In my blog “The Prayer Pyramid” I described the steps that need to be taken to get God’s blessings. The first action is to accept Jesus. The question “What is in for me?” is at the heart of this decision. So let me tell you about the blessings of being a Christian.
It begins with Abraham and Moses
To get the full picture, we must first look at the covenants God made with Abraham and Moses, before turning to Jesus:
- God promised Abraham and his descendants to be His protected and favored people, to give them land and become a powerful nation. In return, God asked the Israelites to live a just life, to obey and to serve God in blessing other people.
- God showed his power and glory when He led Israel out of Egypt. He punished Egypt with horrible plagues so it would let Israel leave Egypt. While on the journey, God provided health and healing, food, protection and many other blessings and miracles to the Israelites. He also gave them the Ten Commandments, various laws, and decrees. He promised to keep blessing the Israelites if they stayed faithful and obedient to Him.
So if Israel can get food, health, protection, and any other blessing they wish for through Moses and Abraham all the while other nations are blessed through Israel, why did or do we need Jesus? The problem is that the Mosaic Law has severe limitations. The most significant inadequacy is that all transgressions, even minor ones such as a white lie or stealing a piece of paper, lead to death. God realized quickly that the people of Israel were not ready for such a covenant. Hence, He foretold a new pact through Isaiah and Jeremiah.
The Blessings of Jesus
Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant. He paid for our sins with His blood. If we believe in Him, then all our sins are forgiven. Moreover, once Jesus ascended to Heaven, He sent his followers the Holy Spirit.
Hence, Christians get these blessings in addition to the promises made to Abraham and Moses:
- God sent His only son to redeem the sins of everyone who believes in Jesus! Jesus paid for them with His death on the cross. Through Jesus, we get God’s grace and truth, all his blessings, and everlasting life.
- God fulfilled His promise of putting the law in the mind of every believer and writing it into our hearts. The Holy Spirit is our personal coach and a direct connection to God. We do not need to get blessed through Israel anymore.
- By accepting Jesus, we are born again and become new creatures. The past is over, and everything starts anew. We reconcile with God, become His priests and serve Him.
- The multitude of laws is replaced with the simple command to love God, people and ourselves. Everything we do should follow from there.
- We find peace through the union with God, Jesus’ love and forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Our hearts are untroubled. We can make bold decisions and live without fears.
While God sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us, He did not take away our free will. Christians still can and have to make all the decisions themselves. We are also responsible for these choices. But a single misstep does not lead to death anymore. Through God’s grace and Jesus death, all our sins are forgiven when we acknowledge them. We are saved. Moreover, God extends His favors to anybody who accepts Jesus as his or her savior.
Hence, Jesus offers Christians a full, everlasting life and a close relationship with Him. Knowing that God is blessing and protecting us, that He forgives our sins, we can live free of fears and worries. To get such a life, we just need to accept Him. It is offered to anybody on earth.
Get more of His promises directly from the Bible. I used the NIV* Bible.
- Bible References – Abraham
- Bible References – Moses
- Bible References to the Old Testament
- Bible References – Jesus
- Bible References to the New Testament
Bible References – Abraham
- The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
- After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
- God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai, your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” (Genesis 17:15-16)
- “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” (Genesis 18:18-19)
Other references to Abraham: Genesis 13: 14-17, Genesis 15:5, Genesis 15:18-21, Genesis 17:1-2, Genesis 17:4-8, Genesis 17:9-11
Bible References – Moses
- “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full lifespan.” (Exodus 23:25-26)
- And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:17)
- Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Lebusites.” (Exodus 34:10-11)
- “When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on to you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.” (Deuteronomy 30:1-3)
Other references to Moses: Exodus 15:26, Exodus 16:4-5, Exodus 19:3-6, Exodus 23:20-22, Exodus 24:3-4, Exodus 32:9-10, Exodus 33:3, Exodus 33:19, Exodus 34:6-7, Exodus 34:24, Deuteronomy 30:15-18, Deuteronomy 30:19-20
God gave Moses various laws and decrees:
- the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: 3-17)
- the law about servants and personal injuries (Exodus 21)
- the protection of property and social responsibility decree (Exodus 22)
- the laws of justice and mercy and the Sabbath laws (Exodus 23)
- the laws on annual festivals (Exodus 23)
God repeated some of his requirements in Exodus 34:
- To not worship any other gods, for the Lord is a jealous God. To not make any idols.
- To celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Ingathering.
- All men to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel three times.
- To not appear before God empty-handed. The first offspring of every womb and best first fruits belong to the house of God.
- To not offer the blood of a sacrifice along with anything containing yeast, and to not let any of the sacrifices from the Passover Festival remain until morning.
- To work for six days, but rest on the seventh day.
Other Bible References to the Old Testament
- “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge, and my savior.” (2 Samuel 22:2-3)
- “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:1-4)
- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Other references to the Old Testament: Proverbs 10:22, Jeremiah 17:7-8
References to the predictions of Jesus and the new covenant within the Old Testament: 2 Samuel 7:11-14, Isaiah 53:5-6, Jeremiah 31:33.
Bible References – Jesus
- “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
- Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
- For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
- “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)
Other references to Jesus:
- Forgiveness of sin: Matthew 26:28
- Promises of eternal life: Mark 10:29-30, John 10:28
- Promise of the Holy Spirit: Luke 24:49
- God’s power and glory: Mark 10:27, John 11:40
Other Bible References to the New Testament
- He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)
- And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28)
Other references to the New Testament
- Forgiveness of sin: Acts 13:38-39, Romans 6:20-23
- Kingdom of God: Romans 14:17-18, 2 Corinthians 4:15, Philippians 4:19
- Peace: Romans 5:1-2, Philippians 4:7
* THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.