Sunday Schedule

Worship 10:30AM

Sunday School/ADS 9:30AM

God is Sovereign and For Us

July 10, 2022 Speaker: Jerry Lindell Series: Individual Messages

Topic: God is Sovereign

Introduction

            John Piper starts out chapter 30 in his book, Life As a Vapor, this way:  “If by God’s grace you are assured that God is for you and not against you, then the more evidences you find of God’s sovereignty, the happier you are.”

 

            The Scripture trumpets these two truths:  God is sovereign and God is for us.  If you do not believe this, you will not thrive as a Christian.  There are so many setbacks and discouragements and pressures in this life, you will not live as a joyful Christian who brings glory to God unless you truly believe that God is both sovereign and for you.  So, this is what we want to dwell on in our time in God’s Word this morning.  It will be a simple sermon with just two points – Point 1:  God is sovereign; Point 2:  God is for us. I’m going to be reading a lot of Scripture this morning.  Don’t let your mind drift through these readings.  After all, wouldn’t you really rather hear God speaking to you, than just me?

 

God is Sovereign

            The Bible everywhere proclaims that God is sovereign in all things.  As we look at these verses, open your Bibles and follow along with us.

 

  • Psalm 33:9-11“For he spoke and it came to be; he commanded and it stood firm. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.  The counsel of the Lord stands forever; the plans of his heart to all generations.”

 

  • Psalm 115:1-3“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’  Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”

 

  • Psalm 135:5-6“For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord please he does, in heaven and on earth; in the seas and all the deeps.”

 

  • Proverbs 16:33“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”

 

  • Isaiah 46:9-11 - “For I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, say, ‘My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all my purpose.’”

 

 

 

  • Acts 2:22-24- These are the words of Simon Peter as he preached to the crowds at Pentecost. “Men of Israel, hear these words:  Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty words and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know – this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.  God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death because it was not possible for him to be held by it.”

 

  • Ephesians 1:11“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”

 

            From just this small sampling of Scripture verses, it is clear that God’s Word teaches that God is sovereign, ruling the world for his purposes and plans.  God’s sovereignty emphasizes his power and control.  His providence tells of him using his sovereignty in the affairs of the world and people.  God has the ability and might to make sure that all his plans and purposes come to pass.  The apostle Paul understood this as he wrote Ephesians 3:20-21“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly that all we ask or think, according to the power at work with us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever.  Amen.”

 

            The Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 11 states, “God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures and all their actions.”  God is in complete control of his world.  His hand may be hidden at times, but his powerful rule extends to all things.

 

            In his book, Do You Believe?, Paul Tripp asks the question, “What does it mean that the Bible teaches that God is sovereign?”  “It means that God is in absolute control of his world and everything that happens. . . It means that God never has questions, never is surprised, never is frustrated, never wonders, never wishes he could have, never looks back with regret, never is hoping, never is waiting, never feels helpless, has nothing he can’t figure out, and never finds himself at a loss.”

 

            In a world that seems out of control and where difficult things happen to you and those you love, God’s sovereignty seems counter-intuitive, but it’s a truth that you must hold on to.  But just believing that God is sovereign, won’t bring peace to your heart in troubled times.  There’s another truth you must always be preaching to your heart and that brings us to the second point.

 

God is for us

            The Scriptures also teach us that God is for us.  Do you realize how unspeakably precious those words are?  God is for us!  We were dead in our trespasses and sins because we rebelled against God’s righteous rule.  We were under his wrath and were on the way to be eternally separated from him.  But because of God’s mercy and grace as shown to us in the sacrificial death of his Son, we have been forgiven and pardoned.  God’s wrath has been forever turned aside and he is for us!  Listen to how the follow verses affirm this wonderful truth – God is for us?

 

  • Romans 8:28-32- “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among  many brothers.  And those whom he predestined he called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified, he also glorified.  What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

 

  • 2 Corinthians 9:8- “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

 

  • Philippians 1:6- “And I am sure of this that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

 

  • Philippians 4:19- “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

 

            God is sovereign and God is for us.  We need to hold these two truths together.  If God is sovereign, but not for us that will not comfort our hearts in troubling times.  But if God is for us, but not sovereign, neither will that minister peace to our hearts in setbacks.

 

            However, since Scripture so clearly affirms that God is both sovereign and for us, we must rest in the truth that almighty God will take every heartache, setback, pressure and discouragement and strip it of its destructive power and make it work for both our spiritual growth and his glory.

            Or to put it a different way, since God is both sovereign and for us, he will turn all our detours and obstacles into glorious outcomes.  In all of our delays and trials, God is (as southerners love to say) “fixing” to work for our good.

 

  • 2 Chronicles 16:9- “For the eyes of the Ord run to and fro through the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.”

 

  • Psalm 23:6- “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

 

  • Psalm 84:11- “For the Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

 

  • Jeremiah 32:40-41- These are God’s promises to his people: “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them.  I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.  I will rejoice in doing them good.”

 

  • Romans 8:37-39- “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor live, nor angels, nor rulers, no things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

            All of these verses that we have just read assure us that God is committed to always be working God in the lives of his children.

 

Conclusion

            As we close, I have a question for you.  When delays or trials ruin your plans and bode ill for you, what will you do?

 

  • Will you become impatient or complain or grow despondent? And do you see that these things are just signs of our unbelief that God is both sovereign and for us.

 

  • Or will you wait on the Lord and rest in his sovereign, gracious care? And do you see that waiting on the Lord is a great sign of faith?  It shows that deep in our hearts we really do believe that God is sovereign and for us.

 

  • Psalm 130:5-6- “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more that watchmen in the morning, more than watchmen in the morning.

 

  • Lamentations 3:22-25- “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.’  The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.”

 

            All of what has been said this morning can be boiled down to this:  “God’s grace is sovereign and his sovereignty is gracious.” 

 

 

 

            When you believe this with all your heart, then you will be able to do two things:

 

  1. You will be willing to wait for God in the unplanned place of obedience.
  2. You will be willing to walk with God at the unplanned pace of obedience.

 

To wait in God’s place and to walk at God’s pace – these are the evidences that you really do believe that God is sovereign and that God is for you.

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