Sovereignty,Suffering and The Work of Missions by Steve Saint – son of missionary martyr Nate Saint who died in Ecuador with Jim Elliott (Desiring God)

Steve Saint, whose father Nate Saint was killed in 1956 in the jungles of Ecuador along with Jim Elliott, preaches about suffering at the 2006 Desiring God conference. The movie The End of the Spear depicts the ministry of his father.

Nathanael „Nate” Saint (August 30, 1923 – January 8, 1956) was an evangelicalChristian missionary pilot to Ecuador who, along with four others, was killed while attempting to evangelize the Waodani people through efforts known as Operation Auca.

In September 1955, Nate was joined by his teammates, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian. Saint finally found a Huaorani (also known as Aucas) settlement while searching by air. In order to reach the tribe, Saint and the team lowered gifts to the Huaorani in a bucket tied to the plane. The Huaorani were widely feared by other Ecuadoreans, because they combined a desire to be left alone with a willingness to use force. They attacked and killed any intruders without provocation. Nevertheless, the tribe was excited on receiving the gifts, gave some gifts back. Finally, the missionaries decided to attempt to meet the people on the ground, and on January 3, 1956, they set up camp four miles from the Auca settlement, using the beach as a landing strip. Their initial contact with the Huaorani started out encouraging; however, on Sunday, January 8, 1956 the entire team was killed on the beach (known as „Palm Beach”) when armed Huaorani met, and speared them.

After the death of Saint’s father, the family moved to Quito where Saint attended school. It was during this time that his aunt, Rachel Saint, and Elisabeth Elliotsuccessfully made peaceful contact with the Waodani and were living with them in the jungle. At 10 years of age, Saint first went to live with the Waodani, staying with them during the summers. He learned about living in the jungle, and also developed relationships with many members of the tribe. In June 1965, „Babae”, as he was called by the tribe, was baptized in the Curaray River by Kimo and Dyuwi, two of his father’s killers who had since converted to Christianity.

R C Sproul – What’s the Difference Between the Decretive and the Preceptive Wills of God

rc sproul 2LigonierMinistries

The secret things of God belong to Him. That refers to what we call „The hidden will of God”. Now, usually, when we’re speaking about the hidden will of God, we have in our mind the decretive will. When people say, „What is the will of God for my life?” I say, „Remember that the Bible use the words „will of God” in several different ways. The first way is what we call the ‘decretive will’.

The decretive will of God is that will of God, by which, God sovereignly brings to pass whatsoever He wills. Sometimes it’s called the absolute will of God. Sometimes it’s simply called ‘the sovereign will of God’. Sometimes, it’s called in theology, the ‘efficacious will of God’. But, normally, we talk about the decretive will of God. That is, when God decrees, sovereignly, that something should come to pass, it must needs come to pass. The Bible frequently speaks about the determinate  counsel of God, where, when God has decreed from all eternity that Christ should die on the cross, in a particular time in Jerusalem history- it must needs come to pass.

It comes to pass through the determinate counsel or will of God. That’s what we’re talking about, when we’re talking about the decree of the will of God. That will, that God brings to pass, by the sheer power of His sovereignties. It’s irresistible, it has to happen. When God calls the earth into existence, it comes into existence. It cannot not be, the lights cannot not be when He  says, „Let there be light”. That’s the decretive will of God.

We also talk about the preceptive will of God. And we understand that the decretive will of God cannot be resisted. The preceptive will of God, not only can be resisted by us, but is resisted all the time. The preceptive will of God is a reference to God’s law, to His commandments. This is the will of God, that you not have any other gods before Him.

Now, when people call me and ask me, „How can I know the will of God in my life?”  I want to say to them, „What will are you talking about?” Are you talking about the decretive will of God- the hidden will of God? If you’re talking about the hidden will of God, the first thing you have to understand about the hidden will of God is that it’s hidden. All I can do is read God’s word, and what that does for me is give me His revealed will. And that’s enough of a task to last me my lifetime- trying to sort out everything that’s in this book that God has revealed. And, if you’re asking me about that, I can help you with it. But, if you’re asking me about His hidden will, I have no earthly idea what is in God’s mind, where He has not revealed Himself.

God’s moral Will and God’s Sovereign Will by John Piper

John Piper from Feb. 9, 2011

I would like to help you distinguish between God’s moral will and his sovereign will. This will help you make sense of the apparent contradiction between these two statements:

1. God does all things according to his will (sovereign will).

“He does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand” (Daniel 4:35).

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalms 115:3).

2. Some things happen that are not God’s will (moral will).

“Whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17)—implying some don’t.

“The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9)—yet some do perish.

In other words, the Bible makes a distinction between God’s will, understood as his purpose that is never frustrated in any event; and God’s will, understood as his moral command to act a certain way.

One of the clearest evidences of the difference between God’s sovereign will and his moral will is the fact that God morally forbids murder:

“Do not kill the innocent” (Exodus 23:7).

And yet he willed the murder of his Son:

“Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27–28).

One of the high and holy truths about God that we embrace in submitting to biblical truth is that God does not sin in willing that sin be. This is crucial, because the design of God in the cross hangs on it.

God’s ways and will are pure. He has his holy purposes in ordaining all that comes to pass.

“He works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).

“All his works are right and his ways are just” (Daniel 4:37).

Let us worship and bow down.

(via) © 2011 Desiring God

Why can’t we all agree ? A wise and ‘different’ answer

Photo – HollyMonroe.com

An excellent article, Why doesn’t everyone agree with me?  from the Parchment & Pen Blog by C. Michael Patton:

Why doesn’t everyone agree with me? Who is causing this disunity in the body of Christ, them or me? Do these divisions demonstrate the doctrinal bankruptcy of sola Scriptura? Should we elect a Pope of Protestantism? Or could it be that God has a purpose in his allowance of disagreements?

Michael gives 7 answers we might give to this questions such as – They don’t agree with me because „they have not studied long enough” or maybe „they have sin in their life that is blinding them”.

But he concludes that we should probably look at 2 other options before all the others and those are:

  1. Others don’t agree with me because they are right and I am wrong. But the possibility always exists that I am the one who is in error, misinformed, motivated by false pre-understandings, tradition-bound, or lacking perspective. I must consider this with great humility…
  2. Others don’t agree with me because God does not want us to agree, regardless of who is right.

and here is where I find so much wisdom in his reasons for point # 2:

A) I believe that it is a real possibility—even likelihood—that God does not want absolute doctrinal unity right now. In fact, practically speaking, it could do more harm than good. I believe doctrinal disagreements are often healthy for the church. When there is conflict between opposing viewpoints, the issue at hand is understood at a more profound level than is possible in the absence of conflict. Conflict, in the end, can bring about a deeper conviction of the truth. When there is no conflict, there is no iron sharpening iron in the same way.

B) What I am saying is this: it may actually be God’s sovereignty that brings about division over the doctrine of God’s sovereignty! This does not mean that wrong belief is always justified. Wrong belief is often (though not always) the result of sin. Neither does it mean that we need to be content with agnosticism or lessen our conviction about any doctrinal issue. To the contrary. It means that we engage in it more vigorously than we did before, being confident that God has a dignified reason for conflict resulting from diversity. In the end, we will find that through the conflict our beliefs become stronger, not weaker. I believe we must open ourselves up to the possibility of being wrong in order to find truer faith and conviction.

You can read the article in its entirety here why-doesnt-everyone-agree-with-me/ and you may also enjoy reading this article too – why-do-i-a-calvinist-go-to-an-arminian-church/

A Chronicle of Redemption-Part 7:Redemption Proclaimed by a New Covenant People David Platt on Romans 9

Brook Hills Church Pastor David Platt preaches Romans Chapter 9

Romans 9 (English Standard Version)

God’s Sovereign Choice

1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all,blessed forever. Amen.

6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7and not all are children of Abrahambecause they are his offspring, but „Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9For this is what the promise said:”About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12she was told, „The older will serve the younger.” 13As it is written, „Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, „I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, „For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19You will say to me then, „Why does he still find fault? For) who can resist his will?” 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, „Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25As indeed he says in Hosea,

„Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.'”
26 „And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'”

27And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: „Though the number of the sons of Israel[c] be as the sand of the sea,only a remnant of them will be saved, 28for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” 29And as Isaiah predicted,

„If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
we would have been like Sodom
and become like Gomorrah.”

Israel’s Unbelief

30What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33as it is written,

„Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
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