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The Way to God’s Promises – Uses of the Law: To Clarify the Good News (4)

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The Way to God’s Promises

Uses of the Law: To Clarify the Good News (4)

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. 2 Corinthians 1:20

The Gospel, as every believer knows, holds out the promise of eternal life through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Most often, I suspect, “eternal life” is considered as the promise of going to heaven when we die: “Have you come to a place in your own life where you know for certain that you have eternal life, that you will go to heaven when you die?”

Going to heaven when we die is an intermediate phase of our redemption—glorious and full of wonder and joy and pleasure, to be sure, but intermediate nonetheless. New heavens and a new earth are being prepared for us, so that we might dwell forever in the very presence of God, seeing Him as He is and being made like Him. This is the ultimate hope of the believer, the hope of glory eternally in a world without sorrow or sin.

But the promises of God are not post-dated, to be opened and enjoyed merely at some future date beyond death and time. We have been given precious and very great promises in our Lord Jesus Christ, and God intends for us to know these promises here and now, so that, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, we may partake of His very nature (2 Pet. 1:4)!

The Law of God is based on the promises God made to Abraham; it came as a follow-up to God’s redemptive work in order to establish His people before Him in the promises made to their forebears (Exod. 2:24, 25). In the Law itself God’s people are promised many wonderful things for their lives here and now, contingent upon obedience to God (cf. Deut. 4:5-8; 5:16; 28:1-14). Obedience to God’s Law entails the enjoyment of promises available only by that means.

The essence of all these promises is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Indeed, the sum and substance of eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ (John 17:3). This “knowledge” implies an intimate relationship, full of joy, pleasure, and power (John 16:11; Acts 1:8), by which the believer realizes prosperity and riches of an eternal nature, to which nothing in this world can ever compare (cf. Ps. 73:25, 28).

In this world believers may or may not enjoy an abundance of material blessings. But whether they do or not is of no consequence for true believers, since knowing Jesus Christ brings greater happiness, peace, joy, certainty, hope, and life than all the riches of men could ever begin to provide. In the Gospel we declare that Jesus has fulfilled the righteousness and satisfied the wrath which God set forth in His Law. Thus, in Him the way is open for us to know all the precious and very great promises of God, and to partake of His very nature.

For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the life of faith, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Bookstore, then Church Issues.

In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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