Many in today's Church believe in what is referred to as "generational curses," wherein God has levied punishment upon His people for the sins of their forefathers.
THE OLD TESTAMENT
These beliefs are based upon Old Testament scriptures such as, "... I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation..," (Exodus 20:5). Similar scriptures are found in Exodus 34:6-7, Numbers 14:17-18, and a few other Old Testament books..
As a matter of interest, Ezekiel 18: written some 850 years later has a different message:
"The word of the Lord came to me: What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: 'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel... The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. (Ezekiel 18:1-4,18-20)
Many of us have been taught that our children, grandchildren and we are suffering from the sins of our forefathers, and that we should fast and pray for this curse to be removed. Although some believe this "the generational curse" was removed in the 18th chapter of Ezekiel, I will leave the Old Testament part of this issue to the theologians.
THE NEW TESTAMENT
On one occasion, Jesus and His disciples discussed the subject of Generational Curses:
"As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him." (John 9:1-3)
Many in Jesus' day, were still clinging to the "Old Testament Laws." They could not grasp the fantastic changes in store for them through faith in Jesus.
Jesus gave His life so that anyone who would receive Him could have eternal life, grace, restoration and freedom; freedom from the "Old Testament Laws and curses."
The Apostle Paul said: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." (Rom 8:1) Condemnation means: "to declare guilty, to inflict a penalty upon." Is receiving a generational curse not a penalty, a condemnation?
Jesus death on the cross, ushered in the "New Testament," and a new beginning for mankind, breaking all curses, and redeeming all who would believe in Him. We have received victory and freedom in Christ, not condemnation.
If Jesus doesn't condemn us for our own sins, would He hold us responsible for those committed by others?
"...through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom 8:2)
The concept of being punished for the "sins" of the forefathers could have only come from the "law of sin" and death, from which the above Scripture plainly says we have been set free.
We can know that, at least for the Christian, the problems referred to as generational curses are not from God; because Jesus on the Cross broke any generational curses God may have at one time had on His people
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole,” (Gal 3:13).
We have been freed from the bondage of the generational curse. We don't have to do anything, because it's already been done by Christ.
"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
He paid it all on the cross. We are completely free from all sins, including those of our forefathers.
It's not that problems are not passed down from generation to generation. On the contrary, it is quite evident that, even as grandchildren look like their grandparents, many of them share the same weaknesses, problems, and even illnesses.
However, these come through the natural man, the bloodline; possibly tracing all the way back to the "Fallen Man" in the "Garden of Eden."
These are not the same as what is referred to as, "Generational Curses," wherein we are punished for the lifestyle and sins of our grandparents during the past three or four generations.
These things passed down through the bloodline of our forefathers definitely need restoration and healing, and who better to do so than Christ our Savior?
This is much better than attempting to break curses that have already been broken by Jesus on the cross.
What a useless burden to carry. Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matt 11:29-30) Why should we try to do what has already been done?
Jesus wiped the slate clean:
"But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation" (Col 1:22)
No one bearing a blemish from the sins of their forefathers is free from accusation or blemish.
God demonstrated His great love for us by sending His Son to die for our sins.
"... Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." (Rom 8:32-34)
Jesus, seated at the right hand of God, is interceding for us in Heaven. The fantastic truth is that God loves us so that He sent His Son to die in our place, to set us free from the Law of sin and death, free from all curses.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Gal 5:1)
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:17,)
"For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering." (Rom 8:
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new..." (2 Cor 5:17-19)
Comments on this Article:
Thanks for this exposition I write and pray there is a ministry in kenya who thrive on preaching this message-indeed they conduct deliverance. from the so called generational curses...
"Was and still in church this morning, and the message for the day is about generational curses.
I felt a sense of disappointment about it being preached because I have a clear understanding about the reason why Christ died for our sins.
I have always had the belief that the discussion of generational curse is in the Old Testament, but behold after I read through this brief or content has made it even clearer.
Just want to say thanks for the this important message as I believe the churches today are making people feel so afraid, whereas they, the (church) is suppose to be the symbol of salvation and hope."
"Thank you for this teaching on generational curses. I have been wondering about this for a while and God showed me Ezekiel 18, and it made me think of Galatians 3:13. Christians are in so much bondage to wrong teachings that it really is sad. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole'” (Gal 3:13 NIV).
R: Trinidad and Tobago