Summary: Hebrews 10:36 teaches that obedience is a key to obtaining God’s promise: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”
Be Certain of God’s Promises
Text--2 Peter 1:1-4
I recently had an interesting dialog with a Christian co-worker on the topic of keeping promises. In our work environment we have both been supervisors and in general the topic came up related to making and keeping promises to others, especially those for whom one is responsible. The conversation took place over several days, and we traversed a lot of ground which I am not going to rehash today but there were some key thoughts that eventually led me to our lesson today, the first in a series of lessons, which begins with the idea of a promise.
Let's begin with a “simple” definition of a promise:
Definition: A promise is a transaction between two or more persons whereby the first person undertakes in the future to render some service or gift to the others or devotes something valuable now and here to his use.
So far so good, we are all pretty familiar with the concept, for most of us we learned as children that a promise made had better be kept – and that is reasonable because this is the example given to us by our Creator in whose image we are made. God is a great maker and keeper of promises.
Joshua 21:45 Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.
Those who study such things have said that the number of promises to be found in the old testament number in the thousands, and all came to pass, such is the faithfulness of our God. But we need to look at the other parties to the promises of God, those to whom the promises were made because while it is absolute that God can and does fulfill every promise made, those to whom the promises were made, were not always able to receive what was promised.
The most striking example is that of the generation of God's people who were freed from Egyptian bondage and led to the edge of the promised land but who, because of unfaithfulness on their part, did not receive the promise, it was instead given to the younger generation after 40 years of wandering in the desert.
This is an important lesson for us today since we as the children of God have been given promises for which we must also be in a position to receive and that brings us to our text for this lesson: 2 Peter 1:1-4.
1 Know The Source Of The Promise.
A. These are the promises of God:
1. This is not a worldly contract with worldly wording.
2. Not governmental recommendations or new age philosophies.
3. God sent, God approved, God guaranteed!
B. And God is Faithful to His Promises
Listen to some verses that declare that God is faithful to His promises.
Numbers 23:19 (NASB) God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Joshua 21:45 (NASB) Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.
1 Kings 8:56 (NASB) Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant.
Hebrews 10:23 (NASB) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
2 Peter 3:9 (NASB) The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
God wants us to know that He is faithful, always, to whom He has promised.
2 Know What Has Been Promised
Just how many do you think are in the Bible? Hundreds? Thousands? There is a scholar, Dr. Reg Dunlap, who has cataloged some 30,000 promises in the Bible great and small.
Here are just a few great and precious promises:
Jesus said “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Mt. 16:18)
Those who have accepted Jesus as Lord are a part of the church built by Jesus over 2000 years ago, which will remain until the end. And though Satan has and will continue to try to destroy it, God will not allow that to happen. He promised.
Another is “I will be with you.”
God has made this promise to his people throughout time.
To Joshua God said, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)