Cork Free Presbyterian Church, 10 Briarscourt (Annex) Shanakiel, Cork, Ireland Pastor: Colin Maxwell. Email: cfpc@esatclear.ie

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD BIBLE STUDIES STUDY ONE

BY COLIN MAXWELL

GOD HAS A PLAN THAT COVERS EVERY EVENT:

Read: Genesis 17:1-8

Why is God called God? Why does He call Himself Almighty God (Genesis 17:1) How Almighty is Almighty? Is there a stronger than He? Can He even be hindered? Is He forced to wait for what He desires? Does He ever desire something, but experience the reality of frustration and failure? What does the Bible mean when it declares that he can be limited? (Psalm 78:41) How can this be reconciled with His designation Almighty God? What does the Bible mean when it says that grace reigns? (Romans 5:21) All these questions will be answered over the next few studies.

Doubtless, there be some difficulties encountered. What do the following verses relate to us in regard to this?

  1. Isaiah 55:8-9
  2. Romans 11:33
  3. Matthew 11:25-26
  4. Romans 9:19-20
  1. GOD WORKS TO A PLAN:
  1. What does God require of us in 1 Corinthians 14:40?

We know that He does not require of us anything inconsistent with himself.

  1. What would inconsistency here lead to? (1 Corinthian 14:33)

C) When does the Bible say that God made this plan? (Ephesians 3:11)

2) THIS PLAN MUST BE CONSISTENT WITH ALL HIS ATTRIBUTES:

Already touched on this (above) From the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith (Q4) point out the attributes of God:

God is a spirit, Infinite/Eternal/Unchangeable in His…

There is nothing which God can plan which can run contrary to any of these attributes. He cannot decree anything that is unholy or foolish etc.,

3) GOD MUST BE CAPABLE OF CARRYING OUT HIS OWN PLAN:

  1. We make plans…but often fail to see them carried out. We lack the power or the foresight required for guaranteed success. What are we required to prefix unto our plans? (James 4:13-15)

B) Without going into great details, what basic arguments would you use to prove that God is more than capable of doing His will?

C) What light does James 1:17/Malachi 3:6 have upon your investigations? Why could we never claim what God is here claiming?

 D) Can you think of any "problem texts" which seem to contradict what God is claiming here? How do you explain them?

4) GOD'S PREORDINATION OF EVENTS EXTENDS TO THE VERY SMALLEST OF THINGS:

  1. What does God say about the birds of the air? (Matthew 10:29-31) Can you think of any incidents involving birds where it is evident that they were expressly doing the Father's will?
  2. What does Amos 4:7 relate?
  3. What does Amos 9:7 relate?

We might multiply many events here. The Bible calls this providence. Indeed the Shorter Catechism distinctly reminds us that God executes His decrees in the works of creation and providence. It is interesting to read the Bible and look for the providential hand of God e.g. Esther 6:1 etc.,

5) GOD'S PRE ORDINATION OF EVENTS EXTENDS TO THE VERY LARGEST OF THINGS;

  1. What does Nahum 1:3/Psalm 148:8/Mark 4:39 show?
  2. Does Proverbs 8:15-16/Daniel 4:25/Romans 13:1 take things too far? What light does Esther 4:14 give?
  3. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2/Hebrews 9:27/Deuteronomy 32:39 show what?

Next study, (DV!) we will look at how these thoughts extend to the plan of salvation.

STUDY TWO: GOD'S PLAN EXTENDS EVEN TO THE WORK OF SALVATION:

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