What does it mean to not only know about, but trust in the only One who cannot lie?
That’s the question longtime pastor and author O.S. Hawkins seeks to answer in his latest book, The Promise Code, which dives deep into the pages of Scripture to explore 40 promises that change the way believers engage with the Bible.
In the latest volume from his bestselling “Code Series,” including The Bible Code, The Passion Code, The James Code, and The Joshua Code, Hawkins offers readers a look at God's greatest promises to His people, how we know we can trust them, and the context and meaning that's often missed or misunderstood about each of them.
Each of the book’s 40 entries contains a Bible promise, a reading that illuminates that promise, and a suggested prayer that can help guide readers to remember God's promises throughout the week.
Hawkins told The Christian Post he wrote the book to help people begin the “great adventure” of living by the promises of God, especially in light of the midterm elections.
“We hear a lot of promises from a lot of politicians. … Promises made, they’re appreciated,” he said. “But promises kept are what mean the most. It’s one thing to make a promise, quite another thing to keep it.”
For Hawkins, there’s a key distinction between the Bible’s precepts — guiding principles or rules that govern or influence our conduct, such as the Ten Commandments — and its promises, which, said Hawkins, is the assurance that someone will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will come to pass.
“It’s one thing to read the Bible and struggle with its precepts, but it’s quite another thing to believe the Bible and stand up on its promises,” he said. “That’s what God calls us to do.”
Much of what determines whether someone will keep their promise is based on their character, Hawkins added.
He used the example of a known thief who stands before a judge: when that thief promises never to steal again, Hawkins says the judge is never going to believe that promise based on the thief’s character.
“How can we know that the Bible, the promises God gives us, are true? Because of His character,” he explained. “His Word is His bond, and our Bibles are laced with promises He’s made to us.”
According to Hawkins, many of the promises found in Scripture are unconditional. He points to the Flood of Noah’s day and the ensuing promise God made through the sign of the rainbow never to flood the Earth again.
There’s also the promise of Jesus in Chapter 14 of the Gospel of John, where He promises to come again to receive His people to Himself.
But other promises, Hawkins pointed out, are conditional, including forgiveness of sin, which God promised to do on the condition we confess our sins — or “say the same as God says,” as Hawkins put it.
Hawkins said sin is so serious that it “put Christ on the cross.”
“So when we agree with God that we have sinned, then we confess our sin, He is faithful and just and the promise is He will cleanse us from all righteousness,” he said.
A Southwestern Baptist Seminary alum who recently retired as president of GuideStone Financial Resources — the insurance and retirement arm of the Southern Baptist Convention — Hawkins also pastored the historic First Baptist Dallas (1993-1997).
Proceeds and royalties from The Promise Code and other books in the Code Series go to benefit Mission:Dignity, a ministry of GuideStone started under Hawkins’ tenure that assists retired ministers and their widows who are in need, according to Hawkins.
Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.