Sunday, May 2, 2010

Promises of God

In Richard Baxter's The Life of Faith, found The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, Vol. 3, he speaks of the value of taking to heart the promises of God. After giving this direction ('Direct. 34. Lay up in your memory, particular, pertinent, and clear promises, for every particular use of faith') he proceeds to list particular scripture promises grouped topically in a list of 27 topics (pp. 657-664). Likewise, Samuel Clark devoted a whole book to compiling particular Scripture Promises topically for the edification and comfort of the saints. How precious are God's promises, and the benefit of keeping them in mind and thereby strengthening our faith ought not to be underestimated.

Jacobus Koelman, The Duties of Parents, p. 94:

159. Because the promises of God are special grounds for use in prayer, you must also have them read and memorize according to their ability certain special promises that God has given us in his Word concerning various matters.We must make these the content of our prayers. It would take too much space to sum them up here. There is a little book by Nicholas Byfield titled The Promises; or a Treatise Showing How a Godly Christian May Support His Heart (London, 1618) in which a large number of these promises have been included.

Nicholas Byfield, The Promises; Or, a Treatise shewing how a godly Christian may support his heart with comfort, Against all the distresses which by reason of any afflictions or temptations can befall him in this life. Containing all the most comfortable places through the whole Bible, orderly digested:

It will be profitable for us to consider briefly the worth of the promises; they are called the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:6, 8), to assure us that he is a very rich man that hath his heart stored with the promises of God well applied. The Apostle Peter saith (2 Pet. 1:3) that they are great and precious promises, which God hath given to us. Promises in our hearts are better than pearls or precious stones in our chests. They are the inheritance God gives to his people in this life, and therefore they are called the heirs of promise (Rom. 4); a greater portion than any king on earth can give to his child. The very keeping of the records of these promises was a great prerogative to the Jewish nation (Rom. 9), and it is accounted a singular happiness for the Gentiles that they may now partake of those promises (Eph. 3:6). Little do we know what wrong we do to our souls, when we keep them ignorant of the promises; and it is one of the greatest offices under the sun to dispense these promises to man (2 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:1-3).

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