Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Man Can’t Do It…But God Can!

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Early in Nebuchadnezzar’s reign he had a dream. The dream made him anxious, and he sought it’s meaning. His astrologers, sorcerers and magicians were more than willing to provide an interpretation, but Nebuchadnezzar obviously did not trust their powers of divination. So, he created a test. Before giving him the interpretation, they had to describe the dream itself. They replied, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean” (Daniel 2:10). Their explanation did not impress Nebuchadnezzar. He became angry, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be killed!

Nebuchadnezzar’s disgust was understandable, even if his murderous response was not. These dream interpreters were not claiming psychological insight. They claimed to be able to “divine” the interpretation. That is, they claimed a supernatural ability to determine a dream’s meaning. Logically, if one possessed such supernatural powers, “divining” the dream itself would be as simple as the interpretation. By their inability, they showed themselves to be charlatans.

Divine power is different. In Matthew 9 Jesus once told a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven. The Jews thought Him guilty of blasphemy. In response, Jesus said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”— then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house” (4-6). With those words, the paralyzed man was healed.

The principle is clear. God is omnipotent. He is always able to accomplish His will for man. Those who are doing His actual bidding will be successful in their mission.

Abraham was successful because it was God’s will he father a great nation. Joseph was successful because God intended for him to care for his father and brothers. Moses was successful because it was God’s will the Israelites escape bondage in Egypt. The list goes on and on.

Daniel illustrates the point perfectly. When summoned by the king, he sought his friend’s intercessions, and prayed to God for the secret. God revealed it to him in a night vision. When Daniel came before Nebuchadnezzar, the king asked, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?” (26). Daniel responded, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days” (27-28).

Man can’t do it, but God can! The most important realization that comes from this truth is that if God determines to save man, His will can’t be thwarted. And, He has determined to do so! He sent His Son to earth for that purpose, and redemption was accomplished through the shed blood of that Son. Those who seek His grace are assured salvation!

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).