In Titus 1:1-2, Paul refers to God as one who never lies or as one who cannot lie, depending on your translation. The point Paul is making is that God keeps His promises. In this passage, he writes of God’s promise of eternal life and the faith we can have in such a promise. We have more than Paul’s word to take on this, though, for we can look through His word and see Him keep His promises time and again. He is a promise keeper.
The Blessing of the Nations
Genesis 12:1-3 records God’s threefold promise to Abram regarding the land, his family becoming a nation, and that all families would be blessed through his lineage. God repeats this promise to Isaac and to Jacob. He even repeats the promise to those returning from captivity hundreds of years hence. These promises are revisited in the New Testament as well.
In Luke 1:46-55, as Mary lifts her voice up in praise to the Lord, she references God’s promises to Abraham so many generations ago. Also, Luke 1:67-79 records Elizabeth’s husband Zechariah speaks, moved by the Holy Spirit, and he speaks of those events as being part of God’s promise to Abraham. Finally, in Acts 3, Peter and John heal a paralyzed man outside the gate of the temple, and, in verses 24-26, they say these days are the ones spoken of by the prophets and the covenant with Abraham.
The Covenants with Israel & David
Many of us are familiar with the promises God makes to the children of Israel at Sinai. He promises to be their God if they would be His people. He promises to raise them up as a dedication to Him. In Luke 1:13-17, the angel speaking to Zechariah says John plays a part in those promises. Returning to the song of Mary, she speaks of God’s mercy on Israel in Luke 1:51-55. Also, Zechariah revisits these promises in verses 68-72 in his prophecy. Then, in Luke 2:25, we meet a man named Simeon who seeks the Messiah. In verses 29-32, this Simeon calls Jesus the salvation for all people and a light to the Gentiles.
In II Samuel 7, God refuses to have a house build by David. Instead, he promises to build David an everlasting house. He promises to David his throne will abide forever in II Samuel 7:16. We know the royal line of David would eventually fail, but Luke 1:32 records God’s angel making direct reference to his promise in the birth of Christ.
Trusting in the Promises
We don’t have angels appearing to us today. We have no more virgin births, but Hebrews 10:15-19 assures us that God’s promises are sure. Hebrews 6:13-20 cites the steadfastness of God’s past promises and oaths prove that God does not lie. John 14:1-3 records Christ promising to come again to take us home. I Peter 1:3-5 speaks of an incorruptible inheritance promised to us by the power of God. As in Hebrews 6:18-19, we can have confidence in these promises, an anchor for our souls, a hope we can hold fast.
There are many things in this life that can dash our hopes, but God’s promises are sure. We can retain our faith in Him because we know He will always be faithful to us.
lesson by Tim Smelser