What Sovereignty Is sov·er·eign·ty:―supreme and independent power or authority‖.―of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure‖Greek: dynastes – ‗one who is in a position to command others‘ www.confidentchristians.org
God’s Sovereignty in the Old Testament ―Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.‖ (Psalm 135:6)―The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these. ‖ (Isaiah 45:7) ―Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, andthere is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times thingswhich have not been done, Saying, ‗My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure‘; ‖ (Isaiah 46:9–10)―But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. ‖ (Isaiah 64:8) ―Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it notfrom the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth? ‖ (Lamentations 3:37–38)―All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to Hiswill in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‗What have You done?‘ ‖ (Daniel 4:35) www.confidentchristians.org
God’s Sovereignty over the Individual ―The Lord said to him, ―Who has made man‘s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? ‖ (Exodus 4:11)―My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in thedepths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. ‖ (Psalm 139:15–16)―Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ―Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.‖ Then I said, ―Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.‖ But the Lord said to me, ―Do not say, ‗I am a youth,‘ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. ―Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,‖ declares the Lord. Then the Lord stretched out His handand touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, ―Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. ―See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant.‖ ‖ (Jeremiah 1:4–10) ―The king‘s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. ‖ (Proverbs 21:1) www.confidentchristians.org
God’s Sovereignty in the New Testament―Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. ‖ (Matthew 10:29) ―that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing ofour Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords‖ (1 Timothy 6:14–15) www.confidentchristians.org
Is everything under the sovereign control of God?
―I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.‖ (Job 42:2) www.confidentchristians.org
―If there is any part of creation outside of God‘s sovereignty, then God issimply not sovereign. If God is not sovereign, then God isnot God. If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God‘s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.‖ R. C. Sproul www.confidentchristians.org
God won‘t violate people‘s free will with His sovereign rule will He…?
God Does ‘Violate’ the Free Will of People―The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son ofAmittai saying, ―Arise, go to Nineveh the great cityand cry against it, for their wickedness has come upbefore Me.‖ But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshishfrom the presence of the LORD. . . . And the Lordappointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonahwas in the stomach of the fish three days and threenights.‖ (Jonah 1:1–3, 17) ―Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. . . . As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ―Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?‖ And he said, ―Who are You, Lord?‖ And He said, ―I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.‖ ‖ (Acts 8:3, 9:3–6)
God is Sovereign Over Individual Circumstances―The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. ‖ (Proverbs 16:1) ―The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. ‖ (Proverbs 16:9) ―The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord. ‖ (Proverbs 16:33) ―Many plans are in a man‘s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand. ‖ (Proverbs 19:21)―But for this purpose I have raised you [Pharaoh] up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.‖ (Exodus 9:16) ―Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. ‖ (1 Peter 4:19)
Why must God ask permission of the person to do with the person what He pleases?
God Does ‘Violate’ the Free Will of People ―Then God said to him in the dream, ―Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. ‖ (Genesis 20:6) ―The Lord said to Moses, ―When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh allthe wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. ‖ (Exodus 4:21) ―I know, O Lord, that a man‘s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. ‖ (Jeremiah 10:23)―The Lord had caused them to rejoice, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to encourage them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. ‖ (Ezra 6:22) ―For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, ―He has blinded their eyes and Hehardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.‖ ‖ (John 12:39–40)―For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. ‖ (2 Thessalonians 2:11–12)
God Even Keeps People From Spiritual Truths―At that time Jesus said, ―I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You havehidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. ―Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. . . . No one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.‖ (Matthew 11:25–26) ―Jesus answered them, ―To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. ‖ (Matthew 13:11) ―Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, ―Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Manwill be accomplished. ―For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.‖ But the disciples understood none of these things, and themeaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said. ‖ (Luke 18:31–34)―While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. ‖ (Luke 24:15–16)
Scripture spells out clearly that human freedom can never restrict God‘s sovereignty
Three Possible Plans of Salvation1. Save Nobody: God could have sovereignly chosen to save nobody. In doing so, He would have been perfectly just because all have sinned and fallen short of God‘s glory (cf. Rom. 3: 23)2. Save Everybody: If He had chosen to do so, God could have developed a plan to save everybody (i.e. universalism). Why didn‘t He choose this plan? Only God Himself knows.3. Save Some: The Bible makes it clear that the plan God chose was one whereby some are saved and some are lost.God, being sovereign, decided on Plan #3 www.confidentchristians.org
The Debate Over plan Number Three How does Plan Number Three ‗work‘?1. An opportunity is provided and nothing more: God provided a plan of salvation whereby some might be saved, but no guarantee of any being saved was possible.2. The salvation of some is insured: God directly intervenes to insure the salvation of some people. Some people will definitely be saved. With this plan, there is no possibility of God‘s plan of salvation failing www.confidentchristians.org
What Does the Bible Say? ―Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us toadoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. ‖ (Ephesians 1:3–6) www.confidentchristians.org
What Does the Bible Say? The Bible says that God‘s plan of salvation won‘t failbecause God made a choice from eternity past who would receive salvation and predestined those individuals so their salvation is insured. But how does this predestination work? www.confidentchristians.org
What Predestination Is pre·des·ti·na·tion: ―Destination‖: the end of a journey where someone travels or is sent.―Pre‖: prefix for ‗prior to‘; ‗in advance of‘ The action of God in foreordainingfrom eternity whatever comes to pass. Greek: proorizo – ‗predetermine‘; ‗decide upon beforehand‘ www.confidentchristians.org
Predestination And Salvation pre·des·ti·na·tion:―The divine determination of human beings to eternal salvation or eternal damnation. The doctrine of predestination is a branch, so to speak, of the doctrine of election; God‘s predestinating activity is a function of his existence as the electing God.‖ -Eerdmans Bible Dictionary ―This word is properly used only with reference to God‘s plan or purpose of salvation. The Greek word rendered ―predestinate‖ is found only in these six passages, Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29, 30; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11; and in all of them it has the same meaning. They teach that the eternal, sovereign,immutable, and unconditional decree or ―determinate purpose‖ of God governs all events.‖ -Eastons Bible dictionary www.confidentchristians.org
Biblical Mentions of ‘Predestination’―to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. ‖ (Acts 4:28)―For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.‖ (Romans 8:29-30) ―but we speak God‘s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory‖ (1 Corinthians 2:7) ―He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will‖ (Ephesians 1:5)―also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will‖ (Ephesians 1:11) www.confidentchristians.org
Westminster Confession of Faith―God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violenceoffered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.‖
All Christians Believe in PredestinationAll Christians believe in predestination. The debate is over the basis of God‘s foreordination. www.confidentchristians.org
How Most View God and Predestination ―See, Godpredestines the plan, but not the man…‖ www.confidentchristians.org
―Perhaps a homely illustration might help us to understand. An ocean liner leaves New Your bound forLiverpool. Its destination has been determined by proper authorities., Nothing can change it. This is atleast a faint picture of sovereignty. On board the liner are several scores of passengers. These are not in chains, neither are their activities determined for them by decree. They are completely free to move about as they will. . . . But all the while the great liner is carrying them steadily onward toward a predetermined port.‖ A. W. Tozer www.confidentchristians.org
God does indeed predestine the plan…―this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. ‖ (Acts 2:23) ―For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with theGentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. ‖ (Acts 4:27–28) www.confidentchristians.org
God does indeed predestine the plan… ―The crucifixion of Jesus Christ – the hinge pin of history – and the indispensable condition of our salvation was most certainly not left up to thevagaries of human decision. It was ordained from the foundation of the earth and it is impossible that it might not have occurred. The Bible nowhere suggests or even permits the interpretation that Judas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and the soldiers were unwilling pawns forced by God into the commission of a horrible crime.They acted freely in accordance with their own motives and purposes – yet, they did exactly what God‘s hand and plan predestined would happen.‖ - Unknown author www.confidentchristians.org
… But God also predestines the Man ―and these whom He predestined, He also called; andthese whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. ‖ (Romans 8:30) www.confidentchristians.org
What Does the Bible Say? ―For many are called, but few are chosen.‖ (Matthew 22:14) ―Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have beensaved; but for the sake of the elect [Li.t ‗chosen ones], whom He chose, He shortened the days. ‖ (Mark 13:20)―Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you‖ (2 Peter 1:10) www.confidentchristians.org
What Did Jesus Say?―For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.‖ (John 5:21) ―All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. . . .This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. ‖ (John 6:37, 39)―I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‗He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.‘ ‖ (John 13:18) ―You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bearfruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. ‖ (John 15:16)―If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. ‖ (John 15:19) ―I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; ‖ (John 17:9)
What is the Church? Church The church, the redeemed, believers are individually chosen . . .eklektos from the verb kaleo and the preposition out, ‗to call out‘, ‗the called out ones‘, ‗a regularly summoned legislative body, assembly‘. www.confidentchristians.org
What Does the Bible Say? ―In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God‘s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. What then? What Israel isseeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; ‖ (Romans 11:5–7) ―knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you‖ (1 Thessalonians 1:4) ―These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them,because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.‖ (Revelation 17:14) www.confidentchristians.org
God’s Work in The Individual ―Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of yourdescendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. ‖ (Deuteronomy 30:6) ―I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. ‖ (Ezekiel 36:27) ―I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to dothem good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me. ‖ (Jeremiah 32:40)―So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it isGod who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. ‖ (Philippians 2:12–13) ―But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification bythe Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. ‖ (2 Thessalonians 2:13–14)
Unconditional Election ―Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either ofthem, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace.‖
Review• What is God‘s sovereignty?• It is His absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure.• Is predestination a Biblical concept?• Without question, Scripture underscores God‘s work of predestination in His creation.• How does predestination work with salvation?• God predestines both the plan and the man/woman.
Questions To Tackle Next Time…For what reason does God If God wills all to be saved,choose some for salvation? why aren‘t all saved? What are the main positions on the doctrine of predestination?