Author: Ron Graham
God Made a Promise
—Let's see what it was
We have taken an overview of our topic. Now we start with something we all find fairly easy to understand: the promise of God. In Ephesians 1:13-14, the Holy Spirit is called the "Holy Spirit of promise". We now summarize that promise.
1st principle: God made a promise.
1 A Son was going to be born
For many centuries before Jesus was born, God had been making repeated promises about a Son who would bless the whole world with the way of salvation and peace. For example...
God said this to Abraham after the binding of Isaac on the altar (Genesis 22:15-18).
¶“15And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven. 16The angel said, 'By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD. Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you. I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of Heaven and as the sand on the seashore. And these your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.'” (Genesis 22:15-18).
God said it through Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6-7).
¶“6To us a child is born. To us a son is given. The government shall be upon his shoulder. His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7There will be no end to the increase of his government. There will always be peace on the throne of David and over his kingdom. He will establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness —from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
God said it through Micah (Micah 5:2-5).
¶“2O Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are too small to be among the clans of Judah. Yet from you shall come forth for me one who will be ruler in Israel. His coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. 3Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth. Then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel. 4And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure. For he shall be great to the ends of the earth. 2And he shall be their peace...” (Micah 5:2-5a).
2 He would become the great High Priest
This Son would not only rule forever as King on God's throne, but he would also forever be the Great High Priest who would offer himself —his own body and blood— as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
God made this promise through David (Psalm 110:1-4).
¶“1The LORD says to my Lord, Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. 2From Zion the LORD sends forth your mighty scepter. Rule amid your enemies! 3On the day of your power your people will present themselves to you in the beauty of holiness. From the womb of the morning you will have the dew of your youth. 4The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:1-4).
This High Priest is God’s Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 5:5-8).
¶“5So Christ also did not glorify himself to be made a high priest. But God spoke to him, 'You are my Son, this day have I begotten you'. 6As he says in another place, 'You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek'. 7In the days of his flesh, Christ wept with loud cries, offering prayers and supplications to God who was able to rescue him out of death. He was heard because he feared God. 8Although he was a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered [even unto death]” (Hebrews 5:5-8).
God’s Son offered his own flesh and blood as a single eternal sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 9:11-14, 10:14).
Hebrews 9:11-14, 10:14
¶“11Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come. He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle*. This greater tabernacle was not made by human hands —it was not of this creation. 12So Christ entered once for all into the holy place. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but rather by his own blood. He thus secured eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:11-12).
* The lesser tabernacle was an ornate tent prepared in the time of Moses for worship. Within it was a most holy place.
¶“13The blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer, used to be sprinkled on defiled people. It sanctified them to purify their flesh. 14How much more will the blood of Christ cleanse us! For through the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself without blemish to God. He offered himself to purify our conscience from dead works, enabling us to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:13-14).
¶“14By a single offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).
3 Believers in Him would be granted eternal life.
Those who would believe in Him, and keep his commandments, would be granted everlasting life.
Jesus himself promised eternal life (John 3:16-21).
¶“16For God so loved the world, that he gave his one unique Son —so that whoever believes on him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17For when God sent the Son into the world, the purpose was not to condemn the world. Rather, it was to save the world through him. 18One who believes on the Son is not condemned. One who does not believe has already been condemned —for not believing on the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18).
¶“19And this is God’s judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Their works were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light. They won't approach the light lest their works be condemned. But those who do the truth come to the light, that their works may be made manifest as works wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).
Paul was sure of eternal life (1Timothy 1:15-17).
¶“15Faithful is the saying, and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of sinners. 16Yet that is why I obtained mercy —so that in me, the worst sinner, Jesus Christ might demonstrate his longsuffering. He made me an example to those who should thereafter believe on Christ for eternal life. 17Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1Timothy 1:15-17).
John was clear about eternal life (1John 2:24-25, 3:14ff).
1John 2:24-25, 3:14
¶“24Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is the promise that he made to us —eternal life (1John 2:24-25).
¶“14We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. Whoever does not love abides in death” (1John 3:14).