Two Kinds of Promises

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God has two kinds of promises: unconditional and conditional. Do you know the difference?

Joshua 23:14

The Bible records two kinds of promises from the Lord—unconditional and conditional. An unconditional pledge is one whose fulfillment rests solely with God; His commitment is independent of people and situations. An example would be His covenant never to send another flood to destroy the entire earth (Gen. 9:11). No matter how the world behaves, He will not take this action again.

The second type of divine promise is conditional. In other words, the Lord is willing to act under certain circumstances. It’s often written as an “if-then” statement and involves our cooperation. Let’s look at three conditional promises involving salvation, forgiveness, and wisdom.

  • Romans 10:9 tells us that salvation is promised to those who confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus is Lord. We are saved when we genuinely trust in the Savior.
  • If we come to the Lord with sincere confession of sin, we have the assurance of divine forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). The Lord’s fulfillment of this vow depends upon our obedient action.
  • James 1:5-6 instructs us to ask God for wisdom without doubting that we will receive it. If we approach the Lord with faith, then He will give us understanding.

God will do exactly what He’s promised. But He requires our obedient cooperation before fulfilling His conditional pledges. To receive the blessing, we must satisfy the conditions He has set. If you are waiting for the Lord to fulfill His promise, check to be sure you are carrying out your part.

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