Thought for the Week - 19th MayPastor Gareth Watkins
Galatians 3: 13-14
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law,
having become a curse for us (for it is written,
“Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus,
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
This is language we’re not always too comfortable with today. We don’t have the word curse at the tip of our tongue. But Christ became a curse so we could inherit the blessings that God has for us.
What are the blessings that we’re meant to be enjoying in the new light of God, as the redeemed?
Deuteronomy 28: 2-9
And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you,
because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
“Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground
and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle
and the offspring of your flocks.
“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face;
they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
“The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses
and in all to which you set your hand,
and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
“The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you,
if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.
Blessings that are now open for us to enjoy because the scripture taught
that Christ became a curse that we as gentiles might inherit them.
The blessings go down all the way to verse 30! It’s a long, long list. All these blessings are open for us to enjoy because Christ become a curse, that we might inherit these blessings as gentiles. The death that Christ suffered on the cross opened a door for something for us to enjoy that we could not do for ourselves. These blessings aren’t automatically ours to partake of. They’re there because Christ went to that cross and He removed that curse that came on us because of our disobedience.
So what is a curse?
On Google, a curse is described as “a solemn utterance”. Something serious. A curse is something that brings harm and punishment. We start reading Galatians in a different light – Christ become something that begins harm and punishment against us as an individual. He took that seriousness that belongs to us upon Himself so that we could partake in the wondrous blessings that He created for us to enjoy. What a wonderful thing that we can walk into as Christians.
There’s a wonder to be enjoyed in our lives because of what Christ endured on that cross. Christ has redeemed us – bought us back – from the curse of the law, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the gentiles in Jesus Christ. That the blessing of Abraham might come upon you and me! That blessing only becomes ours to enjoy because of what Christ achieved on the cross.
That word curse is a very serious one. When those utterances of God came against us, Christ hangs all those things on the cross that we might enter into the blessing of God. We didn’t have any rights before. We only have rights because of what Christ has done. He has removed that curse that is upon our backs.
Have you ever felt the physical weight of that curse being taken off your back?
That curse being removed is the first part. He then allows us to go into and enjoy the blessing of God. There’s the starting point of our Christian walk. It’s the greatest feeling and knowledge you can have. A knowledge of new life. Darkness within your person can be removed. The weight of sin can be removed. Joy, light, happiness and warmth can be put inside you because of your relationship with God. We know if the curse has been taken away. We can know that the harm that was going to be done to us is gone, because Christ has taken it on that cross.
All has been taken away by Jesus Christ. It’s because of what He’s done for us, not what we can do. We cannot help ourselves. There’s nothing we can do ourselves to remove our own sin. There’s nothing we can do ourselves to force our way into the blessing of God on our own. All of these things come because of what Christ did – by becoming that curse for us on that cross.
The utterance of that curse against you has gone. The harm that is due to you is gone. The punishment that belongs to you is gone. It’s taken away by Jesus Christ Himself.
In some ways we could write our own Gospel. In there is the detail of God that belongs to you – what God has done for you. Paul could write of it. Timothy and Matthew could write of it, and so could you if you know the weight of that curse being taken off you. What would you say? The curse of sin, death, shame. The utterance that’s been spoken into you that you can feel the weight of. The punishment. The darkness. All can be taken away, because of Jesus Christ.
The life of God starts to flow into us, which again we can’t manufacture. As the curse is moved away from us, the life of God comes in. Those verses in Deuteronomy become real. One by one those curses are taken away and those blessings start to flow into your life. It’s not being set free from something but being set free into something. It’s important for us to actually move into those places that God has for us.
Do we feel blessed?
We can be blessed in so many different ways! There’s blessings we need to move into and not let the devil rob me with a punishment that I don’t deserve, because it’s been taken from me by Jesus Christ. Deuteronomy shows me how we can be blessed in our work. We can move into blessing because we’ve been made free by Jesus to be blessed in our work. We can be blessed by the fruit of our body – our families.
Do we accept everything the devil has for us? Or do we stand by God’s promises for us? Do we believe that God has a blessing for our families from baby to old age?
We can be blessed in our food, our tables, and the provision in our own home. Are we blessed in the generosity we can give, the blessings we can give to others from the blessings on our table? God blesses us and we blessings our table. It’s shown in our home.
We can be blessed in our daily affairs. There’s a blessing that should be with us wherever we go. Christ has taken that curse so that I can be alive in God and full of the blessing wherever I am!
Am I walking into these blessings of God, or am I still bound down by the lies of the enemy?
I can be blessed when I’m confronted by my enemies. There’s always enemies, whether they’re spiritual or physical. God has promised us a blessing that will support us against our enemies. We’ve been taken out of this curse to enjoy the strength that only God Himself can bring. God has a city of refuge for us in these things. We’re not bound to break or lose. We’re positioned to succeed! We might have a few blows or a battering, but we’re not going to lose. We’re not going to lose the battle for the mind. Why? Because we’ve been set free by Christ that we might walk in these new blessings that God has for us.
We can blessed in our savings. Not in a prosperity gospel way, but He does prosper us. He makes us prosperous, abundant, alive and fruitful. He doesn’t crush us by the lack of finance. He makes us fruitful in the work, in our finances, and in every regard that He finds us. That belongs to the Christian because of what Christ has made us free from.
Christ became a curse so that ordinary Christian people can walk in the blessings of God. Have you been blessed in all these different things?
God wants us to go on and on throughout our Christian life, living and being fruitful and being blessed. But there’s one condition written right in the middle of the blessings – “if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways”.
There’s a part for us to do as He establishes us. We need to walk in His ways and keep His commandments. We have a part to play – it’s a crucial part to play. If we want the curse to be removed from us, then we have to do our part as we go into the blessing. We have to keep His ways and His commandments. That’s the secret of it all.
We come to Christ with our curses, our baggage, our sin etc, and ask Him to take it on the cross, to allow us to leave it with Him in faith, and come to this place of blessing that God has for us. We have to comply and live according to His commandments.
And if we don’t obey? Is it possible for a Christian to sin? Yes they can. And if they can sin, then can a demon come back into a Christian? If someone can sin, they can open their lives up to the wrong sources in life. This doesn’t fit with us following his ways and commandments. Things begin to stir up. The blessings alter, the feelings alter, and the mind alters. Everything alters as we mess up on things. We need to come back to the One who has wonderful grace for us time and time again. He knows our frame, our infirmities. We hand it back over to Him.
Lord take it all. I want to be in your light. I want to walk according to your commandments. I want to live according to your ways. The light and the blessings start to flow as we genuinely become before God, time and time again.
Why does God keep on doing it? Because of Christ. Christ came to die once and for all. That we would have this everlasting stream of life. That we would have grace upon grace. That we would have life in abundance. All these things are opened to us because Christ has taken those things to the cross, and that we might have life and all the blessings that God has for us.
Believe that Christ can take the darkness away. Christ can take the curse away. He can take away the harm that is due to you. He can take it away, that you can walk in the newness of life. He is the city of refuge, where you can feel safe and peace.
There’s also a walking into the blessing. Some people are resistant to blessings. They want to do everything themselves. But God has blessings for us. Those blessings affect our work, our family, our finances, our food, our lives. We have to walk into those blessings. If we are resisting God in some way, then we need to turn to God. If we can’t feel the blessings of God in Jesus Christ, we need to turn to God. Christ became a curse for us, that we might enjoy the blessings. That we might enter the blessings and live in the blessings. Those blessings continue unto eternity.
Christ made a way for you that didn’t belong to you. All you have to do is go through that door unto the place that’s there for you.