Friday, January 28, 2011

On the Sovereignty of God

Recently, while reading the Bible a verse caught my attention, “for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children’.” Acts 17: 28 NASB

The book of Acts chronicles approximately the first thirty years of the first century church, after its inception at Pentecost. In this portion of the book, the apostle Paul was in Athens, Greece, waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him. Luke, the author of Acts, writes that while there the Apostle Paul’s spirit was disturbed by the cities idol worship. Thus, he proclaimed Jesus Christ to people in the synagogue, and market place, Acts 17: 16-17.

Athens was a philosophical place and religious in a secular way. Acts 17:23 says they worshipped idols to every god they could think of, and had an altar inscribed for ‘The Unknown God’, in case they forgot one. The Athenians were like people throughout history who believe in a god, but not one that interferes in their daily lives. That philosophy is known as secular hedonism, which is seeking your pleasure from the world.

Paul continued to speak to the Athenians and used the altar of the unknown god as a reference point. He said that by worshipping an unknown god they worshipped in ignorance. He directed their attention to God, who created the world and everything in it, and is Lord of heaven and earth. The God who does not live in a temple made by man, and man cannot provide anything He needs, because He gives man ‘all things.’ The God who created man and all nations came from that one man. The God who knows how long all nations will exist, and sets the boundaries where they live. However, He wants them to seek Him and know that He is near to all. Acts 17: 23-27.

In Acts 17: 28, Paul takes secular hedonism and puts it where it should be, Christian hedonism. Because we live, move, and exist through Him, we should seek our pleasure in Him. However, does this mean the same thing to us as it did to the Athenians? Do we worship God in ignorance?

How many people call themselves Christians, but are like the Athenians. They don’t seek their pleasure in God, but seek it from the world. Above, in Acts 17: 24-27, the things Paul said about God declare a sovereign and divine parent. Do you know Him as a sovereign and divine parent?

People who seek the pleasures of God in the world, secular hedonism, will not find them. The pleasures of God are only found in Him, through Christian hedonism. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14: 27 NASB, italics mine. In His sovereignty, you will fine pleasure, Christian hedonism.

The quote from Acts 17: 23 is from the Cretan poet Epimenides
All quotes and references to Scripture is from the New American Standard Version

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