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Theology and Coherent Living

May 13, 2014 | by: Mike Law | 0 Comments

Theology helps us to live coherent lives. Take, for example, the doctrine of God’s providence. As the Baptist Catechism of 1813 states,

“God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures and all their actions.”

This truth is confirmed by the testimony of Scripture.

Ephesians 1:11 – In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.
Colossians 1:17 – And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Hebrews 1:3 – 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.

But having read God’s Word on the doctrine of providence, you may think to yourself, “How does the doctrine of God’s providence help me to live a coherent life?” Well, just to pursue one path, if God did not exercise his Fatherly care, in this world then we would have constant uncertainty. Our dominating thought would be, “Who is in control?” Anxiety would be an understandable and reasonable emotion. Constant anxiousness would actually be the coherent worldview. It would be coherent to trust yourself and your own strength by developing countless scenarios and ways out of those fearful scenarios because there is not a sovereign, all-wise, all-powerful, and all-good God in control of all things.

However, as we ourselves know from experience, anxiety is anything but coherent. Constantly worrying about things over which we have no control makes very little sense. We borrow trouble when we don’t even know if trouble will come our way. The doctrine of God’s providence grants us the clarity we need to see that the God who rules and works all things according to the counsel of his will is indeed trustworthy and we can place our very lives into his gentle hands. Or as Herman Bavinck puts it,

“In all circumstances of life, it (meaning God’s providence) gives us good confidence in our faithful God and Father that he will provide whatever we need for body and soul and that he will turn to our good whatever adversity he sends us in this sad world, since he is able to do this as almighty God and desires to do this as a faithful Father.” [Bavinck, Herman, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2: God and Creation, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008). p. 619]

God’s providence provides coherence and rest, both for today and for all eternity. Praise God for his great providential work in our lives and in this world.

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