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Theologic Foundations. Bethlehem Baptist Church September 17 – December 10 2014 January 14 – April 29 2015. Our Goal in Theology. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5 ESV).

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Theologic Foundations

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Theologic Foundations

Bethlehem Baptist Church

September 17 – December 10 2014

January 14 – April 29 2015

Our Goal in Theology

The aim of our charge is love

that issues from a pure heart and

a good conscience and

a sincere faith.

(1 Timothy 1:5 ESV)

Theologic Foundations Curriculum

  • Introduction

  • Scripture: 2 lessons

  • The Trinity

  • God’s Eternal Purposes: 2

  • God’s Creation: 2

  • Man’s Sin and Fall

  • Jesus Christ: 2

  • The Saving Work of Christ (Jan. 2015)

Week 5: God’s Sovereignty

  • He Ordains and Governs All Things

  • He Foreknows All Things

  • He Never Sins

  • He Justly Holds Humans Accountable

  • Grudem’s response to Process Theology

  • The “Problem” of Evil and God’s Sovereignty

Key Verses

  • Eph 1:11-12

  • Job 42:2

  • Deuteronomy 32:39

  • Hebrews 1:1-3

  • Isaiah 46:8-11

  • Psalm 139:16

  • Deuteronomy 32:4

  • James 1:13-18

  • Genesis 50:19-20

  • Acts 2:23, 36-38; 4:27-28


  • 3.1 We believe that God, from all eternity, in order to display the full extent of His glory for the eternal and ever-increasing enjoyment of all who love Him, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His will, freely and unchangeably ordain and foreknow whatever comes to pass.


  • 3.2 We believe that God upholds and governs all things – from galaxies to subatomic Particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons –

  • all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself,

  • yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.

TF Day1: God Ordains and Governs

  • Gen 1:1

    • In the beginning, God. . .

  • Ephesians 1:11-12

    • In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory

TF Day1: All Things

  • What are the “All Things” mentioned in Eph 1?

TF Day1: All Things

  • What are the “All Things” mentioned in Eph 1?

    • Cast of the lot

    • Sparrows, Hairs on our head

    • Plans of people

    • Mind of Kings

    • In all nature

    • Authorities

    • Disaster

    • Light and Darkness; Well being and Calamity

    • Delusions, Hardness of Heart

    • Death and Healing

    • His Purpose . . .

TF Day1: God Ordains and Governs

  • (Psalms 33:8-11 ESV)

    Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!

    For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

    The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.

    The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations

TF Day1: God Ordains and Governs

  • Daniel 4 Nebuchadnezzar’s Praise:

    for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,

    and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;

    all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

    and he does according to his will among the host of heaven

    and among the inhabitants of the earth;

    and none can stay his hand

    or say to him, “What have you done?

TF Day1: God Ordains and Governs

  • Job 42:2

    • I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

  • Hebrews 1:3

    • . . . And he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

  • Colossians 1:17

    • And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  • Act 17:28

    • For “in him we live and move and have our being”;

TF Day1: God Ordains and Governs

  • Practical Implications

    • The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord.

      • He is Sovereign over all authority

    • The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

      • He is Sovereign in our decisions

    • “I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.”

      • He is Sovereign over life and health, and evil and death.

TF Day1: God Ordains and Governs

TF Day2: God’s Foreknowledge of All Things

  • (Isaiah 46:8-11 ESV)

    “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose, calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

TF Day2: God’s Foreknowledge of All Things

  • Psalm 135: 5-6

    • For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

  • Isaiah’s taunt to the false gods

    • Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods.

  • Isaiah’s assertion that God knows all things

    • Behold, the former things come to pass, and new things I now declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

    • Have I not told you from of old and declared it?

TF Day2: God’s Foreknowledge of All Things

  • He knows the length our our days

  • Job 14:5

    • Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass.

  • Psalm 136:16

    • Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

TF Day2: God’s Foreknowledge of All Things

  • Jesus knows the future

    • John 13:19 and John 14:29

      • I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.

      • And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

TF Day2: God’s Foreknowledge of All Things

TF Day2: God’s Foreknowledge of All Things

TF Day3: God Never Sins

  • The story of Job

    • Job 1:1 – 2:10, and Job 42

  • James 1:13-17

    • Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

    • Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

TF Day3: God Never Sins

  • Deuteronomy 32:4

    • A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.

  • 1 John 1:5

    • This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

TF Day3: God Never Sins

  • Abraham’s argument to prevent God from destroying Sodom and Gomorrah -- Gen 18:25

  • Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just

  • (Romans 3:19 ESV)

    • Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God

  • TF Day3: God Never Sins

    • Two allegations:

      • If God ordains evil, isn’t he then guilty of committing that evil?

      • If God ordains evil, isn’t he unjust in punishing evildoers?

    • Biblical Responses:

      • God foreknows and ordains everything that comes to pass (including the willing, evil choices of the beings he has created).

      • God is not the source or author of evil, and he is not unjust to judge the wicked.

      • How do you reconcile these statements?

    TF Day3: God Never Sins

    TF Day3: God Never Sins

    TF Day4: Human Moral Accountability

    • Examples:

      • David’s numbering of Israel and Judah

      • Joseph’s brothers treatment of Joseph

      • The crucifixion of Jesus

        • Judas

        • Chief Priests and elders

        • Herod

        • Pilate and Roman soldiers

        • Gentiles and peoples of Israel (Everyone!)

          • What shall we do? Peter said, “Repent.’

      • Who foreknew and by his “definite plan” ordained the death of Jesus?

    • Conclusion: God can ordain that evil take place, and hold the evildoers responsible since they acted out of their own wills and desires.

    • Our choices are real and made willingly. . .

    TF Day4: Human Moral Accountability

    • Jonathan Edward’s argument re: Moral Accountability

      • Our Will is guided by our desires.

      • As sinners we have the moral inability to change our desires

      • We have the natural ability to do good or not do evil,

      • BUT

        • Our moral inability controls our natural ability to avoid evil.

        • Our moral inability comes from the curse of Adam imputed to all of us.

        • And God holds us accountable to that moral inability.

    TF Day5:

    Grudem’s Systematic Theology

    • Process Theology:

      • Definition

    • Open Theism:

      • Definition

    Controversies and Challenges

    • The problem of evil in the world

      • “How can a just God allow_________________?

    Other Resources



    • God’s Lesser Glory, by Bruce Ware

    • Cp. With Open Theist Greg Boyd in Is God to Blame and Letters to a Skeptic


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