Amazing Grace Ch. 2–Providence (part 1)

Amazing Grace

Wednesday Night Small Group
Outline: 11/01/06
Notes can be found here, probably Thursday evening:


8Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
–2 Timothy 2:8 – 13 (KJV)

Class schedule

6:45 – 7:15 Fellowship
7:15 – 7:50 Prayer/Bible Study
7:50 – 8:00 Wrap up/clean up

Outline: 11/01/06
Providence (Amazing Grace Ch. 2)

Introduction: The Doctrine of Providence

Terms used to describe Bible questions/hard Bible truths which we cannot reconcile:

· Refers to a condition in which at least two things are at variance, that is, truly contrary to each other.
· See Eve and the Serpent—The serpent contradicts what God said

· An antinomy is a combination of two thoughts or principles, each of which is true in its own right but which we cannot harmonize

· A paradox seems to be a contradiction. It seems to be absurd but proves to be true.
· See, “When I am weak, then I am strong,” by Paul (2 Corinthians 12:10)

· refers to a whole complex of ideas including antinomies and paradoxes that we know on good grounds to be true, but is inexplicable or inscrutable
· Means something which has been kept secret
· In theology, it is a truth which the human mind cannot comprehend but which we must accept by faith

1 Corinthians 13:12

Creation and Providence

· Creation is the calling into existence of something which did not exist before

· Providence means the continuation or the causing to continue of that which has been called into existence in fulfillment of Gods purposes.

o It is not just that God has a foreknowledge of what is going to happen but it is a description of His continuing activity of what He does in the world and what He has continued to do since he made the world at the very beginning
o The Bible teaches that God is in control of everything (Psalm 104)

“God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.”
– From the Abstract of Principles, Southern Baptist Convention, 1845

Providence is the ordering of things in this world, their maintenance, their sustenance, and the fact that everything keeps on going and continues in life (general revelation: everything that has been made is in itself a revelation of God)

1. Nothing exists except in some relationship to God
· God created everything and maintains it and preserves it to His own ends.

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
–Revelation 4:11 (NASB)

O may Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise!
“You alone are the LORD.
You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host,
The earth and all that is on it,
The seas and all that is in them.
You give life to all of them
And the heavenly host bows down before You.
–Nehemiah 9:5 – 6 (NASB)

2. Nothing happens apart from God’s purposeful activity
· It may seem to us that things happen by chance or accident there are no accidents, so far as God’s purpose is concerned

The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
–Psalms 103:19 (NASB)

11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
–Ephesians 1:11 (NASB)

3. Nothing can thwart God’s gracious design in Christ
· We can not think of providence apart from Jesus Christ. Through Him, God made everything in heaven and on earth.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
–John 1: 5 (NASB)

And ultimately the words, “Jesus Christ Is Lord” will be proclaimed by every human being lost or saved.

5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
–Philippians 2:5 – 11 (NASB)

Prophesy, Prayer, Providence, and Miracles

· It would not be possible for a man inspired by God to predict what is going to take place, perhaps in several hundred years unless God was in control of everything

· Prophesy is not merely foreknowledge, it is a guarantee. The thing prophesied will happen because God is in absolute control of every minute detail in all of creation.

· If we did not believe that God controlled everything, there would be no point in praying
· Prayer would be a ridiculous exercise if we did not believe in the doctrine of providence
· Miracles could not take place either
Providence is that continued exercise of divine energy whereby the Creator upholds all his creatures, is operative in all that transpires in the world, and directs all things to their appointed end.

3 Elements of Providence
1. Preservation
o That continuous work of God by which He maintains the things which He has created, together with the properties and powers with which he has endowed them
§ The Bible teaches that God preserves everything that He has made. It is a continuous work.
§ It does not mean that he simply refrains from destroying what he has created (see Noah’s Ark)
§ It means that He sustains it (Acts 17:28; Col. 1:17; Hebrews 1:3)
2. Governmental
o He rules all things toward a definite end to accomplish His own divine purposes (Psalm 97:1; Daniel 4:34, 35)
3. Concurrence
o The cooperation of God and His divine power with all subordinate pwers according to the pre-established laws of their operation
o Or, God works through things he has already set in motion, I.e., the laws of nature, etc.
o There are powers and laws in nature, but none of them operate apart from God. He uses them, orders them, and manipulates them
o Called secondary causes
o Remember [Being, guidance, activity]

In general, God keeps the world spinning, the rain falling, and the corps growing for saints and sinners alike

He also takes special care of His own people, the Church

The Providence Top Ten
1. God’s providence is exercised over the universe at large—Ephesians 1:11
o God is controlling all things everywhere for His own purposes
2. God’s providence is exercised over the physical world—Matthew 5:45
3. God’s providence is exercised over the animals—Matthew 6:26; 10:29
4. God’s providence is exercised over the affairs of nations—Job 12:24; Acts 17:26
5. God providentially governs a mans birth and his lot in the world (Galatians 1:15-16; Samuel 16:1)
6. God’s providence determines the outward successes and failures in human life—Psalm 75:6-7
7. God governs things which appear to be accidental or insignificant—Esther 6, the king cannot sleep…
8. God’s providence protects the righteous—Psalm 4:8; Psalm 4,5
9. God supplies the needs of his people Philippians 4:19
10. God answers prayer


· Most of the time God works through secondary causes
· Sometimes He works directly without them
· This is a miracle
· A miracle is God working not contrary to nature, but in a supernatural manner
o Some insist miracles are impossible because they break the laws of nature thereby putting God under the control of his own guidelines
o Some only believe in miracles they can explain (If you could explain them, they wouldn’t be miracles
· A miracle by nature is supernatural. It cannot be explained in terms of the ordinary operation of the laws of nature or secondary causes.

Next week: 11/08/06
Read notes and look up scriptures
Pray through prayer list
Attend class next week

Scripture Reading
Psalm 104

Amazing Grace – Timothy George – Lifeway
Great Doctrines of the Bible – D. Martyn Lloyd Jones—Crossway Books (Lifeway)
Concise Theology – J.I. Packer—Tyndale House
The New American Standard Version of the Bible
Quick Verse 8—
Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Unabridged in six volumes)—Hendrickson
J.L. Dagg—Manual of Theology

Title: MacArthur’s New Testament Commentary
Copyright: Copyright © 1986 by The Moody Bible Institute of
Author: MacArthur, John F., Jr.
Publisher: Moody Press
Publisher Location: Chicago, IL

Title: Holman Bible Dictionary
Edition: First
Copyright: Copyright © 1991 Holman Bible Publishers. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers
Publisher Location: Nashville, TN


2 responses to “Amazing Grace Ch. 2–Providence (part 1)

  1. Pingback: Loose ends: Questions from the Bible study « Unbound

  2. I get at least a few hits a month on this post so I’d like to point all of those folks who look at it at the fine resources I have listed. Dagg’s Manual and Lloyd-Jones’ Great Doctrines of the Bible were particularly helpful in preparing for this study which, of course, could not have been started at all without Timothy George’s study course Amazing Grace.

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