Remember that God has been making promises to covenant keepers since Abraham.
We’ll start with Abraham because God calls him the father of all who walk by faith. He was the prototype of a new man who would inherit righteousness and who would receive a blessing from God that was greater than the curse on the earth. All of this relationship started, as recorded, in Genesis chapter 12.
Now we want to pick up on the concept that every promise that God has been making to covenant keeping people had it’s ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ. They who were receiving the promises were actually receiving them as if they were in Christ, because they were believing God and walking in the salvation that Christ would purchase. We look back, but they were looking forward.
I.E., it says that David saw him (Jesus) from afar. So then we might consider that Jesus was the ultimate qualifier and the ultimate one qualified for the promises of God. Herein remember we are talking about Jesus the man, not Jesus the divine.
Now we pick up this statement and fact that Paul brings up in II Corinthians 1:20. Here he says that if you are in Christ you He has qualified you for the promises of God (all of the promises since Abraham).
2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
Here’s what I want you to consider as we move forward in this chapter. The promises of God as we’ve been seeing are amazing, but they aren’t just to give us holy goosebump, nor are they meant to exist by themselves .
What I mean by that statement is that the promises are not usually found as a “stand alone” declaration in the Word because they aren’t meant to exist in a void…a void of challenge, enemies, troubles or a void of PURPOSE. We usually find the promises of God in the context of someone’s assignment (PURPOSE).
As we consider the promises of God we have to refer back to their first reference, their first mention. It’s there that we find the promises being made to someone who was at that time being called to “go” or someone on their “go” assignment. These assignments were revelations of the purpose of God to their hearer.
Many Biblical promises were spoken to the first recipient at the time of instruction/ revelation of God’s will.
Thus the promises were meant to support the calling of God, reduce the sense of burden, bring assurance, calm and reduce anxiety about the call of God on the person.
he promises become the basis of faith to move out and move forward.
In that understanding then we see that the Biblical promises are meant to raise us up into a work, a mission a divine purpose.
Even as it was with the first recipients of promises, be it Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Gideon or David, so it is with us in the new creation. We are created for good works and specifically for a good work. Note Paul’s comment to the church of Ephesus.
Eph. 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I want us to drop the “s” for just a moment as we consider this because I believe that we, as church people, can get caught up in just being “do gooders” and miss the good work. The good work is the primary thing that you individually are called to. You specific assignment as a body of Christ member and you specific assignment in culture for your generation.
Acts 13:36 “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed…”
You aren’t meant to be a shot gun, with 50 bb’s scattering off in various directions. You are meant to be an arrow shot from God’s quiver into your generation. There are only a few things that you are meant to do, that from them you bring a Kingdom impact on culture.
The Biblical promises are given to us as the heirs of God, joint heirs of Jesus. These promises tell of our inheritance. The promises explain our inheritance and make our inheritance available by faith. This inheritance and these promises exist because we have a great work, a great assignment on us, not just corporately, but individually.
You must consider your purpose deeply as you think on accessing the promises of God, even accessing our inheritance. As you read this take the time to answer;
For what am I created?
What would God do with me in my generation?
The costly call upon your life is divinely connected with the promises, thus connected with you tasting the glory of God as a joint heir of Jesus. Paul talked about this in Romans 8. Here in verse 17 he tells us we are heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus (equal heirs with Jesus). That’s verse 17a, and I absolutely love this part of the verse. I could have a shouting party just over that portion of the verse all by itself. But in 17b he shows us the key to participating in part a.
Romans 8: The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Note he says we are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, if we share in his sufferings. I believe he is referring to investing our lives for the Kingdom cause. He is referring to the suffering of living God and not just for ourselves, giving our personal desires a lesser place than the desires of God. He is saying, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that living for God’s purpose will result in glory resting on your life through the inheritance that belongs to Jesus.
We could get a better understanding of this phrase if we changed the word sufferings for the word purpose, mission or assignment.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his purpose in order that we may also share in his glory.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his mission in order that we may also share in his glory.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his assignment in order that we may also share in his glory.
When Jesus breathed on the disciples, transforming them into apostles (sent ones) he said, “as the Father has sent me, so send I you.” They were being sent with the same assignment or purpose as Jesus, yet to play out their individual role in that assignment. Paul would be imprisoned and write 1/3 of the New Testament.
John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
We are called, as they were, to wrap our lives around his mission, his purpose, his assignment. Taking the same upon us. In another place he said, “take my yoke upon you, learn of me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Here we could substitute the word yoke for purpose, mission, assignment. He’s essentially saying, “take purpose upon you (the way you are created with all your gifts and talents) and use them for my glory.”
Thus we might say the promises given to Jesus, given to the son of God are also given to the Sons of God, but you can’t divorce the promises from the life/assignment/ risk taking faith.
So you are beginning to see that they promises of God are meant to sustain us, promote us while we are in the press of God’s will.
God wants us under the pressure of divine purpose
God wants us influencing culture in powerful ways
God wants us building our Ark, killing our Giant, Destroying our Midian, leading our tribe
And He has given us Promises.
He has promised to be with us, sustain us, protect us, provide for us. And He has said fear not 365 times. I will be with you.
You were created to do good works, which God preordained.