Summary: Christian, when we say, “God has a plan for your life” we have said a mouth full. Let’s contemplate some of the pillars of that plan, and where that plan is meant to take you.
The Spiritual Facts of Life
1. Einstein gave grudging acceptance to "the necessity for a beginning" and eventually, to "the presence of a superior reasoning power," but never did he accept the doctrine of a personal God. Two specific obstacles blocked his way. According to his journal writings, Einstein wrestled with a deeply felt bitterness toward the clergy, toward priests in particular, and with his inability to resolve the paradox of God’s omnipotence and man’s responsibility for his choices. "If this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?" Seeing no solution to this paradox, Einstein, like many other powerful intellects through the centuries, ruled out the existence of a personal God. Hugh Ross, The Finger of God, Promise Pub., 1991, p. 59, found on www.higherpraise.org.
2. What Einstein’s arrogance blocked him from seeing is this: just because we cannot resolve a conflict of reason does not mean there is no resolution. Based on the laws of physics, a Bumble Bee cannot fly. But it does. So are the laws of physics wrong, or is it an illusion that Bumble Bees fly? None of the above.
3. Today’s message does not address the Responsibility of Men to repent and believe, the idea that God holds man responsible for his choices. This concept is found throughout Scripture and is certainly true. But we will look at something equally true:that God is Sovereign and saves people by His Sovereign grace by His own choice. We will find that we choose Him because He first chose us. So remember, we are addressing what Paul is saying, not the broader subject of Election vs. Man’s Responsibility. We will get to that a little in chapter 9.
4. Arthur Pink wrote, "Divine grace is the sovereign and saving favor of God exercised in bestowing blessings upon those who have no merit in them and for which no compensation is demanded."
5. Luke put it simply in the Book of Acts, expressing the clear cause and effect relationship of Sovereign Grace: Acts 13:48 , “When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. “
6. If, after today’s message, you disagree with my interpretation of the text, relax. Many of you will. Our church takes no official stance on this matter.
7. But I hope to move us behind the mechanics of Sovereign Grace to its surprising goal.
Main idea: Christian, when we say, “God has a plan for your life” we have said a mouth full. Let’s contemplate some of the pillars of that plan, and where that plan is meant to take you.
TS---Today’s sermon may raise more questions than it answers…we will address many of those questions as we get into chapter 9.
I. The Depth of the Process of God’s Plan
1.Begins with Foreknowledge: God was acquainted with __US___ before we were
(1) to foreknow is to Fore___love______.
(2) it means God knew who He was going to __choose__ before we were born; it does NOT mean God knew who would believe and then chose them (according to Rom. 3:10-11, that would be nobody)
(3) the issue is foreknowing persons, not ___facts___.
· it means just what your first instincts tell you it means
· God does not predestinate everything, just some things
· A professor at Dallas Seminary believed God predestined EVERYTHING…he leaned back in his easy chair and fell to the ground. He brushes himself off and said, “Boy, I’m glad that’s overwith!”
(1) general call through the Gospel
Matt. 28:19-20 stands….”to every creature…”
Our attitude: 2 Timothy 2:10, “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”
(2) the specific, effectual ____call____ is also implied (John 6:37,44)
37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
· Putting those two together: You can’t come unless you are drawn, but those who are drawn will be raised up because they are part of the Father’s gift given to Jesus and they can never be driven away.
· How do we know who the elect are? D.L. Moody put it simply: “The elect are the whosoever wills, the non-elect are the whosoever won’ts.”