Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bridges, 2008. Chapter 7, "God's Sovereignty and Our Responsibility"

Chapter 7, “God’s Sovereignty and Our Responsibility” pp. 113-124

Bridges has cautioned us about discounting God’s wisdom or love. In this chapter he reminds us that God’s sovereignty does not function alone. We have a responsibility to live a prudent life. God uses means to accomplish his will.

One of the chief responsibilities we have is that of prayer. We may know and trust God’s sovereignty over conditions, but we don’t always know his plan for the future. This explains the prayers of people in the Bible. For instance, in Acts 4:24ff, the disciples pray that God will intervene so they can do what they believe to be God’s will. Trusting God encourages us to ask for his intervention.

Along with prayer, we use the legitimate means available to accomplish what is right. David fled from Saul. Paul worked to guard lives in Acts 27 even after he had a vision that everyone would survive. Nehemiah prayed and had his workers prepare to defend themselves. Prayer, counsel, and effort are often God’s means of showing his grace to his people.

Who is the one to accomplish everything? Psalm 127:1 says God is the one who builds the house. But he nowhere suggests that we stop doing our duty. We are finally dependent on God. Sometimes that dependence is more obvious, sometimes less obvious. But it is always there.

What about when we fail? God will still accomplish his purpose (Esther 4) but may do it without using us. We are responsible. God is sovereign. He works out the relationship between the two for his glory and his people’s good.

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