Rev. Carl H. Kemp, Pastor
So Help Me
August 8, 2006
Sermon Outlines for Growing Christians: Reference Books
Trusting in Gods Promises
Life has taught us that promises are made to be broken. For this reason we have learned to take most of them with a grain of salt. Yet the Christian faith calls us to stake our eternal destinies upon the promises of God. For this reason it is important that we understand the nature of those promises and how they are realized in our lives.
I. Gods Immutable Purpose.
God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised (Hebrews 6:17).
A. Gods promises are credible.
1. Gods promises are grounded in His character. He has the absolute ability and the uncompromising integrity to fulfill them. They are, therefore, completely credible.
2. So important is it to God that His children believe in His promises that He on several occasions confirmed them by a sacred oath. He has voluntarily sworn by the highest power in the universeHimself (Genesis 22:16; Isaiah 45:23; Jeremiah 22:5). It is as if God raises His right hand to us and says, I will keep my promises, so help Me, Me!
3. Gods promise and Gods oath are two unchangeable things (v. 18). They are fixed and immutable. They are as certain as the setting of the sun (Jeremiah 33:20, 21).
B. Gods promises are conditional.
1. Yet, as our author has repeatedly warned, not all of Gods children inherit what has been promised (Hebrews 6:12). This is not due to any failing on the part of God. It is due to some failing on the part of man.
2. Attached to Gods promises to man are his expectations of man. One may see this all through scripture. It was true of his promise to David (1 Kings 2:4; 1 Kings 9:4-7). It was true of his promises to
through Moses (Deuteronomy 4:23ff). And, in the example which the author cites here, it was true of his promise to Abraham. Israel
3. The condition which the author says the believer today must meet if he is to enjoy the fulfillment of Gods promises is patience (v. 15). As God made Abraham wait for his child of promise, so also does God make us wait to see the ultimate fulfillment of his promises. By this the genuineness of our faith is tested.
II. Mans Immovable Prospect.
God did this so that we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:18, 19).
There is nothing more Christian than hope. Along with faith and love, it is one of the three principle graces of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13:13). We are a people who are saved by hope (Romans 8:24) and who live resting on the hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2).
A. The character of Christian hope.
1. Those cheerful expressionsall will be well, look on the bright side, hope for the bestthat we often use are mostly just sentiment, wishful thinking, empty optimism. The paths of life are strewn with the victims of such misplaced and ungrounded hope.
2. Christian hope, however, is not based upon the empty wishes of men but upon the nature and character of God. As long as our hope is founded in Him, it will never fail us, it will never let us down.
B. The consequences of Christian hope.
1. Hope is the Christians asylum. As the ancient Israelite could cling to the altar in hope of redemption, so can the believer cling to hope as a temporary asylum until the time of our final vindication (v. 18).
2. Hope is the Christians anchor. It functions like a spiritual mooring to bind us to the Rock of our salvation (v. 18; Psalm 95:1).
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviors love.
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