A Sermon Preached Sunday Evening by
9 August 2020
Harbor City Baptist Church
It was in that beautiful garden…that quickly became a battlefield. The serpent had introduced sin to the new creation, and thereby stamping his rebellious wicked image on Adam and Eve. But Jehovah God would speak directly to the serpent before Adam, Eve, and all of creation this curse, and the promise of redemption. The Lord would make this first and great promise in the inspired word, immediately following the fall.
“And I will put enmity between you (serpent) and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15).
This precious promise would be the lone redemptive promise for Adam, Abel, and to all the antediluvian saints before the flood. In His time, the Lord would give more gospel light. He would renew and expand the revelation promise of His covenant with Noah, as he found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Let us fast forward from the fall of man, to the first century church. From this first ray of gospel promise in the garden…. let us move on to the glorious promises of the New Testament.
Peter talks about precious promises in 2 Peter 1:3-4. “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4. by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Seven Precious Promises (or gifts) Given by Christ
I want to talk to you about seven exceedingly great and precious promises, or gifts, that are freely given to all who are in Christ. These promises become exceedingly greater than when we first believed them. As the years roll on, these promises, or gifts, will grow greater and more precious, even unto that eternal day.
First, We Have the Promise of Our Sins Forgiven.
There is one thing we all have in common – SIN. Sin is the deadly plague and disease of our race. We are not just weak and impaired – we are guilty, and dead in sin. Even as believers, we continue to commit sin. There is nothing in us by nature that is good or righteous. We continually sin in principle, in thought, and in deed, because we are sinners at heart. That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God. But God looks upon the heart. And in that heart, God sees nothing but sin – and He hates it.
God requires perfect righteousness in heart and deed, and I cannot give it.
God requires perfect compliance with His holy law, and I cannot give it.
God requires perfect satisfaction for all my sins, and I cannot give it.
My repentance is not enough, and yet, the Law must be obeyed. My faith is not enough, and yet, justice must be satisfied. But bless God for His marvelous love, mercy, grace, sinless life, substitutionary death, resurrection, and intercession on our behalf.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1).
“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy” (Micah 7:18).
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin” (Rom. 4:7-8).
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
John writes, “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12).
What almost precious promise that is…. all of our sins are forgiven.
That promise is valued now, by the way of a clear conscience, and in the great Day of Judgement, as the only entrance into heaven.
Second, We Have the Promise, or Gift, of God’s Word.
Our Lord has not left us to our imaginations and devices concerning truth. He has given us Himself, His Son, His written God breathed word. In this word is recorded the revelation of God’s purpose and plan of redemption for His own blood bought children.
Some have characterized the Word as God’s love letter to His bride, the Bride of Christ, the Church.
“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15:16).
The sweet psalmist sings, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
“How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1-2).
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). What a blessing to have God’s breathed word written in a book.
Third, We Have Been Given the Promise, or Gift, of Prayer.
Remember when the Lord would come in the garden of Eden to commune with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening…. Once the first couple fell in sin, they lost that most precious gift of communing with their maker. Following the Fall, the Lord God drove them out of the Garden. But the Godhead: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, in their eternal counsels, had already decreed the plan of redemption. The plan of redemption would secure and call out His chosen ones in each generation.
Like the apostle Paul, when redeemed sinners are called by God Almighty, that gift of communing with the living God is restored. The gift of prayer is evidence of being born from above.
We see the Lord drawing near to His own in Psalm 145:18. “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.”
“The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Prov. 15:29).
Our Lord, when He was here, had much to say about prayer. He taught His disciples to pray.
“Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24).
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
The apostle Paul clearly knew that the redeemed were called, and enabled to pray.
“Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26).
Paul would further say concerning prayer in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” We are not home yet, but our restoration has begun with the gift of prayer, and communion with the Lord Himself.
Fourth, We Have Been Given the Promise of the Holy Spirit.
Man, in his natural state, by his fallen Adamic Nature, does not have the Holy Spirit. But, in Christ, our Lord God has made us new creatures. This gift of the Holy Spirit is a gift of God to all of His blood bought children alone. As children of the King we are a new creation, born from above. The Lord of Glory not only encamps all around us at all times. He actually dwells in us, and will never leave us. By virtue of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we actually become partakers of divine nature.
Luke 11:13 clearly states what our Heavenly Father desires for us – “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
John, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit says in John 14:17, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
In Acts 7:55 we have a glorious picture of Stephen, just moments before he steps into the celestial city, being full of the Holy Spirit. “But he (Stephen), being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”
Paul, too, would have much light on this indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit. “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).
Think about it, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us…. now that’s amazing beyond explanation. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit brings us great blessings that all men seek after, and can never find in this life, apart from Christ.
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).
“Or, do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19). Our God has redeemed us to be a temple, or dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Christ in us, the hope of glory.
The Holy Spirit dwells in you…
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
“That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” (2 Tim. 1:14).
Fifth, We Have the Promise of the Love of God.
Our God, who is way up there, is not a God who does not care. No—No. Our God, who created man and all things, has invaded our world. He left glory and really came to earth. He has made us willing in the day of His power, and took possession of our heart, mind and soul. He conquers His own by lavishing His everlasting love upon them. And He will not let us go….
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God” (John 16:27).
In John 17:23, in Jesus’ high priestly prayer, He prays, “[Father], I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
Paul would pray in Ephesians 3:17-19, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height 19. to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:9-11). Notice, that the love of God is the first cause of our salvation. We really do rest upon the love of God, and thereby we are enabled to love the brethren.
Sixth, We Have the Promise of Eternal Life.
From the beginning man was created to never die. But, the Fall in the garden caused all men to die spiritually, and eventually physically. All men became dead in their sins. Sin changed the final eternal destination of many men. Many, who are dead in their sins would suffer the second death and torment forever…. Others, by divine grace, would receive eternal life now, and live forever in bliss.
One day, after a tough discussion with our Lord, many of His disciples walked away. Jesus had uttered the difficult truth that no person can be saved except faith was given unto him of the Father (John 6:65). There were individuals who were deeply offended at this teaching. Then Jesus asked the remaining disciples if they wanted to go away too.
Hear Peter’s response to Jesus’s question in John 6:68. “Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Jesus was telling the people that eternal life could not be received from the religious leaders, nor could eternal life be generated by self-effort, or good works.
Jesus would say in John 10:28, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” What a promise from the Creator of all life. Jesus is Life Himself, who gives us eternal life, and He promises, no one can take it away.
Then Jesus speaks of eternal life in His High Priestly prayer in John 17:2-3. “As You [Father] have given Him [Christ] authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Paul, in Romans 6:23, makes it clear that eternal life is a gift. Eternal life is not resident in the heart of the Natural Man.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That is why neither the gift, nor the Giver, should be underestimated. Consider who the Giver of eternal life is, even Jesus Christ the Lord. Think also of who the Sustainer of eternal life is, and then remember who the undeserving one is, a sinner such as I.
“Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?”
When Paul thought about the bleeding Savior who rescued him from the power, and pollution of sin, he was forever humbled that Christ would die for him. This Pharisee of the Pharisees from the tribe of Benjamin, became a voluntary slave of the Master. Though Paul held many titles, he thought of himself first and foremost as one who owed a debt he could not pay.
“He paid a debt He did not owe,
I owed a debt I could not pay,
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And now I sing a brand-new song:
Amazing Grace (all day long)
Christ Jesus Paid
the debt that I could never pay.”
For this reason, we read…
“Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:1-2).
Oh, let not any one stumble over the doctrines of the Sovereign’s grace. God does have an elect people of His own choosing. They are called, “God’s elect.”
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11).
Seventh, We Have the Promise of His Coming to Receive us to Himself.
I am sixty-nine years old. I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home. In the providence of God, my parents took me to a Baptist Church when I was child. In those days there was no air conditioning, and the pews were hardback. There were no cushions to make listening to the sermons more enjoyable, and it did not really matter.
I remember hearing preachers, and the people, talk about Christ’s second coming. It is now sixty years later. Jesus has not come, and yet, that Blessed Hope is just as precious, and just as real to me as when I first heard of the Lord’s return as a child. I still believe that one day Jesus will return. My grandparents believed that. My parents believed that. I still believe it is true. Jesus is coming again.
“Marvelous message we bring
Glorious carol we sing
Wonderful word of the King
Jesus is coming again
Coming again coming again
Maybe morning maybe noon
Maybe evening and maybe soon
Coming again coming again
Oh, what a wonderful day it will be
Jesus is coming again.”
Maybe it was a husband, a wife, a child, a grandparent, or best friend, but we have all longed for someone we love to return, to come home. This has been the hope of the redeemed down through the ages; that is the longing, waiting, and anticipating for our Lord Himself to come and take us home.
I want to go home. I want to see Jesus. I want to look into His face. I want to embrace the One who loved me enough to die for me, rose again for me, redeemed me, and is coming for me. If Jesus does not come again soon, that is ok. I want to go home, and then, when He does come again, I shall be with Him. I will never leave Him, and He will never leave you, or me.
Listen to Jesus in John 14.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions [dwelling places]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Then Paul gives us additional details of Christ coming again for us in 1 Corinthians 15. “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51-53).
What an exciting thought that is, especially for those of us who have bodies that are wearing out. We are longing for that glorified body.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 18 And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. 18. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:16-18).
If the Blessed Hope of Christ’s return is in your heart, these words of Scripture mean something. These promises of the Lord are real. King Jesus has made them. Our God-breathed Book, the Bible, confirms all the promises of God are true.
“When He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired among all those who believe” (2 Thess. 1:10).
This is a thought that astonishes me. I do not understand how Almighty God can be glorified in His saints, but that will happen.
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work. Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:12).
As precious as these seven promises of Christ are, hear this warning.
If you do not have Christ in your heart, you are yet in your sins.
If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you do not have His Word in your heart.
If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you do not have the glorious grace, and the privilege of authentic prayer.
If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, if you are without Christ, the Holy Spirit does not dwell in you.
If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, if you are without Christ, you do not have life eternal, and you remain under the warning of the coming judgement and destruction.
I do not know if you have ever been to a funeral where the person who died was well known to be an unbeliever. It is a far different service for such a person than a funeral for a child of God. In one service, there is the hope of the resurrection. In the other service, there is not only death, but despair. It is hard to preach a sermon for a non-Christian. It is hard to comfort the family.
Apart from Jesus, you do not have a place in heaven, nor do you have the promise of His sweet coming, and any hope of full redemption.
But, if you do have Christ, if you do know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then these seven promises are yours, for time, and eternity.
In a day and time in which so many are filled with fear, and hated for Christ and His Church, it is good to know the promises of God. During a riot in Portland, Oregon in August, 2020 a sign was seen: “If Jesus comes again, we will kill Him again!” In times like these we need a Savior. In times like these we need the promises of God.
How many promises of God are there? The short answer is, “There are a lot!” A Canadian schoolteacher, Everet R. Storms, read the Bible through twenty-seven times, and believed he found 7, 487 promises by God to man. Perhaps he is right. Herbert Lockyer has written a good book on the subject, “All the Promises in the Bible”. Perhaps the best thing to do is to read the Bible, consider each of the 31, 173 verses in the Bible, and personally discover as many promises as possible. Then, sing a song of praise written by R. Kelso Carter.
“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.”
Not one of these promises will be, or can be, canceled, or eliminated.
“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:37-39).
Think through these most precious gifts that are yours. They are freely given by none other than God Almighty!
Christ takes away all of our sin.
Christ has given us His sure Word.
Christ has given us the spirit of prayer.
Christ has given us the Holy Spirit.
Christ has given us His love.
Christ has given us eternal life.
Christ is coming soon to take us home.
To you who have Christ, all seven of these promises are yours, and they are irrevocable. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. And there is so much more that is yours as well. It will take the ages to come for all of the promises of God to be unfurled. Being in Christ, you escape the corruption of this world. Being in Christ, you are partaker of the divine nature. Christ has made you rich with all of His exceedingly great and precious promises!
“Our Father in heaven, we thank You for Your precious promises. O Lord, we realize that we are dull, and slow to believe. We have doubts. We ask, Lord Jesus, that the Holy Spirit will make these promises all the more real to us, that we might be able to stand in this wicked and perverse generation. Lord, cause us not only to stand, but to honor You with our lives, and with our testimony. Father, may we be a light and a testimony to our family members, our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, and those we work with. To those around us, we realize we must speak of our Living Savior. May they see we really are children of the King. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”