The Purpose Of Promise


2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Audio of Sermon: 

Last week the Apostle told us not to receive the Grace of God in vain or to no purpose, and we discussed what that meant. Grace is given by God to us to bring us into His Family, to empower us to live our lives daily in Christ. Grace saves us, and keeps on saving us. Tonight the Apostle applies the promises of God to our lives.

Promises, Promises

God makes promises to His Children, promises that we are to secure for ourselves, to apply to our lives, and to grow to be more like Christ. God makes TWO PROMISES to the lost. His Grace promise is that

Romans 10:9-13 (NKJV) … if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

None are excluded from the whosoever will of the Gospel call. Praise Him, Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world …

1 John 2:2 (NKJV) … And He Himself is the propitiation (the atonement or covering) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

The Blood of Christ is sufficient to save whosoever will believe on Him. That is a promise from God. But God also promises that the one who rejects the Son and refuses to believe on Him is in a state of condemnation. God promises eternal judgment against the one who rejects the Christ as Lord and Savior.

1 John 5:10-12 (NKJV) He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

John 3:36 (NKJV) He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Two promises to the unbeliever – but MANY promises to the believer. The Apostle says:

2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved

We who are God’s children by faith in Christ are dearly beloved. Christ is God’s Beloved …

Ephesians 1:6 (NKJV) {God the Father} made us accepted in the Beloved

Christ is “The Beloved Son, in Whom the Father is well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22). He is the Eternal Beloved, forever loved of the Trinity. Because He is Beloved when we receive Him we become Beloved. He is the Natural and Supernatural Son of God, but we become adopted sons of God because of Christ (Ephesians 1:5). Because of Christ we are

chosen of God
Without blame before Him
In love (Ephesians 1:4)

Because we are beloved of God the Father has given us precious promises. These promises are not offered to the lost world, but to those who are IN CHRIST:

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV) For all the promises of God IN HIM are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

God has made precious promises to we who are His Beloved Church, His Beloved Children, His Beloved Christians.

Promises Serve A Purpose

2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

You will never find a promise of God that does not have a purpose to it. Every promise of God has purpose. Every promise of God calls us into PARTNERSHIP with God. When we are saved the Holy Spirit comes to INDWELL us and GUIDE us into ALL TRUTH. Jesus told His disciples:

John 16:5-14 New King James Version (NKJV) But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

Christianity is a PARTNERSHIP with God. When you receive the promise of salvation by believing and receiving Christ as He is, then God’s Holy Spirit comes to live in the framework of your life. He INDWELLS you, so much so that the Scripture declares:

Romans 8:9 (NKJV) But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

God lives in the lives of His people. The Christian is indwelt by God. The Spirit indwells us to speak of Christ, to guide us into Christ’s truth. We are in partnership with God. Certainly we are minority shareholders in this partnership, but are nonetheless called to work with God if we want to be blessed.

When God saved Israel from Egypt His message to them was the same message He gives to us. “Come and follow Me to blessing”. If the Israelite followed the way of Egypt and refused to kill the lamb without spot or blemish, when the LORD came whoever was in that uncovered home died just as surely as the Egyptian died (see Exodus 12:13, 23). If the Israelite refused to follow God as a Pillar of Fire by night and a Pillar of Cloud by day (Exodus 13:22; 14:19) then they would not be under God’s protection. If the Israelite refused to cross the parted Red Sea when God said to do so then they would have drowned just as surely as the Egyptian Army drowned (see Exodus 14). God calls a person and a people into partnership with Him.

When God promised Abraham a son He did not say “lounge here where you are and I’ll drop the promise on you like fairy dust”. What did say to Abraham? Follow Me.

Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)

“… Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

For the promise to be fulfilled Abraham had to leave what he knew and go where God told him to go. God had to become the most important Person in his life, greater than father, mother, or brother. Abraham did not receive the promise immediately, but was driven to a greater partnership with God trusting Him no matter what might come.

Hebrews 6:13-15 (NKJV) For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

The belief came first. Not just a belief of the MOUTH, but a belief of the WHOLE MAN. Abraham believed God, the Scripture says …

James 2:22-23 (NKJV) Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

God partners with His people. Salvation is a free gift of God. Come to Him believing and you shall be saved. But saved, you are called to follow Him.

Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19)
The Spirit and the Bride say “Come” (Revelation 22:17)
Not “Stay where you are” but “COME”.
Follow Christ.
Follow God.
Heed the Spirit.

There is nothing in this life more important than following the Lord. Jesus told an individual …

Luke 9:59-62 (NKJV) … “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

If you will not partner with Christ you are not fit for the Kingdom of God. The person who must be begged to partner with Christ is a person who perhaps is not saved. If Christ is last and least in our lives, our lives are not where they need to be. We are called to partner with Christ, to follow Him, to heed His Spirit, to feed ourselves on His Word, to communicate with Him in prayer. This is not a chore for the believer, but a blessing.

The Promises Of God Draw Us To Christ

2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Since we have the promises of God and are beloved of God:

let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit

The word translated “filthiness” is the Greek μολυσμός molysmós, (pronounced mol-oos-mos) which literally means that which stains or defiles. What are the things that defile? Jesus said:

Matthew 15:10-20 New King James Version (NKJV) {Jesus} had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” 15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

What defiles a person is a heart that is fleshly, focused on satisfying self. Jesus said that out of the heart proceeds:

evil thoughts
false witnesses

If you’ll notice all of these things are PLURAL. Sin draws to sin. If we belong to God we are not to wallow nor focus on sin. God does not save a person to keep on sinning. God saves a person to remove us from satan’s kingdom and transfer us into the Kingdom of God. Being saved, being the beloved of God, we are to cast off the old works of darkness. Not in our power, but in the power of Christ. The Apostle says in another place:

Ephesians 4:17-24 (NKJV) 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

We no longer walk in darkness. If we have received the promise of salvation, and if we are blessed by the promises of God in Christ, then we are to live accordingly. We put off the old man, the old way of being. We put on the new man, the Christ image, and love as He loved, walk as He walked. We walk in the Spirit of Christ,

cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit

What the flesh does impacts the soul. If we are filthy of soul, we will do filthiness of the flesh. If we do filthiness of the flesh, we damage our souls. Christ did not save us so we could be IN the world. Christ saved us so that we can be like our Father and our Savior.

IN CHRIST we are raised up to sit with Him in Heavenly places.

Ephesians 2:6 (NKJV) {God} raised us up together, and made us sit together
in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

BY CHRIST everything I need will be supplied.

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) … my God shall supply all your need
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

THROUGH CHRIST the peace of God guards and protects my heart and mind.

Philippians 4:7 (NKJV) … the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

IN CHRIST I shall never see death nor defeat.

1 Corinthians 15:22 (NKJV) … in Adam all die,
even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The words “perfecting holiness” means to take upon ourselves the Word of Christ. As He is, we strive to be. As the Father is holy, we are holy. As the Son is holy, we are holy. We strive toward this mark in the power of God’s Spirit and God’s Word. What He has forbidden we put off. What Christ has modeled we put on. We do this not to be saved, but because we are saved. We do this because we love Him and want to be like Him. We are not driven by feelings nor foolishness, but by the fear (respectful awe) we have of our God. Jesus said:

John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Jesus came to give us life. It is life to live like Jesus. “I have told you these things so that IN ME YOU MAY HAVE LIFE” (John 16:33). There is no life apart from Christ. There is no life in chasing after the things of the flesh. So many refuse to come to Jesus and follow Him for life (John 5:40). It is not life to come to Christ halfway. Follow Him. If you are God’s Beloved, cleanse yourself from the filthiness of this world (Galatians 5:19-21). Let Christ rule in your lives.

May God touch us all with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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