1. Write a Play about Christ Birth.
2. Plan a Worship service on what it cost Christ.
3. Make for yourself a promise chart in which you will be able to register promises from the Bible that are most suitable for the 10 different kinds of People listed there. (Do this at the end of the lesson).
The Promises of God.
On completing this unit you should be able to achieve the following goals:
Give the reference of the first prophecy in the Bible of a coming savior, and explain its meaning.
Explain why all God’s promises are not fulfilled immediately.
Given several conditional promises, say in each case what the promise is, and what condition goes along with it.
Given several Bible Passages which contain promises, pick out the promise in each and tell in which verse it can be found,
Name several of your friends and people you know who are in real need. With the help of your chart, choose a suitable promise for each and describe a method of sharing each of these promises effectively.
The Promises of God
The time between the promise of a savior and the fulfillment of the promise in the person of Jesus Christ spans several Thousand years.
The life and witness of many Christians show that they have not really learned yet how to use God’s promises. It isn’t that they have not read them but they just haven’t let the truth take real effect in their lives.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you so that at the end of this lesson you will know how to prove the reality of God’s promises in your own life.
We have seen that God always keeps His promises. Many of God’s promises throughout the Old Testament refer to the coming of Jesus Christ. The promises appear from Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, to Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament. All of these promises have been fulfilled.
The first promise in the Bible which refers to Jesus’ coming as Savior is found in Genesis 3:15. Read this verse.
Who is speaking, according to Genesis 3:14?
Notice, therefore, that in verse 15 it is still who is speaking.
After reading Genesis 3:14-15 again, God spoke these words to the serpent.
We see that God says that from now on the relationship between the serpent and the woman will be one of continual enmity. The word enmity means a feeling of hatred. God also says this enmity between Satan and Eve will continue through their offspring. Note this word offspring here means descendant.
In verse 15 God promises that the day would come when there would arise one of the descendants of the woman who would gravely wound the serpent (Satan).
Thousands of years after God spoke these words, a descendant of Eve was born of a woman (without a human father) and fulfilled this promise Who was he?
When did Jesus deal Satan the blow which would eventually kill him (the blow on the head)?
We have seen that God promised that a Savior would deal a blow to Satan’s head that would eventually kill him. In doing so He Himself would be wounded in the heel.
Death by crucifixion was one of the most cruel and painful inventions of man. The victim was nailed through the hands and Feet to a wooden post. He suffered from hunger, severe thirst, and dreadful convulsions of pain. Every breath increased the agony since His whole weight rested uon His HEELS. With each breath He was forced to lift Himself up onto His Heels. On and on he went in this condition until at last all of His strength was gone. Unable to lift Himself anymore, His breathing finally stopped and death would come. Often a strong man kept up this suffering for four or five days.
Exercise: Underline Genesis 3:15 in your Bible in Red, because it is the first promise of the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ, given by God immediately after man had fallen into sin,
Every living being in the world is true to its nature, for example, by nature a fish swims in water. In the same way, God’s nature is to keep His promises.
Note: The word “nature” here means a person’s character or personality OR the things which help us tell one individual from another.
Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:13 that God cannot disown Himself. This means that He cannot go against His own nature – His nature is to keep promises.
Why does God keep His promises?
God keeps His promises because it is His nature to do so. At times there is a long period of time before fulfillment comes.
God has His own time for everything. Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. There is a to be born, a to die, a to plant, etc. There is also a to fulfill promises.
Christ couldn’t be born before the proper time arrived. The Sun doesn’t come out at midnight, because its proper time hasn’t yet come. Why wasn’t the Lord Jesus born in David’s time?
Paul says in Galatians 4:4, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son.”
Why do we have to wait until God’s promises are fulfilled?
Why don’t you stop a minute to pray?
Give thanks to God because he keeps his promises.
Also, ask for more faith and patience for times when you have to wait for God to keep a promise.
“Lord,” I said, “I want to be your man, not my own. So to you I give my money, my car, even my home.”
Then smug and content, I relaxed with a smile and whispered to God, “I bet it’s been a while since anyone has given so much – so freely?” His answer surprised me. He replied, “Not really.”
Not a day has gone by since the beginning of time, that someone hasn’t offered meager nickels and dimes, golden altars and crosses, contributions and promises, stone monuments and steeple; but why not repentance (change)?
“The money, the statues, the cathedrals you’ve built, do you really think I need your offering of guilt?
“What good is money that’s meant only to salve the hurting conscience that so many of you have?
“Your lips know no prayers. Your eyes, no compassion.
But you will go to church (when church going’s in fashion).
“Just give me a tear – a heart ready to mold.
And I’ll give you a mission, a message so bold –
That a fire will be stirred where there was only death.
And your heart will be flamed by my life and my breath.”
I stuck my hands in my pockets and kicked at the dirt.
It’s tough to be corrected ( I guess my feelings were hurt).
(From On the Anvil by Max Lucado)
False religion seeks peace of heart through all the wrong ways. A true relationship with God requires whole hearted obedience, submission, trust, not a token sacrifice. Are you trying to win God’s favor? Instead, accept his control over your life.
Without continuance the prayer may go unanswered. Importunity is made up of the ability to hold on, to press on, to wait with unrelaxed and Unrelaxable patience. Importunate prayer is not an incident but the main thing, not a performance but a passion, not a need but a necessity.
Prayer in its highest form and grandest success assumes the attitude of a wrestler with God. It is the contest, trial, and victory of faith; a victory not secured from an enemy, but from Him who tries our faith that He may enlarge it, who tests our strength to make us stronger. Few things give such quickened and permanent vigor to the soul as a long exhaustive search of importunate prayer. It makes an experience, an epoch, a new calendar for the spirit, a new life to religion, a soldierly training. The Bible never wearies in its pressure and illustration of the fact that the highest spiritual good is secured as the return of the out-going of the highest form of spiritual effort. There is neither encouragement nor room in Bible religion for feeble desires, listless efforts, lazy attitudes; all must be strenuous, urgent, ardent. Inflamed desires, impassioned, unwearied insistence delight heaven. God would have His children incorrigibly in earnest and persistently bold in their efforts….
Our seasons of importunate prayer cut themselves, like the print of a diamond, into our hardest places, and mark with ineffaceable traces our characters. They are the salient periods of our lives, the memorial stones which endure and to which we turn…. Pray and never faint is the motto Christ gives us for praying. It is the test of our faith; and the severer the trial and the longer the waiting the more glorious the result.
(From Purpose in Prayer by E. M. Bounds)
God rewards persevering faith. How long do you hang on when it comes to praying for a specific need or desire? Do you give up or persevere? Try keeping a list: (1) what you pray for and when; (2) how God answers and when.
Using the Promises
There are some 5,000 promises in the Bible. There are promises for each human situation which are not to be left hidden in the Bible but are to be read and taken to others. Which promise would you use for each of these cases? This lesson will prepare you for this task.
Some of God’s promises have two parts. In one part, God tells us what to DO or what to BE, and then He gives His promise. This kind of a promise is a “conditional” promise. The part for us to do, is the “condition.”
A conditional promise, then, is one in which God tells us what we must do or be before He will fulfill the promise.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The Condition is “Come to me.” The promise is “I will give you rest.”
What is the condition for the promise in 1 John 5:14? “If we ask anything according to .”
What is the Condition for each of the following Promises? (look up each verse and write the condition)
A promise with NO Condition means that God will do it no matter what else happens. We call this kind of a promise and Unconditional Promise. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) is a promise with no condition.
Read John 3:16.
God loved us enough to send his only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the so that we might have a way to be forgiven of our sins and to live forever with God. However, what condition must we meet if we are to experience ?
Write the condition:
Tell what the promise is:
God gave some people promises calling them right out by name:
God promised Abraham that He would make him a great nation in Genesis 12:2.
God promised Hezekiah that He would add 15 years to his life in Isaiah 38:5.
God promised Paul that his life would be spared so he could stand before Caesar in Acts 27:23-24.
Even though you don’t find your name in the Bible, God still has some promises for you. Find out what some of these are by looking up the verses and filling in the blanks below.
If you are a read Proverbs 15:25.
If you are , Isaiah 41:17 has a promise for you. What is it?
If you are , read 1 Corinthians 10:13.
If you need , God tells you how you can receive it in James 1:5.
Isaiah 40:31 promises for those who in the . This is a promise.
James 5:14 is a promise to:
Hebrews 2:18 would be a good promise to remember when you are because it assures us that will help us, because He was also .
When we are afraid, we should read Psalm 91:5.
What does James 5:14-15 tell us to do when we are sick?
When you are tempted, look up 1 Corinthians 10:13.
If our wisdom isn’t enough, God has a promise in James 1:5.
If I am sick-James 5:14-15.
If I am needy-Isaiah 25:4.
Do you remember what a “conditional” promise is? God tells what He wants from us, then what He will do for us.
Acts 2:38 is a promise to those who repent.
Proverbs 8:17 is a promise to those who seek God.
James 4:7 is a promise to those who resist the Devil.
Isaiah 1:19 is a promise to:
1 Peter 5:5 promises that God will give grace to the
Those who are generous have a promise in Proverbs 11:25.
Psalm 92:12 is a promise for:
According to Matthew 5:7, those who are will receive .
Those who resist the Devil have a promise in James 4:7.
Read Acts 2:38.
God promises 2 things to those who repent. What are they?
Is this a conditional or an unconditional promise?
Those who seek God are given a promise in Proverbs 8:17.
Now think of at least one person who is close to you and is in need of a promise from God. Pray for him/her.
From the Promise Chart pick some promises that would be helpful to him/her. Mark the promise in your Bible, using a bookmarker, so you can read the promise to him/her when you have an opportunity to this week. If you do not live nearby or do not see him/her often, you could write him/her a letter or postcard, sharing God’s promise with him/her.
Memorize the promise you have for him/her so you can give it to him/her even if you don’t have your Bible with you.
It is not only the greatness of the blessings promised by Jesus that encourages us in His service. Their security encourages us too. The young man turned away from Christ because he was unwilling to part with his possessions that were certain to possessions that were at best uncertain. Maybe he lost those possessions before the year was out. The point can be made even stronger. God often allows the ungodly to amass great wealth – to their destruction. But if you are one with whom God is dealing and if you put the pursuit of riches (or anything else) before service to Christ, God may take away those riches (and other things) until you turn to Him.
Some years ago Donald Grey Barnhouse was counseling a young woman on the sidewalk in front of Tenth Presbyterian Church following an evening service.
“This is what God will let you do,” he said. “God will let you scratch the surface of success. Jesus will let you get close enough to the top to know what it is, but He will never let you have it, because He will never let one of His children have anything rather than Himself.”
Years later he met the girl again, and she confessed this had indeed been her life story. She had dabbled in the stage. Once her picture had been in a national magazine. But she had never quite made it. She told Barnhouse, “I can’t tell you how many times in my discouragement I have closed my eyes and seen you scratching on that postal box with your key. God let me scratch the edges, but He gave me nothing in place of Himself.”
How different for those who deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow Jesus. Their path begins with denial but ends in fulfillment, and the blessings given cannot be snatched away.
(From Christ’s Call to Discipleship by James M. Boice)
God honors and wants to use people. What is your attitude when it comes to “Quality of Life?” As God to show you what has first place in your heart. Pray today, for first place given to God.
The Morning Star of the Reformation. John Wycliffe was a
Saxon, born in Hipswell, England. He earned degrees at Oxford
University and became a doctor of theology in 1372. After
serving as an envoy to France, representing England in a dis-
pute with the Pope, he returned to England and published
writings against the secular power of the Papacy.
In spite of attempts by the Church to have Wycliffe
arrested and assassinated, he continued to write and to
preach. He maintained that no Pope nor council was infalli-
ble, and if their views contradicted the Bible, those views
were wrong. He taught that the clergy should not rule as
princes of the church, but should help the people and lead
them to Christ.
Finally prohibited by the Bishop of London from
preaching, Wycliffe confined himself to writing and translat-
ing the Bible from Latin to English. Thirty-one years after
his death, the Church ordered all his books burned, his bones
dug up and burned, and his ashes scattered on the Thames
ARTIST’S NOTE: The morning star motif is self-explanatory.