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  • Tabernacle Baptist Church

Roots of the Faith - Providence - 3/22/23

Providence


Providence is the continuing work of God to sustain in existence the created universe and all it contains, directing it toward its divinely designed end. (Gregg R. Allison) [1]


Divine providence is God’s preserving his creation, operating in every event in the world, and directing the things in the universe to his appointed end for them. (John MacArthur [2]


If Creation was a unique exercise of divine energy causing the world to be, providence is a continued exercise of that same energy whereby the Creator, according to his own will, (a) keeps all creatures in being, (b) involves himself in all events, and (c) directs all things to their appointed end. (J. I. Packer) [3]


God’s providence encompasses the following: (John MacArthur)


The universe as a whole

  • Ps. 103:19; Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11

The physical realm

  • Job 37:1–13; Pss. 104:14; 135:6; Matt. 5:45

Animals

  • Ps. 104:21, 28; Matt. 6:26; 10:29

The nations

  • Job 12:23; Pss. 22:28; 66:7; Acts 17:26

Man’s birth and life

  • 1 Sam. 1:19–20; Ps. 139:16; Isa. 45:5; Gal. 1:15–16

Man’s successes and failures

  • Ps. 75:6–7; Luke 1:52

Things apparently accidental or unimportant

  • Prov. 16:33; Matt. 10:30

Protection of his people

  • Pss. 4:8; 5:12; 63:8; 121:3; Rom. 8:28

Provision for his people

  • Gen. 22:8, 14; Deut. 8:3; Phil. 4:19

Answering prayers

  • 1 Sam. 1:9–19; 2 Chron. 33:13; Ps. 65:2; Matt. 7:7; Luke 18:7–8

Judging the wicked

  • Pss. 7:12–13; 11:6

The doctrine of providence teaches Christians that they are never in the grip of blind forces (fortune, chance, luck, fate); all that happens to them is divinely planned, and each event comes as a new summons to trust, obey, and rejoice, knowing that all is for one’s spiritual and eternal good (Rom. 8:28). (J. I. Packer) [4]

[1] Gregg R. Allison, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books: A Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2018), 103. [2] John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, eds., Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 218. [3] J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993), 54.

4 J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993), 56.

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