Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Pink Perspective

I am still waiting for my computer to come back from the dead. Apparently a new hard drive and 400$ will take care of that. Unfortunately I do not have easy access to either of those items. So, here I am from my satellite feed. I was hoping to continue my Wednesday series that I began on understanding the OT prophesy found in the NT, however my work for that is currently on my dead computer with no back-up (yes I know, I should back everything up). What I would like to do today is take a brief look at the Sovereignty of God.

The issue of God’s Sovereignty has been muddied up by the church today. It has been my experience that there are three different positions on the sovereignty of God in the church today. The first position unequivocally accepts the doctrines that affirm God’s sovereignty. The second position sees God’s sovereignty in juxtaposition with man’s libertine free-will. Finally the third, and most common position is the don’t ask don’t tell position (“I don’t know, and it seems so hard to understand that I don’t want to know. I just want to love Jesus”). You may fall somewhere between the cracks of my broad categories, but I think that these categories represent the American church. This is the place that we are at today. Lest we think that things are worse now than they have ever been let me share with you the perspective of A.W. Pink (from the Sovereignty of God, pg 15):

“Therefore, in view of the growing disrespect for human law and the refusal to ‘render honour to whom honour is due,’ we need not be surprised that the recognition of the majesty, the authority, the sovereignty of the Almighty Law-giver should recede more and more into the background, and that the masses have less and less patience with those who insist upon them.”

What was true when Pink wrote this, and is true now, has always been true. Man inherently has an utter disrespect for God and his sovereign rule over creation. Because of the effects of sin men elevate their view of themselves, and consequently belittle God.

If God is sovereign over all things then how can I have a free-will to do what I please? This is how the world thinks; Romans 1 makes it very clear to us that man is looking to attack the sovereignty of God to justify the practice of lawlessness. If the law-maker isn’t all that great, then the law-breaker isn’t all that bad. This is why the church must be so careful not to be influenced by the thinking of the world in her formation of doctrine. Instead of beginning with man as the center of the universe and working our way back towards God, we must begin with God and work down towards man.

Again Pink writes (pg 19):
“We freely grant that the postulates of God’s sovereignty with all its corollaries is at direct variance with the opinions and thoughts of the natural man, but the truth is the natural man is quite unable to think upon these matters… The Bible conflicts with the sentiments of the carnal mind, which is at enmity with God.”

With this in mind we must be extremely biblical, and painfully careful how we understand the role of God’s sovereignty. It is not enough to give lip service to God as the ruler of the world. We must work hard to understand what it means that God is the ruler of the universe. God’s sovereignty is a point of emphasis in Scripture, and so must it also be in our lives. God must be God in fact, as well as in name.

I think that as the opportunity affords itself I will post more on this subject in the coming days. So for today, let me leave you with one last thing to think about. In Revelation 4 we find this majestic scene of the angels worshiping the Lord and in verse 11 here is how they worshiped Him:

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

Did you notice the emphasis on God’s sovereignty? God is the creator of all things who is worthy of glory and honor and power. And not only that, but God created all things for no other reason than it was His will. Yes man has a will, but we must not forget that God also has a will. We must not let ourselves be fooled into thinking that our will is equal to (and at times supercedes) God’s will. God willed us into creation, and he has also willed us unto re-creation. Nothing that we can do with frustrate the will of God.


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