By Our Reporter
“With the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria, the cost of food stuff, rent, school fees and transportation, just to mention a few, have skyrocketed beyond the reach of most Nigerians. But salvation through Christ Jesus has remained free because the Lord Jesus Christ paid for it once and for all.”
Those were the words of the ECWA President, Rev. (Dr) Stephen Baba Panya in his address at the ECWA Headquarters 2023 Christmas Carol held in Jos.
The cleric, whose message focused on the “powerlessness, helplessness and hopelessness of man,” said “The Christmas season, among many other things, reminds us about why the Lord Jesus Christ had to leave His heavenly glory, to come down to this sinful world.
“Since the fall of man from grace into sin, an account of which is fully given from Genesis Chapter Three onward, the consequences of sin steadily degenerated to jealousy among the siblings of Cain and Abel and ultimately led to the murder of Abel by his brother, Cain.”
Rev. Panya added that as sin increased and intensified in the world, so also had its consequences continued to multiply in this world in the form of fear, jealousy, envy, oppression, quarreling, immorality, tribalism, religious fanatism, drug addiction, cultism, wars and murder.
He however, posited that Jesus came as the answer to the powerlessness, helplessness and hopelessness of man.
Quoting from John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:4-6, the ECWA President explained that the Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth yet He was arrested and crucified on the cross for the forgiveness of the sins of man.
He however, called on believers to always believe in Jesus Christ and openly accept Him into their hearts, they will be saved.
While admonishing Christians that eternal life was still free, the cleric said “Once you believe in Jesus Christ and openly accept Him into your heart as Saviour and Lord, He will go in and dwell in you, empowering you to live in victory over sinful flesh, the world and the devil. No longer would you be helpless against the challenges of life because the Holy Spirit will be your ever-present helper.
Earlier in his welcome address, the ECWA General Secretary, Rev. Ayuba Asheshe, said that the Christmas season should remind Christians about the “unlimited and timeless miracle of God that transcends the years, echoing the sentiments of love, compassion and goodwill, bringing the Good news of the birth of Jesus Christ the Saviour.”
Said he: “Let each note of a cherished carol coming from ECWA Headquarters and Departments and Strategic Business Units this morning of ECWA Headquarters Christmas Carol resonate with the melody of fond memories and the promise of new beginnings.
“As we wrap ourselves in the warmth of friendship and family, let God’s spirit of generosity illuminate our souls, much like the star that guided the wise men to a humble manger.”
The occasion featured reading of the 9 lessons and special song renditions from the various ECWA Departments was attended by the ECWA Executive and heads of departments.
This year’s carol was graced by the wife of the Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Mrs. Deborah Manasseh Jatau.