inexpressible and filled with glory

Living under God’s Sovereignty

At Charlie’s this term, we’ve been looking at Ephesians 1:3-14 – one passage over the course of one term. It has been so good to go so deeply into God’s Word, preaching about every spiritual blessing that we have in the gospel. This week, I’ve been preparing to speak on God’s sovereignty in salvation. This idea really sits behind the whole passage. I don’t chose God, he chooses me. It’s not that I loved God but that he loves me when I have no love for him.

I feel so incompetent to preach on the topic of God’s sovereignty because it is raises a lot of other issues and affects all of life. I think that this truth is foundational for everyday faith, and I feel like I will only get a handle on it after a full life lived under God’s sovereignty. But still, I feel so privileged to speak into the lives of these teenagers and I pray that God will stir them up to a greater trust in Christ through my humble words.

My talk outline is as follows:

God’s Sovereignty in All of Life: From the Cosmic to the Ordinary, completely dependent on God

God’s Sovereignty in Salvation: God’s Intiative, God’s Grace, God’s Glory

Living Under God’s Sovereignty

After much prayerful reflection upon this topic I’ve included the following thoughts for living under God’s Sovereignty:

This is the starting point for life in Christ. The truth is that we are nothing, we are sinners saved by grace. If we live like we’re the king of our own life then we might have some worldly success but we won’t have anything worth writing home about, because the life of Christ will not have invaded our lives. We need to get ourselves out of the way, putting to death sin, the evil inclinations of our hearts and letting Christ come to life in us. This will mean a radically transformed life, because we’ll be concerned with the things of the kingdom of Jesus – service, surrender, sacrifice, love – rather than chasing after worldly riches and success. We will not boast: it is Christ who gets all the glory, not us. Get us out of the way so that Jesus can be seen as worthy of all praise and honour and glory and power.

Because God has made us fully alive from being dead in our sins, our whole lives will be oriented toward in him awestruck worship. He deserves everything that we are and he demands our whole life – indeed he bids us to come and die with Christ – to come and offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. As Ephesians 1 says: to the praise of his glory!

Because our salvation is based on what God has done for us, there is no fear that we can stuff it up. He has done it all, there is nothing remaining.

For Christians, hard times will come. Opposition for the sake of Christ, sickness, betrayal, loneliness, temptations and trials of many kinds. But God is working his purpose out. We can rest assured that it is all happening within the sovereign plan of God, knowing that he is working for our good and his glory through all things. When the storms of life come, we know that the boat will not sink and that the storm will come to an end. This life is a life of suffering for but a little while, but then we enter glory. And so we live in hope, because this life is going to be hard and we long for the return of our king when he will wipe every tear away and restore all things.

Love begets love: because God has loved us, we love others. This is what his Spirit compels us to do. To be the servant of many, to walk the cross walk, to live the cross life, communicating the love of God in the gospel to our broken world.

Just as God has given us all these amazing things in salvation, we know that he is still accomplishing this in the world today. He is proclaiming the glory of his name to Springwood, to the Mountains, to Sydney, to Australia, to the world. And he is at work through his people. Through us! God is the one who is at work, but he invites us to play along. Just like a Father who is at work in the garden digging a hole, who gives his son a toy shovel to help out, God is the one at work! We are his agents of mission in this world. We know what God is doing, we now need to humble ourselves for his kingdom work.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. I’d appreciate any comments or thoughts that you may have as they will definitely contribute to the talk.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Brad, I think this looks great! A solid outline. At this point, I’m not sure I have much to offer in the way of suggestions, but I love the section on humility (something I came to consider only recently how humbling it is to have be predestined by God!).
The only thing I will say is, this looks like a lot to communicate in a short time (how long are the Charlie’s talks normally?).
Look forward to hearing how it goes!

Comment by samatw

Hmm, yeah good point Sam. I was initially hoping for it to only go for 5 minutes, but I guess it’s going a bit longer.

Thanks for the feedback mate! Very much appreciated 😉

Comment by bradkonemann

A very hard topic to talk on in 5mins, really would require several hours to explain.

I feel this “chosen person” is often used quite poorly and I dont think any but God alone can properly understand it.

I reckon drawing out God as a just God.

And that there is nothing we can do to buy our way to Heaven, its God coming to us through his Spirit and bringing us as righteous by Jesus’ innocent blood.

And that God is in control of everything.

Nice work with the other points as well.

Comment by Ben Purdy

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