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The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word Kindle Edition
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Since many readers do not fully understand some of the terminology so common to biblical characters, Sproul opens his text with a brief primer on the meaning of the word covenant. He writes, "Biblical covenants have elements of promise, one thing makes them different from these other kinds of agreements --- biblical covenants are established on the basis of a divine sanction. That is, they are established not on the foundation of promises made by equal parties, but on the foundation of the divine promise of God. In the biblical covenants, it is God who declares the terms and makes the promises." Covenants made among individuals, governments and rulers, where those involved agree to a specific set of rules or behavior, are not on the same plane as biblical covenants between God and man.
Sproul also makes the point about the difference between Old Testament and New Testament covenants, and how confusion often creates lots of unnecessary squabbling and discussion. He notes that when individuals talk about these two types of covenants, they are not speaking about the concept of the testament but about a period of time. When believers refer to the Old Testament covenant, they are talking about what God promised to do after the fall.
Readers will discover in-depth information about these covenants: the covenant of redemption, the creation covenant, the Noahic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, the Davidic covenant, the New covenant, and the Christ of the Covenant. Throughout this 14-chapter text, Sproul includes a handy and detailed study guide for further discussion and study. It includes a brief introduction to the specific covenant, scripture readings, a learning objective, a quotation, and then a comprehensive outline, followed by study questions, bible study and discussion questions, and a suggested reading list. All these study tools will aid even the most novice biblical scholar in unpacking these covenantal truths.
THE PROMISES OF GOD is important because too many Christ followers have abandoned a serious study of the Old and New Testament promises, which adversely affects their belief, trust and faith in a God they do not truly understand. Sproul brings a frequently dry topic to life and offers readers a lively and engaging setting in which to study these foundational Christian truths.
Reviewed by Michele Howe
Sproul takes the reader from Creation to Consummation and shows how the covenant is at the heart of Biblical revelation. Sproul spends a chapter (or multiple) on each of the main covenants in Scripture: Redemption, Creation/Works, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New Covenant. He also starts with a chapter explaining what a covenant is and finishes by highlighting how the covenants all point directly to Christ.
The Promises of God is released by publisher David C. Cook and, if I understand correctly, this book kicks off a series of books that Sproul and David C. Cook will be putting out with a unique format. The Promises of God is setup with a built in study guide at the end of each chapter. Where many books will offer questions to consider and further readings to pursue, or some books even have pretty in-depth study guides you can purchase separately or may be included at the end, this is the first book I have read with this type of built in study feature.
I am usually not too concerned with study guides to books. I do not know why but they usually do not interest me. It is the same thing with reflection or study questions included at the ends of chapters. It is not that I am against them or find them superfluous or anything of the sort. I am usually just uninterested. I cannot say the same for this book. The study guide is really cool! It is set up with an introduction, Scripture readings, a learning objective, quotation, detailed outline of the chapter, study questions, Bible study/discussion questions and suggested further readings. It is just a couple of pages, but it is extremely helpful for digesting the topic covered.
The chapters themselves are short and to the point. Sproul shares some anecdotes and expounds quite a bit on some points, but he is very straightforward and does not waste much time getting to the meat of the topics. While I enjoyed books like Sacred Bond and God of Promise, both were a bit advanced for a genuine newcomer to Covenant theology. The Promises of God is a great place to start for anyone seeking to understand the importance of covenant in interpreting Scripture and seeing the role of covenant in redemptive history.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com for review purposes.
From the Back Cover: What Promises Can You Believe?
We hear a lot these days about promises. Most of the time, we focus on promises to each other, rather than on God’s promises. But as we all know, human promises fail time and again.
In The Promises of God, Dr. R. C. Sproul shows how God—the one true Promise Keeper—always keeps His promises. Drawing from his expansive theological background, Dr. Sproul addresses questions such as these:
· How do we know that God will fulfill His promises to us?
· What can we learn about God’s faithfulness as we wait for His promises to be fulfilled?
· What was the agreement God the Father had with Jesus before the beginning of the world?
· What does God’s covenant with Adam mean for us today?
· What common covenant do atheists and other non-Christians participate in with God?
· What does God’s covenant have to do with His forgiveness of our sins today?
· Why did Jesus have to die to complete God’s covenant with us?
God’s promises throughout history are the foundation for your relationship with Him. Here you will see how and why He keeps His promises to you, from now through eternity.
We make promises to each other however there are times when we cannot fulfill these promises. Most of us try to fulfill as many as possible while others fail miserably at keeping just a few. When God makes a promise it is to every person for all time only He calls it a covenant. In fourteen chapters, beginning with, “The Meaning Of Covenant” Dr. Sproul walks us through every covenant, what it meant when it was first made and what it means to us today. In Chapter Fourteen, “The Christ Of The Covenant” Dr. Sproul finishes by highlighting how the covenants all point directly to Christ. Each chapter is set up with a built-in study guide at the end. It is time we rooted ourselves firmly on the promises God has made. Not only will it give us a sense of security it will also provide us with the ability to reach out to others to give them the same security. ”The Promises Of God” is a must have book. It is a must have for you because you will read it once, stash it on your bookshelf and come back to it again and again for refreshing. It is a must have for your friends and family so that they can do the exact same thing. We all need to learn and understand and who better than Dr. Sproul to help us with that understanding. I recommend this book highly!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from David C. Cook for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
All in all enjoyable and informative.
Each chapter explains one of God's covenants by explaining its origin in Old Testament and how it relates to our redemption by illustrating it thru all three persons of the Trinity. The book is perfect for the individual reader or to read in a group. Each chapter also contains a study guide, recommendations of additional bible readings, learning objective, a bible quotation relevant to the chapter, an outline, study questions, additional bible study and discussion questions, and books suggested for further reading. The book is both informative and easy to read.
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