Faith Baptist Church
12-19-21 Dwell Richly Bible Study
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        Christmas Eve Service

        December 24, 2021 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        Candlelight service celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ
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        Special Christmas Scheudle

        December 26, 2021 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        9:45 am- Family Bible Study 10:30 am- Christmas Service No Afternoon Service
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        New Year's Eve Service

        December 31, 2021 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
        No Wednesday Service Dec. 29th
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        Annual Meeting

        January 30, 2022 - 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
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        FBC Leadership Meeting

        January 9, 2022 - 1:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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        Teen Sledding Activity

        January 15, 2022 - 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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        Arch Pastors' Fellowship

        January 16, 2022 - 9:00 AM - January 25, 2022 - 10:00 AM
        Pastor Jon and Sharon will be in Florida for the Arch Ministries Nation Pastor's Fellowship
  • The providence of God is His almighty and everywhere present power, whereby as it were by hand, He upholds and governs heaven, earth and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by His fatherly hand. —Heidelberg Catechism
    Broadly speaking what are the two categories of God’s providence? Governing and preserving providence.
    What do we mean by preserving providence?
    Preserving Providence- God continually preserves and maintains the existence of every part of His creation, from the smallest to the greatest, according to His sovereign pleasure.
    To what degree does that preserving providence have over humanity? Intimately personal and practical! Down to every breath that we take- God holds every breath in His hand!
    What is the practical application of this kind of providence? Life and health are His alone to give or withhold, to sustain or remove. It is entirely appropriate to begin every day thanking the Lord for life and breath and health. They are from Him!
    This morning we are going to think about God’s preserving providence over nature. We understand that God is intimately concerned and part of every moment of humanity’s existence- right down to the breath we draw and the hairs on our head.
    What about the rest of creation? Plants and animals? Weather? The universe?
    Has God set up the world with a kind of self-perpetuation natural law that keeps everything ticking? What do we call that belief system? Deism.
    How interested and active is God in the ongoing affairs of the natural world?

    What Does the Bible Say?

    The sustaining of every angelic being is the direct effect of the preserving providence of God

    Nehemiah 9:6 ESV
    6 “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
    What does it mean that God preserves all of them? “Preserves”- lit. maintains the life of…
    Psalm 104:4 ESV
    4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.
    How is God’s sustaining providence taught here?
    Angels “are what God made them, what he still makes them; they derive their being from him, having the being he gave them, are held in being by Him, and he makes what use he pleases of them.” —Matthew Henry
    Colossians 1:16–17 ESV
    16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    What are thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities referring to? biblical phrases referring to classes of angelic beings
    Ephesians 1:20–21 ESV
    20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
    So what does the Colossian passage teach about these difference classes of angelic beings? They were created and are granted ongoing existence by Christ.
    How interested and active is God in the ongoing affairs of the natural world?

    The continuance of the cosmos, the planets and stars in their appointed courses, is the direct effect of the preserving providence of God

    Psalm 104:2 ESV
    2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.
    Nehemiah 9:6 ESV
    6 “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
    Isaiah 40:22 ESV
    22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
    Isaiah 40:26 ESV
    26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing.
    Isaiah 48:13 ESV
    13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.
    Job 38:31–33 ESV
    31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?
    How interested and active is God in the ongoing affairs of the natural world?

    The conservation of all natural processes within the physical world is the direct effect of the preserving providence of God

    Volunteer to read?
    Psalm 65:9–13 ESV
    9 You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. 10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. 11 You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
    Volunteer to read?
    Psalm 104:5–13 ESV
    5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. 10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; 11 they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. 13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
    Psalm 147:8 ESV
    8 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills.
    Psalm 147:15–18 ESV
    15 He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16 He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. 17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? 18 He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
    Jeremiah 5:24 ESV
    24 They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’
    Matthew 5:45 ESV
    45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
    Acts 14:17 ESV
    17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
    How interested and active is God in the ongoing affairs of the natural world?

    The maintenance of all animal and plant life is the direct effect of the preserving providence of God

    Psalm 36:6 ESV
    6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord.
    Volunteer to read?
    Psalm 104:14–30 ESV
    14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth 15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. 18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers. 19 He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. 20 You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about. 21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. 24 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25 Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. 26 There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it. 27 These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
    God preserves the life of all living things on the land and in the seas.
    Does God physically catch the antelope and deliver it to the lion’s den?
    In what sense does God’s providence provide food for the lions?
    Example: I might see to it that the bird feeder is full of seed, or that my pantry is well stocked so my teenage boys can pack their lunches for school.
    God literally and personally maintains and provides for the life of beasts on an earthly scale!
    Psalm 147:9 ESV
    9 He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.
    Nehemiah 9:6 ESV
    6 “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
    Matthew 6:26 ESV
    26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
    Matthew 10:29 ESV
    29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
    Luke 12:6 ESV
    6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
    How interested and active is God in the ongoing affairs of the natural world?

    The preservation of the life and health of every person is the direct effect of the preserving providence of God

    Psalm 33:6 ESV
    6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
    Psalm 66:9 ESV
    9 who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
    Matthew 10:30 ESV
    30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
    Luke 12:7 ESV
    7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
    Ghastly wonder of all the ages; man, a creature, whose very name is need, need, need; who must be “kept” from outside himself, like a newborn babe supplied with breath, with food, with air; kept in balance by a power wholly without himself; who must be warmed by a created sun; the temperature of his body kept by a marvellous adjustment; his blood kept circulating; his heart kept beating—yet the constant effort of human “science” and “philosophy” [and, indeed, of our own depraved mind and flesh] is to get as far away as possible from the consciousness of this creating, providing, maintaing Lord God! — William Newell
    In summary, how much of creation continually exists solely because of the ongoing, active, preserving providence of God? All creation!
    God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
    Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
    Of shinning worlds is splendor thro’ the skies,
    Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
    There’s not a plant or flower below
    But makes thy glories known
    And clouds arise and tempests blow
    By order from they throne;
    While all that borrows life from thee
    Is ever in Thy care,
    And everywhere that man can be
    Thou, Gd, are present there.
    Mighty God, while angels bless Thee may a mortal sing Thy Praise?
    Hymn penned by Robert Roberson. Listen to what he wishes us to praise the Lord for in one of the hymn’s verses:
    For the grandeur of Thy nature,
    Grand beyond a seraph’s thought;
    For the wonders of creation,
    Works with skill and kindness wrought;
    For They providence that governs
    Through Thy empire’s wide domain,
    Wings an angel, guides a sparrow,
    Blessed by Thy gentle reign.
    Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite?
    It breathes in the air, it shines in the night,
    It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
    And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

    A Psalm on God’s Preserving Providence Over Creation (Ps 104)

    God is the Cosmic Architect of Creation (vv. 1-9)

    Psalm 104:1–9 ESV
    1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. 3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; 4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. 5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.

    God sends springs into the valleys to refresh His creatures (10-12)

    Psalm 104:10–12 ESV
    10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; 11 they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.

    God waters the hills from His chambers to make the earth fruitful (13)

    Psalm 104:13 ESV
    13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

    God causes grass to grow for grazing animals and vegetation for man’s sustenance and pleasure (14-15)

    Psalm 104:14–15 ESV
    14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth 15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

    God plants trees for birds to nest in (16-17)

    Psalm 104:16–17 ESV
    16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.

    God appointed the times and seasons of the moon and sun (19)

    Psalm 104:19 ESV
    19 He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.

    God makes the darkness (20)

    Psalm 104:20 ESV
    20 You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about.

    God feeds the animals (21, 27 -28)

    Psalm 104:21 ESV
    21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
    Psalm 104:27–28 ESV
    27 These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

    God gives and takes away the breath of all His creatures (29-30)

    Psalm 104:29–30 ESV
    29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
    J. Gresham Machen:
    Have we outgrown that wonderful passage? Have we outgrown the conviction that God feeds the lions that roar after their prey in the night, that He provides a habitation for the birds of the heaven, that all His creatures, small and great, wait upon Him that He may give them their meat in due season? Have we outgrown the words of the Lord Jesus when He said that God has so clothed the lilies of the field as that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these? Have we outgrown His conviction that not a sparrow falls to the ground with God, and that God feedeth them from day to day? Has scientific agriculture of the scientific study of botany or biology made these things to be out of date? Have we with our overmuch knowledge outgrown the simple conviction of Jesus and of the Psalmist that every living creature receives its meat form God? Well, my friends, if that is so, if these thing have really come to be out of date, then we have lost far more that we have gained.

    New Testament Passages on God’s Preserving Providence

    Colossians 1:16–17 ESV
    16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    Hold together- “to stand together, hold together, cohere.”
    Greek historian Herodotus used this word to designate a “standing army”- an army held together on rank solely by the order of a commanding officer.
    What is it that makes this world a cosmos instead of chaos? In Christ all things hold together!
    All things were created by Christ, and all thing continue to exist because of Christ. Every pulsation of our heart depends on His sovereign beneficence who feeds us and clothes us. Everything that Christ created owes their continued being, their subsistence to Him!
    How exactly does Christ hold all things together? By what means doe He do this?
    Hebrews 1:3 ESV
    3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
    “Uphold” from the Greek phero, usually means to bear or to carry.
    Illustration of Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders. Is this like how Christ upholds the universe? NO! This Greek word does not suggest one who is static and can barely hold up something or merely supports something. This word is full of dynamic activity and movement. Imagine Atlas picking up the world and carrying it along with him to a destination of his own choosing. Closer idea!
    What exactly does Christ uphold?
    By what means does He sustain and carry it along?
    The same word of power that spoke the universe into being!
    2 Peter 3:5 ESV
    5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
    Hebrews 11:3 ESV
    3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
    Upheld by the word of His power
    Illustration: Graduation ceremony at West Point. The class stands at perfect attention. They are under the command of the presiding officer. But once the word of dismissal is given what happens? Chaos- hats everywhere! As soon as the class is no longer under the command of the officer they become “unglued.” That is precisely what would happen were Christ to “dismiss” all of creation from the cohesive power of His commanding word.

    A Look in the Mirror

    Everyone and everything owes their ongoing existence to the preserving providence of God. What practical effects should that have on your outlook on life and death? Your daily decisions? Your future plans? Your attitude and relationship to God? Here are some biblical ideas: 2 Cor. 6:2; Prov. 27:1; James 4:14; Ecc. 9:10; Ps. 6:5; Ps. 66:8-9; Ps. 104:33.
      • Nehemiah 9:6ESV

      • Psalm 104:4ESV

      • Colossians 1:16–17ESV

      • Psalm 104:2ESV

      • Nehemiah 9:6ESV

      • Isaiah 40:22ESV

      • Isaiah 40:26ESV

      • Isaiah 48:13ESV

      • Job 38:31–33ESV

      • Psalm 147:8ESV

      • Psalm 147:15–18ESV

      • Jeremiah 5:24ESV

      • Matthew 5:45ESV

      • Acts 14:17ESV

      • Psalm 36:6ESV

      • Psalm 147:9ESV

      • Nehemiah 9:6ESV

      • Matthew 6:26ESV

      • Matthew 10:29ESV

      • Luke 12:6ESV

      • Psalm 33:6ESV

      • Psalm 66:9ESV

      • Matthew 10:30ESV

      • Luke 12:7ESV

      • Colossians 1:16–17ESV

      • Hebrews 1:3ESV

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