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HAVING THEREFORE THESE PROMISES

HAVING THEREFORE THESE PROMISES

(2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)

INTRODUCTION:

A. Have you ever made a promise?

1. One you didn't keep?

2. Has anyone made a promise to you they didn't keep?

B. A promise is a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified -- it is a declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect

C. The word "promise" appears 100 times in the Bible

1. But there are many, many more promises than these in the Bible

2. The Bible contains many different kind of promises:

a. Made to one's self

b. Man to Man

c. Man to God

d. God to Man

D. The promises of God are certain

1. When we make promises we do not always keep them:

a. Un-purpose

b. Purposely

2. The promises of God are precious -- 2 Peter 1:3-4 - 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

3. God's promises are unfailing -- 1 Kings 8:56 - "Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.

4. God's promises will occur, in speaking of Abraham, Paul said -- Romans 4:13-25

5. The Lord's promises are true and sure -- 2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

6. God is faithful in His promises -- Hebrews 10:23 - Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

E. God had made two basic types of promises:

1. Unconditional

a. The earth will never be destroyed by water again (Gen. 9)

b. The Lord will return some day (Mt. 5:13, 31-32)

c. There will be a resurrection (Jn. 5:28-29)

2. Conditional

a. Crown of life -- Revelation 2:10 - Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

b. Forgiveness of sin -- 1 John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

c. Rest for the weary -- Matthew 11:28-30 - 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

d. Need furnished -- Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

F. 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?

16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,

18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty."

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

DISCUSSION:

A. What Has God Promised Us In 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

1. Notice these promises:

a. "I will dwell in them, and walk in them" (v. 16)

b. "I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (v. 16)

c. "I will receive you" (v. 17)

d. "And I will be to you a father, and ye shall be to me sons and daughters" (v. 18)

2. All of these denote a special relationship with the Father

a. Fellowship

1) To have in common

2) Partnership

b. Family

1) Belonging

2) Protection

3) Encouragement

4) Love

3. All these are vital in a wholesome physical relationship, and even more so in our spiritual relationship with God

a. These are promises of eternal value

b. These are promises that we must long for

4. But remember, some of God's promises are conditional, thus...

B. How Do We Receive God's Promises Mentioned In This Context?

1. "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers" (v. 14)

a. In the day when oxen were yoked together to pull a plow or do some other task, it was obvious that the two animals must be compatible in size, kind, and temperament. An ox and a mule would make poor yoke-fellows; a full-grown ox and a calf likewise would be inappropriate mates in a yoke. The Mosaic Law forbade the joining of a mixed team: "Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together" (Deut. 22:10).

b. Using this familiar and obvious truth as an illustration, Paul teaches the Corinthians of the need for their being matched up only with others of like precious faith. If a believer is bound to an unbeliever, the believer will be unduly influenced by the unbeliever. There is little the two have in common, and so both would be discontented. Each would be pressured to go against their basic desires.

c. Driving the point home, Paul asks two rhetorical questions: What fellowship does righteousness and iniquity have? What communion exists between light and darkness?

1) These promises will be beyond our grasp if we are yoked with the world

2) It is inconsistent and impossible to be yoked to the world and God at the same time

3) Ephesians 5:7, 11

d. Since there is no common ground between these, then there is no harmony between a believer and an unbeliever. Paul's point is to warn them against any entangling alliances with the world

e. This will prevent the reception of God conditional promises

2. "Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate...And touch no unclean thing" (v. 17)

a. The command is issued for the saints to separate themselves from those entangling alliances they had formed with infidels; if they followed this injunction, and touched not the contaminating people and activities around them, then God would be pleased with them.

b. 1 Peter 2:9 ... special ... called out of darkness

3. "Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit" (7:1)

a. Our flesh is defiled when our hands and feet and bodies do the bidding of sin; our spirits, when we contemplate sin with pleasure.

b. Paul warns us, not only against all actual contact with sensuality, but also against that consent of the spirit which often defiles the inner life

c. The work of purification is frequently referred to as the work of God, but it is plainly taught that this can be done only as those who are cleansed cooperate with Him in its accomplishment

d. Philippians 2:12-13 - 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

e. If God's love as manifested through Christ does not arouse and direct us; if it does not create in us the desire for holiness, and the perseverance to attain it, it is because we refuse to hear and obey Him

5. "Perfecting holiness in the fear of God"

a. We must go forward in faithful obedience to perfect ourselves in a holy life. This does not mean simply to practice, but to complete, to carry to perfection

b. To do these things we must look to God with reverence and fear. All contact with impurity is in us a defilement of the temple of God and an insult to the majesty of him who dwells therein. Therefore, fear as well as hope should prompt us to abstain from all sin.

C. Key Passages on separation from the world:

1. Titus 2:12 ...

a. Deny, reject, refuse ungodliness

b. Live soberly -- self-discipline and self-control

2. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ... controlling the mind is essential...

3. 1 John 2:15-17

4. Romans 12:1-2

5. 1 Peter 1:13-16

6. Matthew 6:24

7. James 4:4

CONCLUSION:

A. Meeting the conditions we have discussed, with all that is implied, God will be a Father to us, and will treat us as sons and daughters. The way we live has a tremendous impact on our relationship with God.

B. We must first become Christians, and be freed from the guilt of past sins; we must then walk in the light of the gospel (1 John 1:7-10), develop the Christian graces (2 Pet. 1:3-11), and faithfully worship God (Acts 2:42), and work in the kingdom (1 Cor. 15:58).




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