The Very Great and Precious Promises


Peter wrote that God has granted Christians his very great and precious promises. Peter in his second letter writes, “By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion and become partakers of the divine nature. “ 2 Peter 1: 4. RSV Bible.

The very great and precious promises that Peter referred to were those in connection with the Messiah and establishing the New Covenant. I personally believe that every promise is very great and precious, but it is reasonable to assume the promise of God sending the anointed Saviour, the Messiah is the first very great and precious promise.

The very great and precious promise – God’s promise to the Jewish people of the coming of the MessiahJeremiah writes, “Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise, I made to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous branch to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jeremiah 33:  14,15.

The apostles identified Jesus as their Messiah, the appointed Saviour, a descendant of King David and they proclaimed this message for the first time at Pentecost. “Let the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him (Jesus) both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Acts 2: 36-39

The very great and precious promise – God’s promise of redemption – God’s chosen people, the descendants of Abraham.

Isaiah wrote, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43: 2.

Ezra proclaimed that the Jews leaving Babylon under King Cyrus’ decree were allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple. “Thus says the King of Persia: The Lord the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house (Temple) at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. “Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him and let him go up to Jerusalem.” Ezra 1: 2,3.  It was in this context that Isaiah wrote, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43: 2. God redeemed the Israelites from captivity in Babylon.

Jesus the Son of God and the Messiah’s commission to redeem humanity from eternal death through the redemption from sin – Jesus bore all sin (including curses) and its causes on the cross. The cross is significant because there on the cross, Jesus bore everything that separates humanity from knowing God our creator and Father.

This very great and precious promise – Jesus promised – “If a man (a person) loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14: 23. God in his great love for humanity sent Jesus to pay the ultimate cost of laying down his life’s blood for humanity when he suffered and died on the cross. Under the Law of Moses sacrifices were brought to say sorry to God for sin, this could be a bird or a lamb or a goat or the very poor brought grain, this happened every time sins were committed. Hebrew Scriptures state that without the shedding of blood there’s no forgiveness for sin against God.  Leviticus 17: 11. Hebrews 9: 22. God sent Jesus to be the final offering for sin, he became a personal substitute for every person’s sacrifice for sin and all that separates a person from God. Through faith in Jesus in what he has done for us on the cross, we receive a free pardon, forgiveness for our sins. In addition to being set free from sin, by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour: Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit make their home within every believer.

The very great and precious promise – Jesus promised the resurrection – Jesus would rise on the third day. “Jesus began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Mark 8: 31

On the third day, two of the followers of Jesus left the house at Jerusalem to go to Emmaus. As they walked along the road a stranger joined them. “One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened.” Luke 24: 18-21. The two disciples found out that the stranger was Jesus, when they invited him to have a meal with them at the Inn, There as they sat at the table Jesus broke the bread, and at that moment their eyes were opened, they knew then the stranger was Jesus, whereupon, he vanished from their presence. Cleopas and the other disciples returned to the house at Jerusalem and told what had happened on the road and at the Inn. it was on the third day when Jesus rose from the dead.

The very great and precious promise – The promise of receiving the Holy Spirit from Jesus. Hosea wrote, “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; his going forth is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6: 2  Jesus fulfilled Hosea’s prophecy of God’s promise the disciples were raised on the third day when they received the Holy Spirit from Jesus who reveals God the Father and their redeemer and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The very great and precious promise – Jesus promised the comforter, the Holy Spirit – Jesus said to his disciples, “But when the Councillor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness of me.” John 14: 16,17.

Jesus fulfilled his word on the evening of the day of his resurrection, “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20: 21,22.

John the Baptist said, “I baptise you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the throng of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Luke 3: 16. 

Paul’s letter to the Galatians 3: 14. “In Christ Jesus ,the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3: 14.

The very great and precious promise – Jesus promises every Christian by accepting his invitation to come to him and they will receive from him, ‘living water,’ “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7: 37-39.

Ezekiel’s vision of water streaming out of the temple becoming a river and this water giving life and healing. The trees along its bank providing food and healing in their leaves. When the water reaches the Dead Sea the stagnant saltwater becomes fresh water and swarms of fish live in the water. The fishermen spread their nets and catch all kinds of fish.  Jesus’ body the temple of God and the living water that Jesus spoke of quenching thirst, this water drawn from the wells of salvation, that speaks of the Holy Spirit being poured out. The apostles filled with the living water pouring out the word of God and people being healed and receive Jesus baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Dead Sea is 53 miles from Jerusalem and  in the Acts of the Apostles we read that people from the surrounding villages came to the apostles at Jerusalem to hear the gospel message and were healed. “The people also gathered  from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. Acts 5: 16 Ezekiel 47: 1-12.  

The disciples received the Holy Spirit from Jesus on the day he was glorified, resurrected from the dead. There in the house at Jerusalem he came and stood among his disciples saying, “Peace be with you, . . .” and he breathed om them the Holy Spirit. Jesus described the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus as being like the wind. “ Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew. The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3: 7,8.

The very great and precious promise – Jesus’ promise of sending the Holy Spirit from the Father into the world –  The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost like a rushing mighty wind and filled the house and all the disciples in the house at Jerusalem. The disciples went onto the streets, the Holy Spirit empowering them to speak in the languages of the people they met. They shared the good news about Jesus’ resurrection. Peter addressed the crowd, telling them that it was in the foreknowledge of God that Jesus was crucified, but they were still required to repent as they had acted in ignorance. “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles,  “Brethren, what shall we do?“ Peter said, “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children and those afar off.” Acts 2: 37,38.3: 17. Joel 2: 28.

The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin and enables them to recognise the righteousness of God in Jesus and are justified through their faith in Jesus.

The very great and precious promise – Jesus promised eternal life for all who believe in him – John recorded in his gospel Jesus’ prayer, “Since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” John 17: 2,3.

Jesus in conversation with Nicodemus promised – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” John 3: 16,17.

Every Christian who has died in the flesh, their Spirit in Christ enters eternal life. When Jesus calls out his church those who have died in the faith will receive their own resurrected body. Romans 6:5. Luke 24: 39.

The very great and precious promise – Gods promised to Abraham, “And by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” Genesis 12: 3 Paul in his letter to the Galatians writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3: 28,29.

John the apostle writes, “To all who receive him who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God.” John 1: 12,13.

Paul in his letter to the Romans writes, “When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ provided we suffer with him in order that we might be glorified with him.” Romans 8: 15,16.

Christians are children of God through faith in Jesus. Paul reminds us that Jesus suffered, one of these occasion after the feeding of the five thousand, “Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” Matthew in his account states that he brought this problem to his Father in prayer. Matthew 14: 23.

The very great and precious promise of Jesus’ calling out of his Bride, the church, before he returns:  Jesus tells us that we need to be ready and watching as the Lord will call out the church in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. “Then two men will be in the field; one is taken the other left. Two women grinding at the mill; one is taken the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24: 40-42. The two people called out to meet the Lord in the air are Christians, The two left behind are not yet Christians. Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians writes, “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with cry of command. . . . then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17. The Lord will call the church to a wonderful event ‘The fetching of the Bride, his church,’ to his home in heaven. It follows the sequence of a Jewish wedding: the virgins make sure everything is ready and all the guests are arriving, especially those gathered into the Banqueting Hall from the throughfares. Matthew 25: 6. 22: 9. The marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven before Jesus’ return. Revelation 19: 7.

The very great and precious promise of his return:  At the ascension of Jesus into heaven, two men said to the apostles, Luke writes from his eyewitness accounts,  “And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet, which was near Jerusalem.” Acts 1: 10-12.

Zechariah prophesies, “Behold, a day of the Lord is coming, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in the midst of you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people (the remnant) shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” Zechariah 14: 1-5.

I understand the ‘holy ones’ are the angels in heaven, but I believe that the church is in this category as John writes in Revelation 19 verses 11-16 “He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses.  From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh, he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.Revelation 19: 11-16. 2 Kings 6: 17.Joshua 5: 14. Ephesians 6: 11-18.

Only Almighty God knows when the Lord Jesus will call out the church and return to the Mount of Olives.

Apostle John writes, “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22: 21.

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