Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has challenged Christians to bring their faith to bear in the transformation of the Nigerian society, insisting that the mandate of the church is the propagation of the message of love and reconciliation.
Osinbajo was speaking on Thursday at the closing of the Divine Commonwealth Conference 2021, which began on Monday at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, organises the Divine Commonwealth Conference as “a convocation of believers in Christ.
For the salvation of man
Vice President Osinbajo said that the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ was important not just for the salvation of man but also for the transformation of the society.
“The responsibility of paying the price for the transformation of our society belongs not just to politicians or bureaucrats but to the church,” Vice President Osinbajo said.
According to Professor Osinbajo, everywhere the gospel has been preached it has also led to social transformation.
“The principles that changed the world or the Protestant reformation were preached from the pulpits in Europe and America.
“What is preached from the pulpit determines the moral tone of society.
Preached from the pulpitThe Vice President said that the messages preached from the pulpit that transformed American society was for righteous living, respect for credit obligation and hard work.
“They emphasised that hard work not miracles is the pathway to success; that you build a business or any other enterprise line by line precept by precept, not suddenly, not overnight.
“So effective was the teaching of hard work that the ethic of hardwork, diligence and honesty was identified with Christians and it was described as the puritanic work ethic; named after the puritans who were considered then Christian’s who strictly followed the scriptures.
Contrarian gospelThe Vice President said that the reason why the gospel of Christ is hard to comprehend and accept is because it is contrarian.
“The problem is that this gospel of absolute love, reconciliation and redemption is a contrarian gospel.
“By that I mean that is completely contrary to everything that our flesh accepts and prefers.
“It is contrarian because it disagrees with the carnal nature of human being.
Indeed the Scripture says that the carnal nature is enmity against God.
“In other words they are different from what our flesh wants or desires.
Osinbajo cited examples from the scripture to buttress his point that the gospel is contrary to human thinking, including humility of leaders, forgiveness of enemies, disapproval of vengeance, among others.
“This gospel has the power to transform lives and nations , and we are commanded in propagating it to fight the good fight of faith.
“Now that is not a physical fight; the fight is between our carnal nature and the Spirit of God.
“The fight of faith is the fight that ensues when your physical senses tell you to act as a human being, but the spirit of God reminds you that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.
The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Archbishop Henry Ndukuba said that the joy of the conference is that believers came together as one unto the Lord.
Together to intercedeHe said the annual conference, instituted in 2011 by his predecessor, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, brings members of the church together to intercede, to pray and to seek his face and to hear from him.
“This year, amidst the myriad of challenges and insecurity, poverty, drug addiction and afflictions, kidnappings and other violent crimes; in fact, if it were the Lord who had been with us, the enemy would have destroyed us.
“But we thank God that because the Lord is standing by our right hand, in our rural areas, in our churches, in every nook and cranny of this land, our faith has not been moved and we are trusting God that he will keep us to the end.
“But the situation has caused many to dismay; the situation is much of devastation, and even in such a time when the heart of men fail them, we can hear God speaking to us in the theme of this year: ‘Quit You Like Men.
He admonished Christians not to despair in the midst of the challenges they face because God has assured them that he would not abandon them.
Intercessory prayers were said for Nigeria, citizens and leaders.
VP Osinbajo Advocates Social Transformation