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Everything that God offers mankind is in the form of a promise. Salvation, itself is based on Gods free gift and promise to us. The gift of Christ is now fully available to anyone who will take hold of the promise by faith. Without receiving the promises of God, salvation is totally impossible.

2 Peter 1:4 "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

The design of the promises is to make a person a partaker of God's divine nature. God forms His character in the believer by the provisions of the gospel. God has made ample provision for all holiness and spiritual growth. The promise when received fulfills all the requirements of the law. What the law requires, God freely makes available to every person as a gift. We must truly believe and then receive this gift. There is nothing lacking in God's provision for us to fulfill the law and His requirements. What the law requires, God freely gives to those who take it.

God has provided man with everything that he could possibly need to live a pure and Holy life. He has made everything freely available in the form of promises. Salvation, Jesus, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all offered to mankind by the promises. The ONLY way to experience being a partaker of God's Holy nature and escape the corruption in the word is from receiving the results of the promises. Without first receiving the results of a promise, holiness is impossible.

For every command of God there is a promise from God that, if received, will fulfill that command. Only as a person receives the promise by faith and experiences its fulfillment in himself will he truly obey the commands of God. For example, the following command will never be obeyed without first receiving the results of the promise.

Command

Matt. 22:37 "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

Promise

Deut. 30:6 "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."

It is clear that the love that the law demands is made freely available by God.

1. It is impossible to directly choose to love God.
2. Only when we receive the results of the promise, will we really love God correctly.
3. We have to first receive the fulfilment of the promise before we will love Him as the law demands.
4. Without receiving the results of the promise, we will not fulfill the command.
5. Obedience to God is TOTALLY impossible without first receiving the promise of God.
6. Keeping God's commandments is impossible without first receiving the promise.
7. We are required to lay hold by faith the promise before any obedience can take place.
8. True obedience is the result of are receiving of the promise.
The language of the promise means just as much as the language of the command. It seems that few people misunderstand the command to fully love God continuously. Now, when it comes to the promise many seem to try to dilute it or make it seem weak. Does not the promise mean just as much as the command? The truth is, the only way this command will ever be fulfilled is by first receiving the results of this promise.

The law demanded perfect obedience and threatened with a harsh penalty if the obedience failed. Under the law, it depended only on man's faithfulness to obey. Only IF man obeyed would he be blessed, if he failed he would be cursed. The law would never make any one obedient, in fact the law was never designed to make any person's heart holy. All it did was make demands and threats when the demands were not met. Man broke the law time and time again. He proved his unfaithfulness.

God has provided the only solution for mans disobedience and total failure through Jesus Christ. God's provision WHEN RECEIVED will fulfill all the requirements of the law. What the law demands, grace supplies. God has made provision for mans unfaithfulness and has made this solution freely available in the form of a promise.

Lets examine another command and promise.

Command

Ezek. 18:30b-31 "Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"

Promise

Ezek: 36:25-27 "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 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 ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."

Here is an exact Charles Finney quote from The Promise of The Spirit published by Bethany House 1980. Lecture 11. THE PROMISES--No. 1, page 135.
"We never keep the commandments, only as we take hold of the promises. By this I mean that grace alone enables us from the heart, to obey the commandments of God. It is, therefore, only when we lay hold of the promise, by faith, and receive its fulfillment in ourselves, that we really, in heart, obey the commandments of God. For example we never love the Lord our God, according to the first great commandment, only as we lay hold on, and receive the fulfillment of some such promise as this: "I will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."

The grace of the gospel offers you, with every command, the strength to obey, and work in you the very thing commanded. Every command implies a corresponding promise, that is, if we are required to do anything by Christ, the very requirement is an implied promise or offer of all the aid we need to make it possible for us to perform it. Indeed, the command in itself is an implied gift of all needed help. The command itself implies the ability to obey it. Every command of God implies this in the strongest manner. It should be remembered that God is perfect in both love and wisdom: therefore He cannot be so unjust as to demand something from us that is impossible for us to perform. THE GRACE OF GOD TURNS THE REQUIREMENT OF THE LAW INTO A PROMISE OF GOD.

The grace of God now shows you that there is an entirely new position for you to take. You must take a possible position of simple childlike obedience, day by day, to every command His voice speaks to you through the Spirit. You must take a possible position of simple childlike dependence on and experience of His all-sufficient grace, day by day, for every command He gives.

There is much confusion on man's ability to obey the commands of God. There are two types of commands in the Bible. These are the direct and indirect commands. Everyone is always able to obey the direct command. The indirect command is one that a person WILL NEVER never accomplish without first receiving the results of the direct command.

Exact quote from Finney's Systematic Theology -- 1851 Edition Lecture 50
"It is true indeed that God requires of men, especially under the gospel, what they are unable to do directly in their own strength. Or more strictly speaking, he requires them to lay hold on His strength, or to avail themselves of His grace, as the condition of being what he requires them to be. With strict propriety, it cannot be said that in this, or in any case, he requires directly any more than we are able directly to do. The direct requirement in the case under consideration, is to avail ourselves of, or to lay hold upon his strength. This we have power to do. He requires us to lay hold upon his grace and strength, and thereby to rise to a higher knowledge of Himself, and to a consequent higher state of holiness than would be otherwise possible to us. The direct requirement is to believe, or to lay hold upon his strength, or to receive the Holy Spirit, or Christ, who stands at the door, and knocks, and waits for admission. The indirect requirement is to rise to a degree of knowledge of God, and to spiritual attainments that are impossible to us in our own strength. We have ability to obey the direct command directly, and the indirect command indirectly. That is, we are able by virtue of our nature, together with the proffered grace of the Holy Spirit, to comply with all the requirements of God. So that in fact there is no proper inability about it."

When a sinner hears about Christ and how Christ can save him from his sins and truly believes and takes hold of Christ he fulfills the direct command. Before a sinner will repent he must know about the promise of Christ to fully save him. Only the will he repent from his sin and make Christ the Lord of his life. Only when he believes and takes hols of the promise by faith can he receive all the help and aid of the Holy Spirit. A christian will only fulfill the indirect commands by abiding in Christ. No christian will ever grow in grace and the knowledge of God without abiding in Christ. No person will ever overcome sin by his own efforts and strength.

We always can fulfill the direct commands directly and the indirect commands indirectly. God can never require anything that is impossible for us to accomplish. We can become more than conquerors through Christ. Whatever difficulties we face, we are able through Christ to overcome them all.

No man ever will fulfill the indirect commands without depending totally on Christ. A sinner, as long as he remains totally selfish will never love God because pure love does not flow from a selfish mind. The love that the law requires, God freely makes available in the form of a promise. The grace of the gospel offers him the very love that the law requires. The grace of the gospel when received will cause the obedience required by the law. Without this love, no one will keep the commandments.

The law demanded a new heart, but man failed ever to get one. The grace of God makes available the very heart that the law demanded. ONCE A PERSON HAS RECEIVED the results of this promise he no longer is required to rely or depend on his own faithfulness.

Before you think I have gone too far look at this promise.

Jer. 32:39-40 "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good, and I will put the fear of me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me."

The central thought of this promise is this, that mans heart will be put right. Hear again what God's says "I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good." That is, God will be unchangeably faithful. He will NEVER turn away from us. This is ONLY the first part of this promise. Hear what God now says "I will put the fear of me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me." This is the second part of the promise. AFTER RECEIVING THE RESULTS of this promise we will be unchangeably faithful too. That is because God will so put His fear in our heart, that we shall not depart from Him! No, NOT EVER!!! God is faithful, He will never turn from us, and His fear will prevent us from departing from Him! As faithfully as He undertakes for the fulfilment of His part, will He undertake for the fulfilment of our part, that we shall not depart from Him. This is the ONLY and permanent solution for mans unfaithfulness and voluntary selfishness. Once this promise is received it no longer depends on your own resources or ability to be faithful to God. God Himself undertakes your responsibility for you.

The problem with the law or the old covenant was that man always broke it. Man was totally unfaithful to God. The grace of the gospel or the new covenant was designed to solve the problem of man's unfaithfulness. The grace of God turns the command to be holy into a promise of God that secures holiness.

Jer. 31:31-34 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Many have thought that human unfaithfulness was a factor permanently to be dealt with as something totally unconquerable and incurable, and that the possibility of a life of full obedience was not to be expected. The problem with the law was that man broke it. When God's only provision for man's rebellious state is received, God Himself makes it UNBREAKABLE. It no longer depends on man's faithfulness at all, but on God's. If it depended on man's faithfulness, then the grace of God would be no better than the law and the new covenant would be no better than the old. Why would God make a new covenant if it still depended on man's faithfulness? Remember the grace of God, when received will fulfil all the demands of the law!!!

Please note God is NEVER responsible for any person not receiving the results of any promise. God ONLY takes responsibility AFTER THE RESULTS ARE RECEIVED. The bible has over 2000 promises and they all have conditions. God is NEVER responsible for any man not fulfilling the conditions or for any man not receiving the results of His promises. Just because God makes the promise available to man on certain conditions, does not mean that He is responsible if a person fails to fulfill the conditions or fails to receive the results. How can God be responsible for any man failing to receive His promise? How can God be responsible for any man failing to fulfill the conditions? I think that you will agree that the possibility of the commands being fulfilled by a promise received WOULD NOT make God responsible.

The promise to the sinner is Christ. The sinner will never obey the commandments until he first receives Jesus Christ. All promises have one thing in common; they all have at least one condition. This condition is faith. A person must exercise faith and be willing to receive the results promised. No one can believe in a promise that he does not know exists. He also needs some understanding of the promise or he could fail when trying to apply it.

Some promises require other conditions that are necessary to fulfill before anyone can experience the results. Only when a person satisfies all the conditions and requirements can he receive the result of the promise. An example of this type of promise would be, 1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin."

This is a conditional promise. If we..., then. No person can ever expect the cleansing from all sin until he first walks in the light. This is an ongoing and continuous process. If anyone stops walking in the light, he is no longer cleansed. He must repent and obey all known truth.

A person cannot believe in specific promises without a confidence and trust in the character and truth of God. The promises depend on a person's confidence in God's truth, willingness and ability to accomplish what He says. God has placed all spiritual and temporal needs in promise form. There will be no obedience without receiving the results of a promise.

There are promises suited for every possible human condition and circumstance, from the worst sinner to the holy saint. The following promises are examples for different circumstances. Please examine them carefully.

For the spiritually blind

Isaiah 42:7 "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."

Isaiah 42:16 "And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them."

For the sinner

Isaiah 1:19 "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:"

Isaiah 55:7 "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

For the backslider

Jer. 3:12-14 "Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:"

For weak believers

Isaiah 41:10-14 "Fear thou not; For I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yes, I will help thee; yes, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel."

Isaiah 40:29-31 "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and thy shall walk, and not faint."

Psalm 68:35b "The God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people."

For victory over temptation

I Cor. 10:13 "There hath 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 ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

II Peter 2:9 "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:"

Psalm 34:17-19 "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."

For the spiritually hungry

Matt. 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."

Isaiah 55:1-3 "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, but, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."

For complete holiness

Jer. 32: 39-40 "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.

And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good, and I will put the fear of me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me."

Ezek. 36: 25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances."

Deut. 30:6 "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."

Jer. 24:7 "And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."

Jer. 31:31-34 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Ezek. 11:19-20 "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."

I Thes. 5:23-24 "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."

For freedom from future sin and backsliding

Jude 24 "Unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."

Psalm 121:2,5,7 "My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is shade upon thy right hand. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul."

Psalm 37:23-24;31"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide."

For divine help

Rev. 22:17b "And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

Luke 11:11-13 "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask for a fish, will he for a fish give a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

John 7: 37b-38 "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters."

For rest

Matt. 11:28,29 "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

For wisdom

James 1:5-7 "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. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."

For all needs

Matt. 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you: seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you. What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

I John 3:21 "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."

The promises act as stair steps designed to take and change a person closer to God's nature. You need to go from promise to promise taking hold of them as they rise one above the other. No matter what your situation, circumstance or state of mind, God has a promise for you.

Deception can occur when a person takes a promise that is not designed for him and tries to believe the promise. All this does is bring discouragement and disappointment. No person gets to pick or choose which promise applies to him. God only knows the exact one at the right time. He will reveal the one you need by the Holy Spirit. Selfish desires can never bring you closer to God.

James 4:3 "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."

The promises are not something you add to self. When received they will remove selfishness and make you more God-like. The promises are not to be applied by self at all. Nothing in self, by self, of self or from self can ever be righteous or holy.

There are many people choosing the promises they think they need or desire. Some people use positive thinking and positive confession to bring the results they want into existence. The things accomplished by these methods have nothing to do with making a person holy or God-like. Selfishness is only confirmed and entrenched when a person uses these methods. There is no true virtue independent from God and His grace.

How the promises work.

1. They begin with and in God. They have nothing to do with self at all.

2. God gives love, mercy and grace to all men. All men have some degree of light; no one has an excuse.

3. Man can resist this grace and love.

4. God places desires within us. He births them within us and they only exist by His operating grace. This is how a person becomes born again. God places a desire within him and then stimulates it. The person willing chooses to submit to this work of grace and becomes born again.

Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

5. There is no grace, faith or any other Christian virtue without the working of God's grace.

God really knows and understands your own state and circumstance better than even you do. He knows exactly what you need. In all His wisdom, loving kindness and unselfish love, God works with you to bring you closer to Him. All you need to do is turn to Him by placing all your confidence and trust in Him. Will you do it now?

PART TWO

Let us look into some of the promises. It is not my design to examine a great number of scripture promises, but rather to show, that those which I do examine, fully sustain the positions I have taken. One is sufficient, if it be full and its application just, to settle this question for ever. I might occupy many pages in the examination of the promises, for they are exceedingly numerous, and full, and in point. But my design is at present to examine somewhat critically a few only out of the many. This will enable you to apply the same principles to the examination of the scripture promises generally.

1.) I begin by referring you to the law of God, as given in Deut. 10:12, "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul?" Upon this passage I remark:--

i.) It professedly sums up the whole duty of man to God--to fear and love him with all the heart and all the soul.

ii.) Although this is said of Israel, yet it is equally true of all men. It is equally binding upon all, and is all that God requires of any man in regard to himself.

iii.) Continued obedience to this requirement is entire sanctification, in the sense in which I use those terms.

See Deut. 30:6. "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." Here we have a promise couched in the same language as the command just quoted. Upon this passage I remark--

(a.) It promises just what the law requires. It promises all that the first and great commandment anywhere demands.

b.) Obedience to the first commandment always implies obedience to the second. It is plainly impossible that we should "love God, whom we have not seen," and "not love our neighbour, whom we have seen."

c.) This promise, on its very face, appears to mean just what the law means--to promise just what the law requires.

d.) If the law requires a state of entire sanctification, or if that which the law requires is a state of entire sanctification, then this is a promise of entire sanctification.

e.) As the command is universally binding upon all and applicable to all, so this promise is universally applicable to all who will lay hold upon it.

f.) Faith is an indispensable condition of the fulfilment of this promise. It is entirely impossible that we should love God with all the heart, without confidence in him. God begets love in man in no other way than by so revealing himself as to inspire confidence, that confidence which works by love. In Rules 10 and 11, for the interpretation of the promises, it is said, that "where a command and a promise are given in the same language, we are bound to interpret the language alike in both cases, unless there be some manifest reason for a different interpretation." Now here there is no perceivable reason why we should not understand the language of the promise as meaning as much as the language of the command. This promise appears to have been designed to cover the whole ground of the requirement.






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