Anniversary Sermon – 2017
When God made a promise, He made sure that He will fulfill it. However, not all people will be blessed to receive His promise.
The Bible says that only His children will inherit the promised eternal life. Apostle Paul tells us, “So you are no longer a slave, but Godʼs child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” – Galatians 4:7 NIV. Thus, God will first remove us from being a slave of wrong belief, wrong faith and wrong teachings so we can be God’s children.
He also wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus, “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” -Ephesians 3:6 NIV
Thus, all of us who are called to be members of the church became His children. The Bible tells us, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbandʼs will, but born of God.” -John 1:12-13 NIV
Christ has given us an example on how we can be God’s child, that is, through baptism we will be born again according to the righteousness of God and we will be His children- Matthew 3:13-15.
Being born again doesn’t only mean that we need to be baptized in water. Baptism should be done in water and in spirit, that is, we need to live a renewed life focused on doing the will of the Lord. This should also be done in the church of God- Acts 2:41,47.
Now, baptism is not the end of our search, it is only the beginning. And we are serving the Lord wholeheartedly because we believe that this is the only way to attain what the Lord has promised. God’s promise will definitely benefit us greatly, in this life and in the life to come.
Apostle Paul tells us, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” -1 Timothy 4:8 NIV
In this life, God promised a complete protection. He will never neglect or ignore His children. The book of Isaiah tells us, “no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord , and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord .” -Isaiah 54:17 NIV
God’s promise extends not only in this life, but to the life that would come, which is the eternal life, so having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:7 NIV
Apostle Paul explains that this promise is in Christ – 2 Timothy 1:1. Christ is not only our comforter, but He is also our rewarder.
One thing that we need to understand is that when God made this promise, He confirmed it with an oath- Hebrews 6:16-17.
The word oath means a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to truth of what one says. ( Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary)
Thus, even God Himself wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.-Hebrews 6:17 NIV
As an example, we can read, “the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant:” -Psalm 105:9-10 NIV
Why did God make an oath to His promise?
The Bible says, “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain”-Hebrews 6:18-19 NIV
So, the main reason for this is so that we learn to put our hopes and trust in the Lord.
What did God include in His oath to His promise for all His children?
To make sure that He is holding on to His promise, God has put His name at stake. God’s name has been an important part of showing His power. Through His name, which was given to His children (Daniel 9:19), the sins of many were relieved. His name alone saves. And there was no name that was given unto us by which we must be saved – Acts 4:12.
God rules all His children, and if there are people who claim they are of God but do not use His name, then these people are not of God – Isaiah 63:19.
The purpose of this topic is to hold on to what was promised to us by God. He has given us a new living hope in Christ (1 Peter 1:3), thus, we are expected to hold on to this hope and be firm always in our faith.
If God has placed His oath for His promise to us, then we should also place our oath in Him. When we were called and became children of God through baptism, we made an oath that we will offer our lives in Him and serve Him wholeheartedly- as Christ says, ““Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’” -Matthew 5:33 NIV
Let us try not to break our oath to God but instead, fulfill them for His pleasure. Amen…