June 23, 2024

God’s Sovereignty

Passage: Isaiah 46

If you want to start a fight among Christians, just bring up the controversial issue of the sovereignty of God. This particular issue has been the source of immense discussion, controversy, debate, and anger for many centuries.

Although good people have discussed and argued about this doctrine for many years, and although good people have different views on this issue, there can be no doubt that the Bible asserts very clearly that God is the sovereign of the universe. We must uphold and defend the sovereignty of God.

This is the third message in our Summer Sermon Series, which I’ve titled Trusting God: God’s Sovereignty in the Affairs of His People. I’m following Jerry Bridges’ book of that same title.

Last time, I talked about God’s providence, which I defined as God’s continuous work of upholding, directing, disposing and governing all things to the end for which they were created. Providence is a way of describing God’s involvement in creation. God is able to uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all things because he is sovereign. Sovereignty has to do with God’s nature and power; providence has to do with God’s work in the world.

One of the main reasons we can trust God is that he is sovereign. If he were not sovereign, it would be unreasonable to trust in God. If God were not able to do what he intends to do, then God would not be trustworthy/reliable.

But God is sovereign and is thus worthy of our trust. We trust him because he is sovereign. It’s sad that so many people deny or degrade God’s sovereignty.

I’d like to read from a selection from one of Spurgeon’s sermons in which he both asserts the sovereignty of God and bemoans the fact that so many today deny it.

There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children ought more earnestly to contend than the doctrine of their Master over all creation--the Kingship of God over all the works of His own hands--the Throne of God and His right to sit upon that Throne. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His [treasury] to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth. And we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter . . . then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust.

Spurgeon saw a direct connection between God’s sovereignty and trusting in God. We trust God “upon his throne.” God’s sovereignty gives us good reason to trust in God.

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