Friday, February 5, 2010

What is a promise for a Christian?

I was thinking about this yesterday. When I say something is a promise for a Christian, I mean you can bank on it. So, when God promises grace in baptism, we can bank on the fact it is there. When God says "This is my body..given for you..." we can bank on receiving his body given for us. When Christ says through the pastor "I forgive you all your sins" it is as real as the air we breathe and the ground we walk upon.

So, what kinds of things are not promises for the Christian? That we will be happy, healthy, wealthy or powerful. That there will be little or no strife in the Church or in our families. That we will see peace in our day. Nor is it assurance we will be saved on the last day no matter what. The former things I mentioned are what we receive from Christ, while the latter are what we receive here on earth. God does not promise us a rose garden, but he does promise eternal life for all who believe.

And you can bank on that.


Steve Martin said...


When God makes a promise, you can bank on it,

He wants us to have assurance of those promises and be comforted by them, so He attached those promises to tangible things (water, bread and wine - visable Word)that we could actually touch, taste, smell, as well as hear those promises.

What a great God we have!

Thanks, Ed! Keep on keepin' on!

Edward Reiss said...


God's attachment of his promises to material things is a great, great comfort. I was reading Hermann Sasse today and he made the point that even the verbal preaching of the Gospel is carried by material things--the vocal chords and the air--and that they are the words of promise, the Gospel.

The parallels with communion should be obvious.

Steve Martin said...

Right, Ed.

God uses conduits to carry His grace and mercy to us.

He certainly kmows better than to leave it up to us to figure it out, or conjur it up.

Darlene said...


I came to your blog for the first time today. So do I understand correctly that you were once a Calvinist? Was that a 5 point supralapsarian Calvinist?

Edward Reiss said...


I was never a Calvinist. I was brought up RC, dabbled in Evangelicalism and then became Lutheran.

Darlene said...

Gotcha, Ed. Me thinks I've got you confused with another Lutheran. :0

Hmmm....screws head on properly.

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