Standing on the Promises of God


Welcome to this edition of “My Thoughts with Dale Van De Bogart.” I would like to welcome all of our faithful and new watchers to the broadcast. As a reminder, all notes are in PDF, and located on our website, Click on My Thoughts Video Series, scroll down on the page to choose the series, and download our notes.

In this week’s segment, “Standing on the Promises of God” I will discuss the value, character, and nature of God’s promises. Open your Bible to 2 Peter 1:1-4.

What is a Promise?

There are several hymns we use in our worship services that have to do with the promises of God. In this message, I will be using a very familiar hymn as a title. I believe this song expresses the Christian’s confidence in the promises of God.

Let us take a moment to see what the definition of the word “promise” really is. Used as a noun it means, “a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.” We can also use the word “promise” as a verb meaning, “assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something’ undertake or declare that something will happen.” We can use other words such as guarantee, pledge, or vow in place of promise.

The word “promise” in Greek can take on several meanings. I will give you three. “Epaggelia” means a summons, “Epaggellomia” means to proclaim or make a claim, and “Epaggelma” means a promise.

Promises play an important part in our everyday activities. We promise to be on the job, and on time, and the employer promises to pay us. The use of credit cards is another way of making a promise. New Year’s Resolutions are typically promises made to ourselves or to others. We should never make promises that we do not intend to keep.

Promises also play an important role in the system of Christianity. Again, in this message, I will emphasize three facts that determine the worth of promises:

  • VALUE of the thing promised.
  • CHARACTER of the promiser.
  • The CONDITIONS or nature of the promise.

Passage Text – 2 Peter 1:1-4

1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through 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 to 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.

Before I begin discussing God’s promises, let me explain Peter’s phrase, “like precious faith.” This phrase means our standing with the Lord today just as the apostles did centuries ago. They got to see what Jesus did up close and personal. It is not necessary to see Jesus with our eyes in order to love and trust Him, and share His glory (1 Peter 1:8). This faith is divided into three things:

  • It is in a person, which is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
  • It involves God’s power as it begins with saving faith and the faith in the person of Jesus Christ.
  • It involves God’s promises as He has given us all we need for life and godliness and His Word to develop this life and godliness.

The Value of the Thing Promised

I think the value of God’s promises can be seen in the language of our passage text for this segment.

  • Obtained “like precious faith” as I mentioned above.
  • The righteousness of God and Savior Jesus Christ. This righteousness is by no means nothing we have ever done to deserve it, but what Jesus did on the cross. We are now in the right standing with God.
  • Grace and Peace. This is multiplied to us through gaining knowledge of God through studying His word. Knowledge is one of the foundational items to achieve wisdom (Proverbs 1:4).
  • All things that pertain to life and godliness. We can develop this through God’s Word.
  • Glory and virtue. Behavior showing high moral standards.
  • The divine nature. This can only come from God, and we are partakers, or He shares with us His divine nature.
  • Escape from corruption and lust. Because God shares the divine nature, we have the freedom and growth as a part of possessing the divine nature.

Peter says these promises are, “exceedingly great and precious.” Why?

They are great because:

  • They come from a great God and no one else can grant them.
  • They have to do with man’s most valuable possession, his eternal soul. (Matthew 16:26).
  • They never fail. Not one promise of God has ever failed (2 Peter 3:9).

They are precious because:

  • All the wealth of the universe cannot be purchased from them.
  • The promises of God are not something that were devised in a fleeting moment of liberality.
  • All promises of God can be summed up in one grand and glorious word – SALVATION!
  • This is the gift God made available to man through His Son (1 John 2:24-25).

To illustrate this, a young man promises to give his girlfriend a ring and lets her pick it out. The jeweler shows her two rings that look alike but explains one is cheap glass, the other a precious diamond. The girl would automatically choose the diamond because of its “value.” So, there are many things in life that may, on the surface, seem to be of comparative value; but in the long run, true value comes through.

The Character of the Promiser also Determines the Value of the Promise Made

Let me use the following as an illustration. Every day thousands make the traditional marriage vows and promises. “Do you promise to love, cherish, embrace him/her, so long as you both shall live?” Yet, every day thousands break that promise, which undoubtedly was not worth much. Why? Because the character of the promiser wasn’t what it should be.

Other people make promises which we allow to go in one ear and out the other. Why? Because we have learned by experience that they are not dependable persons. One board member said of another, “He is just a promiser.” He promised to attend meetings or work on committees, but they never did. Many Christians are like this. They promise to work in the church, visit the sick or church members who are shut-ins, or volunteer for certain committees, but they seem never to get around to doing any of it (James 1:22-23).

God is not like us; He is unchanging. Malachi 3:6, “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” He is able to fulfill every promise. Suppose a Pastor tells their congregation they are going to give each person a huge sum of money after the service. You would not be impressed because you know they couldn’t fulfill such a promise.

God’s omnipotence is behind each and every promise that He makes. The meaning of omnipotence is one with unlimited power. Romans 4:20-21, “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

He is also faithful to His promise (Hebrews 10:23). God has the CHARACTER and QUALITIES that make His promises worth something. The second stanza of the song says, “Standing on the promises that cannot fail.” So, rest assured that God’s promises are true and that they will not fail.

The Nature of God’s Promises

There are some things that God has NOT promised:

  • He has not promised us another chance after this life is over. In spite of what is taught by religionists about purgatory or reincarnation. The Bible does not teach such.
  • We have another day to live. Yet, some live as though they are certain to have another fifty years of life. James 4:14, “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
  • He has not promised to save anyone outside of His church. We know that the church itself does not save, Jesus saves, but the saved make up the church (Acts 2:47). Such claim salvation by the blood of Christ, but the church was purchased by His blood (Acts 20:28).
  • He has not promised to accept our excuses for not obeying Him. Yet, they are offered every day (Luke 14:16-24).
  • He has not promised a life free from hardships and burdens (2 Timothy 3:12). Some think that God has let them down whenever the going gets rough. Not True! We can stumble on the steps before us, or we can use them to climb up higher.

All of God’s promises fall into two categories:

  • UNCONDITIONAL: No limitation; such are fulfilled without the recipient doing anything.
  • Seedtime and harvest come unconditionally (Genesis 8:22; Matthew 5:45).
    • The world will never be destroyed by water again (Genesis 9:11).
    • But the world will be destroyed in the future by fire (2 Peter 3:10).
    • Christ is coming again (Acts 1:9-11).
    • There will be a resurrection of all (John 5:28-29).
    • There will be a judgment for all (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:11-12).
  • CONDITIONAL: Promises to be fulfilled providing certain conditions are met.
  • Remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 10:43).
    • Answer prayers (James 1:6,7; 1 John 3:22; 5:14).
    • Spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 3:27).
    • Eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9; Matthew 7:21).

Do God’s promises ever fail?

  • Unconditional promises never fail! Num. 23:19.
  • Conditional promises are contingent upon our obedience. They never fail when we meet the stated conditions. We are the ones who fail.


We can understand and appreciate the VALUE, CHARACTER, and NATURE of God’s promises if we desire to do so.

  • The VALUE of His promises should move us to obey.
  • Are you bound for the PROMISED LAND? You can stand this day on the PROMISES OF GOD if you so desire.
  • Obey the gospel and become an heir according to the PROMISE (Galatians 3:26-29).

Then we can say along with the prophet of old, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and he set my feet upon a rock and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:1-3). Amen!

I am Dale Van De Bogart and I fully agree on God’s Word!

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