For He Has Promised
1000 Voices 2007 – For he Has Promised
by: Perry Hall
A promise is such a simple thing; and yet as simple as it is, a promise is complex, powerful and profound. In fact, many a life is changed by making a promise or a vow. Involved in making, keeping, and believing in promises are a vast number of essential components.
- TIME – When was the promise made?
- CIRCUMSTANCES – Is there a time specific to the fulfilling of the promise?
- PURPOSE – Is there a reason for both making and keeping the promise?
- ABILITY – Does the person making the promise have the ability to fulfill it?
- CHARACTER – Is the person making the promise trustworthy?
The theme verse for this year’s 1000 Voices – For He Has Promised – is Titus 1:1-3 NASB (1) Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, (2) in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, (3) but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior,
Let’s first look at the promise itself – eternal life. That powerful little phrase, “eternal life,” is found in 41 verses…all in the N.T. Eternal life is: Obtained (Mt.19:16; Mk.10:17); Inherited (Mt.19:29; Mk.10:30; Lk.10:25; Lk.18:18, 30); For the righteous (Mt.25:46); For believers (Jn.3:15,16,36; 5:24); Taught in the Scriptures (Jn.5:39); Connected with the Resurrection (Jn.6:40); Connected with glory, honor, immortality (Rom.2:7); And more….in fact, it is promised.
What else can we learn about this promise of eternal life from our theme text? Let’s look at the essential characteristics of promises.
TIME – long ages ago (lit., before times eternal) – The etymology of the word “promise” literally means to “send before.” A promise connects the present which soon becomes the past with the future. The Holy Spirit writes through Paul that our future was promised and prophesied, before times eternal. That phrase, before times eternal, is so mind-boggling, the NASB simplifies it to read long ages ago.
CIRCUMSTANCES – at the proper time – All those years of waiting, God waiting, on the right time to bring us eternal life through Jesus finally came to pass. The proper time is the fullness of time (Gal.4:4). When thinking of waiting on God to fulfill His promises, we probably only focus on us waiting on God. God had to and has to wait too!
PURPOSE – godliness – Our being chosen of God, according to truth, is for the purpose of godliness. Eternal life and godliness must go hand in hand. God desires us to live a certain style of life. In fact, His promise of eternal life is conditioned upon us willing to take upon ourselves the character of God Himself. When we think of God’s purpose of eternal life, of saving us in this life, may our thoughts always extend beyond simply performing certain acts of worship. Instead, may our minds soar to God Himself and how we are to picture to the world who He is because we are living a godly or Godly life. And then does our godliness give power to our worship.
Now let’s look at the one making the promise of eternal life. Who is He? And more importantly, why should we believe Him?
ABILITY – God – He’s called “God” for a reason! Here He is also called our Savior. Just think of other names associated with God, such as, El Shaddai (The Almighty); Elohim (The Strong One); Yahweh Jireh (Yireh) (The Lord will provide). God has the ability to give eternal life, because God is life!
CHARACTER – God, who cannot lie. Even if someone is able to fulfill their promise, if their character is not true, then they cannot be trusted. God cannot lie. All of us have experienced broken promises – on one side or the other. While some are not the fault of the person making the promise, some are. Someone observed concerning another, that he “has kept all of the promises he intended to keep.” Whether that is a misstatement, or an unfortunate confession, people lie. God cannot lie.
Because our God has promised, we live in faith; confident of divine promises of eternal life (Session #1). God cannot lie. We live in faith, knowing, trusting, and believing in God’s promises (Session #2). God is able to fulfill them. We live faithfully waiting on God to fulfill all His promises, according to His wisdom, patience, and His glory confident because God has promised (Session #3). God knows the right time and place.
A promise is such a simple thing – and yet it can change our lives…our eternal lives.