Summary: Learning about how God's sovereignty affects our lives
Puppet Or Pilgrim?
CCCAG Sept 6th, 2020
Scripture- Romans 9-10 (No Reader)
This morning we're going to be combining two chapters in the book of Romans- 9-10.
This message is going to be a little different then previous ones in that we won't be reading a lot of the scripture will be covering just because it's so extensive. I'll be reading snippets of it throughout the message.
Over the last few weeks of me preparing for this message I tried to find a lot of writings and commentaries and illustrations that could help me explain what Paul is trying to explain to us in these chapters.
The main topic being covered is the idea of God's sovereignty.
That’s a huge, huge topic. It sounds very weighty, maybe a little intimidating to talk about. Sovereignty points to kingship, and we as Americans are a little sensitive about having a king- we fought a war to get away from one.
I also think that most if not all of us have a few bad ideas about what it means to have God as a king. It pushes back against our desire to be free moral agents. We like Jesus because He is all about mercy and forgiveness, and see the Father God as the harsh disciplinarian that doesn’t even like us.
For that reason, I want to address God and his sovereignty this morning.
So this morning we're going to try to answer 3 questions regarding this subject-
So what is God's sovereignty?
What does it mean,
and how does it affect us on a daily basis or what does it mean for my life?
All three of these questions can be summarized and the title of this message- am I a puppet or am I a Pilgrim?
I. What is God’s sovereignty?
Easton’s bible dictionary defines God’s sovereignty as-
Sovereignty of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure
That word pleasure meaning not an emotional state of joy or happiness, but a decision of God’s will that matches his character and design.
To break it down very simply it means that whatever God wants God gets because he's God.
Two weeks ago we talked about two basic ways of looking at how we are saved, and they both have their root in how we view God’s sovereignty. That’s why our view of God is so important.
To break it down- at least 90% of Protestant Christianity falls into 2 catagories-
One is a Calvinist view and one is an Arminian view.
I’m going to very broadly summarize these two views- there are tons of nuance on each, but these are the basics of what they believe, and it’s important because most of us probably believe in a mixture of the two without even realizing it.
The strict Calvinist view states that God is completely sovereign- meaning that everything that is was and ever shall be is directly part of his plan and even ordained by him. That word ordained means he specifically caused it to happen. Very important distinction.
Think about that for a moment. What would that mean from the practical perspective and how it works out in human history.
That brings up a whole crockpot of questions- the main one being- “How can I be held responsible for my sin if God made me do it? If I’m only a puppet on a string that only reacts to God’s manipulations, how can he hold me guilty for my actions?”
That’s how some interpret the strict/ Calvinist view of God’s sovereignty, like many of our local Amish. Again, many other nuances and interpretations of this way of understanding God and His sovereignty.
Now the Arminian view that we hold to-
God is indeed sovereign- no question or equivocation that He is in complete control over the universe. However, God has self-limited Himself in some of the areas of human existence, mainly when it comes to human free will.
Free will is the idea that you and I and everyone else have a choice to do that which is right or that which is wrong.
Free Will is critical in our understanding of God’s sovereignty because if we are only robots that respond to God’s programming, then we can’t even worship in Spirit and in truth because we are just fulfilling what we are hardwired to do and not making a choice to love.
Phone saying- “I love you John”
In their attempt to elevate God and God's sovereignty a Calvinist will limit this idea of free will as being a reality.
The idea of free will answers questions about God’s sovereignty that the Calvinist can’t answer-
For example, and I would consider this the biggest question about their view of God-