Welcome back for Part 2! We are studying the word blessed, so again, we’ll do a quick recap.
There are four main words which have been translated blessed in our modern English Bible translations:
Old Testament (Hebrew)
New Testament (Greek)
We’ve started our word study with barak and eulogeo, which we know refer to being divinely favored and consecrated to God. In Part 1 of this week’s lesson, we discussed that when we are in Christ we have inherited the blessings given to Abraham and we have inherited every spiritual blessing.
So let’s get right into the rest of this week's lesson!
It is extremely significant that within the first words spoken by God to mankind was the command to be fruitful and multiply. Then, in His promise to Abraham, God acknowledged mankind’s ultimate reliance upon Himself. God told Abraham He would do the fruit-bearing and multiplying if Abraham and his descendants obeyed Him and walked with Him.
If you’ll recall from Lesson 1, in the Old Testament the outward symbol of a person’s or a people’s consecration to God almost always showed up physically. So the blessing of being fruitful and multiplying was taken at face value - the people were blessed with descendants, livestock, land, etc.
However, in the New Testament the outward symbol of a person’s consecration to God often looked a little different. So, while the words be fruitful and multiply can absolutely still be taken at face value for us, meaning we are blessed when we bear children or multiply materially, there is so much more spiritual significance to this blessing.
God has promised us that when we are obedient to Him and walk with Him, He will grow us and make us fruitful. We inherited every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3) in order to be a spiritual blessing!
From the dawn of creation, we were meant to grow and bring forth fruit that would increase the numbers of Heaven!
In Lesson 1 we referenced this verse spoken by Jesus before He ascended to Heaven:
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate [the Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)
After Jesus left, He sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within every person who is in Christ, and the Holy Spirit produces spiritual for spiritual purposes!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; (Galatians 5:22-23a, ESV)
Many of these things don’t come naturally to us because they are opposite of the flesh. That’s why they are called fruit of the Spirit, and therefore are developed by the Holy Spirit within us. Spiritual blessing produces spiritual fruit which brings spiritual multiplication!
We are not meant to live this life without purpose. We are not meant to bask in our blessings and never reach beyond that. God created each one of us to grow and bring forth spiritual fruit that would increase the numbers of Heaven.
Last week we talked about the fact that some blessings don’t necessarily feel good to us. Let’s take a look at what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. (2 Corinthians 1:3-6, NIV)
Some spiritual fruit grows out of suffering!
Before our trials we know about God. Through our trials we experience God.
We know God is Provider when we experience His provision.
We know God is Peace because His peace surpassed our understanding.
We know God is Forgiver when we experience his forgiveness.
We know God is Rescuer because He rescued us.
We know God is Healer when we encounter His healing.
We know God is Freedom because He set us free.
We know God is Comforter because He comforted us.
What we experience, we can give!
I don’t believe I have ever met a person who did not want their life to have a positive effect on those around them. We all desire purpose. I know I’ve desired it for as long as I can remember.
We were created to desire purpose because we were created for a purpose.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10, NASB)
This is why when we do good for others something deep within our soul is satisfied. God prepared the things we were to do and the people we were to reach before we were ever born. I can’t reach the people within your sphere of influence, and you can’t reach those within mine. But in order for any of us to reach the fullness for which we were created, we have to be in Christ. Jesus tells us in John:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:15, NIV)
Our purpose, our ability to be fruitful and multiply, comes directly from our closeness to Jesus.
Do you remember how we opened the first week’s lesson, with the passage in Psalm that began my 5-Minute Bible Study blog 7 years ago?
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3, NIV)
We’re going to end up back at that passage soon, but I want you to notice in verse 3 how the passage closes it’s description of this blessed man - "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."
Oh God, I’m overwhelmed with the magnitude of Your promise of blessing upon my life. Let me be so firmly connected to You that You may use my life to produce fruit that will increase the numbers of Heaven!
1. Am I aware of my desire or ability to produce spiritual fruit that will increase the numbers of Heaven? Am I living my life in a way that is purposeful about producing fruit? If not, how can I start?
2. How can I see God fulfilling His promise to produce fruit through my life?