The Promises of God

The promises of God find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ. “IN HIM,” they find their “yea” and “amen.” The things that were once “hidden” are revealed in the life, words, death, resurrection, and exaltation of the Son of God, the one in whom all the shadows and types prefigured in the Hebrew Bible are actualized. All God’s “mysteries” are laid bare for all men to see in the Nazarene, especially in his death and resurrection.

Cascading river - Photo by Derek Sutton on Unsplash
[Photo by Derek Sutton on Unsplash]

In this new messianic era, the nation of Israel was not “replaced” by the New Covenant people of God. Instead, the original promise to Abraham to bless “
all the nations” came to fruition as Jews AND Gentiles were united in Jesus to form one new people, “one new man”- (Romans 16:25, Galatians 2:28, 2 Corinthians 1:19-2:0).

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is presented as the promised Messiah who came to fulfill “all the Law and the Prophets,” and FULFILLMENT IN HIM is a key theme in Matthew’s account. What was “written” beforehand comes to fruition in him - (Matthew 1:22, 2:15, 2:17, 2:23, 4:17, 5:17-20, 8:17, etc.).

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is the true Tabernacle in whom the unveiled glory of God resides. “Grace instead of grace” arrived in the “word become flesh.” Though the Law came through Moses, “Grace and truth came to be in Jesus.” He is the true Temple, the place where the presence of Yahweh is found rather than in any building “made with hands,” whether in Jerusalem or anywhere else - (John 1:14-18, 2:19-21).

The time has arrived for the true worshippers to worship God “in the Spirit and truth.” The old limitations of holy space and holy time no longer apply. With his arrival, all debates about where to locate the Temple have become moot - (John 4:23-24).

Likewise, the ancient feasts of Israel find their significance in the Son of God. He is the true “living bread from heaven” that imparts life, not the manna given by Moses in the wilderness - (John 6:50-51, 7:37-39).

According to the Book of Acts, when the Day of Pentecost was “FULLY FILLED UP,” the Spirit was poured out on the saints who were gathered “with one accord” in Jerusalem. Peter proclaimed this was the promised Gift of the Spirit predicted by the prophet Joel for “the Last Days.” The “Promise of the Father” was given to Jesus upon his exaltation; therefore, he now bestows the Spirit on his true disciples - (Acts 2:16-21, Joel 2:28-30).


In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul explains that Jesus came to “redeem us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse in our behalf.” This was so “the blessing of Abraham should come to the Gentiles.”

The covenant promises were to Abraham and his “seed,” and that “seed” is none other than Jesus of Nazareth. The original Covenant always envisioned the inclusion of the Gentiles, the “NATIONS,” and this has been achieved through the death and resurrection of the Son of God - (Galatians 3:13).

The Law of Moses served as a “custodian” UNTIL the time of fulfillment when the “seed” came. But now, the time of “custodianship” has ceased. Jesus, the true “seed” of Abraham, is the “end of the Law for righteousness to all who believe” - (Galatians 3:19-25, Romans 10:4).

Thus, the Law was an INTERIM STAGE BETWEEN PROMISE AND FULFILLMENT. The Son came in the “fullness of time” to redeem those who were under the Law. Consequently, for those who are “in Christ,” no longer can there be “Jew or Greek, bond or free, male and female.”

The social and ethnic distinctions inherent in the Mosaic Law have no place in the New Covenant community. All who have “put on Christ” are one in him, and all are now “Abraham’s children, and according to promise, heirs” - (Galatians 3:26-29, 4:4-7, Colossians 3:11).

To again observe “days, months, seasons and years” as required by the Torah amounts to submission to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits” that previously tyrannized us. If we do so, effectively, we exchange the Spirit of God and the liberty he bestows for the death-dealing letter of the Law with its ever-present curse on all men who do not do all that it requires - (2 Corinthians 3:6-7, Galatians 3:10, 4:8-10, 5:1-3).

God has spoken with great finality, “Upon these last of days in His Son.” Previously, He spoke partially - Here a little, there a little. The earlier word was true but promissory, preparatory, and partial. But now, He has spoken fully and definitively in Jesus, the only one who “achieved the purification of sins” – (Hebrews 1:1).

His priesthood surpasses the Aaronic priesthood. His sacrificial death achieved what no repeated animal sacrifice could ever do. Jesus is the “guarantee of a better covenant, one legislated on better promises” and his endless resurrection life.

If the first covenant had been “faultless,” there would have been no need for another. This vastly superior New Covenant has rendered the old one obsolete, including its sacrifices, calendrical observations, and other rituals - (Hebrews 8:4-10:18).


The old system constituted “glimpses and shadows of the heavenly realities,” mere patterns of the real and now permanent originals. “Let no one, therefore, be disqualifying you in eating and in drinking, or in respect of a feast, new moon and Sabbaths, which were SHADOWS OF THE COMING THINGS, but the substance is of the Christ” - (Colossians 2:9-17, Hebrews 8:1-7, 9:9-10, 9:23-24).

In Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles receive their “introduction in one Spirit to the Father,” therefore, no longer are they “strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God.”

God has dismantled the earlier “wall of partition” that separated Jews and Gentiles so that “the two he might create in himself into one new man” - (Ephesians 2:14-22).

The Body of Christ is composed of believers in Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles, who are now “resident aliens” and “sojourners” in this world, a people without a national homeland that possess the incorruptible inheritance of salvation and the promise of resurrection in the coming age.

The Apostle Peter strung together several appellations that originally applied to Israel but now are inherited by the church of Jesus Christ:

  • But now, in Christ Jesus, you are the living stones being built up into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices well-pleasing to God, through Jesus Christ… You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a peculiar treasure,” a people that “at one time were a no-people but now are the people of God” - (1 Peter 2:4-10, Exodus 19:5-6).

Thus, the theme of fulfillment IN JESUS is found throughout the New Testament. In HIM, “all the promises of God are Yea and Amen!”

God defeated Sin, Satan, and Death on the Cross, not on the altar of the Temple in old Jerusalem. The “mystery of God” that was hidden in past ages has been revealed in His Son, and especially so in the proclamation of “Christ crucified” - (Romans 16:25, 1 Corinthians 2:1-9, 2 Corinthians 1:19-20).

Since the substance of God’s promises and the disclosure of His everlasting “mysteries” are available in His Son to everyone who believes, and freely so, it would be foolhardy in the extreme to return to the types and shadows of the old and incomplete revelation for knowledge and illumination about the Creator of All Things.



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