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| The Sovereignty of God|
Arthur W. Pink
Chapter 12 - The Value of This Doctrine
June 11, 2017
Hello to another blessed day for our Heavenly Father has given us another day to learn. We will continue our book, The Sovereignty of God, by the author, Arthur W. Pink. And we look at the last official chapter, chapter 12, The Value of this Doctrine.
As per usual, the author gives us verses from 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration by God. And is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, Thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
From this verse, we should see the very importance in doctrine in general. All doctrines come about in order to teach, and it is by doctrine or teaching that the great realities of God and of our relation to Him – of Christ, the Spirit, salvation, grace, glory, are made known to us. It is by doctrine that believers are nourished as well as corrected, and when doctrine is neglected, growth in grace and effective witnessing for Christ stops. But in our day, Christians claim that our very doctrines are “unpractical,” when doctrine is the very base for a practical life. There is an inseparable connection between belief and practice. This is told to us in Proverbs 23:7, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The relationship between Divine truth and Christian character is cause and effect, and all of that is able to come back because of our doctrines!
Unfortunately, too many pastors and preachers of our time practice “practical” preaching. But far too often does this type of mentality lead to a sinful mentality that affects the church of God. The reason why there is so little depth, so little intelligence, so little understanding of the fundamentals of Christianity is because so few believers have been established in faith based on the Word of God. It is ignorance of doctrine that has allowed for so many professing churches to be helpless to cope with the rising tide of faithlessness. It is ignorance of doctrine that is mainly responsible for thousands of professing Christians to be captivated by the things of our day. It is because the time has now arrived when the bulk of our church will not endure sound doctrine that they so readily receive false doctrines. Of course it is true that doctrine, like anything else in Scripture can be seen as just a study-guide and leave the heart untouched. However, the truth stands still, which is that doctrine studied with an exercised heart, will forever lead into a deeper knowledge of God and of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
The same principles of doctrine applies to the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty must lie at the foundation of Christian theology. It must be the center of gravity for the whole system of Christian truth. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is a Divine way for us to mold the affections of the heart and to give a right direction for conduct. It produces gratitude in prosperity and patience in adversity. It gives comfort for the present and a sense of security for the unknown future. And now, we shall look in detail the value of the doctrine.
First, the doctrine of Gods’ sovereignty allows for us to properly view the perfection of God. It maintains His right to creation. It tells us that God has a right, as the potter, to form and fashion the clay into vessels of whatever type and for whatever use as He may please. It argues that none has any right to “reply” against God, and that the only attitude for the creature is that of reverence.
It shows us that His wisdom is perfect and absolute. Nothing gets past Him and He knows everything. It shows that while God is in His holiness, He permitted evil to enter His fair creation; that while He is the Possessor of all power, He has allowed the Devil to wage war against Him; that while He is the perfect culmination of love, He did not spare His own Son; that while He is the God of all grace, many people will be tormented forever and ever in Hell. And although many things stay as mystery to us, the Scriptures does NOT deny them but acknowledges them.
It also makes known of God’s irreversible Will. Acts 15:18 reads, “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” From the very beginning God purposed to glorify Himself through the Church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. To this end, He created the world, and formed man. His all-wise plan was not defeated when man fell but for the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Because God is the Almighty His will cannot be withstood. Neither man nor the devil can successfully resist Him, therefore it is written, “The Lord reigns; let the people tremble.” (Psalms 99:1)
Furthermore, it magnifies His grace. Grace, as we has spoken in detail in previous chapters, is His unmerited favor, because grace is shown to the undeserving, to those who have no claim upon God. Therefore grace is out of God’s sovereignty for He gives it to whom he pleases. Divine sovereignty has ordained that some shall be cast into Hell to show that all deserved such doom. But grace comes in and draws out from a lost humanity a group of people for God’s name, to be throughout all eternity the monuments of His favor. Sovereign grace reveals to us God breaking down the opposition of the human heart, subduing the enmity of our mind, and bringing us to love Him because He first loved us!
Thus, the proper view of the absolute supremacy of God is of great importance, for unless we have a proper regard to His high sovereignty He will never be honored in our thoughts of Him, nor will He have His proper place in our hearts and lives. Without knowing the awesomeness of God, in all aspects of Christian doctrine, we cannot solidify our faith in Him! We cannot know of Him as He is to be known and so we cannot love and revere Him without knowing Him properly!
It is out of His sovereignty that He chooses some people to be part of His family. And it is out of His sovereignty, then, that it is only God that can give us a firm base for practical religion to build upon. There can be no progress in Divine things until there is a personal recognition that God is Supreme, that HE is to be feared and revered, that He is to be served as Lord. We read the Scriptures in vain unless we come to it earnestly desiring to better our knowledge of His will for us. Every prayer we send up to God is lacking before Him unless it is offered according to His will. Every service we engage in is but “dead work” unless it is done for the glory of God. We were predestined to be conformed to the very image of God’s Son, and for each saint in conforming to practicality with God, it is determined by our response to our Lord. And it is even through that response we depend on God.
Furthermore, this doctrine brings humility to our lives. It goes against our human pride, and goes against the doctrines of men. The motivation of our age is boasting and glorifying ourselves. However, when we realize God’s power and His awesomeness and truly take it all into consideration, we can only say that we are nothing but clay. We insist that it is God who not only supplies but also applies His will unto our souls. It teaches that salvation is not by us but by God’s grace upon on through faith. It tells us as we are born, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And all this is most humbling to the heart of man, who wants to contribute to the price of his redemption and do that which will give us grounds for boasting and self-satisfaction.
And if this doctrine humbles us, then it should make the praise go the opposite way. We should be glorifying God ever so much more! We have seen our own worthlessness and helplessness and cry to God to have mercy upon our souls. If by nature we were “children of wrath,” and by practice rebels against the Divine government, and if God was under no obligation to rescue us from the fiery deaths which our lives were headed, then it can only bring gratitude. That love and grace will only melt our hearts! And we know that it wasn’t an accident, but a purpose God chose to fulfill since the very foundations of this world! We shall be like the Psalmist in Psalms 115:1, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake.”
It also brings us a sense of security while knowing that, at the end, good will always triumph. When we are down, we know of God’s awesomeness, and of His love for us children, and bring comfort in our sorrows. Knowing that God is sovereign over everything and one, it brings us comfort for every situation we may be in. Knowing God’s sovereignty, and taking it into our hearts will not bring us away from God, but closer to Him! We grow in our dependency to him and He is our heavenly Father. He is no longer an enemy or a stranger, but someone who will certainly deliver us until the very end of day! This concludes our book and concludes our chapter, The Value of this Doctrine. And we are able to see how much it is that God holds power over this world, our lives, and even our faith! We must realize this doctrine, grow dependent on God, and grow in our love for Him!
1) What is doctrine and why is it important?
2) What is the doctrine of God's sovereignty and why is it important?
3) How does knowing God's sovereignty influence our daily Christian lives?