Promise – The Bible Definition
By Brad Hewey
How does the Bible define promise? What does it teach us about God’s promises? Brad reminds us of the hope that we have that is based on God’s promises.
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How does it relate to the Christian life?
Consider this. Faith in something, or in someone, is strongly tied to PROMISE.
Hebrews 10:23 says: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that hath promised.”
Promise and Kids
Sometimes when we speak to our kids, we promise them things.
“If you do some extra chores, I’ll buy you something special” They are trusting that their action of performing additional chores”, will lead to a particular reward.
Promise however, encompasses not just the positive, but the negative as well.
Just as there’s a promise of reward for good behaviour, there’s a lack of reward, or even punishment, for bad behavior. “Stop talking to your sister like that, or you’ll go in your room…without your phone!
When we say we have faith in God, we as born-again Christians mean what?
– we trust in God, and Jesus Christ as our Saviour,
– we trust that our sins have been forgiven, by the sacrifice of Jesus blood on the cross.
– that the Spirit of God (HOLY SPIRIT ) abides in us
– that we are on a path leading to eternity
Although we have never physically seen the father, or the son, nor ever will in this life, our FAITH sustains us! Our Faith is anchored in something that is tangible, literal…. Specifically, GODS promises, and even covenants with his people in times past, and YES in our very present age.
A Summary of Promise
In 2 Peter 1 we have a lovely summary of promise: “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,” and NOTE: The order is FIRST to life, and then to Godliness…. he has first dealt with our sin, and then he gives us all things that we might grow in grace, and in the knowledge of all things in Christ Jesus”.
Imagine…he’s given us all things that pertain unto life, and to godliness”.
So often we don’t’ see the “all things”; we’re too busy much of the time with the “ other things”… little things….that we miss “all things!”
It’s in verse 4, that we find the wonderful promises!
“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.”
It says by these we “might be PARTAKERS” …. of the divine nature!
God does not force salvation on anyone, neither does he force service. It is to be from a grateful heart, full of praise and adoration, that we should desire to “partake of the divine nature” to walk, talk, to live fully…. with a spirit led desire to be conformed to God’s image.
John Bunyan and Promise
JOHN BUNYAN, the 16th century British preacher, man of god, and author of The Pilgrims Progress wrote: “The pathway of life is strewn so thickly with the promises of GOD, that it is impossible to take one step without treading upon one of them.”
The actual word PROMISE, is used about 50 times in the bible, however…estimates of actual “promises of God,” in the Bible, are over 30,000.
For instance: in Genesis, God said to Adam, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out if it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
The word PROMISE isn’t used here, OR needed, for us to KNOW that this is a promise GOD made, and this is a promise made to Adam, and to his generations…. still in effect today.
2 Peter 3:9 says:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
We we have OBTAINED “like precious faith” … WE ARE GIVEN EXCEEDING GREAT & PRECIOUS PROMISES!
Christians, though forgetting much of his word, have an abiding sense of comfort, because the spirit brings reassurance, hope, and joy through our faith. We have God’s word, to remind us of these wonderful things.
“I am the good shepherd, I giveth my life for the sheep”
“Lo I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth.”
“I go to prepare a place for you, … I will come again, & receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
What beautiful, precious promises directly from our Lord and Savior.
But sadly, In 2nd Peter 3, we read that many will render Gods promises as foolishness.
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
But, there are strong warnings, REAL PROMISES of JUDGEMENT and impending CONSEQUENCE …for everyone who continues to reject God’s message of hope.
“I never knew you: depart from me.”
“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Promise of Hope
BUT we praise GOD, that the PROMISE OF HOPE is to all. The Bible says:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Today, let’s be reminded of the vastness of the sea of promises in Gods word.
“Whereby is given unto us exceeding great and precious promises”
Bible says: He is faithful that has promised.
We can count on GOD – that he will NEVER go back on his word, he’ll abide with all who trust in him, and bless all those who truly bless his name. He is with us today.
We have faith in him, and in the PROMISE of his word!
Brad offers up practical, scriptural advice from a perspective borne out of everyday life encounters. As we live and move and have our being…it’s the individual life lessons that most often present the greatest challenges, but can yield the richest blessings. We’ve all, as Christians had those faith affirming moments, where we’ve had an overwhelming sense of God’s spirit, or his very presence “at a particular but, maybe random time”.
Brad was born and still resides in a small community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Karen raised their 3 children. Brad & Karen fellowship at the Greenland Bible Chapel, where Brad serves as an elder.
Brad loves meeting and engaging with people. His background in sales has provided opportunities to travel throughout the US and Canada, networking with people from all walks of life. Brad is a singer/songwriter, and has recorded 3 Christian albums. Songs from his “Brighter Day” release, have aired on Christian Radio stations across Canada and two of Brad’s albums are on HopeStreamRadio’s playlist.
Images Courtesy Of:
Padlock – ejaugsburg
Rings – Richkat
Flower – Finmiki
Sky – blizniak
Woman under tree – Laris-K
Revolution – Public Domain
HopeStreamRadio has been a huge blessing to me. Since I moved away from an area that had a lot of good Christian radio I have been looking for a station that I could listen to and be encouraged by. HSR has filled that void and it has also been exciting to be a part of the team that contributes to HSR.Mike from MS