The following is a sermon manuscript from the Wednesday evening teaching at Calvary Bible Church, an audio version is available here
Think of it! The purpose of Paul’s exposition of the doctrines of election and predestination to adoption is not to incite charges against the character of God. It is the exact opposite! Paul intends these things to abound to the praise of the character of God. Yet today it’s often the case that these doctrines are viewed as the battle grounds for theological dispute rather than the mountain tops of praise. How often have you thought of these biblical truths as an occasion to question the “fairness” or equity of God instead of stopping in your tracks and falling on your knees in worship? I thought about this today with something so much less but it does illustrate the point. As I sat in my study I looked out the window and saw the refreshing rain. And we’ve really needed the rain. Just last week I was out only two hours west of here and it was so very dry. The crops looked to me as if they would be lost. The grass was dry, brittle, and brown. And yet we have received a good amount of rain these past few days. But I did not sit there watching the rain while complaining about the inequity of God for sending us rain and not someone else. I just magnify the character of Providence.
Today I read that Martyn Lloyd-Jones said,
I sometimes fear that the majority of people who are outside the church today refuse even to listen to the gospel mainly because we have failed to give them the impression that this is the most wonderful event that has happened. We are not singing His praises and magnifying the grace and glory of God as we should. The people are therefore indifferent. In this verse the Apostle reminds us that the entire atmosphere in the Church should be one of praise…(Lloyd Jones).
Is that where you are? Are you living in this atmosphere of praise? Oh how many problems with relationships in the church would be erased were we to really praise the character of our God. How the anemia of our evangelistic effort would be obliterated if we were to know what it is to praise our God. Wouldn’t the coldness of our manufactured worship efforts be stamped out with the white hot flame of passionate praise? The fear of worry and the dreariness of doubt is abolished in that moment when we come face-to-face with Glory. That’s what happens right here before our eyes in Ephesians 1.