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Authority to Bless

6 Oct

James 3:1-12

Blessing OthersLiving as a Christian, especially in a country where people have freedom to express their opinion quite freely is quite something. There are often times when I heard someone else cursing, or swearing at another person. Unfortunately, I also sometimes do the same thing. As Christians, we are expected to keep watch on every word that comes out of our mouth. Why is this important? Because many Christians do not realize that their words have the authority to bless, or to curse.

I am a firm believer in the power of the tongue and the authority that it brings to bless or curse others. In James 3:1-12 (NIV), the power that our tongues hold is explained. I believe as we are made in God’s likeness, the words that we speak also have tremendous power. It saddens me that we sometimes choose to use this for purposes other than blessing.

Before we start, it is useful to know what I meant by blessing. The earliest form of blessing is written in Genesis 1 (NIV), in which God blessed His creations to fill the earth. If we take a closer look to this chapter, we will see that there are three major points that constitute God’s blessing:

  • Be fruitful

Be fruitful means that God’s blessing will make our efforts produce desired outcomes. Fruitfulness is the opposite of barrenness. Fruitfulness is being able to produce, perform as we desire, and to bring the best of you in a pleasing and satisfying way.

  • Multiply (increase in number)

Multiplication means that God’s blessing will make our effort not only produce desired outcomes, but also multiply our outcomes so it far surpasses what we had expected our outcome to be.

  • Dominion over the earth

Dominion is the unique blessing that God gave to mankind. It was not present in all other blessings for the creatures. Dominion over the earth means that we as the children of God have the authority, and be in control over anything on earth.

These three basic points are the manifestation of blessings, meaning that people who are blessed will be fruitful, multiply, and have the authority over the situations in their life. Curses, on the other hand, would have the opposite effect: they involve barrenness, difficulty to be fruitful, and humiliation instead of authority.

There are many forms of blessings. Some categorise them as spiritual or physical blessing, others categorise them according to the context and purpose, such as marriage blessings, priestly blessings, and some others. It is important to know that blessings are poured by God; only the way it is being given is different:

  • Blessings that God gave us

In this sense, to be blessed means that one is to be favoured by God, and as such, it is directly associated with God. Blessings in this sense came from God’s words Himself and the fulfilment of those words.

In the Old Testament and since the fall of mankind to sin, people entered a relationship with God under the old covenant, where they would be blessed for their obedience, and they will be cursed for their transgressions. These are listed in great detail in Deuteronomy 28, where it shows the blessings that will be granted as well as curses that will be inflicted to the Israelites, and in Deuteronomy 30, God specifically gave the choice of to choose life or death. In general, God has established that blessings are beneficial intervention with kindness on the part of God in favour of those He honours, and curses are deleterious interventions based on rules, regulations and specific behaviour.

However it all changed when Christ came and redeemed us, and thus marked the beginning of the new covenant, grace through faith. Under the new covenant, as we can see in Galatians 3:10-15, no longer we are blessed only if we obey God, and we are no longer cursed if we failed to do so. Not only that, Ephesians 1:3 also state that we already received every spiritual blessing that we received through Christ.

This means that we, as children of God, have already received all spiritual blessings that He has prepared for us, such as His guidance and deliverance, intimate relationship with Him, as well as unlimited direct access to Him.

  • Blessings that we bestow upon someone else

Apart from blessings that are given to us through Christ, we also have the authority to bless other people. We often see or hear the phrase God bless you, and this is an example of this blessing. I want to remind us all that the one who give us blessings is the Lord, we are merely the vessels to channel His blessings to other people. And this is the part that I want to share today.

The blessings that we bestow upon someone else is not a new thing, it has been recorded as well in various instances in the Old Testament, most notably in Numbers 6:22-27 where God instructed Moses to tell Aaron how to bless the Israelites. Why did God give instructions to Aaron to bless the Israelites?

As I have explained before, in the Old Testament, under the old covenant in which blessings were favoured upon obedience and curses given upon transgressions, God had no direct contact to the Israelites except through Moses and Aaron. Since Aaron was the high priest who had the authority to bless, therefore God instructed Aaron to bless the Israelites, through the use of words.

Why is this important to know of? Because it means that we have the ability to bless other, through the use of our words. Throughout in the Bible, there are other instances where blessings were delivered through the use of words. Take example in Genesis 27, where Isaac blessed Jacob, and then Esau came in only to find his blessings had been taken away. When Isaac knew about this, he trembled and shocked of what had happened. Isaac knew that his words of blessing were something that is not easy to be taken away once spoken.

Let us see another example from the Bible, this time from the New Testament, where Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11:12-25. Jesus spoke to the fig tree, and the next morning that very same fig tree withered. We may be tempted to think that it was a given since Jesus was God Himself, however the Bible did not state that Jesus was using His godly powers. He was merely speaking to the tree.

The purpose of my sharing today is to open up our eyes to the power that we often neglect: the power of our tongues and the authority that comes with our words. Proverbs 18:21 said that our tongues holds the power of life and death, and I believe this is one of the strongest word found in the Bible. It is important to know that our words are significantly powerful and can bless other, transfer blessings, authority, ownership, and God sees it as a legal contract. In Matthew 12:36, it is written that God will hold every men (and women) accountable to each word that they speak idly. We have to remember there is a direct spiritual connection between our mouths, and God’s ear. Therefore, brothers and sisters, the next time we open our mouth, let blessings came out of it.

Stay blessed.



If you would like to study more about the power of the spoken words, I found a very good website explaining this in great detail, divided in several blog posts.