By Charles H. Welch

Promise. The Greek words epaggelia and epaggelma are translated "promise" and epaggellomai, exomologeomai and omologeo are translated by the verb "to promise". While there are a number of promises mentioned in the N.T. two features are characteristic of them all.

  1. They are "great and precious" (2 Pet. 1:4).
  2. They are a1l "yea and amen" in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20).

The promises of the N.T. are distributed under a number of headings of which the following is a fair presentation.

  1. The promise of the Holy Spirit, which took place at Pentecost. Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4. "The promise of My Father" or "the Father", Acts 2:33,39, "The promise of the Holy Ghost" and Galatians 3:14, "The promise of the spirit".

  2. The promise of the Coming of the Messiah.
    1. His First Advent (Acts 13:23,32).
    2. His Second Advent (2 Pet. 3:4,9).

  3. The promise made to Abraham.
    Romans 4:13,14,16,20, summed up in verse 16 as follows:

    "Therefore it is of faith that it might he by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all".

    Galatians 3:16,17, 18 and 21. In this presentation, the subject is divided under two headings.

    1. "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
    2. "And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. "

  4. The promises to Israel.
    Romans 9:4 and 8, show that these are Israel's prerogative and Ephesians two shows just as clearly that no promises were made to the Gentiles who were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise". In Romans 15:8 the Apostle makes another very important statement concerning the place of Israel in the mind and purpose of God, and which throws a vivid light upon the earthly ministry of tbe Saviour. "Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers". These promises inc1ude the hope of resurrection, as Acts 26:6-8 testifies.

  5. The promises upon which the New Covenant are based are said to be "better promises" , even as Christ is set forth as the Mediator of a "better covenant" (Heb. 8:6).

  6. The goal of the ages, which includes a new heaven and a new earth is based upon "His promise" (2 Pet. 3:13).

  7. The word promise in the Prison Epistles is never found in the plural. There is but one promise, and that a promise that was made before the age times. The believer is sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise (Eph. 1:13) which is not to be confused with the promise OF the Spirit as in Acts 1:4.

    The unique calling and constitution of the Church of the Mystery as revealed in Ephesians 3:6, is according to "His promise in Christ by the gospel" whereof Paul was made a minister. In 2 Timothy 1:1 we have "the promise of life", closely associated with the testimony of our Lord and of Paul His prisoner, and with the purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before age times, and with the abolishing of death and with the bringing to light of "life and immortality".

An Alphabetical Analysis

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