Suffering & God’s Sovereignty – balancing His will & our choice

I am still posting thoughts from chapter two (All the Good that is ours in Christ: seeing God’s Gracious hand in the hurts others do to us).  Today we will look at the section entitled, “Choosing and Willing”:

  • Humans, unique from the rest of Creation, are the only ones capable of choosing and having responsibility for their choices, as clearly explained in all of Scripture.
  • Scripture, particularly the New Testament, clearly states that all of the human race falls into one of two categories:
    • Under the domination of sin – John 8:34
    • Set free by God to live a life of righteousness – John 8:36; 2 Cor.3:17 (also Romans 6)
  • However, it is not up to us, nor is it in us to choose whether we will remain slaves to sin or become bondservants to righteousness. (p.58)
  • We only experience true freedom if we have been brought to life by God the Father through His Spirit.
  • Biblical example of God’s will & human choice clearly running together:
    • Joseph – beginning in Genesis 37 and continuing in the subsequent chapters
    • Reading the whole story carefully clarifies that Joseph appeals to God’s will as the final explanation of everything that happened to him, and ultimately God gets the credit for all the good that resulted“.  (p.63)
    • It appears that as you read this biblical account that God ordained Joseph’s brothers to commit evil as a part of a greater good, primarily His glory.
  • God foreordains what humans choose.  He is never absent or inactive when human beings hurt each other or themselves.  In the person of His Son, he is always in our midst, as the one who holds each and every aspect of creation, including all of it’s evil aspects, in his hands so that he may carry it to where it accomplishes exactly what he wants.” – (p.65)

So the conclusions that come out of this section of study in this book is that while God is totally in control, foreordaining men’s actions to others and themselves, man is totally responsible for his own actions and choices.  It is a delicate balance in which we cannot afford to find ourselves at the extremes.

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