THE FOUR PROMISES
Rescue | Freedom | Purpose | Joy
At Grace Valley, every group, event, and ministry is designed to help people receive rescue, freedom, purpose, and joy. These promises are based on Exodus 6:6-7, when God promises Moses that He would deliver the people of Israel from slavery. We believe that just as God fulfilled his promises for Israel, God has a plan to fulfill them for you through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Promise 1 - Rescue - “I will bring you out.”
God will rescue you from the penalty and punishment of sin.
The Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne — everything — to rescue the ones he loves. - Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible
The God who rescued Israel from Egypt (Exodus 15:2), Jonah from a fish (Jonah 2:9), David from death (Psalms 116:6), and soldiers from drowning (Acts 27:31), has a rescue plan to save you from sin and sin’s consequences.
We call God’s plan the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. Jesus's life, death, and resurrection are part of God’s divine rescue mission designed to give you the greatest promises of all: forgiveness for your sins, peace with God, and eternal life.
Just as Israel could not rescue itself from Egypt, you also cannot rescue yourself from sin’s consequences: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). “Salvation comes from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). You are rescued by grace alone, in faith alone, through Christ alone (Acts 13:38; Romans 4:3-5; 5:1, 16-17; Titus 3:7).
God enables you to receive Christ’s rescue through repentance, turning away from sin, and faith, turning towards Jesus. If you would like to learn more about God’s promise of rescue, you can send a message to one of our staff, group leaders, or shepherds. We would love to talk to you about the great promise of God’s rescue in Christ.
Promise 2 - Freedom - “I will liberate you.”
God will free you from the power and persistence of sin.
This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified. – Martin Luther
God brought Israel out of Egypt, but it took a much longer time to get Egypt out of Israel. Despite their physical liberation, they were not immediately free from Egyptian habits and patterns of thinking. Even after they settled in their new land, people like Solomon would be tempted to go back to Egypt, back to the way things were when they lived as slaves.
In the same way, Christians who have been rescued from the consequences of sin may find themselves continuing to return to their old sinful habits and behaviors. This is why God does not just promise to rescue you from sin’s penalty and punishment (justification). He also promises to free you from sin’s power and persistence (sanctification).
God fulfills this promise through the work of the Holy Spirit, who walks alongside you and empowers you to be holy, or set apart. (Rom. 8:13; 12:1–2; 1 Cor. 6:11, 19–20; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:22–24; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 13:20–21).
God also fulfills his promise of freedom through his people. James 5:16 states, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
At Grace Valley, we believe that groups are the best environments for you to experience freedom from sin’s power and persistence. Whether your struggles are spiritual, relational, emotional, physical, or even financial, we hope you will join a group that will help you to receive the promise of freedom from sin’s power and persistence.
Promise 3 – Purpose – “I will redeem you.”
God will call and equip you to accomplish his tailor-made plans for your life.
“The main question is not ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’ - Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Wounded Healer
The Israelites were not designed to make bricks as slaves for an Egyptian Pharaoh. Instead, they were created to live fruitful and productive lives. In the same way, God does not want you to waste your life slaving away gathering up temporary treasures and pleasures (see: Ecclesiastes). Instead, God promises to call and equip you to accomplish his tailor-made plans for your life.
At Grace Valley, we believe that one of the major ways God gives you a purpose is through your valley. While the valleys of life may seem meaningless, God promises to take them and transform them into purpose.
We see this happen with the people of Israel in Exodus 23:9, “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.” In a world where interacting with foreigners carried enormous risk, God called Israel to care for them. Why? Because they knew what it felt like to be foreigners, to be strangers in a strange land. In other words, God took Israel’s valley (oppression as foreigners) and gave it purpose (compassion to foreigners).
In the same way, God has a plan to take the valleys in your life, whether it be grief, divorce, the consequences of a sin, and turn them into a greater purpose. This is one of the powerful meanings of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Regardless of what circumstances you are in, God can take all things, even your valleys, and use them for his great purposes.
Promise 4 - Joy - “I will take you as my own people."
God will give you joy as a member of his family.
Joy is the serious business of heaven. - C.S. Lewis
God’s final promise to Israel is found in Exodus 6:7, “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” God not only promises Israel rescue, freedom, and purpose, but he promises to have a relationship with Israel as his people. In the same way, God promises to give you joy as a member of his family.
Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus celebrating around the table with those whom the world classified as “sinners,” those whom the Pharisees thought should not belong in God’s family. In Luke 15, as Jesus is eating and celebrating with such “sinners,” he tells three parables. One is about a lost coin, the other is about a lost sheep, and the final is about a lost son. In the first two stories, Jesus emphasizes the fact that the woman who lost the coin and the shepherd who lost the sheep celebrate because they have found what was lost.
In the final parable, Jesus tells about a son who loses everything. He wasted everything away, and was in desperate need of rescue, freedom, purpose, and joy. Near the end of the story, the prodigal's father receives his son, giving him rescue, freedom, and purpose by restoring his position in the family. After receiving his wayward son, he throws a party, celebrating with joy the fact of his son’s restoration and return. When he talks to the older brother, the father explains why they celebrate, “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:32).
The natural response to receiving the promises of rescue, freedom, and purpose is joy. At Grace Valley, we want to rejoice and celebrate with you as you receive each of these promises. Every time we gather as a church, whether it be on Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, or other special occasions, we gather to praise and rejoice in the Lord, knowing that he will be faithful to complete all these promises.