The God of Promise – Part 1

As a child, my parents sometimes read from a “Promise Box,” which contained tiny roles of paper with printed promises from the Bible. Invariably, many of these promises were quoted from Old Testament covenant promises to the nation of Israel. Sadly, many were torn out of context and wrongly applied. So, as we consider God’s promises, we acknowledge that any grace received through them is only through the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 1:2). Therefore, we shall take care to apply God’s promises appropriately.

We rightly cling to God’s promises because we know that He always fulfills them. Due to Israel’s frequent disobedience and idolatry, they needed reminding that God was not unfaithful as they were. Joshua 21:45 reminded them that not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. The God of Israel is trustworthy. He is our God, and today, as always, He remains absolutely trustworthy as the keeper of all promises.

By the way, this fact should especially affirm our Gentile faith in God. As we watch the nation of Israel today, we see Yahweh literally bringing to fruition His promises from thousands of years ago. Ethnic Israel is the guarantee of the church’s future security in Christ. Just as the LORD specifically continues to fulfill promises to Israel, so the LORD will literally fulfill every promise to His bride, the church.

2 Peter 1:3-4 explain how God’s promises are actuated in the believer’s life. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. As Christians, God’s power, which causes us to grow in God-like character and living, is administered to us through our knowledge of Him. Through our growing knowledge of God, we receive and understand His promises which are appropriate to New Testament believers. Through our obedient dependence upon God fulfilling His promises we increasingly become sharers and participants in God’s nature. The foremost result of this, is that we are increasingly liberated from the sinful desires that previously plagued us.

A growing knowledge of God’s Word is critical to this sanctifying process (John 17:17) as the Holy Spirit personalises our character development from His written Word. As this reality consumes more and more of our lives, we become more aware of the glory and excellence that God has graciously called us to. You see, there is a connection between the quality of our relationship with the LORD and our ability to recognise His fulfilled, and yet to be fulfilled, promises. This reassures us, that if we fail to see His promises being fulfilled, it is not because of any failure on God’s part.

I hope to consider over the coming weeks, a few of God’s great and precious promises. As I do, we shall see repeatedly, that although we are faithless, He remains faithful… (2 Timothy 2:13). Familiarity with at least some of God’s promises is essential to our faith and our faithfulness. Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? (James 2:5). May we be rich in God’s promises.

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