When I was back in Atlanta for a summer during my college years, I saw an advertisement promising a $5000 income for summer work. When I went to the recruiting seminar I didn’t realize that their lead salesman was selling us on selling cutlery! So, in addition to taking a couple of summer courses I went to the training seminar and was unleashed with my demonstration kit of deluxe knives, forks and spoons. It wasn’t long before it became obvious that the only way to earn the promised income was to be giving one presentation after the other, day in and day out … But we had to find and schedule our own potential customers. Needless to say, I earned nowhere near the advertised goal. However, I gained some life experience … and a set of Cutco cutlery.
In a world filled with unreliable and distorted claims, we need discernment. We can find spiritual security and guidance by claiming God’s promises. The apostle Peter assured us,
“[We have been given] exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).
When Paul’s had to delay his visit to Corinth during his third missionary journey, some people complained that his change of plans implied that he was undependable. But Paul explained how his delay was motivated by his concern for the welfare of the Corinthian church; he wasn’t vacillating (1 Cor. 1:17,23).
The affirmations in 2 Corinthians1:17-23 answer the question: Why should we depend on God’s Word?
1. The God’s Promises are affirmed by the Father.
“But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For all the promises of God in Him [Christ] are Yes…(2 Cor. 1:18,20a).
The writer of Hebrews also declares the reliability of God’s promises:
“For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.’ And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things [His character and His oath], in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” (Heb. 6:13-19a).
God is trustworthy!
2. God’s promises are verified by the Son.
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us–by me, Silvanus, and Timothy–was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:19,20).
And elsewhere the apostle wrote, “Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers” (Rom. 15:8).
The Lord Jesus Christ is trustworthy!
3. God’s promises are guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.
“God who brings us, with you, into close union with Christ, and who consecrated us, Also set his seal upon us, and gave us his Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of future blessings” (2 Cor. 1:21,22 TCNT).
Paul repeated this assurance to the Ephesians, “having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13,14).
The Holy Spirit is trustworthy!
..Therefore, we can have confidence in grace-based salvation.
Reginald Wallace testified,
“It stands to reason that true faith must have a sound basis. It is not credulity or natural speculation, or a mere conjecture of human thinking. Living faith has no less a foundation than the unchanging, inviolate, and inspired truth of God. ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ The Scriptures testify of the Lord Jesus. Faith is confidence in a living Person. The Word not only proclaims a complete salvation based upon a perfect atoning sacrifice, but gives the absolute assurance of present and eternal possession. 
..We can also have confidence in grace-based sanctification.
In The Revived Life, the author rightly observed,
“In the entire fruit bearing process, it is vital to realize that Christ himself is formed in the personhood of the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 4:19). Christian consecration is not mimicking Jesus. Christ’s own life is actually formed within and expressed through the surrendered, abiding child of God. Strictly speaking, we Christians are never to be an imitation of Christ. Attempting to imitate Jesus in one’s own strength can soon degenerate into legalism if not outright humanism. Rather, we are to be an embodiment of our lovely Lord. In that way alone God can glorify himself, because only in that manner does the Christian reflect his Son and hence bear his fruit. In simplest terms, we live the exchange life, the Christ life for the self-life.”
It’s no exaggeration that heaven and earth will pass away, but Christ’s Words will transcend time (Matt. 24:35). Opinions may vary and emotions may fluctuate, but God’s promises are assured in Christ Jesus. Yes and amen!
Reginald Wallace, The New Venture (Neptune,NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1935),4-5.
Lewis A. Drummond, The Revived Life (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1982), 142.
Italics in biblical quotations indicate emphasis added.-JBW
Copyright 2016 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Please credit the author and GraceNotebook.com. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Since the early 1990s, Christians all over the world have been singing the songs of modern-day psalmist Dennis Jernigan, including “You Are My All in All,” “Thank You, Lord!” and “When I Fell in Love with You.” His music and ministry, sparked by his lifelong struggle with homosexuality and the healing that came through his relationship with Jesus Christ, have led him on a remarkable journey of redemption. There’s an excellent movie on his life and testimony: www.singovermemovie.com/