THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

I think we miss the boat in attempting to define the Sovereignty of God. In our vain thinking we place on God, our own intellectual definition of what sovereignty is, and in doing so, we define God’s sovereignty within the perimeters of human wisdom.

Sovereignty simply means supreme power, authority, and dominion. Throughout scripture we see that God is supreme, and all powerful, with all authority and dominion belonging to him.

The problem with human wisdom is that it limits God’s sovereignty to what we think a Sovereign God would do. A person may say “man does not have a free will for if man has a free will, God can not be sovereign.”

One who would make such a claim has actually defined the perimeters of God’s sovereignty, for in his futile mind a sovereign God would not allow his creation to have a free will. But what If God wanted to give humanity a free will?

What if, in God’s wisdom (in his sovereign wisdom) he chose to give humanity the freedom of choice, so that he could display his glorious power, and authority, in the midst of opposition and on the behalf of those who set their hearts on him.

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul described the cross as the wisdom of God in the first chapter of 1 Corinthians. We know from the whole counsel of scripture that the cross was a display of the sovereignty of God, yet in his wisdom, God displayed his sovereign power by utilizing those who opposed both him and Jesus.

The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. ~ Acts 4:26

Who put it into the hearts of sinful men to condemned Jesus? Was it God?

The scripture says it was Satan who put it into Judas’s heart to betray Jesus, not God (John 13:2). The actions of Judas were foretold in the Old Testament, and played a major role in the crucifixion, but it was Satan and not God who put it into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus.

What if God, in his sovereignty, decided to display his wisdom by utilizing the foolishness of sinful men to carry out his purposes of redeeming them?

What if in God’s sovereign wisdom, he decided to win the hearts of those to whom he gave the freedom to rebel against him, by demonstrating his great love, mercy, and grace to them?

What if God has sovereignly given man the freedom to chose to repent and be saved, or to rebel and be damned? Free will in no way negates God’s sovereignty, if anything, it displays it all the more!

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RETHINKING ESCHATOLOGY

In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes to the believers at Corinth and says the following:

As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our’s in the day of the Lord Jesus. ~ v.14

Paul writes something similar to the Thessalonians.

For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:19

Have you ever anyone teach on who will be your crowd, your joy, and your boasting when the Lord comes? There is so much eschatology in the New Testament that is missed by the end time experts who are preaching from current events rather than the Bible in context.

While many of us have a very selfish view of the coming of the Lord, Paul expected joy and rejoicing because of others who would experience God’s glory at the coming of Christ.

So, who is your crown, your joy, and your rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, because of your sacrifices of love for their sakes?

Don’t say Jesus, for we all will rejoice to see him, but as Paul had those to whom he had ministered, whose salvation and victory on that day would be as a crown of rejoicing, whose salvation and victory will do the same for you?

Are you looking for the day of the Lord Jesus with others in mind?

GOD IS SAVING THE JEWS BY THE MERCY GIVEN TO THE GENTILE

There is only “one” holy nation in eyes of God. It’s not modern day Israel, and never will be. It’s not the United States, and never will be, nor is it any other physical nation.

The only nation that is holy in God’s eyes is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ: the blood washed, the redeemed.

When God brought Israel out of Egypt, he said the following to them:

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. ~ See Exodus 19:5-6

In his first epistle, the apostle Peter declares to his Jewish brethren (members of the church) who had been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…” ~ 1 Peter 2:9

To Israel in the wilderness God said, “you will be if…” To the born again Jews (members of Christ’s body, the church), God says, “you are.” Israel’s calling was to be what God has accomplished through Christ, and that is “the church.”

National Israel’s covenant with God was the Law given to Moses, and the Law bound Israel in the flesh with a curse. According to the narrative of scripture, the curse was imforced when Israel refused to obey God and continuously broke his covenant.

This is the reason why Israel in the flesh has been “cut off” by God’s mercy as Paul declares in Romans 9-11. Had the Mosaic covenant continued, Israel would have continued under the curse.

God has cut off ethnic Jews from covenant membership so that he might save some of them (those who would no longer abide in unbelief}. In this way, God demonstrates his mercy on those who will turn from ungodliness to righteousness,

This is the backdrop to Paul’s statement, “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” ~ Romans 11:28 

What was the “gift and calling” of God to Israel, which is without repentance?

It was the call to become a holy nation as God promised to make them “if” they would obey his voice and keep his commandments. Israel was called to be his people, the church. A remnant were, but the rest refused.

The gifts and callings of God for Israel can only be realized in the person of Jesus Christ, and for this reason Jesus died bearing the curse of the law to save both the Jew, and the Gentiles.

Gentiles who are saved are not “step children” of Abraham, nor are physical Jews more the children of Abraham. The “true” children of Abraham are those who are of faith.

God, in his mercy has “cut off” from covenant relationship unbelieving Jews, counting them all as sinners so that he might show them all the same mercy that he has bestowed on the hopeless Gentiles who repent and believe the gospel.

For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. ~ Romans 11:30-32

Notice, that Paul declares that God is saving the Jews who will believe, not because they are Jews in the flesh, but by “the mercy” he has given to Gentiles who were lost in sin and had no covenant with God.

God only has “one covenant family,” and that family is the blood washed church from every nation! And this was God’s plan of salvation all along, even before Israel existed.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love… ~ Ephesians 1:3-4

The salvation of the world was not an afterthought. It wasn’t plan-b. It has always be the plan hidden in Christ, and for this purpose God called the nation of Israel.

Many will cite, “Israel is the chosen people,” yet few of them will tell you to what end were they chosen. They were chosen for God’s redemptive purposes which have come to fruition in his Son: the true Israelite and the King of Israel, Jesus Christ!

In Christ, God has accomplished what his people under the Law could not do. He raised up a Savior from among them by which he has redeemed to himself a family, a holy nation, a sanctified body who worships him and serves him, and this was his eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:11).

Salvation through Jesus Christ comes to the Jew, not through the Law, but in the same way it has comes to the Gentiles – by God’s mercy!

If God had not cut off the unbelieving Jews, destroyed their temple, and put an end to their system of worship, they would have never been redeemed. They would have continued under the curse of the law.

Yet there are eschatological views that claim that Israel will live under the Law in a future millennial dispensation. Those who make these claims fail to understand the Law and Christ’s redemption of his people from the Law.

Because of his mercy, God has cut off all unbelieving Jews and abolished the Mosaic covenant, so that he can have mercy on all Jews who will believe the gospel

And to this Paul declares:

Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 11:31-36