Posts Tagged With: divine sovereignty

Is God Sovereign over Everything?

Ask this question in a group and you will soon find out who has the gift of self-control and who does not. Sure to fire up emotions on all sides, we still have to try our best to think clearly and critically about it. My purpose is not to create a full-scale scholarly research paper here, but just to ask and answer the questions as simply as I am able.

I think this will get us to the heart quickly:

Q) Who is God and how do we know about Him?

A) He is who He says He is, and He reveals Himself in the pages of the Bible, alone (as far as written words go). The cosmos also tells us about His nature, power, and wisdom among other things.

Q) Is it possible for God to have created this cosmos, and yet not be sovereign over all things?

A) No. (I failed post-modernism 101).

Q) Has God relinquished His sovereign control over some things for a greater reason?

A) Ephesians 1:11 “We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will (HCSB).” So we see that God has retained His sovereign control over all things.

Q) Does this make us human beings robots without real choice? Is evil a reality outside of God?

A) We have real choices to make within the sovereign decrees of God, and evil is truly chosen by human beings – although God has foreseen and chosen to use the evil of free creatures as a part of His plan to bring all glory to Himself. He can do that.

Q) Can we absolutely comprehend the resolution between these seemingly exclusive elements?

A) Only if you are God.

Q) Can we be at peace with a God who allows suffering and evil to bring Himself glory?

A) Do we have a choice? Also, yes, because He is all-good, all-holy, and thankfully, perfect love. He is trustworthy and powerful to rule over evil, override it for His glory and our good, and punish it in accord with His justice.

Q) Isn’t this a bit like what infamous anti-theist Christopher Hitchens alluded to when he compared God’s rule in our world to living in a cosmic North Korea?

A) If you start with humans at the center of your worldview, maybe. If you start with the proper center of all things, namely God, and allow His self-revelation to inform your worldview, then absolutely not. He created us to share in His joy and eternality – our rebellion in sin is cause for just condemnation and punishment.

Q) Is there such a thing as hope?

A) I’m glad you asked. There is not only hope, but assurance of peace with God. All real hope is based on His own gracious initiative to send His divine Son to earth as a man; He lived the perfect life we could not live and paid the sin debt humanity could never pay. The Son of God, Jesus, who created the cosmos and rules it eternally, not only died as a man, but then rose from the dead days later, proving that He had paid the full sin debt of all people who would ever repent of their sin, trust in Him as their only hope, and follow Him as their treasure. There is hope because there is the forgiveness of sin available to any person – to all people everywhere.

Q) Isn’t that just your religion Justin?

A) In the same way that gravity is my law.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

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So You STILL think God is a merciful God?

I’ve been contemplating adding my little voice to the reactions concerning the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. After reading this sister’s eyewitness account from within the theater, I bow to her words. She has interpreted well.
Grace & Peace in Jesus,
-Justin

A MINIATURE CLAY POT

July 22 – a note of explanation

I’ve tried to leave this post just as it was originally written because it was a heartfelt response after a very traumatic experience.  But I’m sometimes clumsy with words and even when I think I am writing clearly, there is always the reader who doesn’t know my heart or doesn’t hear the words the way they were intended.

I feel as though a few people have taken what I said and twisted it. When I wrote my post on Friday, I had a grand total of eleven blog  followers. Yes, eleven. I generally post on facebook and have had a loyal little group of readers that numbered thirty or so. That is who I generally write for.  People who know me  know that I dislike talking on the telephone. I’d pretty much rather clean a toilet than spend time on the phone. I…

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Free Will or Freed Will?

An interpretation of the struggle between human-centered reasoning versus biblical truth concerning salvation:

You say “free-will!” I reply “freed-will in and by Christ.”

Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

You say “my choice, life or death.” I reply “our choices are always death until life is given from above.”

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You say “God does everything He can and leaves the rest up to us.” I reply “God does everything He wills to do.”

Psalm 115:3 Our God is in heaven, He does whatever He pleases.

Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.

You say “Love would not be real unless we were free to choose it.” I reply “divine love is superhuman in its rescuing us from our helpless, stubborn lovelessness.”

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

You say “We can have a relationship with God if we want to respond to His initiative.” I reply “His initiative is all our hope, nothing more.”

Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

By the way, what do you say?

To God alone be the glory, great things He has done... (and is doing)

Thanks for reading,

-Justin (celebrating his freed-will in and by Christ)

All Scripture quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV)

Categories: The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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