By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Before we get into the series of studying God's promises, I wanted to discuss the three kinds of promises that God gives us and give you an example of each. Also, we will discuss the different kinds of people that God's promises target. These exist in both the Old and the New Testaments.
1) Promised Blessings - These promises are free gifts that come with no conditions attached.
"Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on earth.'" (Gensis 1:28)
This is a promise to all mankind that we would have dominion over all the earth. It is freely given and there are no conditions to obtain this promise, nor is it a consequence of any action.
2) Conditional Promises - These promises are still blessings, but they come with a condition, an action that we must make in order to obtain it.
"Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together, of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered." (1 Peter 3:7)
A husband's prayers can be hindered or go unanswered if he does not abide by the condition to understand and honor his wife.
3) Promises of Consequence - These promises can be a blessing if God's word is obeyed, or a curse and a punishment if God's word is disobeyed. The choice is ours.
"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God" (Deuteronmy 28:1-2)
This verse is followed by several verses of specific blessings that the Lord names.
“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you." (Deuteronomy 28:15)
This verse is followed by several verses of specific curses and punishments that the Lord names.
Types of People God Will Choose to Bless with Promises
1) Children of God
3) Specific Nations or tribes of people
4) All mankind
Note: In the Old Testament, the Children of God were the Israelites or descendants of Abraham. In the New Testament, non-Israelites (or gentiles) are adopted as children of Christ through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The verses below prove this.
"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Romans says we are adopted, and John says that whoever believes, including all mankind on the condition that we believe. This is the greatest PROMISE of all!