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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sovereignty and Faith

On our WebPage we post a Weekly Scripture for folks to read, for meditation, for discussion, or just about any Scripture based use.  This weeks Scripture is Exodus 9:16,

'But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show MY power in you, and that MY name may be declared in all the earth.'    (Exodus 9:16   NKJV)

Now this was a message that GOD had given Moses to take to the Pharaoh.  In the verse preceding, HE had pointed out that HE could have just as easily ended it all for the Egyptian leader and his family, but hadn't.  This verse we just looked at explains why.  It also explains why the LORD allows a lot of bad things to happen.  Most Christians understand and can accept the bad things that happen to the world, and those who are 'of this world' but have trouble when things go wrong for the New Testament Believer.  The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the [early] church there in Rome, made reference to the words GOD spoke to Moses way back there in Egypt.  Paul used the words to Pharaoh to explain GOD's sovereign will.  What we have here is two sinners, Moses and Pharaoh, and both had committed murder.  One was a powerful ruler while the other was a slave.  GOD used the one to demonstrate HIS power and judgment and the other to show HIS mercy and grace.  Does the  fact that one was a Jew and the other a Gentile have anything to do with who was used for what?  What was it about the Hebrews that had caused HIM to choose that particular nation of people to call HIS own?  What we're talking about here is the sovereign will of GOD.  The sovereignty of the LORD is perhaps the most avoided and least understood aspect of HIM, and that is because we think to much about some things.  In earlier posts to this blog and other writings I've encouraged everyone to study the Word, and to think about what they're told.  I'm a very strong advocate of testing everything by the Scriptures, and I'm not taking a different position here.  We're to believer every single thing we're told in HIS Good News.  More often than not, the Bible explains why we're to believe what we're told to believe.  But there are times, like in Paul's letter to the church in Rome, when we're not to question HIM beyond what HE has decided to make known to us.  Now we have two things at play here, HIS sovereign will and our faith.  After Paul quotes the words of Moses, he goes farther and explains man's status before the LORD, in regards to HIS sovereign will and our faith.

'Therefore HE has mercy on whom HE wills, and whom HE wills  HE hardens.  You will say to me then, "Why does HE still find fault?  For who has resisted HIS will?"  But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against GOD?  Will the thing formed say to HIM who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"'    (Romans 9:18-20  NKJV)

The bottom line is this, some things we're supposed to know, and some things we're supposed to accept.  If we had the [GOD given] right to know every single thing about HIM and HIS ways, where does that leave faith?  The author of the book of Hebrews, in the eleventh chapter, created what is often referred to as the 'Faith Chapter.'  Let's look at the 'introduction' to the Faith Chapter.

'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of GOD, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.'    (Hebrews 11:1-3    NKJV)

The point to be made here is that GOD, as a Sovereign LORD over all, doesn't have to explain HIMSELF to us.  We have to accept HIS Will, for us and every single part of our lives, by faith.  We can't separate GOD's Grace, which brings us the gift of life, from HIS Sovereignty, which through HIS Authority, brings us the life of grace. 

In HIS Holy name, by HIS Sovereign grace, through HIS Sons' shed blood, we are saved.  If that's not good enough, all by itself, then what would be?

We continually pray HIS tender mercies and lovingkindness for you and yours.

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