Sermons

Summary: This is part 6 of an 8-part series that was originally designed as a 13-week adult class. This part deals with the providence - what God provides - during our earthly lives.

This is Part 6 of an 8-part series that was originally developed for a 13-week adult class, with some of the parts taking more or less than a 45-minute class period. I am starting to post the series on SermonCentral, and plan to post the remaining parts over the next few days as time permits.

I developed a set of slides on PowerPoint for use with the series and will be happy to share the PowerPoint files. The prompts reminding me to advance slides and activate animations are embedded in the sermon below. If you want to request the slides send me an Email at sam@srmccormick.net specifying what part(s) of the series you are requesting. Be sure to include the word “slides” in the subject line of your message; otherwise I am likely to miss it. I would find it interesting to know the location and a few words about your personal ministry if you will include it in your message. Allow several days for me to respond.

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Outline of the series:

I. Introduction to the series

II. God’s Plan from the Beginning

III. God’s Plan Now and Our Problem with It

IV. Justice vs Mercy and the Plan of Salvation

V. The Only Way to Eradicate Sin

VI. Providence – What God Provides in Earthly Life

VII. Providence and Civil Governments

VIII. Providence, Miracles and Phenomena

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VI. Providence – What God Provides in Earthly Life

In the first class in this series we saw that the word “providence” occurs only once in the bible, and then only in some translations, NASB being one of them. Even in that sole reference, the word is used in a secular context, spoken by a lawyer flattering Felix, the governor of Judea (see Acts 24:2).

The word in the New Testament’s original language means “foresight” or “forethought,” and may apply to anyone who is anticipating events, whether miraculous or not, and making provisions appropriate for that event.

While the word providence is not used in the bible in reference to God, it is nonetheless a biblical concept and doctrine. We are created in the image of God, and like him, we have some facility of foresight - though not to the degree that God himself possesses it. He sees all, foresees all, and knows all.

In English, “providence” has come to be associated only with God.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word as:

a. divine guidance or care

b. God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny

Over time, in popular thought “providence” came to be connected to a version of predestination in which providence represents a foreordained, detailed, and fixed course of human events.

I’m not persuaded that the bible supports that idea as a true conception of providence. As we shall see today and in other parts of this series, divine providence is something entirely different.

For purposes of this series of studies, the outworking of providence is “providing” or care, done throught God’s divine foresight. The words “provide” and “providence” being practically being synonyms.

*Click for overall diagram of the series

Talk briefly through the diagram

We have seen in the earlier parts of this series that since we all fail in meeting the standard set for Adam and Eve in the garden (which is the same standard of behavior we are under) – KNOW what is required, CHOOSE to do what is RIGHT according to that knowledge, and OBEY by acting on that right choice.

*Click to add WE NEED HELP

But we have seen that WE NEED HELP to realize God’s fondest hope in creating the human race – that mankind would choose and act on what he says and live with him in the everlasting realms of glory.

And we have seen that the only way - THE ONLY WAY - God’s fondest hope can be realized is through him extending mercy – granting that which we do not deserve.

*Click to change HELP to MERCY

The gift of eternal life rests entirely on God’s mercy--a deserved punishment not applied.

In the providence of mercy God has revealed the final outcome of his grand design, with its effects extending beyond this life to eternity.

*Click for final diagram of DIVINE PROVIDENCE

God’s plan to give eternal life to his created beings undergirds every other part of divine providence, for without God’s mercy, we cannot have forgiveness of sins and justification before God’s throne, and nothing else matters.

Today we turn our attention to the reciprocal of what God requires of us--what he provides IN THIS LIFE, which is preparatory to everlasting life in heaven.

*Click for scriptures—2 Chronicles etc.

2 Chronicles 16:9 - For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars."

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