One of the greatest truths regarding true New Testament prosperity is that we, as Christians, are in a "family" … not a "religion." The world (and most theologians) would have us believe that Christianity is just another religion. They put Christianity on the same plane with Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, etc. Such is not the case! Christianity is a family. That's why you cannot "join" it. You must be "born" into it by exercising faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells us very clearly in his letter to the Galatians how you become a child of God:
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
On a recent ministry trip to Houston, Texas, I saw a billboard that had the faces of children from all nationalities on it. At the bottom of the billboard was the phrase; "We are all the children of God." No, not according to God's word. We are all God's creation, but we do not become God's child until we exercise faith in Christ Jesus. That faith is what causes us to be "born again." That faith is what causes us to be "born" of God's Spirit. God's children are born of His Spirit. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus when He said,
John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
In the natural realm, our children our born of our own bodies … of our own flesh. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." In the spiritual realm, God's children are born of His own Spirit. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Exercising faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ releases the Holy Spirit to do a supernatural work in our spirit. Our human spirit is literally "born again." We become God's offspring, children born of His own Spirit.
Jesus taught often on this subject trying to get us to understand that Christianity is a "family," not a religion. For example, in Matthew Chapter Six alone, Jesus used the term "Father" twelve times in only ten verses. Why didn't He simply use the word "God" each time instead of the word "Father?" He was trying to get it across to our understanding that the Creator wants to be more than "God" to us. He wants to be our "Father." Jesus did not come to start a religion. He came to start a "family." The family of God!
Truly understanding the difference between being in God's family rather than being in a religion is crucial to walking in New Testament prosperity. It causes us to be delivered from many "winds of doctrine" that blow through the church like an ill wind. Let me give just one example from my own life.
When I still believed I was in a religion rather than a family, I believed the popular teaching of the day that says we are to "sow a seed to meet our need." In other words, if I had a material need, then I was to sow a financial seed by giving into an offering and then expect that I would reap a financial harvest from the sowing of that seed. However, that doctrine seemed to stand in stark contrast to Jesus' teaching in Matthew Six when He said,
Mat 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
What was Jesus trying to teach us? Birds are God's creation, yet He feeds them. We are God's own children, born of His Spirit. Will He not provide for us? Remember, this is the same chapter where Jesus uses the term "Father" twelve times! What do fathers do? Fathers PROVIDE for their family! Jesus is trying to get us to understand that we don't have to spend our lives serving Mammon out of fear of lack. God is our Father. We are free to do exactly what Jesus said,
Mat 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
The question might be asked, "Gary, do you still sow into the Kingdom of God financially?" My answer is … "More than ever!" When I sow into the Kingdom of God now, I do so in order to reap a harvest of souls for my Father. I sow in order that the work of the gospel be spread throughout the earth … that the lost be saved, the sick healed, and the oppressed delivered through the matchless Name of Jesus Christ.
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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