For the next few weeks we want to look at the topic of "Believing the Promises". It is one thing to know the promises of God, and yet another to actually believe them! We will never be all that God wants us to be until we become 'promise believers'.
In our text this morning we find that all of God's promises answer yes in Christ; all of God's promises are based upon and find their fulfillment in Christ. Peter uses three words to describe the promises of God.
Note: "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." cf 2Pe. 1:4
1. Exceeding = beyond natural limits or supernatural.
2. Great = large, surpassing all others.
3. Precious = of such great value that a suitable price is hard to estimate.
What is a promise? An oral or written agreement to do or not to do something. To give a basis for expectation. God's promises are graciously bestowed, secured by negotiation. There are over 3000 promises for us to claim in God's Word. What we must do is learn to depend more upon His promises to us than our promises to Him. We have all heard of 'foxhole religion'. Our promises to God are not very valuable, but His promises to us are exceeding, great, and precious.
I. Guiding Principles for Believing the Promises of God.
A. We must understand that every- thing we do in our Christian life is based upon faith in the promises of God.
1. Note: Gal.2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
2. The life that we live right now, is by faith...in the promises of God
3. When we get saved it is by believing the promise of God. (note: Ro. 10:13)
4. We read our Bibles, pray, and tithe because God has promised to bless us!
B. All God's promises depend upon God's faithfulness and power to fulfill His promises.
1. If I promised Jerry Brummett that I would go to work for him (so he could have some time off) at the garage fixing problems with those diesel trucks; my promise would be worthless.
2. He knows that I could not follow through on that promise.
3. I would be guilty of lying to him.
4. We have to ask ourselves two questions concerning this principle.
a. Is God faithful? or Does He always tell the truth?
b. Is God able? or Does He have enough power to keep His promise?
c. Note: He. 10:23, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)"
d. Note: Jer. 32:17, "Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:"
C. A promise has no value unless it is made to someone. God has chosen to make His promises to us, His children.
1. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:" 2 Pe. 1:4a
2. God's promises are not general in nature for just everyone; they are for those who are born again!
3. God makes His promises to us!
D. God's promises are all true, but some of them only become effectual to those who believe them.
1. Promises that are true regardless of whether we believe them.
a. Gal. 6:8a, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;"
b. Ro. 8:13a, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:"
c. 1Ti 6:7, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
2. Some of God's promises are only become effectual when we believe them.
a. The example of prayer.
b. Jas 1:6-7, "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."
c. Mt. 21:22, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
d. Example of tithing.
e. Mal. 3:10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
E. No Christian really believes the promises of God until he acts upon them by faith. Faith and works are inseparable.
1. Note: Jas. 2:17, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
2. We can say, "I believe the promises of God!", but if we never act upon them we don't really believe them.
3. God's promises are of no value to us until we act upon them!
F. God's promises are all conditional.
1. Note: Jn. 14:13-14 ,"And what- soever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."
2. That doesn't just mean that we tack on "in Jesus name" at the end of our prayer.
3. It means that we are praying in the will of God...we are praying as Jesus would pray.
4. Note: Lu. 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
5. The condition is that we give!
Conclusion: We must learn to believe God's exceeding great and precious promises. It will change the way we pray and it will change the way we live! Let's determine to become promise believers!