(The following is a lightly edited transcript from a sermon on 1 John 5:18-21 entitled, “We Are in Him Who is True” delivered by Pastor Nathan Brooks on December 27, 2020.)
God's Sovereignty and 2020
There’s a trend of talking about the current year as if it were a real thing. Especially during difficulties. As if the year 2020 is the cause of everything that happened in 2020.
“How could you do this to me, 2020?”
“Really 2020? You wrecked my plans!”
As Christians, we must be careful that social and cultural trends don’t begin to define what we believe. We must be careful that we do not start attributing strength and ability and causality and power and sovereignty to a year, to time. When we do that, we become idolaters. Very soon, we begin to sound less like children of a sovereign God and more like animistic, pagan hybrids, detesting and scolding our idol, time.
God is Sovereign Over...
Seemingly random things
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." -Proverbs 16:33
The heart of the most powerful person in the land
"The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will." -Proverbs 21:1
Our daily lives and plans
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." -Proverbs 19:21 (We’ve learned that this year. Amen?”)
"For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.' So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." -Romans 9:15-16
Life and death
"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand." -Deuteronomy 32:39
“'Then the LORD said to [Moses], 'Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?'” -Exodus 4:11
The death of His Son
“This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” -Acts 2:23
“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.” -Isaiah 45:7
“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, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” -Ephesians 1:11-12
In 2020, God was sovereign, and in 2021, He will continue to be sovereign.
For complete audio of this sermon and more, visit www.glorietabaptist.com/sermons
This Advent, if you’re wondering what it looks like to adore Jesus, Luke is a good place to look. Repeatedly in his gospel, Luke shows us many different types of people adoring Jesus.
And in Luke 2:36-38, he introduces us to Anna, an elderly, widowed prophetess who gets to meet Jesus as a baby in the temple in Jerusalem.
In the incarnation of Jesus, there is so much to savor. And we should strive to savor it all.
Imagine two weeks ago, sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal saying, “Wow, there is so much food here! I’m just not going to eat anything.” You wouldn’t say that. Instead, you might take one bite at a time, enjoying everything on the table. This should be our approach to the story of the incarnation of Jesus. The truths in this story are best savored one bite at a time.
“Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."
This is a famous line from the beginning of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, said in annoyance by Ebenezer Scrooge to his jovial nephew Fred. While Scrooge barks this reply to justify not celebrating Christmas at all, it nevertheless raises questions: How should Christians keep Christmas? Can we keep it in our own ways? Are they’re ways we shouldn’t keep it?