Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Does God Need Us? Taking a Hiatus from Blogging

Our sense of self importance is often over-inflated.  At times God reminds us of our temporal limitations in this world and of our impending mortality.  Those reminders occur when there is a calamity that threatens our financial security, our home, our family or our health.  We tend to forget that God is in control of every single detail of every event in our lives and nothing happens apart from His will.

We believe that the same God, after He had created all things, did not forsake them, or give them up to fortune or chance, but that He rules and governs them according to His holy will,1 so that nothing happens in this world without His appointment;2 nevertheless, God neither is the author of, nor can be charged with, the sins which are committed. For His power and goodness are so great and incomprehensible, that He orders and executes His work in the most excellent and just manner, even then when devils and wicked men act unjustly.3 And as to what He doth surpassing human understanding, we will not curiously inquire into it further than our capacity will admit of; but with the greatest humility and reverence adore the righteous judgments of God which are hid from us,4 contenting ourselves that we are disciples of Christ, to learn only those things which He has revealed to us in His Word without transgressing these limits. 

This doctrine affords us unspeakable consolation, since we are taught thereby that nothing can befall us by chance, but by the direction of our most gracious and heavenly Father, who watches over us with a paternal care, keeping all creatures so under His power5 that not a hair of our head (for they are all numbered), nor a sparrow, can fall to the ground, without the will of our Father,6 in whom we do entirely trust; being persuaded that He so restrains the devil and all our enemies that, without His will and permission, they cannot hurt us. And therefore we reject that damnable error of the Epicureans, who say that God regards nothing, but leaves all things to chance. [Belgic Confession:  Article 13, Of the Providence of God.]

1 John 5:17; Heb. 1:3; Prov. 16:4; Ps. 104:9, etc.; Ps. 139:2, etc.
2 Jas. 4:15; Job 1:21; 1 Kings 22:20; Acts 4:28; 1 Sam. 2:25; Ps. 115:3; 45:7; Amos 3:6; Deut. 19:5; Prov. 21:1; Ps. 105:25; Isa. 10:5-7; 2 Thes. 2:11; Ezek. 14:9; Rom. 1:28; Gen. 45:8; 1:20; 2 Sam. 16:10; Gen. 27:20; Ps. 75:7-8; Isa. 45:7; Prov. 16:4; Lam. 3:37-38; 1 Kings 22:34,38; Ex. 21:13
3 Matt. 8:31,32; John 3:8
4 Rom. 11:33-34
5 Matt. 8:31; Job 1:12; 2:6
6 Matt. 10:29-30
Modern Evangelicals tend toward Arminianism and even semi-pelagianism.  But they do not realize that their views on divine providence, that God allegedly leaves many things up to fallen man and to chance, is really deism or epicureanism rather than biblical doctrine.  But the fact is God is in control of every choice we make through secondary means.  In other words, He does not violate our will but yet the choice we make is absolutely certain.  How could God know the future if He is unsure of what choices we will make?  (Romans 1:10, 15:32; 1 Peter 4:19; James 4:12-16).  God even knows every hair on our head and when the sparrow will fall to the ground in death (Matthew 10:29-30).

When unemployment or sickness strikes we ought to continue to trust God even when things seem more difficult than we can bear.  God will never leave nor forsake His people, those chosen from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5, 11; Matthew 1:21; Hebrews 13:5; Joshua 1:5; Psalm 37:25; 2 Corinthians 4:9).  Even famines and natural disasters and wars and terrorist attacks are in God's sovereign control (Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6; Ezekiel 23:4, 9;  Deuteronomy 28:49-52).

The LORD your God has been around much longer than you or I have been around.  He does not need you or me to accomplish His will.  He did  quite well before you or I was born and He will do just as well without us.  To say that the Creator is in need of a mere creature to accomplish His will is arrogant and downright dangerous.  On the other hand, God does use us as instruments to accomplish His divine plan.  He works providentially through His appointed means, including the church, the preaching of the word and the adminstration of His two sacraments.  But let us not become arrogant and boastful as if God cannot accomplish His plan without us.  He could cut us off at any moment and be perfectly just in doing so (Romans 11:22; James 4:14; Job 7:7; Psalm 102:3).

You and I need not worry that God will fail simply because He has taken us off the front lines of the battle.  His Word will not return unto Him void but will accomplish that to which He sent it to do:

. . . so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11 ESV)
I will be posting only occasionally for a time since my new job will have me out of town and on the road.  This is not to say that I am giving up on my blog ministry but only that I am trusting God to allow me time to post via hot spots and other means.

May God continue to bless the reformation movement in the Anglican Communion.  By this I mean a continuing move toward the theology of Holy Scripture and the Magisterial Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.  Let every Anglican profess the doctrines in the faith confessed by the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.  May God bless the Heritage Anglican movement in the United States and may His glory be exalted to Him alone!


NewKidontheBlogg said...

Congratulations on your new job. I think you have done a monumental work here to God's glory. Last Sunday I referred someone to you 10reasons you are not a charismatic.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Thank-you, Carol. God even uses our rabbit trails for His glory. I was on the Pentecostal/Charismatic rabbit trail for awhile but God can use me to tell others about the dangers of that road.

May God bless and keep you and make His face shine upon you!


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