Zoe Center
Name It and Claim It – Part 4
Archived – March 1, 2020

Name It and Claim It – Part 4

March 1, 2020


  • For the last two weeks we’ve been providing an overview and biblical of the Word of Faith Movement.
  • We’ve spent our time looking at the figure of , the most important biblical figure in the Word of faith movement.
  • We established that as believers in Christ, we are children of Abraham and therefore inherit his blessing (Galatians 3:14).
  • While we can claim the entire legally and spiritually, we possess only a portion of it practically, the remainder to be dispersed in the age to come (Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 1:13-14).
  • The Holy Spirit is a on our inheritance in the meantime.
  • He is both a spiritual and resource.

Prosperity and Race

  • Putting the prosperity message in perspective certainly has do to with understanding its biblical .
  • However, it also has to do with the place the doctrine has in this ministry—both theologically and .
  • Specifically, we’re going to look at the implications of this doctrine on a congregation that is predominately .
  • Like the prosperity doctrine itself, the subject of is controversial, and the mere mention of the subject can put people on edge, especially within the context of a environment that is already very charged.
  • You might ask: Why bring this up? Isn’t this subject divisive? Aren’t we all one in Christ Jesus? Why do identities matter?
  • You’ve already been invited to be as we contextualize the Word of Faith doctrine.
  • I’m continuing to call upon that patience as we link the prosperity message to the context.
  • Frankly, the of this church affects how I preach.
  • The context affects the way the moves here.
  • Understanding this will help you what God sent you here to receive.

The Other Side of Paul and Nehemiah

  • Most of us know Paul as an apostle who stepped outside of his zone culturally to preach the gospel (I Corinthians 9:19-23; Galatians 2:7-8).
  • There is also another side of Paul who longed for the of the people from his own race (Romans 9:1-5).
  • Nehemiah faithfully served a foreign government, but his heart broke for his people (Nehemiah 1:1-4; Nehemiah 2:1-3).

Family Loyalty and Cultural Flexibility

  • Jewish law welcomed (Leviticus 19:33-34).
  • Jewish people were asked to respond to non-Jews with and empathy.
  • They were also never asked to tone down their in the process.
  • Ruth had the courage to follow an almost draw to a people that were not her own (Ruth 1:8-9; Ruth 1:15-18).
  • Ruth found God’s and redemption because she was open to following God’s leading into a culture that was not her own (Ruth 2:10-13; Ruth 4:13; Ruth 4:17).

Finding Our Story in the Jewish Story

  • We’ve discussed how the prosperity message invites us to find our in the Jewish blessing.
  • African Americans have historically looked at the Jewish story to their own story. (Deuteronomy 6:20-23).
  • The parallels are complicated because the nature of slavery is not just .
  • Its power has as much to do with as it does to law and physical force (Orlando Patterson – Slavery and Social Death):
    • no humanity (Social Death)
    • no family (Natal Alienation)
    • no honor (General Dishonor)
  • While this has been true historically about most forms of slavery around the world, the global use of African slaves maximized this power.
  • The body became a symbol for everything —and hence the rest of the world—feared about themselves.
  • The became the symbol of a creature, the name of which is so vilifying, it has been eliminated from our notes.
  • Hence, from slavery is more than what happened at the end of the Civil War.
  • It requires a fundamental shift in how we think about African and .

Building A Real Wakanda

  • Getting into the promised land requires being attentive to God’s wisdom (Deuteronomy 6:23-25; Proverbs 1:20-23; John 1:1; John 1:14; John 7:37-39).
  • We have to for wisdom from the Holy Spirit the way the Wakandans mined for Vibranium (Proverbs 2:1-7; I Corinthians 2:7-10).
  • The Holy Spirit is our .
  • and God-seeking are connected (II Chronicles 26:4-5; II Chronicles 26:7-10; II Chronicles 26:15).
  • God’s wisdom leads to and prosperity. (Proverbs 3:1-10; Proverbs 3:13-18).
  • When we are wise in our dealings, we can the curse:
    • From servant to ruler (Proverbs 17:2)
    • From poverty to royalty (I Samuel 2:8)
    • The Joseph Story (Genesis 37:27-28; Genesis 41:37-44)
    • The Esther Story (Esther 2:8-9; Esther 2:12-15; Esther 2:16-17)
    • The Daniel Story (Daniel 1:1; Daniel 1:3-5; Daniel 2:46-49; Daniel 6:1-3)


Dr. Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2020


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