PARTAKERS OF HIS PROMISE
"Partakers of his promise." Ephes. 3:6
The Divine promise has always been the chief inheritance of the people of God. Their earthly state is always inferior, limited, and unsatisfying. Their hearts are constantly desiring something beyond the earth. Accordingly, they have always had the Divine promise as their comfort and their chief possession. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were heirs together of the same promises. All the earlier saints were thus looking forward, not having received the promises in their fulfillment. God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. The great promise to them was a Savior. It still is so. A Savior to us; that is salvation--a personal Savior. The possessions of man are his attainments, and his expectations. A Christian's attainments are very little--his expectations constitute his main and most important wealth. These are Divine promises. They are all partakers of the same great and precious promises. For the accomplishment of these, they wait, and look, and labor. Am I a partaker of these blessed promises?
1. I owe it all to grace. The promise is a Divine gift--a most precious and important gift. It was given to me when I was lost in sin. My expectations and views were all earthly. I had no knowledge of heaven, and no desire for heavenly things. But what a change it wrought in my condition! What a prospect it opened upon my soul! How fully it meets all my needs and desires! How elevated it has made my condition! I am no longer merely of the earth, earthy. I have an inheritance and hopes above. Surely I can never be grateful enough, or love enough, in return. I can never be too humbled under a sense of my need and unworthiness. Having received such a Savior, and such a promised salvation, I ought to live in a spirit of constant gratitude and devotion, deeply feeling my sinfulness--giving constant praise and glory to God.
2. My condition is a sure one, and I ought to be happy. With such a promise ever before me, cheerfulness especially becomes me. The whole influence of the gospel is designed to produce this. He has thus redeemed me, that I might serve him without fear before him, in all my life. I would let the world see, that my joy is real and is sufficient. I have no need to go to the giddiness of the world to be happy. God, who has given me his promise, cannot be defeated in his plans. How perfectly happy then is the influence of his gospel! Everything done--settled forever, by an Almighty Savior and Friend, in the very way most of all desirable to me! There is no room for anziety or despondency. Thanksgiving becomes me always. What is there to compare with such a state? I have not a trial, but I have a corresponding promise. Every page of the Bible contains some promise of good for me; and earth has no sorrow that heaven in this way cannot cure.
3. My state is a most exalted one, and I ought to be holy. Nothing else can be consistent with it. All my prospects, companions, relationships, require me to be holy. All unite to urge me to walk with God in newness of life--to become conformed to the image of God in all things. That is holiness, to be like God. That is his plan, that I should be an imitator of God as one of his dear children. Every earthly influence opposes it. But the Divine promise sustains and encourages me. This holds out a constant prospect of victory and success. Am I at sea? I am sure of a haven of rest. Am I on a journey? I am certain of my glorious and peaceful home. Oh let me not be cast down or entangled in the world. Let me not be drawn aside by its rebellions. The promises lead me to be watchful, to pray, to live near to God, to be active in his service and earnest to do his will. No temptation or difficulty comes to me for which there is not a blessed promise provided.
4. I have a blessed inheritance, and my affections ought to be fixed upon it. I have a kingdom which cannot be removed. An unchangeable God has promised it to me. Oh, let me think of it--meditate upon it--consider it a reality--strive to live in the influence of it. Surely I may live in the world with heavenly affections. I may have my real treasure and possessions above. I would have it so. I would walk and live under the influence of a truly spiritual mind. Let me dread a mere formal religion, a mere self-righteous confidence. I would love to have a mind to think of God, and that loves to think of him, and desires to be like him in all things. I am sure this is far the happiest life. No life can be happier than that which is thus governed by heavenly affections. The promises cover all this. God will give me the mind I seek. He desires to impart it. He will lead my hopes and my desires more and more above. And I shall thus be walking according to my high vocation, and preparing for the enjoyment of his glory.
5. These are traits which become the partakers of Divine promises--humble gratitude, religious cheerfulness, consistent holiness, and heavenly affections. Let me constantly seek these happy features in myself. Let me earnestly labor to acquire them, and carry them out continually. Thus shall the promises be more and more my comfort and my support. I shall rejoice in hope. I shall be saved by hope. I shall grow in holiness and in grace, as I gain a brighter and a clearer hope.
I would not live for worldly joy,
Or to increase my earthly good;
My passing days and hours employ
To spread a sounding name abroad.
For you, my Savior, would I live,
For you, who for my ransom died;
Nor could untainted Eden give
Such bliss as blossoms at your side.