If God is in Control...How Do We Make Choices?

If God is in Control . . .

How Do We Make Choices?

Misc. Scriptures

Pastor Joel Sutton, Oct. 13, 2013; If God is in Control... Sermon 5

 

God's will (of direction)

 

Four clear steps:

  1. Devote yourself to Christ. Titus 3:8; Rom. 12:1; Matt. 6:33

     

  2. Digest God's word.

    "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (ESV)

    "For this is the will of God, your sanctification." 1 Thess. 4:3 (ESV)

     

  3. Desire Wisdom. Prov. 2:1-6
    1. Prayer
    2. Counsel
    3. Desires
    4. Circumstances

     

  4. Decide. Titus 3:8; 2 Cor.9:7

 

Take Home Idea: Make your decisions with an eye of trust to God's sovereignty and a commitment to His wisdom.

 

Sermon Discussion Guide

 

  • Read 1 Peter 4.1-11
  • Discuss:
    • Peter begins this section with the foundation for his instruction to come (4.1-2). How, according to this verse, do you think Peter would answer the question, "How do we make decisions?"
    • How does Peter think the Gentiles (unbelievers) are making decisions (3-5)? What do you think? What criteria does the world promote for making decisions?
    • Think about the people you know or hear about that make decisions according to these criteria - how well does it seem to work for them?
    • What does Peter offer as an alternative? What should our criteria be for making decisions? (1-2, 7-11)
    • What do you think Peter means by the phrase, "Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God (10)?" What, by contrast would a poor steward of God's grace look like?
    • What do the two exhortations in 10-11 have in common?
    • Why do you thin Peter mentions that, "there end of all things is near (7)?" Why does that matter? What does it help us to remember?

 

Sermon Discussion Guide - Leader's Guide

  • Read 1 Peter 4.1-11
    • Discuss:
      • Peter begins this section with the foundation for his instruction to come (4.1-2). How, according to this verse, do you think Peter would answer the question, "How do we make decisions?"
        • "so as to live for the rest of your earthly life…by the will of God"
        • Peter begins with his "Take Home Idea" - instead of living our lives, making decisions based on what we want, we should seeks to do what God wants
      • How does Peter think the Gentiles (unbelievers) are making decisions (3-5)? What do you think, what criteria does the world promote for making decisions?
        • Selfishness, pleasure, whatever satisfies a desire, etc.
        • It seems those criteria have not changed much in 2,000 yrs
      • Think about the people you know or hear about that make decisions according to these criteria - how well does it seem to work for them?
        • For some, it seems to work, but even then often only for a short while. On the whole, so many of our society's most visible people, blessed with wealth, talent, status, etc., leading lives obviously by these criteria show them to be ultimately self-destructive
      • What does Peter offer as an alternative? What should our criteria be for making decisions? (1-2, 7-11)
        • Again, Peter purposes living according to God's will, instead of simply following our own desires. This involves being disciple in prayer, loving one another, and generally being good stewards of God's grace, etc.
      • What do you think Peter means by the phrase, "Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God (10)?" What, by contrast would a poor steward of God's grace look like?
        • Given the context, Peter probably means we should use our freedom in Christ - the grace of our salvation - as a means of obedience, not an excuse to go on living in sin. A poor steward receives salvation, receives God's word, Spirit, and wisdom - but squanders it by refusing to obey.
      • What do the two exhortations in 10-11 have in common?
        • Both describe obedience in the context of what we have already received from God: gifts and strength from God.
      • Why do you thin Peter mentions that, "there end of all things is near (7)?" Why does that matter? What does it help us to remember?
        • That reminds us that while God expects us to obey, we are servants of His greater plan. We don't obey for nothing, we don't live according to his will for no reason - we do it because He is sovereign, he will accomplish his plans - and not least - because we will all be accountable for what we do.
  • Application:
    • We live by faith, believing God is sovereign, and he will accomplish his plans - whatever we do. But God is also our Sovereign, and he expects us to obey - not least because it is just a better way for us to live. In our decision making and in life more generally, we who call God our Lord should seek to live according to his will, and not our own.

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