Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, May 11th. People often fail us, but God never will. Today we begin a series of messages pointing you to the trustworthiness of our Heavenly Father. Here's part one of The Promises of God. We all make promises in life. Some of them we keep, some of them we don't keep.
We may intend to keep every one of them, but we don't for some circumstance, some reason or the other. So, when you and I make promises, we should think first before we make them. Because you see, if we do not fulfill our promises, then here's what happens. It is a reflection on us and our character, for example, and it's also a hurt to someone else.
So, it isn't just something that happens to us, it's something that happens to someone else. And when I think about how promises just fly today. For example, when people get married, they stand at the altar and they say, Oh, I promise to do thus and so. And there are all kind of promises in weddings that people make.
And then I think about politicians who make promises. And the Lord help us on that whole area because seemingly they don't have any idea whatsoever that a promise is a commitment. And it's a commitment sometimes demands diligence and sacrifice on our part in order to keep that promise. And, for example, when a person signs a contract.
You sign a contract, that's really a written promise that you intend to do thus and so. So, promises are valuable. And promises should be meaningful. In fact, if you'll think about it, your whole Christian life is centered on a group of promises. And that group of promises come from the Word of God. How do you know that you have eternal life? Because Jesus promised it. That if you placed your trust in Him as your Savior, you'd have the gift of eternal life. The reason you believe it is because of a promise He made. Or what about when you die?
Or what about that? How do you know where you're going to be? Well, the only reason you know where you're going to be is because the Bible says, Absent from the body, present with the Lord. How do you know after death there's going to be a resurrection?
Because Jesus said it. You believe it. There's something about Him that made you believe the promise He gave you. So, your whole life's wrapped up in promises.
And the purpose of this message is very simple. I want you to understand why you can trust the promises of Almighty God. And many people say, Well, you know, I've trusted Him and it didn't work. Well, why didn't it work?
Is it because God failed you? Did He break His promise? One thing for certain, He did not break His promise. If you look just for a moment in the tenth chapter of Hebrews, I want to read this passage, but I really just want to deal with one verse. But I'll read it because here's what this verse is really saying and I'll tell you ahead of time. He's talking about the fact that we have access to God the Father, beginning in nineteenth verse of this tenth chapter. We have a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, which He called the new and living way, which is what we have when we trust Him as our Savior. And that Jesus is our great High Priest and we have absolute assurance because of what He's done in our life. And then He says in verse twenty-three, Let us hold fast, that is to grip strongly the confession of our hope, without wavering.
And for what reason? For He, listen, for He who promised is faithful. So, we're talking about in this message, the whole issue here is the issue of why we should believe the promises of God. You could ask a lot of Christians, do you have a favorite promise in the Bible? How many of you have a favorite promise? Now, come on, let's think about it.
Do you have a favorite promise in the Bible? Well, some of you need to read the Bible, but that's okay. Probably if you've thought about it, you'd think, well, there is one that I go to more often than the rest. And so, when you think about it, some people want to count them. And I've heard these counts. I've heard forty thousand promises in the Bible. And I remember the first time I heard that, I thought, I'm going to count them.
Well, I got about halfway through Genesis and quit. I thought, I can't count forty thousand promises. Secondly, I don't know whether it's true or not. Then there are those people who say that there are thirty thousand promises in the Bible. Then there are people who say there are eight thousand in the Bible and they can tell you how many in the Old Testament, how many in the New Testament.
Finally, I concluded this. It's not a matter of how many promises there are in the Bible. The issue is, does God keep them or does He not?
Do I believe them or do I not? That's the important thing. So, how many promises in the Bible? Here's what I would say. If somebody asked me, I'd say, I'll tell you exactly how many there are. Enough. There are enough.
So, if somebody asks you how many, it's not thousands, it's one word. And that is, there are enough promises. And when I think about that, I want to give you a simple definition of a promise. And it's words, either said or written, for example, binding a person to do something or not to do something.
It's just that simple. By my promise, I'm binding myself to do this thing or to perform this act or not to do it. Then when you think about a divine promise, when I think about it this way, it's an assurance given by God that He will or will not perform a certain act. That is, He will or will not do something. And the question comes, well, how good is a promise? If somebody promised to give you five thousand dollars, if you would just come to church next Sunday, two things you'd ask.
Well, first of all, who is this person? And secondly, have they even got five thousand dollars? So, the two things, character and ability. When it comes to promise, character and ability. Will they keep their word?
And can they keep their word? Very important. Now, sometimes people will complain about what God's not doing.
So, let's understand something very, very important. That is, there are two kinds of promises God gives. One of them is an unconditional promise and one is a conditional promise. An unconditional promise is a promise made by God in which whatever He says He will do, He will do, and there are no exceptions. No exceptions whatsoever.
What is an example of that? Well, back in Genesis chapter twelve, when God was dealing with Abraham, this is a perfect example of an unconditional promise. And I want you to notice the difference in this and a conditional promise.
Here's what He says. First verse of chapter twelve. Now, the Lord said to Abraham, Go forth from your country and from your relatives and from the Father's house to the land which I will show you.
Now, watch these I wills. To the land which I will show you, and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, so as you shall ever be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. That's one unconditional promise after the other. There's not a single time God said except if, but, when, where. He just said, This is what I'm going to do. Look at the life of Abraham. That's an unconditional promise God made of what He would do.
He says, I'm going to take you to a certain land. I'm going to bless you there. I'm going to make your name great. I'm going to bless those who bless you, curse those who curse you, and all the families of the earth will be blessed. Is that true?
Yes. From Abraham, through his son Isaac, Jacob, his twelve sons, one of them Judah, through whom the Lord Jesus Christ came through that genealogical line. And all the earth has and is continually hearing about the name that is above every name. So that God did exactly what He said. On another occasion, God said to him, You're going to have a son. And you and Sarah are going to have a son. And they talked about their age and so forth, and He said, It's going to happen.
Did it happen? Twenty-five years later, it happened exactly like God said. An unconditional promise is a commitment on the part of God of something He will or will not do, no exception.
None. And you can search this Bible from cover to cover. There are no unconditional promises made in the Word of God that God has either not fulfilled or is in the process of doing so or will when He says one day I'm coming back to receive you to Myself and so forth, which is a promise that He's made. So, that's an unconditional promise. But let's look at a conditional promise, for example. And a conditional promise is one that a person makes that a person is willing to do under certain circumstances. If this happens, here's what I'll do.
If you do this, here's what I'll do. And so, there are many of those, for example, in Scripture, but let's just take one. In Romans chapter ten, verse nine and ten, he says, watch this, if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and if you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you'll be saved.
If. That's a conditional promise. So, when somebody says, Well, I know I've been saved.
Well, how? Well, I've just been good all my life. Mm-mm, that's not what God said. God said your salvation is conditioned upon your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and your Lord. So, God makes unconditional promises and He makes conditional promises. We make conditional promises, only God can make promises that nothing can alter. Because there are people who will say, Well, I've asked God to do this and so, here's what God promised me He's going to do.
Now, watch this. Just because I want Him to do something very strongly, a strong desire of Him to do something, doesn't mean because I believe He will, doesn't mean He's promised me that. You're not going to find God making you many unconditional promises in life. So, people will say things like this, Well, I don't know why He hasn't kept His promise to me about what He was going to do. Well, sometimes we make requests that's not the will of God.
And so, He's not going to do that. Oh, sometimes there's sin in a person's life. And you say, Well, here's what God said. He says, Asking it shall be given you, seeking you shall find, knocking it shall be. And therefore, God hasn't done that. God keeps His promise. But here's what He also says, Your sins have separated you from Me. This is why you can't take a verse, pluck it out of the Bible and say, Here's what God promised, I got it.
No, we have to look at the whole law of God. But remember this, you can bet, and you are, if I may use the term bet in quotes, you can bet or rest your whole eternal future on one thing. Not anything that you and I do, having trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior, the only absolute certainty you have is to believe that you are going to heaven on the basis of what God said through His Son in the Word of God. That's the only real absolute assurance you have. And so, when people say, Well, I know I'm going to heaven, on what basis?
Well, I've done this and I've done that and I've done the other. They're projecting their future on their activity, having rejected Jesus Christ, the Son of God, which is the sin above all sins. And so, when it comes to why people say, Well, I believe God's promised me that. Well, has He promised you that or did you want something so badly?
You labeled it promise. And you say, I prayed and prayed and prayed and I believe God's promised me He's going to do this. I would not question the fact that God would not promise you something.
But remember this, you have to look at the conditions. God will do what He says He will do, no doubt about it. But ninety-nine point nine percent of the time it's conditioned upon something in our life, never conditioned upon Him. Now, in that light, let's look at this whole issue of character and ability. So, let's just look at God for a moment. And I want us to look at four attributes of God, that is four characteristics of God. I want us to look at for the many others. For example, there's the holiness of God, the justice of God, the righteousness of God, and all of these. But just four of His attributes. And because I want you to see when you understand who He is and what His character is and what that character means and His ability, you have no reason to doubt the Word of God.
When Paul said, My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ. That's through my relationship to Him. Will He keep His promise? Absolutely. Do I have any responsibility?
Yes, I do. He will supply my needs, but if I'm lazy and disobedient and don't care and don't give Him what He requires of me, then when he says, In Christ Jesus, it's through my relationship to Him and Jesus does not overlook sin. He's going to keep His promise. So, let's look at them for just a moment. And the first attribute that I want us to look at is this simple fact. Number one, God is truthful. That's one of His attributes. That means, listen, He's truthful all the time. He is the essence of truth. He only tells the truth. And He knows the truth about every single solitary thing that is to know in life. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No man comes to the Father but by me. All truth is to be found in Him. So, one of the reasons I can believe His promises is simply this, because He only tells the truth. So, I can believe if I were lost and unsaved, if I trusted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, that upon doing so, my sins are forgiven, my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and I'm on my way to heaven. If I believe that Jesus Christ only tells the truth, I have a basis for believing that I'm saved.
And what is it? That the truth teller, who only tells truth, told me the truth and said the truth, that if I trusted Him as my Savior, I'd be saved. And there are many things we could say about that. The second of those qualities is faithful. God is faithful.
And in First Corinthians chapter one when Paul is just beginning his epistle, here's what he said. He said, God is faithful through whom you were called into fellowship with the Son Jesus Christ our Lord. He's a faithful God, which means He's trustworthy that He will do what He says He will do. And at no point in your life or mine has God ever proven to be unfaithful. That He's a faithful God.
That's an attribute of His. And if you go through the Scriptures and think how many times, and I think, for example, in, back in First Corinthians ten for just a moment, and listen to this passage that all of us have read many, many times and thank God for it. He says, no temptation or trial has overtaken you.
Watch this now. But such as is common to man, which means that every single one of us has been tempted and tried in different ways, but other people have also. And so He says, no temptation or trial has overtaken you, but such as is common to man.
Watch this next phrase. But God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted and tried beyond what you're able, but will with the temptation or the trial provide a way of escape also so that you're able to endure it. And you'll hear people say, well, you know, God just tempted me and this is what happened and it's God's fault.
No, no, no, no, no. What do you mean? The Bible says God is so faithful to you that He put, watch this, He puts a limitation on your trial. Now, we've all probably been through things at some point in our life that seemingly it was more than we can bear. But here's that promise. God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted and tried more than you can bear.
He's a faithful God. So, when you're getting difficult in hardship and you think, well, God, what's going on over these promises of yours? Have you not told the truth?
Yes, He's told the truth. Well, here I am in the midst of this trial in my life and you said it wouldn't be more than I could bear and it's more than I could bear. Listen, He puts a limitation on that. You and I, listen, we have the faithful Word of God to put limitations on what you and I can stand in life. And you see, if you don't understand it, in other words, if you don't believe that God is, has the character to keep His Word, then what happens?
You can make all kind of excuses for all kind of things. And I think about Abraham and Sarah, for example. Listen, God made them a promise. Twenty-five years went by before that became a fulfilled promise. And, of course, you know, finally she laughed and I don't know what he felt.
He felt all kind of crazy things, I'm sure. And yet God did exactly what He promised. Here's the problem. We don't trust Him. And one of the reasons we don't trust Him is this, because He doesn't do it on our schedule and He doesn't do it in a way we think it ought to be done.
And He doesn't do it through the person we think it ought to be done through with a particular situation. And so we doubt Him. And I preached a whole series on faith.
And I felt very led to come back to say let's undergird that with this whole issue of what's this all based on? The promises of God. And when God makes a promise, listen, watch this. If God breaks a promise with you, you can forget a Christian life because there's something eternally wrong and something theologically incorrect if God makes promises and breaks His promises.
He cannot because He cannot lie. And therefore, He's going to be faithful at whatever He promises us. Listen, you can't live with the joy, peace and happiness in your life and confidence and assurance about anything if you say, well, God keeps most of His promises. Well, which ones? Well, God keeps His promises for certain people.
Well, which certain people? Listen, He is who He says He is or He is not. And if He is not, we're all hopeless and helpless.
In fact, you fall in the same category that Paul said if Jesus Christ didn't rise from the dead, then what do we have? We don't have any assurance about anything. He promised that He would, and He did. Undeniably, He did. And he says He's coming back, and He is.
How do I know He is? Because all the Scriptures from beginning to end, there's not a single time He failed to keep His promise under any circumstance. Thank you for listening to The Promises of God. We would also like to invite you to join us in celebrating forty-five years of God's faithfulness. Stop by InTouch.org slash forty-five years to learn more. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-20 15:37:48 / 2023-04-20 15:46:32 / 9