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God Makes It All Happen

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
January 12, 2021 12:01 am

God Makes It All Happen

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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January 12, 2021 12:01 am

Because He is Creator and Lord of all, God requires our complete submission. Today, R.C. Sproul presents the Lord's sovereign right to rule over His creation absolutely.

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How do we explain the existence of the world to just happen there is no supreme being posters and obey is nothing that there's something there must be something that has the power of being or nothing would be.

It's that simple unit that appreciates the applause made on limit setting up if anything exists and something must have the power being within itself or nothing would be that simple expensive to those classrooms today and you'll hear that simple truth described is nonsense. Take the universe. For example basic to be by the trans-explosion of particles life the random mutation of cells, morality, unfixed and defined individually. But today on Renewing Your Mind controversies processes that God is the supreme being is in charge and he also requires our submission in our first lecture on the providence of God. I mentioned that one of the dominant concepts for the last couple of hundred years in Western society, is the idea that we live in a closed mechanistic universe that there was no possibility for intrusion from outside and everything operated here. According to naturally fixed losses. The universe is sort of like a machine that functions by its own inner machinations. But even those who introduced that idea as early as the 17th century the 18th century still posited the idea of a God who built the machine in the first place. They still couldn't get away from the need for the idea of the creator because those people were intelligent thinkers and scientists, and they said what we couldn't have a scientific world to be observing if there is some kind of moment because all of these things and I will get off on that dated here, except to say that it was tacitly assumed that even though an idea of an involved providential governor of the daily affairs of life was being questioned and challenged, it still was tacitly assumed that there had to be a creator above and beyond the creature or the created order. Of course, now that is in the focal point of dispute in our own day, but in the classical concept of Providence with respect to Christian theology.

The idea of God's providence is very closely bound up with his role as the creator of the is as I said it's not simply that God creates the universe and then turns his back on it, and loses touch with it.

Nor is it simply that God sits on his throne in heaven and watches this machine work by its own inner mechanism as a disinterested or hamstrung spectator was powerless to tinker with the machine at any point whatsoever.

Rather, the Christian notion of God is the God who even though he is the primary cause of the universe.

He is also the primary cause.

Listen carefully. Everything in the universe and everything that takes place in the universe again. The foundational principle of Christian theology is that nothing no thing in this world has intrinsic causal power. Nothing has any power save the power that is vested in it or loan to it. If you will, or worked through it, which ultimately is the power of God, not doesn't mean I'm not saying that I don't have any power to do anything which you have any power to do anything as I don't have it in love yourselves you don't have it by your own strength eternally.

And that's why theologians and philosophers historically have made a crucial distinction between primary causality and secondary causality [God is primary Macy's the first, because he's the author of all that is. But not only back then in time, but that he continues to be the primary cause of human events and of natural occurrences that primary cause doesn't exclude secondary causes doesn't mean that he works apart from us or that there's no such thing as a causal nexus in nature yes were cited when the rain falls. The grass gets wet, not because God makes the grass wet directly and immediately without the falling of the rights the rain that causes the grass to get wet. But the point of saying is the rain couldn't fall. And even if it did polygraphs couldn't get wet if it weren't for the causal power of God that stands over and above that secondary activity that's taking place in a modern man has cut off at the knees and said we have the rain we had the wet grass would only the primary cause we just go along fine with secondary causes and never mind the primary causes no the simple concept that we have here is that what God creates. He sustains what God creates. He sustains so one of the important subdivisions under the concept of Providence in theology is the concept of divine sustenance divine sustenance that is God is not the great watchmaker who builds the watch winds up and steps out of the picture. But what he makes.

He preserves he sustains fact one of the first words. Like the first verb we find in the Bible is the Hebrew word bar in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and that word bar off carries within it.

In the Hebrew concept. This idea of sustaining I like to illustrate that by the difference in music between a sustained note and a staccato note and I'll use my colleague here to help me illustrate this if we well let's take a simple little sound or word to Bob like beat and I like to ask you to sing that for me in the staccato fashion beat beat beat beat. That's just a little too legato. Let's get it more staccato. P: 8888 we got a real live RoadRunner right here. Maybe it's okay Pete, that's the staccato that short Chris beat that you hear in music and then if we want to sustain the word be power to go the way hold it the concept that the Hebrew language as here in the book of Genesis in the word bar translated create is that it's not staccato it's not. And in the beginning God everything in the bank, but rather are means that what he makes. He holds keeps it maintains the power of its being again on the most profound and profoundly important theological concepts in all the world is the whole concept of God is the author of being. You could not be without a supreme being, because you don't have the power of being human again. If any pagan with any atheists in the United States of America would think about being seriously and logically from five minutes it would be the end of atheists as everyone knows as well as I know anything that no one in this world has the power of being within himself and yet, somewhere, there must be one who does have the power being within himself or it would be absolutely scientifically impossible for anything to be there is no supreme being posters no PA. There's nothing that there's something there must be something that has the power being or nothing would be. It's that simple unit that a PhD up illustrate and limit setting up if anything exists and something must have the power being within itself or nothing would be that simple boilermaker here is apostle Paul says to the pagans of his day to the Greeks, the Areopagus there in Athens. They had their altar to the unknown God to remember that you worship in ignorance. I declare to you in power that is in him that we live and move and have our being. If God ceased to exist for a second the universe would perish with because the idea is that God not only creates, and that we are not only dependent upon him for our origin, but also, since we don't have the power of being in and of ourselves. We couldn't be her second without his sustaining power and that is part of God's providence now when we talk about God's sustaining the world that he is made in the world that he observes he sees and knows everything that is going on within it.

We now get to the heart of the concept of Providence and that is that God governs his creation. That's the central motif of the concept of the problems of God, namely that the providence of God has to do with God's government of the universe. The government that he exercises over his creation. No time we have left in the segment. I'd like to just mention a few things about the character of God's government of the world's providential government and the first thing I want to say is that God's government is permanent. Every four years or eight years. We have a change of government in our country here in the United States. A new administration takes over weave limited by constitutional amendment. How many years the chief executive of Pres. can serve as the supreme governor of the United States and the same things has to do with the terms are established for legislators and someone so by human standards. Governments come and governments go so that no governor in this world is permanent. Now there's a kind of analogy here with God. The God who is seated as the supreme governor of heaven and earth also must put up with people who are disenchanted with his rule will object to his policies, who resist his authority who revolt against him, but the one thing that even though God's very existence can be denied his authority can be resisted and disobeyed the one thing that cannot possibly ever take place about providential government ladies and gentlemen is it can never be overthrown favor text to indicate that is the second song which begins with this question.

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain.

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his anointed one. Let us break their chains.

They say and throw off their fetters to stop at that point, the image of the second song is the image of a summit meeting of the powerful rulers of this world they come together to enter into a coalition, a kind of military axis to plan the overthrow of divine authority as if a summit meeting took place in all the powerful nations of the world brought their nuclear arsenals together and talk their intercontinental ballistic missiles and aim them to convert to the point where the throne of God resides so they could blast them out of the heavens and then as they say here in the text say we can break his chains and cast his cords of the fetters for mop us in this conspiracy of the kingdoms of this world, according to the psalmist is against God and against his anointed.

In the Hebrew that is against his messy against his Messiah scene a few moments the thread that ties together the tapestry of the old and the New Testament is ultimately a political thread cosmically political because the central motif of sacred Scripture, I believe, is the concept of the kingdom of God and what was at issue here in chapter 2 of the Psalms was the kingship of God.

God's right to rule the rulers of this world noticed the reaction of God to this earthly conspiracy kings of the earth set themselves to sleep.

They agree with Saul impacts and treaties than they affirm each other's strong determination that they're not going to waver from their resolve to overthrow the king of the universe. God looks down and always assembled powers in the nuclear armaments pointed in his direction and says the Lord sits in his heaven and does what people see in fear not how it says that the Lord sits in his heaven, and will ask God sits in heaven and sees the collective rebellion of the human race pointed towards his authority and he looks at the because all he has to do is like a bartender with the aunt on the Barnes would his thumb down and all of the missiles of this world are vaporized. As we would have to move his stomach and just look at my direction. By a glance of his eye battles over then left Arends says he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, listen to this latest I have installed my King on Zion on my holy get on frequently amazed at the difference of accent that I find the pages of sacred Scripture, and what I read in the pages of religious magazines and periodicals and what I hear preached in the booklets of our churches in the image of God that we have is a God who was benevolent. She's kind of a celestial bellhop who we call when we need room service cosmic Santa Claus who is in our back and call and who is simply to do whatever we asked him to do and we portray God as one who pleads with us to change our ways and come to fellowship with them and invites us to come to Christ and in all that we don't usually hear of the portrait of God, who commands obedience God is saying is here. Hey look I rule the universe. I have installed my son on this throne. I have given him all authority on heaven and earth.

You bow down to him. God never invites people to come to Jesus. He commands it with divine authority and convicts you of treason at a cosmic level. If you refuse you refuse to submit to the authority of Christ. You having troubles me churches and have bother you and you live in a country where the government certainly not going to put you in jail.

While you're taking on is the Lord God omnipotent from God's perspective to refuse to submit to the Lordship of Christ is an act not simply of a lack of conviction or lack of information.

God regards it as a moral as evil, flowing from a spirit that is unwilling to submit to the authority of God. This was so scary about and you see the tone of that here in the song when he said look, I have set my King on my holy again back at the Areopagus proposal debated with the Greek philosophers when he said the former days of ignorance and of God overlooked God was patient, long-suffering or condescending to people's lack of information or their indifference to me. He waited and he gave them evidence at processes, but now the days of that overlooking over now. God commands all men everywhere to repent will hear that anymore. Do that it is a duty a moral obligation to submit the Christ is not an option with God.

So the second thing I want to say after her here is the governing providence of God is sovereign and that's difficult for us to understand because we live in a democracy that we have a built in allergy to sovereignty. We have a social contract where no one can rain except by the consent of the governed is not the way it is with God. God doesn't need our consent in order to govern us. He made us, and he had an intrinsic right to rule over us because he ultimately alone as an eternally divine right to rule. This is the third thing that the governorship of God is an absolute monarchy absolute monarchy with no external restraints imposed upon the ruler such as a balance of power with the House of Representatives and the Senate and the Supreme Court. God is the president of the Senate. The house and the Supreme Court all wrapped up into one because he is invested with the authority of the absolute aliment essays I said a moment ago I think is very important for us to understand and easy for us to overlook because we have this allergy to monarchy that the central motif of this is the motif of the kingdom. Have you ever heard the kingdom of God described as a monarchy.

It's is not very popular message today, but it is the truth it's there in Scripture and the good news is that God is a loving and gracious king. Thanks for listening to Renewing Your Mind on this Tuesday Dr. RC Sproul is walking us through his series, the providence of God to imagine that God is in charge of everything does make many people uncomfortable but in the series. RC helps us make sense of that and would like to send you this complete six part series on audio CD that simply request the providence of God. When you give a donation of any amount to look in your ministries. There are couple of ways you can reach us to make a request to give your gift you can find us or you can call us at 800-435-4343. This was a let you know that the February issue of table talk magazine also features articles on the topic of God's providence and if you never contacted us before we like to send you a free copy just requested when you call us at 800-435-4343 your gifts large or small helper by teaching.

Like we heard today to people around the world. In fact, right now, people across the Arab world and Iran are accessing biblical teaching in Arabic and Farsi that because of the generosity of friends like you. So we are grateful when you give to look in your ministries before we go today appears RC with a final thought for us the history of the Old Testament is the history of the reign of Yahweh over his people. The central motif of the New Testament is the realization on earth of the kingdom of God in the coming Messiah whom God exults to the right hand of authority and invests him and crowns him as the Lord of Lord and is the King of King and that is a political concept in the highest sense, because what were talking about here is not religion we're talking about the ultimate political structure. The one to whom we owe ultimate allegiance and ultimate obedience when the great ironies of history is that when Jesus, who was the cosmic king was born in Bethlehem, the world was ruled by man named Caesar Augustus, properly speaking the word august is appropriate for God and for God alone because it is the Lord God omnipotent who rings and when we declare that we declare that he rains, does that mean he rules over every single detail and creation.

RC will discuss that tomorrow and I hope you'll join us for Renewing Your Mind

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