When is a promise a promise?
There are some amazing promises in the Bible.
Some are amazingly clear. My favorite clear promise in the Bible is John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. Whoever places their faith (belief) in the Lord Jesus will have eternal life. Eternal life starts when a person believes the Gospel (John 6:47). The content of the Gospel is spelled out in I Corinthians 15:3-4. This is an abundantly clear promise.
There is well known promise that is often claimed by Christians. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” From this I wonder, how does Christ strengthen me? What does Christ’s strength look like in my particular circumstances that I am claiming this verse? What defines “all things in my life?” Does this mean all things without limit or all things within the will and purpose of God for my life? I surely can’t be expected Christ’s strength when I am in rebellion against Him. What has bothered me the most is how I’ve heard this verse used as a lucky charm by some people trying to make themselves feel better.
There is a beautifully expressed promise in 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” I love the sound of the words in this verse. But even more, how do the promises of God find their yes in Christ? I believe it is related to how OT prophecies of Christ are fulfilled in the NT and in His Second Coming. At one of His post resurrection appearances on the road to Emmaus, Jesus spoke to two of his disciples. Luke 24:27 “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Read and interpret all of the promise of God in how they relate to Jesus.