An Active, Personal, Sovereign God

20 Jun

Today we look at the first point of this modern “creed” of many professing Christians and others in America: Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism (MTD).  This first point says that “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”

Of all the statements in this definition of MTD, this is the most truthful.  God, as revealed to us in Christianity through the Bible, is the great Creator of all things, having made everything by speaking everything into existence (Genesis 1, Psalm 148:1-6).  I am amazed when I take a minute to ponder this fact: God created by speaking.  My mind cannot even begin to comprehend this!  Then, to add to this fact, we see that God created with such detail, complexity, and order.  God did not merely throw a bunch of things together like paint on a canvas, but rather, crafted this world like a skilled potter, with a specific design in mind.

Yet, this is where the breakdown between point one of the MTD creed and Biblical Christianity.  The first point ends with a god who watches over human life.  Though, if we link this to point four (which we will look at later in the week), which states that God need not be involved in our lives, we get a picture of a passive god who is watches over human life.  Not only that, but we are left with a god who seems rather distant and cold, who may or may not know what is going on or how to deal with what he has created.

Oh! that all would see the fuller, awe-inspiring God of the Bible! While the god of the MTD creed leaves us wanting, the God who is revealed to us in the Bible, if we honestly look at Him, will leave us satisfied.  God has been active throughout history, and in the Bible, we see His activity as He moves here and intervenes there (Gen. 11:1-9, Exodus 12:1-32, Job 38, Acts 9).  He is personal, calling us to know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, Ephesians 5:18, Romans 6:23).  He has prepared good works for His people and, having begun a good work in them, will one day bring it to completion (Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 1:6). And we see a sovereign God in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purposes.”

The Gospel
However, it is in the Gospel that these aspects of God are revealed most clearly:

  • Nowhere was God more active than in coming to the earth in the form of man, Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14, Philippians 2:5-11).
  • Nowhere is He more near to His followers today than through the filling of the Holy Spirit and His own Word (John 14:16,26, John 17:17, Ephesians 5:18, 1 Timothy 3:16).
  • Nowhere was the sovereignty of God (His control and purposing of events for His plans) more evident than in the death of Christ. We see this truth proclaimed by the apostle Peter, who said, “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)”

Thus, in the Gospel, we get the richest, most beautiful picture of God.  Jesus’ death and victorious resurrection accomplished salvation on our behalf.  He took on the punishment that we deserved for our rebellion against God, His ways and purpose for our lives. In turn, Jesus covered us with His perfect righteousness (Romans 5:19, 2 Corinthians 5:21).  In Christ, we are accepted by God and become a new creation, with the hope of eternal life and the joy and satisfaction that is found in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-25, Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17).

This is God.


One Response to “An Active, Personal, Sovereign God”


  1. A Vending-Machine God? « Surpassing Joy - June 27, 2011

    […] though God is the almighty vending machine who dispenses the things of our wildest dreams. In our discussion of Point 1 of the MTD creed (as we’ve been calling it), we saw how God is made to look […]

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