Christ Is My Multiplication
By Pastor Kola Taiwo
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Genesis 17:2, Psalm 18:24, Psalm 119:96
Sunday 7th February 2016
We have been blessed by the teaching ministry of our Pastor with grace-based, Christ-centred messages on Multiplication since the beginning of this year. The message ‘Multiplication is your Birthright’ which we started the year with alludes to the inherent blessings that God has ingrained within each of us. From the message, ‘The Holy Spirit is Your Best Friend’ by Minister Dimeji, an appreciation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit was highlighted for us all to embrace. I would be referring to some of the points from those messages in order to fully understand what we would be sharing together today.
Let’s go through our foundation scriptures for today, starting with Genesis 17:1-2, which reads: ‘When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”’ Psalm 18:24 gives us an insight into the Psalmist’s mind on his experience of a second chance: ‘GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes’ (MSG). In conclusion, Psalm 119:96 directs our attention to the boundlessness of God’s word: ‘To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless’.
In Genesis 17:1-2, the Almighty God spoke to Abram about the irrepressibility of His intention to multiply him. The same truth has been declared to us, and our response ought to be that of belief and trust in God’s word, irrespective of what our present circumstances may be. God made this a reality in Abram’s life by changing his perception of the way he saw his situation. He also gave him a different identity by changing his name to Abraham. In addition, He changed Abram’s location and concluded His decision to multiply Abram by enacting a covenant with Himself. As God’s plan for our multiplication is beyond our comprehension, ingenuity and finite minds, we must allow Him to lead the way in bringing His awesome blueprint to a reality in our lives.
In our second foundation scripture in Psalm 18:24, which reads: ‘‘GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes’ (MSG), our experience as Christians brings this life. The day we gave our hearts to Christ was the day this truth became our personal realities. We need to go back to Genesis 1, to fully understand this concept. After the preparation of the universe, God crowns up His creating abilities with the creation of man. However in Genesis 3 we read about the fall of man, necessitating God’s intervention once again. To begin the process of restoration, God chooses Abraham and consequently the nation of Israel, rewriting the text of his life and his progeny as a result. Again reiterating this truth, once we became Christians the original writings of God on our hearts replaced the inscription that occurred as a result of the fall. The Strong’s Dictionary of the New King James version of this scripture, interprets the word ‘recompense’ as ‘to turn back to’. Here is Colossians 2:14, which reads: ‘Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross’. Before becoming a Christian, the writing that was upon our hearts was not in our favour. Thankfully, the original writing has now replaced this.
St Paul alludes to this in 2 Corinthians 3:3 saying: ‘clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart’. With Christ engineering every decision we make this year, and the Holy Spirit encrypting these upon our hearts, we are bound to multiply and abound in every area of life.
God’s words on multiplication in Genesis 17:2 is simply a repetition of what He had originally intended in Genesis 1:28, which reads: ‘Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’. Even though the created man fell, and the fallen man became helpless under sin, God’s chosen race have now been restored through Christ to initiate what God originally had in place for man’s dominion on earth.
Here are the words of our third foundation scripture, Psalm 119:96. ‘To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless’ (NIV). In this year of multiplication, it is so easy to assume that that our fruitfulness and multiplication can be initiated by our imagination and ideologies. Francis Schaeffer, a well-known Bible teacher once described a scenario concerning the Immaculate Conception and Mary, the mother of Jesus. When the Angel visited Mary, and she was informed about God’s plans for humankind, she had three possible ways to respond to the declaration. She could have said ‘Let’s go ahead and do it’ or said ‘It is impossible and would not happen’. Instead, she gave a response that we can all learn from in this year of multiplication: ‘Be it unto me, according to your word’ (Luke 1:38). With the help of the Holy Spirit, our best friend we have all it takes to see the fulfilment of God’s word in our lives.
We may have noticed that life is pleasant and perfect for some people in our world – nice homes, cars, businesses and a generous number of holidays in a year. We may almost assume that this Psalm could have been one of Solomon’s write-ups (and it may possibly not be); Psalm 119:96 reads, once more this way: ‘To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless’ (NIV). Despite the perfections that the Psalmist could point at, the limitations of these are no match for the boundlessness of God’s commands. So then, are we going to be regulated by the limited perfection of our physical world in attaining multiplication, or are we going to rely on God this year? The various challenges and varying degrees of inconsistences facing us this year cannot obstruct God’s plans for us, if we can listen to His commands which are boundless.
The character, commands, laws and ordinances of God as outlined in Exodus are often sidelined these days in favour of grace and God’s mercy, but we cannot ignore these unendingly. Exodus 19-24 outlines God’s ordinances, with specific emphasis on the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20: (a) “You shall have no other gods before Me” (V3). (b) “You shall not make for yourself a carved image” (V4). (c) “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” (V7). (d) “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (V8). (e) “Honour your father and your mother (V12). (f) “You shall not murder” (V13). (g) “You shall not commit adultery” (V14). (h) “You shall not steal” (V15). (i) “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” (V16). (j) “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house or possessions” (V17). These commands reflect God’s character and disposition for our daily lives. However, His initial plan was for them to draw closer to Him. Here is Exodus 19:4-6, which reads: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’.” Even today, God is still with us, as He originally intended. Through the church, His plans are now working. These words are re-echoed in 1 Peter 2:9, which reads: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”. Beyond the dos and don’ts that we may interpret as the whole essence of the commandments, God ultimately desired fellowship with mankind.
In furtherance of God’s love statement in Exodus 19, He establishes three Feasts in Exodus 23. The Feast of the Unleavened Bread is described in verse 14 and 15. This symbolised a reminder of the Israelites’ redemption from Egypt - The unleavened bread specifically depicting a lifestyle free of contamination. It was to foreshadow Christ’s work as the sinless supply of eternal life. Our response to this, today is to emulate Christ, as we are led daily by the Holy Spirit. The Feast of Harvest is described in verse 16. The people were directed to bring in the first fruit of their produce annually to commemorate this feast. This symbolised the Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit arrived. Romans 8:23 describes the Holy Spirit as the first fruit.
Lastly the Feast of the Ingathering, also in verse 16 is described as the return of those who had been away from the land, at the end of each year to celebrate seven days of worship before God, bringing in their sacrifice for God’s pleasure. As New Testament believers, Christ is our sacrifice today. These three feasts can be enjoyed every day eliciting multiplication in our lives. As God rounds up these instructions given to Moses, He speaks about an Angel of the Lord that would lead the Israelites towards the Promised Land. Today, we can enjoy that same blessing with the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
We’ve discussed the covenant God made with Abram in Genesis 15, in an earlier message. In Exodus 24:4-8, God enacts another covenant with Moses and the Israelites. The young men offer the burnt and peace offerings, with Moses sprinkling the blood on the people. Sadly, this was a God to man covenant which did not last for too long.
In Jeremiah 31, God speaks of a better covenant: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people”. This new covenant was a God-made covenant uninvolving man’s input, similar to the Abrahamic covenant. This new covenant could not be broken as it involved the blood of Jesus.
Jesus speaks about seeking the kingdom of God first in Matthew 6:31-33, which reads: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you". Instead of worrying about those needs, our appropriate response ought to reflect in how we listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit and consequently going ahead to obey what He says in relation to our multiplication for this year. Multiplication is God’s idea for our benefit, but ultimately to fulfil His purpose on earth.
Matthew 6:31-33 describes God’s Kingdom – His domain and His righteousness – His character and disposition. Referring again to 1 Peter 2:9, some words refer to the Kingdom and God – royalty, priesthood. In other words, the multiplication promise is simply an indication of God’s reputation on display. Here is the reason why we need not become perturbed on how this mandate would be realised in our lives. Our role in this whole process is representing God as His Kings and priests. Hence we ought to remember that the re-written text of God upon our hearts is simply the words written in Genesis 1:28. We are already blessed, and as a result we have all within us to multiply, fill the earth, subdue the earth and dominate the world around us.
In Genesis 1:26, as God speaks to the God-head family, He begins by saying: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness’. The image of God on earth today is the corporate man, the church. Hence, we can be rest assured that God will provide for His children and undoubtedly multiply us. The second half of that scripture speaks about having dominion "over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” The creeping thing in this verse includes the serpent in Genesis 3.
Lastly, when a judge passes a judgement in our courts today, the judge usually does not enforce the judgement. Law enforcement officers execute that judgement. This is our position on earth – to enforce the judgement that God passed on the devil and his cohorts. Our duty is to enforce that which God has already declared. So our prayers this year should be words of declaration, victory and success. And here is the assurance we need to believe that our multiplication is already guaranteed in this year. Indeed, Christ is our multiplication!
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