Reading: 1st Corinthians chapter 1:1-9
"He is faithful that promised" (Hebrews 10: 23)
(a) At the moment, every time you turn on the television or read the newspaper you will find people making promises.
(b) I am speaking of course of politicians in the run up to the election. They endeavour to out-do each other with greater and greater promises in the hope that we might vote for them.
However we find out by experience that many of the promises were never kept no matter who the political party may be.
Here is a 'spot-on' quote:
Put no trust in the promises of the man who is running for office. He is forced to make a promise to every man who solicits it, and they soon grow beyond the limit of redemption. The office seeker who starts out to tell the truth and keeps his faith, generally has the satisfaction of seeing his opponent inducted into office. W. A. Taylor.
[*] He who is slowest in making a promise is the most faithful in the performance of it. — ROUSSEAU.
(c) When it comes to promises how many people can You think of, that you can trust completely?
How many people are there, whose promises you would completely trust, if your life depended on it?? In other words, you can depend on them so completely, that you know they will keep their word even if it killed them!
(d) I am speaking about someone that you trust so completely, that you cannot even have a shade of doubt in your mind, about what they tell you, and what they will promise.
(e) Human nature is such, that I doubt there are many people in whom we can have that kind of confidence!
(e) I remember a number of years ago speaking to someone in a position of authority, who always felt they had been looking over everyone's shoulder, and keeping a check on them, because they literally could trust no one.
(g) I still believe what I said to them at that time. I said "I would rather trust someone and be let down, than live the rest of my life in an attitude of mistrust!"
(a) Let us remember this morning, that there is One Whom we can trust completely!
Why? Because He cannot lie!
(b) He said, "I am the truth!" In other words that is His very nature! To say that God can lie, is like saying that you can start of fire using water instead of matches!
(c) The Bible says that the devil is the "father of lies" and therefore it is madness to suggest that God can speak anything but the truth!
(d) When God makes a threat, we don't take it lightly! He means it and He will fulfil it!!
When God says, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die", he means it!!
Men he says, "except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish", he means it!
(e) It could be said, that a will, is a written promise, which the deceased has made, whilst alive.
"Jerry's friends and family had gathered at the lawyer's office to hear the reading of his will.
"To my wife, Rose," began the attorney, "two million dollars, my Cadillac, my Picasso, and everything in the store."
He continued, "To my daughter, Jane, an outstanding teacher and a beautiful girl who doesn't find any man good enough, one million dollars."
"To my son, Sid, an excellent dentist, a fine golfer, one million dollars," said the lawyer.
"To my brother-in-law, Lou, who lived with us for thirty years, never worked a day in his life, smoked all my fine cigars, and who said I would never remember him in my will, 'Hello, Lou!'" concluded the attorney.
(a) Whilst the thought of God's threats should make every sinner quake in fear, the thought of His promises should make every Christian jump for joy - because they are just as completely trustworthy!
[b] Ah! we love to speak about the sweet promises of God; but if we could ever suppose that one of them could be changed, we would not talk anything more about them. If I thought that the notes of the bank of England could not be cashed next week, I should decline to take them; and if I thought that God’s promises would never be fulfilled — if I thought that God would see it right to alter some word in his promises — farewell Scriptures! I want immutable things: and I find that I have immutable promises when I turn to the Bible: for, “by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,” he hath signed, confirmed, and sealed every promise of his.
We never prize the precious words of promise till we are placed in conditions in which their suitability and sweetness are manifested. We all of us value those golden words: “When thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” But few if any of us have read them with the delight of the martyr, Bilney, to whom this passage was a stay while he was in prison, awaiting his execution at the stake. His Bible, still preserved in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, has the passage marked with a pen in the margin. Perhaps, if all were known, every promise in the Bible has borne a special message to some one saint; and so the whole volume might be scored in the margin with mementos of Christian experience, every one appropriate to the very letter. — SPURGEON.
[c] He also said, that he would "Sooner walk in the dark and trust to a promise of God than trust in the light of the brightest day that ever dawned."
[d] E. Stanley Jones said, "Anything less than God will let you down."
[e] Commissioner Brengle said, "The promises draw us on in the narrow way, and the commandments hedge us in that we do not lose the way. " '
He also says, Prayer must be mixed with faith — must be believing prayer. “Whatsoever
ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive and ye shall have.” Oh,
what a victory I got one morning over the devil, when he tried to shake my
faith and confidence! I laid hold of that promise and wrestled through to
the solid rock of believing prayer, and had one of the most glorious
soul-saving days in my life! The man whose faith is constantly wavering
shall receive nothing from the Lord. (James 1: 6-7.) 'The Soulwinner's Secret'
[f] In John Bunyan's book Pilgrim's Progress, Christian and Hopeful, have been locked in the dungeon of Doubting Castle by the evil giant Despair.
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out in this passionate speech: “What a fool,” quoth he, am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in
Doubting Castle.” Then said Hopeful, “That is good news; good brother; pluck it out of thy bosom, and try.”
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon door, whose bolt as he turned the key gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went to the outward door that leads into the castleyard, and, with his key, opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went damnable hard, yet the key did open it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed.
The well-worn quote of William Booth - "The promises of God are sure - if you only believe!"
(a) God is a God of justice! The price of our sin had to be paid.
(b) Illustration- Our lack of faith in God's promises, can limit us going forward -
At a coastal aquarium in Florida, a big barracuda tried to attack a mackerel, but it was stopped by a glass barrier that separated them. After bumping his nose into it repeatedly, he finally quit trying. Later, when the barrier was removed, the barracuda would swim to the point where the barrier had been - but no farther. To him, that barrier was still there. Bob Gas in 'The Word for Today'
(c) The apostle Peter says of Jesus, "Who His Own Self, bore our sins in his own body on the tree."
(d) "To as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the children of God."
(e) God says, "Come now let us reason together saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow."
[f] "Now, when God declares there is salvation in Christ Jesus - I must either believe Him at once or make Him a liar." — C. H. SPURGEON.
[g] Within the past couple of months, I composed a new poem - about promises.
We live in a world that is constantly changing,
Promises are broken, there's constant rearranging:
Is there something sure, on which to depend -
Something that's secure, lasting to the end?
God's promised not to leave, nor His child forsake,
The terrors of this world, needn't make us quake;
He foresees our every step, in His loving plan,
As we're following in the footsteps, of the Son of Man
As the rainbow spans the misty sky,
Bringing beauty to the watching eye,
We're reminded that God His Word will keep,
Each promise emanating from love so deep.
With delicate colours that lift the heart,
Painted on heavenly canvas, in order to impart
The guarantee of God for all to see,
Showing He honours His promises to you and me.