I. "HAVING THEREFORE THESE PROMISES." WHO PROMISED WHAT?"
A. This verse is tied with the last two verses of chapter 6.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
B. The promises are from the only true God, the creator and sustainer of all things. "Saith the Lord, saith the Lord almighty."
1. For this reason the promises are certain.
God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
a. In chapter 1 Paul declared, "For all of the promises of God in Christ are yes and so be it, unto the glory of God."
b. Joshua 21:45
declares that "That not one good thing that the Lord spoke to the house of Israel failed, but all came to pass."
c. Solomon in his prayer at the dedication of the temple said:
Blessed [be] the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.
2. For this reason we should pay special attention to them. We would be wise to listen when God speaks.
C. What are the promises that the Lord has made?
1. "I will receive you."
a. Imagine the horror of a person if should God say, "I reject you, you cannot enter My kingdom."
b. Jesus said that He would say to them in that day when all men will be judged, "Depart from me you workers of iniquity." Jesus then said, "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all of the prophets in the kingdom and you are cast out."
c. He has many reasons to reject us all. We have rebelled against Him, we ignored Him until we got into deep trouble and needed Him desperately.
2. "I will be a Father unto you."
a. Not just receive us but be a Father to us.
b. God is a Father to us in the greatest and most perfect sense.
1. He loves His children completely. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
2. He desires only the best for His children. Jesus said, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
3. He is constantly thinking about His children.
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a glorious future.
4. He provides for all the needs of His children.
Therefore I say unto you, don't worry about your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall wear. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than clothes? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? And why are you worried about your clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
But My God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus our Lord.
3. "You shall be My sons and daughters."
a. John 1:12
But as many as received Him gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name
b. 1 John 3:2
"Beloved now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.
c. You are a son of God! A child of the King.
d. Here on earth if you are the child of a king, there is a certain protocol by which you must live. You represent the monarchy. So also as a child of the King of Kings, there is a protocol by which we live, we are not to live as the commoners.
II. WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF THESE PROMISES? AS YOU GO THROUGH THE BIBLE AND READ THE MANY PROMISES OF GOD YOU REALIZE THAT THE PROMISES ARE CONDITIONAL.
A. "Cleansing ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit."
1. He is not suggesting you go home and take a shower.
2. He is speaking of the filth of our minds that seek after fleshly things.
3. He is talking about the filth you have put in your minds as you have been caught in the snare of pornography.
a. He is saying go home and destroy all the x-rated videos. Get rid of all the pornographic magazines.
b. Cleanse your mind.
4. In a companion verse Peter wrote,
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
a. Lust has corrupted the world.
b. Lust will corrupt you.
5. Lust is a horrible thing. The more you feed it, the more it demands. The only cure is to starve it to death. Cleanse your mind from the filth.
6. This we do by replacement. You don't just stop feeding your mind with filth, but you fill it with the word of God. Jesus said, "Now you are clean through the word I have spoken unto you."
B. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
1. In Hebrews we are told that Holiness is a requirement for seeing God.
Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
2. Paul wrote to the Romans:
I speak after the manner of men because of the weakness of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your bodies servants to uncleanness and to iniquity; even so now yield your bodies as servants to righteousness unto holiness.
3. Holiness is a commandment for the child of God.
For I [am] the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I [am] holy.
Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God [am] holy.
Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I [am] the LORD your God.
And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD [am] holy, and have severed you from [other] people, that ye should be mine.
4. We are to be holy in our conversation.
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
a. It is so easy to become immune to filthy language. Our bodies were designed by God with a marvelous immune system. We have immunization programs to help a person to become immune to certain diseases. We do that by giving them a small amount of the bacteria and the body creates an immunity to it. When later you might be exposed to that same bacteria, your body has already developed an immunity so that it fights it off.
b. The first time you hear a person use a filthy word, you are shocked, but your body begins to build an immunity to it.
c. You become so accustomed to hearing the words, they don't shock you anymore, if fact you start using the words yourself.
d. Watch your language, don't use crude or vulgar words. You're a child of a holy God.
e. Here is where T.V. and the movies have done so much to pollute our minds. It is getting worse all of the time.
f. Don't watch movies where the language is filthy, they only build up your tolerance for evil.
g. If you had a guest in your home who was using all kinds of filthy language around your children, you would ask them to refrain from such language especially around your children. Yet we bring it right into our homes on T.V.
5. Peter spoke of the day coming soon when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. He then said, Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,