By Paul Benson
The True Prosperity Teachings
Now on to our final segment of this series of posts. We have put the spotlight on some falsehoods being presented to the believer by the false teachers of our generation. Now let’s take a look a the truth. We wont need a spotlight though, the truth gives off plenty of light of its own!
The True Avenue Of God’s Blessing
And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. Genesis 22:16-18
Because Abraham had chosen to take God at His word and held on to his faith, God pronounced a blessing upon him that would reverberate down through the centuries. Abraham’s seed would be blessed; and that blessing would come upon all nations through this seed. Quite a promise was it not?
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14
Christ Sharing His Inheritance
Fast forward to many centuries later. Here we have the apostle Paul speaking to the Gentile believers who in no way had a right to inherit this blessing promised to Abraham and his descendants. He told them the curse Christ bore on that Cross would enable this promised blessing to come upon them also. How could that be? They were not Abraham’s seed. No, but Christ was.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Galatians 3:16+18
Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of that prophesied seed of Abraham upon which the blessing would come. But what did that have to do with the Gentile believers at Galatia; and what does that have to do with us as believers today? Let’s go back to the Word.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus… 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26 + 29
It’s All Through Jesus!
Can you see it now? Praise God. Through our faith in Jesus the promise of a God who cannot lie has come upon you and I. The words He spoke to Abraham are just as sure to you as they were to him. Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee (Hebrews 6:14). Our redemption and all it entails: eternal life, healing, God’s favor, peace, soundness of mind, you name it, all are a result of this promise of God to faithful Abraham.
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4
Righteousness by faith is the true right-standing we have with God, and the only leg we have to stand on. If we start thinking we have earned it we are missing it completely! Yes, we can rob ourselves of God’s favor by unrighteous behavior, but not because we are no longer earning His favor; we were not earning it in the first place. If we engage in sinful conduct it will cut us off from God’s provision because we are grieving His Spirit and defiling our conscience, thereby hindering the avenue through which we receive from God: our faith.
Don’t Block The Blessing
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1 John 3:22
Many people try to use this verse in 1 John to promote a legalistic adherence to rules and regulations. But that’s not what John was talking about at all. He was talking about keeping a clean conscience and not grieving God by disobedience! Then the flow of blessing can touch all areas of our lives. See how that works?
Missing out not because we are no longer earning it, but because we are blocking it. So our sin robs us of what God was intent on giving us. Lord Jesus, please help us stay away from all that self-righteous thinking and striving for your favor. Thank you for the free gift of righteousness.
That is one thing that really worries me about the unbalanced teachings of the prosperity preachers. They teach if you do this and do that and follow these 12 ‘principles of prosperity’ you are guaranteed to be blessed (with the doing this and doing that usually involving writing them a generous check. Don’t forget principle #7. The Law of Manifold Return; give a little get a lot! Get that check in the mail today!).
But this type of teaching actually builds in people a mentality of self-righteous doing; and that is a danger to your faith and a grief to God. Do you think you have God’s arm twisted behind His back because you have rigidly conformed to all the so called principles of prosperity? Hey God, I’ve followed all the ‘12 steps to wealth’ faithfully and now I want my promised blessing, so cough it up! Yeah right, keep twisting see where it gets you.
I think if God coughs up any thing it will be Him soon coughing up the prosperity teachers so He can spew them out of His mouth! (Revelation 3:16) Let’s see those kind of teachings for what they really are. Covetous people manipulating you out of your dough. Don’t be turned aside to that error. But don’t go the other direction and throw away the promises of God because someone is perverting them either; let’s seek after a balance of truth.
Imputed Righteousness Makes Us Eligible
Let’s look at one more passage about Abraham’s faith and how it relates to us receiving what God has in store for us.
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Romans 4:20-24
Notice the word ‘imputed’ in this passage. Do you know what this word means in regard to your relationship with Jesus? Perhaps the best way to understand the word ‘imputed’ is to look at the process we call adoption. If a son is adopted he now has gained rights and legal standing which he didn’t have before. Through adoption there has been bestowed upon him all the rights and privileges of being a true son, though in reality he is not.
These rights and privileges have been ‘imputed’ to him; they are reckoned to be his, just as if he were born to that couple. So it is with the righteousness of the believer. Through faith the rightness of Christ is imputed to us, and we are deemed to be in ‘good standing’ with God even though in reality we have no proper claim to be.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:15-17
Blessed With Faithful Abraham
Abraham had a confidence that God would be faithful and follow through with His promises. God was very pleased with that confidence and chose to regard it as righteousness. This same kind of confidence in what the Lord Jesus has done for us through His death, burial, and Resurrection is regarded in a similar manner.
Through our faith in the blood He shed righteousness and ‘son-ship’ are imputed to us. It is through this ‘son-ship’ we receive the blessing of God. It is an inheritance promised to Christ in which we share because our faith brings the son-ship of Jesus upon us. We become that promised seed!
This is the proper way to approach God for a desired manifestation of blessing upon our lives. Whether it is healing, a deliverance, a miracle, a revelation of God’s will, a request for anointing in ministry, or even that so greatly desired blessing of financial increase, it all comes our way through the same God chosen channel. Imputed righteousness aka Son-ship aka Inheritance! It all centers around what Jesus has done for us.
We receive from God through a purified faith in the promises of his Word. Not because we did all the right things and now we deserve it. Don’t let unbalanced teachings mold you into approaching God in a manner that self-righteously disregards what has been given us in Christ. Don’t go to God and say look what I’ve done, now bless me. Go to God and say Lord look what you have done to bring a promise of blessing upon me!
Don’t go to God waving a PhD from the University of Prosperity, demanding he honor your selfish efforts at adhering to ‘the spiritual laws of Seed-time and Harvest’! Go to God as a son or daughter and say, “Abba Father I have a need, and I have a confidence in your character, and in your Word that says you will provide for me”. And in His time, and His method, God will do just that; in due season. Then you will truly be that blessed person David referred to in our opening passage.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalms 1:3