Men often make promises and often they fail to keep them. It may be due to neglect or it may be due to circumstances beyond our control. However this is not true of God (Heb. 6:13-19). What God promises, He is able to perform (Rom. 4:17-21). In his second epistle, Peter speaks of “exceeding great and precious promises” that are given to us from God. All of God’s promises are sure and certain. Let’s look at a few of them.
He has promised to save those who obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9; Matt. 7:21; Rev. 22:14; Rom. 6:17-18; James 1:21-25; 2:21-24). Because of this promise we can know for certain that no one will be saved who has not been obedient to God’s instructions through His Word. God’s plan of salvation is simple, plain, and easy to understand. He requires that we hear the gospel message (John 6:44-45). We must believe the message heard (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6; John 8:24). He has “commanded all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30-31), and we must be willing to “confess with the mouth” the Lord Jesus (Rom. 10:10; Matt. 10:32; Acts 10:36-37). The final step that puts one into Christ, remits our sins and saves us is baptism “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38, Gal. 3:26-27; I Peter 3:21).
Even the verse that men are prone to use to show that man is saved without obedience, shows just the opposite. In Ephesians 2:8-9, grace is God’s part, and faith is man’s part. And true faith always DEMANDS obedience (James 2:24).
God has promised to supply our need. “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, told His disciples, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). There is a difference in our wants and our needs. Study carefully James 4:3 and II Corinthians 12:7-10. Paul told the young preacher Timothy, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (I Tim. 6:8).
God has promised us victory over death. He first raised Jesus by way of assuring our resurrection (Acts 2:32; I Cor. 15:3-4, 20, 23). Read Paul’s statement of victory over death in I Corinthians 15:53-57.
There are three deaths one may die. They are physical when the spirit leaves the body (James 2:26), spiritual when the spirit is separated from God (Eph. 2:1; Isa. 59:1-2), and eternal death, called the “second death” in Revelation 20:14-15. Eternal death occurs when the spirit is separated from God forever (I Thess. 1:7-10). Physical death should cause us the least concern of the three because God promised to all victory over physical death (John 5:28-29). However, victory over spiritual and eternal death is only promised to those who “hear the voice of the Son of God” (John 5:25), and those that “overcome” (Rev. 2:11). Those that overcome shall not be hurt by the second death.
How about you? Are you seeking to obey God’s commands? Are you satisfied with the needs supplied by God? And are you living in a way that you do not have to fear death? God’s promises are wonderful; they are “exceeding great and precious.” Live in a manner that you can benefit from them.
Paul M. Wilmoth, Instructor of Preaching