Community is Merely the Effect

God is immortal.  He “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no on e has ever seen or can see” (I Timothy 6:16).  So how do we learn about him?  Through his Word.  And how do we perceive his glory? Primarily through the church.  The body of Christ is the fullness of God (Ephesians 1:23) and the most visible manifestation of God’s glory in this present age (Ephesians 3:10).  And so describing community in the local church is like describing the light radiating from the heavenly throne.  The point is not the community; the point is God.  Community is merely the effect.

– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 29

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God Always Gets His Way, Everywhere and in Everything

If God chose believers to belong to him in Christ before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), then long before Adam and Eve arrived on the scene the gospel had already been written.  God is not up in heaven scrambling to patch up the naughty choices of the people he has made.  God always gets his way, everywhere and in everything.

Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page

Man is not a Free Agent

The absolute and universal supremacy of God is affirmed with equal plainness and positiveness in the New Testament.  There we are told that God “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11) – the Greek word for “worketh” means “to work effectually.”  For this reason, we read, “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever, Amen.” (Romans 11:36).  Men may boast that they are free agents, with a will of their own, and are at liberty to do as they please, but Scripture says to those who boast “we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell… Ye ought to say, If the Lord will” (James 4:13, 15)

Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 29

Divine Sovereignty Means that God is God

The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His  supremacy.  Being infinitely elevated above the  highest creature, He is  the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth.  Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases.  None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him.  So His own Word expressly declares: “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10); “He doeth according to His will in the army of heavens, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand” (Daniel 4:35).  Divine sovereignty means that God  is God in fact, as well as in name, that  He is on the Throne of the universe, directing all things, working all things “after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11).

– Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 30

God Was Under No Constraint

God was under no constraint, no obligation, no necessity to create.  That He chose to do so was purely a sovereign act on His part, caused by nothing outside Himself, determined by nothing but His own gool pleasure; for He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11).  That He did create was simply for His manifestive glory.  Do some of our readers imagine that we have gone beyond what Scripture warrants?  Then our appeal shall be to the Law and the Testimony: “Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be Thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise” (Nehemiah 9:5).  God is no gainer even from our worship.  He was in no need of that external glory of His grace which arises from His redeemed, for He is glorious enough in Himself without that.  What was it that moved Him to predestinate His elect to the praise of the glory of His grace?  It was, as Ephesians 1:5 tells us, “according to the good pleasure of His will.”

– Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 7

Watching the Early Church Pray for Everything in Joy

Watching the early Church pray for everything for joy:

  1. The Early Christians called on God to exalt His name in the world.  (Matthew 6:9; Psalm 9:2)
  2. The Early Christians called on God to extend His kingdom in the world (Matthew 6:10; Revelations 21:4)
  3. The Early Christians called on God for the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; Ephesians 3:19; Acts 4:31)
  4. The Early Christians called on God to save unbelievers. (Romans 10:1; Matthew 13:44; Luke 15:7)
  5. The Early Christians called on God for healing (James 5:13-15; Acts 8:7)
  6. The Early Christians called on God for strategic wisdom. (James 1:5; Colossians 1:9, 3:16)
  7. The Early Christians called on God for unity and harmony in the ranks (John 17:20-21; Philippians 2:2)
  8. The Early Christians called on God to help them know Him better. (Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 1:17)
  9. The Early Christians called on God to help them comprehend the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:14, 18)
  10. The Early Christians called on God for a deeper sense of assured hope. (Ephesians 1:16, 18, Romans 15:13, 5:2, 12:12)
  11. The Early Christians called on God for strength and endurance (Colossians 1:11, Ephesians 3:16; Nehemiah 8:10)
  12. The Early Christians called on God for their faith to be preserved. (Luke 22:32, 21:36; II Corinthians 1:24; Philippians 1:25)
  13. The Early Christians called on God that they might not fall into temptation.  (Matthew 6:13, 26:41)
  14. The Early Christians called on God to complete their resolves and enable them to do good work. (II Thessalonians 1:11, Colossians 1:10, Acts 20:35)
  15. The Early Christians called on God for forgiveness for their sins. (Matthew 6:12)
  16. The Early Christians called on God for protection from the evil one.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p.143-146