"The things most Surely Believed among us"
By Earl Cochran
So that no doubt may exist among us, our readers, or those who hear us, I am going to attempt to set before a concise statement as to what we believe. In all such statements there may be a need of explanation on some minor points so we make no claim as to these statements being exhaustive.
I am taking the title from the first chapter of Luke, the last part of that verse because these truths "are most surely believed among us."
The Scripture is very clear that the God set forth in the Word, that He has given us, is the God of heaven and of earth. As such He is the absolute Sovereign all that He has created. We are admonished to: "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from beginning, and from the ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa. 46: 9-10): (See Isa. 45: 7, 23; Psa. 115:3; Dan. 2:20,21; Dan. 4:3,17; 34,35; Acts 17:24-26; Rom. 9:10-21). There are many others; search them out if you have an interest. These many passages teach us that not a seed sprouts, not a baby is born, not a plant grows; nothing takes place apart from the absolute sovereignty of God, including life and death.
Our Lord speaks to His friends in the gospel according to Luke and says, "And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear; Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered, Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:4-7).
Thus in the sovereign power of God lies the power of life and life eternal and the power of eternal death. From sparrows to mankind, He is in complete control. The winds are His messengers, the flaming fire His servant: every natural occurrence are the instruments through which He works His will. Prosperity is His gift, and if calamity falls upon man it is the Lord that has done it (Amos 3:5,6; Lam. 3:33-38; Is. 47:7; 54:16; Eccl. 7:14) God leads men whether they recognize it or not, whether they will or they won’t He is in full control. He is the "Discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart."
We fully believe that God is fully able to give life in regeneration to whom He pleases, when He pleases and in whatever manner He pleases.
God has lost none of His power. It is heresy to suggest that the Almighty God is struggling along with the human race doing the best that He can but is unable to accomplish His purpose. This is not deism, that philosophy of man that speaks of the existence of God but denies that He has anything to do with His creation. In other words, God is but a blind existing force that wound up the universe like a clock, flung it into space and had ignored it ever since. It is rather the God of the heavens and the earth and His sovereignty is universal but it is not just a blind power. He is infinite Wisdom and Holiness and Love. He has not left the universe to fate, or chance, or to irrevocable laws of nature but all exists under His sovereign rule and purpose. All of the affairs of the human race and of the world in which they live are governed "According to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His will" (Eph. 1:11 cf.).
The religious societies of our day ignore and condemn the teachings of God’s absolute sovereignty and the predestination of all things in order to make room for there own false god, man and his free-will. Man, in his pride and presumption on the one hand, and his ignorance and depravity on the other, has caused him to exclude the God of heaven and earth and to exalt himself "above all that is called God." This is the spirit of anti-Christ.
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom. 1:22).
Our Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate, in the flesh said:
"...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth..." (Matt. 28:18).
These things we truly believe.