Sunday’s Point to Ponder


This week at Midrand Chapel we turned our attention to the book of Malachi; God’s final Words to Israel before 400 years of silence.

Chris covered Chapters 1:1 – 5, God’s Accusation, The Peoples Objection and God’s Evidence. God’s faithfulness despite Israel’s scorn. The key verse 2b – 3a, “…I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau…” stands as a testimony to God’s bountiful grace lavished on a people who had done nothing to deserve it but were still recipients of it because of His sovereign election.

The quotable quote for me was, “God’s love for us is unconditional been rooted in His sovereign choice of us; it therefore does not depend on our worthiness and should not be doubted because of our circumstances.”

Chris Woolley Midrand Chapel

Chris Woolley has been an elder employed at Midrand Chapel since 2005. He is married with six children, three of whom have been adopted. Chris studied mechanical Engineering at WITS University during which time he became a Christian and developed a desire be involved in missions and church planting. After initially working as a Maintenance Engineer he resigned to further his theological studies. He is a graduate of the Baptist Theological College in Randburg (DipTh) and the Masters Seminary in California (MDiv).

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God’s sovereignty, how far does He take it?


Ever read Romans chapter 9? Chris covered it in church yesterday morning. Verse 14 – 18 boiled down to this: God’s sovereign mercying (the comfortable stuff, and yes, mercying is not a word but it fits!), God’s sovereign hardening (the uncomfortable stuff) and God’s sovereign authority (the unfathomable stuff). Be informed by the text,

Mercying
14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it {does} not {depend} on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
Hardening
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.”
Authority
18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Want to hear the verse in context? Romans 9
What is this about?

The doctrines of Election and Sovereignty can be made out to be very ethereal matters having little relevance to the here and now. The rubber only hits the tar when you apply it to life. So here’s a life example:

A man sitting in a car, a hijacker holding a gun to his temple. There are two things you can know from Scripture regarding this situation:

First, the hijacker will be judged by God and be held personally responsible for his sin. God will never let the unrighteousness of man go unpunished. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

Secondly, the hijacker might fire the gun, he might not, either way the outcome exists within the perfect plan of God. There is nothing the hijacker could do to thwart that plan. Nothing at all. His ability to choose doesn’t extend to that. God’s plan always works itself out to the good unhindered. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good”

Bitter pill? Maybe you’ve come across Open Theism? I’ve been told that guy’s like John Eldredge buy into it. (I read today that he denies Open Theism and I’m probably not going to get around to reading his book so I have no way of checking). Yes, this is a can of worms but consider the alternative. What fits the Biblical model?