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Summary: Proposition: The purpose of assimilating the knowledge of God into your life is to reflect God’s glory, thereby restraining sin in the world, and causing men to praise God.

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Foundations of the Christian Faith Series

by Matt Black (Message 4)

Proposition: The purpose of assimilating the knowledge of God into your life is to reflect God’s glory, thereby restraining sin in the world, and causing men to praise God.

Key Verse: Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). The world is a dark place. Every person in it is fully given to sin apart from God’s regenerating grace. In fact, if it were not for God’s restraining power, or what we might call His “common grace,” every person on earth would live like they were a citizen of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is God’s Almighty hand that holds back the unbridled wickedness of man. Today we will see that the Christian goes directly against mankind’s rebellion, and reflects the glory of God in this earth. The Christian is thus also used by God to restrain sin in the earth and to give glory to God.

Why is restraint needed?

Man must be restrained. He is naturally hostile against God from the womb. Man is God’s instinctive enemy. The only thing that can stop our innate hatred of God in man is an act of reconciliation on God’s part.

· Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

In short, God is the only one that can stop wickedness. God has provided at least three restraining forces in the world: God’s restraint through the light of man’s conscience, God’s general restraint of sin in the world through acts of His providence (like allowing you to hear the gospel, or letting you be born in a civilized country), and God’s restraint of sin through the lives of Holy Spirit empowered believers. God is holding back the tide of wickedness in this world. Mankind is much kinder and gentler than it could be. All this we can attribute to the kindness of God.

Look at Romans chapter 2.

· Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

But instead of praising Him for the good that occurs on this sin cursed earth, we blame Him for our wickedness.

Many times we gasp at some of the horrible things that God allows on this earth. Children are abused. Innocent people are murdered every day. We shake our fist at God and attribute it to Him. But the truth of the matter is that man is not at all as wicked as he could be. Truly if God did not hold back the wickedness, it would be a thousand times worse. We would all be filled with Satan and be given to unspeakable wickedness. Look at what God says:

· Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

· Jeremiah 5:22-23 Fear ye not me? saith the Lord; will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.


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