“Everything that has breath, praise now the Lord”! In a serendipitous but inspired moment, the choir preluded the initial thoughts of Lead Apostle Benjamin Ohene-Saffo at the special New Year’s divine service. He led a united service on 3rd January, 2021, for the Accra East and West districts at the Accra Central Church.
The Southern Ghana leader began: “Irrespective of the problems and worries of the past year, we have come into another. The best we can do is to give our thanks to the Father in Heaven.” He continued: “He knows why He allowed things to be the way they were. But the most important thing for us, is that, we are alive and our hope is still alive. Our hope, my brethren, is to look forward into the future; that future with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Lead Apostle spoke to the large congregation based on the text Hebrews 12:1b-2a, ‘Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.’
Let us run the race. What race? A spiritual race which requires endurance to reach our goal, explained the Lead Apostle. “Endurance means to be able to withstand all that comes our way” and attain the goal ahead of us.
In a physical race, sometimes we get tired and want to give up, but we never do because of the goal ahead of us; it is same in the spiritual race, and must be practised likewise. Our goal “is to be able to make it into the kingdom of God. We must not allow anything in this world to distract us from that goal.”
What do we need for this race? Patience and endurance! Many are being distracted from the race (faith) by unimportant matters in relation to our heavenly goal.
He admonished, “We have no idea what the world will throw at us this year. But whatever it is, we are being reminded that we need endurance and patience to run this race! If we do not understand this, then, we cannot make it to heaven.”
An athlete looks to his coach, we look to Jesus. We need motivation through this spiritual race. “Every athlete has a coach to motivate him. Our coach is the Lord Jesus” said Lead Apostle Ohene-Saffo. “We need to look up to Him every now and then. He went through the same challenges we are going through, and so He understands what patience and endurance are about.”
Like Master, like followers. Christianity is not about a life without challenges. “Even the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, who had all power and authority, went through trials.” It is only by endurance that we are perfected for the kingdom of God. “Let us look up to Jesus, what He did and what He has taught us.”
Guidance by the Apostles. The Lord Jesus established the Church of the ministry of the Apostles, teaching them what to do; to help us run the spiritual race. That is our pride as New Apostolics, because we live and follow exactly the teachings of Jesus Christ. “The Apostles are to teach us the principles of entering into the kingdom of God” emphasised the Apostle. “Christ is the truth, and He taught us in the bible. We cannot do it our own way.”
Referencing Paul’s letter to Hebrews 12:22, the Lead Apostle concluded: “This is the church, the church of the ministry of the Apostles. We are doing what the Apostles are supposed to do. Our perfection will be attained here. We have the authority to forgive sins and seal with the Holy Spirit.”
“Let us guard the seal of the Spirit, so that when the Lord comes it can be of benefit to us.”