Is Prosperity For The Present Church?

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.” – Ezekiel 36:26-30 (emphasis mine)

It is commonly argued that prosperity is not for the New Testament Church. And that as a matter of fact, the entire prosperity doctrine is false…

But from the highlighted clauses of the opening text, it is obvious that such arguments are not true. The opening text is a copy of the New Covenant as prophesied by the Prophet Ezekiel. And it was fulfilled and ratified by the death of Christ on the cross. By the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, anyone who believes in him (Jesus) becomes an automatic partaker of the New Covenant, and all its tenets.

And as a result, anyone who believes in Christ receives a change of heart, and the Holy Spirit as stated in the Covenant…

And in much the same way, anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, also becomes a partaker of the prosperity clauses of the same New Covenant (Ezekiel 36: 29-30).

It is also argued that this Covenant is actually directed at the Jews. That is true. But however, the scripture tells us that we are fellow-citizens with the saints through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. And that the wall of partition between us and the Jew was broken in his flesh. Hence, we—Gentiles—also have access to the Covenants of promise (Ephesians 2:11-19).

If we believe that every Christian under the New Covenant already has changed hearts. And the Holy Spirit indwelling in them, to enable them keep the statutes of God as it is contained in the New Covenant, we shouldn’t also have problem believing that every believer is also prosperous.

Here are the divine prosperity clauses of the New Covenant again from the book of Ezekiel 36: 29-30;

I also will save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen

In the above scripture, the Lord clearly promises us prosperity. And he assures us of not receiving anymore reproach of famine among the heathen.

Now a matter must be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. So let us consider another scripture that guarantees that divine prosperity is for the present church;

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the Churches of Macedonia; how that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

I speak not by commandment but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor; that ye through his poverty might be rich.” –2Corinthians 8:1-9

I had to quote this particular scripture to this length so we can get the exact context. Because many say it is being interpreted out of context. The above scripture is clearly talking about the giving grace God bestowed upon the Macedonian churches. Verse 2 says in their great trial of affliction, the abundance of their Joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. So clearly, this scripture is talking about the giving grace.

Then in verse 7 the Apostle Paul admonishes the Corinthians that as  they abound or increase in spiritual gifts such as faith, utterance, knowledge, diligence, and love, they should see to it that they also abound or increase in the giving grace also. Then in verse 9 he  says;

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

Concerning the above verse (verse 9), many argue that the riches referred to here are spiritual riches. But   saying that will imply that the Apostle Paul meant;

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was spiritually rich, yet for your sakes he became spiritually poor, that ye through his spiritual poverty might be spiritually rich.”

Of course, the above quotation can’t be farther from the truth. It is scripturally obvious that Jesus was never spiritually poor while he was here on earth. He couldn’t have been spiritually poor, after living a blameless, holy life… After healing all manners of sickness and diseases. And even after raising the dead. No. The true interpretation is;

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was materially rich, yet for your sakes he became materially poor, that ye through his material poverty might be materially rich”.

The above interpretation is in perfect harmony with scriptural truth. We all know that the only poverty the Lord suffered while he was here on earth was material poverty. Especially not having where to lay his head. Hence, he suffered material poverty so we can enjoy material riches.

I agree divine prosperity and the prosperity doctrine has been abused and pushed to some extremes by many folks. But like I always say, doctrinal and other abuses or extremism is not only the vice of the prosperity doctrine. Other doctrines such as grace, deliverance, faith, sanctification, etc…

have also been abused and pushed to the extreme. But the panacea or antidote is not to entirely reject these true and wholesome scriptural doctrines.

Because doing so will amount to throwing the tares along with the wheat. And it will thus, create loopholes for the devil to take advantage of. Instead, we should study our bibles carefully and pray more fervently so we will be able to receive the right spiritual insight to be able to separate the shafts from the wheats.

So here we have it. Divine prosperity is for the present Church. Firstly, because it is a part of the New Covenant; and secondly, our Lord Jesus Christ, substituted his earthly material poverty for it.

Remain Blessed!

Emeke Odili.

Emeke Odili