Wasn't it ALL Done at the Cross?

Mark Virkler's picture

Question: I had a question posed to me that I couldn't answer and I would like to get your take on it. A friend recently asked, “Why doesn't the new birth absolve generational sins and curses in a person's life when they come to Jesus? How can they continue when we have been forgiven of all and purchased with a price? Why wouldn't the blood of Jesus cleanse us of that?" That's a fair question and coming from someone who is, as Tommy Tenney would say, a God-chaser. I know that she was sincere and trying to understand. Can you help me with this? I have seen generational sins broken and people set free from them. I just don't know how to answer this one aspect of the subject.  Keith Stone, Dayton Ohio

Answer: The principle we are discussing is “breaking generational sins and curses.”

Everything that is within a parent is passed on to a child. That includes genes, physical traits, spiritual traits, personality traits and even vocational traits. All of it is passed from generation to generation.

Some comes directly through the womb. Other things are passed down through training. All that is within a parent is deposited into a child, both good and bad. Redemption places the cross of Christ between parents and children, so that one is now free to choose life and not death. However, grace must be applied, step by step and layer by layer.

Even as God’s grace did not drive all the inhabitants out of the Promised Land at one time, but instead did so slowly so that they would have the capacity to take control of the terrain, even so God’s grace, when applied to our individual lives, does not usually drive out all of our enemies instantly, but we experience a progressive application of God’s grace:

The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, for the wild beasts would grow too numerous for you.  (Deut. 7:22)

That is why we are told to “work out” our soul’s salvation (Phil. 2:12). This involves a process. If it were all instantaneous, there would be no “working out.” So come and let us work out the in-working power of God (Phil. 1:6), for it is Christ who works in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). And let’s not get hung up over terminology. I don’t want to fuss over whether it is a generational sin or a curse. Both are to be dealt with by God’s grace, as well as the old man, and the sin nature, etc. Our goal is to get all darkness cleaned out and to be filled with the light and glory of the Most High God!

A good example is an unsaved person addicted to nicotine. Sometimes when a smoker gives their life to Christ, they are immediately set free from their addiction the moment they pray the sinner's prayer. Hallelujah! Other times the breakthrough may be a short while later when a new believer gets water baptized and as they are raised up out of the water, their addictions are left behind and they no longer have those cravings. A powerful death and resurrection experience!

And we all know sincere water-baptized, Spirit-filled Christians who still struggle with addictive bondages, whether it's smoking, alcohol or pornography. And for them, it is a progressive working out of their salvation into area after area of their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. We rejoice in this ongoing sanctification as well, knowing that He Who began a good work in them will be faithful to complete it!

God does not do magic. He works with individuals and in individuals. It is always a process. It is always collaboration. Peter chose to step out on the water, and God chose to provide supernatural grace to hold him up. This is the way divine power is released in our lives. God invites us to take a step forward, we take that step, and God meets us supernaturally enhancing the step with divine grace being released out through our lives.

So do not expect magic. Do not expect everything to always be dealt with instantaneously. It often isn't. There will be a continuous appropriation of divine grace, a walking out of divine provision, an application of divine power, step by step as you work out your soul’s salvation.

Do you have an addiction or bondage in your life that you've struggled unsuccessfully to break free from? Discover how to apply the grace God's given and find your victory today! Learn more here.



Anonymous's picture

question about the opening statement

Hi Mark, this is a fascinating post. Thank you for sharing it. I have a question that would help me as I also deal with spiritual oppression with many people in the ministry
God has given me.. Is there any Scripture to verify the opening statement in your post which says, "Everything that is within a parent is passed on to a child. That includes genes, physical traits, spiritual traits, personality traits and even vocational traits. All of it is passed from generation to generation"? If not Scripture, are there other writings?

Blessings to you!

Mark M.

Mark Virkler's picture


How about the following: Ex. 20:4-6, Deut. 23:2, Deut. 7:9. It’s the science of heredity http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/262934/heredity and genetics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics. The Bible talks about punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Him (Ex. 20:5). The fruit of your womb can be cursed (Deut. 28:15,18 and 23:2) and talks about you “and your descendants” being cursed (Deut. 28:59,61). Also, the spiritual blessings extend generationally as well. God shows lovingkindness to a thousand generations of those whose love Him and keep His commandments (Ex. 20:5,6). He keeps a covenant of love to a thousand generations (Deut. 7:9). If you obey the voice of the Lord… you’ll be blessed and “the fruit of your womb will be blessed” too (Deut. 28:1-4). So that seems to speak to the spiritual aspects of it.
Anonymous's picture

Thanks Mark

I to believe in this. I have learned this a while ago as I got involved in a deliverance ministry. I am a first year GSSM student this year. I found you to be my favorite so far. If I listen to no one else but you over and over again I will be satisfied. Back to the topic at hand though, I am perplexed at how many Charismatics still believe that it was all done on the cross. Until they come for deliverance that seems to be the only time the perspective changes.

God Bless you kind Sir