Keys to Long-Life

Chapter 1 - The Importance of Knowing God’s Will

The Importance of knowing God’s Will 

 

When someone dies they share their wealth with those they love, through their last will and testament, which is legally binding. The inheritance is given freely to the heirs upon the person’s death, which they can then receive through a knowledge of the will. However there is a danger that through ignorance they may not claim their inheritance, and as a result they will miss out on enjoying what is theirs. 

Likewise, when Jesus died on the Cross, He made full provision for us (believers) for every area of our life: 
2Peter 1:3: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Our inheritance in Christ is set forth clearly in His Last Will and Testament - the New Testament or Covenant, a legally binding document. By studying it with the help of the Holy-Spirit, we can know what has been freely given to us in Christ through His blood: 

1Corinthians 2:9-12: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might KNOW the things that have been FREELY GIVEN TO US by God.” 

*Our inheritance in Christ contains every blessing of life, which therefore includes long-life: 

Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the heavenly places in Christ” 

2Peter 1:3: “His divine power has given to us ALL THINGS that pertain to LIFE and godliness.”

Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all (to die on the Cross), how shall He not with Him also FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?” 

If God loved us so much that He did not even withhold His Son from us, would He withhold any good thing from us?

Psalm 84:11:
 “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” God is not holding back any good thing from His people, rather He freely gives us all things.

*These Covenant Blessings have already been given to us
:

2Peter 1:3
: “His divine power HAS GIVEN TO US 
all things that pertain to life and godliness.”

1Corinthians 2:12
: “... that we might know the things 
that HAVE BEEN FREELY GIVEN TO US by God.” 

Ephesians 1:3:
 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who HAS BLESSED US with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

*They include abundance of life both now and for all eternity:
John 10:10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have LIFE, and that they may have it more abundantly.” 

So we have a wonderful inheritance in Christ that has been released to us through the death of Christ. However if we are not diligent in studying the Scriptures which reveal the blessings and conditions of His will, then we will remain ignorant about our inheritance and as a result we will fail to receive (obtain) by faith what has been freely given to us.

That is why God says in Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (ignorance of His Word).” 

God does not force His blessings upon us. He gives them freely to us in the New Covenant, but we must still receive them by faith. He makes them freely available to us in Christ, but they must be received through (our) faith, as Jesus said:“According to YOUR FAITH let it be done unto you” (Matthew 9:29). Now faith only begins when the Will of God is known, for you cannot believe God beyond your knowledge of His Will! Now God’s WORD is His WILL!

Therefore in order to receive any part of your inheritance from God (such as long-life), you must first study the Word in that area to KNOW His Will. Only then will you have the FAITH in your heart by which you can possess (receive) the promise of God. Otherwise you will not be able to lay hold of God’s provision (it will remain unclaimed inheritance). Therefore it is essential for you to hear and receive God’s Word on the subject, for: “Faith (to receive from God) comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

In Romans 10, Paul makes this process of faith very clear: Romans 10:12: “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.” God has a rich inheritance that He is ready to release to us, as soon as we call on Him in faith - which means, believing His promise we come to Him and receive it. 

Romans 10:13
: “For “whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32). All who call upon the Lord and His salvation (inheritance), believing they receive it shall have it (Mark 11:24), for He gives it freely to us. He makes it freely available to all, but He does not force it on us. He just waits for us to believe Him and come to Him to receive it.

Romans 10:14,17: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? .... So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

It is impossible to call on Him (come to Him in prayer and receive it by faith) if you don’t believe His promise (Word), and it is impossible to believe it if you have never heard it!Therefore it must all start by hearing the Word (promise) which brings faith to your heart, enabling you to come to God in prayer and receive the promise (calling on His Name).Then He will release the riches of you inheritance to you.

The same truth is revealed in 2Peter 1:3,4: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to usexceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be PARTAKERS of the divine nature.” 

God has already freely given us all things needful for life, but we can only receive them (by faith) through having a knowledge of Him (His faithfulness) and His Will. He gives us this knowledge through His great and precious promises which cover every area of life. Through hearing His Word concerning any area of life, we gain knowledge of His Will to bless us in that area and the faith to receive that blessing.

Then by faith we can partake (believe we receive) of His life.

*We have a wonderful inheritance: “In Whom (Christ) also we have obtained an INHERITANCE” (Ephesians 1:11).This became ours when we were saved and became children of God: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16,17) 

This is confirmed by God’s description of Paul’s ministry in Acts 26:18: “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, that they may receive FORGIVENESS of sins and INHERITANCE among them who are sanctified by faith that is in Me.” 

*However it is up to us to partake of (claim) our inheritance
:

Colossians 1:12,13
: “Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us able to be PARTAKERS of the INHERITANCE of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the dominion of darkness, and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.” 

*In order to enter in and possess our inheritance we must have the faith that comes from receiving the Word of God: 

Acts 20:32
: “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the WORD of His GRACE (what He has freely given to us),which is able to build you up and GIVE YOU AN INHERITANCE among all those who are sanctified.”

If we do not KNOW the promise of God in some area of life, then it is impossible to BELIEVE it, and so come to God in faith and PARTAKE of it (believe we receive it). As a result we miss out on the blessing of God. That’s why He says: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). 

LONG-LIFE is an important area of our inheritance in Christ and we need to KNOW and CLAIM the promises of long-life if we want to experience and enjoy this part of our inheritance. 

Imagine you bought lots of chocolates, enough for all your family and friends to enjoy. You choose to give them away as a free-gift, so you tell all your family and friends: “I have paid in full for them and I freely give them to you all. They are yours. Just come to me and receive them; you can take whatever you need. They are freely available upon request.”Although you have paid for and given the chocolates, they still have to believe you and come to you and receive them.

Likewise with His blood, Jesus has paid in full for every blessing of our inheritance, and He has freely given it to us, so that it is ours for the taking. But we still have to come to Him in faith and receive what He has freely given to us. So He tells us the Word of His Grace, the Good-News that the promised blessing is ours in Christ, so that faith might be imparted to our heart and we believe His promise and come to Him in faith and believe we receive the promised blessing. 

Hebrews 4:16: “Let us come BOLDLY (with confident faith) to the throne of GRACE, that we may OBTAIN (RECEIVE)mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” 

To OBTAIN the blessing means that we actually BELIEVE we RECEIVE it from God and walk away from His throne in possession of it. This requires the boldness or confidence that only comes from knowing His promise, and that the promised blessing has already been freely given to us and is available upon request, and that God is faithful to His Word and will give it to us when we ask for it. Thus this confidence that we can come and receive it is based on us knowing that we are coming to the throne of GRACE - the place where God freely and abundantly gives (releases to) us the promised blessing.

POSSESSING THE PROMISED LAND. As with any promise of God, in order to enjoy the promise of long-life, we must possess it by faith. God gave us a wonderful picture of this in Israel’s possessing of her Promised Land. God gave Israel a wonderful INHERITANCE - the Promised Land, but they still had to go in and possess it by faith. Likewise we have a promised land of blessings in Christ, including long-life. Just like Israel we have to possess it by believing the Word of God and fighting the fight of faith. 

Even though God had given them the Land, because of their unbelief (they had not established God’s Word in their heart) they initially failed to possess it. Then when they had a second chance, God gave Joshua clear instructions in

Joshua 1: The Land was their inheritance from God (v6). 
He clearly described the boundaries of the land, so that they 
knew exactly what belonged to them (v4). 

He said: “I have given you the land” (Joshua 1:2-4,6), but they still had to go in and possess (claim) it, by putting their foot on it: “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, I have given you” (v3). 

Therefore God told them to: “go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess” (v11). 

This required them to: “Be strong (in faith) and of good courage (to act on the Word)” (v6,7,9). The key to being strong enough in faith to go in and possess the promised inheritance is receiving and knowing the Word of God: 
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success
 (in possessing the inheritance)” (v8). 

Likewise we need to study God’s Word so that we know our inheritance in Christ that has been freely given to us, and so that we will have the faith to go in and possess (claim) it.

LONG-LIFE is an important area of our inheritance in Christ.

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