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God is Sovereign—What All Christians Believe

The essence of Christianity is joyful submission to the Creator God and His Son Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit.  This joyful submission always flows out of a recognition of and response to the sovereignty of God.  In other words, to be a Christian is to believe that God is Sovereign.

How, then, do you pray?  Do you ask God for your daily bread?  Do you thank God for your conversion?  Do you pray for the conversion of others?  If the answer is ‘no’, I can only say that I do not think you are yet born again.  But if the answer is ‘yes’—well, that proves that, whatever side you may have taken in debates on this question in the past, in your heart you believe in the sovereignty of God no less firmly than anyone else.  On our feet we may have arguments about it, but on our knees we are all agreed (Packer. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. p. 17).

God has revealed Himself to us in the Bible.  And in the Bible He unequivocally declares His sovereignty.  He is the King!  The Biblical doctrine of Divine Sovereignty declares that God reigns over all of creation.  He is constantly ruling in every aspect of life.  God rules over the elements of nature, seasons, and weather (Gen. 8:22; Job 37:9-13; Psalm 104:4; 135:7); He rules over natural disasters (Is. 50:2; Amos 3:6; Jonah 1:4); He is sovereign over the path of animals and of all nature (Josh. 7:14; 1 Sam. 6:7-10; Mt. 6:26, 10:29-30); He rules over the decisions and footsteps of man (Prov. 16:3; 19:21; 1 Sam. 2:7-8; Prov. 20:4); He does whatever pleases Him (Psalm 135:6); God is sovereign in determining the length of every man’s life (Ps. 31:15; 39:5; Acts 17:26).  The Mighty God rules over those things that many consider to be “random” or “chance” events or “acts of nature” (Prov. 16:33).  God is the ruler of nations and human leaders (Ezra 1:1, 6:22; Job 12:23; Psalm 22:28; Daniel 4:34-35; Acts 14:16, 17:26).  God influences the hearts of all men (Psalm 33:14-15).  He rules and reigns even over the evil activities of man and in judgments of destruction (Gen. 50:20; Isa. 45:7, 63:17; Amos 3:6, 4:6-12; Acts 4:27; 1 Peter 2:8).  God is sovereign over the will and salvation and repentance of men (Exodus 4:21, 10:20, 10:27, 14:4, 14:8; John 1:13; 6:44; Rom. 9:16-18, 21-26; 2 Tim. 2:25).

1Ch 29:11-12 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all.

Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all.

Ps 24:1 <<A Psalm of David.>> The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.

Ps 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Ps 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding.

Ps 99:1 The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved!

That God is sovereign is to say that He is omnipotent (Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17, 27).  He is the Ruler of the Universe—He reigns everywhere and all the time.  There is no one or nothing greater than our God.  There is no place in the universe where God is not in full control of all things and at all times—God is never diluted or somewhat ruling.  He is the King!  There is nothing that is too difficult for God.  “God has a purpose in all that he does in the world and he providentially governs or directs all things in order that they accomplish his purposes” (Grudem, p. 331).  Everything has been put in subjection to Him (1 Cor. 15:27).  He does not consult anyone for permission to act.  He works all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:3-11).  This is the cornerstone of all that we believe about God.  We believe that God is love and that His love is not compromised by situations or circumstances.  The Psalmist constantly declares “His mercy endures forever” (cf. Psalm 106, 107, 117, 136).  This is a great affirmation of God’s sovereign—His mercy is a sovereign mercy and not somehow dependent upon the will and whim of man.  Were God not the sovereign ruler over all people and things and events the only affirmation the Psalmist could make would be “His mercy may endure forever—but it may not.”

[This is] the foundation of Christian theology … the center of gravity in the system of Christian truth—the sun around which all the lesser orbs are grouped (A.W.Pink).