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Author:Rev. Steven Swets
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 www.urcpastor.blogspot.com
 
Congregation:Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church
 Abbotsford, BC
 www.abbotsfordurc.org
 
Title:Our Sovereign God
Text:LD 9 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:God and our Creation
 
Preached:2011-04
Added:2012-06-05
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Steven Swets, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


Genesis 1:11-25 and Psalm 104

Lord’s Day 9

Beloved Congregation in the Lord Jesus Christ,

            They saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt.” Sometimes that statement can be too strong, but in another way, the principle is surely true. When a young person goes away from home for college for the first time, they feel like a bird that takes its first flight. They can stretch their wings a bit. However, once they’ve been gone for a couple of months, there is a feeling that sets in of, “it sure would be nice to have a meal made by my mother.” Or wow, I sure took those relaxing Sunday afternoons with my family for granted, I could really go for one of those days.

            Frankly, when you were living at home it was common to have and experience those things, but then when they are taken away from you for a time, then your mind drifts back to good memories. There is a danger of the same thing happening with the Apostle’s Creed. We confess the creed every Sunday afternoon. We can say it in our sleep, we have known it since we were young. The danger in reciting the creed week after week is that you stop thinking about what you are saying. This is where our catechism plays a wonderful role. We can take a few weeks to look closer at what it is exactly that we are saying when we confess the creed which has been confessed for 15 centuries by Christians around the world.

            This afternoon, we look at, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” This is an earth shaking statement which flies in the face of nearly everything you will find in a modern science textbook or if you watch any television program on the Dicovery Channel or National Geographic. I believe in THE Creator God! Our theme is, the only true God is our Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I.                    His Creation

II.                  His Care

III.                His Capability

I. His Creation

            Every young Christian child knows that God made the world. Sunday School children know that God made them and God made the flowers and the trees, the skies and the seas. Simple enough. But, the very simple and yet amazing fact, that God created all things out of nothing. In fact, God just spoke and it was. This fact is under attack today, and it has been under attack for 150 years.

            What is the enemy? The theory of evolution. Today in every public school textbook in Canada you are going to be taught evolutionism. Modern scientists almost take it as something that is proven. Now let us be clear on how we speak about evolution. There is a distinction that is and must be made when speaking of evolution. There is something called macro evolution and something called adaptation. Macro-evolution studies change that takes place at or above the level of species. Adaptation refers to changes within a species.

            When we think of the false theory of evolution, we are thinking of macroevolution. We have in mind the fact that at one point there were no animals on the earth and now there are and the reason why there are now, is because lesser species evolved into greater one and we have the great apes as anscestors in our common heritage. This is wrong and cannot be held by a Bible-believing Christian. It can happen that a species of animal can adapt to their surrounding in order to survive. For instance, if you took a blackbird and made it live in a Canada and you brought one down to New Zealand, in 1,000 years, though they would still recognize each as blackbirds, changes will certainly have happened. Changes in the beak or feet or something like that in order to adapt to ones surroundings. This adaptation could and likely does happen and that is fine and does not contradict the scriptures.

            But there is a view that combines the view of evolution and the view of creation. This view is theistic evolution. This teaching teaches that evolution of species certainly occurs, but it is God who guides the evolutionary process. We must be on guard against this view. This is being taught at Christian colleges across the US and Canada, and this is also being taught in our local Christian high schools. This is not a little things brothers and sisters. Theistic evolutionists teach that God made the big bang happen. These are the same people that are likely going to deny the historical reality of Genesis 1-11. They will deny the existence of Adam and Eve, and therefore deny original sin and the immediate need and promise of a Saviour. They will deny the worldwide flood of Genesis. Why? Because they believe science more than they believe the Word of God.

            But, how do we know that God does not lead the evolutionary process? Because of what we read in Genesis 1. If they don’t believe Genesis 1, then have fun trying to convince them, but in Genesis 1, it says in verse 11 that God made these plants, “according to its kind.” Verse 12, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Verse 21, the sea creatures and all that move are created according to their kind...again in verse 24-25. What does that mean? It means that God created all things according to their kind. Whatever God made is how it is today because it was made according to its kind. He made the animals like they are. What it is that makes a dog a dog. Well, you could say, a dog has 4 legs and hair all over its body and a long hairy tail that it moves and it has paws on the bottom of its 4 legs and it has a long body and good hearing and sense perception, it has sharp teeth. But, all those things also describe a cat. So what is the difference? Well, a dog barks, every little kid knows that and a cat meows. Are there other differences, yes, but whatever they are, they are what make them a dog and a cat. He created this all out of nothing according to its kind.

            But, then the theistic evolutionist might say, as I have heard them say, but, there is nothing in the confessions stating this, and I say, yes there is, BCF Article 12. “We believe that the Father by the Word, that is, by His Son, has created of nothing the heaven, the earth, and all creatures, when it seemed good unto Him, giving unto every creature its being, shape, form, and several offices to serve its Creator.” That is, every creature!

            This is what we are up against. Evolutionary theory has crept its way into the church, it has crept its way into the schools. We might be called ignorant or foolish or unscientific, etc. but that is okay. Better to be called demeaning names by men than to be called unfaithful by God.

            God does not create the world and then just let it be, but he still cares for His creation.

II. Care

            Not only did God create all that there is but he still upholds and rules all things by his eternal counsel and providence. Next week we will treat the providence of God, D.V., so we need not dwell too long on that topic. Let me just remind you that all that there is in this world and universe, in space and in time, is utterly dependant upon the God who created it. There is nothing that exists on its own in a self-sufficient way, except God himself.

            People oftentimes speak like God does not exist, and when Christians do it, they are not purposely trying to be mis-leading. If you walk into a plant nursery or greenhouse and you say, “I would like to buy some flowers that are very easy to care for.” The worker of the greenhouse might say, “here are some flowers and all you have to do is water them once a week and they will just grow on their own.” We know what the greenhouse worker means and likely we would think anything about it, but in reality, what she said is not true. Flowers do not grow on their own, but because God so directs them. We do not live, move, or have our being without the counsel and providence of Almighty God.

            But, this is not just some far away God who is the ultimate puppeteer of the world. No, he is intimately involved in all things, and for us, through faith, he deals with us as our Father. He is far greater than any earthly father. Who, though we love and respect them, they are full of weakness and shortcomings, and all that entails in the life of a sinful human being. No, God is always our faithful Fahter. God is always caring for us.

            We can have such a trust and confidence in him know that all he sends our way will be turned to our good. He will so provide for my body and for my soul. Some of us may have grown up with wonderful earthly fathers, some of us didn’t, but no matter how godly your earthly father might be, as a child your father could not protect you from everything. What child hasn’t fallen and scraped their knee on the sidewalk. Parents cannot prevent everything, but God our Father can. He can prevent whatever he desires.

            Now this does not mean that only what we want will happen all of the time. God uses many difficulties to teach us, to chastise us, to encourage us, to strengthen our faith, to test us, etc. Fear not, God is in control.

            Some today are afraid to make God guilty of sin or causing bad things to happen. The problem is that oftentimes our definition of good is different than God’s. What happens that is bad? Is rain bad? What about enough rain to flood a region, drown a people? God give the rain to the just and the unjust, to his people and to His enemies. The difference is, however, that God means it for good for the elect and God means it for condemnation to the reprobate. Some people, with a desire to protect God speak of things that happen of God allowing them to happen, as if God is passive in the events and circumstances of the world. God doesn’t just let things happen, he makes it happen. Our catechism says, “he will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends me in this sad world.” God send adversity? Like a flood, an earthquake, disease? Yes. Man might mean these things for evil, but God means them for good. Look at Psalm 104:27-30. All depend upon Almighty God, the Almighty God who through Jesus Christ has become our Father.

            This is why adversity in this world is a blessing disguise...it is because of Jesus Christ and the faith we have in Him, which restores our relationship with our Creator.

            God not only is creator and a caring provider, but he is also capable to do this.

III. Capability

            There is an excellent book that was published a bit over a decade ago called “When People are Big and God is Small” written by Ed Welch. This nice short book deals with the problem of people having a higher view of man and peer pressure and trying to please people that to view the sovereign God as being quite insignificant. When we place God in the proper position he ought to have, it will change our perspective on things such as peer pressure, and pleasing people, etc. If these are struggles for you, I would encourage you to find that book and read it, I’ll lone you my copy if you would like.

            But, the fact of the matter is that this mentality is alive and well today. Many in the modern church struggle with this very issue. Jehovah is the sovereign God. He doesn’t need us to make him that, he is that, He is sovereign, meaning that he reigns over all things. However, when we view him that way, it is pleasing to him. But why is this so important?

            It is important because it is an answer to the question of, can God do these things. We can believe that God created all things, but does God really care enough to be involved in the decision of whether I wear this shirt or that shirt. Yes he is. We’ll see this more in L.D. 10. That is a small thing.

            What about becoming our Father through Jesus Christ? He is not only able to do that, but he wants to. Our catechism says that he “desires to do this because he is a faithful father.” I hope that is comforting to you. There is someone who loves you dearly. There is someone who cares for you...one who will dry the tears from your eyes, one who thinks you are worth something...that one is the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth. We are something in His eyes. The world might scorn us, laugh at us, but when we are standing on the side of God the father for all eternity gathered before His throne, He will have the last laugh. No one will be able to lay a single finger on his children without His will.

            God is the all-powerful creator of heaven and earth. He is capable and desirous to save his own special people, to call them His own, to put his own name on them. Thank God. Brothers and sisters, we need not fear what tomorrow may bring, for we are in the hand of the Almighty God; the Almighty God who loves us in Jesus Christ. Amen.  



* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Steven Swets, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
(c) Copyright 2011, Rev. Steven Swets

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