Thursday, June 7, 2012

Abraham's Big Proof Text...

 I missed a big proof text in the last post concerning the blessing of Abraham. I wanted to address it here in a shorter post because its huge to think about when weighing out what the Bible says about the "Blessing of Abraham".

Acts 3:25-26  
 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

What is the blessing of Abraham doing in this verse?
1) All the families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham's offspring.
2) To be blessed is to be turned from your wickedness through Jesus,God's servant.
3) God sends Jesus, His servant, to Israel first to bless them...and then to the world so that all the families of the earth can be blessed and turned from their wickedness.

Where does Peter (the one who is speaking in Acts 3) get this interpretation from?
Genesis 12:3
Genesis 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

If this is how Peter interprets this verse in Genesis, then how has this verse acquired the interpretation that we hear so often today? Peter never mentions guaranteed wealth or wealth being because of Abraham. Peter does make a beeline to Jesus in his interpretation of Genesis 12:3. Jesus is the promised offspring (not offsprings, but offspring singular) (Galatians 3:16) that Peter is talking about in Acts 3:25 and it is through Jesus that all the families of the earth will be blessed.

What does blessed mean in Acts 3:25-26?
Does blessed in this verse indicate guaranteed success in life to all who are in Jesus? Does blessed in this context indicate prosperity or guaranteed health? Peter doesn't allude to any of these things in any sort of way. Rather, the blessing he refers to, as he is talking to the Jewish audience in Acts 3, is the blessing that comes when Jesus turns "every one of you from your wickedness." The blessing is spiritual. It delivers us from something much worse than a bodily sickness or shattered finances.Jesus was raised up by God, sent first to the house of Israel, and then to the rest of the world for the forgiveness of sins and the turning of mens' hearts towards God.

As I have concluded in the last posts, so I will do with this one. Taking the blood of Jesus and using it to acquire earthly and temporary provisions as an end greatly reduces its meaning and worth. The Bible does not teach that we can use Jesus blood and Abraham's blessing as an extreme makeover for life. The reason that we lean more towards applying these things in this way is because the things of this present life are elevated over the things of eternity. Sin is minimized, mocked, and laughed at while people give money away in droves "sowing for healing" or "financial blessing". Many ministers preach with passion that God wants to bless you NOW, while "the glory that WILL BE revealed" is pushed aside for later. Once again I am not against the Lord's blessing and healing of His people - when He sovereignly chooses to. I am 100% for that kind of blessing and I believe the Bible is too. The error comes when the Bible used to make these things normative and guaranteed when they are not. So what is a Christian to do? Next post.

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