The Great Promise

 

“3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence
4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue and virtue with knowledge,
6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness
,7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” – 2 Peter chapter 1 verses 3-7

1 .•
worlds promises
what the promise is.
a- the cost it took to make the promise
b- how do we accept the promise
c- the cost of accepting the promise

2•
Gods promises
What the promise is.
a- the cost it took to make the promise
b- how do we accept the promise
c- the cost of accepting the promise

At The start of this new year many people will have made new year resolutions , made promises this new year. We might well be wanting to improve on something , our diets/ lifestyles/ maybe jobs. Or maybe we are going to making promises that we are going treat people differently, or that we are going to try and act in a different way. More patient perhaps or more kind or whatever else it might be.
But we all know that the chances of these promises lasting past the first week are slim never mind the rest of the year. We can only make week and feeble promises because our promises are coming from us .
We can look at two different promises and compare what they are , and the price of accepting and following them.

1. Firstly looking at the promise of the world.
The promise that this world offers us is one of momentary happiness , it offers us a temporary joy that at the time seems to surpass other joys. It promises to fill us up and feed us with the best of foods. Like we said last year , The world promises us relationships and friendships. Both of which must one day come to an end. Haggai Chap 6 and verse 1 sums up the offering of the world :
“6 (A)You have sown much, and harvested little. (B)You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who (C)earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.”
Even by looking at the recent banking crisis, where money seems to have just disappeared, we can really see this bag with holes there was over 80 Billion pounds lost by the banks last year alone.

1A
we can now think of the cost it took to make this promise. This promise cost humanity all of its true freedom, to make this promise of fleeting joy and a happy life it deprived the human race of the purpose and plans it had been created for. We were created to praise God and to exist in perfection but this promise of the world , this promise of sin, it cost us our standing with God , our close creator and created relationship.
Ecclesiastes 7 verse 29 :
“See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”
The ultimate cost that it took to accept the promise of sin is our very lives, we can look a tha that in closer detail shortly.

1B
we can now look at how we accept this promise of sin , how we agree to enter in to this promise.
Well the answer is very simple, there is nothing at all we have to do accept this promise we are born into it. We are born with our inherited sins. Ephesians chapter 2 verse 3 :
“ among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”. 
Since our first parents sinned and consequently each generation and person since has chosen to sin we are born and live our lives in this promise of the world. Passing each day by being contented with fleeting things and passing joys.
So we are born accepting this promise of sin, when we are born we enter into the promise that the world offers us.

1C
We can now look at the most important aspect of any promise. The cost it takes to accept it.
If we continue living our lives accepting the promises of sin and the promise of the world then the bible is very clear on what the cost will be. A verse we are all probably well acquainted with Romans 6 verse 23 :
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Its a stark truth , if we continue on living under the promise of sin we will die. There will be no second attempts no future. Just death. And that death is everlasting.
Even in the short term the effect are a life that is unfulfilled its a life that leaves us going to sleep thinking what’s the point of all things
And waking up the next morning to start a new day of ultimately pointless work and living. Again in Ecclesiastes we find this situation well described this gathering all things but being left with nothing : in it we find a king ( presumably Solomon) who looking back over his life sees what he has done
Ecclesiastes 2 : 9-11 
“9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.
11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

2 •
Secondly we can come to look at the other promise we have here. The promise that the verse talks about, the promise of God. Throughout the word of God we can see many promises that God makes to his people. To the nation of Israel in the O.T then the many promises of Christ that we find in the N.T .
But there is no doubt that the ultimate promise of God is the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 –
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Here we have God promising that he would provide a solution, provide a cure for the disease of sin that has infiltrated all that we have and all that we are. And by far that is the greatest promise.
Romans 8 and verse 38 demonstrates this to us , God gave us his son and through him will continue giving to those who believe in him and accept him as their own saviour:
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
2A.
So we can now do again what we did when we looked at the promise of the world, Firstly what did this promise cost to make ?
Unlike the promise of the world which costs us so much , which costs us our freedom . The promise that the Lord offers is one which has cost us nothing but it is a promise that cost the Lord the precious life of his very own Son. This promise cost the life of the king of kings, the bright and morning light , this promise of God to us cost the life of the one through whom all things were made.
When we sit here this morning and hear this , its something many of us have heard so often before. But if we let this sink in , God knew we would rebel against him he knew would sin last night and this morning but here we see him offer up this promise to us through his son.
So thats the cost of this promise , no other promise has ever cost so much as the One God gives to us through the life and death of his Son. If we are here today as Christians then this should compel us to offer what we can in service to God , we must offer our service not through self-righteousness or through some idea of forced duty , but we must be willing to serve God because of our love for him.
2B.
So how do we accept the promise of God ? Unlike the promise of the world which we are born into this promise which God offers is one which we must accept. And it is no good just knowing the facts , no use for us to just know that Jesus is Gods Son and he died for our sins . We must repent and truly believe that Jesus died for us.
If we do not repent then we don’t see ourselves as sinners and we don’t think that we need a saviour, which is a lie.
But if we recognize that we are sinners that we do continually sin then we know that we need a saviour. And we know that we must repent.
We must offer up ourselves to God and ask him to cleanse us from our sin.
Once we truthfully repent and believe in our Saviour ,we can then confidently believe that we have been cleansed, made clean in the eyes of God because of the willing sacrifice of Christ’s blood, that was spilled for us. As we sang in the Psalm we can now know that in the eyes of God we have clean hands and a pure heart.
To enter into this promise of God we must first believe in Him/ repent from our sins and then we will then love him as our saviour.
Mark chapter 1 verse 15 :
“ “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

2C.
So what is the cost to us for accepting this promise ?

When we looked at the cost of accepting the promise of the world , and the promise of sin we saw that this promise took away our freedom and cost us our life, it resulted in death. It made us slaves and then it killed us.
When we become Christians and accept the promise of God this is all turned on its head.
We first die and only then do we become servants.
We die to our sins and  become new creatures in Christ (2 Corintians 5:17). We are dead , dead to the world and dead to sin. But here we have a great paradox of the Bible , when we die to the world we come alive , only when we die to sin do we live the life that was meant for us .
A life that praises God and that seeks to worship him in all things. And instead of being servants to sin , which led us down paths of sadness and despair .
We now serve a new master , we are servants before the throne of  God rather than being servants under his condemnation.
So to accept the promise of God the cost is our life. Either way we must lose it.
If we accept the promise of sin , the promise we are born into, then we die and go to a lost eternity .
But if we accept the promise of God yes we will still die but die to the world and instead we will live for him.
So in conclusion, when we come to look at the promises of God we have to stand in awe that the God of all gave us , who are the dust of the earth, he gave us his all. He gave us his Son.

A.1 The worlds promise cost us our freedom and our relationship with our creator.
2 Gods promise Costs us nothing , but cost God his only and precious Son

B.1 We are born into the worlds promise no need to accept it.
2 We must repent, believe and love in order to accept the promise of God.

C.1 The Cost of accepting the promise of the world is a life under the condemnation of God and a lost eternity in Hell.
2 The cost of accepting Gods promise is death to the world and to sin, but life in eternity with God.

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