to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18 MEV
We're continuing in our study of our inheritance in Christ. Did you know child of God that you have an inheritance? When Christ died and rose again He procured perfect redemption and gave us an inheritance that can't be done away with. The enemy cannot contest this will. It's ours because of Jesus!
We've seen through this inheritance we have received the gift of no condemnation, in this inheritance we receive the benefit of no separation, there is nothing that can separate the believer from God. We saw last time how we are accepted, highly favored, and honored because of Jesus' work.
Today, it seemed good to focus on one major aspect of our inheritance in Christ. In Christ, we have received the blessing of the Lord. So often, we struggle and strive to receive what God has already provided. We listen to ministries who put clauses and conditions on what God has already provided. We work hard trying to earn what can only be freely received.
Hear the Good News, in Christ you are already blessed.
How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ. Ephesians 1:3 TLB
Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! For in our union with Christ he has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. Ephesians 1:3 GNT
Some of the religious traditional detractors will suggest because Paul said spiritual blessings then he must only mean spiritual things like forgiveness of sins but never provision or healing or deliverance. Not so, what Paul is saying is that all the blessings we ever need are first in the spiritual realm. We lay hold on our inheritance by putting a demand on the supply by believing with our heart, our spiritual man.
We know this because we don't always feel forgiven or Righteous. We don't always even look Righteous. Yet we know inwardly we are the very Righteousness of God in Christ. That blessing is spiritual then manifests in the natural as we mature in Christ. Our life begins to match who we are already inwardly. So these blessings begin in the spiritual realm and later manifest in the natural as we believe.
So are you suggesting we don't do anything to receive the blessing? That there isn't anything we can do to increase the blessing in our life? No, I didn't suggest it I just agree with God who said it through His Apostles.
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 2 Peter 1:3 KJV
Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. 2 Peter 1:3 TPT
We see here we already have all we need for life and godliness. For life is everything we will ever need in this natural world and godliness means we are already equipped for victorious living spiritually. Note we don't have to do anything but believe for them to manifest.
Now Peter did mention knowledge. That is the knowledge of what is ours through our inheritance in Christ. Traditional religion keeps us ignorant of all that's ours in Christ. Legalistic, law, and Grace mixing ministries either knowingly or unknowingly keeps us striving, struggling, and attempting to earn what we already have in Christ by our doing, our behavior, or our giving.
Remember law and Grace mixture is any attempt to earn or achieve or merit what only Grace gives. It's trying to gain what is only freely received. What Christ procured and purchased on the Cross in the Finished Work is only received by Grace through Faith never on any actions on our part.
Many fall into the error of mixture because they don't grasp what it truly means to be Righteous. Righteousness is divine acceptance, approval, and perfect right standing before the Father. We who believed received His perfect Righteousness in the great exchange. We are now as Righteous as Jesus. Righteousness is a gift we receive by Faith alone. It is not a work we achieve.
When it comes to material blessings many want to link provision with our giving and even with the practice of tithing. I have written extensively on tithing in the past you can find those links in the archive section of this blog. Let me briefly address this issue.
If we look at Acts 15, we can clearly see this issue addressed and settled. Some misguided believers wanted to mix the Old with the New. They wanted to mix Law and Grace. They desired that believers keep the Law of Moses. This would include tithing. The Gentiles were never given the Law, so how could they have known anything about tithing?
What did the Apostles conclude? They declared in a letter, some are requiring you to keep the Mosaic Law, but we gave no such command. There we have it. We as believers are not commanded to keep the Law. That would include tithing. Some would say but tithing was before the Law, well so was circumcision as a sign of following Jehovah and we aren't commanding that today.
Apart from the tithe, still, others want to focus on our giving. They teach that Paul taught in 2 Corinthians that our giving is our seed and we sow it to become more blessed. Is this true?
This idea is rooted in the seed-faith message. This teaching infiltrated many charismatic and word of faith ministries. Instead of simply believing God's Word and speaking it (this truth I still strongly affirm), the focus became what you gave and how much you gave and how often you gave.
Placing stipulations on the blessing such as giving and doing turns the Goodness of God into a works and performance-rooted system of earning and achieving. The blessing then becomes a wage earned and not a gift of Grace.
Teaching that all our actions and our giving are seeds sown gets us reverting to some form of karma like existence. Where the Love of God doesn't guide our actions but the desire for a better future and for more and more good to come our way. It also produces fear and gets us back to Law, "do good get good do bad get bad."
Paul likened giving as a seed in 2 Corinthians 9 only in the sense that as the whole body of believers give (he was addressing a specific church), the gift would multiply to those who received it. In other words, my gift of $50 given with the right motive to be a blessing is good but adding that to the amount the body will give is multiplication. In essence that one gift is like planting a single apple tree, but that gift coupled with others is like planting many apple trees.
We are blessed because of what Jesus did. We look to Jesus' work never our own. Our blessings come from Christ alone never us. If the blessing comes from us and our doing then we have a place to boast, "look at what my giving, doing, and behavior produced."This replaces Grace and inheritance to a wage earned.
In summation, in Christ, because of Christ alone and our trust in Him, we are blessed. The blessing is not determined or stipulated upon us by our doings but by Jesus Christ alone. Trust in Him and not your doing, your giving, or your behavior. Christ determined the blessing, He earned it and gave it to us, freely receive it.