the right promise

January 17, 2016

praying mom

Someone has stated that the Bible contains more than seven thousand promises, but not all of those promises are for Christians. It is important to distinguish between promises to specific individuals, promises to the nation Israel, promises to the disciples, and promises to the church.

Another type of promise is that given exclusively to the nation of Israel. The Old Testament is filled with promises that were meant only for Israel and are related explicitly to their obedience to the Mosaic Law. Yet, often these verses are taken out of context, and God is expected to fulfill promises to the church or the United States that were meant only for Israel.

Still another type of promise is general or universal. Although many promises in the Old Testament are specifically addressed to certain individuals or to Israel, many others are general. We are certainly not trying to imply that the Old Testament has no relevance for Christians today; we simply wish to caution you to ensure that when you hold God to a promise, that promise was not intended for someone else.

Here are some general New Testament promises to Christians:

 

    I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

 

    God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5:9)

 

    We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28–29)

 

All promises, even general ones, ought to be used correctly. One often misused promise is found in Matthew 18:19, immediately following Jesus’ statement that “whatever you shall bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (v. 18)

The context is one of church discipline, and the language is that of a courtroom. This is also true for Matthew 18:19: “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”

Often this passage is applied to any type of prayer: whenever any two Christians agree together in prayer, then God is obligated to answer that prayer. But the context shows that this is a promise related to the execution of church discipline, or excommunication. The “two” mentioned in verse 19 and the “two or three” mentioned in verse 20 are the same two or three witnesses that testify against the accused in verse 16. Christians must be careful not to be led astray into wrong prayer methods by incorrectly applying this verse.

 

I believe that we should pray about all our activities and not exclude God from anything we do. A person asked me for an example one time, the example I gave them was about grocery shopping; pray that you spend wisely, buy carefully, aren’t’ self-indulgent, and that you add to “the storehouse” that you would have extra for emergencies and those in need.

Another example is about who you are going to date or go out with; pray for safety, that they are a blessing to your life, that you are not tempted to be sexually active out of wed lock, that they build you up and not tear you down.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Thank you for all the thoughtful comments and suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

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