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God's Sovereignty Explained and Defended

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
March 29, 2020 7:00 pm

God's Sovereignty Explained and Defended

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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March 29, 2020 7:00 pm

The sermon, -God's Sovereignty Explained and Defended,- begins at 19-20.

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Good evening to you from the pulpit. Here, beacon Baptist Church, where thankful that you've been able to join us for our lifestream service on an offer getting accustomed to this nontraditional way of gathering, but were thankful for the technology that allows us to come together around the word of God and receive help, because these are days where we need help from God. There is an awful lot of things being said, that can provoke fear and the same time. I believe it's opportunity for the people of God to demonstrate a greater trust and dependence upon the Lord and to increase our ability to be salt and light and to give answers to people who are bewildered and full of fear and anxiety. Just this afternoon I picked up this bit of information that the government's top infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fosse has predicted the possibility that this pandemic could cause 200,000 deaths in this country. That's a long ways from where we presently are believers, 137,000 cases of the coronavirus and there are around 2400 people who have succumbed to the virus, but those the kinds of things were hearing and calls upon us to not be in fear, but same time. Be wise and to be careful and were taking those measures seriously were not. Gathering as a church we are submitting herself to the restrictions that are in place and are County and in Burlington restricting our ability to meet the thought of this hymn, particularly because of the opening phrase we often sing this hymn here at the church is entitled to sovereign protector. I have authored by Augustine's top lady is a sovereign protector. I have unseen yet forever at hand. That's I think what is troubling about this virus is its unseen. It's a an enemy that we cannot see but here were being reminded of a sovereign protector that we have unseen yet forever at hand unchangeable he faithful to say Almighty to rule and command. He smiles and my comforts are bound his grace is the do shell the sand and walls of salvation surround the soul.

He delights to defend, inspire, and here of prayer thou Shepherd and guardian of thine, my all to thy covenant care I sleeping and waking, resign, if thou art my shield and my son the night is no darkness to me and fast as my moments roll-on they bring me near to the and in the final stanza kind author and ground of my hope the the for my God I evolved my glad Ebenezer set up an own thou hast help me till now I muse on the years that are passed where in my defense, thou hast proved nor will thou relinquish at last a sinner so signally love. That's the kind of truth we need to fortify our minds with in these days you know it's balance that we need. We don't throw caution to the wind. We don't throw these warnings to the wind, I came across these words I trust God that I wear a seatbelt.

I trust God and lock my car in my house at night. I trust God, but have smoke detectors in my house.

I trust God, but take my prescribed medications.

I trust God, but will follow the prescribed guidelines to control the spread of the coronavirus so there's cause for fear but were not to give way to fear the trust are God in these uncertain times, difficult times, challenging times. They have upended all of life.

Our schedules are routines and some do better with that than others. I with you was setting it my dining room table was morning with Carly and we watched as listener after listener began to appear in a number in the lower left-hand corner of the screen before the service was over there were I think 215 people, 215 computers that had connected to the lifestream service so it's certainly not ideal card and I in particular, Miss the corporate singing great hymns of the faith that we rejoice to hear a song aloud and as we affirm our faith to one another and build one another up in this way were not able to do that but we have access to music in our homes. We have a piano and I have a lovely piano player and I love to hear her play him. So we are being ministered to and that way but thank you for joining us tonight. I believe more than ever we need to hear from God. We need to rely upon his word and that's what I intend to bring to you this evening church is going on in some degree where we were able to produce the the April edition of the beacon being a thousand or so people receive that in their mail to timely issue this month. Esther Barkman brought has an article hear thoughts about the coronavirus and some other articles here that are timely and relevant. I climbed the editor of the beam so I take the liberty to make additions and here is a short addition to the April beam by Paul David Tripp. He wrote this on Wednesday morning of this week. Around 5 o'clock in the morning and the title of it is how the Corona pandemic preaches the gospel listen to these four points that he makes, and again this is the whole devotional it's edited because of space and with permission. But listen how the Corona pandemic preaches the gospel number one this pandemic confronts the delusion of human independence and self-sufficiency. He writes we like to think as human beings that we are so advanced and capable, but look around. All it takes is a single virus to shut down the entire world. Let this time remind you that you were created to be dependent on the creator the development of spiritual maturity is him is a move from independence to greater dependence on God exposing our delusion of self-sufficiency is a painful thing but a good thing for number two. This pandemic makes God's sovereign power and amazing grace shine even brighter and moments where our helplessness is on full display. Isn't it. Isn't it amazing that God remains in careful control of his world. He is not confused or surprised by any of this is okay for us not to be able to reconcile what is happening but there is one who is not afraid of this moment, we won't always know why he does what he does. But we know who he is and we know what he has promised to his children. Third way the coronavirus preaches the gospel is that this pandemic reminds us that there is a greater darker and more dangerous pandemic sin.

Not everyone will test positive for the coronavirus, but everyone has been infected by sin, birth, Psalm 51 five behold, I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me. David said, sin is eternally more destructive than the coronavirus will ever be. But there is there is a known cure.

God looked at his world in awesome mercy and love and decided would not let us perish from this disease and then finally he says this pandemic reminds us that nothing in all of creation, can separate us from God and his boundless love, and yet points our attention to Romans chapter 8 verses 31 to 39. He says on Sunday.

Little Luella and I had had to attend church from our little television room. It was sad we couldn't greet our brothers and sisters hugged him warmly hear their voice in song and remind each other of the grace of the gospel were all feeling the effect of social distancing. But know this, your greatest friend your deepest lover in your sweetest companion knows no distance between him and you he draws, especially near to the lonely and the broken hearted in times like this, so this is one part of our beacon beam and if you have an interest you'd like to be put on the mailing list, please notify the church and would be happy to forward these monthly additions to you like to go to prayer before I do, let me just mention a couple of prayer requests that are seen more more urgent than others were asking you to pray for Bob Rose Bob and Nan in particular, Bobby is feeling physically and though passionate or talk to him this afternoon he was able to watch the service this morning but is growing weaker and and and is getting weaker in the demands or upon her, so please uphold Bob and aunt Rose in your prayers. George and Jones Ensign in your prayers as George battles cancer Stuart laws he is receive some encouraging news with insurance company concerning his liver transplant and were trusting that God will provide a liver for him in the surgery that's absolutely critically not needed for him this time and then Josh Boyd is in the hospital in Hillsboro with acute pancreatitis.

One other request and that is where concern for our brother Scott to Lori Scott's wife Emily amylin and their son Daniel left for the Philippines several weeks ago with the plan for Scott to join them, but with the travel band here and separated from his family.

So please uphold Scott in the situation in your prayers. Let me mention this is an announcement encourage the beacon Saints congratulations are in order. The Stephen Lori Gagnon on Steve announced the marriage of their daughter Sabrina Jonathan DeWalt will be living in Greenville, North Carolina, and then Matthew Hayes lip son of Scott and Arleigh slip married Vanessa Escamilla.

Both of these weddings were on Wednesday of this week. So remember these couples as they begin their life together that they will be able to honor the Lord and serve the Lord better as husband and wife than ever could. Being single we join me as we look to the Lord in prayer father. It is our joy to come before your matchless throne, rejoicing that as we come we encounter a sovereign God who is ruler of this world you've encouraged us to come and to come boldly and we can only do that as we come through the merits of your son, the Lord Jesus Christ. So we come pleading his blood and pleading.

His righteousness is our only ground of acceptance before you, but we do rejoice that your eyes are upon the righteous in your ears are open on our cry, Lord, we come seeking help for grace and mercy. In this time of need. Lord, it's through your mercies that we are not consumed.

We rejoice that your compassions fail not that they are new every morning and we can say the Lord is our portion. Therefore, we hope in him.

We thank you that your good to those who wait for you to the soul who seeks you and that it is indeed good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord, and in these times of uncertainty.

We rejoice that our lives can be anchored. The God who controls history in all events, the God who has ordained and is ordering things after the counsel of his own will. Lord, we don't pretend to know your mind and what you are doing one thing is certain that this coronavirus is captured the attention of the entire world. Lord I pray that you would cause great success for your gospel is people have been shaken and the foundation in which they been standing has proved to be sinking sand and not solid ground, we thank you that you are building your church and at the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We pray for great advances for the gospel, not only here in America but throughout this world, we thank you father that you do control all things. Nothing catches you by surprise, and that for your children. All of us who know you can say that these things are working for our good and for your own glory. Lord we mentioned some folks who are in special need tonight and we want to at this time intercede for them want to pray for Stuart Lavergne laws Laverne is with Stuart therein.

Johannesburg and Lord, we thank you for the way you've superintended Stewart's life these many years as he is suffered from liver disease and has been brought to the precipice really of death with growing cancer now. We thank you for the news that the insurance company has approved moving forward and we pray for that to be's speedily expedited and that is suitable liver donor can be found and that he can receive this liver and extend his life.

This is our prayer we ask that you would hear us, for Jesus sake are mindful of our brother Bob Rosen sister ran tonight and would ask that you draw near to them. In this ongoing trial. We pray that you would undergird and strengthened in bring comfort and bring fresh grace to them as they entrust themselves to you. We pray the same for George Jones, Ensign and for Josh Boyd is he's in the hospital with this acute pancreatitis would accomplish your will and his life. We pray and for Scott the lorries he's been separated from his wife and son Lord because your piece to rule and reign in his heart and in his wife and sons heart is there separated rejoicing and that there is no separation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We pray for these two couples who were wet this past Wednesday and ask that you would bless them and make them a blessing. Help them as they establish their homes that they would establish Christian home solid homes that they would live lives pleasing to you. Now, Lord, we've come together as the people of God to hear from you and I pray that you would help me as I preach and help all who are tuned in to listen and to listen carefully and to listen profitably. We know we have an adversary who would delight to come and steal away the good seed of the word of God frustrate his purposes tonight and cause your word to run tonight and be glorified. We pray in Jesus name, amen this message tonight came about as a response to what I heard a preacher say on the radio earlier this week at first.

Upon hearing what he said. I thought to myself that's not right, and upon further reflection upon what he said I thought he is expressing the modern false notion that so many people believe in our day and then very soon after those initial thoughts.

I was reminded of Paul's words to Timothy recorded in second Timothy chapter 3 verses 16 and 17 tell us this, that all Scripture is inspired by God and it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work and I weighed my responsibility upon hearing what I believe to be incorrect. My responsibility to correct what I heard because again, what I heard him say is pretty pretty common misunderstanding among many people and then as I turned to the Scriptures. I found these this provocation from God that made it clear to me that this was what I should preach about tonight.

So right after second Timothy 316 and 17 which I quoted to you. We have this in chapter 4 where Paul is writing to young Timothy nieces I charge you, therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom preach the word. Be ready in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort with all long-suffering and teaching for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, according to their own desires because they have itching years. They will heap up for themselves teachers and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables. But you, be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry, and I believe that charge applies to every gospel preacher and I take those words seriously, what was that misguided statement that I'm reacting against and am compelled to correct tonight while he was talking about what is captured the attention of the entire world coronavirus and he said a number of things and then he said this, I won't go so far as to say that God sent or allowed it. That is the coronavirus and is editor of our beacon beam. I thought to myself, well, I kind of puts me between a rock and hard place because Pastor Greg Barkman in the article that we printed in the April been truth for such a time as this asks the question is God responsible for coronavirus and then he says this. That is the most important question and the answer is yes, yes somebody's not representing the truth either. Pastor Greg Barkman is not standing on the side of truth or this radio preacher who will remain unnamed. He's not standing on the side of truth. The first thought that came to my mind when I heard him say I won't go as far as to say that God sent or allowed it is this will if God didn't send it or allow it. Who did.

Where did it originate. Where is its source in the alternative is not very encouraging, nor helpful from time to time you come across statements that are indicative of the culture in which we live, I came across the story of a popstar. I will again mention her name. She grew up in a Christian home and she says that as she grew up and became a teenager that she rebelled and went against everything she'd been taught but now as an adult. This is her response to advice that she got someone gave her this advice as an adult and this is what she said, quote, so I think now you are telling me that I'm allowed to redesign my relationship with God as an adult and make it how feels most accepting to make that would make me feel so blessed. Turned off by spirituality" and I thought about that statement. So misguided so immature, so wrong and the statement by the preacher and I thought you know it's preachers who say the things that this preacher said that gives impetus for people to believe what this popstar said that if we want accept the God of the Bible. What's are all what is our alternative or alternative is to redesign God more to our liking, so that we feel better about the God that we are projecting that's troubling to me because the only helper going to have is understanding the God of the Bible as he is revealed himself so tonight I want to begin by asking the question, how do we reconcile the statement that God didn't send the coronavirus or allow it with the clear declarations of Scripture and let me mention several to you Daniel chapter 4 verse 35 says all the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing he does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him what have you done Daniel 435 Psalm 135 in verse six the Lord does whatever pleases him in the heavens and out and on the earth in the seas and all their debts on a read lengthy portion because it contains the text of Scripture that I want to preach from this evening and I'm turning in my Bible to Ephesians chapter 1 in verse three, and I trust that you have Bible in front of you by your computer screen or copy of the Scriptures on your phone or whatever and when were gathered here in corporate worship. I usually wait until I hear the pages stopped turning get some kind of a sense that people have turned to that portion of the Scriptures because of what I'm convinced is needed is you don't need to hear from another man. You need to hear from the word of God, and that's my responsibility to declare thus saith the Lord. So I want you to be able to see what it is that I'm reading and what it is that I'm drawing your attention to. So Ephesians chapter 1. Let me begin to read in verse three Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace by which he made us accepted in the beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to his riches.

According to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence having made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth in him in him. Also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the clock to the counsel of his will that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of his glory in him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession to the praise of his glory. The focus of my sermon tonight is verse 11 in verse 11 we have these words in him. Also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the Council of his will, in the Greek verses three through 14 is one long run-on sentence. It's as if Paul is so overcome by the thoughts that come to him related to salvation that he can't stop me just keeps on keeping Ken keeps on and as you look at these verses and again it's not my intention to preach about the doctrine of salvation which is the focal point of this passage, but I want to draw your attention to just do a couple of things. The first thing I want you to draw your attention to is the pronouns that you find in verses three through 14. It would be good exercise for you to read this portion alone.

And if you're accustomed to marking your Bible take a highlighter or take some other some other way to note the pronouns that are mentioned in these verses as I've done that in my Bible. I count 23 pronouns that are references to God. This is what God is done. This is God's doing that salvation is all of God from beginning to end. He is the author and he is the finisher of our faith.

And then we see this repeated phrase.

Again, the subject is the grand work of salvation that God is wrought in Jesus Christ we have this repeated phrase three times in verses 12, 14 and 16 let me point them out to you but love the first one is in verse six is talking about predestination verse five, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace tells us why God did what he did. He did this to magnify the glories of his grace to the praise of the glory of his grace in verse six, verse 12 says that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of his glory, and then again in verse 14. Speaking of the Holy Spirit given as a seal to guarantee the promises that God is made to us in Christ. It says who that is the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession again to the praise of his glory, the praise of his glory that this is God's dealings.

This is God's working in again. I don't want to lose sight of the fact that Paul is talking about God working all things according to the counsel of his will that the context here is God's work in salvation the will of God as relates to the salvation that is been wrought in Jesus Christ and the application of that salvation to the elect of God mentioned earlier how much I'm missing the singing of the hymns here at the church. One of the great hymns we sang is relentless love and I love this first stanza of that him relentless love pursued my soul in ages past law undeserved unknown yet deep and vast God set his love on me on me in spite of me. Salvation's work is his from first to last that truth so resonates with our hearts as we been taught by the word of God concerning God being the author of our salvation.

So what I'd like to do is consider that latter half of verse 11 that speaks about the will of God. I like to look at it under four headings.

So let's examine the portion of text that speaks to this issue in question tonight about the will of God. Notice first with me the who of the text.

The who of the text it says having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will in my first question is what is the antecedent, antecedent, or who is the antecedent to who who is the one who works all things according to the Council of his will will take us all the way back to verse three, where Paul begins and says blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, the who of the text is the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ see that again in verse three we see it in verse five, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to himself, according what to the good pleasure of his will, his will. Now again the context is clearly salvation, and the many aspects of salvation that Paul's the Paul mentions in this one long run-on sentence he speaks of election and predestination in adoption and redemption and the forgiveness of sins and our inheritance as children of God.

But first notice with me the who of the text. It is the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He is the one who was working all things after the counsel of his will, who is God the father notice.

Secondly, the action spoken of in the text who works it does not say that he has worked or that he will work, but that he works present tense and it seems logical to me that if he is presently working that he has worked in the past and we can have confidence that he's going to work in the future. All the acts or works of Divine Providence are nothing less than the execution of his eternal counsel. Purpose and will again, this passage speaks to that over and over again notice with me.

The third thing.

Notice with me the universe. The universality in the text is God the father who is working but notice again. The language that speaks of the universality all things in order all things is not limited to the context of salvation. All acts of Providence are according to his eternal purpose and counsel. They are according to his own will and then 1/4 observation that I'd like to make in the text. Again, let me review. It's the one it's the hood of the text, God the father, who does the action of the text works in the realm of the universality of the text. All things for the purpose of, and in concert with what what is the verse say who works all things. Here's the language according to the Council of his will according to the counsel of his will, he does not work according to the Council of another's will he works according to the Council of his will and if time would permit.

I could read passage after passage after passage Scripture verse after Scripture verse that reinforces this, but let me just read one Isaiah 40 in verse 13? When read from Isaiah 40 this morning. The prophet asks who has shown him counsel did the Lord consult who made him understand who taught him the path of justice, who taught him knowledge and show him the way of understanding those are rhetorical questions that demand the answer.

No one. No one taught God. No one instructed God no one counsel God just as God took no counsel of man's will and the work of creation. Neither does he. In the work of salvation. I have a great appreciation for men who have wrestled with theological issues and have given us statements of confession that we can confess together. This is what we believe together. This is what we of firm and the London Baptist confession helps us at this point. Listen to this article from the confession quote all the acts of Providence in time, whether in the church or in the world are all the effects products and executions of God's eternal pleasure.

Purpose counsel and will and of quote so that's a look briefly at verse 11.

But to strengthen and add to our understanding here, consider with me some of God's attributes and how they uphold the truth of our text.

Think with me about the three omnis of God the omnipotence of God the omniscience of God. The omnipresence of God.

My speaking speaking of the power of God, the wisdom of God the presence of God. Think with me about the omnipotence of God the omnipotence of God. If God works all things according to the counsel of his will then he must be omnipotent and Almighty. He works what he has a will to do.

He will the creation of the world but had he not been omnipotent. He could never have made all things out of nothing. He must be omnipotent because he wills that which non-none but omnipotence can perform he will hold Christ's resurrection and only in omnipotent God can raise the dead.

Paul here as he continues writing to the church at Ephesus. He is likening the omnipotence of God that raised Christ from the dead is the same source that brings dead men spiritually alive. He says this is a prayer that we break into the begins on in verse 15 he says, praying that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and then get this and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places. Again he's likening the power that raised Christ as the same power that raises us spiritually and makes us alive in Christ. Saints are put in a state of grace and In that state of grace by the mighty power of God through faith so the omnipotence of God. Think with me about the omniscience of God that is that God is all-knowing that he encompasses all knowledge of the universe, past, present and future.

Think with me. If whatever comes to pass, comes to pass, because it is the counsel of his own will, then he must necessarily for all things and that's exactly what the Scriptures attest to acts chapter 15 verse 18 declare known to God from eternity are all his works.

If nothing can come to pass, but what he has determined then he must of necessity for no whatever comes to pass. Isaiah chapter 46 in verse 10, declare that God declares the end from the beginning. I love Psalm 115 verse three that tells us that God is in the heavens and he does whatever he pleases. That's his prerogative as God with thought you meant just for a few moments about the omnipotence of God the omniscience of God. Think with me about the omnipresence of God that is that God is everywhere present. He must be in all places. If he works in all places, that nothing should be more clear to us and that Jeremiah 23 versus 23 declares that God feels heaven and earth with his presence. God is personally present in every place. How else could he work all things for the good of them will love God and work all things according to the counsel of his will. It's out of necessity that it must be that way.

So, since God works all things according to the counsel of his will then those things that are often referred to in our day as accidents and chance, and coincidences. All of those things are part of the counsel of his will. Many of you've heard this statement, but it it gets to the heart of the matter has it ever occurred to you that nothing has ever just occurred to God. God is omniscient. He knows all things. There is nothing new to him. How amazing of God. He is Jesus teaching in the Gospels tells us that not a single spiral falls to the ground, but that God not only knows it, but that God ordains it.

Many things fall upon us that we never dreamed of, but nothing comes to pass, but what God foreknew this coronavirus did not catch God off guard.

He didn't catch God by surprise God and say all now what God ordained it. God purposed it. God has a reason for it, and I'm in no place to know the mind of God and be able to connect the look of the cause-and-effect.

But we must declare about God what he is revealed about himself and anything less dishonors God and anything less doesn't help the people of God, so to I understand I understand why a preacher might say, well, I come up short.

I can't bring myself to the place to say that God permitted it or God ordained it, or God's Senate it's it's such an endeavor to protect God. God doesn't need protected folks, we must declare the God of the Bible as he's revealed himself and nothing's listen to me tonight. No one can govern this world better than God himself who is better able to govern the world, then he who made it.

This was the argument with which God questioned Joe God said to Job where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth.

Did you have a hand in making the world and do you have a hand in governing. It am I not able to govern and dispose of my creatures by the same wisdom I made them.

That's not only what God said to Joe that's what God would say to us. God took no counsel of man in creating him and he will not look to man for wisdom to govern him or govern the world that he created so no one can govern the world better than government now. The subject that I'm nibbling around the edges tonight. Concern the doctrine concerning the decrees of God and its it's it's meaty, it's not for the uninformed.

It's challenging truth. The decrees of God are his eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise and soft.

Here's one definition concerning the decrees of God.

God from all eternity. Did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeable. He ordain whatsoever comes to pass yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence done to the will of the creatures I recently listened to a sermon by Martyn Lloyd Jones on the decrees of God and as I jotted some notes. Here are a few things from that sermon. This is again. Martyn Lloyd Jones. He said from eternity. God has had an unchangeable plan with reference to his creatures from eternity. God lives outside of time from eternity. God has had an unchangeable plan with reference to his creature. In addition, he says, the plan of God comprehends and determines all things and events of every kind that come the past. There's nothing outside the scope of God's superintendents. Additionally, all the decrees of God are unconditional and sovereign. The decrees of God are efficacious. That is, they will come to pass. God will see to it and then the decrees of God are in all things perfectly consistent with his own most wise, benevolent and holy nature, God will only do and God can only do those things that are consistent with his nature. God cannot violate his own nature. The decrees of God are in all things perfectly consistent with his most wise, benevolent, and holy nature again.

I've already told you why I compelled to preach this message tonight. I felt that what I heard from this radio preacher represented a lot of people's thinking. In this regard, I felt believed it necessary to bring a correction. We do understand this at least is our responsibility is to interpret life and its circumstances in light of the revealed will of God.

Would God is revealed about himself not to take the revealed will of God and try and manipulate it in be dishonest with it to conform to what we see, but to conform our thinking and our understanding what God is revealed. These are unprecedented days of opportunity card and I have had more opportunity to speak to people in the last week or 10 days and we've had months.

People are open. People are asking questions so let's be armed with truth. Let's be men and women who represent God well and trust God fortify us with truth, to strengthen us in the inner man to renew our minds. We might think a right thing correctly in our hymnal across the page from the him I made reference to earlier, a sovereign protector.

I have, we have another him by Augustine's top lady debtor to mercy alone again, listen to the words of this hymn, I'd much prefer singing it. The congregation, but listen to these words, a debtor to mercy alone of covenant mercy icing nor fear with thy righteousness on my person and offering to bring the terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do my save yours, obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view the work which is goodness began the arm of his strength will complete his promise is yay and amen and never was forfeited yet.

Things future, nor things that are now not all things below or above can make him his purpose for go or sever me or sever my soul from his love and in the last stanza. My name from the palms of his hands. Eternity will not erase impressed on his heart yet remain in Mark's of indelible grace.

Yes, I to the end shall endure as sure as the artist is given more happy but not more secure. The glorified spirits in heaven. God help us to think right thoughts of him to represent him well in this world we buy with me is my closing prayer.

Father, we thank you this evening. We can consider a portion of your word. We thank you for the illuminating work of the Spirit of God that helps us understand revealed truth Lord. It's a sober thing to speak on behalf of you, Lord, I want to represent you well.

I want to represent you, as you revealed yourself in Scripture. Help me in that endeavor and help us as the people of God to not give to the temptation to reshape you in a more palatable way because your word tells us they who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that would be there God made in our own making is an idol and an idol can help us only the God of the Bible.

Only the God, the true and living God is our father we bow before you tonight and rejoice that we have the word of God that we have the holy Scriptures that you have given a self revelation of yourself.

Help us to be men and women who are being conformed by your word who are conforming our thinking and our understanding correctly. Father, thank you again for this means of communicating truth. We pray that it would bear fruit in our hearts and lives in the days to come. Now we say with Paul the apostle O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out for who is known the mind of the Lord, or who has become his counselor or who is first given to him and it shall be repaid to him for him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be glory forever.

Amen


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