Sermon read last Sunday (23/4/2017) at CERC Singapore. Originally preached by Rev. Carl Haak….a MUST if you are getting weary in prayer or any of the disciplines of the Christian life.
|Predestination: That’s Not Fair!
Posted: 20 Apr 2017 01:57 PM PDT
Predestination: That’s Not Fair!
The accusation against God that predestination is unfair is foolish. God cannot be unfair or unjust because He is the very definition of righteousness. “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid!” (Romans 9:14). When something seems to be unfair, we must remember that we are not competent judges, and really have no right to judge the Almighty. He judges us. We do not judge Him.
It is also wicked rebellion against God to label Him a cruel tyrant or an evil puppet master. God is not a cruel monster. He is, in fact, the sovereign Creator and Judge, and as such He can do with His creatures what He wills. All His doings are good and in accord with perfect righteousness and wisdom. Human beings are not puppets or robots—we are rational, moral creatures, who are accountable to God.
If God choose to save none, but punished all, He would be just to do so. None deserve salvation. All of us deserve to be condemned for our sins. If a governor had ten men on death row, all of whom were guilty of heinous crimes and worthy of death, and the governor, by sovereign prerogative, determined to pardon one, the other nine cannot complain that they did not receive the same pardon. All deserved justice. Nine received strict justice, were sentenced to death, and executed, while one received mercy and received a pardon. Similarly, God declares, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Romans 9:15).
Therefore, the sinner has no ground for his complaint. If he hates God, loves his sins, and despises Jesus Christ, how will he complain if God gives him the hell that he so richly deserves? If a man lives as a rebel against God, why should he expect salvation from Him? And if another receives salvation, given to him freely by grace alone, why will any complain that he did not receive what another received—when none deserved it?
God chooses to give salvation to some as is His sovereign prerogative as God. God says to the complainer, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen (Matthew 20:15-16).
Instead of complaining, marvel at predestination and worship God for it.
Rev. Martyn McGeown
|What he does
|What we must not do
|What that means
|Indwells||His person sealing-love, kindness and tenderness.
|Grieve him (Eph.4:30)
|Pursue universal holiness
|Sanctifies||His gracious operation-like fire
|Quench him (I Thess. 5:19)
|Work out what he works in
|Speaks through ministers||The means of grace (preaching, reading)
|Resist him (Acts 7:51) by closing ears
|Listen and apply
Taken from John Owen’s “Communion with the Triune God.”
He does NOT inspire the “lively worship” or do the spurious “high jinks” or “miracles” or “so-called healings” or prostrations of the Pentecostal and Charismatic pseudo-churches but rather he reveals and teaches the truth of God and glorifies Christ by every means through the Scriptures which he inspired. We are to do the same. He is the divine witness and we are lesser witnesses.
“We lose both the power and pleasure of our obedience for want of this consideration. The Holy Ghost undertakes to be our comforter. What an unworthy thing it is to grieve him who comes to us on purpose to give us consolation! The Holy Ghost, in his inﬁnite love and kindness toward me, has condescended to be my comforter; he does it willingly, freely, powerfully. What have I received from him! In the multitude of my perplexities how has he refreshed my soul! Can I live one day without his consolations? And shall I be regardless of him in that wherein he is concerned? Shall I grieve him by negligence, sin, and folly? Shall not his love constrain me to walk before him to all well-pleasing?” Eph.4:30
Owen is brilliant (Communion with God).
There are three things considerable in the Holy Ghost: (1) his person, as dwelling in us; (2) his actings by grace, or his motions; (3) his working in the ordinances of the word, and the sacraments—all for the same end and purpose. To these three are the three cautions before suited: (1) Not to grieve him, in respect of his person dwelling in us. (2) Not to quench him, in respect of the actings and motions of his grace. (3) Not to resist him, in respect of the ordinances of Christ, and his gifts for their administration. Now, because the whole general duty of believers, in their communion with the Holy Ghost, is comprised in these three things, I shall handle them severally. TBC.
What are the greatest needs in the world today?
For the church:
- Labourers for the harvest field—Reformed ministers, elders and deacons, the former trained and sent by overseeing congregations/synod and the latter volunteering to move or raised up locally.
- Supporting churches with prayer, oversight and finance.
- Reformation in all departing churches.
- Prayer, practical and financial support for the persecuted and starving.
For the world:
- The gospel proclaimed personally, through Scripture distribution or through electronic means to make disciples of all peoples.
- Conversion of men and women in power
- Righteous laws
- Acceptance of true asylum seekers and refugees.
- The destruction of radical Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Communism and apostate Christianity.
- The salvation of all the elect including among cults and all groups above.
1.provide (someone) with amusement or enjoyment.“a tremendous game that thoroughly entertained the crowd”
synonyms: amuse, divert, distract, delight, please, charm, cheer, beguile, interest, fascinate, enthral, engage, involve, occupy, absorb, immerse, engross, preoccupy, hold the attention of“he wrote his first stories to entertain his children” antonyms: bore
receive (someone) as a guest and provide them with food and drink.“a private dining room where members could entertain groups of friends”
synonyms: receive, play host/hostess to, show hospitality to, invite to a meal/party, invite (round/over), ask (round/over), have (round/over), give someone a meal, throw a party for; Morereceive guests, have guests, play host/hostess, provide hospitality, have people round/over, have company, hold/throw a party, keep open house, have a dinner/lunch party“I expect you entertain a lot”
This is keeping the fourth commandment which we do because we love God.
The Lord’s Day is the New Testament fulfillment of the Old Testament Sabbath, the day of rest that God instituted at the close of the creation week. On this day God calls His people to rest; not merely to rest physically (though that is part of it), but to rest spiritually. This spiritual rest is an important dimension of our worship on the Lord’s Day. For that reason, we do well to think about Sabbath rest as we prepare ourselves for worship tomorrow.
The true idea of Sabbath rest is lost in much of the church today. On the one side, there are those who have taken the liberty to transform the Sabbath into a day for themselves. Rather than faithfully attend the corporate worship of the church, they are very willing to substitute “family time” or some other activity in place of church. That can be a temptation…
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John Owen in his masterful treatise on Communion with the Triune God teaches us just how we underestimate the blessed work of the Holy Spirit in us. “Without ME (and the Spirit is CHRIST IN ME) ye can do nothing.”
“Now, our afflictions, our sins, and our obedience, with the attendances of them respectively, are the great concernments of our lives. What we are in reference unto God is comprised in them, and the due management of them, with their contraries, (necessitate) consolation from the Holy Ghost, that gives us a joyful issue throughout. All the consolations of the Holy ghost consist in his acquainting us with, and communicating unto us, the love of the Father and the grace of the Son; we have our communion with the Father in his love, and the Son in his grace, by the operation of the Holy Ghost. By persuading us of the eternal and unchangeable love of the Father, he fills us with consolation. (He communicates) the grace of Christ, — all the fruits of his purchase, all the desirableness of his person, as we are interested in him. He glorifies Christ by revealing his excellencies and desirableness to believers, as the “chiefest of ten thousand, — altogether lovely,” and then he shows them of the things of Christ, — his love, grace, all the fruits of his death, suffering, resurrection, and intercession: and with these supports their hearts and souls. And here, whatever is of refreshment in the pardon of
sin, deliverance from the curse, and wrath to come, in justification and adoption.
Froward, perverse, unthankful; grieving, vexing, provoking him. Yet in his love and tenderness does he continue to do us good. He knew what we were, and what we could do, and what would be our dealings with him, — he knew we would grieve him, provoke him, quench his motions, defile his dwelling-place; and yet he would come to be our comforter. Want of a due consideration of this great love of the Holy Ghost weakens all the principles of our obedience. ”
Now we better understand the benediction, ” Now the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”