Sermon #55 Series: Matthew
Title: Divine Sovereignty
Text: Matthew 20:15
Subject: God’s Sovereignty in Dispensing His Gifts
Date: Tuesday Evening - August 22, 1995
Tape # R-70
Since I am not going to be here Sunday to preach my preparatory message for our Bible conference, I am delighted that we have at this time come to Matthew 20:15 in our study of Matthew’s gospel. That will be my text for tonight. My subject is Divine Sovereignty – (Read Matt. 20:15).
There is no attribute of God more comforting and delightful to his children than that of Divine Sovereignty. No doctrine in the Bible is more important or more blessed. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, when carrying our heaviest burdens, we believe and are sure that God has sovereignly ordained our trials, that he sovereignly controls them, and that he will sovereignly sanctify them to our souls. There is no doctrine in the Bible more basic, more fundamental, more absolutely asserted to our faith than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. It is essential to the very character of God.
Proposition: To declare that God is sovereign is simply to declare that he is God – It is no less criminal or blasphemous to deny God’s holiness, justice, omnipotence, or truth, or even his very Being, than it is to deny his sovereignty. Those who deny that God is sovereign declare that God is, in reality, irrelevant!
Do not allow anyone to suggest that our doctrine is merely a point of logic, or an old, out of date religious system dug out of the books of old reformers, puritans and theologians. We believe what we do because we believe God! Our doctrine is based upon and crises from the plain statements of Holy Scripture. If you have a Bible and can read, you will have no difficulty at all in seeing that our doctrine is the obvious, basic, unadorned revelation of God in Holy Scripture.
1. I believe that God is absolutely, universally sovereign because this Book declares that he is.
God is sovereign…
These great old gospel truths cannot be gainsayers. Let religious rebels hoot and holler all they want to. There they stand, written out in simple English in The Word of God for all to read. Get any translation of the Bible you want to. But you cannot find a translation that denies these basic gospel truths. We insist upon them with dogmatic tenacity because…
Now, let’s go back to Matthew 20:15. Here our Savior asserts his right as God, saying, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” All things belong to God. It is his sovereign right to do what he will with them.
Give me the liberty of dividing God’s gifts to men into five categories and show you plainly, both from Scripture and experience that God gives his gifts to men sovereignly.
I. All Temporal Blessings Are The Gifts of God Sovereign Bestowed Upon Them As God Sees Fit.
A. Personal Traits and Abilities.
B. Mental Powers.
C. Earthly Conditions.
· I Corinthians 4:7
· I Samuel 2:6-9
II. All The Gifts of God’s Saving Grace Are Bestowed Upon Sinners In This World According To God’s Sovereign Purpose.
· Matthew 11:20-25
· Hebrews 2:16
The illustrations of God’s sovereignty in the gifts of his grace are bountifully strewn across the pages of Holy Scripture.
A. Elect Angels and Non-Elect Angels.
B. Israel Chosen and Gentiles Left in Darkness.
C. The Gospel Sent to Some and Withheld from Others.
· Acts 16:6-7
D. Some In A Congregation – Not Others.
E. Some In A Family – Not Others.
The sov’reign will of God alone
Creates us heirs of grace,
Born in the image of His Son,
A new-created race!
III. In His Own Family, God Sovereignly Bestows His gifts Upon His Children As He Will.
· I Corinthians 12:24
· Ephesians 4:7
A. Some have greater knowledge and deeper experience than others.
B. Some are gifted to serve as deacons while others are not.
C. Some have gifts of ministry in one area and others in another.
D. Some have many gifts – Some few.
E. Some are gifted to preach the gospel; others are not. Even among preachers, the gifts vary.
· Some Eloquent – Some Analytical.
· Some Passionate – Some Cool.
· Some Brilliant – Some Simple.
IV. I cannot fail to also assert that Gifts of Usefulness In This World Are Sovereignly Dispensed To Us As Individuals And As A Local Church By God.
God honors those who honor him. And God blesses faithfulness. But our usefulness in his hands is not determined by us. It is his sovereign gift.
V. Once more, Gifts of Spiritual Comfort Are Distribution Among God’s Saints According To His Sovereign Will.
A. Some have assurance, and some do not.
B. Some who struggle with assurance all their life long, have its blessedness in the end.
C. Some who have had assurance all their lives have none in the end.
Illus: The Father who sent for his family. Harry Graham. I Corinthians 4:7