Derek begins this week by looking at God’s plan for our deliverance from the curses which are listed in Deuteronomy 28. Through the atoning substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross, a divine exchange took place, whereby Jesus took all of the curses so that we could be released from the curse and enter into the blessings of Jesus.
It’s good to be with you again at the beginning of a new week, sharing with you Keys to Successful Living which God has placed in my hand through many years of personal experience and Christian ministry.
This week, I’m continuing with the theme that we’ve been following for the last two weeks: God’s Abundance.
But first, let me say thank you to those of you who’ve been writing to me. Before I finish this talk, we’ll be giving you a mailing address to which you may write. It means a great deal to me to hear how this radio ministry of mine has been helping you and blessing you. So please take time to write—even if it’s only a brief personal note.
Now back to our theme: God’s Abundance.
In my last two talks last week, I presented to you two comprehensive lists, both taken from Deuteronomy, chapter 28: first, the list of God’s blessings; second, the list of God’s curses.
We saw that the conditions for enjoying God’s blessings are twofold:
Number One: Listen carefully to God’s voice.
Number Two: Do what God says.
That’s very simple; listen and do.
Conversely, the causes that bring the curses are just the opposite.
Number One: Not listening to God’s voice.
Number Two: Not doing what God says.
I also summed up the list of blessings as follows:
FRUITFULNESS (or REPRODUCTIVENESS)
and GOD’S FAVOR.
I summed up the list of curses:
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL SICKNESS
and GOD’S DISFAVOR.
With regard to the particular theme of my talks, God’s Abundance, we need to note that in the list of blessings is prosperity and in the list of curses is poverty.
Each of us needs to face up—humbly and honestly—to this clear revelation of God’s word. We have to acknowledge that at times we have failed to fulfill the condition for receiving God’s blessings; and on the other hand we have done things that exposed us to the curses. As a result, we have actually experienced the curses in various areas of our lives.
But—thank God!—He has provided a way of deliverance from the curses, and it’s this which I’m going to share with you in my talk today.
Deliverance is provided for us through one means only, and that is the atoning substitutionary sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross. When Jesus hung there on the cross and died, a divinely ordained exchange took place. This exchange had been prophesied 700 years before it took place. In the 53rd chapter of the Prophet Isaiah, in particular, in verse 6 of that chapter, Isaiah says:
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (NIV)
I believe, as did all the writers of the New Testament, that the person referred to there is Jesus. The Lord has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all. The word translated, “has laid,” means literally, “has made to meet together.” The word that’s translated, “iniquity,” means “rebelliousness.” But it also means, all the evil consequences of rebelliousness. The same word includes both shades of meaning. So, if we put it that way, we see that the Lord made to meet together on Jesus our rebelliousness and all the evil consequences of our rebelliousness. Our rebelliousness consisted in this that we had all gone astray. We had each of us turned to his own way. This is the basic problem of the human race. It’s not that we’ve all commited certain specific sins like murder or adultery or robbery, but there’s one thing that we all have in common; each of us has turned to his own way. That’s rebelliousness. That’s the root problem of humanity; rebelliousness toward God—turning away from His way to our way. And that rebelliousness, and all its evil consequences the Lord made to meet together upon Jesus on the cross. Now there are many, many aspects to those evil consequences. There’s the aspect of sickness. There’s the aspect of guilt. There’s the aspect of rejection. In each case, Jesus took the evil that was due to us that we might receive the good that was due to Him. He bore our guilt that we might have His acquittal. He bore our sicknesses that we might be healed. He bore our rejection that we might be accepted with God. But the particular aspect that concerns us at this moment is the transfer from curse to blessing. Jesus took the curse that was due to us, the curse of the broken law, the curse of Deuteronomy, chapter 28, and in its place, God now offers us the blessing—the blessings of Deuteronomy, chapter 28. Paul states this very clearly in Galatians, chapter 3, verses 13 and 14:
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ [That quotation comes from the book of Deuteronomy. Jesus was ordained to die one particular death. He made it very clear in His lifetime ministry. He was going to die on a cross. He was going to be hung up on the tree that was the cross. He had to die that way; it was ordained of God because He became a curse and as he hung there on the tree, it was manifested to all who knew the Law that He was made a curse. He did that for an exchange. He was made a curse that we might receive the blessing. So the next verse of Galatians 3, verse 14 says this:] He redeemed us in order that the blessinggiven to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (NIV)
So, Jesus took the curse that we might receive the blessing. The particular blessing that’s specified is the blessing of Abraham. God blessed Abraham because he obeyed His voice and that blessing now becomes our inheritance. In Genesis, chapter 24, in verse 1, we read how God blessed Abraham. It says this:
“Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way [in all things].” (NIV)
In other words, the blessing of Abraham covers every area of our lives, spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, our family; everything is included and that blessing is made available to us through the sacrificial death of Jesus. Jesus became the curse. He hung there visibly demonstrated as a curse. The curse of the broken law came upon Him that the blessing of obedience might be available to you and to me as we believe, and that’s God’s way of deliverance from the curse.
In speaking about our receiving the blessing, Paul, in Galatians, chapter 3, verse 14, specifies one particular blessing—that we might receive the promise of the Spirit. I believe there’s a special reason for that. I believe the Holy Spirit is the administrator of all the blessings and when we receive Him, then He opens up for us all the blessings and leads us into them. He brings us into our inheritance.
This is what Jesus said in John 16, verses 13 through 15:
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, [and notice He’s a he; He’s not an it] When He, the Spirit of truth, [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He [the Spirit] takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.” (NASB)
So you see, everything in the universe belongs initially to God the Father, that God the Father has bestowed everything on God the Son. Jesus says, “All things that the Father has are mine.” But the Holy Spirit is the administrator of the inheritance of all the wealth of the Godhead. It’s the Holy Spirit who takes the things that belong to Jesus and discloses them unto us. It’s the Holy Spirit who leads us into all the truth. It’s the Holy Spirit who shows us our inheritance and shows us how to enter in and claim it. So we need to see these two facts side by side. The legal basis for our deliverance from the curse was provided by the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross. He bacame a curse that we might receive the blessing. But the practical process of entering into the blessing depends upon our relationship to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the guide; He’s the interpreter. He’s the administrator. He’s the steward of the entire wealth of God’s Kingdom. And so, to pass from theory to experience, from theology to having what God intends us to have, we depend on the Holy Spirit. That’s why Paul emphasizes, particularly, that in passing from the curse to the blessing, we need to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who can show you your inheritance. He can illuminate the Scriptures. He can show you what is a curse and what is a blessing. He can point out to you the conditions that you have to fulfill and then He can give you the grace, the faith, the wisdom, to meet those conditions and to pass out of that curse and into the blessing. That’s God’s way of deliverance from the curse.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. I’ll continue with this theme of God’s Abundance. I’ll be explaining specifically how Jesus redeemed us from the poverty curse.