The Precious Promises of God

Chapter 26 of A Puritan Theology is a wonderful resource on believing, applying, and praying God’s covenant promises.  The chapter is broken down into two main sections: the right understanding of God’s promises and the right use of these promises.  In other words, we should know God’s gospel promises and we should rightly apply them to our Christian life.  Here are a few edited and summarized quotes that are quite helpful and edifying.

“The promises are the grounds of our hope, the objects of our faith, and the rule of prayer.”

“A divine promise declares God’s goodwill, purpose, and intention toward sinners.  It reveals what the Lord will do on our behalf; not what he hopes to do or will attempt to perform, but what he has already committed and bound himself to accomplish for us.”

“A promise of God is both the ground of present comfort and the expectation of future blessings.”

“The root of divine promises is the sovereign goodness of God by which he purposes and engages himself to do good to sinners, not because of any merit in them, but out of free grace, since even the condition required (faith, repentance, or the like) is itself of God (2 Tim. 2:25; Acts 13:48; John 6:44-45, 65).”

“Some of God’s promises offer encouragement (Is. 40:31), some give comfort (1 Cor. 10:13), some bring rewards (Ps. 84:11), and some bring privileges (John 1:12).”

“God’s promises are precious because he is the author who gave them and Christ is the one who purchased them.  They are precious in the free manner in which they are given and in the great and inestimable profit that flows from them.  They are also precious because they promise eternal glory and virtue, and because through them we become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).”

Indeed, knowing, believing, and living according to God’s gospel promises makes the Christian life sweet even in and through the bitterness we all encounter.  It is good for us to memorize the “promise” verses in Scripture to help us find strength when we’re weary, hope when we’re downcast, courage when we face danger, and joy when trials come.  After all, each promise of God finds its yes and amen in Jesus, the one who died and rose again to save sinners – the one who is coming again to take his people home.  But based on his promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell (1 Pet. 2:13 HCSB).

Joel Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2013).

shane lems