Responding to Our Knowledge of God - Sovereignty

Faith Church June 16, 2007 Isaiah 45:5-6

 

Introduction:

1.  We’re continuing our new series today in our Worship Service:  Reaching New Heights in Our Knowledge of God!

- our goal is to further APPLY the subject to our lives as an ABF, so we’ve entitle our ABF study: Responding to Our Knowledge of God

2.  Remember the words if Daniel: 

  • Daniel 11:32 "…but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.”

- we say this in counseling a lot, but counseling problem are theological problems (unless of course it’s medical problem that can be proven in a laboratory)

- i.e. people struggle with problems in marriage, family, various life situations because many times their view of God is WRONG!

Input: Complete this sentence:Many people think that God isn’t __________________?

 – but gracious, powerful, loving, in control, patient, aware, etc. – all of these are BAD theology]

- so that’s why, in part, we doing this study

- this ties in with Paul’s words:

  • Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death

know’ = knowledge based on personal experience (because of the interaction/relationship)

3.  Our goal is that you not only Reach New Heights in your Intellectual Knowledge of God . . . but in your PRACTICAL knowledge of God (a life of obedience, a attitude of hope, and high motivation for future service to demonstrate that faith in God and what you truly believe about Him!

4.  It’s important for us to each of the attributes about God that we study and FURTHER apply them to our lives, families, work, and life situations!

*  Basically, we’re wanting to accomplish two things:

1) to glorify God by our obedience to His Word

2) to put that knowledge into ACTION!

  • 1 Corinthians 8:1 . . . Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies!

- the first part of our study includes:

I.  Reaching New Heights in Our Knowledge of God:  His Sovereignty!

- that is (or was – depending on your ABF) the subject of our study in the worship service

*  God’s sovereignty is a primary attribute of God that helps us trust Him alone in all circumstances!

- Arthur Pink (a great theologian) wrote:  [ p. 18, “The Sovereignty of God”]

>  “We mean the supremacy of God . . .To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God.  To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him ‘What doest thou?’”  (or in modern English—What are you doing God?

- now, * One of our goals in this study is to learn more about God . . . and His SOVEREIGNTY so we will learn to TRUST His judgment and know that He is in control of all the events in our lives.

1)  exercising our faith in a God Who is sovereign

2)  proclaiming this truth of God’s sovereignty to others

3)  modeling this the confidence in our God’s control (that others may “see our good works and glorify our Father Who is in heaven!”)

- each week, we’re going to be asking a set of questions for you to consider in the context of the specific aspect of God that is being presented in the Worship Service!

II.  Responding to Our Knowledge of God’s Sovereignty

Q: Do you really believe that God is in control?

  • What other passages communicate this attribute of God? [various answers]
  • Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

- another example is the parable of the laborers in the vineyard – the master hired some workers at different times of the day, but paid them all the same – those hired earlier in the day complained that He was unfair:

  • Matthew 20:13 "But he answered and said to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 'Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 'Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?'

- think about Paul’s words:

  • Romans 9:20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

- I like Job’s final conclusion after being confronted with some of the most powerful questions asked by God:

  • Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD and said, 2 "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

Q:  How could these words be written?  Because it’s the TRUTH about God . . . He is in control!

  •  What impact should this attribute have in the following areas:
  • Temptation to sin:

- while we realize God is in control, I have to respond and say no to prevent sin

- if I have sinned, God allowed it to happen to teach me a lesson

Input: What would be some of those lessons?

  • how to prevent sinning in the future (Rom. 13:14 – make no provision for the flesh to fulfill it’s lust)
  • the impact the choices I make can have on another person, family member, church
  • Facing Trials (suffering, illness, disappointments)

- God is in control and there are no surprises with Him

- Am I learning all the lessons He wants to teach me through this trial (Rom. 8:28-29)

  • Conflicts with people:

- God can use the imperfections of another person to help me grow to be more like Christ

- What aspect of the fruit of the Spirit do I need to learn from this situation – God let it happen, so how can grow?

- there may be something in the other person’s life that God is wanting to work on, so I have to be honest and ‘speak the truth in love’

Input: What can happen as a result of acknowledging the sovereignty of God and bringing you across the path of a person with whom you have a conflict?

> it can build a strong relationship with that person!

  • Prayer Life:

- we can pour our hearts to God, but we always have to conclude with:

“Not my will, but Your will be done”

> and it will be done because He is sovereign

Q: But why should we pray and make a request if God is already determined to do what He wills to do?

> we are commanded to pray and make our requests known to him

> ‘we have not because we ask not’

  • James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
  • In what ways does our church emphasize/model this quality? [various answers]

- we weave this truth in our counseling and preaching/teaching

- we don’t react when something doesn’t go the way we want it to

- we work hard to do out part in building the church (i.e. PEOPLE, not just the building) but at the same time, acknowledge that God is in control and want to teach us lessons through His blessings and through trials/difficulties

  • In what ways do we as a church need to GROW in the way we emphasize/model this attribute? [various answers]

- increase our prayer time and emphasis – to pray about things as a body (VBS, Community Picnic, VBS closing program, etc.)

- not react when we’ve done the best we can and something doesn’t go our way or meet our expectations

  • How can you emphasize this attribute to your family (spouse, children) and friends?

- bring them up in the teaching of the Lord (explain to them how God is sovereign – He is always in control

- teaching them to trust God in times of disappointment as well as during God’s blessings

- ask questions like: Why did a sovereign God let _____________ happen in your life?

- remember each other the biblical examples of God being in control of everything

  • How can we help each other grow in this quality?

- remind each other that God is in control of everything and as Job stated, His plan cannot be thwarted

- when we pray, praise the Lord for His sovereignty

- Be willing to communicate honestly when a person when someone is doubting God – go asking q’s about their view of God being too small!

- Pray for one another to trust the Lord in ALL areas of life (it’s harder to trust the Lord when things are NOT going the way we want them to go)

  • What causes you to doubt God in this area?

- wrong view of God – ignoring the examples of God’s sovereignty in the scriptures

- failure to acknowledge the affects of the curse of sin on our ability to think & reason

- we over-emphasize the ‘earthly’ and ‘human’ perspective than we do the ‘heavenly’ and ‘divine’ aspect of all situations – basically, we’re short-sighted of the truth and the nature and character of God!

  • How did OT Israel fail to grasp the aspect of God’s sovereignty?

Example:  They turned to other gods and worshipped them!! God warned them about this:

  • Joshua 23:16 "When you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which He has given you."

- Sovereignty implies exclusivity – there is no higher power – He IS the Lord of All!

  • What instruction was given to the NT regarding this subject?
  • Philippians 2:24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.
  • Hebrews2:13 And again, "I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM."
  • KEY QUESTION:  What impact should this attribute have on the following?
  • Outreach:  as God provides the opportunity, we need to ACT on it!! (VBS, Community Picnic and Grand Opening!!)
  • Praise/Worship: we worship the only TRUE and living God – He’s sovereign!
  • Discipleship/Growth: God wants to use every event in our life to help us grow!
  • Serving (use of gifts/abilities): God sovereignly gave us spiritual gifts, we better USE that gift for His glory because one day we will give an account to the King!
  • One another ministry (Building Meaningful Relationships): God  brings people across our path for a purpose – to learn from them, to make an impact on their life – IT’S NO ACCIDENT – so you need to make the most of the windows of opportunity

IMPORTATNT: APPLY THIS TO THE FOLLOWING:

  • VBS CLOSING PROGRAM(June 24th – God will bring some parents here that don’t know Jesus, let’s befriend them!)
  • MEN OF FAITH(June 23rd – God will bring some men that you need to meet and encourage and model that God is real in your life!)
  • COMMUNITY PICNIC & Grand Opening(July 1stGod will allow some unbelievers to be part of our picnic, we need to reach out to them, love them, and let them know we really believe Jesus is alive and can change lives!)
  • JULY INTRO TO FAITH(July 11th [1st night] God has brought us a number of visitors over the past few weeks, who do you know that you can invite to the Intro to Faith (childcare is provided)

Conclusion:

Q: Are you seeking to be more faithful because God is faithful?

Q:  In what ways does your knowledge of God’s sovereignty truly impact your actions/choices/thoughts?

Key Verse: 

  • Isaiah 45:5-6 "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.”

Faith Church