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Religion of Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Source: Class FM

Shun covetousness, multiple land sales, sex for grades, jobs et al – Agyinasare

Christians must shun covetousness, as it leads to all manner of societal ills such as bribery, corruption, chiefs selling the same land to different people, influential people using soldiers as land guards to protect their property, lecturers and employers demanding sex from female students and prospective employees in exchange for good grades and jobs, among others, Bishop Charles Agyinasare has admonished.

The founder of Perez Chapel International said covetousness even finds its way into the church and leads some pastors to steal members of other churches.

Find below Bishop Agyinasare’s full sermon on covetousness:

Righteousness is key to the prosperity of nations

Prov. 14:34 righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

The scripture says that delight in integrity, virtue, and uprightness in purpose, thought, and action exalts a nation.

Sin is a problem to any nation. Sin is the transgression of the law or lawlessness 1 John 3:4

Abstain from covetousness

The scripture we started dealing with last week Ephesians 5:3 says covetousness amongst other sins should not be named amongst even once as Christians. the amplified bible renders it “but immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity [of lustful, rich, wasteful living] or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints (God’s consecrated people).

What is covetousness?

It is the Greek for ‘epithumeo’, which means to fix your desire upon, passion for things whether good or bad, to long for, to lust after. it is also another Greek word ‘pleonexia’ meaning a desire to have more (always in a bad sense) of material possessions, longing to fill one’s desire with material objects outside of god, a matter of extortion, greediness, to have what belongs to others or being greedy of gain.

We are enjoined in the tenth of the Decalogue or the final of the ten Commandments in Exodus 20:17: “We shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.”

Lands

Today, we have some chiefs who because of covetousness are selling the same land multiple times to different people.

Some families after squandering the monies they received as payment for their land they sold, send other members of the family to say they were not party to the payment and so have taken the case to court and they get judgement to resell the land again.

Today, unfortunately, we are trying to turn our soldiers into land guards to protect the lands of those who matter. in Accra after buying land you need land guards to protect your land.

Covetousness of some land registration officials has made the registration of land very cumbersome.

The big extort from the poor

There are people in authority or who are rich who are forcefully possessing the lands that belong to others Micah 2:2 talks about a similar scenario “they covet fields and take them by violence, also houses, and seize them. so they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.” the man who steals a goat is jailed but the one who takes by force from the contractor 10% or 20% goes scot-free.

Sex for jobs and grades

we have some bosses in their offices having sex with people’s wives and taking advantage of people’s young daughters in exchange for a job or promotion. in the universities some lecturers are also offering grades for sex.

Contract cuts

Government officials are demanding 20-25% of contract fees before people get contracts or their monies paid to them. some government officials are doing fraudulent deals. Government officials pad loans and contracts so they can skim off the top.

Some customs officials or GRA officials would line their pocket instead of the government coffers.

The police officer would take a bribe to let the criminal go free.

If you take your document to an office and you don’t give them “goro”, your file would not be found.

Even at the court registry, your file can be lost.

Those who work in people’s shops are stealing from them out of covetousness.

Pastors wickedly stealing sheep

There are pastors who are going after the church members from other churches who they know are very committed to their churches.

Some pastors, because we to want to have a large church, go to park buses at the junctions of other churches so when the members of those churches get to where the buses are packed, they are directed into the waiting buses and carry them to their church service.

Some even prophesy to associate pastors to quit working in their church to start their own church out of envy of that other pastors’ success.

Some show their covetousness in buying oil at wholesale for say GH?50 and sell it for GH?300, 500 & 1,000 calling it special oil. I know you don’t produce the oil and you have to pay the staff in the book shop but don’t ‘Kumi preko’.

Not giving just judgements

Some judges are said to take bribes to twist judgement forgetting that there is a higher judge we all have to answer to one day.

1.Covetousness is idolatry

The bible describes covetousness as idolatry. Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5. 'If you are covetous, God sees you as an idol worshipper. Idolatry is the worship of other gods'.

The first two of the 10 commandments forbids having other gods, making their image and worshipping them. It brings curses to the first to the fourth generation.

2. Jesus said life does not consist of the abundance of things you possess. Luke 12:15: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Your value is not in what you own. we have Christians who boast of the kinds of suits they wear and the cars and houses that they possess. All these properties are just tools to help us accomplish the task of God. This leads many to covet after material things. Some enter politics with nothing and by four years they own chains of stuff. In Ghana, no politician is corrupt, if even he is jailed it was regarded as witch-hunting.

As Christians, we must be above covetousness. Pastors must guard themselves against sticky fingers to offerings and tithes.

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