Blessed and Highly Favored: Empty Slogan or Spiritual Reality?
If you spend enough time in Christian community, you will learn that there are common sayings that make up Christian vernacular. I like to call it “Christianese.” While it has become fashionable to throw shade at common sayings among believers, that is not my intention here. There is nothing wrong with common language that defines a community. The issue is when these sayings and phrases are divorced from biblical foundation and understanding.
For instance, there is a phrase used in greetings all the time. I am pretty sure that you have heard it: “I’m blessed and highly favored!” I’ve seen it on license plates and even t-shirts. It is this phrase that I would like to unpack in the remainder of this post. (See what I just did there?)
Forcing God’s Blessing
Is this statement true? Is it biblical? If so, why? Before I proceed to answer these questions, I must point out that there is a common and dangerous error in which some believe that the statement ‘blessed and highly favored’ can be made true simply by repeating it. The logic seems to be that if it is said enough, it will become a reality. It teaches that we can will ourselves into the blessings of God. This is false because it makes human effort the foundation of God’s blessings instead of the person and the work of Jesus Christ.
The Bible emphatically teaches that Christians are blessed and highly favored by God. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3). The key phrase is “in Christ.” The blessings that believers enjoy and will enjoy in salvation are bound to our union with Christ. These blessings are grounded in God’s grace and mercy, not in human confession.
We are blessed because God has graciously willed it to be so. No one deserves God’s blessings on his or her own merit. No one has the ability to force God’s hand to bless based on works (Eph. 2:1-10). God never has been nor, will he ever be indebted to humanity. He has poured out his goodness on his people according to his own purpose and to the praise of his glorious grace (Eph. 1:5-6).
God the Father purposed to adopt us into his covenant family as daughters and sons with full rights as citizens of his kingdom (Eph. 1:3-6; John 1:12-13). He loves his children with an everlasting love and not one of God’s children will fail to see his goodness. The people of God are eternally loved by God.
God the Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ became a human being to secure our redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus lived the sinless life that we never could have lived and died the death that we deserved to die as our substitute so that sin’s curse would be broken and so we could become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:17-20; Col. 1:12-14). The redeemed of the Lord are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). This is divine favor in the highest order.
God the Holy Spirit indwells and empowers his people to love God and love our neighbors. The Spirit of God has baptized the Lord’s people into the Lord’s body, the Church (Rom. 6). He testifies within each believer as the Spirit of adoption that we are God’s children (Rom. 8:12-17). As our great Comforter, he helps us in weakness and prayer and keeps us (Rom. 8:26-30; John 14:15-21). The Church is blessed and edified by his gifts and we can give powerful testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ as he works through us (1 Cor. 11:4-11; Acts 4:33). Everybody say blessed (in my Fred Hammond voice)!!
Blessed and Highly Favored
God in his fullness has committed himself to our good for his glory. However, I must add a word of caution here.
God’s blessings upon his people do not mean that we won’t have to endure pain, suffering, and loss in this life. When Mary was greeted by the angel, she was called favored. The Lord chose Mary as a vessel to give birth to the promised Messiah. This great honor was not without struggle. Mary’s integrity was called into question and Joseph came close to divorcing her. God called her favored, and yet from a human perspective, it looked as if she had been unfaithful.
Paul was used mightily by God. He was led by the Spirit to write Scripture. He was used to work miracles, take the gospel to foreign lands, plant churches, and raise up leaders. Yet he was forced to flee for his life; he was beaten; he was arrested, and ultimately executed.
The blessing and favor that have been secured for us by Christ do not exempt us from trials. They keep us strong during testing. They keep our feet in the fight. They keep our eyes on Christ from whom all blessings flow.
If you have ever uttered the words ‘blessed and highly favored’ about yourself as a child of God, do not stop. Just remember that the statement is not a reality because you say it. Say it because in Christ, it is your reality.
24 thoughts on “Blessed and Highly Favored: Empty Slogan or Spiritual Reality?”
Mary was “blessed and highly favored” because of her assignment. The next time someone gives you that response ask them what their assignment is!
Mary was “blessed and highly favored” because of her assignment ” The next time someone gives you that response ask them what their assignment is!
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I think that I will just say that I am highly blessed and favored because Jesus loves me unconditionally.
As believers, we are blessed. But, highly favored? No other place in scripture is anyone called highly favored. The angel, God’s messenger, proclaimed this about a young woman. Mary was endued with a special honor. Who of us could have been chosen to be the earthly mother of the Son of God. Mary was blessed and highly favored, before her Savior was born. She was accepted by God, before His Son’s blood covered her sins. We are only acceptable after being washed and cleansed. To call myself highly favored would be to say I deserve to be saved and cleansed. I don’t. None of us do. We deserve God’s wrath. Jesus did not favor us by dying on the cross. God’s wrath was poured out upon Him, a precious, innocent Son because of our sin. How does that make me highly favored? Or you? Or anyone? The Father drew me to His Son. Is that how He favored me? No. That’s how He blessed me. Maybe we think more highly of ourselves than we ought. The saying that Christians are highly favored elevates us, strips us of our humility. We should be elevating Him for the blessing He has given us, which makes it possible to be a child of God. He deserves all our praise.
I love the fact that this phrase is being discussed. But we must be careful when we use the words highly favored. Mary is the only who has been called this and it was not self proclaimed. This article uses many scriptures to interpret being blessed and being favored. But he gives his own ideas interpretations when it comes to being highly favored. I am not shooting down the phrase, but let us at least know where it originated and it’s meaning in that context.
Personally, I don’t care for that particular Churchism. To a unbelieving world, it sounds way too much like “I’ve got it” and of course the unspoken inverse of that is “you don’t”. The primary subject in that saying is “I”. It may be true that “I” am blessed and highly favored but so is every other true believer in Christ who embraces the full gift and bounty of his sacrifice for sin and victorious resurrection as he conquered death and as he administers these gifts into and through the lives of all believers. Like almost all statements that edify the individual and leaves the status of the whole unaddressed dressed I would say, “get over yourself“. Christ calling in the world has more to do with Him and others then it does with my preoccupation with me. The Saint Francis prayer talks about “it is through self forgetting that we find“.
Then why you have the “DONATE” menu brother? Already blessed right????
Patricia Scarborough Brown
I am blessed and highly favored by God. He saw me crying and suffering as a sinner in depression. I didn’t know to pray to Jesus because I didn’t know Jesus or that Jesus had died for me. Jesus started introducing the presence of the Holy Spirit to me, which took me a minute to realize what was going on. I thank Jesus often for delivering and saving me. Read the Book titled “The Testimony that Jesus Gave Me” by Patricia Scarborough Brown.
Gail McGill Tate
Good Teaching! Very well explained, and certainly gives one a better understanding!
Saying that I am blessed and highly favored is a reminder to me, whenever I say it, that I am a child of the Almighty and no matter the circumstances I have that relationship to be deeply appreciative for. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!
Well said’ and simply put for understanding. I personally agree & i also say that if any one person could have actually made that claims it most definately could have been mary…But i noticed during her visitation with elizabeth” elizabeth introduced and acknowledged mary as blessed and highly favored during their greeting and not mary, as a matter of fact humble mary never really makes that claim’ but says her soul does magnify the Lord…
Thanks for this great balancing viewpoint. Many scriptures are taken out of context or used for human “positive confession” or memes on FB. Divorced from context and understanding Scriptures are used as nothing more than Happy Sayings, not expressions of deep spiritual truths. Thanks for providing this balanced look at a popular, perhaps over-used, phrase.
What scripture backs up the phase highly favored that so many people speak. My thinking is Mary was the only one highly favored according to scripture. We all are blessed.
Cee, since you don’t believe in sin and hell then I guess that means you have no need for Jesus or His salvation or His redemption either huh?
Since you don’t believe in sin and hell then I guess that means you have no need for Jesus or His salvation or His redemption either huh?
The KJV bible translates Luke 1 28 as Highly Favored in exchange for Full of Grace. You are correct in defining highly favored which is praise claimed by a human being. But the real and true translation is Full of Grace which means blessed with deep union with God. The only Human being given such praise by an Angel, a messenger of God was Mary. Hail a word of greeting reserved for Kings and gods was uttered by an Angel. The Angel Gabriel was venerating a person whom God has found perfect to be His vessel or tabernacle to enter humanity. Mary, upon visiting Elizabeth and she said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. So, both Mary and Jesus are blessed according the Holy spirit
Really? “sinner” “hell”. The brain is washed.
Henry "V" Ferguson
Indeed, Amen!!! Thank you, pastor Earon James for speaking to us beyond religion and beyond the law. This message is irrefutable and very insightful. Understanding blood covenant tells us as with a marriage covenant a fuse takes place like the lava lamp where many lava bubbles become one lava bubble. “As Christ Jesus is so are we in this world” 1John 4:17 not when we get to heaven but “now.” Our spirit is identical to Christ Jesus’ Spirit and we have the same burden removing, yoke destroying bulldog chain breaking power on the inside of us that raised Christ Jesus from the grave Ephesian 1:18-21
Ephesians 1:18-21 New Living Translation (NLT)
18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.[a]
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.
To God be the glory and much love—Pastor Henry “V” Ferguson–Living to Love Ministries Church International –Shreveport/Bossier City, Lousiana
Ap. Humphrey Oseni
We are already blessed and highly favoured!
We confess that we are blessed and favored , not to move God’s hand , but to receive, what he has already proved through redemption.
Just like in salvation, it was already provided through Christmas, but we receive our salvation when we confess the Lordship of Jess.
Every sinner (including those in hell ) were saved on the cross! But for them to appreciate it , they must believe and receive it .
Faith confessions are about receiving and appropriatin what Christmas has provided in redemption.
We are already blessed with all spiral blessingso (Eph1:3).
We are joint heirs with Christ, however just like a father may leave a large inheritance for his children, it will not reflect in their lives, if they don’t sign the necessary documents and appropriate it.
I’m blessed we need such pastor’s in ourlives
Excellent article! Thank you to Pastor James and this website for posting it. It is so helpful to be reminded of truths about our spiritual identity in Christ.