Not just anybody can claim benefits – you have to be entitled.
Are you living on benefits? Because if you’re not, you should be! You should want to receive everything that you are entitled to. We’re not talking about the sort of benefits people get from the Government though – there is an entirely different benefit system, that gives far more to you than what you can get from any government. We are talking about the benefits that God has made available to us. So what does it take to be entitled to these benefits? With welfare benefits, not just anybody can claim them – you have to be entitled. It is no different with God’s benefits, you need to be entitled, in order to claim them. But becoming entitled is easy, simply follow the instructions in Romans 10:9, “You will be saved, if you honestly say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death” (Contemporary English Version).
Jesus died to bring you entitlement to certain benefits.
Once you’ve asked Jesus to become your Lord and Saviour, what exactly are the benefits that you are entitled to? Before we continue, because I know how people think, let me point out that this is not about being greedy. This is not about being out for everything you can get. Jesus died to bring you entitlement to certain benefits and it is insulting to Him to turn around and say that you don’t want some of them. Anyway, Psalm 103 is a good place to start. Let’s read from verse 1 in the New King James Version: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
- Who forgives all your iniquities
- Who heals all your diseases
- Who redeems your life from destruction
- Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies
- Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s“
According to the Bible (which we are actually supposed to believe as Christians) you are entitled to all of these benefits and more. It’s amazing though, how many Christians only believe in the first one – the forgiveness of sins. The truth is, if Jesus forgives all your iniquities, then He also heals all your diseases. Likewise, if He doesn’t really heal all your diseases (as many claim), then He doesn’t really forgive all your iniquities either and you are in serious trouble! But the truth is forgiveness IS always available and healing IS always available. However many people will go to hell, despite forgiveness being available and many Christians will remain sick, despite healing being available.
We need to show that God can trust us with wealth.
This list of benefits alone is pretty impressive, but it is not a complete list. Let look now to the New Testament, and see what else we are entitled to because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. So here is our second list of benefits:
- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit: “But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Act 1:8, Amplified Bible). The benefits of being filled with the Holy Spirit, cannot possibly be summarised here in one sentence or paragraph.
- Jesus understands the hurt of betrayal: “Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them” (Mark 14:40). Jesus knows what it is like to be betrayed by someone close to you and He is there to help and guide you in these situations.
- Jesus experienced extreme mental stress: “And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44, Amplified Bible). Jesus experienced stress so extreme, it caused Him to sweat blood. No matter what stressful situation you may be going through, Jesus understands. But He not only understands, He is also ready, willing and able to help you to overcome.
- Jesus suffered severe abuse and humiliation: “Then they were spitting in his face and banging him around. They jeered as they slapped him: ‘Prophesy, Messiah: Who hit you that time?’” (Matthew 26:67, The Message). According to Greek scholar Rick Renner, this was at least 100 of the scribes and elders. Imagine 100 people spitting in your face. Imagine 100 people hitting you and laughing at you; and that is before Jesus was delivered to the sadistic Roman soldiers. Whatever it is that you have gone through, you can be sure that Jesus understands completely and will help you to forgive those who wronged you and put whatever happened firmly in the past where it belongs.
- Jesus bore every sickness or disease that could possible attack you: “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him” (John 19:1). The scourging that Jesus suffered was horrific to the extreme. If you have seen The Passion of The Christ, you have some idea of what Jesus went through, except that the reality would have been a lot worse. Medically speaking, some sicknesses / diseases are curable, others are not. But the wounds that Jesus bore will cure absolutely anything, from the common cold to cancer and beyond.
- The forgiveness of sins: “But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that the Messiah died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8, International Standard Version). All of our sins have already been forgiven, we just need to receive that forgiveness.
- The ability to become rich: “For you know how generous our Lord Yeshua the Messiah was — for your sakes he impoverished himself, even though he was rich, so that he might make you rich by means of his poverty” (2 Corinthians 8:9, Complete Jewish Bible). We are entitled to be wealthy, but we need to show that God can trust us with wealth – for example see The Parable of The Talents. This benefit does have some conditions attached, including tithing and giving.
This is a long way from being an exhaustive list. The Bible is absolutely full of God’s promises, which are all part of our benefits as Christians. As you read the Bible every day, keep a look out for God’s promises and claim them by faith. There are a huge amount of benefits available to you, but as with Government benefits, you are not going to receive them unless you claim them. Every time that you find a promise, personalise it and thank God for it. Then fully expect to receive whatever the benefit in question is and don’t forgot to tell others about the benefits that they are entitled to.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.