The Wonderful Promises of God
2 Peter 1:1-4; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 6:23; Philippians 4:19
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - June 12, 2016
*This week in the Vacation Bible School Tree House the children will learn about the wonderful promises of God.
They will see that our God promises love, hope, salvation, provision and power.
God promises all of these things and much more to everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ.
*The Word of God talks about His promises in 2 Peter 1:1-4, so please open your Bibles to 2 Peter 1, thinking about the wonderful promises of God.
*Have you ever told a lie? -- I don't want to single anybody out this morning, so don't raise your hand.
But have you have ever told a lie?
If you have, just give me a little smile.
Oh yeah, there are a lot of smiling people here this morning.
*Probably everybody in the world has told a lie at some point, -- everybody but God, that is.
In Titus 1:2, Paul said that he was "in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began."
*Did you hear what Paul said about God there?
God cannot lie, cannot lie.
God can not lie.
That's why we can totally depend on the wonderful promises of God.
So first, let's take a look at God's promise of love.
*Many places in God's Word speak of His love for us.
The best known is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
*John 11:5 says, "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."
*John 13:1 says, "Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."
*And in John 13:34, Jesus said: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.
As I have loved you, that you also love one another."
*God's promise of love for us is so strong that one of the key verses in VBS this week is Romans 8:28.
There the Word of God says this to all Christians: "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
*In other words: "We can be so sure of God's love that we know He is using even the bad things that happen to us for our good."
But Church: We could never believe that, if we weren't sure of the promise of God's love.
*But we can be sure, and we should be sure of God's love.
That's why Paul gave the strongest assurance of God's love here in Romans 8. Starting in Romans 8:31, Paul wrote:
What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Who shall bring a charge against God's elect?
It is God who justifies.
Who is he who condemns?
It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.''
37. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39. nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
*This is the wonderful promise of God's love.
And thank God, He didn't just promise His love, God proved His love.
*God has proved His love to us in many ways, but most of all, He proved it on the cross!
So in John 15:13, Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
And Romans 5:8 says, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
This is the proof of God's love.
This is the wonderful promise of God's love.
And we want all children to know about it.
That's why one of the first songs we teach children is all about God's love.
*The tune was first written as a marching song for the Union Army in the Civil War: "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching."
But later this tune became one of the all-time favorite Christian songs for children.
And we've sung it many times:
"Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world."
*Jesus loves the little children, and Jesus loves us all.
This is the wonderful promise of God's love.
2. But this week in VBS, the kids will also see the promise of hope.
*God gives hope to everyone who puts their trust in Jesus, so Christians have the promise of real hope.
And we see God's hope in Scriptures like Romans 5:1-2.
Here the Word of God speaks to Christians and says:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2. through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
*Romans 15:4 says: "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."
*Romans 15:13 says: "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
*Now the key VBS verse for hope doesn't specifically mention the word "hope."
It's Ephesians 2:10, where God's Word says this to all Christians: "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
This Scripture is talking about the hope of us having a real purpose in life when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.
*To put it in context, please listen to it again starting in Ephesians 2:8.
God's Word tells Christians:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9. not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
*When we put our trust in Jesus Christ, God gives us a brand new purpose for living.
There are many good ways to live it out.
And one of the best is by serving in VBS.
Thank God for everyone who is serving in our Vacation Bible School!
*You know, working in VBS is not always that easy.
Raymond McHenry told about a mom who brought her son to Bible School for the first time.
This little boy was extremely active and very curious.
He had enough energy to outlast most adults.
Mom got to the part of the registration card that said "Remarks," and in big, block letters, she wrote: "BRACE YOURSELF!" (2)
*VBS is always a lot of work, and serving the Lord in any way can be hard at times.
Why do people do it?
-- Because they love the Lord, because they realize the incredible value of the cross, and because they have God's hope.
*Hebrews 6:19 tells us that God's hope is "an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil."
This is the wonderful promise of God's hope.
But this week in VBS, the children will also see God's promise of salvation.
*The key verse in VBS for salvation is Romans 6:23.
Here God's Word says: "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
*In our minds, wages are usually what we earn for our work.
But in general, wages are what we deserve, and "the wages of sin is death."