A delighted Bishop Charles Asare enjoyed a rare visit to the Osu congregation as he led a divine service on 17th January 2020. He was accompanied by District Rector Adjei and his assistant, District Evangelist Amoah. The message of our sanctification in, and our kinship with Jesus was preached.
Two infants and three others were baptized and adopted respectively.
The congregation was inspired with a text from Hebrews 2:11, ‘For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.’
What is sanctification? The Bishop explained: “Sanctification stands for holiness; essentially, how we can cleanse ourselves and be holy before our Lord.”
But we are human and sinful, how can we be holy? We can achieve this through the hearing and belief of the Gospel of Jesus and a partaking of the sacraments, explained the Bishop. This he referenced from the words of Jesus in John 15:3, ‘You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.’
Effects of the sacraments. He further explained: “Beloved, if we look at the act of Holy Baptism as an example, it takes away all our inherited sin. This makes us holy in the sight of the Lord.” He continued: “If we live our whole lives doing good and living lawfully, but fail to receive the Holy Baptism (sacraments), we will not be holy before the Lord.” He further cited the example of Nicodemus, who was admonished by the Lord to be reborn with Water and the Spirit to be part of the Heavenly Kingdom.
What are these sacraments? The Bishop encouraged the congregation to be joyful as New Apostolics because we have received these sacraments that will make us holy before the Lord. These sacraments are:
* baptism with water (Holy Baptism) – which cleanses our original sin
* baptism with the Spirit (Holy Sealing) – which gives us spiritual gifts
* Holy Communion – which gives us fellowship with Jesus, Apostles and one another
Like Father, like Son. We saw and still see the holiness of God in Jesus, the Only Begotten Son of God. The Bishop added: “Holiness begets holiness. Just as the Heavenly Father is holy, so is the Son.” The Lord Jesus lived His life in holiness. “And so must we also aspire to live our lives as Jesus. As we receive holiness from our Lord, we must also show it in our lives. We must show that indeed we have been sanctified by God.”
Jesus was human, so are we. Bringing his sermon to a close, the Bishop encouraged all to be Christ-like. “Jesus was as human as we are, a descendant of Adam. Yet, the Lord made Him holy. We are also descendants of Adam and the Lord wants to make us holy. That is what we are being given today. Let us accept and live in holiness.” Living in holiness gives us a relation to Jesus Christ, to also be called children of God and joint heirs in the kingdom of God.