Part 4

Don Fortner

What do those people out at Grace Baptist Church believe? We believe in God's total and absolute sovereignty. Today, preachers and churches have made God out to be something less than majestic, glorious, awesome, sovereign and worshipful. Man is given the opinion that God needs him, and that God is, in some way, subject to him. Men are told that God's will, and purpose, and power are subject to what rien will allow God to do. Such a figment of man's imagination is no God at all. The god of the 20th century church is nothing more than a puny, helpless idol which man has carved out in his mind. Most would deny these charges, but their language betrays their pathetic ideas about their god. Sinners are told, "God wants to save you. He has done all he can. But he cannot save you unless you let him." Is their god not small? Sinners are told, "Jesus is knocking at your heart's door; but he cannot come in until you open the door." Is their god not small? Preachers plead with men saying, "Let the Lord have his way in your life." Is their god not small? He is a good fellow, with the best of intentions; but he is weak, disappointed, frustrated, and a little pathetic. Such a god is foreign to the Scriptures.

The Word of God reveals to us a God who is totally, absoultely, and universally sovereign, a God who is mighty and majestic, gracious and good. He is not to be pitied, but worshipped. We at Grace Baptist Church, worship the One true and living God, the Lord Jehovah, in the Trinity of his sacred Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (I John 5:7). With the Psalmist, we rejoice to declare that "Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased" (Ps. 115:3). We delight to hear him say, "I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa. 46:9-1o). We join Paul in his magnificent doxology to the sovereign, eternal God of heaven, "Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36). Like Nebuchadnezzar, when his understanding returned to him, "I bless the most High, and praise and honor him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou? ... I praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase" (Dan. 4:34, 35, 37).

Now, when we insist upon the sovereignty of God, we are simply affirming that God is God. You know that it is true. If there is a God in heaven, and your conscience as well as the Word of God convince that he is, that God is totally sovereign. God is sovereign in his ETERNAL PURPOSE. Nothing ever comes to pass except what he has purposed in eternity. God is sovereign in his DIVINE POWER. All that he wants to do, he can and shall do. God is sovereign in his WONDERFUL PROVIDENCE. Everything in this world, all men, all creatures, and all events are governed by him. God is sovereign in his GRACIOUS SALVATION. "Salvation is of the Lord." The Lord Jehovah saves whom he will. He has mercy on whom he will. He is gracious to whom he will be gracious.

It is this great, gloridual sovereign God whom we worship at Grace Church. He gives us comfort, peaces and contentment. We rejoice to know that the Lord our God rules all things, and that he rules them well. It is our delight to know and declare that "THE MOST HIGH RULETH!" (Dan. 4:32).

Don Fortner, Pastor
Grace Baptist Church
Danville, Ky.


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