As leaders we must lead for the purpose of God’s kingdom. The kingdom of God is a testimony of the good news of God to mankind. That good news is often termed as being the “gospel”, but the word “gospel” is a word that was religiously created to encompass a simple phrase, “good news”. Unfortunately, when we use the word “gospel” rather than “good news” we can often disguise “bad news” in the cloak of “gospel” and dupe the world in to believing something less than the “good news” of Jesus Christ. The “good news” is not that Jesus died so that we would go to heaven when we die. The “good news” is that Jesus reconciled all men to know God and Jesus whom God sent. This is eternal life (Jn. 17:3). It is now and forever! It is the place where heaven comes to our realities of the earth and where the life beyond this world is an increasing testimony of that heavenly reality. It is the place of forever knowing God! We have been given really good news in Jesus. He is the door to the eternal reality of the blessings of heaven in our lives. Jesus was the Seed promised through the faith of Abraham and that Seed was the source of heaven to this world in which we live.
Galatians 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”
What was the gospel preached to Abraham? As I have already stated, the word gospel means “good news”. The good news is that an eternal Adam gave is life so that all can find themselves in the family of blessing! The good news is that Jesus Christ reconciled men to God while they were yet sinners so the blessings of heaven could flood the worlds of men. The message of heaven is one of transforming the world. It includes life beyond this world, but it brings the life of heaven to the world in increasing measures.
What was the gospel (good news) preached to Abraham? I believe that we find this good news recorded in the 22nd Chapter of Genesis. In this story, Abraham had revealed his faith in believing God’s good news by his willingness to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. He expected God to raise him from the dead, because he believed the One who promised more than he believed the promise (Heb. 11:17-19).
Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
There are four key elements in the good news preached to Abraham. Those four things were:
1) In blessing I will bless you
2) In multiplying I will multiply
3) Your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies
4) In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed
The good news that God gave Abraham was not that He would merely bless him. It was that in blessing He would bless him. The Hebrew word for blessing here is placed in a double. It is the word blessing repeated twice. It can mean great blessing, but it more clearly states that in blessing God would bless. This is the foundation for belief of every human being. Do we believe and know that we are the blessing of God in the earth? When we realize who we are, we will live to be who we are. We are a testimony of God’s likeness and image in this world and we were born to bring glory to His name. As leaders we must lead people in a way that they know who they are in Christ. They are not only blessed by Him they are His blessing in the earth. While the enemy pronounces “shame on you” words of bondage and death, God pronounces “shame off of you” words of freedom and life. Being a blessing starts with believing who God is so you can believe who you are in Him. This is the foundation of the good news preached to Abraham. God’s plan was to make a way for human kind to be restored in the likeness and image of their heavenly Father in the earth. As leaders we must lead others with a foundation of believing God and believing who we are in Him. It is the power of God’s Word and Spirit conceived in the human heart that establishes a foundation of believing God and believing who they are in Him. As leaders we must be facilitators of God’s Word and Spirit in the hope of transforming the beliefs of men.
The second thing that God told Abraham was that in multiplying He would multiply Him. The Hebrew writing of this is also a double word for multiplying. It is the word for multiply written twice. This is not just God really multiplying those who believe Him, but those who believe Him living to multiply. It involves the actions of those who believe God. When we believe we are blessed then we live to multiply. This is not living to add things to our own lives, but living to give our own lives for the sake of others. The actions of our lives must be to give and release life to others in this world. As New Covenant leaders we must lead to inspire others to seek to multiply who they are in the lives of others. This is the second part of the good news preached to Abraham.
The third thing that God told Abraham was that his descendants would posses the gates of their enemies. Gates are the places of influence in the earth. They are the powers that affect the minds and hearts of the generations of men. When we know we are a blessing we live to multiply in the lives of others. When we live to multiply in the lives of others we live for those beyond our own lives. We live for our children and for our children’s children. I call this a 100-year plan. God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel. God is the God of Paul, Timothy, faithful men, and others also. He is a generational God and we can expect that the inheritance beyond us is a greater power than what we live in today. The good news preached to Abraham was that the generations of men would destroy the powers of the enemy. The power of God’s inheritance in the earth is greater than the disinheriting powers of the enemy! The imaginations of our hearts and the actions of our hands must be to release the inheritance and the power of life to our children and our children’s children. The gates of Hades (the realm of the dead) cannot prevail against the advancing family of God in the earth. As leaders in the New Covenant we must lead in a way that inspires others to live for their children and their children’s children in the earth.
The fourth thing that God told Abraham was that through his Seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. This is the transforming power of God’s influence to all the nations of the world. The good news given to Abraham was that the influence of God through the generations of men in Christ would know no limit! It was the power of the likeness and the image of God to change the world! The good news preached to Abraham was all about beliefs, actions, imaginations, and influence. This is the testimony of God’s life within those who manifest the likeness and the image of God in the earth. The image of self would be destroyed by the growing image of God in the earth. As leaders in the New Covenant we must lead with this aim. It is the “really good news” preached to all men in Christ!
I will write more next week in regard to this “really good news”. It is time we believe the message of His kingdom come and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven! Let’s lead for His glory!
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson