What does it mean to be “Blessed,” and how do we Biblically understand and apply this word?
by Bill Rhetts, MA
(Disclaimer: This applies only to born-again Christians)
A Biblical word that is often misunderstood, misused, and misapplied is the word “blessed.” Such as “I’m blessed,” “be blessed,” “God bless you,” etcetera etcetera.
The prosperity Gospel or word of faith movement, will wrongfully use the word ‘blessed’ only when they receive a monetary gain, a promotion, experience fortunate times, receive a clean bill of health from their doctor, and/or are “blessed with success” according to the worlds standards – etcetera.
But a Theological truth is, one of the tests of salvation is whether if or not a professed believer can understand, use, and apply the word ‘blessed’ under difficult circumstances.
Let us take a look at a passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, more specifically the beatitudes.
In Matthew 5:10-11 Jesus said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
In this one passage Jesus said ~
- we would be “blessed” when we are “persecuted” (which can include death by martyrdom)
- we would be “blessed” when men “revile you and persecute you”
- we would be “blessed” when others speak “evil” against us
- we would be “blessed” when others “falsely” accuse you because of your faith in Christ.
This word “blessed” here comes from the Greek word makarios (μακάριος, α, ον). It is an adjective, which is used 50 times in the New Testament.
This word blessed means “a prolonged form of the poetical makar (meaning the same); supremely blest; by extension, fortunate, well off: — blessed, happy (X -ier).” 
Repeating verse 10, Jesus said “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Charles H. Spurgeon said the following. “They [those blessed] share the kingdom of heaven with the poor in spirit. They are often evil spoken of, they have sometimes to suffer the spoiling of their goods, many of them have laid down their lives for Christ’s sake, but they are truly blessed, for “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Repeating verse 11, Jesus said “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
Spurgeon said this, “Mind, it [the accusations] must be said falsely, and it must be for Christ’s sake, if you are to be blessed; but there is no blessing in having evil spoken of you truthfully, or in having it spoken of you falsely because of some bitterness in your own spirit.”
Now let me challenge you with this.
There’s more to salvation than the following passage. But the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
- we are saved by “grace”
- salvation is through “faith” in Christ.
You see ‘faith’ is a necessary ingredient of salvation. It is not by ‘grace alone’ as some suppose. Salvation is by grace, through faith – and our faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Having said that. Do you only claim to be “blessed” when you “receive monetary gain, a promotion, experience fortunate times, or have a clean bill of health from your doctor, etcetera etcetera?”
Or do you have the saving “faith” in Christ to proclaim that you are “blessed” even under difficult circumstances? Such as a lack or loss of monetary goods, a lack of promotion, unfortunate times, persecution, death and/or disease.
A Biblical saving knowledge through faith in Christ will say “I am blessed” when the doctor says I have only 30 days to live. I am blessed when I did not get my promotion. That is a Biblical understanding and application of the word “blessed.” That is the beatitude attitude.
A theological fact is that faith (pístis) and being blessed (makários) are intertwined, and must not be separated.
In one of many passages Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:18-20).
Now go be Biblically blessed!