Friday, June 4, 2010
Discerning God's Will Together Part II
• A faulty view of the Sovereignty of God
• An attempt to defend God or shield God from actually permitting or directly evil events in our lives
• A faulty understanding of what God intends to accomplish by His will
• A faulty view of the reason for creation and redemption
If there is one word, one teaching, one doctrine, and/or one attribute of God that the average human being hates, it is that of sovereignty. Innate within our human nature is an absolute aversion to anything sovereign including God. The implication is that if God is sovereign then I must submit to Him and to His authority. Prior to the redemptive work of Christ through the Holy Spirit human beings absolutely hate being in subjection or submitting to anyone or anything.
It seems to me that to understand anything about God, ourselves, redemption sin, or even the will of God we must start here. What does it mean that God is sovereign?
A. W. Pink in his introduction to The Sovereignty of God opens with this paragraph;
“Who is regulating affairs on this earth today – God or the Devil? That God reigns supreme in heaven, is generally conceded; that He does so over this world, is almost universally denied – if not directly, then indirectly. More and more are men in their philosophizing and theorizing, relegating God to the background. Take the material realm. Not only is it denied that God created everything, by personal and direct action, but few believe that He has any immediate concern in regulating the works of His own hands. Everything is supposed to be ordered according to the (impersonal and abstract) “laws of Nature.” Thus is the creator banished from His own creation. Therefore, we need not be surprised that men, in their degrading conceptions, exclude Him from the realm of human affairs. Throughout Christendom, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that man is a “free agent”, and therefore, lord of his fortunes and the determiner of his destiny. That Satan is to be blamed for much of the evil which is in the world, is freely affirmed by those who, though having so much to say about “the responsibility of man”, often deny their own responsibility, by attributing to the Devil, what in fact, proceeds from their own evil hearts. (Mark 7:21-23)
What is the sovereignty of God?
God is supreme over all things. It means that God is God; that He is in absolute control of every atom in every universe that He has created. It means that God does as He pleases without taking into consideration any other opinion or opposing view. It means that nothing can defeat God, nothing can stop His purposes or decrees, that nothing can even resist His will or His purpose.
“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as Head above all.” (I Chronicles 29:11)
“At the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the most high, and praised and honored him who lives forever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35, ESV)
“Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” (Psalms 115:3, ESV)
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.” (Psalms 22:27-28, ESV)
“I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time – he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of Kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (I Timothy 6:13-16, ESV)
What is the sovereignty of God? It is God in heaven as creator ruling everything, every atom and particle in this universe as he chooses without any interference, resistance, or discussion. God is absolute control!
There is nothing outside of God’s purpose or as it is known, God’s will. Absolutely nothing that takes place, takes place apart from or outside of God’s eternal purpose. There is no Plan B in God’s universe. God has determined a purpose, a will, and a course of action from eternity past which is being carried out perfectly and right on time even at this very moment.
The rebellion and defection of Lucifer in heaven, the fall of man in the Garden, or your broken ankle, foreclosure, cancer, divorce, or clogged fuel injector did not take God by surprise. These things are not out of the purpose or will of God.
I know that this leads to questions, questions like: people cause God to regret creating man, the alleged and supposed freedom of the will, the alleged, “unalienable rights”, and even the misunderstood and quoted reference in II Peter 3:9. These questions I will answer in the next several posts.
Today, I wanted to establish from Scripture and define the sovereignty of God. We must start here. I know the sovereignty of God is either misunderstood or flat out denied by human beings, but it is essential to understand why sin and evils exists.
Until tomorrow, Lord willing!
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 1:00 AM