Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
November 4, 2007 AM
THE WORD OF PROMISE
INTRO: In the text I have just read is part of an incredible section of scripture in which the apostle is discussing God's promise to Abraham through Isaac. The "children of promise" (v. 8) is a reference to the spiritual descendants of Abraham. At v. 9 the apostle calls God's promise of a son by Sarah "the word of promise". I think that this is a marvelous way to think of the word of God. The apostle Peter refers to "exceeding great and precious promises" (2 Pet 1:4) which are made known to us "through the knowledge of God" (2 Pet 1:2). The writer of Hebrews adds another piece of assurance by reminding us that "he is faithful that promised" (Heb 10:23). To refer, then, to the word of God as "the word of promise" is a truly appropriate appellation.
Ps 105:8-10 & 42-45 - So much of the Bible's history is encapsulated here
- Gen 12:1-3 - where the promise began
- Gen 17:19 - the promise in greater detail
- Gen 22:15-18 - the promise confirmed ... because!!!!
Ex 2:23-25 - The "nation" promise remembered
- four hundred plus years had passed since the promise was first made
- four hundred years is plenty of time for humanity to forget!
- Isa 46:10,11 - "I have purposed it, I will also do it"
- God promises ... and God keeps His promises
Gal 3:8,16 - The "all nations" promise remembered in Christ
through 100's of years God was "working out" His promise
- 2 Gal 4:4,5 - when all was ready, the "all nations" promise was fulfilled
- in a broad sense, then, the word of promise is really all about God's promise to Abraham so many years ago
- and this is such a great assurance that He is the God of promises
- through 100's of years God was "working out" His promise
- Ps 105:8-10 & 42-45 - So much of the Bible's history is encapsulated here
SOME SPECIFIC PROMISES IN WHICH WE CAN REJOICE?
That in Christ we are new creatures (creations)
- 2 Cor 5:17 - what a marvelous promise
- I can have a completely "clean slate" upon which to write my life story
- true, there are some consequences I cannot escape and which are not remitted in Christ
- but I do not have to be burdened with the guilt of those things
- still, we must remember Gal 3:26-29
That all things really do work together for good to the called
- Rom 8:28 - hard to believe? but it really is true ... God promised
- rotten, unfair, tragic things can happen to good people
- but if a person is a true lover of God and has been called according to God's purpose, here is a promise which helps us move ahead optimistically
- I do not presume to be able to tell you how God keeps the promise
- but I believe in the promise and seek the working out of it in my life
That He hears and answers our prayers
- 1 Jno 5:14,15 - "confidence" - "we know" - "we know"
- here are bold affirmations from the pen of the apostle John
- yes, the qualifier is "according to his will" - but remarkable assurance
- my human problem is that I am limited to such a narrow view of things - God sees the "big picture" ... so, I must learn to accept His answers
- I still find great comfort inPhil 4:6,7
That the Lord is with us in our lives
- Heb 13:5,6 - I believe that my Lord is interested in me and concerned
- yes, I wish He was visible to me - but His presence is real
- I recall Paul's words of 2 Tim 4:17 ... and Rom 8:31
- if I couldn't believe this promise, I'd be drifting without any anchor!
- it is so easy, though, to squeeze Him out when convenience requires it
That God will give us a crown of life
- Jas 1:12 - this is the victor's crown - the crown for winners!
- but here again we see a qualifier - endurance in trial
- 1 Pet 1:3,4 - here is the confidence I have ... an inheritance!
- if we cannot depend on this promise, what does the Christian life mean?
- I still believe the Isaiah passage ... He purposed it, and He will do it!
- That in Christ we are new creatures (creations)
CLOSE: Heb 10:35,36 - "For ye have need of patience..." I read these verses and realize that inspiration is telling me that the promises can be lost. So, we just keep on doing "the will of God" with confident expectation. The promises are too good to trade for anything else, my friends.
Cecil A. Hutson
04 November 2007
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)