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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Sovereign King - Living Decrees to the Glory of Christ | By: Michael Liao

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MichaelLiao
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Joined: 2011/4/24
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Sovereign King - Living Decrees to the Glory of Christ | By: Michael Liao

http://expositorychrist.blogspot.com/2011/10/sovereign-king-living-decrees-to-glory.html

[Note: This was written on May 25th, 2011, during a time of heavy persecution by my family. The reason why I wrote this was because I know there are many people in my Reformed camp who blog so much on the Sovereignty of God with their puffed up minds, instead of actually LIVING OUT the Sovereignty of God in their lives. The Sovereignty of God is a glorious truth, but not for us to sit around and blog about. It is for the Christian to live a life fully devoted to the glory of Christ and to trust God in every single circumstance in our lives. We can talk so much about TULIP, but what is it going to take for you to actually go out and reach the elect if you really believe in the Sovereignty of God?]

By: Michael Liao

Dear brethren,

As I watch this world grow deeper and deeper into sin, and it seems as though this world is closing in on us Christians, one thing that always lifts me up is the Sovereignty of God. Now, why do I speak of the Sovereignty of God? Yes, I do admit that I hold to a Calvinistic theology, but because the doctrine on the "Sovereignty of God" is so misunderstood, even by the Calvinists themselves, very easily we can fall into the deadly trap of fatalism; of trusting in our own understanding of the Sovereignty of God; that we can fall into the attitude of, "Oh, I'm going to sin....I mean it's all predestined; all my sins are predestined." Personally, I do hold to the doctrine of predestination, but not as an excuse to sin; I hold to it and I live by it for the glory of Christ. Dear brothers and sisters, I've learned one thing, and that is the Sovereignty of God ought to have you trust in the LORD and take courage in every trial, tribulation, and circumstance.

Allow me to illustrate an example:

The Gospel of Matthew 28:18-20 says, "18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” You see, in the SOVEREIGN Word and Will of God, Jesus Christ our Lord commands us to go out into the world and make disciples, not sit around and do nothing and say "O God is Sovereign, I mean He has predestined certain individuals to be saved, so why evangelize at all? I mean, it's going to happen whether we like it or not...." This statement in itself has a half -truth, yet it is a half-truth indeed. All-in-all, it is Hyper-Calvinism - a doctrine designed to increase slothfulness in a Christian. The issue that I'm trying to tackle here is the fact that the LORD is Sovereign over our lives, and because of this glorious truth, we can obey God's commands no matter the cost. Here's an example, let's say we go out evangelizing. Now I know what you’re thinking, it's always the WHAT IFS that come along, "What if I get made fun of? What if I get beat up? What if I get killed? What if I get screamed at? What if the person doesn't listen to me?" Dear Christian friend, the answer is the Sovereignty of God found in the Truth who is Christ Jesus. If God allows these things (reviling, cursing, sufferings, taunting) to come upon you, it's already been planned out in His decree, so why fear? If the Lord burdens me to go open-air preaching, whether I live or whether I get stoned to death, the LORD is Sovereign over it/Part of His decree. For only God knows when I am going to die. If I were to die at that particular moment, God decreed it to be so. So take courage, go out, and live for the Glory of Christ! Remember, as John Piper says, "Be thoroughly biblical" and this brother said it in the context of CENTERING the Sovereignty of God on the Word of God, not trying to understand this truth with our finite minds.

Personal Testimony #1:

I remember there was a time where I had to make restitution with a sister due to a sin against her that I will leave unnamed. I can tell you that I was scared to death over the fact that I had to confess to her the sin that I had against her, not knowing if she was going to forgive me or not. But the LORD opened my eyes to His Sovereignty one night, in order for me to know that He is in absolute control of the situation. That night, I could see that whether I lose her as a friend or gain her as a friend, I knew that it was all part of the Sovereign Will of God and that I could be satisfied with whatever the result was to become after the restitution is made; knowing that everything has been planned out/decreed by God. That was the day where I could say what the Christian Hedonist, John Piper continually proclaims even unto this day, "God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him, in the midst of LOSS, not prosperity!" I praise the LORD that I was able to center the commands of Exodus 22 (Restitution) on the Sovereignty of God. I do not know, but God knows. I was then able to make restitution days later with my sister. She forgave me, although she may have been traumatized over the things I confessed to her. I tell you we never talked much again and now we are quite silent with each other. This trial did hurt me, as I can see that she is no longer my friend, but I tell you dear Christian friends, whatever you gain or lose in this life, it has all been decreed by God, so why not take courage? If you believe that you can plan out your own course instead of trusting and living by the Word of God, you are obviously living in an illusion, as God is Sovereign OVER EVERYTHING.

Personal Testimony #2:

When I offered myself as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) to the LORD, the LORD laid on my heart that I had to get rid of something, as it was in between me and the LORD. It was Tai Chi, and I tell you there is a lot of spiritual elements within that one martial art that are demonic. But I knew that if I do this, it was going to earn me persecution, as my mother expects me to practice this. Both my parents are not saved and they have been very hostile towards me ever since I became a Christian. I admit that I was scared to get rid of Tai Chi, but I knew that even if I get screamed at by my parents, the LORD God is Sovereign over it; He allowed it to happen, as it is all according to His plan of weakening me and allow death to be worked in me, so that the life of Christ may be made manifest (2 Cor. 4:7-12, Gal. 2:20, 2 Cor. 12:9-10). Then by the grace of God, I went to my former Tai Chi master to tell him that I'm quitting. My teacher took it lightly and said that I can quit. Then I had to tell my mother about it, and I tell you that this earned me a great amount of screams from my mother's mouth. She asked why did I quit? I told her that I am a Christian. This greatly offended her, but I tell you: God was Sovereign over it. He's Sovereign over my life, just as He was Sovereign over the life of Daniel when that dear prophet was in the lion's den (Daniel 6). The LORD was also Sovereign over the lives of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego while being thrown into the fiery furnace and yet those three friends of Daniel were not singed at all (Daniel 3). We all ought to glorify Christ with our lives by taking steps of faith, knowing that our Sovereign King is right beside us and that our well-being is in His hands.

Lastly, for many months I have been forbidden to go to church by my parents, but the LORD came through, as I had to tell my parents about my decision to go back to church. I tell you that the only thing lifting me up was the Sovereignty of God. By the grace of Almighty God, I told my parents my decision, and this did earn me a lot of pain and suffering, especially since it is from the people you love most (Matthew 10:21-22). Yet, I had to make up my mind over whether I will be conformed to this world, or whether I will be conformed to the image of God's Son who is Christ Jesus our LORD (Romans 8:29). The last couple of weeks, the LORD endured for me through the trials I had to go through with my parents, and it was traumatizing. Yet without the LORD, I would not have made it. I am still going through this trial at the moment. But I knew that this was the Sovereign Will and Word of God for me: that I may share in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:13, 2 Cor. 1:5).

To Those Who Use The Sovereignty of God for Sin:

I warn you that you will be judged for using the Sovereignty of God for your own fleshly comfort, instead of using this treasure of God for good and for the glory of Christ. Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter in to the Kingdom of the Heavens but he who DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER will enter." I tell you that you must not try to understand the Sovereignty of God with your own mind, but center it on the Bible, because through the Word of God, you can "be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" -Romans 12:2. For example, if God has SOVEREIGNLY saved you, it is His Sovereign Word/Will that says to you, "How can we who died to sin still live in it?" -Romans 6:2. In other words brethren, you are DECREED, not commanded, DECREED by God as a person who is dead to sin and dead to yourself (Mark 8:34, Luke 14:25-35), that you are raised to newness of life with the Resurrected Christ (Romans 6:3-4, 2 Cor. 5:17, 1 Cor. 15:17), and thus you can testify with the Apostle Paul that, "I am crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith OF the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" -Galatians 2:20. The LORD has decreed you as separate from the world in order to be separate UNTO God, if you are in Christ that is. Brethren, the Word of God is not only a list of commands, or stories, or about Jesus and what He has done: It is also God’s Sovereign Decree of a Christian – found in the Word of God: which can lead us to glorify Christ and to the glories of Christ. Be warned if you are using the Sovereignty of God/The Doctrine of Predestination to continue in your sin, for His Decree/Word says otherwise.

Therefore brothers and sisters: take courage and have faith; offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, for the LORD is Sovereign over our lives. Though there will be pain in times of trial and tribulation, remember that this is part of the LORD's plan for our lives. God decrees “that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” –Acts 14:22. Note that we didn't plan this, but the LORD planned and predestined it, in order that you may be weakened in the flesh, so that Christ may live in us, for us, and through us (Colossians 1:27, Galatians 2:20, 1 John 4:4, Romans 8:29). If the LORD planned it, why be afraid? You know it is coming! The LORD is in control of it, so whether you get screamed at, persecuted, reviled etc. just know it is part of His decree made before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, Psalms 93:5). My final thought is this: The Body of Christ was lashed, whipped, broken, scarred and crucified for us. If you claim to be a Christian/Part of the Body of Christ, and you are not being scarred and broken, I give you three words: SOMETHING IS WRONG! I will end off now by saying what most preachers would say, "Cast yourselves upon the LORD" and know that "God is the lifeline" -Lecrae.

May the God our Father in our Lord Jesus Christ bless you all through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


In Christ,

- Michael Liao


_________________
Michael Liao

 2011/10/15 18:05Profile





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