It is perhaps best understood by the promise the Living God made to Abram, recorded in Genesis 12:
"I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing;
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all people on earth
will be blessed through you."
The implication is that the same promise applies to all the people of God - those who are "in Abraham" - both as a people and as individuals like Abraham was. So let us look at what this says for individuals - especially those who are "born again" in Christ, the Descendant and Heir of Abraham.
Most of the New View focuses on the last couplet, "all people on earth will be blessed through you", because it emphasises the role we have of representing God. The whole people of God representing God as a whole; but each individual also represents God when and wherever they are.
Each of us who are God's people in Christ, God works with and through us, so that the world will experience something of God and the way God intended reality to function - and also so that people in the world have a chance, invitation and challenge to come to know God personally and to join God's people. This is the individual's responsibility for good works and disciple-making. This is a responsibility and privilege and joy - and God promises to 'take the weight' of that responsibility. (For those of us who are God's Jewish people, we have the responsibility and privilege is to model the Torah - though I believe to be God's people in Christ is also open.)
Now look at the other parts. These speak of blessing to Abraham and protection. Likewise, to each individual child of God. Those who well know the promises of God to individuals, and are used to claiming them, will they not find almost all of them here, under the themes of blessing and protection?
God promises to bless each of those who represent God - though what that blessing is depends on the person and circumstances. It certainly includes a promise of provision of needs - though not always superfluity. Jesus made this very clear in Matthew 6. It includes guidance. It includes a quickening of the conscience ("conviction"), and forgiveness, and comfort. This, according to Jesus, recorded in John chapters 14-16, is part of the role of the Holy Spirit. Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercede for those who are God's people. And the Spirit of God challenges us and grows fruit in us. We find meaningfulness, including as part of God's Plan and eventual Victory.
It also includes protection and vindication. Those who bless us will be blessed by God; those who curse us will be cursed by God - however good or bad we or they are - as long as we are people of God. We are protected like the apple of the eye. Does anyone persecute us or make fun of us? We can afford to pray for them (Matthew 5) and return good to them, because God looks after us, and God will require it at their hand if they do not repent. We no longer need to protect ourselves or our property. Does anyone take advantage of us, and especially of our 'meekness' and lack of self-protection? God will require that at their hand, unless they repent, and God will make up to and for us all that we lose. Jesus told the crowds that anyone who gives up possessions, families, etc. in this life for Him, will receive a hundred time as many in this life and eternal life in the life to come.
(Warning: we cannot presume to be people of God if we continue in arrogance, idolatry or self-will. Those who are really people of God demonstrate the character of God: love, humility, patience, wisdom and so on, even if not perfectly.)
Almost all - if not all - of the promises to individuals in the Bible hang off this promise to Abraham; they are merely detailed versions of it.
In view of all this, we no longer need to grasp onto blessings for ourselves. It has been promised to us who are the people of God, and who represent God among the peoples of the earth. So let us focus on our role of representing God, and do it fully and properly, relying on God to keep this promise and all the many other promises that hang off it.
This page, URL= 'http://abxn.org/nv/individual.html', is part of the on-going work in developing a 'New View' in theology and practice that is appropriate to the days that are coming upon us. Comments, queries welcome.
Copyright (c) Andrew Basden to latest date below, but you may use this material subject to certain conditions.
Written on the Amiga with Protext in the style of classic HTML.
Created: 2 February 2020. Last updated: