|Dr. Couch, should not Christians have more wisdom and not be so duped and gullible in their thinking? Or is this part of His sovereignty, to allow evil to run its course, and too, in life He hands out divine retribution, even on believers?|
ANSWER: While God is sovereign and taking His world where He wishes it to go, there are still natural processes at work. We cannot fathom how all of this works. It is a "both and ..." when we try to reconcile His sovereignty and human responsibility!
As the Lord builds His church we find Paul writing: "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you being rooted and grounded in love ..." Peter also writes: that we should "grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). We have to grow because we're not there yet! I have the same argument when discussing the physical and mental growth of a child. It takes at least 20 years for one to become mature! So in the Christian life—it is a growth process—we do not mature instantly!
Paul adds: That we should no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming, etc. ..." (Eph. 4:14). This is why most of the epistles were written—to strengthen, to support, to mature out believers by the process of learning. Natural processes are at work! But so is the Holy Spirit! God is working with what He has in believers. We are changed by His steady working on us!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch