August 05, 2012 journal, Charles Stanley In Touch Ministries message of the week, God's promises. I believe you will find this message useful coming from First Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta Georgia. I recommend all shall Stanley messages online. "Our God of Promise-Dr. Charles Stanley-Watch The Promises of God, Part 1: Our God of Promise video. Scripture: Hebrews 10:23 I-Introduction: A promise is only as reliable as the one who makes it. The sovereign God of the universe has never failed to fulfill His word. In order to understand how important the Lord's faithfulness is, we must recognize that the Christian life is totally dependent upon His promises. For example, the only reason we're certain we have eternal life, a home in heaven, and resurrection bodies awaiting us is because Jesus guaranteed these things to His followers. II. Two Types of Promises: A promise is a spoken or written commitment to perform a certain act or to refrain from doing something. In the Bible, the Lord makes two types of promises: A. Unconditional. This is a commitment made without exceptions. The Lord's covenant with Abraham is a great example of this (Gen 12:1-3). God committed to make him a great nation and bless all the families of earth through him. As his descendent, Jesus Christ fulfilled this blessing. B. Conditional. This type of promise is subject to certain mandates. For example, the offer of salvation in Romans 10:9 is conditioned upon faith in Christ. III. Our Misunderstanding: Sometimes we become disappointed in God because we think He's failed to keep His word to us. But the problem is our understanding, not His faithfulness. A. For example, desiring something and truly believing God will do it doesn't mean He's promised it to us. Sometimes we misunderstand His will. B. Also, the hindrance could be the result of unconfessed sins that create barriers in our relationships with the Lord. C. Finally, because God's Word needs to be considered in its entirety. We can't pick certain verses and claim promises outside their context. Many of His promises are conditional, and we may not meet the requirements. IV. God's Trustworthiness: The validity of a promise is dependent on the character and ability of the one who makes it. The Lord has both the willingness and the power to do everything He says. For example, He is: A. Truthful (Titus 1:2)-Since truth is the very essence of His nature, it's impossible for Him to lie. Therefore, we can believe in His promises because He always tells the truth. B. Faithful (Heb. 10:23)-If the Lord ever breaks a promise, our Christian theology falls apart because He would cease to be who He says He is. But since God has never failed to keep His word in the past, we can trust Him for our future. C. Immutable (Mal. 3:6)-This means He never changes. Therefore, we don't have to worry that He will alter a promise. If conditions are attached, it may seem like He's had a change of heart, but the truth is we just haven't met the requirements. D. Love (1 John 4:7-10)-His promises are always based on our best interests. The cross is the ultimate proof of His love for us. Jesus said He would die for our sins, and He did. If He loved us enough to keep that promise, we have no reason to doubt Him. V. We must also understand just how able and powerful He is. God is always able to fulfill His promises because He is: A. Omniscient (Heb. 4:13). God knows every detail of a situation. Every promise He makes is based on His infinite, perfect, and complete knowledge. B. Omnipresent (Heb. 13:5). No matter what we're going through, He will never leave nor forsake us. His continual presence guarantees the fulfillment of every promise. C. Omnipotent (Ps. 103:19). Because the Lord is completely sovereign over heaven and earth, nothing is out of His control. VI. Our Responsibility: Because the Lord is absolutely adequate and faithful, we have perfect assurance that He will keep His promises. However, we must: A. Obey God. Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord issued covenants conditioned upon obedience (Deut. 28). If we've asked God for something and He hasn't yet provided it, we need to search our hearts to see if we've failed to obey Him in some area. B. Believe the Lord. Faith is an indispensable requirement. Always ask yourself if you sincerely trust Him to fulfill His Word. C. Claim the promise. When we believe the Lord will do what He says, we can confidently claim the promise for ourselves. But if we have doubts, we'll feel concerned and worried even after praying about it, and His will is hindered. VII. Conclusion: We should make it our goal to confidently say, "God said it-that settles it!" When we reach that point of trusting in His character and the greatness of His power, we'll experience true peace and fulfillment. Instead of anxiety, we'll have the confidence to live fruitful, abundant lives knowing that God is committed to doing what's best for us. He'll never change His mind and will be faithful to complete every promise.