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God’s Providence
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  1. God’s Providence “For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God…” Ecclesiastes 9:1

  2. Dangers Must Be Avoided • Exercise caution in attributing to God’s providence each and every specific event and blaming God recklessly for every adversity. • Others do not see providence working in this life other than the natural process of nature.

  3. Facts to Keep in Mind • God is the Creator of the universe in which we live. Mankind is the crowning achievement of that creation. • God created man as a free moral agent, having freedom of choice in our lives. Each individual controls the choices in his own life.

  4. Facts to Keep in Mind • Inherent in free choice is the responsibility for our own actions. All must answer for the manner of life we choose to live. • Mankind is duty bound to live by God’s laws, both physical (natural) and spiritual (moral). If one chooses to live contrary to God’s laws, he must accept the consequences resulting from those violations.

  5. Facts to Keep in Mind • God rules in the universe, but does not interfere with man’s free will. Each has the right to choose his own path. • God is able to act above mankind’s choices and allow him to act as he will and then so guide, direct, and control the course of events that His divine purpose will be accomplished.

  6. Facts to Keep in Mind • God is able to use men, whether they are good or evil, right or wrong, to accomplish His eternal purpose. This is the sum of God’s providence. • God never intervenes or interferes with man’s free will. • How prayer works hand in hand with God’s providence.

  7. The “How’s” • “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” {Deut.29:29} • “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” {Eccl.3:11}

  8. WhatIsProvidence? • Comes from Latin word—”providential” • “Providing, to provide, foresee, or to see ahead (before). • Genesis 22:8 • Forethought, which rests upon foresight, conveying the concept of provident care.

  9. “Pronoia” • Acts 24:2 (Romans 13:14) • Verb form found three times: • Romans 12:7 • 2 Corinthians 8:21 • 1 Timothy 5:8 • “Oroblepo”—literally means to “see ahead.” • Hebrews 11:40

  10. Providence • Primarily refers to “looking ahead.” • Planning • Forethought • Making necessary preparations and arrangements • Foresight

  11. Definition • God’s providence is His continuous activity of preserving and governing the whole creation by His wisdom, goodness, and power for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose and for the glory of His name. He works in both natural and spiritual realms; a working control that neither violates the sovereignty of man’s free will, nor the divine or spiritual laws.

  12. Principles of Providence • God is the divine Creator of the universe and ruler over what He created. • Proverbs 8:22-36 • Hebrews 6:18 • 2 Timothy 2:13 • Malachi 3:6

  13. Rules in Three Areas • Physical Creation • Psalm 33:6-9 • Animal Creation • Job 39 • Moral Creation • Genesis 1:26,27 • Acts 17:26-31

  14. Principles of Providence • The laws by which all things operate are an expression of God’s will; He is the Creator, Lawgiver and Governor of the universe. • Two laws—Natural and Spiritual • Only angels and men were created free beings, with free will.

  15. Principles of Providence • The Bible, God’s infallible word, reveals Him and His will to all mankind: • John 12:46-50 • 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 • 2 Timothy 3:16,17 • 2 Peter 1:20,21

  16. Principles of Providence • Man lives under the natural order and is subject to all natural laws and consequences: blessings, accidents, sufferings, and even death. • Matthew 5:44,45 • Hebrews 9:27

  17. Principles of Providence • The natural order is adapted to moral and spiritual training of free moral agents. • Job • James 1:1-5 • 1 Peter 1:5,6

  18. Principles of Providence • God has the power to guide free moral beings from above without interfering with their freedom of choice; includes power over nations and individuals.

  19. Principles of Providence • If God wills, He can directly alter the course of events. He does so in answer to human prayer, or without it. • James 5:13-17 • Nehemiah 9:6-38

  20. Is God Active or Absent in the World He Created? • Physical world • Creator (Colossians 1:15-17) • Preserver (Nehemiah 9:6) • Moral world • Governor (Hebrews 12:9)

  21. Daily Bread • Matthew 9:6 • 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 • 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 • Context of Matthew 6:25-34

  22. People in Authority • 1 Timothy 2:2 • Does God take an active hand in the affairs of men to answer this prayer?

  23. Temptation • Matthew 6:13 • 1 Corinthians 10:13 • 2 Timothy 4:17,18 • Can God act to deliver us?

  24. Regarding Prayer • 1 John 3:22 • 1 John 5:14,15 • James 4:13-16 • Ephesians 3:20,21 • 2 Thessalonians 3:2 • Acts 21:31-35

  25. Distinction Between Providence and Miracles • John 2:1-11 • Power over Quality • John 4:46-54 • Power over Distance • John 5 • Power over Time

  26. Distinction Between Providence and Miracles • John 6 • Power over Quantity • John 9 • Power over Disease • John 11 • Power over Death

  27. Miracles Defined • Works of a supernatural origin and character, such as could not be produced by natural means or agents. That which results from a special act of divine will without natural means, and contrary to the laws of nature.

  28. Miracles • Not just any strange or unusual event that defies our understanding. • Purpose of miracles • Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:2,3 • Passing on of the gifts • Acts 8:14-18 • Duration of the gifts • 1 Corinthians 13:8-13