Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Faithful Providence of God over Our Fallen Sinful Nature

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)

Excerpt from “The Faithful Providence of God” – 2010-12-05
The very first thing we should notice in this family tree is the emphasis Matthew puts on one person: “Jesus Christ.” This book is not about Matthew, it’s not about Paul or Peter or John or any of the other apostles, or anybody else we read about in the Old or New Testament. It’s about Jesus. All of history is about his-story. Everything that has happened in the past, what takes place today, and what is yet to come, is about God and His plan to send a Savior into the world to rescue us from our sin and restore us back to God – so that all the world would give our most sovereign and supreme and preeminent God the glory that is due Him. God’s faithful providence does so regardless of who we are and what we do.

The reality of all of this is – you and I are here today because God has providentially ordained it be so. The Bible tells us that God created each one of us in His image for the purpose of His glory – which means we all were created to reflect and reveal who God is in all that we say and do. Yet sin has shattered God’s image in us and continues to selfishly divert our hearts and lives away from God and away from His created purposes and plans. That is why Jesus came into the world. By the work of the cross our sins are forgiven, and by the reality of the resurrection we are set free from our selfishness to truly enjoy the fullness of the beauty and power and love and grace and truth of God in all that He is.

You and I are providentially here today because the hunger, the deepest yearning of our hearts is for God – which is a hunger and yearning that has been with us before creation itself. Ephesians 1:3-4: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him." You and I are also providentially here today not only because He has chosen us but also because God has providentially empowered us beyond our sinful nature by His sovereign grace to surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Ephesians 2:8-10: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Jesus said: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44). By His faithful providence God has been drawing sinful, fallen people to the purpose and plan of His will from the beginning of time - and through all generations of faithful, flawed, and forgotten sinners up to this very moment. It is God who works in our hearts, both to will and to work for God’s good pleasure, not the flawed hands and hearts of fallen, sinful human beings.