When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was not a believer. I was living a sinful worldly life. I was still going to church on Sunday, but I was ungodly Monday to Saturday. Actually, often on Sunday too.
There were times when my conscience stirred and I realized I had to stop living as I was doing. I would make promises to God. I promise to stop doing this or that bad thing. I promise to start doing this or that good thing.
However, no matter how many times, I made these promises to myself and to God, I couldn’t keep them. The weekend would roll round again, and the broken promises would join the growing pile of broken promises in my life.
I promised and failed, promised and failed. I needed something more than my promises. What was that? We find the answer in Genesis 15:1-6.
FAITH NEEDS GOD’S PROMISES
God assured Abram he was his shield and reward. He would protect him and provide for him (1). But Abram’s greatest need was a son (2-3). This was not just because he wanted to be a Dad, but because he wanted the world to have Gospel blessings through his children as God had promised (Gen. 12:1-5).
- God promised a real son (4): His heir would not be a hired servant but a real son
- God promised multiple sons (5): Wherever Abram looked (up at the stars or down at the sand) he was reminded of God’s massive promises
This promise was fulfilled physically in Isaac and the great nation of Israel. It was fulfilled spiritually in Christ and his spiritual descendants (Gal.3:16). It’s complete, total and ultimate fulfilment will be at the close of history when all will see Christ and his seed as a multitude greater than any man can number (Rev.7:9).
Our promises are shaky, but God’s promises are sure.
So, is having God’s promises enough? No, it’s not enough to have God’s promises, we need to believe them as well.
FAITH BELIEVES GOD’S PROMISES
- Abram believed God: The word for “believed” is literally “Amened.” Abram “Amened God.” The word means to lean your whole weight upon. Abram leaned on the promise of God and the God of the promise.
- Abram was justified by God: He was counted righteous because his faith was looking to the Christ who would secure the promises and fulfil them.
In John 8:56 Jesus said, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad”. Abram looked forward to the “day” when in Christ all the families of the earth would be blessed. That “day” commenced at the first coming of Christ, continues in the present, and will be consummated at the last day.
We’re not saved by making promises to God but by believing the promises of God
LIVING THE BIBLE
Believe God’s Christ-centered promises and be counted righteous by faith.
This episode of Living the Bible lines up with Expedition 4: Day 2 in Exploring the Bible Together: A 52 Week Family Worship Plan and Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids. You can catch up with previous episodes of the Living the Bible podcast here or subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcast.