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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : How Sovereign is God?

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 How Sovereign is God?

God Is Sovereign...

•over the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11
•over all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30
•over angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12
•over nations: Ps 47:7-9; Dan 2:20-21; 4:34-35
•over human beings: 1 Sam 2:6-7; Gal 1:15-16
•over animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6
•over "accidents": Pr 16:33; Jon 1:7; Mt 10:29
•over free acts of men: Ex 3:21; 12:25-36; Ez 7:27
•over sinful acts of men and Satan: 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1; Gen 45:5; 50:20

God bless you! -Abraham

 2007/8/6 20:04

Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: How Sovereign is God?

Absolutely, entirely sovereign!!

Martin G. Smith

 2007/8/7 19:53Profile

Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791

 Re: How Sovereign is God?

God is so Sovereign that He gives an autority to man for him to do what he will. This magnifies God's sovereignty by prooving His ability to have government over what man has authority of.

 2007/8/8 14:37Profile


Yes, I believe that God, in His Sovereignty, has given man a freewill. God Sovereignly wants men to make their own freewill moral choices.

I've been discussing this with a Calvinist who is really into Piper. He says that God's revealed will is that we shouldn't sin, but that God's secret will is that we should sin every time that we actually do sin.

He says that God secretly and eternally decreed every sin that ever happens, and that everytime sin does happen, God preferred sin over holiness in that case, otherwise God would have decreed holiness and stead of sin, but since He decreed sin, He must have preferred sin over holiness in every situation that sin occurs.

He says that everything is ultimately caused by God, because if everything ultimately wasn't caused by God, God could not be "Sovereign" according to his definition.

So he says all rape, all murder, all molestations, all incest, all genocide, all false religions, all abortion, etc are ultimately caused by God, in accordance with God's "secret will" because "God is Sovereign" which to Him means, "God causes everything".

But I think this is absurd. The scriptures no where says that God is the ultimate cause of all sin. Man's own freewill is the cause of sin.

When I asked him if he could give me at least one scripture that explicitly says God causes all rapes, murders, molestations, incests, genocides, false religions, abortions, etc; he admitted that he could not given even one scripture that says explicitly that God always causes every sin.

God has Sovereignly decided that man should have freewill, and also Sovereignly decided that those who do good with it will be rewarded and those who do bad with it will be punished; that those who use freewill to repent and believe will have grace through Jesus Christ, and those who use freewill to choose darkness over the light, and to choose not to believe, will be condemned.

He even went as far as to say that he cannot truly regret his sins, because he would then be regretting God's secret plan and would be saying that God made a mistake in decreeing his sin.

 2007/8/8 14:43

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California


[i]You make the power of "Free-will" to be—'that certain small degree of power, which, without the grace of God, is utterly ineffective.'

Do you not acknowledge this?—Now then, I ask and demand of you, if the grace of God be wanting, or, if it be taken away from that certain small degree of power, what can it do of itself? 'It is ineffective (you say) and can do nothing of good.' Therefore, it cannot do what God or His grace wills. And why? because we have now separated the grace of God from it; and what the grace of God does not, is not good. And hence it follows, that "Free-will," without the grace of God is, absolutely, not FREE; but, immutably, the servant and bond-slave of evil; because, it cannot turn itself unto good. This being determined, I will allow you to make the power of "Free-will," not only a certain small degree of power, but to make it evangelical if you will, or, if you can, to make it divine: provided that, you add to it this doleful appendage—that, without the grace of God, it is ineffective. Because, then you will at once take from it all power: for, what is ineffective power, but plainly, no power at all?

Therefore, to say, that the will is FREE, and that it has indeed power, but that it is ineffective, is what the sophists call 'a direct contrariety.' As if one should say, "Free-will" is that which is not free. Or as if one should term fire cold, and earth hot. For if fire had the power of heat, yea of the heat of hell, yet, if it did not burn or scorch, but were cold and produced cold, I should not call it fire, much less should I term it hot; unless, indeed, you were to mean an imaginary fire, or a fire represented in a picture.—But if we call the power of "Free-will" that, by which a man is fitted to be caught by the Spirit, or to be touched by the grace of God, as one created unto eternal life or eternal death, may be said to be; this power, that is, fitness, or, (as the Sophists term it) 'disposition-quality,' and 'passive aptitude,' this I also confess. And who does not know, that this is not in trees or beasts? For, (as they say) Heaven was not made for geese.

Therefore, it stands confirmed, even by your own testimony, that we do all things from necessity, not from "Free-will:" seeing that, the power of "Free-will" is nothing, and neither does, nor can do good, without grace. Unless you wish efficacy to bear a new signification, and to be understood as meaning perfection: that is, that "Free-will" can, indeed, will and begin, but cannot perfect: which I do not believe: and upon this I shall speak more at large hereafter.

It now then follows, that Free-will is plainly a divine term, and can be applicable to none but the divine Majesty only: for He alone "doth, (as the Psalm sings) what He will in Heaven and earth." (Ps. cxxxv. 6.) Whereas, if it be ascribed unto men, it is not more properly ascribed, than the divinity of God Himself would be ascribed unto them: which would be the greatest of all sacrilege. Wherefore, it becomes Theologians to refrain from the use of this term altogether, whenever they wish to speak of human ability, and to leave it to be applied to God only. And moreover, to take this same term out of the mouths and speech of men; and thus to assert, as it were, for their God, that which belongs to His own sacred and holy Name.[/i]
-From The Bondage of The Will by Luther

Basically this is asking, if man needs even the smallest amount of grace from God to believe, then how can he say he is free to do something.

The lack of logic in the idea of God being so sovereign that He allowed men to have free will is ludicrous to say the least.

If God is omnipotent, there can be no other equal or more powerful object in existence. There is no way to skirt this issue. You may by going towards an open theism in which God may or may not accomplish all He has planned, or in which man can refuse to work with God.

To do this undermines the flawlessness of prophecy, as man could refuse God and then throw off the whole scope of God's purposes. We know this is not true at all, and that God has sovereignly pre-named people like Cyrus long before they were born, and declared what they were to do.

If one follows this "man is able" ideology long enough, ultimately you end up with only ethics apart from any kind of spirituality at all. Man becomes so focussed upon his doing and working, and so self enamored, he has no need of Christ, he just needs more morals, and more ethics to justify him.

patrick heaviside

 2007/8/8 15:33Profile


1. Do you believe God eternally decrees everything that happens?

2. Do you believe God can eternally decree whatever He wants?

3. Do you believe God eternally decreed sin, every time sin actually does occur, and that God could have decreed holiness but preferred to decree sin?

4. Do you believe God, and not freewill, is the cause of every rape, murder, molestation, incest, false religions, abortions, etc?


God no doubt has ultimate freewill, independent freewill. But we have limited freewill, dependent freewill.

It is dependent because it comes from God who gave it, who could choose to take it back if that is what He wanted. And it is limited because we can only choose what God commands us to, or what God suffers us to.

But our Sovereign wants us to make our own moral choices. God is so Sovereign, He is not intimidated by mans limited freewill. He knows that He could take it away if He wanted to or needed to. But God wants us to make the right choice, so He gives us freewill, and suffers us to make the wrong choice, but either way God's Sovereign plan is fulfilled - that each man determines his own moral character.

 2007/8/8 16:31

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California


God has decreed that sin come into the human race. For when He created satan,did He not know that he would cause the fall of Adam, and all his heritage?

Yet God is not the source or author of sin as it did not come out of Him, but rather through the creature, which is satan.

God at any moment could make super-Christians who never sin again, yet for His purposes of chastening and sanctification, there remains an indwelling nature which if not guarded moment by moment by Christ through grace and faith would break out into manifold displays of sin. That sin exists in even the most godly is clearly seen through evidence in poor motives, wasted time, idle thoughts etc.

Sin is the cause of every evil perpetuated in this world, not free will(as there is no such thing), and because unregenerate men can nothing but evil, they do the works of their father the devil.

Yet even in the midst of tragedy, God is working His purposes. Consider the story of Joseph, and his being sold into slavery. Think of the heartbreak his father felt as he was told Joseph was dead. Yet at the end of this, what does Joseph say?
Genesis 50:20 [b]But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good,[/b] to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Consider David's adultery with Bathsheba, and how from that would come Solomon, and from Solomon would ultimately come Christ.

Lastly consider the great sin in the history of the world, the crucifixion of Christ. Was this not evil men doing what they desired? But what do we read of this event?

Long before it happened we read things like this-
Psalm 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: [b]they pierced my hands and my feet.[/b]

Then in looking back, Peter says
Act 2:23 Him(Christ), [b]being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,[/b] ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 [b]For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.[/b]

So can God use the wicked, and sinful desires of the unregenerate to further His purposes?

patrick heaviside

 2007/8/8 18:05Profile

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