Tuesday, August 14, 2007

God's Sovereignty and the Atonement

Without a doubt, a firm grasp of the sovereign rule of our Father in heaven is necessary for a God-honoring Christian life and effective witness of the risen Lord. When we understand that God is Lord over all things we can find peace even in the most difficult of circumstances because we know that nothing takes God by surprise, and, therefore, everything that happens is for the good of His people and His glory (Rom. 8:28). Knowing that God is sovereign in salvation makes us confident that our witness to the Gospel will not be in vain and emboldens us to take great risks for the kingdom. We learn to act without worrying overtly about our initial success or failure, for it is God, working through flawed men and women, who saves His people.

In a similar vein, our Christian life and witness is impossible if we do not understand what took place during Jesus’ crucifixion. The Savior’s atonement for sin on the cross is the good news of the Gospel, for in Jesus the Father was reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). Gaining a fuller grasp of Christ’s work enables us to present Him to others with clarity and helps to increase our assurance that He is indeed “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Unfortunately, church leaders often neglect the full exposition of these topics and assume that Christians know enough about the atonement and God’s sovereignty. Today, a good understanding of such things is no longer a given. There are people in our pews who have not tasted the riches of the cross and the Lord’s all-encompassing reign.

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