When we look at mankind's problems today there are many. But "Extra -Extra! Read All About It!" There is good news! Gospel news! God, in His infinite love, has provided the answer for all of mankind's dilemmas. Roman 8:35-36 (KJV) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, "For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter".
This must be a worst case scenario. You're a really hungry, stressed out, naked guy, being oppressed, persecuted and in extreme danger - and they brought weapons along just to keep it interesting! Now, I've said it jokingly - but its no joke when you are going through any version of this!
So why the Old Testament quote "for thy sake we are killed all the day long..."? This was quoted from Psalms 44:22. The Psalmist was describing the curse that had come upon Israel due to their having turned away from God. Paul, here was comparing the Old Testament covenant with the New Testament covenant. He emphatically showed the contrast in the next verse:
Roman 8:37(KJV) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquers through Him that loved us.
Out with the old - and hooray for the the new! All the horror of the things mentioned above were obviously a curse, not a blessing. When such things happen - whether as a result of personal sin, the sins of a nation - or just an attack of the adversary, the answer is still the same. Jesus Christ became a curse for us when he died on the cross. He paid the ultimate price for sin, so that we no longer have to live with the curse of sin upon our lives. The blood of the lamb, the only begotten son of God, has covered it all.
Galatians 3:13 (KJV) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: For it is written Cursed is everyone that hangeth upon a tree:
When He was raised from the dead and seated at God's own right hand He was empowered to release all spiritual blessings to them who confess Him as Lord.
Ephesians 1:19-21 (KJV) And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe according to the working of His mighty power which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Our walk is not a requirement to earn blessings - but the proper response because we have been blessed.
So what's the big deal with this "blessing"? Blessing and cursing are both the result of a spiritual conditions. The Bible makes it clear that in the beginning - in Paradise there was no curse. Adam and Eve knew nothing about disease or death prior to their fall. There was no stress, hate or turmoil. Paradise was a wonderful place of delight, reflecting God's love and provision for man.
It should be noted that God's desire was to fellowship with His people (and still is). Fellowship connotes freedom of will. As such, God gave man a choice to walk in light or darkness. The one thing that they were told not to do was to take of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil".
Sometime after this wonderful act of creation, Lucifer, the angel of light, (and another free-will agent) rebelled against God. He, and one third of the angels were thrust out of heaven. Then he went after God's creation. He convinced Adam and Eve that somehow God was holding out on them. Go figure! He convinced them to disobey God, and to turn from spiritual light to darkness. It was at this point that darkness through sin was ushered into Paradise, by Adams's choice. The curse of sin was now brought upon Adam and Eve and all of God's creation.
Please take note that this curse was not God throwing down a heap of nasty to get back at His disobedient people. They had been warned that there would be consequences to their choice.
Proverbs 26:2 (KJV) As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
Not only did the earth reflect the curse, but Adam lost dominion and spiritually died. This is the condition that all of mankind is born into today. Every one of us are born dead in trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1)
From the time of the fall God promised that the Messiah would come, and destroy the work of the serpent, the devil.
Genesis 3:15 (KJV) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed, and her seed; it shall bruise they head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This is a recorded prophetic word that God spoke to the serpent, immediately after the fall of man. A woman, of course, has no seed. A sperm cell is the seed. God here was foretelling that someday He would create a sinless seed in a woman who would bring forth the man who would be the Messiah. The devil would bruise his heel - speaking of Jesus's first coming, when he died on the cross. The seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent speaks of a still future time - of Christ second coming, when the devil will be destroyed.
All the Old Testament believers looked forward to this prophecy being fulfilled. There were a number of prophecies regarding the first and second coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus's disciples couldn't understand many of these prophecies - which is why they were so despondent when they witnessed Him dying on the cross.
They thought it was all over, until low and behold, the resurrected Christ appeared before them! He instructed them then to go and wait in Jerusalem until they received "the promise of the Father", which he had formerly told them about. Once again they were confused. They knew about the prophecies that foretold of Christ restoring the kingdom to Israel This is the promise that they were hoping to see.
Acts 1:4-6 (KJV) And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, "ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, "Lord, whilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"
This "promise of the Father "was the very first time that the spirit of God would abide in people. This not God's spirit with them for a season, as in former times, but permanently dwelling within them forever.
John 14: 16-17 (KJV) And I will pray the Father and He shall give you anther Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not. neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
So why, in the minds of the apostles, was this promise so over-shadowed by their questions? Simply put, because this had not been revealed in the Old Testament prophecies. It was hidden by God, and was an awesome first! This promise of the Father was received and recorded in Acts, chapter 2
Fire sat upon the heads of each of the apostles as they, for the very first time, spoke in tongues. Speaking in tongues was a sign of the new birth, God's spirit now abiding within them. Sometime later God worked with the apostle Peter to minister this same truth to a group of Gentiles (Acts 10:1-20.). Those born-again Jews were shocked to see that the Gentiles, too, received "the promise" and showed proof by speaking in tongues.
Acts 10: 45-46 (KJV) And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God...
Later, the Apostle Paul received revelation from Jesus Christ what the gift signified.
Colossians 1:25-27 (KJV) Wherefore I am a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints, To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
This revealed truth tops all the covenants that had gone before it. The resurrected Christ now lives and works within each and every believer. Because of this we are now enabled to become more and more like the resurrected Christ in both heart and deed.
II Corinthians 3:3, 6 (KJV) For as much as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone but in fleshly tables of the heart. Who hath made us ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Every born-again believer is part of this new creation, the body of Christ. It is Christ as the head of this body that fills each and every member - equipping them to go from glory to glory.
Ephesians 1:22-23 (KJV) And hath put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church. Which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.
We are a new creation in Christ NOW, not someday. Our part is not to try and earn a blessing, but to respond by faith and love, to the blessings we already have in (because of) Christ. What Adam and Eve lost, we have legally gained back - and more. We have been given completeness in Christ. That's the meaning of our salvation - wholeness! Nothing missing and nothing, including our relationship with our creator, broken!
Colossians 2:10 (KJV) And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.
As was mentioned before, God had kept this secret until it was first revealed to Paul the Apostle. We need to search those scriptures given to Paul, especially Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and First and Second Thessalonians.
When we do we find that God has already moved, through Christ, on our behalf. He is now waiting on us to respond in faith, so that He can energize into the physical world, what He has already released in the spiritual realm.
Recently my wife and I have been meeting with anther believer and have been teaching her these truths regarding her completeness as an able minister. We had shared with her from God's word, how to hear God's voice, and minister a specific word to another individual. She stepped out in faith, and brought forth a word from the Lord that was spot on, and brought tears to our eyes. She had simply believed, as God's word tells us, "...we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (II Corinthians 4:7)
Colossians 2:6 (KJV) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.
Let's rise up and step out on all that God has made available to us. Whether we take baby steps or giant steps, I believe that the Lord is saying, "Stretch forth thine legs, and come walk with the Father."
For more, you are welcome to visit our website, http://comewalkwiththefather.com
I've been married to my wonderful Debbie since 1975. We have two grown daughters. When we've relied upon God's extended hand of grace, offered from God through Christ Jesus, it has been victorious. Today we live in Idaho, where we presently run a home church. We believe that our God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. Not even a smidgen! We believe that through Christ we've been called to an Abba-Father relationship. I've written an e-book, which is available through amazon.com titled "Come Walk With The Father." You can find me on the web at http://comewalkwiththefather.com