“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’” – Romans 11:33-34
Think back over this past month, or even this past week: How many times do you reckon you said the words, “I’m sorry”–and not even for those things you did intentionally; but just for mistakes you made, despite your best intentions. Maybe things you intended to do but forgot; things you attempted but failed; or even just “accidents” (misfortune) that foiled your plans. When we look back, we see that we leave behind a wake of mistakes in every area of our lives, everything we touch.Continue reading →
“We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God according to which he effectually regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners, not on the basis of anything foreseen in them, but solely based on his free and sovereign grace. We believe that this election comprehends all the means connected with its end such that the salvation of all who trust in Christ is guaranteed, that by God’s unfailing grace all genuine believers will persevere in faith unto full and complete salvation.” – SCC Statement of Faith
God is sovereign (in control) of our suffering and the evils of this world. This casts a deep hue of divine meaning and purpose over our experience of suffering. … But it does not necessarily diminish the actual experience of suffering itself, nor do theological explanations of suffering necessarily decrease the pain.
This is an important (precious) distinction for anyone who has gone through a severe experience of pain, suffering, abuse, or sorrow. Do not conflate “God works all things (even evil and suffering) together FOR good” (Rom 8:28 — a promise that believers can take to the bank) into “Everything that is being worked out by God IS itself good” (not the case; not in the Bible).
In your good intentions, do not validate someone’s abuse; neither diminish their pain. Own evil as evil. No need not to. We have a God who is sovereign enough for that.
The following is a paper I wrote on the topics of reprobation, double predestination, hardening, and the like, based on an in depth study of Paul’s words in the ninth chapter of the epistle to the Romans. Below you will find links to my Romans 9 translation/diagram as well as a download of the entire paper in PDF format.
Ligon Duncan provides two quality video responses about a topic which always seems to be a hot issue among Christians: God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.
In the first video Duncan affirms that God’s sovereignty and human responsibility are not contradictory concepts but are assumed side by side in scripture. They are not mutually exclusive but are coordinate truths.
In the second video he defines human freedom (often called “free will”) from a correct understanding of the human condition in light of man’s utter sinfulness (total depravity).