How to Bless a Believer

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the Israelites.  Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.’  So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6: 22-27).

You might think this is just an Old Testament thing that God provided to Aaron through Moses as a symbolic blessing for the Israelites, which is ancient history and not relevant today, nor applicable to Believers.  On the contrary, you may believe everything in the Bible has some purpose and applicability to you today as a Believer and child of God.  This sets the poles of a range of perspectives on scripture applicability among Believers – not at all relevant to fully applicable.

I think we must consider the whole counsel of scripture as we seek to understand and apply any Scripture.  One example is the Sabbath laws, which were interpreted more clearly by Yeshua, who said, I am Lord of the Sabbath.  Whether Hebrew law was applicable to Gentiles was the central question of the apostles in the first Jerusalem counsel that considered whether and to what extent old covenant law applied to Gentile believers.  They concluded: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.  You will do well to avoid these things.  Farewell.” ( Acts 15: 28-29).  The teachings of Yeshua clarified the scriptures that are applicable to all believers and provided that He, as Messiah, is the sole way and mediator between Father God and man.  For example, Yeshua affirmed the righteousness of God’s law, but opened the only way to forgiveness through His substitutionary death on the cross.  Moreover, He imparted the indwelling Holy Spirit, representing the exchange of a heart of stone for a heart of flesh.  Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah, but rejection of Him brought salvation to the Nations.  Salvation comes through belief in Yeshua rather than following the law whether you are Hebrew or Gentile.  Following Hebrew law, which no one but Yeshua is able to do, will not yield righteousness.

With this understanding we return to the question of old covenant scriptural applicability.  It is largely a matter of faith, just as faith dictates our stride along the path of salvation.  Some believers did not believe in eating certain foods, observing certain holidays, getting married, being circumcised, etc., while others did.  Scripture is clear that each Believer should follow the faith they have regarding such things that are not critical to faith in Yeshua. (1 Cor. 7, 8, 9).  In Yeshua, Jew and Gentile are united in one new man. (Eph. 2:11-18).  “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2: 19-22).

As fellow citizens with God’s people Israel, members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles, prophets, and covenants of the promise we certainly partake in the blessings of Israel.  Therefore, I believe the old covenant blessings are ours today, through Yeshua, including Aaron’s blessing.  Yeshua is our High priest and we are a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Him.  We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2: 5, 9).  We are told, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,…” (Timothy 3: 16).  Of course, you may not have a similar position of faith regarding such blessings and that is between you and the Lord.  However, do not become ensnared to a false notion that obeying customs, practices, and laws will make you more righteous.  Paul gives a stern warning against this deception, “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Galatians 5: 4), “…know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” (Galatians 2: 16).

Let the name of God be put on you through this ancient God given blessing, and as a Believer speak it over your family and fellow children of God.

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