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Sunday April 15 – 21 April, 2012 World peace impossible unless…

“There is a pool of iniquity in the world today and one way or the other, children of God involuntarily participate in it. The lifestyles of the people have contributed a lot to the disequilibrium in the world that has helped to disorganize the world in diverse ways”.

The head of the Anglican Church inNigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas. D. Okoh gave this submission at theCathedralChurchof the Advent Life Camp Abuja while speaking on the need for Christians to examine themselves instead of pointing accusing fingers because, according to him, to a large extent all have sinned, through sins of omission or commission.

The Primate who drew his text from 2Cor 13 vs. 5, said a sinner cannot praise God acceptably because the offering of the prostitute is an abomination. Self- examination he said is like measuring blood pressure, if it is too high, something must be done to bring it down, adding that time must be set aside instead of being too busy to look at oneself, but steadfast purpose and determination can make the change. He recalled how God told Moses to purify his people, who later their sins.

The Grace of God covered them and they worked in heavenly places as children of the kingdom.

He called on all Christians to examine themselves on daily basis especially when they approach the holy table so that they might drink and eat worthily and they will not end up with spiritual constipation which is the source of disorientation and death.

The Primate who quoted profusely from the bible to corroborate his stand, cited Luke 18 vs. 9, the story of the arrogant, self conceited Pharisee  and the tax collector. He re- affirmed the stand of the bible which says that the humble tax collector went home justified than the proud Pharisee who was balancing account with God, and lacked focus.

Primate Okoh explained that sin can be committed through language, the way people speak, the way people comport themselves, interaction with people, some people are snobbish and find it difficult to extend their hands in handshake because of pride, envy, jealousy and hatred.

While re-iterating that self examination is the best examination, the Archbishop said the only requirement accepted in Holy Communion service is self examination and that is the only way people will not be condemned.

He urged Christians to save themselves from careless approach to spiritual things so as to know how strong they are at any given time, to avoid the experience of Samson.

According to the cleric, Samson continue to assume that he was alright but the spirit of the lord has left him, because he was spiritually careless and lost spiritual sensitivity hence the power of the lord departed from him.

He said the days are evil and in a busy world people are tempted to be spiritually careless and caught in the web of prayerlessness.

He called on Christians to be on their toes, because they are in the midst of foes hence they should watch and pray, adding that baptism, confirmation, church membership is not enough though they are prerequisite for the kingdom but when ritualized they lose their power.

Earthly titles according to him are not qualification for heaven he therefore called on all and sundry not to allow church titles, church awards, education, exalted government office, because if not properly managed they can become a problem.

He used Romans Chapter 12 verse 3 to urge Christians not to think too highly of themselves, have good

relationship with God to be accepted and be reconciled to him and be spiritually sensitive.

Also in his Easter Message, the Primate hoped that the season would usher in permanent peace and victory over those he described as hawkers of death and destruction.

Full text of the message reads:

The heightened events in the life of our Lord which began with His Triumphal Entry intoJerusalemseemed to have reached their climax when Jesus was arrested, tried, condemned and finally crucified. A gracious man offered his tomb, and He was buried. To all intents and purposes, the menace of Jesus as it seemed to his enemies had at long last ended in their favour!

To ensure that this remains so they created obstacles at the tomb to frustrate Jesus earlier prophecy that He would rise from the dead. A huge boulder was rolled across the tomb’s entrance. Soldiers were detailed to guard the tomb. These security arrangements could only deter human beings, not God!

Thus inspite of this water-tight security arrangement, on the third day there was a cosmic upheaval, and God raised Jesus from the dead! God’s Holy One did not see corruption. And it was impossible for death to hold Him hostage.

Jesus rose! He is risen indeed!! As we celebrate perhaps the most significant event in the Christian calendar, we remember the recent travails ofNigeriain the hands of a faceless yet well-coordinated mafia spreading terror, death and destruction in the land.

The Church and other wellr-meaning Nigerians have endured severe stress and provocation. Individual families have borne their irreparable losses in lives and property with remarkable fortitude.

At this point, we can only pray forNigeriaand Nigerians that the victory of Easter will usher in permanent peace ., and victory over these visible and invisible hawkers of death and destruction in the country.

Let us celebrate with emphasis on prayer for victory over the wickedness of man; evil forces, principalities and powers, darkness and retrogression.Nigeriamust rise from the dead; the victory of Jesus over death and human intrigues must remain a continuing story in every facet of our National life. The LORD is risen! He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!! Happy Easter!

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