WHAT IS GOD LIKE?

 #12 THE GOD WHO BLESSES

 

The God of the Bible is a God who blesses, that is, a God who makes people profoundly and truly happy.

This can be seen on the very first day of human existence. Having created man and woman in his own image 'God blessed them and said to them "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." ' [Genesis 1:27,28]

In the pristine state, before sin entered the world with its destruction and corruption, blessedness - profound, true happiness - was the given state. And it was in place by God's good decree. Marriage was blessed - it was a state of profound, true happiness. Family was blessed - it was a state of profound, true happiness. Daily toil and responsibility was blessed - it was a state of profound, true happiness.

This blessing of God put a both a definition and a boundary on human life, giving it clarity of responsibility and purpose.

After sin entered the world in Genesis 3 these two areas of intimate relationships and work, which God gave as blessings, became areas of curse [Genesis 3:16-19]. From that time on these areas which God planned as the areas of deep and profound happiness, are now, because of the corrupting, destructive impact of sin, the areas of human life in which the deepest sadness and the deepest pain abound.

Because we live as sinners in the midst of other sinners, it is not possible to regain the fullness of this blessedness in our physical relationships and responsibilities. It will always be impaired to some degree by both our personal sin and the sin of others.

There is, however, a blessing from God that is perfect and complete, a spiritual blessedness that rests in Christ alone and cannot be corrupted or diminished [1 Peter 1:4,5], either by our sin or the by the sin of others.

We are told: 'God ... has blessed us ... with every spiritual blessing in Christ' [Ephesians 1:3]. This means that every one who is reunited to God by faith in his Son, Jesus Christ, already possesses, in Christ, every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. Every spiritual blessing. None are missing. None can be lost. Unlike the physical blessings of marriage, family and work, which depend on human perfection to be perfect, these spiritual blessings are given, in and because of Christ the perfect one, perfectly, fully and completely, and without recall.

Because of Jesus Christ, we experience:

      • the deep and profound happiness of knowing God has chosen us to be his own [Ephesians 1:4,11]
      • the deep and profound happiness of being God's adopted children [Ephesians 1:5]
      • the deep and profound happiness of a grace-based relationship with God [Ephesians 1:6-8]
      • the deep and profound happiness of forgiveness of sins [Ephesians 1:7]
      • the deep and profound happiness of understanding God's eternal purpose in Christ [Ephesians 1:9-10]
      • the deep and profound happiness of the presence of the Spirit of God [Ephesians 1:13]
      • the deep and profound happiness of a guaranteed relationship with God for now and for eternity [Ephesians 1:13-14]

Because these blessings depend on Christ and not on us or our neighbour they are perfect and they are enduring.

Thus Jesus affirmed the true blessedness of those who know and believe in him [Matthew 16:16-17], for that knowledge and that response, that blessedness, is a gift from God.

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2007