Summary: Faith in Christ works like an on/off switch but there are also degrees of faith in Christ once your faith is switched to "on." I want to encourage you to grow in your faith – to move saturation of your faith higher this morning by seeing the plan God has for eternity.
Serendipity is a 2001 movie starring John Cusack. Cusack’s character meets a young lady named Sara at Bloomingdale’s at Christmas time. They randomly meet as they both attempt to purchase a pair of black cashmere gloves. Both are mutually attracted to one another even though they are in relationships with other people. They decide to exchange phone numbers in the most unusual way. He places their name and number on a $5 bill while she places their name and number inside the jacket of a book that is sold the next day. The only way they can connect is if they randomly find the $5 bill and the book. Years go by and both are engaged to other people. Yet, as their respective wedding dates approach, they are both having “cold feet.” Sara goes back to the place they meet after all these years where she randomly sees the $5 bill with Cusack’s name and number. Right about this time, Cusack’s fiancé gives him the very book where Sara had written her number years before. Eventually, the two meet up at Central Park and live happily ever after.
Most of us don’t meet “the One” by writing our numbers on a $5 bill and seeing if it will randomly return to us years later. Instead, the Bible calls on you to trust your life to a God who is guiding and shaping all of life’s events for His purposes. Perhaps you have the kind of week, day, or month where the uncertainty of life and your future makes you cringe a bit when some well-meaning Christian says, “God has a plan.” I’m not here today to convince you that everything is happy and cheery because God has a plan. I am here to bring you back from the steps of cynicism by telling you God has a plan and He can be trusted.
We continue our study of the book of Ephesians (page 1159 in your pew Bibles).
Two Kinds of People
In the middle of Mel Gibson’s movie Signs, there’s a little monologue by the main character, and he basically says there are 2 kinds of people in the world. There are people who think everything happens through chance and luck, and there are other people who believe there are no coincidences. Which are you?
Degrees of Faith
Now, faith in Christ works like an on/off switch but there are also degrees of faith in Christ. I want to encourage you to grow in your faith – to move saturation of your faith higher this morning by seeing the plan God has for eternity.
I want to look at four questions with you about God’s plan in the moments to come…
How Can I Be Sure of God’s Plan?
What is God’s Plan?
Can I Really Believe in God’s Plan Despite the Crazy World?
Does God’s Plan Include Me?
1. How Can I Be Sure God Really Has a Plan?
“as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:10).
1.1 God’s Plan
The word “plan” in verse 10 is our word for administration. The word literally means “house management” and we get our word economy from this very Greek word. We have a new President in our nation, President Joe Biden. His new administration is moving things around to fit his pattern. It’s a new administration in Washington, DC and we will observe how things are different. Likewise, the Bible says that God has His own administration.
God has a plan. It may surprise you to find out that God has a plan.
1.2 Evolution and Bertrand Russell
In many biology classrooms, we are told that mindless evolutionary changes move our lives forward. While it’s often thought of as science, it’s really more of a philosophy that says everything in our world is done by chance. One textbook talks about our world being run by blind, purposeless chance: “Across a universe encompassing billions of light-years, through scales of magnitude extending from subnuclear particles to immense galaxies colliding like a clash of cymbals, there is no hint of plan or purpose.” Here everything is random with no guiding hand to push things forward with purpose and design. Chance runs our universe rather than an intelligent being like God.
Perhaps you’re wondering if there’s a God and if He has a plan. How do I decide to believe?
1.3 Bayes’ Theorem
What you are looking at is what is known as Bayes’ Theorem. Let’s have a little fun with math for a moment as you see the theory on the screens. Bayes’ Theorem finds the probability of an event occurring given the probability of another event that has already occurred. The formula was invented by Thomas Bayes, a Presbyterian pastor and it is being used even today to answer, “What are the odds of that?” This 18th-century formula is being used from everything to cancer research to even assisting Google’s self-driving cars that drive the streets of northern California in recent days. Using the same theory you see before you, Dr. Stephen Unwin has calculated there’s a 67% chance that God exists. Yes, you heard me correctly. Using the same mathematical equation used in Google’s robotic cars, a scientist has calculated that there’s a 67% probability that God exists.