the remission—the forgiveness, the pardon, the penalty removal—of humankind’s sins.
The Old Testament sacrifices that, as the epistle explains, foreshadowed the one holy sacrifice of mankind’s Savior:k there and struggled to breathe, He was experiencing genuine, excruciating suffering to pay for our sins.
He endured all that to save those who would trust in Him.
It is through the passion of Christ that we are made right with God.
Indeed, in the book of Revelation, Jesus is described as the Lamb slain from the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8). John the Baptist also described him as ‘the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world’ John 1:29.
3: “…so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The reason God sent Jesus to die on the cross was so that Christians could become righteous, as God is righteous.
righteousness can be defined as “behavior that is morally justifiable or right” before God. Such behavior is characterized by accepted standards of morality, justice, virtue, or uprightness.
The Bible’s standard of human righteousness is God’s own perfection in every attribute, every attitude, every behavior, and every word. Thus, God’s laws, as given in the Bible, both describe His own character and constitute the plumb line by which He measures human righteousness.
To be righteous, we would have to do everything God wants us to do.
Jesus tells us to be perfect (Matthew 5:48) and holy (1 Peter 1:15-16) like He is.
He also says that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, we will not get to Heaven (Matthew 5:20).
The Pharisees were the strictest sect of the Jews in their observance of God’s law, but they had many shortcomings including improper motives (Matthew 23:5-7), being prideful (Luke 18:9-14) and being hypocritical (Matthew 23: 3-4, Romans 2:1, 21-23).
Beware of Religious Hypocrisy
The man-made teachings of the Pharisees were as pervasive as yeast in a loaf of bread. Their corruption advanced in hardly perceptible ways, but it was extensive. Jesus denounced the Pharisees on several occasions (e.g., Matthew 23:1–39), and their hypocrisy was a common theme. The Pharisees displayed an outward conformity to the law, but their hearts were full of unbelief and sinfulness (Mark 7:6–13).
By warning the disciples against the hypocrisy, or “leaven,” of the Pharisees, Jesus sought to keep His followers from an insidious influence that would undermine faith and corrupt their walk with God. Believers today should heed the same warning from the Lord and guard against pharisaic attitudes and the temptation to take pride in man-made teachings and traditions. Once a bit of pharisaism is introduced into the church, it can quickly spread.
- Hypocrisy means deliberately pretending, it is pretence, like leaven or yeast it grows and gives false impression
- Hypocrisy keeps us from sincerity and truth;
- Hypocrisyis the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religiousand moral beliefs; hence, in a general sense, hypocrisy may involve dissimulation, pretense, or a sham.
- Contrivance: the use of skill to create or bring about something, especially with a consequent effect of artificiality.
In essence, “hypocrisy” refers to the act of claiming to believe something but acting in a different manner. The word is derived from the Greek term for “actor”—literally, “one who wears a mask”—in other words, someone who pretends to be what he is not.
The Bible calls hypocrisy a sin.
There are two forms hypocrisy can take:
- that of professing belief in something and then acting in a manner contrary to that belief,
- and that of looking down on others when we ourselves are flawed.
John the Baptist refused to give hypocrites a pass, telling them to produce “fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:8).
The message John the Baptizer had was very simple: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (3:2). The call to repentance was responded to, by people going to John the Baptizer to confess their sins and to be baptized in water (3:6). However, when John the Baptizer saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he referred to them as “Brood of vipers”. He warned them not just to flee from the coming wrath and pretend to have repented just because they have been baptized in water but what was most important was for them to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. True repentance is seen in a life that is patterned after the life of Christ – the bearing of fruit of the Holy Spirit.
And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
John exhorts his audience to “bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:8) lest they face judgment. When they ask specifically, “What then should we do?”
First, he tells those who have an abundance of possessions (two tunics or ample food) to share with those who have nothing (Luke 3:10).
He then gives instructions to tax collectors and soldiers, relating directly to their work.
Tax collectors should collect only what they are required to, rather than padding the tax bill and pocketing the difference.
Soldiers should not use their power to extort money and accuse people falsely. They should be content with their pay (Luke 3:13-14).
When John tells the tax collectors, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you” (Luke 3:13), he was speaking radical words to a profession marked by entrenched systemic corruption and injustice. Taxes throughout Palestine were gathered through a system of “tax farming” in which governors and other high-level officials outsourced the right to collect taxes in their jurisdictions.
In order to win a contract, a prospective tax collector would have to agree to give the official a certain amount over and above the actual Roman tax.
Likewise, the tax collectors’ own profits were the amounts they charged over and above what they passed up to the governmental officials. Since the people had no way to know what the actual Roman tax was, they had to pay whatever the tax collector assessed them. It would have been hard to resist the temptation for self-enrichment, and almost impossible to win bids without offering fat profits to the governmental officials.
Notice that John does not offer them the option to stop being tax collectors or soldiers.
These soldiers could (and did) use their authority to intimidate, extort, and secure self-gain.
John’s instruction to these workers is to bring justice to a system deeply marked by injustice. We should not underestimate how difficult that would have been. Holding citizenship in God’s kingdom while living under the rule of kings of the fallen world can be dangerous and difficult.
Also notice that tax collectors and soldiers respond to John’s announcement of God’s judgment by asking, “What should we do?” They ask this question as groups (“we”) sharing the same occupation.
Could occupational groups today do the same?
- school teachers asking, “What should we do?”
- business executives asking, “What should we do?”
- Market women, store assistants, asking, “What should we do?”
- office workers asking, “What should we do?”
- Taxi and trotro drivers, “What should we do?”
- Health professionals, “What should we do?”
The text invites us to understand God’s intent for our specific work, not only for work in general. How might we, in our present occupation, respond to the call of the Gospel?
In the passage a religious leader—the prophet John the Baptist—develops enough credibility with groups of workers—tax collectors and soldiers—that they are willing to invite his input into their ethics at work.
Can groups of workers today find help from religious leaders–or from people with biblical/theological capability among themselves—to mutually discern what God intends in their own occupations?
ZACCHAEUS a true example : Luke 19:1-10
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.” Luke 19:8-9 NLT
Zacchaeus is a living example of repentance in this passage. Repentance is a change of heart that leads to a change of life. Zacchaeus was so touched by the Lord’s loving presence, his heart was changed, and he made a commitment to change his lifestyle. That kind of change is a mark of salvation and a guarantee of a new person!
Tax collection, payment and utilization in Ghana
In Nov 2021, The Finance Minister painted a dire picture of the revenue mobilisation hurdles Ghana has to surmount in its bid to become a country beyond aid.
Less than 10 percent of Ghana’s 30.8 million population pay direct taxes, in a situation Ken Ofori-Atta said was “a poor reflection” on the country when compared to other middle-income countries.
“Only 2,364,348 are bearing the burden of the entire population as taxpayers as of August 2021,”
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has revealed that 60 per cent of Ghana’s revenue is spent on salaries and remuneration for workers on the government’s payroll.
That payroll is full because we are spending some 60 per cent of our revenue on remunerating some 650,000 people and that is not sustainable.
How is the law interpreted and implemented in our nation?
- selected justice
- Paying of tax
- Do those who collect also account for it
Jesus took an equally staunch stand against sanctimony—He called hypocrites “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15), “whitewashed tombs” (Matthew 23:27), “snakes,” and “brood of vipers” (Matthew 23:33).
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He had many clashes with the religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees. These men were well versed in the Scriptures and zealous about following every letter of the Law (Acts 26:5). However, in adhering to the letter of the Law, they actively sought loopholes that allowed them to violate the spirit of the Law.
Jesus denounced their behavior in no uncertain terms, pointing out that “justice, mercy, and faithfulness” are more important than pursuing a perfection based on faulty standards (Matthew 23:23).
Jesus made it clear that the problem was not with the Law but the way in which the Pharisees implemented it (Matthew 23:2-3). Today, the word pharisee has become synonymous with hypocrite.
As children of God, we are called to strive for holiness (1 Peter 1:16). We are to “hate what is evil” and “cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). We should never imply an acceptance of sin, especially in our own lives. All we do should be consistent with what we believe and who we are in Christ. Play-acting is meant for the stage, not for real life.
The worst form of hypocrisy is religious hypocrisy – this is the kind of hypocrisy displayed by people who claim to be followers of Christ. When leaders become hypocrites, members fall into apostasy.
Apostasy, from the Greek word apostasia, means “a defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith.” In the first-century world, apostasy was a technical term for political revolt or defection. Just like in the first century, spiritual apostasy threatens the Body of Christ today.
Hosea 4:7-9, “The more priests there were, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful. They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds”
Observing religious hypocrisy, Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
How much “religion” there is in Christianity and how little of God and true holiness! And this outward profession of “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5) is to become more and more evident in these last days (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
- W. Wiersbe has said “…hypocrisy is lying to other people about our fellowship with the Lord. There are many ways we do this: preaching what we don’t practice, praying things we don’t mean, and pretending to do what we don’t do…”
He continues to suggest that hypocrisy becomes duplicity when we lie to ourselves and believe it ourselves. He observes that “when hypocrisy (lying to others) and duplicity (lying to oneself) start to take over, integrity is gradually eroded, until it is finally destroyed”.
Webster defines duplicity as “deception by pretending to feel and act one way while acting another.”
duplicity is when a person has pretended to be someone who he is not. Eg. Students claiming to be the son of the president just to impress his friends.
Duplicity is related to insincerity and dishonesty.
Conclusion: Colossians 3:1-16
5 Na ehu kaa wɔn ma wosisii wɔn ti ase, na mmarima no ka kyerɛɛ wɔn sɛ: Adɛn na mohwehwɛ ɔteasefo awufoɔ mu yi?
6 Onni ha, na mmom wɔanyan. Monkae nea ɔka kyerɛɛ mo bere a na ɔda so wɔ Galilea no,
Your New Life in Christ (3:1-4:6)
Unholiness (like lust and greed) which brings God’s wrath (3:5-7)
Sinful thoughts (sexual sins), and words (like anger and lying) (3:8-9)
End your old life by living out your new life in Christ (3:10)
*. Key ethic: In Christ’s new humanity, there are no divisions (3:11)
- Slander — “the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation.”
- Libel — “a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression.”
- Gossip — “a rumor or report of an intimate nature.” 19
Sometimes we are tempted to relay information that puts someone in an unfavorable light, when we should have kept our mouths shut. But anger and unforgiveness often feed talk that defames and hurts. We are to rid ourselves of this destructive habit!
Love one another; which holds our identity together (3:14)
Peace, which unites us all together (3:15)
” Let the peace of God rule …” (3:15) and
” Let the word of Christ dwell in you….” (3:16)
Words of truth, wisdom, and worship (3:16)
Live every moment as a representative of Jesus (3:17)