Pilgrim’s Keyboard

November 24, 2014

Attributes of God – The Sovereignty of God

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The Sovereignty of God

Whatever the LORD pleases he does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places | Psalm 135:6.

 

Wayne Grudem

God’s sovereignty is his exercise of rule (as “sovereign” or “king”) over his creation.[1]

 

Steve Lawson

The Sovereignty of God

This is the foundational truth of all Christian theology! God is, and the God who is – is the God who reigns. … This is the bed-rock doctrine of all doctrines.[2]

 

Don Fortner

The Sovereignty of God

With the word [found in Psalm 135:6] … [the Psalmist] declares God’s absolute, universal sovereignty and calls upon us to trust, worship and praise him because he is the sovereign God of the universe.[3]

The very foundation of our confidence and faith in our God is his sovereignty. Were he not sovereign, absolutely, universally sovereign, we could not trust him implicitly, believe his promises, or depend upon him to fulfill his Word. Only an absolute sovereign can be trusted absolutely. We can and should trust our God implicitly because he is sovereign.[4]

 

When I say that God is sovereign, I am simply declaring that God is God. He is the most High, Lord of heaven and earth, overall, blessed forever. He is subject to none. He is influenced by none. God is absolutely independent of and sovereign over all his creatures, He does as he pleases, only as he pleases, and always as he pleases. None can thwart him. None can resist him. None can change him. None can stop him. None can hinder him. He declares, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10). “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35). Divine sovereignty means that God sits upon the throne of universal dominion, directing all things, ruling all things, and working all things ‘after the counsel of his own will’ (Ephesians 1:11).[5]

 

NOTE: The Sovereignty of God | is simply to declare that “God is God” [A.W. Pink[6]] or that “God is, and the God who is is the God who reigns” [S. Lawson[7]].

Psalm 115:3 | … our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.

Natural, unregenerate, unbelieving men and women are happy enough to have God everywhere, except up the throne of total universal sovereignty.[8] However God is sovereign in every aspect concerning man. Theses aspects can be categorized into three basic areas:

  • Creation
  • Providence
  • Salvation.

Creation

 

Genesis 1:1 | In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

  • Colossians 1:16-17 | For by Him [Jesus Christ – God] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things consist.
      •  
  • Revelation 4:11 | You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.
      •  
  • Proverbs 16:4 | The LORD has made all things for Himself.

 

Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26 | Then God said, “Let there be …”

 

    • Psalm 33:6-9 | By the Word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth … For He spoke and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
    • Hebrews 11:3 | By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which were visible.
    • Job 38:4 ff | Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. …

 

NOTE: Scripture is very clear that God is the Creator of all things of which He “rules [i.e., sovereign] over all” (Psalm 103:19) for which “of Him and through Him and to Him are all things [i.e., He created], to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36).

 

 

Providence

 

Isaiah 46:9-10 | Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasures.

  • Psalm 33:11 | The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.

 

  • Proverbs 16:9 | A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

 

  • Acts 17:26 | And He [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has predetermined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation – cf. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Hebrews 9:27 | “To everything this is a season – birth to death.

 

Romans 8:28 | And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

  • Genesis 45:4-8 | … I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for god sent me before you to preserve life. … So now it was not you who sent me here, but God …
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  • Acts 2:22-23 | Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth … Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.
      •  
  • Ephesians 1:3-6 | Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace,, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
    •  

NOTE: Scripture is very clear that God is in control of every aspect of His creation whether it is inanimate or animate. There is nothing that He has not predetermined for the good of His own and for His glory (Psalm 148:1-14 | … He has made a decree which shall not pass away).   

 

 

Salvation

 

2 Timothy 1:9 | Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

 

  • Romans 8:29-30 | For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified; these He glorified.

 

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 | But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      •  
  • Romans 9:10-16 | … when Rebecca also had conceived by one man … Isaac

(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.

What shall I say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! – [KJV – God forbid.]

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

 

  • John 1:12-13 | But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believed in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

NOTE: Scripture is very clear that “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9) a gift of God’s grace not our works so that we will not nor cannot boast before Him (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28 & 4:2).

 

 

 Closing Thot

 

A. W. Pink

The Sovereignty of God

What do we mean by this expression?

  • We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the Godhood of God.
  • To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God.
  • To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His Will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35).
  • To say that God is sovereign is to declare that he is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that non can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Ps. 115:3).
  • To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is “The Governor among the nations” (Ps. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best.
  • To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the “Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15).
  • Such is the God of the Bible. [9]

Simply put: God does what He wants, when He wants, where He wants, and how He wants with whom He wants!

NOTE: Such is the Attribute: The Sovereignty of God.

[1] Grudem, 217.

[2] Lawson, The Attributes of God [DVD], “The Sovereignty of God”.

[3] Fortner, 109.

[4] Fortner, 109.

[5] Fortner, 112.

[6] A.W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1979), 19.

[7] Lawson, “The Sovereignty of God”.

[8] Fortner, 110.

[9] A.W. Pink, 19 (adapted).

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