SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Does God's Sovereignty work together with our free will?
Sovereign . . . what does it mean? It means dominant, greatest, independent, self-governing, prevailing, over-riding, self-determining, supreme in power and authority, superior, absolute highest, the best.
Maybe the best way to describe God’s sovereignty is “God is in total control.” There is absolutely nothing that happens in the Universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority. He is King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev.19:16). He has NO limitations.
Consider what the Bible states about God:
Rev. 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (KJV)
Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (KJV)
Rom. 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (KJV)
Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: (KJV)
Psalm 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. (KJV)
God is above all things and before all things. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He is immortal, and He is present everywhere so that everyone can know Him IF they so choose. God created all things and holds all things together, both in heaven and on earth, both visible and invisible. God knows all things past, present, and future. There is NO limit to His knowledge. God knows everything completely before it even happens. God can do all things and accomplish all things. NOTHING is too difficult for Him, and He arranges and determines everything that is going to happen our lives, in America and the whole world. Whatever He wants to do in the universe, He does. NOTHING is impossible with Him. God is in complete control of all things and rules over all things. He has power and authority over nature, earthly kings, angels and demons. Even Satan must ask God’s permission before he can act (Job 1:12).
That is what being sovereign means. It means being the supreme source of all power, authority, and everything that exists. Only God can make those claims; therefore, it’s God’s sovereignty that makes Him superior to all other gods and makes Him, and Him alone, worthy of worship.
None of us can fully understand the underlying forces of a sovereign and Holy God molding and shaping the will of man. Scripture is very clear that God knows the future.
Matthew 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (KJV)
Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. (KJV)
God has total sovereign control over all things.
Col. 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (KJV)
Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (KJV)
The Bible also says that we must choose God or be eternally separated from Him. We are held responsible for our actions.
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (KJV)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 9:19-21 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. (KJV)
How these facts work together is impossible for a finite mind to comprehend.
Romans 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (KJV)
People can take one of two extremes in regard to this question of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. Some people stress the sovereignty of God to the point that human beings are nothing more than robots doing what they have been programmed to do. On the other hand, some people emphasize free will to the point where God does not have complete control and/or knowledge of all things (omniscient). Neither of these teachings is Biblical. The truth of the Bible is that God does not violate our wills by choosing us and redeeming us. Instead, He changes our hearts so that our wills choose Him.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. (KJV)
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (KJV)
SO . . . What is it that we should do? The Bible has the answer:
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (KJV)
God’s sovereignty is supposed to comfort us, not be something to be troubled about or argue about. And too, we are to live our lives making wise decisions in harmony with God’s Word.
2 Tim. 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV)
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (KJV)
There will be absolutely NO excuses we can make when we stand before Judge Jesus! If you choose to disobey God, WHAT could you say? You will have NO one to blame but yourself for your sin. And last but certainly NOT least, we are to worship the Lord, honoring and praising Him because He is so wonderful, infinite, powerful, full of grace and mercy . . . and sovereign.
What Is This?
Do Christians Sin?
What Are Our Two Natures?
What Are The Paths in This Life?
What Does Sanctified Mean?
What Is A Carnal Christian?
What Is A TRUE Christian?
What Is A Compromise?
What Is Biblical Fasting?
What Is Glorification?
What Is God's Soverneignty?
What Is justification?
What Is Practicing Sin?
What Is Purgatory?
What Is Righteousness?
What Is The Joy Of the Lord?
When Does Sanctification Begin?
Why Is Justification By Faith Important?
Why Is Purgatory A Lie?