Great And Precious Promises

2 Peter 1:1-4

Today I would like to talk with you about the exceeding great and precious promises of God.
There are so many great and precious promises in the Word of God.

Some people have a strange conception of faith.
Faith is the direct opposite of feeling.
If you have faith, you must not depend on feeling.
If you have feeling, you still need faith.

Feeling changes.
Faith does not change.

There is a great statement regarding faith in Hebrew 11:1:
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Then there is another statement in John 20:21 that says: "But these are written, that you might believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name

I also appreciate the verse in Romans 10:17 which says: "So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God
." (Romans 10:17)

The unalterable, unchangeable, eternal Word of God is the source, the substance, the sum of my faith.
If you were to ask me, "Are you saved?"
I would answer, "Yes."
If you were to ask me, "How do you know you are saved?"

I would not say, "Because I feel it."
I know I am saved because God says so, and because the Bible says so, and because I have done
what God told me to do in His Word, and because I have done what God required me to do in his Word,
and I know God will do what He said He would do.

His Word is unchangeable.
His Word abides the same -- forever.
My faith is not based on anything in myself.
There is nothing in me, never was, and never will be, on which to build any sort of faith, not even the slightest.

I have absolutely no hope in me.
I do not have any confidence in me, and I have not one bit of trust in me.
But I do have faith in my Saviour, and I do have faith in God's Word.

The foundation for this statement that I make is "The exceeding great and precious promises,"
that are found in God's Word.

What is it that makes these promises so exceeding great and precious?

First, there is their source.
They are promises made by God, and not by man.
They are not told by some organization or group of men, but by God.

I may make a promise to you, and fully intend to keep it.
But some hindrance may come, and I may become sick or die or lose my ability to keep my promise,
and then, my honestly intended promise may be broken.
It would be no fault of mine.
I intended to keep it.

But I am a man, and circumstances may compel me to break my word.
Can you think of any conditions which make it impossible for God to keep His promises?

I may make a promise to you, believing in you, in your truthfulness, in your abilities.
You may be a swindler trying to take advantage of me.
I may discover this, and find I cannot keep my promise to you.

But God knows all about you.
You cannot fool God.
You cannot mislead God.

He makes us promises knowing in advance everything about us, our sins and our shortcomings,
and all that may happen – and the moment we comply with the conditions that he gives,
He will keep faith with us.
God always stands behind His promises.
His authority, His immortality, His unchangeableness, His invariableness, His Majesty, His power,
His honor – all are involved in His pledged and promised word.

These promises are "exceeding great and precious" because they come from Almighty God
who will keep them under all circumstances.
He will keep them under all conditions because He knew the circumstances and conditions
long before they appeared, and long before He made those promises.
Nothing can surprise Him, or intimidate Him, or render Him impotent.
Nothing can change Him from His purposes that He set out for Himself from before the beginning of time.

Secondly, God's promises are "exceeding great and precious" because of their scope.

They are great, not only because of their source, but also because of their scope.
What do you need?
Do you need food?
Do you need shelter?
Do you need clothing?
Do you need a roof over your head?
Do you need a job in which you can earn your daily bread?

God says to you, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth;
and they that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will you give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him
?" (Matthew 7:7-11)

At the end of his life, Paul said, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory
by Christ Jesus
." (Philippians 4:19)
Paul put God to the test in every conceivable way.

What do you need?
Do you need salvation?
Do you need forgiveness for your sins?
Do you need to be adopted into the family of God?

God says to you, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Roman 10:13)
God also says, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and shalt believe in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved
." (Roman 10:9)

What do you need?
Do you need wisdom?
All of us need wisdom in this day when all sorts of suggestions, and all sorts of voices,
and all sorts of philosophies, and with all sorts of schemes that are blaring out to us from every page,
and from every television and radio.

They tell us, "You ought to learn how to drink properly."
They tell us, "You ought to learn how to smoke properly."
They tell us that if we wear the right kind of shoes and clothes, that we will be beautiful and handsome,
and will have all the advantages of life.
That is an exaggeration.
But if you will listen to the words of any so-called modern philosophers and commercials,
just listen at the many foolish promises.

God's Word is clear: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally,
and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him
." (James 1:5)

He will tell us which of the many voices to hear and to heed.
He will also tell us in which of the many programs that we should be involved in for the glory of the Lord
and for our own eternal welfare.

What do you need?
Do you need assurance that death is not the end, and that there is life to come?
Do you need hope for the future?
Do you need something to take away the sting of death and the terror of the grave?
Do you need something to dispel the darkness and the mystery of eternity?

Jesus tells you that "I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die
." (John 11:25)
Emphasize the words, "shall never die."

From the very first day that we discover for ourselves our need for God, we learn that God keeps
His promises.
For me it happened during my childhood, and maybe also for you.
And from the very first day we began to see our needs, and to be burdened with our lives,
to the last amen of a never-ending eternity, the promises of God are a source of supply for all our needs,
and for everything we must have physically, mentally, morally, socially, economically, and especially, spiritually.

Our lives are provided for in the promises of God.
Our death is anticipated in the promises of God.
Eternity is provided for in the "exceeding great and precious promises of God."

God's promises are "exceeding great and precious" not only because of their source,
and not only because of their scope, but also because of their simplicity.

Suppose a person needed a loan of twenty-five thousand dollars.
He would go to the bank, and approach one of their employees, and be interviewed by someone
who had the authority to grant that loan, and then sign that note and that mortgage.

Suppose you had to have something from the President of the United States.
Don't hold your breath, that will never happen – you will never be able to see him.

But the King of kings, the Lord of lords is not like that.
All you have to do is to think of Him, and call on Him in your heart and mind.
You do not have to sign a mortgage, and offer your life as collateral.
Just simply draw near to Him.
Step out on His promises.
Claim them.
See how simple they are – how clear they are!

"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." (Isaiah 45:22)
Look believingly to Jesus, and He will save you.

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
(John 15:7)
Even a child can understand this verse.

How mighty and how simple are these "exceeding great and precious promises!"

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
(Matthew 6:33)

Whatever your problem, and whatever your difficulty, whatever your need, bring it to God.
You do not have to explain it.
God understands.
Ask Him for what you need.
He is more anxious to give than you are to receive.

Some might say, "If these promises are so exceeding great and precious" because of their source,
because of their scope, and because of their simplicity, why are many Christians so poor, so feeble,
so unhappy, and so disturbed?"

Dr. Hyman Appleman, an evangelist of past years, tells this story.
There was an Irish woman who had a son named, Jack.
Jack was a drinker.
One day while under the influence of alcohol, he was shanghaied aboard a ship going to Australia.
After the ship docked, he went into the interior.

He discovered a gold mine, and became very rich.
Jack loved his mother, and wrote to her regularly every two weeks.
He told her how rich he was, and about his wife, and about his two children, about his automobiles,
and about his homes.

The mother grew old and tired, but the son could not leave his business to see her.
Then finally, she became too feeble to work.
The priest and the people of the parish decided that she must be sent to the poorhouse.
The priest went to talk to her about it.
The priest had befriended her for many years, and knew that she was a devout Catholic.
Her situation was disturbing his heart.

Finally he spoke to her.
He said, "Daughter, I always wanted to ask you what became of your son.
I know that he left home -- what happened to him?
Do you ever hear from him

She responded, "Why, did not I ever tell you about him?"
The priest replied, "No."

She said to the priest, "He went to Australia.
He is very rich now.
He has a wife and two children

Then the priest asked her, "How often do you hear from him?"
She answered, "I hear from him regularly -- he writes every two weeks."

The priest asked, "But doesn't he ever ask about your condition, and what you are doing,
and how you're getting along, and if you need any help

The woman shook her head, "No.
He has never asked, and I never mentioned it.
I did not want to worry him

"Hasn't he ever sent you anything?" The priest asked.

She answered, "No, except for some small presents on my birthday and on the holidays."

The priest said, "I can't understand it.
He loves you.
He has written you every two weeks during all these years.
Yet, he has never sent you any thing

The woman replied, "No, except that in every letter there is a little greenish, blue slip of paper."

The Catholic priest was no fool.
So he asked, "What did you do with those slips of paper?"

She answered, "They look so pretty that I pasted them up in my bedroom."

They walked into the room, and pasted neatly from one side of the wall to the other,
and from the ceiling to the floor were money orders worth thousands of dollars.

That woman did not know what they were; so she plastered the wall with them.

That woman was not nearly so foolish as some Christians who have the promises of God clearly stated
in His Word, and yet, do not have enough faith to claim them.

You can live on the mighty bounties and blessings of God.
You can live a life of joy and peace.
Your life can overflow with the abundance and superabundance of God's good things.

So today, claim the promises of God.
Endorse them by faith.
God's bank is always open.
It does not close in the early afternoon and never closes on Sundays or holidays.

Now, I also ask that this very minute you will to come to God
Acknowledge and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.

Read the promises of God in the Bible.
Claim your portion of them by faith.
God will do the rest.
He has unlimited assets.
He is not bankrupt.
There is no inflation with Him.

You will not embarrass Him by your frequent and great demands.
So claim the fullness of God's bounties and blessings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love's strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit's sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
List'ning every moment to the Spirit's call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I'm standing on the promises of God."
-- Standing On The Promises by Russell K. Carter, pub.1886

Sermon adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White, and from a message by Dr. Hyman Appelman.