Apostle Ernest Onwukwe led an interesting YouTube divine service from Abuja, Nigeria, where he manifested the all-loving nature of Jesus and advised the virtual congregation to be imitators of Jesus Christ. This happened on 16th August 2020. He was assisted by Bishop Isaac Adelabu.
The sermon was based on Luke 7:33-35, ‘For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.”’
Jesus, the phenomenon of the times. The person and teaching of Jesus Christ was an unusual phenomenon to the people in His time, the Apostle began. His ways challenged their perception and service to God. This is still same today as many are still challenge the teachings and workings of Jesus; He has not changed.
Jesus, the people’s man. Jesus was for the ordinary man who opened His arms to anyone willing to get close to Him. The Apostle said: “Jesus was simple, all-inclusive, children-loving, associated with women, dined with ‘perceived’ sinners and, mingled with both influential and lowly men.” Yet, there were many who found faults with His approach. “The Son of God is social, and opens His arms to accept everyone.”
Jesus acted on the wisdom of God. Jesus lived and acted on the wisdom of God. His detractors never understood Him and chastised Him. “For example” narrated Apostle Onwukwe, “they said to Jesus ‘how can build a church and allow sinners to be members?’” Jesus was certain these were motives to reject Him and deny help to those for whom He was sent.
Opportunists in the fellowship of Jesus. “There are many who flocked Jesus for earthly gains” he continued, “Jesus said of them to be living a life of heavy burden.” This is also very prevalent today. Resisting Jesus facilitates a life of burden for us as interpreted from 1 Peter 5:7; those who criticise the Gospel and seek opportunities to gain riches from the Gospel are burdened.
Imitate Jesus Christ. Jesus seeks to create a group of believers who will imitate Him. “Imitating Christ is a source of joy” said the Apostle. “Those that imitate Jesus make the effort to remain with Him no matter the situation, even when they are confused, lack understanding or tormented by bad leadership.”
The group of the Church of Christ. This group, the Church, enjoys the communion of the brethren joyfully. They repent when they sin with contrition and broken hearts, said the Apostle. This group is certain of their salvation in the Lord. “We are called to be imitators of Christ” he said, “doing so does not deny us from living and enjoying God’s creation.”
Justified wisdom of the Church. Concluding the sermon, he explained that the group that imitates Jesus (Church of Christ) listens to the Holy Spirit and are comforted by the Holy Spirit. They are the ones who are sure to have their names written in the Book of Life. “On the day of the Lord, should we remain faithful, He will perfect all things that concern us and the wisdom applied in this group will then be justified.”