OceanSide church of Christ
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WE NEED THE TRUTH
about the Promises of God (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. When Jesus died upon the cross of Calvary, the Law of Moses was abrogated.
1. Ephesians 2:14-16
For he is our peace who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
2. Romans 7:4, 6; II Corinthians 3; Galatians 3:23-29; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 9:15-17
B. There are many reasons to rejoice in the fact that the Law of Moses is no longer a law that governs any man.
1. It could not forgive sins (Heb. 10:4).
2. It was a “yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1; Acts 15:10).
3. It was given only to the nation of Israel (Deut. 5:2-3; Rom. 2:17-20).
4. It contained inferior promises (Heb. 8:6).
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
C. We have “better” promises in the New Covenant.
a. Stronger and nobler (Strong, e-sword)
b. More useful, more serviceable, more advantageous, more excellent (Thayer, e-sword).
2. Peter describes these promises with two other words (II Pet. 1:4).
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
D. The definition of a promise
1. An expressed assurance upon which an expectation is based.
2. A promise involves several elements:
a. The one making the promise
b. The promise or expressed assurance
c. The one receiving the promise
d. The expectation on the part of the receiver of the promise
3. NOTE: We are the recipients of God’s promises. We want all of us to rejoice that we are in this position.
I. GOD’S PROMISES ARE PRECIOUS
A. Peter said: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises…
a. Definition: great, greatest, costly, valuable
b. They are worth more than money can buy. They are worth more than all of the gold, silver, and precious stones in the world.
2. This fact should make us ask: “How can this be?”
B. The promise of the cleansing of our soul.
1. Man has a soul, his most prized possession (Matt. 16:26).
2. When man sins, his soul is stained with sin (Isa. 1:16), and he is condemned before God (Ezek. 18:20).
a. No amount of money can cleanse the sin-stained soul.
b. No treasures can free man from the sentence of death.
3. God has promised that through the blood of Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven, that is, washed from our sins.
a. Revelation 1:5
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
b. Hebrews 9:14 reveals that through the blood of Christ our consciences have been purged “from dead works to serve the living God.”
c. NOTE: This promise is precious, invaluable, PRICELESS!
4. Although Jesus’ blood was shed for all, not all will be saved. Why? Because conditions have been placed upon the forgiveness of sins.
a. Faith (Acts 15:9)
And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
b. This faith moves man to obey the other conditions of salvation found in the gospel (I Pet. 1:22).
Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit…
c. The culminating act of obedience is baptism wherein sins are washed away (Acts 22:16).
And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
d. All of this is confirmed when we examine the events that happened on Pentecost when the gospel was preached for the first time to the Jewish nation (Acts 2:37-38).
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
C. Two other precious promises:
1. Our physical necessities will be provided if we prioritize our lives and put His kingdom first (Matt. 6:33).
2. The promise of living in a glorified state just as Jesus is at this present time (I John 3:2; II Cor. 5:2).
Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth now yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
II. GOD’S PROMISES ARE PROPELLING
A. The promises of God have within them a power to move man into action.
B. Example: prayer
1. Some have difficulty in prayer due to the need of faith, time, energy, and persistency in prayer.
2. The promises of God connected to prayer, however, move us to pray.
a. If we pray with faith, great results can be achieved (Matt. 21:21-22).
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to this fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be removed. And all things whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Example: Nehemiah (Neh. 1:4)
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.
b. If we will pray effectual, fervent prayers much will happen (James 5:16).
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Example: Hannah (I Sam. 1:10-11)
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look upon the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but will give unto thine handmaid a man child then will I give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
c. If we persist in prayer, the promise is that God will answer our prayer.
Example: Parable of the Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-13)
I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as he needeth….And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
A. In this lesson, we have discussed two aspects of the promises of God.
1. The promises of God are precious. Our soul’s salvation is proof of this.
2. The promises of God are propelling. God’s promises propel us to enter into our closets and pray.
B. In our next lesson, we will examine three other points regarding the promises of God.
C. Have you been a recipient of God’s promise to forgive your sins?
1. Do you have faith? (Acts 15:9)
2. Have you been baptized (Acts 22:16).
3. Both of these actions are said to purify and cleanse man of sins. They also harmonize with the words of our Master (Mark 16:16).
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…