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Standing

on the Promises

of God

 

Acts 26:6

"And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise

made by God to our fathers."

 


 

When we pray, we talk with God:

When we read the Bible, God talks to us.

 

Standing on the Promises.

Some of the countless promises God has made to us.

 

 

The first promise: The change of heart

Ezekiel 36:26-27

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments and do them.

Here God promises to give the willing accepter a change of heart, and also the ability to keep His commandments and daily advices. All we need to do is ask for this experience in the faith that He can do it, and it is ours.

 

The second promise: The covering of righteousness

Isaiah 61:10

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.

When a person has a change of heart and becomes a Christian, Jesus Christ immediately puts around him or her the robe of His righteousness and completely protects him or her from eternal death from that moment on. But this is only the beginning of an educational process.

 

The third promise: The covering of Life

Romans 1:17

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith...

The just shall live FROM faith TO faith. This journey is from imputed righteousness to imparted righteousness. From a single to a double covering. From His righteousness in principle to His righteousness in action. It is a process which lasts a lifetime and which makes our calling and election sure. 2 Peter 1:10.

This second robe is also the offer of protection from physical sickness and death, but unfortunately this is normally only fully accepted in the new world when the prodigal returns to his home. Luke 15:22; Revelation 21:4.

 

The fourth promise: The limits of temptation

James 1:13-14

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

1 Corinthians 10:13

There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.

What usually happens in this world is that temptation comes to the child of God, and if indulged in, opens a door into the soul which allows Satan to stir up the germs of physical death. God does not personally tempt us we are told, but He does not override it either, in order that we may learn to know our reaction. What God does do is make certain that we can handle the problem no matter what it is or how suddenly it comes upon us. The person concerned will be able to see his or her reaction to Satan’s action and choose what he or she wants to do with it, for the way to escape comes with it. See Peter’s reaction to Christ’s statement of his forthcoming behaviour the night of Gethsemane, and compare it with that of Judas. Luke 22:31-34; 54-62 ; Matthew 27:5.

 

The fifth promise: Know yourself

Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it [by himself]? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

To know one's self is to have great knowledge. True self-knowledge given by God will lead to a humility that will allow the Lord to train the mind, and mould and discipline the character. Romans 12:1-2. This experience is necessary because the season of temptation, under which, it may be, one falls into grievous sin, does not create the evil that is revealed, but only develops or makes manifest that which was always hidden and latent in the heart, left over as habits of the old way of life. It is written, For as he thinks in his heart [or mind], so is he for out of the heart are the issues of life. Proverbs 23:7; 4:23.

 

The sixth promise: The power to overcome

James 4:7-10

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

If the temptation is resisted immediately, and the power of Christ used to reject it, there is no problem. God explains how this is done in the following words, Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me. Isaiah 27:5.

The door is closed and locked, or sealed, with a double lock - Christ’s righteousness and your choice. Revelation 14:1; 7:3. A devil has been cast out and in its place is health. Isaiah 58:8.

 

The seventh promise: The danger of sin

James 1:13-16

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.

As James noted, however, a great problem arises if the tempted one chooses to dally with the temptation and accept it, for temptation is contaminated in the same manner as germs live on a dead body. See Haggai 2:13. These sin-disease germs come with the temptation, and the longer it is cultivated into sin the greater they multiply. Even after the temptation is expelled they can still cause sickness and death if it has been indulged for any length of time. James 1:15; Hebrews 2:14.

Temptation can be entertained for a period of time without the loss of physical life but this time varies according to the Christian growth and gets shorter as the Christian grows in faith and understanding. These sin germs and their diseases may cause the Christian’s physical death, but he or she can still be forgiven and remain a Christian if the sin is repented of and confessed. See the story of the death of Moses in Numbers 20:7-12 and Deuteronomy 32:48-52. He was resurrected later (Jude 9) and taken to heaven in conformity with the promise,

Deuteronomy 4:30-31

When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the LORD your God, and shall be obedient unto His voice; (for the LORD your God is a merciful God); He will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.

However, the temptation area, a known sin, is also surrounded by the unknown sins in the life. These are always exerting an influence which will eventually kill the Christian by natural means, such as old age! Leviticus 5:17 says, Though he wist [or know] it not, yet is he guilty and shall bear his iniquity and the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23.

So then it becomes a race!

Can Christ get the Christian to recognise and reject his or her known sins before the unknown ones consign him to Satan’s prison house, the grave, thus necessitating a resurrection? Isaiah 42:7. Or can He bestow the gift of God in its entirety, that is, translation without seeing death? Romans 6:23.

It is the Christian’s choice, for what he or she does in the matter of entertaining the thought decides the issue. Why will you die? is God’s plaintive call. Ezekiel 18:31; 33:11.

It is because we have not perceived what this means to Him that we have not hurried to finish the work of sealing ourselves against sin. We have been told very plainly that we do not discern the Lord’s body, or His death, as we should, and for this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [the sleep of death]. 1 Corinthians 11:26-31.

To eat the bread and drink the cup means more than to partake of the Lord’s supper now and then. It means to read and to meditate on the Bible every day, three times a day as did Daniel the beloved of God. Daniel 6:10. It means to read the promises of God and claim them for ourselves by rendering obedience. If we really hunger and thirst we will receive physical health and strength as well as spiritual health and strength. Matthew 5:6.

 

The eighth promise: The soul that sins it shall die

Matthew 12:31-33

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Of course, if a sin is desired permanently, then such a person also loses their eternal life, for then the sin becomes part of their conscious will.

And,

Ezekiel 33:13

When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he has committed, he shall die for it.

The blasphemy Jesus speaks of is the refusal to be saved in the way in which the Spirit of God dictates. Without His guidance it is impossible to overcome the problem, for such a one does not want forgiveness or cleansing in God's way. Such a one wants his or her own way.

So then, the issue should be clear. It is your right to choose. Either good or evil. Either to be on the side of Christ or to follow Satan in his rebellion. Either to be righteous or not. The choice is yours and the result is yours. No punishment – just a foregone result. Jesus waits anxiously for your decision. He said through Moses,

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it.

But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days upon the land, where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live. That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey His voice, and that you may cleave to Him: for He is your life, and the length of your days…

oooOooo

 

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