Blessing by Association

ü    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.  Romans 12:15-16

 ü    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the gracious intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.   Ephesians 1:3-6

 Definition

When you maturity spiritually, you become a conduit of God’s blessing to those around you.  He causes those blessings He gives to you to overflow to others. God blesses others because they associate with you, a mature believer.  These blessings flow from God’s justice to His indwelling divine righteousness that He gave to you when He saved you.  You only receive this category of blessing when you become spiritually mature.  Every mature believer has people associated with him, believers or unbelievers, who receive blessing from their association with him.  This is one of the reasons why the wicked prosper.

 The Source of Blessing by Association

God directly blesses those persons associated with the mature believer.  This means God’s gives fantastic blessings to those who are undeserving but who have a relationship with a mature believer.  This includes family, friends, loved ones, business associates, and pets.  Indirect blessing from God comes by means of the mature believer.  Because he possesses all the virtues of spiritual maturity, he is thoughtful, considerate, kind, tolerant, and often very generous, though in a quiet way.  Because of his attainment of spiritual maturity, he shares his wisdom in conversation, and shares whatever else he has.  Being in the presence of a mature believer is a pleasure.  You can count on him not to verbally sin against you or stab you in the back.  The mature believer shares both his virtue personality and his material blessings with those associated with him.  He is a source of stability in the life of those around him. The mature believer also “contributes to the needs of the saints…” (Romans 12:13) giving of his time, wealth, success, love, personality; whatever the category of his prosperity might be.

 Peripheries of Blessing

In this point, we are going to see the direction in which these blessings over flow.  The blessings do not come from us, as believers, but they flow from God through us.  These are indirect blessings to those receiving them.  Remember that if you are a mature believer, you have the capacity for an environment of blessing that God always provides.  The only caveat to that, as we have mentioned before, is testing.  These indirect blessings help provide that environment.  The spiritual periphery refers to those associated with the mature believer in the local church, prayer meeting, prep school, mission board, or in some Christian service organization.  The family periphery refers to those associated with the mature believer as husband, wife, father, mother, children, relatives, and even pets. The social periphery refers to friends associated with him.  The geographical periphery refers to those associated with the mature believer in his neighborhood, city, county, state, or nation.  The professional or business periphery refers to those associated with the mature believer in business, in schools, on athletic teams, medical clinics, law firms, law enforcement organizations, engineering firms, banks, corporations, symphony orchestras, and military organizations.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic if everyone in your business or organization were spiritually mature?  Your organization would have an incredible impact upon those associated with it.  Virtually everyone who comes into your periphery, if you are spiritually mature, will benefit from the fact that divine blessings overflow from you. 

 The Heritage Aspect of Blessing by Association

When the mature believer dies, he is a blessing by association to those he leaves behind.  God takes care of those left behind throughout their lifetime. Even if they are antagonistic to Bible doctrine or are unbelievers, He is still faithful to the principle. I had a very close friend in Houston who passed away under mysterious circumstances.  I benefited from his spiritual maturity though he had passed into God’s presence.  My life changed tremendously from that point.  God continues to bless the bereaved loved ones, friends, and relatives as well.  God provides this legacy of blessing to diminish your grief because you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is honoring the life of that saint by imputing those blessings.  They also provide encouragement to continue your own spiritual life in order to leave the same kind of legacy behind.  Your grief is also diminished because you know that your loved one is face to face with Jesus.

In the same way, the mature believer impacts his nation while he lives and even after he dies.  God provides an environment of freedom for the mature believer that blesses his nation.  Bob Thieme used the term “pivot” to explain this principle.  A nation’s prosperity revolves around the believer’s spirituality.  If a large number of believers are either mature or growing spiritually, then that nation receives blessing by association with those believers.  That nation’s prosperity revolves around those overflowing divine blessings.  Therefore, the pivot is the accumulation of mature believers living in a client nation or under civil government in a specific geographical location.  While a pivot is composed primarily of mature believers, it may also include those positive believers whose momentum has carried them into spiritual adulthood.  In this age, the fortunes of your nation rise and fall with the size of the pivot.  The larger the pivot grows the more prosperous the nation becomes.  The smaller the pivot, the more likely the nation will undergo national discipline.  As goes the pivot, so goes the client nation.  The fortunes of the nation you live in, therefore, rests squarely upon your shoulders.  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ who refuses to grow up spiritually, you are bringing your country down, not the unbelievers around you.  If you are growing up spiritually, then you are fulfilling your responsibility and your country will prosper as a result.  So, do not blame the government, the President or anyone in Congress!  Do not blame illegal immigrants, because the responsibility for your nation’s prosperity is yours. 

 Blessing by Association Overflows into Objectivity of the Christian Life

God prohibited any form of gossip within the community of believers.  Gossip destroys the objectivity of the believer making it difficult, if not impossible, to concentrate upon the teaching of the Word in a congregational setting.  Furthermore, God has prohibited any gossip, any criticism or verbal condemnation of even those who persecute believers!  Does this mandate surprise you?  Such a prohibition is tantamount to loving one’s enemies from virtue love gained from spiritual growth.  Why should believers respond to such a prohibition?  Remember that every believer is an ambassador of our Lord Jesus Christ and is therefore, responsible to reflect to everyone the same virtue love He had on the cross to those executing Him.  He did not curse those even crucifying Him, but prayed for their forgiveness!  Do not forget that every believer should do the same when under persecution!  Remember also, that Paul was persecuting believers when our Lord appeared to him and presented the Gospel to him.  Who knows when God may use you in the same capacity, to present His Gospel to your enemies?  Be ready, having virtue love toward your enemies, to present the Truth of the Gospel, not curses!  Cursing someone before presenting the Gospel would most likely destroy objectivity to the Truth you are attempting to communicate.  

 ü    Keep on speaking well of those who persecute you and do not curse them.  Romans 12:14

 Loss of Blessing by Association

When the believer becomes involved in evil by trying to improve the world by either social action or getting involved, then he ceases being a blessing by association to others.  The believer preserves his nation by taking in doctrine and reaching spiritual maturity.  Preserve your nation by taking in doctrine and reaching spiritual maturity.  God handles the world’s evil!

 Mutual Blessing by Association

Evidence of the Apostle Paul’s blessing by association with the Philippian believers was their sharing their monetary wealth with him.  The Philippians were blessed by Paul’s doctrinal teaching by which they grew to spiritual maturity.

 ü    When I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.”  2 Corinthians 11:9 (NASB)

 ü    You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.  Philippians 4:15-16 (NASB)

 Let me conclude this lesson with one important principle: as just one citizen in a country of millions you may not think that you have much of a opportunity to impact your nation.  Let me tell you this: you have the opportunity to have the most fantastic impact on your nation.  If you live in theUSA, your potential impact may be greater than the President!  Is your nation undergoing hardship of one nature or another?  Have you been attacked by terrorists, or is your government corrupt?  Are your freedoms diminishing or non-existent?  How can you play a part in improving things?  Listen!  Sit down, listen to the teaching of the Word of God, Grow in grace!  Become a conduit of blessings to those around you.  As a believer in Jesus Christ, the fortunes of your nation are on your shoulders.

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