MacArthur on Sovereignty

28 09 2007

john-macarthur.jpgJohn MacArthur posted today on the sovereignty of God at the Shepherds’ Fellowship site. He writes, “No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything. The carnal mind, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees. Most of all, the flesh hates the notion that salvation is entirely God’s work.”

Since he can often say it better than I, here’s the rest of the post. Enjoy!

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Faith Easter Kim Arrives

28 09 2007

Congratulations to Pastor Steve, Lynnie, and Hudson (and Scully) on the birth of Faith Easter Kim! Can’t wait to see the new edition to the Kim household!





O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

27 09 2007

jesus-loves-me.jpgA number of us had a wonderful discussion during the second service this past Sunday about the love of God as preached by Pastor John. It never really dawned on me before how the love of God may be one of the most profound doctrines in the Bible. Of course I understand that the cross of Christ was the demonstration of God’s love and that it is a wonderful, amazing, undeserved blessing that God would pour His love out on me at all. But I didn’t meditate enough on exactly what is the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s love (Eph. 3:18-19).

Everyone on Sunday shared about how much more they needed to dwell on the love of God. In so doing, it would produce much desired fruit. Some shared that as a result they would want to know God’s Word more so that they could better understand God’s other attributes. Others stated that they would become more humble by a deeper understanding of God’s love. Still others shared that they would in turn love others more because of their greater appreciation of God’s love for them.

No one shared anything negative. There were no negative effects from meditating more on the love of God and thinking about its profundity. Unanimously, all shared that to think more on the love of God would essentially produce greater spiritual maturity.

So why don’t we dwell more on the love of God?

One sad reason may be that we do not think we need to dwell on it. Perhaps you feel like you have it down: Christ died for your sin, that was the demonstration of God’s love, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. What a remarkably proud approach to this amazing truth! The Apostle Paul’s prayer for the church was that they would understand the depth of the love of God. Certainly this means that this doctrine would require quite a bit of attention if it is as deep and wide and long and tall as the apostle indicates.

Are you amazed at the love of God? If you were to think more about God’s love in your life taking to heart the passages in Scripture that teach about it, how would your life change? What would it benefit you to have a greater understanding of God’s love for you?

Here is just a glimpse of the God’s love. Consider these passages:

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. ~John 14:23

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. ~John 15:9

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:3-5

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ~Romans 8:35

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. ~2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. ~Ephesians 1:3-6

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ~Ephesians 2:4-7

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3:17-19

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. ~Ephesians 5:1-2

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. ~Ephesians 5:25-27

…and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. ~1 Timothy 1:14

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ~Titus 3:4-7

The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. ~1 John 2:4-6

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. ~1 John 2:15

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. ~1 John 3:1

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. ~1 John 3:16

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. ~1 John 4:7-12

We love, because He first loved us. ~1 John 4:19





A Good Word

25 09 2007

My thanks to Steven for posting this entry on the accountability of blogging. When I read the message posted by Rick Holland at the Crossroads website, I had to laugh because I was reminded of all the interactions I have had with collegians who posted all sorts of stuff on their Xangas and other blogs. There were times when Pastor John and I would shake our heads in disbelief over what was being written mostly because these students (most of whom were born in the 80’s!) wrote as if they were seasoned sages.

It is true that blogging brings good accountability because the thoughts that are posted are public. Thank God for the ability to delete posts! I suppose I’m a bit safer since only a small network of people even know this blog exists! =)

Anyway, thanks again Steven for posting about our short conversation. Let’s really seek to hold each other accountable over what is written in your blog and in my “Brain.”





“Great Exceptations”

22 09 2007

I was speaking with a friend this past week and an old topic of discussion resurfaced. It has always frustrated me that even people with the strongest sense of God’s sovereignty abandon that truth when it comes to dating and relationships. They confess with their mouths, “Jesus is Lord,” but when an attractive gal or dapper fellow comes around, they live as though they are lord. The counsel is always given to trust God that His will would be done. Trust in His goodness. Trust that He has the best in store for you. Trust that even if all does not work out and if this person does not end up as your spouse, God hasn’t made some sort of mistake. And still time and again, Christian men and women affirm the sovereignty of God with their mouths and deny it with their actions and thoughts when it comes to pursuing a relationship.

I know the fear that settles in during that stressful time — the time when the DTR talk seems immediately necessary. “What if another guy comes along? What if she ends up marrying him and not me?” All guys have those fears when they like a girl. The issue is whether they will act on those fears. Will they set aside patience, self-control, prayer, and discernment because they fear another guy will come into the picture?

The most outrageous line is when a guy tells a gal, “I believe it’s God’s will that you and I are to be together.” (One of my gal friends answered a guy, “Funny… God didn’t tell me that!) What they really mean is something more like, “I am demanding God to give you to me,” or, “It is my will for us to be together and I hope God agrees.” Gals, if this has ever been confusing to you, let me clear the issue by saying that men have not been given the ability to discern that apart from your response. There’s no magic sign or arrow that appears over your head indicating to a guy that you must be the one.

I really believe this is where most of the disappointment comes from when a relationship does not work out. I understand that it is difficult for a guy to muster up the courage to approach a gal and confess his feelings for her. Trust me. I’ve been there… many times! (And I praise God that I don’t have to go through that anymore!) The problem, though, is that some guys (and gals) allow such disappointment to consume them. They don’t trust in God’s goodness behind it.

There were times in my life when I had feelings for a gal and I would pray, “God, it seems as though she must be the one! She has everything I’ve ever wanted… and more!” Now that I am married to Christine, I can say with utmost confidence that I am thankful God preserved me from those gals. It isn’t that they were horrible girls. Quite the contrary. I still believe that many of them are quality gals, and most of them are happily married and growing in the Lord. I just can’t think of a more perfect match for me than Christine.

Back in high school and college, I was rejected by gals over and over again. I even came to the point of giving up, reasoning that maybe God had called me to celibacy! =) But the one thing that always brought me comfort was the thought, “God, if she’s not the one, then I know You have someone better in store for me. And what a shame it would be if I should settle for anything less than what you want for me.”

There is an element of trust involved that believes that God knows better than we. There is also an element of surrender to submit to His plan and not try to force things our way. I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of the guy who knew where a girl was going to be and then prayed, “God, if I happen to run into her today, I’ll take it as a sign from You that she’s the one.” Stop manipulating the will of God as if He should bend to your plan!

It’s really funny to me that my relationship with Christine all began during a time when I was sure I didn’t want a relationship. I just wanted to study and finish seminary strong, and I didn’t want the distraction of a relationship during my last year of school. What a relief that God had other plans!

I always tell single Christians that knowing a person is “the one” is always a post-marriage thing. You’re not going to know until she says “yes”! After you have prayerfully sought the will of God and have striven to grow in godliness, when you are standing with him or her at the end of that aisle and are sharing your vows with one another, there is a great comfort in knowing for certain that God has brought you together.

Praise God for His wisdom and for all the times He answered “No” when I was sure He should answer “Yes.”

Psalm 139:1-4

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.
3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.





A Sign that God Is in Control!

22 09 2007

I was talking to intern Raymond Kim this past week and he told me that a friend from seminary accidentally dropped his MacBook on the floor. If that isn’t a sure sign of God’s sovereignty, I don’t know what is! =)

Sincerely,

P.C. =)





Speaking of Sovereignty…

21 09 2007


(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc – www.reverendfun.com)

I found this cartoon online and thought it was pretty funny. It shows God contemplating adding “free will” to his recipe when making man. Of course the explanation behind the humor is the belief that man’s free will caused him to fall into sin and thus bring God’s curse upon the earth. Does God really want to add this ingredient to the mixture?

When talking about human “free will” we need to be careful. Sometimes Christians come across as believing that when a man exercises his will, God sets aside his sovereignty and does not play any part in the actions of man. This is especially true when it comes to man’s decision to sin and man’s decision to be saved. Regarding man’s decision to sin, I understand that the intent is to free God from any culpability in the fall of man and the subsequent evil that is in the world. Regarding man’s being saved from his sin… well, that will have to be saved for another post altogether!

The problem with giving man an absolute kind of free will is that it does great damage to the doctrine of God. If at any point God relinquishes His sovereignty, He is no longer in control of His creation. To think that any person could do anything and God not have control over that action is really a scary thought. Can you imagine God being surprised by your actions? Can you imagine if you asked God what is going to happen and He answered, “I don’t know”? If God is not in control when the action is committed, how can there be any assurance that He is in control over the consequences and effects of those actions?

I think an illustration would be helpful here. Many people fight to free God from the blame for the bad things that happen in the world. They argue, “When evil takes place, certainly God must not be in control.” For instance, suppose a fourteen year old girl is raped and murdered. Certainly this is a horrible crime and it is extremely sad that it happens at all in the world. Some might ask, “How could God possibly have played a part in that? If He had been in control, certainly He would have prevented that from happening because of his love for that girl.” The conclusion, then, is that God wasn’t in control. He, for a moment in time, released his sovereignty and allowed people to act outside His sovereignty. That way it is because of their free will and not because of His sovereignty that the evil was committed.

What is interesting is that when it comes to the subsequent comforting of the family involved, these same Christians often quote Romans 8:28, that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Strangely, God’s sovereignty once again kicks in and He is able to help the family during their time of crisis. But the question that doesn’t get answered is if God was not in control when the crime was being committed, what assurance is there that He can help the family after the crime?

We can’t conveniently choose when God is in control and when He isn’t. Even though people’s intention might be good in wanting to protect God from the “problem of evil,” we must be careful not to play with the biblical understanding of God’s sovereignty. In trying to help God, these believers greatly damage His character.

The truth is that God is in control of all things at all times. He superintends His creation in the good times and the bad. It is only with this understanding that there could be any hope that God can deliver in times of trouble. Without God’s sovereignty, there is no hope.