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Finding the God Who Found You - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
June 12, 2022 6:00 am

Finding the God Who Found You - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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June 12, 2022 6:00 am

When the first disciples encountered Jesus, they chose to follow Him--only to discover that they had already been chosen by Him! Without getting drowned in that theological tide pool, let's consider and marvel at how both of these realities work together. The Bible teaches that God sovereignly elects people for salvation while at the same time teaches our responsibility to believe in Christ. Let’s see how both Philip and Nathanael encountered Jesus for the first time.

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Because on one hand you have men following Christ making very cogent cognizant decision to follow Jesus, but at the same time reading through the story you get the idea that Jesus had been anticipating them all along. So which is it that they choose to follow him, or had he chosen to have them all.

I would say it's all a matter of perspective is what you could Skip weaker division if you know anyone who really loves chocolate. Given a choice between something that has chocolate in it and something that doesn't true chocolate lover will choose whatever it is that has chocolate in it. Every time I well the question is, are they making that choice out of her own free will is their love for chocolate predetermine for them what their choice will be. This is a question that extends far beyond just dessert choice and today here and connect with Skip weekend edition skip. Isaac takes a look at the tricky subject of free will and predestination before we dive into that heavy subject.

This was going on of the connect was Skip resource Center this month actually in the midst of hardship is a hallmark of the Christian life but is possible to use linear heights. Sometimes what a happy time. Things are really daunting bro and we have to figure out how to navigate. A lot of times God's purpose in allowing trial is to get the opportunity to grow to the point where we genuinely experience joy in the midst of trial.

Learn how to face trials with courage, wisdom, and yes joy with Linda's booklet happy trials and when you give $20 or more to help keep this Bible teaching ministry on the will send you a special bundle of three booklets by Linda happy trials don't tempt me and speak no evil into tapping the keys to unlock the thought circumstances and fears that can cause you to give into temptation and speak no evil encourage you to avoid setting fires with your word and instead use them to bring showers of blessing get your bundle of three booklets when you get $20 or more by: 800-922-1881 secure in your Bibles to John chapter 1 is you find that spot skip.

Isaac begins her study with an example of just how remarkable some of the stories of the Bible can be a nine-year-old was asked his mother what you learned in Sunday school. She was surprised. This is the way he put it, mom. I learned the story of how Moses was sent behind enemy lines to rescue the children of Israel, and how that he called for his engineers to come in and they built a pontoon bridge over the Red Sea and it enabled the children of Israel to go safely across and then Moses got on his walkie-talkie and called for reinforcements. Many call for bombers to come in and bomb the bridge while the Egyptians were on it and the children of Israel were rescued. She looked at him puzzled, said is that your Sunday school teacher taught you. He said will not exactly, but mom if I were to tell you the way she told it to us. You never would believe it that illustrates a truth does not. There are some things in Scripture that are just tough to understand whatever the supernatural intersects with the natural we have problems with one of the areas we have the greatest problem with is when divine choice intersects with human choice. Even though the Bible says both are true that God is lax and yet we are told to make a choice that God predestines people for salvation. Yet we are called to make a decision will how can that be how can both of these things be true that seem so impossible to grasp. Here's a thought. It's sort of like this in airline is slated to go to New York City from London.

The destination is already been determined by the proper authorities. The FAA is involved, Federal Aviation Administration, the ICAO is involved in international civil aeronautic organization are both involved to set that course and that plane is going to take off. It has been decreed. Nothing can change it.

However, on board that airplane. Our passengers with free will, they have made a series of choices number one, they chosen to fly number two they chosen what airline to fly number three they chosen what date to leave on before they've even chosen. What part of the plane there in a sit in, whether it's first-class business class or economy once they're on board.

They're not chained, they can have an enormous amount of freedom they can eat they can sleep they can read they can talk at the same time they're all being carried to a predetermined port and so you have sovereignty involved and you have human choice involved, and they do not contradict in every now and then you'll come across both of these truths wedged into the same paragraph of Scripture that is the paragraph we have in front of us today. Beginning in verse verse 43 down to verse 51. Let's read it together. The following day.

Jesus wanted to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, follow me.

Now Philip was from bedside on the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, we have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph and Nathaniel said to him, can anything good come out of Nazareth. Philip said to him, come and see Jesus saw Nathaniel coming toward him, said of him, behold an Israelite indeed in whom there is no deceit.

Nathaniel said to him, how do you know me.

Jesus answered and said to him, before Philip called you when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.

Nathaniel answered and said to him, Rabbi, you are the son of God, you are the king of Israel.

Jesus answered and said because I said to you I saw you under the fig tree.

Do you believe you will see greater things than these, and he said to him, most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter shall see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man what's going on here is pretty simple.

The very first disciples are being called last time we were together we saw how that Andrew and John were called by Jesus after following John the Baptist and Peter gets into the act and here we have two more of these early followers with Philip and we have Nathaniel.

It's a strange story because on one hand you have men following Christ making a cogent cognizant decision to follow Jesus, but at the same time reading through the story you get the idea that Jesus had been anticipating them all along. So which is it that they choose to follow him, or had he chosen to have them follow. All I would say it's all a matter of perspective is in it can't both be true will ask you this question.

A person who is 5 foot six that a tall person or sharpeners.

I'm getting different answers just little whispers I'm I'm not can answer that definitively, except to say well it depends on on who you are. If you're 4 foot 10.

That's a pretty tall person. I'm 6 foot five, that person would not appear to be tall to me. It's all a matter of perspective on who you are and thus we look at this text this morning there were three people there visiting the Grand Canyon. They got off the bus all at the same time and they all had an impression of what they saw before than this beautiful, huge hole in the ground.

One was an artist and the artist looked and said what a magnificent panorama to put on canvas. The next was a clergyman and this pastor looked and said what a beautiful example of the majesty and handiwork of a creative God. The third was a cowboy.

He looked down and that haunted what a terrible place to lose a cow. Now they were all correct. They all had a perspective what I like to do with you this morning is take the verses that we have read and call through them. A couple of different times and look at them into different perspectives.

One is from the divine perspective that is God choosing people and then second from a human perspective, people choosing God see how they fit together. The first is the divine perspective is pretty evident from looking at this tax that Jesus is part of the choosing process.

There's three divine attributes that are seen in our text number one's preference. Jesus makes his choice. Verse 43 the following day. Jesus wanted to go to Galilee and he found Philip and said to him, follow me, you should know something. This was this was against the norm.

Rabbis typically did not do this with disciples. It was the protocol to have a disciple opt voluntarily, after hearing a rabbi to be a disciple of that Rabbi rabbis never came up and invited somebody in to the inner circle. This was different. Jesus takes the initiative that's preference. The second, I want to draw your attention to his omniscience.

What's this in verse 44 is an explanatory note.

Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. That's exactly where Jesus wanted to go.

He wanted to go to Galilee, he knew in advance before even meeting Philip this guy lives in beside it is wrong want to go hold onto that thought. Look at verse 47 Jesus saw Nathaniel coming toward him and said of him, behold an Israelite indeed in whom there is no deceit.

Nathaniel said to him what how do you know me, Jesus said to him, before Philip called you when you were under that fig tree, I saw you. So these two guys understand that this Jesus knows where they live. Number two knows a little bit about their character in advance and tree, even those the secret hangouts that they frequent, so that's omniscience. Ellicott does something else. In verse 50.

If you will.

I'm calling this Providence. This is a prediction Jesus answered and said to him, because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree. Do you believe you will see greater things than how did he know that because he knew that he was omniscient and he knew that he could arrange his life. Nathaniel's life. To experience what he predicted.

This is called Providence. It's like it's all been arranged in advance by the way, Providence is a good word for you to know. Here's what it means. It means the supernatural arrangement of natural events. It is not the miraculous. The miraculous is the intervention of the supernatural, imposed upon the natural world. Providence is simply natural events that happened but arranged by supernatural hand comes from the Latin word proper Dale to see in advance, God sees in advance and can call the shots so these two guys are getting schooled in theology in one paragraph is like a little crash course they understand that God sees. God knows them.

And God chooses them from a divine standpoint this is always the case.

People come to know Jesus Christ. Because God sought them first and foremost that matter what preacher they got here no matter who initiates the conversation when witnessing to them that matter what crusade event one attends ultimately and originally it begins with God's choice and predestination are going to discover that in John chapter 15 verse 16 Jesus is can unload a heavy truth on is in the sight of them. You did not choose me I chose you and I ordained you, that you should bear fruit and that your fruit should remain. I want to notice something maybe you already have. But let's go back and notice a repeated word in our text verse 40 taken back a little bit. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, the watches we have found the Messiah go down to verse 45 Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, we have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote and yet it says in verse 43 the following day.

Jesus wanted to go to Galilee and he found Philip and said to him, follow me. So question is who really finds whom here you have two different perspectives.

We often say I found Jesus really was.

He lost, it isn't the real truth behind the curtain truth is that you are lost, and he knew that and sought you out and he found you.

I once was lost but now I'm found was blind but now I see were dealing here with the deep ministries of election and predestination is some pretty heady theological stuff got a couple things at play. On one hand you have in the Bible frequent commands to unbelievers to engage their choice.

Their freedom of choice to make a decision. For example, both John the Baptist and Jesus said repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. That's a command for people to engage their will and their choice in Matthew 11 Jesus said come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me again the command in John chapter 5 Jesus will say to the Jewish leaders you are not willing to come to me that you may have life, and in John chapter 7, he will say if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. And whoever believes in me is the Scripture is set out of his heart will flow rivers of living water that just Jesus talking we can have several more in acts chapter 16 Paul says to the Philippian jailer when his imprisonment before he gets out, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, so on and on Scripture after Scripture these commands to the unsaved to respond to the Lord to exercise a choice to respond by faith.

But on the other hand we learn from the same Bible that we can do it wholly on our own. In fact, we discover that in whatever choice we have made a choice has been made by someone else before we got there we have already been selected by God out of this world system and that our salvation began way before we were even twinkle in your father's before we were born John chapter 6 Jesus said no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him to get that no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him. Paul is even more specific in Ephesians 1 verse four just as he chose us in him before the creation of the world and amplifies it. A few verses later by saying we are predestined according to the Council of his will. Charles Spurgeon love to play with this a little bit is that it's a good thing that God chose me before I was born because he never would've picked me afterwards so we have here sovereign election and human decision together together that seem opposite and seem as if you can reconcile and you can't in your finite mind.

This is been tried for centuries and if you think you are going to unravel the mysteries of all this all come and visit you in the insane asylum. They seem to be opposed to one another, were called to make a choice and yet God selects there's a helpful little book that I would recommend on the subject by JI Packer, just a little book is called evangelism and the sovereignty of God in a page 18 and 19 is a great little illustration that I remember fact I read it again this week. He said that in the Oxford sorter dictionary. There's a word definition.

The word is antinomy a NTI and O and why antinomy is the definition of the word antinomy is an apparent contradiction between two equally true conclusions and factors as for example in physics. We have an antinomy is called light. There is cogent evidence that light exists as wave, but there is equally cogent evidence that light is particle but it is not apparent how the same substance can be both wave and both particle at the same time, but there is evidence that it is that is an antinomy were facing here a theological antinomy. So what we do about it. Do we draw swords and fight each other and argue over it. A lot of people do that they have for centuries. The followers of John Calvin and Jacobowitz Arminius have fought over this issue and drawn blood as they have fought with their theological swords or Calvinists will emphasize election apart from human choice.

Many of them won't even do evangelism, lest they preach the gospel to those who are elected by God to hear and those who follow Arminius will emphasize human choice over divine election until we are to do. Honestly, we ought to allow the tension to remain there like a suspension bridge. The reason the bridge stands is because you have to forces opposing each other, pulling on that taught bridge so that you can go over to you can sit at the Golden gate Bridge ago and I just don't agree with this whole thing these forces opposing each other.

I got or just get in your car and drive across it. That's what I recommend we do we let this tension remain.

These are true.

This held intention and I submit to you. That's exactly what Jesus Christ did, I want to show that to you. Sometimes Jesus combined both truths of divine election and human choice in the same sentence as an example, in John chapter 6, verse 37 all that the father gives me will come to me that's election at sovereign election and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out, that human choice. He does it again in Luke chapter 22 regarding Judas Iscariot. Jesus said the Son of Man goes as it has been determined that selection but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed. That's human choice so we could polarize there's a lot of people to love to do that or we could see that these things harmonize well you know what acute is presented with the choice between something chocolate in some other dessert is very likely that the law vote, so it is with this issue of free will and predestination.

Perhaps the issue is one of the other, but of both being equally valid and true, how exactly does that work.

Who knows, but it is rather sweet. Nevertheless, will see if we can't work out how both can coexist when we resume the study next time, but for now, here's a unique opportunity to grow in your knowledgeable Lord going to church is a great way to learn about God. But what if you want to learn more, go deeper. Calvin College offers classes in biblical studies courses like worldview apologetics learn how to defend your faith on your schedule evening classes on campus for online transfer credits to Calvary Chapel University Veritas international diversity for an accredited college degree that will impact your spiritual life for the rest of your life. Apply now it Calvary church Thank you for tuning in today. We are passionate about helping you strengthen your walk with God, and you can be a part of connecting others to Jesus in the same way with a gift to help keep these teachings. You live on the air just call 892 1888 at 892 1888 or visit

Thank you. Join us next time as we learn more about this fascinating topic of free will and predestination here and connect with Skip weekend initiate a presentation of connection

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