The Sovereignty of God!

One of the most important doctrines in the Bible and realities of being a Christian is the sovereignty of God. John 1:12-13 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

This one verse, let alone many others, points us to the sovereignty of God in the salvation of an individual. It is not the will of man that chooses salvation for themselves and ‘lets Jesus into their heart’, it’s the sovereign call of God upon an individuals life that draws them into relationship with Christ. John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” We did not, cannot and dare not save ourselves because only in Christ is salvation found and only in God’s election of us are we able to believe in Jesus and call upon his name for salvation.

The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is supposed to humble us and remind us that it is not by our works that man should boast but salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 9:16 says, “So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” Apart from God’s mercy on any of us we would all spend eternity separated from Christ in hell. Romans 3:10-12 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” So many people in our world want to believe that we are inherently good but we are not. We are sinful and rebellious beings. Hence our desperate need of the one and only saviour Jesus Christ. It was our sin that pout Jesus on the cross, not our goodness.

Romans 8:29-30 says, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined, he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Some argue that God in his foreknowledge looked down the corridors of time and saw those who were going to choose him and thus predestined them to be saved and among his elect. This is otherwise known as the two handed position. But as we have seen in the above verses at the beginning, God doesn’t respond to us because we chose him. Salvation doesn’t depend on human will or exertion, but on God’s pure, one handed mercy. A person who is dead in sin cannot choose salvation for themselves. To quote Romans 3:10-12 again, “No one is righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” 

It is for these scriptural reasons and many others that I am in awe of God’s sovereignty and grace in my own life. I believe the Scripture teaches:

  • The total depravity of man showing us the depths of sin and depravity that accompanies sin.
  • The unconditional election of those whom God has predestined to be saved.
  • The limited yet unlimited atonement of Jesus work on our behalf on the cross. Jesus death is proficient for every man, woman, boy and girl but only efficient for those whom God has predestined to be saved.
  • The irresistible nature of God’s grace and how God’s grace cannot be refused by those whom he has called.
  • The preservation of the saints which shows us that no Christian can be lost from God’s hand once we have been saved. Jesus cannot lose one of his children. In John 17:12 Jesus says, “While I was with them, i kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

Let the sovereignty of God compel you to run towards God and worship him with thanksgiving for what he has accomplished for you on the cross through his son Jesus. Let God’s sovereignty humble you and cause you to live in awe of the one who created the universe by the words of his mouth (Heb 11:3).

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4 Responses to “The Sovereignty of God!”

  1. Okay, interesting that you just swallowed Driscoll’s perspective in one.

    Total Depravity – whilst not denying as humans we are totally unable to reach God it is clear in scripture that we through our own free will play a faith part in such (as he draws us – although we see we can reject such grace) Free will although effectively called a myth in calvinism is found clearly in scripture. (search freewill – John 7:17)

    Some will use John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the father which hath sent me draw him…” Of course the Father must draw a sinner, but in John 12:32, Jesus assures us “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto me.” John 1:9 says, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

  2. Corey, why would a clear explanation of the biblical reasons calvinism does not work be taken off here? You might find my insistence annoying but do you have clear Biblical reasons against each position or like many young pastors (myself often included) are you finding yourself looking for that key antidote to church problems?

    The Bible is clear that Man can lose his salvation, his name can be blotted out of the Book of Life Rev 3:5. The fact that Perseverence of the Saints is not biblical undermines the rest of calvinism.

    Any doctrine that contradicts that Character of God must be brought into question and Calvinism does this. It turns a Just God of mercy and truth into a departed tyrant.

    • Corey Turner Says:

      Josh,

      Thanks for your blog response to ‘Sovereignty of God’. I don’t generally respond to everyone’s comments on my blog regardless of whether I agree with them or not because I don’t have time to go through and answer each comment in detail, even though I would like to. My response to what you have shared will have to be kept to my initial blog post on ‘Sovereignty of God’.

      I understand where you are coming from Josh because I grew up with my parents being ministers who held to the ‘Armenian’ perspective and the whole movement I grew up in had strong Armenian roots. I understand and know all the scriptures you have talked about and could give to you a long list of verses that would contradict your interpretations of scripture. The point is it’s all in how you interpret them. Every Christian, leader and preacher claims to hold the most biblical position on a variety of doctrines. Every Christian needs to come to their theological conclusions without ignoring the tensions that exist between texts and keeping the absolute truths of the bible as absolute and keeping peripheral doctrines and convictions as just that.

      Armenienism and Calvanism are internal church debates and regardless of the position, the application is still the same. We are all still called to preach the gospel to all creation and go and make disciples of all nations. It’s not our job to wonder if this person or that person is predestined or not. That belongs to God and God alone to decide. Even though I believe God’s sovereignty predestines people to heaven or hell (Romans 9), I still believe that God wants to partner with me as a causality of salvation in that persons life. A nail may be created and destined to be hammered into wood but someone has to pick up the hammer and hit it into the wood. You and I are called to be the hammer that God uses to help people see Jesus Christ as the way, truth and the life.

      I appreciate your position and have people on my staff team that also hold your position. That’s cool but I am not going to enter into a theological debate over the internet with you (if that’s what you want). Thanks for interacting with my blog.

      Corey

  3. Excellent site, keep up the good work

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