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The All-Seeing Sovereign

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2022 12:01 am

The All-Seeing Sovereign

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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September 30, 2022 12:01 am

No one in this world has a perfect perception of what is true. But God sees all things with manifest clarity. Today, R.C. Sproul exhorts us to submit to the Lord's revelation of the truth and to embrace it in humble obedience.

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If we can understand everything that's in section 2 of chapter 2 of the Westminster confession of faith with respect to our understanding of the nature and character of God that I would say to that 90% of the theological issues that range over the centuries within the church would be resolved illicitly is my intention and I hope yours as well because I think all of us would be in favor of resolving the vast majority of theological issues that range within the church. Welcome to Renewing Your Mind. I believe web we are exploring the Westminster confession of faith for nursing school. If you're unfamiliar with this historic theological document. It is one of the most precise and comprehensive statements of biblical Christianity was written in the mid-17th century. Generations of believers understand that the Bible teach about a host of today as we get started. Dr. Strobel quote from chapter 2, section 2 of the confession. That's 20 now. Section 2 of chapter 2 is on the side with God is the alone fountain of all being. This of course flows out of the idea that since he is the only one who has the part of being within himself.

All other things that exist in this world are dependent upon God's being with talked about that, where Paul says, so that in him we live and move and have our being. So here following on that biblical concept, the confession is saying God is the sole only single fountain or source of being being doesn't come from anything else, or from anyone else, or from any where else because God alone is the source of anything that exists in this world and now we get a group of statements of home through home and to whom are all things.

Let's look at that briefly home again that refers to God's being the universal creator of everything that exists.

Nothing does exist apart from him nothing can exist apart from him because he's the fountain of being so all that exists, or that is all of all things exist and goes on to say Fruit of the Loom that is by means of his creative energy by means of is power.

All things that exist come into being and to whom are all things you notice how this is the same language that Scripture uses for the second person of the Trinity for the logos. Who is the member of the Trinity, through whom the created order comes the past that Christ is the one by whom and through whom and for whom all things exist. Of course, touching his divine nature and so the purpose for the existence of anything that does exist in this world is not for the creature itself, but it is for God. It is he who has made us and not we ourselves, and not only are we made by him, but we are made for him… Again something that we do when we try to rob God of his glory and exchange the truth of God for line serve and worship the creature rather than the creator. As Paul tells us in Romans one. That's when we think that the universe was made for us. For me, I want to be the point of all things. That was a lie that was offered to Adam and Eve, you shall be as God's no. The creatures are made for God not God for the creatures and he hath most sovereign dominion over them. Let's look at that that's an abstract concept and again we see that word. The superlative word that we've noticed earlier in chapter 2 that word most and most here modifies the word sovereign God is not just relatively speaking sovereign or partially sovereign or more sovereign than other things. He is most sovereign in his dominion over all things Dan. I've said in the past that I've never met a Christian if you asked that person.

Do you believe in the sovereignty of God is answered me by saying no. Everybody understands that if God is God. He has to be sovereign, that is, he has to have dominion over his creation. He has to rule over the things that he makes and so he's most sovereign in his dominion over all things.

But again, if I push that with people and say will is God.

Most sovereign in his dominion over the laws of the universe. Well yes you see most sovereign in the sense that he has the right to command obedience from his creatures does God have the most sovereign right to impose absolute obligation upon his creatures.

This God have the right to say to me you must do such and such. He doesn't debated it doesn't rule by referendum. He rules by his divine imperative. He alone has the right to exercise and execute his most sovereign dominion, which understand that we can get most Christians to agree to, at least with those first two applications of the most sovereign dominion.

This is dominion over the created order is dominion over ethics but as soon as we talk about his grace and salvation and we talk about whether grace is something that is under his most sovereign dominion. That's for the majority of professing Christians get off the bus and somehow want to take that sovereignty to themselves and have a part of one sort of the thousand times more support when we get into the doctor later where I heard people say that God's sovereignty ends where human freedom begins reset again. God's sovereignty ends where human freedom begins and I can't think of too many things that would be more blasphemous to say than that because just the opposite is true. My freedom which is real is a gift of God is a contingent derived dependent freedom is everything else in my power is as a creature and my freedom, such as it is and's were God's sovereignty begins my freedom never as sovereign dominion over God for anything. If we could understand and embrace and affirm everything that's in section 2 of chapter 2 of the Westminster confession of faith with respect to our understanding of the nature and character of God that I would say to that 90% of the theological issues that range over the centuries within the church would be resolved and they are resolved right here in our understanding of who God is guy can help throw this anecdote into this when we early on in the ministry of legionnaire back in the early 70s we had a man visit us who was a consultant for Christian ministries would work with lots of ministries around the country and he was helping us to define our mission to focus on what we were about them and he asked me this question. He said what you think is the single most important thing that American people the unbelievers don't know that they need to know.

I said that's easy. The single most important thing that secular pagan Americans need to understand is who God is not. That is because they already know that he is because he's manifested himself to all people as we've already say I said okay he said is your primary task to declare the character of God to the pagan world is not our ministries not basically an evangelistic ministry. It may have evangelistic elements involved with that, but our mission is educating Christians believers that were about and he said okay will and let me ask you this what you think is the single most important thing the Christians need to know that they don't currently know.

I said that's easy and he said what I said who God is, because nothing strips us of our spiritual growth and power more than our lack of understanding of who God is and I think that we have somehow lost that focus. We've lost it in our education. We've lost it in our preaching, and certainly we've lost it in our worship in the local church because ideally, every time we assemble together for the purpose of enduring God and offering to him the sacrifice of praise and listening to his word. We should get at least that much deeper understanding of who God is and just that much more understanding of who God is to have us leaving the sanctuary on Sunday morning in a state of dazzled before but were still babes dealing with elementary principles.

We haven't begun to explore the depths and the riches of who he is and the more we understand who he is, the more we are driven to our knees and driven to adoration and to tremble before him in reverence, but the churches lost her sense of reverence because the church is lost or understanding of who God is, there really is an eclipse of God and the church today and remind you that eclipse does not destroy anything.

It merely hides it.

When the sun is eclipsed by a shadow is hidden from view, but nothing has happened to the sun still shines in all of its glory, and all of its radiance in all of its brightness. It's still there, it's just that we don't say it because the shadows moved across it, obscuring it from our vision and that's what happens in our culture and in our church today that the nature and character of God is up skewered put behind shadows. We need to remove those shadows. He has most sovereign dominion over them to do by them for them or upon them whatsoever himself please us when Luther struggled with all the suffering and calamity. The people in the 16th-century world dealt with with plagues and pillaging from marauding forces in and the hatred of people torture and all that in this great theologian would be having people constantly come up from wringing our hands and sing Dr. Luther you know how can these things be. How can God allow these things to happen.

He said the first principle of the Christian is to let God be God my favorite illustration of that is in the Old Testament story of Eli when he was there ministering the temple and he has as his protégé, his student young Samuel remember Eli had not disciplined his own sons. They were living scandalous lives in the priesthood and in the middle night there came that call to Samuel remember the story Samuel comes the voice similar things Eli runs over and shakes and awakens a did you call me now know know you dreaming about sleep, so, because back to sleep.

Then again, he hears the voice Samuel and Samuel jumps up and goes and shakes Eli white again and he was not the final Eli gets the idea that school maybe God's trying to call out to Samuel. He says if he if you hear that again. Say speak Lord for thy servant here's the same goes back to bed. The next time it's the double mark the repetition of his name Samuel. Samuel Samoset speak Lord for thy servant here. Well, then what does God tell sin tells him that he's going to bring his judgment on the house of Eli on his sons on Eli himself what the mention the ark of the covenant, and so in the morning. Eli says the sale. What did God say Samuel is like my wife after telephone conversation last an hour. Nothing you know 810 let the cat out of the bag and course.

Eli realizes that the message that Samuel got was not very positive and he said Sammy you tell me what God said or may whatever he said to you come to pass to you and so Samuel then reveals to Eli all of God told him about the judgment that was at hand. Now if that happened in the contemporary Christian community in America, the average Christian will respond that message by saying all that couldn't be the word of God.

God would never do that God would ever bring judgment upon his own people.

But when Eli heard what God said to Samuel, remember what he said. He said it is the Lord shut his mouth. If we don't understand now that God has every right to do by us for us or upon us, whatsoever, pleases him not, whatsoever places us.

We don't know that now will know it. On the day of judgment where we will find out that on that day God will do with us. To us, and for us whatsoever, pleases him were here for his pleasure for his glory. We've come to think of God as a cosmic bellhop that he's there to meet our needs to deal with all of our requests who owns the kingdom. How many times have we prayed the Lord's prayer and how we ended for thy is the kingdom and the power and the glory what we want to say is mine is the kingdom and the power and the glory but that's not the way it is in reality and laid his number. How could it be any other way when you consider the glory of God and who we are as creatures. Obviously it's his kingdom is his power is his glory for in his sight. All things are open and manifest another word manifesto from which the English manifest comes means clear it's not up skewered. There's nothing dim or fuzzy about it in his sight. He sees all things wide open manifest clarity.

Sometimes we get a do perception of reality.

But there is a heightened perception of reality that comes in the sight of God.

You know, one of the great arguments in philosophy throughout the ages is the argument of what is truth and somebody said that to you today like Pilate asked Jesus what is truth. How would you define truth and of Francis Schaeffer used to speak of true truth, meaning by objective truth. Truth is not relative truth is objective. There are absolute truths and yet throughout the ages.

The questions been debated.

Guard said truth is subjectivity not on your life. John Locke taught the principle of what was called the correspondence theory of truth, and he said it this way, the truth is that which corresponds to reality.

Now that's good as far as it goes, but doesn't go far enough and the followers of Locke understood that because they understood that nobody in this world has an absolutely perfect and pure perception of the truth. Anytime I'm called a moderated dispute among people say what we deal with here are the facts.

That's one set of problems we deal with than the perceptions of the facts and then the feelings about those perceptions and all those things are part of the facts. You may disagree with my understanding of the facts with the fact that you disagree with manias is a fact, and so on. Because we don't see all things in perfect purity and so Locke's view of correspondence was challenged by those who said but people differ in their perceptions of reality. So they have different perceptions of truth. Therefore, truth is different according to how you perceive it. That's why they had a add to it. This the truth is that which corresponds to reality as its perceived by God because there's no distortion in God's view of what is of what is real. All things are open and clear to him he knows us inside and out. I was just reading this book on recent discoveries and how synapse connections and neurotransmission takes place in the brain recently and in this book I was reading. They have a quiz that you take. I can't resist the self quiz where they asked you questions. True false questions on how you are in terms of how you see things how you react to things how you feel about things and all that sort of thing and so there's maybe 40 questions 50 questions they ask you to evaluate yourself on how you respond to certain things and I go through this and and I see that the I have say like the 22 just throw that figure out arbitrarily. 22 crews. Then I put it to the test. I asked Vesta's invested tell me what you think I'm like right is nobody knows me better than she does. We been together for over 50 years.

Everything and five times out of the 22 I sits on was true. She said no it isn't that I think you are in a now who deceives us more than we deceive ourselves, and all that but I'm hidden from my own view will have blinds behind us attorney blind spots in God all things are open. All things are clear to him. That's Dr. RC scroll with a message on God's self existence your listing to Renewing Your Mind on this Friday I'm Lee Webb, thank you for being with us. We are studying the Westminster confession of faith helpful concise description of biblical Christianity is a theological document that is help the church for generations and Dr. scroll book truths we confess provides his detailed commentary on this confession and applies it to modern life for your donation of any amount today. We would like to send you this hardcover book you can give your gift online@renewingyourmind.org worked one of my colleagues here will be happy to take your call at 800-435-4343. The Westminster confession explains many biblical doctrines, but there times when we ran into a confusing passage were a theological issue that we don't understand, ask Ligon years of service we offer that allows you to submit your questions about the Bible theology the Christian life in apologetics trained team members will answer your questions in real time.

This is not a robot answering your questions will be able to interact with a caring Christian who wants to help you find the answer. You can find those answers when you go to ask.linear.org but we will continue our look at the Westminster confession because it brings such precision of our understanding of the Christian faith. So all next week we will continue Dr. scroll series will learn about God's decrees God's foreknowledge, predestination, and other essential documents so I hope you make plans to be with us, beginning Monday for Renewing Your Mind


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