As believers in Christ we need to treasure and focus on the New Testament blessings, and we need to be like Paul, experiencing the fullness of the blessing of Christ (Rom. 15:29).
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3). We are a blessed people and we have a blessing God, a God of blessing.
The normal Christian life is a life of blessing, and the normal work of a Christian is a work of blessing. Our God is a God of blessing, and we are under the blessing of God.
On the one hand, God Himself is ready and willing to bless us, and on the other, we need to treasure God’s blessing, seek God’s blessing, depend on God’s blessing, and deal with any barriers that would hinder God’s blessing.
The day must come when we realize that in our work, in our church life, and in our Christian life, everything depends on God’s blessing.
And God’s blessing is nothing else but God Himself; outward material things that God gives us are not His real blessing – the real and unique blessing is God Himself dispensed into us to fill us, reconstitute us, and be everything to us for us to become God’s corporate expression.
Many believers say, “God bless” when they are about to depart or they finish their speaking, or they may say concerning themselves, I’m blessed. And these are both true, but not in the natural sense.
We believers in Christ are the spiritual descendents of Abraham, and in Christ we are a blessed people; we inherit the blessing of Abraham, which is the all-inclusive, life-giving, compound Spirit who bountifully supplies us.
The real blessings are the ones unseen, spiritual; everything that we can see will pass away, but the unseen things, the things of God, even the element of God wrought into us, this shall never pass away.
We need to learn to live and practice the church life in a way that doesn’t hinder God’s blessing, and we need to rely on His blessing and eliminate any barriers that prevent us from receiving it. May our daily life and work be under God’s blessing, and may nothing in our being hinder His blessing on us and on the church.
Treasuring the New Testament Blessings and Experiencing the Fullness of the Blessing of Christ
As believers in Christ living in the New Testament age, we need to realize that the New Testament blessings are not outward things but the spiritual and heavenly things, the things in and of Christ.
The blessings of God in the Bible are in at least three categories: the blessings in God’s creation (any human being can enjoy them), the blessings of God’s redemption (all believers can enjoy them), and the blessing of God’s regeneration – the greatest blessing of all.
We believers in Christ have God’s life in us – God Himself dispensed His life into us, and this is a much greater blessing than anything outward!
We need to treasure and focus on the New Testament blessings, some of which are:
- Regeneration (John 3:3, 6; 1 Pet. 1:3). Through regeneration we have been born again – we have received God’s life, and we entered into the kingdom of God. We not only were restored to God and redeemed by Him, but we were born again with His life, and now we have the authority to be called children of God, men who are born of God, God-men. What a blessing!
- The divine life (1 John 5:11-12). Our testimony is that God gave us His eternal life, and this life is in the Son; he who has the Son has the life, but he who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have the life. When we received Jesus as our Savior, He also came in as our life; now we have the divine life in our spirit, spreading in all our being. Hallelujah!
- The divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). Wow, we are partakers of the divine nature, and we can live not merely according to our human nature but according to the divine nature in our spirit. Through the precious and exceedingly great promises of God we have become partakers of His divine nature in our organic union with Him, into which we have entered through our faith and baptism.
- The indwelling Spirit (Rom. 8:9, 16). The Spirit of God dwells in us, and the Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God. The ultimate consummation of the processed and consummated Triune God dwells and lives in us (Eph. 4:6; 2 Cor. 13:5; Rom. 8:11). He is in our spirit, imparting life to all our being, until our whole being is saturated with God’s life.
- Transformation (2 Cor. 3:18). There’s a metabolic change going on in our being to transform us and conform us to the image of Christ; our natural being is being transformed into a divine being not by outward change but by an inward, metabolic change by the divine life in us. We are daily being transformed into the image of Christ, from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.
- Being one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). God as the Spirit came into our human spirit, and in spirit we are joined to Him organically – we are one spirit with the Lord. What a blessing, to not only seek to please the God in heaven above (as many do) but to be organically joined to the Lord in spirit, being one with Him! Our daily living needs to be in this one spirit with the Lord.
- Being like God (1 John 3:2). His promise and the consummation of our transformation is that we will be like Him; when we see Him, we will be like Him. We are daily being transformed into His image until we look like Christ, live like Christ, and become the corporate expression of Christ. As He works in us and we cooperate with Him, we are becoming like Him little by little.
- Entering into God’s glory (1 Pet. 5:10). We are daily being transformed from glory to glory, and we will one day enter into God’s glory. Christ is the Firstborn Son of God who was fully perfected and entered into glory, and now He is leading many sons into glory until we all will become God’s glorious corporate expression. Hallelujah, what a blessing!
We should appreciate not merely God’s creation and His redemption, but His spiritual and heavenly blessings in regeneration.
Like Paul we want to experience the fullness of the blessing of Christ (Rom. 15:29), so that, wherever we go, since we have been enjoying the spiritual blessings – the New Testament blessings – we can bring these blessings to others also.
We need to enjoy and experience the New Testament blessings, and then we will bring these blessings to others also.
If we have the reality of Christ, we shall pour ourselves out as an expression of our love toward the needy saints, and this many times means that we may give our personal possessions to meet their needs.
Paul was a pattern of experiencing the riches of Christ; when he came to people with the fullness of the blessing of Christ, he ministered the riches of Christ to them.
Lord Jesus, cause us to treasure and focus on the New Testament blessings so that we may experience the fullness of the blessing of Christ. Thank You Lord for the blessings of regeneration, the divine life and divine nature, the indwelling Spirit, transformation, being one spirit with the Lord, and being like God and entering into His glory. Hallelujah, what a blessing: we have God’s life, we have God’s nature, we have God’s Spirit, and we are being brought into glory to be like Christ! Praise the Lord!
Having God’s Image and Dominion Qualifies us to Receive His Blessing
In Gen. 1:28 God blessed man to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. God started to bless when He created living things, blessing them to be fruitful and fill the earth, but it was when man was created in God’s image and with His likeness that God bestowed His full blessing on him.
The wonderful garden of Eden with all the animals and plants in it was not the blessing – the real blessing that God gave Adam and Eve was Himself, Himself being expressed through them and ruling the earth through them.
Before God had a man to express Him and represent Him, there was no way for Him to pour out His full blessing (Gen. 1:26-27). The prerequisite and qualification to receive God’s blessing is to have His image and represent Him with His dominion; this brings in God’s blessing.
It is only man that has something that demands God’s blessing; man has God’s image, and man can express and represent God. Man has the expression of God; we have the ability to receive God and express God, and we can represent God.
After God created man, He was able to see on earth a living creature bearing His image and having His dominion, so immediately, God bestowed His full blessing upon man. The qualifications for us to receive God’s blessing is having His image and dominion.
In the New Testament we are under the New Testament blessings, and as believers we have the priesthood and the kingship. God’s blessing today is upon the priesthood (which expresses God) and the kingship (which represents God with His authority).
If we are to receive God’s blessing, we need to meet the qualifications of image and dominion. If in our family life there’s the image of God and His dominion, then we can be assured that the blessing of God is there.
God’s blessing always follows His expression and representation.
When we seek God’s blessing in the church, we must be those who spend much time with Him to be infused with Him and bring God to man (to be the priesthood, expressing God), and we must be those reigning in life by being under God’s rule inwardly (to be the kingship, representing God).
We need to be the priests and kings today to receive and enjoy God’s blessing.
For us to experience the New Testament blessings, which are given freely to us, we need to spend time with God to be infused with God and bring God to man, and we need to reign in life by being under the ruling of the divine life within.
Thank You God for creating us in Your image to express You and represent You, and thank You for blessing us to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it! Amen! Make us those who express You with Your image and represent You with Your authority, so that we may enjoy Your blessing. We want to spend time with You, Lord, to be infused with You and filled with You, and we want to reign in life by being under the authority and ruling of the divine life. Lord, gain the image and dominion among us, so that we may enjoy Your full blessing!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Mark Raabe for this week, and portions from, God’s New Testament Economy, ch. 9 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 4 (week 16 in the HWMR), The God of blessing and the blessing of God.
- Hymns to enjoy on this topic:
# Oh, the glory of the Triune God! / We’re His sons, oh, what a blessing! / We His glory are expressing— / Oh, the glory of the Triune God! (Hymns #1081)
# As we’re daily in this process / And by life are sanctified, / How we thank Him for the blessing / Of the church life He’s supplied. / Here God is our full enjoyment, / Practical and real to us; / Sons we are, and heirs together, / In the church life, glorious! (Hymns #1203)
# In the Word of old, we are clearly told, / In His image God created man. / To express His worth, to subdue the earth, / Have dominion and fulfill His plan. (Hymns #1144)
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