A Primer to the Sovereignty of God
The sovereignty of God was a doctrine I never heard about in church whilst growing up. I suppose this makes me a novice on the subject, but it is a doctrine I am drawn to in my spirit. It comforts me to know that God is God, that He is sovereign (Ps 103:19; 115:3; 135:6; 1 Tim 6:15).
Yahweh has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all (Ps 103:19). Our Lord Jesus Christ is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim 6:14–16). His dominion is eternal. His throne is forever (Ps 45:6; Lam 5:19; Heb 1:8; Rev 5:13).
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given by God the Father to God the Son (Mt 28:18). Sinful men set up their authorities, giving no heed to the King of glory (Ps 24). For this reason, Jesus will abolish all rule and authority and power (1 Cor 15:24), for He is Head over all rule and authority (Col 2:10), before all time, now and forever. Amen (Jude 1:25). Here is the joy of the believer, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God reigns (Rev 19:6).”
As sovereign, it is important for us to see God as all-powerful (Ps 62:11). He does all His holy will (Eph 1:11), with all wisdom (Dan 2:20), to fulfill His eternal purpose (Eph 3:11). The believer knows, “Yahweh will accomplish what concerns me (Ps 57:2; 138:8).” He has even made the wicked for the day of evil (Prv 16:4).
Men fret about the weather and politics, but the sovereign Creator is the architect and builder of all things (Heb 3:4). His disciples discovered Jesus’ control over nature while in the midst of a terrifying storm on the Sea of Galilee (Lk 8:23–25). The Son of man is seated on the throne of God (Ps 110:1; Mk 16:19). He had come forth from the Father (Jn 3:16), and He returned to Him (Jn 16:28)…mission complete (Jn 19:30).
The sovereignty of God in salvation includes Jesus’ mission to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). He appointed them to eternal life (Acts 13:48) in the eternal counsel of God, according to His good pleasure. Those the Father chose (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9), Jesus redeemed (Rom 5:8), and these same ones, the Spirit calls and gathers to His church (Rom 8:30; 1 Cor 12:13). God willed certain things and certain people, and these He made to be vessels of mercy prepared for glory (Rom 9:23).
The offense of man is that God is God and there is no other (Dt 4:35; Is 45:5, 22). Man does all he can to suppress the truth of God, who is true (Rom 1:18; 3:4). Man’s ignorance or informed enmity has no effect on the sovereignty of God, however. The lies propagated by men about God, and inspired by their father, the devil (Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:10), only further delude the futility of their minds (Jer 14:14; Eph 4:17). In His sovereignty, God even employs the wrath of man to bring praise to Himself, the Almighty (Ps 76:10).
God has made man that he should honor and glorify God (1 Cor 6:20). Man should also embrace his own total depravity (Rom 3:10–12). As Isaiah and others were undone in the presence of God (Is 6), so should we exercise godly fear. To fear God and keep His commandments was Solomon’s conclusion (Dt 8:6; Eccl 12:13). Simply put, man is nothing before God. His puny boasts are a noxious stench to heaven. Instead, in light of all that can be known about God’s sovereignty, we should walk in utter humility and with much gratitude (Micah 6:8; 1 Thess 5:17–18), for every good gift to man is sourced in Him (Jas 1:17).
The end of all things is near. This too is in His sovereign control. He has appointed the number of days for each person (Job 14:15; 15:20). He has set a date, known only to Him (Mt 24:36), when He will judge all people for their works done in the flesh (Jn 5:28–29; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11). Every idle word will have its recompense (Rom 3:4). The tongue is a tiny member of the body, but its capacity to sin may be beyond all of the other members combined (Jas 3). God is omniscient down to the word, even the thoughts of the heart.
The sovereign judgment of God will exact perfect justice, for God knows all things (Jn 16:30; 18:4). His eyes are upon all people everywhere (Jer 18:19). He searches the motives of men’s hearts, and the heart of man is deceitful above all else (Gen 6:5; Jer 17:9), for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God (Lk 16:15). God is not moved, nor does He change (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8).
God is in control. Even the rebellion of devils and men is in His power to direct (Rom 8:38; 2 Pet 2:4). There is nothing rogue in the natural world. God made it all (Gen 1–2). God sustains it all by the Word of His power (Heb 1:3). He is directing the affairs of every atom, and everyone in Adam (Rom 5:12–21; Rom 9:22).
Christian, it is your part in this great cosmic drama to fulfill your role. God has made you to be a certain person, and He has remade you to be like a certain other person…Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29). You must live in light of these truths, hardly known but to a remnant people, both Jews and Gentiles (Gal 3:28). You are of the called remnant who worship God in Spirit and truth (Jn 4:24; Rom 11:5). You have the new heart to glorify God and enjoy Him, forever (Ezek 36:26).
Delight yourself, therefore, in the sovereignty of the Lord (Ps 37:4). Rejoice in the truth of these matters found only in God’s Word (Ps 111:2), which has come to you by no mere random chance, luck, or accident. It was Daniel who prayed it so well, “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and power. Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, for You have made known to us the king’s matter.” Great is the testimony of faith, declared in the prayer that gives thanks for the revelation of the things that belong to our Sovereign King. Glory!
Spokane Valley, Washington
April 5, 2022