Blessing (Prosperity?) for Obedience

David Norczyk
4 min readNov 9, 2022

The prevalence of the false prosperity gospel adds confusion to the biblical idea of blessing. Couple that with the flesh, which loves obedience for righteousness, and confusion abounds for the blessed and the cursed. The Bible detaches both poverty and riches from blessing and curse. The reason is that both poverty and riches could be blessing…or curse.

When promoting the false prosperity gospel, the preacher points people to the Old Testament patriarchs, who were “blessed” with wealth. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob prospered as men of faith. The problem arises when we witness God’s removal of Job’s wealth, along with His inundating worldly Solomon with it. Job did not warrant what happened to him, nor did Solomon. The point is that God’s will and providence were the determining factors in wealth being added and removed.

Wealth often causes people to forget God. When this happens, wealth is a curse. Even the greedy desire for gain is enough to profile the curse, as with Achan and Judas Iscariot. The quest for independence is at the heart of the matter. Reasoned rightly, independence from God is a separation from God, and the Bible teaches us that separation from God is one aspect of hell.

In this respect, the poor are blessed because they have an inheritance reserved for them in heaven, having been rich in faith. Of course, material poverty is not the Gospel of salvation, but rich men seem to have trouble with misplaced priorities, resulting in camels having the advantage in passing through the eye of the needle, which is easier than for rich men to enter heaven.

Material poverty lends itself to the promise of God being the all-sufficient provider of those who come to His Son. Being needy in a material/financial sense serves as an analogy to one’s spiritual poverty. In this case, all people are desperately poor.

All the spiritual blessings are ours in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3), and these are intimately connected with the true riches of His glorious grace, freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (Eph 1:6). It is a bit difficult to inventory all the blessings of grace, but certainly faith, hope, and love are representative. All of these are gifts of God manifest where the Holy Spirit is present in God’s elect.

The light of truth that shines, where the Word of God is spoken, taught, read, learned, and believed — this, too, is the place of blessing that has come by grace. The Bible compares its own value to that of silver and gold. God’s Word is eternal and powerfully gives life to men, while silver and gold often facilitate sin, in the form of idolatry and strife between people, which can lead to murder.

Only one has achieved righteousness, that is, right standing before God, by doing obedient works of the Law…Jesus Christ. The Law was given by God, not as a means of salvation, but as a means to expose the sinfulness of sinners. It was so effective that upon its receipt, it causes men to sin all the more!

Therefore, when a preacher tells you that you are blessed because of obedience, he is a liar and a false teacher. This is the very essence of works-based religion, which is prevalent both inside and outside of Christianity. It is the antithesis of grace, which is God’s work in salvation for the benefit of His chosen, dependent people.

Now, not to confuse my reader, but using similar language, we learn that obedience to the Law is actually a blessing from God, by His grace. This again is in contrast with obedience producing blessing.

It is God who transfers His people from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His Beloved Son (Col 1:13). It is by His doing (1 Cor 1:30), according to His will (Jn 1:13; Eph 1:5). He positions them in the righteousness of Christ, granting them faith (Phil 1:29), by which they live in a state of immovable justification. There is now and forever no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1), and there is no separation from Christ (Rom 8:31–39).

Living by faith means trusting in the Spirit of Christ to guide you into the truth, which is the means of sanctification. Sanctification is the permanent position of the regenerate saint until glory. It is also the process by which the believer is being conformed to the image of God’s holy Son. Jesus Christ was perfectly obedient to God His Father, and He alone was pleasing to God in the works He performed in that obedience.

The works of the natural man are filthy rags in the judgment of God (Is 64:6; 1 Cor 2:14). The good works of the spiritual man (1 Cor 2:15) are actually the works of the indwelling Spirit of God (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Phil 2:13; Jas 4:5). The Christian walk of faith is entirely powered by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:25). In this way, God is credited and honored by the good works He prepared for each believer to perform (Eph 2:10). It is also why Christians do not boast in themselves but in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:29–31; Gal 6:14).

Christian, grace has brought you into the place of all blessing. You are in Christ, by the will and work of God. The blessing of God, as we have noted is a bit elusive when it comes to material matters. His grace, whether that be riches or poverty is always sufficient for us. We are assured that His grace includes loving discipline that helps set our minds on things above and not on the things of the earth.

To garner obedience, as a blessing, God’s faithful ones have been given the grace to search the Scriptures and meditate on them. There, they learn that even faithfulness to open their Bible is a fruit of the Spirit’s gracious work of blessing us to be obedient. Simply put, blessing produces obedience, not obedience producing blessing.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

November 9, 2022

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher