Sermon #1380 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: “It Pleased GoD”
Text: Psalm 135:6
Reading: Psalm 115:1-18
Subject: Divine Sovereignty
There are certain things about God which are believed and held in common by all conservative “Christian” religions. All who profess to be Christians believe, or at least profess to believe, that…
· “God is a Spirit,” eternal, immutable, and independent.
· God is holy, wise, and good.
· God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
· God is just, true, and faithful.
· “God is love,” merciful, gracious, long-suffering, and forgiving.
These are characteristics of God’s nature, attributes of his Being, which all religious people, to one degree or another recognize and applaud. Both Baptists and Methodists believe these things. Presbyterians and Pentecostals, Episcopalians and Catholics, Campbellites and Russellites, Adventists and Mormons all acknowledge these things to be true. Neither Quakers nor Papists would deny any of these attributes of God. Every man, woman, boy or girl, who professes to believe in God will tell you that these things are so. You believe them; and I believe them.
But there is something else, another attribute which is essential to the character of God, which most religious people refuse to accept. In fact, they despise it. Though they sing, “O How I love Jesus,” with beaming faces, when a preacher dares tell them that this attribute is at the very core of his Being, essential to his nature, they become enraged.
Here is the one attribute of God’s Being which distinguishes him from all the imaginary gods of men. In fact, if you will read the Book of God one more time, you will find out that it is this attribute of his Being to which God himself most often points when showing the difference between himself and the idols of men that are called gods.
Because God himself has chosen to use this one attribute above all others to distinguish himself as God, when I am asked to answer the question, “Who is God?’ it seems most reasonable to me to answer it by setting forth this one distinguishing attribute of his nature.
Proposition: He who truly is God is totally sovereign. The God of the Bible, the one true and living God, the God whom we worship, trust, and love, is an absolute sovereign, in total control of all things, at all times, always performing his will and pleasure.
The Lord our God is absolutely and universally sovereign. And I am here to assert in the plainest, boldest terms possible that anything less than an absolute sovereign is not God, but only the idolatrous figment of man’s depraved imagination, an image carved out of one of the trees in the dark forest of man’s idolatrous imagination.
When I assert that God is sovereign, I am simply declaring that he is God. God almighty has the right and power to do what he will, when he will, with whom he will, as he will. The god of this apostate religious age is anything but sovereign. This religious generation is well described by the prophet Isaiah. – “They pray unto a god that cannot save!” Modern religion has set aside the sovereignty of God to make room for the autonomy of man. Today, men everywhere deny the sovereignty of God’s will, in order to exalt the imaginary freedom of man’s will.
The fact is, the god of the “enlightened” twentieth century, church is a weak, helpless, frustrated, effeminate idol which commands the respect of no one. The god of the modern pulpit is an object of pity, rather than reverence.
· If God loves everyone alike, and some still perish in hell, his love is meaningless and irrelevant.
· If Christ died for all men alike, shed his blood to redeem all men, and some are not redeemed, his blood is meaningless and irrelevant.
· If God the Holy Spirit is trying to save all men by the operations of his grace, and some are not saved, his grace is meaningless and irrelevant.
Those things describe the god of this age. They describe your fathers’ god and your neighbors’ god. They may even describe your god. But that is not the God of the Bible. A weak, helpless, frustrated god, is no more God than the totem poles of barbaric tribesmen.
The God of the Bible is an absolute sovereign. It is written of him, “All things are of God.” You can take those words just as far as your imagination will allow; and when you have gone the full length of your mind’s imagination, you have not even begun to get started measuring the magnitude of those words. – “All things are of God!”
· In Creation (Pro. 16:4).
· In Providence (Matt. 11:20-25; Rom. 8:28-30; 11:36; Eph. 1:11; Ps. 76:10; Ex. 34:24).
· In Salvation – “Salvation is of the Lord!” (Rom. 9:16; Eph. 1:3-14).
When we talk about God’s sovereignty, we are simply declaring that God is God. Divine sovereignty means that God always does exactly what he wants to, that he always does all his pleasure (“I do all my pleasure!”), that nothing ever comes to pass except that which God brings to pass according to his own, sovereign, eternal, immutable pleasure. He who is our God is that great and glorious God who works all things after the pleasure of his own will (Eph. 1:11).
Everything that comes to pass in time God purposed to bring to pass in eternal predestination and effectually brings to pass in his sovereign providence, “According to the good pleasure of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his grace!”
Realizing that those things are so, I want to know this – What is God’s pleasure? What is it that God is pleased to do? I know that the “secret things belong to the Lord.” I am perfectly content to leave the secret things secret until he is pleased to make them known. I have no desire to pry into that which God has chosen not to reveal. But I do want to know as much as I can about what he has revealed; for “the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children.” Does God tell us what his pleasure is? Does God reveal in his Word what he is pleased to do? Let’s look into the Book and see.
Here are five things revealed
in the Word of God,
which God declares he is pleased to do.
I. 1 Samuel 12:22 – “It hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.”
If you and I belong to God, if we are numbered among his people, if we are heirs of God and join-heirs with Jesus Christ, it is because “it pleased the Lord to make you his people.” HOW?
A. By Divine Election Special Adoption.
B. By Sovereign Regeneration and Effectual Calling.
· John 3:1-8
C. By Willing, Voluntary Surrender to and Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Psalm 110:3
II. Colossians 1:19 – It pleased God to put all fulness in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The triune God has given the Lord Jesus Christ, our God-man Mediator, preeminence in all things and over all things, and put all fulness in him, so that he might be preeminent in the faith, praise, and adulation of his saints forever. – “All fulness” is in Christ.
A. the Fulness of the Triune God
B. All the Fulness of Covenant Grace
C. All the Fulness of God’s Salvation
D. All the Fulness of Heaven’s Glory
III. Isaiah 53:10 – “It pleased the Father to bruise him,” to crush his darling Son to death as my Substitute!
Whenever you think about the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, remember these four facts, these four words, which define and explain what took place at Calvary 2000 years ago.
A. Sovereignty – “I lay down my life.” “The good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
B. Satisfaction – “Then I restored that which I took not away.” (Righteousness and Redemption).
C. Substitution – “For the transgression of my people was he stricken.”
D. Success – “He shall not fail!”
IV. Galatians 1:15-16 – It pleased the Lord to reveal his Son in me.
Salvation does not come by a decision,—saying a prayer,—walking an aisle,—doing good works,—baptism,—or anything else preachers tell you to do to “get saved.” Salvation comes to poor, blind, hell-bent sinners by the sovereign interposition of God, by divine revelation, by God the Holy Spirit revealing Christ in you!
When God the Holy Spirit comes to a sinner in effectual, irresistible, saving power and grace, he does some teaching, convicting, reproving, and convincing.
If God ever saves a person, that person will know…
· Who Christ is.
· Why he came (Matt. 1:21; Heb. 10:5-14).
· What he did (Heb. 9:12, 26).
· Where he is now.
· What he is doing. – “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand!”
V. 1 Corinthians 1:21 – “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
God saves sinners through the instrumentality of gospel preaching, by the preaching of Jesus Christ and him crucified. – Not by preaching, but by GOSPEL PREACHING!
Illustration: The Man Who Worked at Matthews
1. Sinner, Come to Christ, and confess him before men. – “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.”
2. Children of God, rejoice in the great and glorious sovereignty of our God. Our faith and confidence in him is a well-founded faith and confidence.
3. Preachers, Preach Christ!
 See Misc. Sermon #1170 preached at Danville (12-11-94), Rescue, CA (1-29-95), New Castle, IN (12-10-94), Wichita Falls, TX (1-22-95) – Bethel Baptist, Spring Lake, NC (05-28-00)—First Baptist Church, Pottstown, IL (Friday PM 11/19/99)—Buck Mountain Baptist Church, Roan Mountain, TN (Thursday PM 08/07/03)