There are many questions that will arise out of the teaching tonight. We want thinkers who love God with all of their mind. There is no possible way we can address every concern and issue in this 30 minute teaching session. t is my goal to whet your appetite and make you hungry for more. I want you to ask questions, read good books and talk with your small group leaders.
1. God is 100% sovereign over all things – including human actions.
- Psalm 115:1-3 – God’s glory is central and he does all that he pleases. God is totally free. God is the only being in the world with true free will. Man has a will and it is active, but it is only bound to sin. You can exercise free will, but you will only and always choose to sin. Therefore it is not truly free will. This is why regeneration is necessary.
- God is sovereign over disaster. (Amos 3:6; Isaiah 45:6-7)
- God is sovereign over evil deeds. (Isaiah 19:2)
1 Samuel 2:25 – God wanted to put Samuel’s sons to death because they were wicked. They mocked the things of God and they were being sexually immoral with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
- God is sovereign over kings and their decisions. (1 Kings 12:15; Proverbs 21:1)
- God is sovereign over every detail of life. (Proverbs 16:33)
- God is sovereign over conversion. (Acts 13:48)
All of these terms (depravity, justification, regeneration, election, adoption, etc) are linked. When is someone regenerated? Right before they are justified. When is someone elected? Before the foundations of the earth.
- Acts 16:14
- Ephesians 1:4 – God elected us before the foundation of the world.
- John 6:35-40, 44 – God must draw us to himself and change our hearts. All that the father gives, will come. This is not the other way around. It does not say, all that comes – the father will give.
2. Man is 100% responsible for his actions.
- The Bible is very clear that man is judged according to his works done in unbelief. No one gets a free pass. No one will be able to say to God – I wanted to get saved but I was not predestined. This is not an option. We touched on this last week.
God does not force people to be saved. The only people who are saved are those who want to be. No one will be banging on heaven’s door to find out that God turns them away because they are not elect. Rather, we are all shaking our fists at God and he decides to save some. It is miraculous that God would save anyone. He does not owe salvation to anyone.
- We are called to act. We are not called to passively await for the wind to blow on us. We are called to believe or we will be condemned. John 3:16-19
- Romans 9:6-25 – God is sovereign and man is responsible.
This is where the mystery lies. The mystery is how we can be responsible and yet God can be sovereign. The mystery is not that God works alongside our free will to change our hearts. God alone who changes the affections of the heart and our will. The mystery is that God works in us and our actions are real.
3. Election is designed out of the mercy of God.
- Ephesians 1:4-5 – “In love”
- 1 John 4:19
- Romans 9:23 – “vessels of mercy”
4. Election is designed to make God look good.
- Ephesians 1:3 – “Blessed”
- Ephesians 1:6 – “to the praise of his glorious grace”
- Ephesians 1:10 – “to unite all things in him”
- Ephesians 1:12- “to the praise of his glory”
- Romans 9:17 – God raised up Pharaoh to show his power throughout all the land of Egypt and for generation after generation to remember the display of God in parting the red sea. God loves his own glory and it is loving for God to do this.
5. Election is designed to comfort the Christian.
- Romans 8:28-39
Questions for Small Group:
- Have you heard this doctrine before? Did anything stick out to you in a fresh way? What are some of your unanswered questions?
- How is this doctrine humbling? In your own words, explain how this doctrine brings God glory?
- How can this doctrine bring comfort to people who are suffering? How can this doctrine bring comfort to those who are being persecuted? How does it make you feel that God is for you and not against you?