SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 05/12

The Secret of Prosperity

1. Introduction

English Prosper = To be successful, to thrive, to be rich. This is the commonly accepted meaning of the term. But the Hebrew words translated prosper, prosperity, prosperous in the Bible mean far more than financial riches. They mean, success, well being, joy, health and progress in all that you undertake.

Hebrew Halak = To go on, to progress. Tsaleach = (To cause) to go on prosperously.
Ezra 5:8 Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.

Sakal = To cause to 'act wisely' as in:
Deut. 29:9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them,
that ye may prosper in all that ye do.

Shalom = To be complete, finished, at peace, as in:
Job 9:4 ... Who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?

The implied answer to this question is: No one. No one who resists the Spirit of God has ever prospered. Yet everyone wants to be prosperous. It is a perfectly normal and respectable yearning. But how few people achieve true prosperity? How very few are really successful, safe and are at peace in their souls? To be sure millions have a lot of money and there is seemingly no end to the possessions some folk have. But wealth and possessions in themselves do not spell prosperity. Prosperity is a state of the soul. It is a spiritual condition which is reflected in happiness and inner peace. All the world unconsciously seeks prosperity; but comparatively few find it. Why? Why are so many rich, famous and knowledgeable people so miserable, restless and unhappy? Why? What is the secret of true success, true happiness, true prosperity? Are you truly happy, prosperous and at peace?

2. False Prosperity

The obedient believer may often wonder at the apparent prosperity of the wicked. Our circumstances may often appear to be a contradiction of what Yahweh has promised in His Word. It is at times like this that we must examine the whole picture. We must, with the Psalmist, go into the sanctuary of God and examine the end of the story.
Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4: For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
5: They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
6: Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
7: Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
8: They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
9: They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
10: Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.
11: And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
12: Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
13: Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
14: For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
15: If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
16: When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
17: Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
18: Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
19: How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.
20: As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
21: Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.
22: So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

3. True Prosperity

Yahweh wants His people to be prosperous in every possible way. But the prosperity He wants for us is based on spiritual foundations: not money, education, fame or fading physical beauty. Instead He wants us to build prosperity on faith in Him and His Son. I call this the prosperity of the soul. It all depends on the foundation. If the foundation is faulty, then the 'prosperity' built upon it will not last.

Yahweh's people may or may not be rich; they may or may not be clever, they may or may not have great possessions. But they should all be prosperous. They should all be happy, fulfilled and at rest on the Spirit of God. Until we have found prosperity of Spirit, we could find ourselves chasing bubbles like so many millions are doing today.
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
3: For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
4: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

4. The Secret of Prosperity

The Bible provides the formula for true prosperity. It is an extremely simple one. Here it is. NOTE: These two things (Faith and Obedience) attract the Spirit and blessing of God. The more you apply them the more prosperous you will become. SBS writes a great deal about the sin of Sabbath-breaking, not because it is the worst of sins, but because it is the most widespread. Billions commit this sin every weekend without realising it. They must be informed.

5. Examples of Prosperity

The Bible is full of examples of true prosperity. They demonstrate very dramatically the results of faith and obedience. Sad to say the modern Christian world look upon obedience as a form of doubt: as though the obedient believer is trying to earn his/her salvation and entry to the Kingdom of Heaven. This is not the case. So let me - yet again - put the record straight. Faith in Jesus Christ is the very first and last requirement for entry into the Kingdom of God. But that faith must be living faith: and living faith to be recognised as real must exhibit itself in obedience. The repentant sinner, in other words, must "go and sin no more." (John 5:14, 8:11) He/she must give up and forsake sin.


Genesis 39:3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
verse 23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.


2 Kings 18:7 And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth...
2 Chronicles 31:20-21 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God.
21: And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.


2 Chronicles 26:5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.

6. Hindrances to Prosperity

There are several hindrances to true prosperity. The worst is fighting God and resisting His Holy Spirit. Here are a few goals to aim for if you want to be prosperous.

Do Not Fight Against God

2 Chronicles 13:12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper

Forsake sin

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Note: If you have wronged another person, go to him (not someone else) and clear the matter. If you were in the wrong, confess your fault to the person concerned (not to any other), and put it right. Then you will be blessed of God and prosperity will follow.

7. A Promise of Prosperity

Yahweh wants all His people to prosper and He has given us the formula for true prosperity. You will have noticed that the Bible gives good examples of how believers have prospered. But what about us? Can we also prosper like Hezekiah or Joseph did? Yes we can. The formula works in any age and for all believers who put their faith in and obey the Most High. There are no exceptions.
Psalm 1:3 And he (the obedient believer) shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

SBS     Sermon Notes

Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet May 1996 ... Updated August 1999