In Chapter 8 "The Scriptures and the Promises" of Profiting from the Word, A.W. Pink reminds Christians that "[w]hile the natural intellect is capable of perceiving much of their [Divine promises] greatness, only the renewed heart can taste their ineffable preciousness." As part of my family devotional study of this book, I've decided to post my thoughts chapter by chapter and to include portions from the book that are helping me improve my daily Bible reading and study. You can read my notes from Chapter 1 here, Chapter 2 here, Chapter 3 here, Chapter 4 here, Chapter 5 here, Chapter 6 here, and Chapter 7 here.
A man profits from the Word of God when he:
- Perceives to whom God’s promises belong--"There can be no intercourse between the thrice holy God and sinful creatures except through a Mediator who has satisfied Him on their behalf. Therefore must that Mediator receive from God all good for His people, and they must have it at second hand through Him. A sinner might just as well petition a tree as call upon God for mercy while he despises and rejects Christ. Both the promises and the things promised are made over to the Lord Jesus and conveyed unto the saints from Him."
- Labors to own God’s promises--"Not only must I search the Scriptures to find out what has been made over to me by the everlasting covenant, but I need also to meditate upon the promises, to turn them over and over in my mind, and cry unto the Lord for spiritual understanding of them. The bee would not extract any honey from the flowers as long as he only gazed upon them. Nor will the Christian derive any real comfort and strength from the Divine promises until his faith lays hold of and penetrates to the heart of them."
- Recognizes the blessed scope of God’s promises--"They believe in God, after a fashion, for things spiritual, and for the life which is to be; but they totally forget that true godliness hath the promise of the life which now is, as well as that which is to come. To them it would seem almost profanation to pray about the small matters of which daily life is made up...'Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come' (1Tim 4:8). Reader, do you really believe this, that the promises of God cover every aspect and particular of your daily life?"
- Correctly discriminates between God’s promises--"While God’s promises proceed from pure grace, yet it ever needs to be remembered that grace reigns 'through righteousness' (Rom 5:21), and never sets aside human responsibility. If I ignore the laws of health I must not be surprised that sickness prevents my enjoying many of God’s temporal mercies: in like manner, if I neglect His precepts I have myself to blame if I fail to receive the fulfillment of many of His promises. Let none suppose that by His promises God has obligated Himself to ignore the requirements of His holiness: He never exercises one of His perfections at the expense of another. And let none imagine that God would be magnifying the sacrificial work of Christ were He to bestow its fruits upon impenitent and careless souls."
- Makes God’s promises his support--"This is one reason why God has given them to us; not only to manifest His love by making known His benevolent designs, but also to comfort our hearts and develop our faith...Our tender Father planned that we should enjoy His gifts twice over: first by faith, and then by fruition. By this means He wisely weans our hearts away from things seen and perishing, and draws them onward and upward to those things which are spiritual and eternal...Faith looks to the Word promising, hope looks to the performance thereof."
- Patiently awaits the fulfillment of God’s promises--"There is often a long and hard winter between the sowing-time of prayer and the reaping of the answer...Many of the best of God’s promises to His people will not receive their richest accomplishment until they are in glory. He who has all eternity at His disposal needs not to hurry. God often makes us tarry so that patience may have 'her perfect work' (Jam 1:4), yet let us not distrust Him."
- Makes a right use of God’s promises--"First, in our dealings with God Himself. When we approach unto His throne, it should be to plead one of His promises. They are to form not only the foundation for our faith to rest upon, but also the substance of our request. We must ask according to God’s will if we are to be heard, and His will is revealed in those good things which He has declared He will bestow upon us...Second, in the life we live in the world. In Hebrews 11:13...They acknowledged (and by their conduct demonstrated) that their interests were not in the things of this world; they had a satisfying portion in the promises they had appropriated. Their hearts were set upon things above (Col 3:2); for where a man’s heart is, there will his treasure be also (Matt 6:21)."
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust," (2 Peter 1:4).