The sovereignty of god a different view

The Nature of God's Sovereignty

Mike Clegg

Blaise Pascal, a noted French mathematician and philosopher wrote: God made man in His own image and man returned the compliment.

Man first defines his understanding of free will and then builds a perception of God's sovereignty around it. This method of building a concept of man's will first has produced a false understanding of God's sovereignty. Man has taken this self derived understanding and stated that God can do anything He wants irregardless of others and circumstances. He unconsciously states that man's free will supersedes God's will; or at the opposite end of the idea is God controls every aspect of creation.

(Through this presentation I wish to introduce several true or false concepts to cause a focused thought in each section. It is hoped that this paper will present a response for each proposition as the idea is developed.)

T or F: Either God governs or He is governed. Either God has His way or we have ours. (A. W. Pink)

Sovereignty, although not used in the KJV, is used by religion to define God in one of His attributes. It gets its premise of understanding from a conglomeration of ideas about God that include His power; His past, present, and future knowledge; and His wisdom.

Is the sovereignty of God all about His power, His ability, or His ownership of all that exists? Traditionally, the sovereignty of God characterizes a God who does not leave the running of his creation to chance but exercises dominion over all his creation even to every minute decision of His creatures. It says His sovereignty is absolute, indefeasible, and irresistible regulation of all of creationmen and things, both in heaven and on earth, good and evil, moral and immoralwithout leaving anything to chance, pervades the text of Scripture.

Charles H. Spurgeon, a renowned English preacher in the last half of the 19th century, pinpoints the sovereignty of God that is in the mind of most believers when he says: I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence. The (path) of the fall of leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling avalanche.

One writer, E H Palmer follows the line of thought of A. W. Pink who says God foreordains everything which comes to pass in his statement that God initiates and regulates all things. Palmer adds God is in back of everything. He decides all things to happen that do happen. He has foreordained after the counsel of His will (even) the moving of a finger and the mistake of the typist. To put this thought in our present day vernacular we might add does that include the changing of the stop light, when your computer hibernates, the passing of gas or even sin?

At this juncture we face a vital determination. It is one thing for God in His sovereignty and without diminishing that sovereignty, to give man the power to rebel against Him by opposing His will as this would allow for man's sole responsibility for sin by acting in his freedom to choose. It is something entirely different for God to control everything to such a degree that He must effectively cause man

A picture begins to develop of the world that portrays a God who is the highest power and superior to all others. He is independent of and not limited by an other power. All of these things are true of God but is sovereignty all about power?

Man tends to impart the idea that God can do anything without limit or restraint when discussing the sovereignty of God because of His omnipotence. But because He is all powerful does not mean He exercises all of His power. God being designated all powerful also carries the implication that He is the source of all power.

If I asked are there things God in His sovereignty cannot do, most would respond no, God can do anything and everything. Is that true? Can a sovereign God lie? If he cannot is he truly sovereign?

God's sovereignty is contained in the aspect that God is the possessor of all things. Because of His ownership He then has the right of dominion to rule over all as He is God of all. Inherent in the right as possessor and ruler of all; man's understanding continues in that He possesses the privilege of having His will pervade over all that He created. Does His Omnipotence make Him sovereign?

It is generally held that His will and desires are all-inclusive and never thwarted (Isa 46.11) and nothing takes Him by surprise. The sovereignty of God is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but that He does so always and without exception. Does He?

From where does His sovereignty issue? Is it from His title as an authoritarian God of the Universe? Or from His character as a Father/Creator who defines love? The source of His sovereignty determines its effects on His creation and how those who are under His sovereignty perceive Him. If it issues from His love there can be no harm or fear to us.