II Peter 1:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Greeting the Faithful
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Promises are precious. God's. Yours, mine, all of us.
--The Bible is filled with promises, God has kept.
--Promises that God will keep for His dear children.
--Peter says, God has "given to us exceedingly great, and precious promises." Why, Lord?
--"Through these you may be partakers of the divine nature." What else?
--"Escaped the corruption that is in the world" (v 4).
I looked up many of the Biblical promises of interest.
--You know, a promise is only as good as the one making it - and we can get no better than Almighty God.
We make promises often. Buy a car. Home. Insurance.
--Join church. Pledge to tithe. Or get married.
--At God's altar couples promise to "love one another, till death us do part.", As they do, God blesses!
Our highest promise is to the Lord God, when we promise to love and follow the Lord as our personal Savior.
--How do we keep such promises? Following Jesus!
--By His Word, in our hearts. By faithful prayer.
As you read the Bible look for verses with a promise.
--Jesus said, "Come to Me, I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). As we come to Christ, He gives peace, rest.
--Proverbs 3:5,6, "In all your ways acknowledge Him .. and the promise .. He shall direct your paths."
--As we do certain things, God promises He will do.
--"If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with the Father and Jesus" (I Jn l:7).
--The Risen Lord promises, "Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19). Hundreds of promises.
--My dear friend, all of them are "precious."
As there are many "precious promises, precious faith"
--God's Word tells of precious things.
--We know that "Jesus is precious" (I Peter 2:4,6).
--I Peter 1:19 speaks of "the precious blood" of Jesus.
--We are told our "faith is precious" (II Pet. 1:1).
--"The word of the Lord is precious" (I Samuel 3:1).
--You are! Every "soul is precious" (II. Sam. 26:21).
It is better to make a good life than a good living.
--In God we have "everything you need for living a good life .. He shares His own goodness with us."
As Peter, let's "be partakers of the divine nature."
--Friend, our old, fleshly nature is sinful. Selfish.
--Weak as water against temptation, without Christ.
--We need a new nature. A "new birth" as Jesus said.
Consider these five precious promises of God to help.
I. THE PRECIOUS PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN.
--Life is so.uncertain. Here today, gone tomorrow.
--We know not what lies ahead. Tragedies may come.
--You and I need a Savior. A loving God Who cares!
--Jesus said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish ..." (John 10:10). A sure promise.
I can't promise that! Nor anyone. Nor any church.
--But Jesus does! He died on a cross, and arose from dead, showed Himself alive - to prove his promise.
--He has done His part. The rest is up to us.
--Jesus, "born of a virgin," as foretold. "Sinless."
--Went about "doing good." Healing. Raisin the dead!
--Friend, no other religion can compare with Christ.
As God, He created the world. Made us. Can mend us.
--For 3 years Jesus came and dwelt on this earth.
--To show us what God is real like. And save us.
--Then ascended back to heaven before many witnesses.
--Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
--"All power is given to me in heaven and earth."
--And, "I give them eternal life." Do you have it?
It is a gift. Not earned, or bought; but received.
--It is His precious promise, for believers to claim.
--Long ago, like many of you I claimed that promise.
--My Dad used to say, "Be careful what you promise and be careful to keep what you promised." Good advice.
My friend, we can depend on the Lord.
--We.may err, or fall, or fail - but God still loves us.
--Our children may disappoint and disobey us, but they are till _our children, and loved and prayed for.
--So are God's 'born again" children! He promised!.
Back home I knew an auto dealer who sold lots of cars, to people who never kept their promise. He lost money.
--People may disappoint us. God keeps His promises.
II. THE PROMISE OF GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT.
--As we need Jesus, we need the Holy Spirit also.
--Before ascending, Jesus promised to send the Spirit.
--The Spirit is the Third Person of the Triune God.
--One God, in Three Persons. Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
--In Person, Jesus could be only one place at a time!
--The Holy Spirit, like rays of the sun, brings God everywhere at once. I think that is marvelous!
--With us, and believers over the world, all at once!
Jesus said, "I am going away, but I will send My Spirit, to 'be with you" (John 16:7; and Chapters 14-16).
--Jesus kept that promise in Acts 2, at Pentecost.
--Then 3000 or more believed. Received the Spirit.
--Lives were redeemed, changed! Of what God can do!
When we receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit indwells us.
--God comes in us! "Christ in you" in the Spirit.
--To indwell in us, and as we grow, to infill us.
--To "grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord."
--The infilling, you see, is our part and up to us.
--We can "be filled." Or we can "grieve ieve the Spirit."
--We do so when we disobey the Lord; commit sin.
--So pray the Spirit to "guide you in all truth," so we "walk in the Spirit, not lust of the flesh."
III. THE PROMISE OF GOD'S CONTINUAL PRESENCE.
--Imagine! Believers are never alone, God is with us!
--Where we go, God goes. "Never leaves, nor forsakes:
--Jesus promised, "Lo, I am with you always" (Mt.28:20)
--So, we need have no fear. The Lord is ever near.
God is with us, and "God sees us" (Genesis 16:13).
--Let's be careful where we go, what we see on TV, the Internet and all the rest;, what we think, or say.
--To know God "sees,' is "with me," guided me as a young sailor in the Navy - and has continued day by day.
--Never forget, the promise of God's ever presence.
Such awareness helps us do and live our very best.
--Makes us the happiest! Reflects the life of Jesus.
IV. THE PRECIOUS PROMISE OF ANSWERED PRAYER.
--Who of us doesn't need prayer? Or, need to pray?
--We all do. Families. Individuals. The world.
--For peace, and understanding. For salvation to all.
--God says, "Call to Me, I will answer" (Jer. 33:3).
--Circle that verse - that promise - in your Bible.
You may say, "God hasn't answered all my prayers!"
--Nor mine either! But God is wiser than any of us.
--There are reasons! It is "according to His will."
--God's "ways and thoughts are higher than ours ..."
--He's answered enough of mine, I can trust Him for the one's yet unanswered! Some are yet to be.
What a precious privilege to pray. To talk to God!
--Anyone can do so. To thank Him. Tell Him our needs.
--Jesus says, "Ask and it will be given you" (Mt. 7:7).
--He taught us how to pray. In reverence, humility.
--"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you," Jesus said, "you shall ask .. it shall be done" (Jn.15).
--"If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us .. and we know we have the petitions" (I Jn. 5:14).
God personally promised a son to Abraham and Sarah, and many years went by; but miraculously kept His promise.
--So live right. Pray right, and leave it up to God.
V. LASTLY, THE PROMISE OF CHRIST'S SECOND COMING.
--You say, it has been near 2000 years, and no return.
--But my friend, it was longer when Jesus first came!
--His return delay is to have many more to be saved!
--But His return is as sure as death and taxes.
--Many times Jesus said, "I will come again" (John 14).
--We have His word. He's coming again! Any time! Jesus can come for one. Or take all His own at once.
--Take us up out of a "great tribulation," to glory.
--"When He shall appear, we'll be like Him" (I Jn. 3).
--We will "See Him. Be like Him." Be with Him.
--Let's be ready! Could be sooner than you think.
Precious promises! So many - in Jesus! Don't lose out.
--Make sure you are "born again." "Ready" to meet Him!
--He has been coming for loved ones, saved, for years.
--Jesus will come for the rest, to change us, one day.
--A promise to live with!