A Heritage of Promise

This blog was shared as closing comments to the Doxa Dance Ministry performances of A Heritage of Promise, April 25-27, 2024 at Paramount Baptist Church.

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

So Paul says, in the fifteenth chapter of his first letter to the Corinthian church, as he lays out the argument for the promised resurrection of believers. He proves this coming resurrection by asserting that the doctrine hinges on the reliability of Christ’s resurrection. If Christ did not rise, our faith is futile and we are still in our sins. If Christ did not rise, the believers we have lost to death have perished (v 18). If Christ did not rise, all hope is lost.

But as Peter, James, John, and his other disciples tell us clearly from the witness-laden pages of the New Testament — Jesus did rise again. Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus (who tasted firsthand this Christ’s resurrection power) know for sure. Many other friends and followers and those touched by his earthly ministry cannot help but add their voices to the refrain — He’s alive! He is not dead.

And this, this very truth, is the key. It is what allows us to look back over the whole of Scripture and declare with absolute certainty that this God keeps His promises. Because in fact, Jesus is the promise He was making over and over again.

Jesus is the David to come, the king who will sit on the throne forever and who will slay the giant of death that torments the people of God. He is God our Shepherd who sings over us and quiets us with His love.

Jesus is the great Deliverer, the one who frees His people from bondage to their sin and makes a way through the waters and the desert. A baptism into new life for those who follow His voice and trust in His provision.

Jesus is the promised heir, the seed to bless all nations, the light of the world. And His brothers and sisters — fellow heirs of the promise — they outnumber the stars of the heavens. How can it be that they, we, are also heirs with Him? Have we earned our inheritance through great sacrifice and service? No. It would cost our very lives, our blood, just to pay the debt for our disobedience! But Christ, the ram caught in the thicket, provided by the Almighty, is our substitute. You see, Abraham learned that this God is unlike all of the pagan deities and mystical claims of the religions he knew — rather than demanding appeasement from the people and their children, He himself provides the payment! He himself provides the payment — what kind of god does that? Therefore, He can deem all who will trust in this provision to be righteous and free.

And Jesus is the one who ushers in the New Creation, the life to come. He is our ark on the floodwaters, hemming us in and covering us as the wrath and justice of a holy God is poured out on all wickedness and sin. This cleansing is coming again and we must ask ourselves, will I be found in Christ, hidden in Him? God has kept His prismatic promise to Noah, and though evil has filled the earth once more, He has never again wiped away all of His creation with a flood. And the Holy Spirit tells us through the apostle Peter why, though His coming judgment has been foretold for millennia, He has stayed His hand this long: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” You see, He wants all of His image bearers to know Him and to live.

Because Jesus is in fact, the second Adam. The first was created to reflect God’s image to the creation but failed, and was exposed and ashamed. But the second Adam has not failed. He was exposed and humiliated in our place, so that we may be clothed with His righteousness. Just as God clothed Adam and Eve through a sacrifice to cover their shame, so He covers us in the righteousness of Christ, who died on our behalf. In the garden, God promised the seed of the woman would crush that lying serpent’s head, and in Christ we have our serpent crusher. God keeps His promises, from beginning to the end.

So the question is: will we add our voices to the testimony of the saints, to bear witness to this promise keeping, death defeating Savior? Will we recognize that we have this faith handed down to us through the ages, and are carriers of this gospel truth, this brilliant message of God’s promises kept and to come? Will we tell our children and raise them to trust Christ and love Him above all? Will we teach our nieces and nephews, our friends and peers, our colleagues, our teachers; will we testify to our friends, our enemies, our leaders, our neighbors?…this is life itself. Jesus Christ, God the Son, has come to set you free and give you life forever. Believe in Him; trust Him; follow Him.

Once again, Paul says it better - hear this charge from second Corinthians chapter 4, starting in verse 4 — “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” … verse 13…”Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

I implore you, if you do not know Him, come to Him today. He is waiting with open arms and wants you to be counted among the redeemed. And if you do know Him, then open your mouth and declare with your words and your life — This God is Worthy of All our Allegiance and Praise; He Is Steadfast and True. To Him be the Glory Forever. Amen.

Written by Brittanie Wooten


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