Let’s start out by looking at the most well-known promise in the Bible. John 3:16 declares, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Because God loves us, He has PROMISED all who believe in His Son as their Savior the gift of ETERNAL LIFE” (NKJV). Notice, there is something we (as sinners) must do in order to claim this promise, we must BELIEVE. Faith is the hand that reaches out to claim God’s promise of eternal life through His Son. This promise is “null and void” to those who refuse to believe.

We began with this promise because all of God’s other promises are only for believers. Most of these promises are UNCONDITIONAL, which means there is “nothing we need to do before we get what the Lord has promised to us.” Here are some of God’s unconditional promises:

*Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the heavenly places in Christ.”

*1st Peter 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an INHERITANCE incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, RESERVED IN HEAVEN FOR YOU.”

*John 14:2-3, “In My Father house are many mansions…I go to PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN AND RECEIVE YOU TO MYSELF; that where I am, there you may be also.”

*Philippians 1:10, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

*Romans 8:28, “And we know that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Again, these are “unconditional promises” to the believer in Jesus Christ, for they are based on what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary and not on what we do for Him. In other words, these promises belong to us based solely on God’s GRACE! These promises bring out the blessings that are ours in heaven and that even before we reach our heavenly home God is working in our lives for good.

There are also promises given to the believer which are CONDITIONAL. A good example of this is seen in 1st John 5:14-15, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” God has promised to HEAR US and to GRANT US OUR PETITIONS, but we must “ask…according to His will.” We can’t ask for things that our not in keeping with God’s desires, for if do we are told we won’t receive them. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

Another example of a “conditional promise” is given in 1st Corinthians 3:13-14, “Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of WHAT SORT IT IS. If anyone’s work which he has built on it ENDURES, HE WILL RECEIVE A REWARD.” We saw that our place in heaven is a gift based on Christ’s work for us, but here we see that we are PROMISED A REWARD for work that we do! This passage speaks of the time when we are with Christ and He will review our entire life’s service to Him. Everything that we did for His honor and glory and in His strength will receive a reward (which will determine our place in His coming kingdom when He reigns over the earth as “King of kings, and Lord of lords”). But if an act of service was done for our own glory and in our own strength, we will lose our reward, as we see in verse 15, “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

May we be diligent in laying hold of God’s promises! For it is through these promises that we will find ourselves growing in His grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe it would be fitting to close with 2nd Peter 1:2-4, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertains to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 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.” (310.2) (DO)