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Series Introduction| Knowing God | The Revelatory God | Goodness of God | Holiness of God | Power of God | Omnipresent God | Exalted God | Faithfuness of God | Wisdom of God | Mercy of God | Wrath of God | Love of God | Sovereignty of God | Providence of God
– The Sovereignty of God –
Introduction: Man has many problems with the sovereignty of God, but his innate hatred for this doctrine and confusion on how it applies to other topics like prophecy, prayer, evil, suffering, salvation and missions continues to derail the church from her high calling.
Mankind’s Two Problems with God’s Sovereignty
There are two basic problems with man's acceptance of God's sovereignty although it is clearly taught in the scriptures.
Man deeply resists God’s sovereignty for otherwise he would have to live his life in light of all that God does, wants and delights in.
This would quash his love affair with his own choices and lusts. Mankind has difficulty God’s work in this world as to help mankind rather than to condemn them.￼
“Men will allow God to be everywhere except on his throne. They will allow him to be in his workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow his bounties.
They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth.”
– Charles Spurgeon from The Attributes of God by Arthur W. Pink, p.33.
This picture is precisely what we see taking place in our society today: the various forms of humanism fighting against God. They are desperate to exclude God from their conscience so that they have a free course to live out their ungodly lives, unpleasing to God and painful to man.
God’s glorious and comprehensive rule remains so distanced beyond the reach of our puny minds that we cannot easily grasp it.
As a result, we have grossly misrepresented His authority and power which only further removes the truth from our hearts and minds leaving us with greatly distorted conclusions.
Each of these topics, prayer, prophecy, evil, salvation and missions have been and are hotly contested issues when the full truth of the sovereignty of God is brought to bear on them. In each case, man, even the church, wrongly concludes what should be our response.
If God is sovereign, then man concludes prayer is of no effect. If God controls all things, then we need not preach the Gospel and send our resources to far flung peoples. Each time we allow man’s logical thoughts to take hold without being properly shaped by biblical teaching, we end up with devastating practices that ruin the glorious work of the church.
Fortunately, the Bible provides more than ample instruction and examples, including Jesus’ own activities, to guide His people into a life living in the full embrace of the teaching of God’s sovereignty. These problematic topics will be discussed further below.
=> Next: God’s Sovereign & Permissive Will
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988