Which Bible Promises Can Christians Claim?

There are a lot of promises in the Bible, but they're not all for Christians. How do we know which promises are for us?

00:00 So what promises in the Bible can the Christian claim?

00:04 You'll be surprised at the common-sense answer.

00:10 There are a lot of promises in the Bible.

00:12 But not all the promises are for you and me.

00:15 So how do you know which ones are for us and which ones are for others?

00:19 Actually, the principle is really simple.

00:22 The promises that are made to Christians are for Christians,

00:27 and the promises that are made to others,

00:30 say for example, the nation of Israel, those are for Jews.

00:33 Alright?

00:34 Now, let me tell you why people get mixed up on this sometimes, and it's because they

00:39 go back to the Old Testament, and they isolate passages that look really yummy for us.

00:44 And we think, oh man, I like that verse.

00:47 There's some verses in Jeremiah, verses in 2nd Chronicles that are really popular and

00:52 you find 'em on posters, and cards, and stitched into pillows, and a whole bunch of other things

00:58 too that people seem to want to lift willy nilly out of the context and apply to them

01:04 as believers because those are promises made to God's people, and they're God's people,

01:10 in a certain sense, and so they think they belong to them.

01:14 But when those texts were written, when those promises were made, there was a very specific

01:18 people that was in view there.

01:21 Okay?

01:22 And promises made to that people belong to them.

01:26 Now sometimes, there are promises that are made in the Old Testament that are based on

01:31 God's character.

01:32 In other words, God being reliable, God being a merciful God, patient, long suffering, those

01:40 kinds of things.

01:41 Well that character of God that is expressed towards the Jews is the same character that's

01:46 expressed towards us.

01:48 So we can, in a certain sense, import that Old Testament promise and apply it to ourselves.

01:55 There's a lot of things in Psalms and guidelines that we see in Proverbs that are about life

02:00 in general and not just applicable to an individual group of people.

02:06 So there's a principle from the Old Testament.

02:08 If it's a general promise for people or about God's character that we can count on, well

02:15 then that's for everybody.

02:17 Okay?

02:18 If there's a promise for the nation of Israel under very precise circumstances, and you

02:23 can read the context and get that information, then that's theirs, not ours,

02:27 we can't steal it. Okay?

02:30 In the New Testament, all kinds of promises made to Christians.

02:33 There's a variety, though.

02:35 I mean, Jesus said, "In this world, you will have tribulation."

02:38 Oh wow, that's a promise.

02:40 That's a prediction.

02:41 He's letting us know what we're in for.

02:45 But then He adds, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

02:50 Hmm.

02:51 Okay, that's an encouragement, right?

02:52 How bout this?

02:53 "Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world"?

02:57 Well who is in us?

02:59 In the New Covenant, in the New Testament times, the one that is in us is God in the

03:03 person of the Holy Spirit.

03:06 Oh, okay. That's us. That's ours.

03:09 We can claim that in defense against the enemy.

03:13 And there are all kinds of things like this that we should be drawing on on a regular

03:17 basis to remind us and encourage us.

03:20 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

03:26 Oh that's a great one.

03:28 How bout this one, "For we know that God causes all things to work together for good for

03:35 those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."

03:41 Now there's more to that promise there,

03:42 but I just want you to see, it tells us who it's for.

03:45 Those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose.

03:49 That's believers.

03:51 So that's your key.

03:52 Pay attention when you read the promise to who the promise is given to, and don't steal

03:59 somebody else's promise, but help yourselves to the ones that belong to you.

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Greg Koukl