Grace Prosperity

Outline

  1. Grace Prosperity Defined
  2. Grace Prosperity and Capacity for Life
  3. Capacity for Life Results From Spiritual Growth.
  4. Capacity for Life or Capacity for Discipline
  5. Prosperity Blessings for the Mature Believer

 Pertinent Verses

He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.  Proverbs 16:20

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord.  Jeremiah 17:7

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 …  Ephesians 1:3

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:2

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.  Revelation 22:14

 1. Grace Prosperity Defined

Defined: Grace prosperity is the sum total of those blessings from God imputed to that believer after he has achieved spiritual maturity.  What is spiritual maturity?  How do you know if you have arrived?  In future lessons we will look closely at these questions.  We’ll look at how, by learning and applying doctrines from the Word of God, by getting to know and living by the thoughts of Christ (the Bible defines it self by the term, “the very thinking of Christ) we can progress from being a spiritual infant, progress though spiritual childhood and adolescence and into spiritual maturity.  For now, keep learning and applying the doctrines you continually learn and you will mature.  If you fulfill that principle you will qualify for the fantastic blessings we are about to study.  As we will see, receiving these blessings will become an incredible motivation to live your spiritual life.

God the Father designed and prepared these blessings for you to express your new capacity for life, which you develop from your spiritual growth. What is capacity for life?  Let me briefly illustrate the principle: The capacity you have to enjoy God-given prosperity when you believed in Jesus Christ was probably about the size of a thimble.  If God poured into your “capacity thimble” a little more than no blessings at all, your thimble would overflow with blessings.  You know what an overflowing river looks like and the damage it can do. 

If God blesses you with blessings for which you do not have the capacity, they will make you miserable.  Even worse, those blessings for which you have no capacity distract you from your spiritual life. The good new is that as you grow up spiritually, your thimble will increase in size to…well, the size is up to you.  The size of your “capacity thimble” is only limited to the degree to which you mature spiritually. God is without limit!  The Bible teaches that God has prepared blessings for us that are far exceed what we could ask for or even imagine, but He is not going to impute blessings to you which either make you miserable or distract you from your spiritual life. By your spiritual growth, you can increase the size of your thimble to the size of a modern oil freighter!

Your level of contentedness indicates your capacity for life.  If you have capacity for life and the blessings that God has prepared, you will be content with what He provides.  Paul clearly communicated this to both the Philippian and Hebrew believers:

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  Philippians 4:11-12

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

In his letter to Timothy Paul deliniated the mechanics of appropriating prosperity by relating it to the spiritual life and contentment:

But godliness, when accompanied by contentment, is a means of great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Godliness refers to your spiritual life.  Your spiritual life produces contentment or capacity for life.  You gain prosperity blessings by virtue of your godliness.

God not only prepared these blessings for you because He loves you, but also because He receives glorification by imputing blessings to you upon your spiritual maturity.  God is glorified when you reach spiritual maturity while you are alive, living in the devil’s world. It is a bit like God giving a thimble full or barrel full, depending upon your level of spiritual growth, of nose thumbing to Satan!  But, of course, God is a gentleman and would never think of doing such a thing!

If you are the kind of person who compares your life with others, which you should not do, you could easily look at someone else and say, “Why, they’re more successful than I am.” Or “They’re doing better than I am, they’re richer than I am.” Or “they have more children than we do (depending on how you gauge your wealth!).  Wealth and certain kinds of success are false criteria by which to evaluate your spiritual life!  Do not believe to the so-called gospel of prosperity unless you understand what divine prosperity is!  Grace prosperity is not establishment prosperity so any category of prosperity dependant upon adhering to the Laws of Divine Establishment is not a criteria for your spiritual success.  The Japanese economy, which was so successful for so many years, demonstrates this point.  Their culture has always adhered to the principles of law and order, respect for parents and respect for authority, but as evidenced by recent economic downturns, this type of prosperity is temporary.  Neither is grace prosperity so-called, self-made prosperity.  Self-made prosperity is never permanent or true prosperity.  Satanic prosperity, that is, prosperity that comes from adhering to Satan’s policy of good and evil, is pseudo prosperity from adherence to evil.  It invariably collapses.

2. Grace Prosperity and Capacity for Life

When you finally mature spiritually, you will have gained a new capacity for life. Just as God provides logistical grace to reach that place of capacity, so He provides a place for the expression of that capacity. Your capacity thimble will have grown in size considerably. This new capacity demands blessing from God enabling the expression of your newly developed capacity.  God, who is fair, always provides a place or environment of prosperity so that you can express your new capacity for life.  Capacity always demands an environment of freedom because where there is no freedom capacity for life becomes frustrated.  You should note two caveats however.  Having the capacity for the accouterments of prosperity, such as wealth, also means that you have the capacity for suffering, doing without those accouterments.  You may lose the accouterments of blessing if God tests your capacity.  You will answer the question, “who is more important in life, the Giver or the blessings?” by your response to the test.  The second caveat deals with the nation you live in.  If God is disciplining your nation, God may test your capacity for suffering!  Note however that God can always prosper you in ways you never knew possible while the nation around you collapses.  If you are living in a country where you see that your freedoms diminish because of discipline, this next point should encourage you.  On one hand, God disciplines a nation where believers fail to exploit grace while on the other God provides national freedom and prosperity for mature believers to express their capacity.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:2

3. Capacity for Life Comes From Spiritual Growth

As you grow up spiritually, as you mature, you will find that your thought pattern begins to change. Your priorities will also begin to change. You will move away from self-centeredness to Christ centeredness. He becomes your central motivation in life, the motivation for everything you do.  You no longer focus on pleasing yourself but upon pleasing the Lord because your motivation changes. As you mature, you become increasingly motivated by your increasing love for the members of the Godhead; for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  When you do finally mature, the expression of your integrity becomes a primary issue in life.  Now you now reflect God’s integrity!  This renovated thinking, just as your new capacity, needs expression.  You start living your life as unto the Lord, not to yourself. This whole issue becomes a primary issue in your life as a mature believer.  New challenges to your new-found integrity will appear daily because capacity always demands expression.  These challenges will come your way as testing because it always proves your integrity, demonstrating your capacity.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord.  Jeremiah 17:7

4. Capacity for Life or Capacity for Discipline

Believers in Jesus Christ develop capacity for life from spiritual growth or capacity for discipline from rejecting God’s provision of the spiritual life.  It is a matter of volition, a matter of your freedom of choice! If you choose discipline by rejecting the teaching of the Word, you can look forward to your discipline peaking out and ending with the sin face to face with death, also known as the sin unto death.  If on the other hand, your choose to make learning, believing and applying Biblical truths the first priority in your life, you can look forward to your capacity for life peaking out with the surpassing blessings of sharing God’s happiness. It is a matter of your volition, of your freedom of choice!  What are you going to choose to do?

5. Blessings for the Mature Believer

All of these blessings revolve around the principle of capacity. You can only gain capacity for life, for theses blessings, from thinking, to the greatest degree possible, the thoughts of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It follows that if you have think and apply His thinking, you will have maximum capacity for life.

Because each believer has a different soul, God’s plan for each one is different. Therefore, each believer’s areas of capacity differ. You cannot look at one believer and say, “Well, he has these blessings, so I should have the same.”  That is not how God works it at all. What fulfills the life of one believer will not necessarily fulfill the life of another. For this reason, believer’s areas of capacity differ. You also need to remember that our spiritual gifts differ, which also changes areas of prosperity and blessings.

There are two categories of blessings, the first category we will call spiritual blessings. These include capacity for knowing and appreciating God, though you cannot see Him.  He becomes so real in your thinking that you can see Him through your spiritual eyes.  You become so occupied with Christ because you know Him.  You also possess the capacity to concentrate on Him fully at the Communion Table. You will also have capacity for friends and loved ones, both those who are present and those who have left because now you have the capacity to love people from your soul.  This also includes appreciation for those who express your concept of honor and integrity.

You will begin to develop some abilities that expand your horizons all because you possess capacity from knowing the Lord. These abilities include the ability to face suffering.  This becomes a major factor in the maturing believer’s life. You will also develop the ability to interpret current history to determine if you are on the right side or wrong side of historical trends. Thirdly, you will develop a true sensitivity toward others, becoming thoughtful and courteous without hypersensitivity and phony political correctness.  If you have maximum doctrine in your soul, you will be free from slavery to circumstances of life which seems to bring so many of us down in these days of high pressure.  Lastly, though this is not an exhaustive list, you are going to become adaptable to circumstances.  You are going to be able to face suffering and be happy and content and able to face prosperity with the same happiness and any thing in between.

The second general category of blessings relate to the material, even though, technically, they are spiritual because of Who imputes them. These are the obvious material blessings, which from the outside looking in, seem to be most important. Say you have a friend who is prospering materially.  You see boats, new cars, RV’s, a big house and so on and so forth.  If you are less well off and don’t have capacity, these could tend to illicit a bit of jealousy in which you would emphasize these as being the most important.  However, the spiritual blessings are the most important because they involve capacity and appreciation for the Source of these blessings, Jesus Christ. Now these blessings, material or temporal, because they only apply to the here and now, while we live upon this earth include: success and promotion in a field or profession, sexual prosperity, mental prosperity, the ability to think, to concentrate, the ability to be stimulated without chemicals, cultural prosperity and leadership dynamics. 

Another category of blessings relate to those within the prospering believer’s periphery.  Believers become privileged to become the immediate conduit of blessing by association to those in their periphery.  The “salt” principle states that the believer’s life spices up those living around him acting as a preservative of his generation.  Last in our list is dying blessing or dying grace. This believer will have the capacity to die beautifully, not in a state of panic but in the state of glorifying God until the end of physical life. 

Advertisements

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: