The sovereignty of God carries with it several connotations.
God is the most important
God has all authority
God sustains all things
God has the right to command, establish laws and standards, exact
obedience, and be final judge
God can freely delegate authority as He so pleases
Romans 13:1b, “For there is no authority except from God,
and those which exist are established by God.”
This attribute dispels any notion of God being a distant
observer of this world’s events and people.
It is not that God will reign but that He does reign.
It is not that God will be King but that He is King.
Psalm 115:3, “But our God is in the heavens; He does
whatever He pleases.”
This statement has no conditions, no limitations, no
qualifying statements. Through prayer we may move God to do something that
would not otherwise happen, but if God determines something then nothing can or
will ever change its completion.
God is not like a ship’s captain that pushes button and
turns wheels hoping to steer the boat onto a right course. Rather, He is the
sovereign ruler who does whatever He pleases.
Yes, we have free will; we have the ability to make choices
that will affect our and other people’s eternity. But the choices that we have
are limited by what God allows. Now God apparently allows quite a bit of
latitude since we tend to choose sin so often. But if God determines that
something will happen in our lives then that will indeed happen and no amount
of free will will alter that.
9"Remember the former
things long past,
For I am God, and there
is no other;
I am God, and there is no
one like Me,
10Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times
things which have not been done,
Saying, My purpose will
And I will accomplish all
My good pleasure';
11Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose
from a far country
Truly I have spoken;
truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely
I will do it.
Names of God related to His sovereignty:
Adonai (Master or Lord)
The Lord of Hosts
King of Kings
King of the Ages
Lord God Almighty
Lord Jesus Christ
Lord of All
Lord of Glory
Lord of Lords
Lord of our Righteousness
The Most High God
Shepherd of our Souls
God over All
Head of the Body
Head of the Church
Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Ruler of God’s Creation
Ruler over Kings of the Earth
Ruler over Israel
Satan is called:
“the ruler of this world” (John 16:11)
“the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
“the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2)
But is it God who is the “great King over all the earth”
The first verse in the Bible establishes the primary truth:
“In the beginning God…” Here, all priority is defined.
Nothing preceded God and nothing shall usurp Him. The reign
of God will go unchallenged.
Isaiah 40:15, Behold, the nations are like a drop from a
And are regarded as a
speck of dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the
islands like fine dust.
God’s sovereignty should not be equated with that of earthly kings
An Earthly King
From an isolated castle
Is among and in His people
Decrees are best guesses
Decrees are based on omniscience
Enforced by his soldiers and minions
Enforced directly by Himself to each person
May decree laws that benefit only himself
All of His decrees will benefit us
May be corrupt
Is never corrupt
May be overthrown by enemies, by revolutions, or by his own inner
Can never be overthrown
Authority is probably shared
Authority is absolute
Spends much of his time maintaining his power
Spends much of His time guiding and perfecting us
Average reign of a medieval king was just over 20 years
Average reign of God is just over an eternity
It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings
and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of
The wicked scorn God’s sovereignty
The wicked look at this world and they scorn God.
“How could a loving God let that person suffer and die like
“That guy killed some many people and now he is going to
spend the rest of his life in jail with free medical care, a warm bed, and
three meals a day. Then he’ll probably die in his sleep. If there is a God then
He is certainly unjust.”
“Look at all of the wars, famine, and disasters. Where is
God and why doesn’t He do something?”
These attitudes reveal the very heart of people’s arrogance.
What person is innocent? Who has suffered more than their sin deserves? For
what does the Most High owe anyone?
Lamentations 3:39, “Why should any living mortal, or any
man, Offer complaint in view of his sins?”
One day they will be silenced when confronted with the truth
of God’s sovereignty as stated in Romans 14:11.
For it is written,
AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD,
EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME,
AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL
GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.
that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and
on earth and under the earth,
that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God
God’s perfect will vs. God’s permissive will
they had brought them outside, one said, "Escape for your life! Do not
look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the
mountains, or you will be swept away."
Lot said to them, "Oh no, my lords!
behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your
lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot
escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will
behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let
me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved."
said to him, "Behold, I grant you this request also, not to
overthrow the town of which you have spoken.
escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there." Therefore
the name of the town was called Zoar.
God’s perfect will was for Lot to escape up into the
Lot did not want to go into the mountains; he wanted to
go to a small town.
God let Lot go to the small town.
Lot stayed in Zoar a short time and then left because he
Lot went to a cave.
Lot got drunk.
Lot was debased.
God, as a rule, never forces us to do anything. However,
when we do not do want He wants then usually it will not turn out as best as it
End-time prophecy is assured
God has told us in the Bible the exact events and attitudes
of the end-times and we can be assured that these will occur exactly as His
says because He reigns.
Who can deceive the omniscient?
Who can overpower the omnipotent?
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures
from generation to generation.
35"All the inhabitants of the earth are
accounted as nothing,
But He does according to
His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants
And no one can ward off
Or say to Him, 'What have
All Messianic OT prophecies were completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ
The 39 books of the
Old Testament (OT) were written centuries before Jesus was born. The OT has
around 315 prophecies regarding the coming Messiah. Jesus Christ fulfilled
every one of them. But could many people have fulfilled those prophecies?
Stoner in the book Science Speaks calculated the odds of one Person
fulfilling just eight of these prophecies. They were:
His place of birth (Micah 5:2)
The time of birth (Daniel 9:25)
The manner of birth (Isaiah 7:14)
How He was betrayed (Zechariah 11:11-13)
The manner of His Death (Psalm 22:16)
The piercing of His hands, feet and side (Psalm
22, Zechariah 12:10)
The fact that people mocked Him (Isaiah 53,
How He was buried (Isaiah 53:9)
He found the odds to be 1 in 1017.
To put this in perspective, this many silver dollars would cover the state of Texas two feet deep. Mark only one of these silver dollars. Now blindfold someone and let
him parachute and pick only one coin. That this would be the one and only
marked coin is the same odds as 1 in 1017.
George Heron, a French mathematician,
calculated that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of those prophecies to
be 1 in 10157. The estimated number of electrons in the entire
universe is only around 1079.
Is God sovereign?
God’s sovereignty means that He can use anyone
Because the power and authority to accomplish righteousness
comes from God and not from ourselves we can be confident.
Whoever sin has hardened, God can sanctify.
Whoever is depraved, God can glorify.
Whoever is foolish, God can make wise.
Whoever is weak, God can make strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9And He has said to
me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness
" Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that
the power of Christ may dwell in me.
I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with
persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I
Satan rejected God’s supremacy
In Isaiah 14 we see Satan’s attitude when he fell. There are
the five I will’s.
13"But you said in
'I will ascend to
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the
mount of assembly
In the recesses of the
14'I will ascend above the heights of the
I will make myself
like the Most High.'
All five attitudes show Satan wanting to usurp the authority
of God. This was the first sin.
Then in the Garden of Eden Satan convinced Eve and then Adam
to have this same attitude of usurping God’s authority.
Genesis 3:5, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it
your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and
In both instances it was a case of wanting to pull away from
God’s authority and setting themselves up as their own independent authority.
They wanted to make their own rules.
Romans 1:25 states this clearly, “For they exchanged the
truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the
Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
Every day we have the choice to seek our own interests or to
glorify God, to put ourselves or God on the throne.
We cannot serve two masters
Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he
will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise
the other you cannot serve God and wealth.”
As independent as we may think ourselves to be the truth is
that we are always a slave or servant to someone.
We are either serving the Devil or we are serving God.
We can present ourselves as instruments of righteousness or
We are designed to obey. May it always be God and His
eternal reign that we choose.
Jeremiah 23:23 declares, “’Am I a God who is near,’ declares
the LORD, ‘And not a God far off?’” God has His hand in everything so we can be
confident that He is always in control and able to heal, provide guidance,
support, encourage, and lead us in triumph. God is a king who is deeply
involved in every affair under His rule. Even a sparrow can’t fall to the
ground without God being aware of it.
Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that God causes all things
to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called
according to His purpose.” Notice the key word “causes.” God does not merely
hope that the best path for us is available; He is able to cause it to be there
if He so chooses.
Nothing can keep us from doing what is right if we truly
want to do what is right. We always have a choice of whether to sin or not to
sin, but this is only because God is sovereign.
In medieval Europe a certain man’s village was overrun by
barbarians from the north, but having been a citizen of the Roman Empire he
still wanted to live under the laws and culture of Rome. But he was unable to
do so because the barbarians now controlled him and his village. He had no
choice; he had to submit to the ways of the barbarians. In our spiritual battle
if we want to serve God nothing can prevent that from happening because God is
sovereign everywhere all of the time.
Psalm 97:1, “The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice.”
addition to the ones discussed above, what are some other assurances that God’s
sovereignty means to us?
God is sovereign then why do bad things still happen? Does not this mean that
He has relinquished at least a little of His power or authority?
does knowing that God is in control help us in our struggles?
God is sovereign then why did He allow sin into the world?
God is in control then why does not He just come back now and set everything
are some ways that we can give God greater control of our lives?
you think of any examples of God’s sovereignty being demonstrated in any of the
people in the Bible?
George is not a Christian and every time that you try to
bring up the Gospel his response is that he would never want to serve a God
that allows such horrors as genocide, torture, and war. So if God really is in
control, he will say, then He must not care what happens to people and so is
not worthy of our worship. The only other option, he will continue, is that God
really is not in control and so then how could He guarantee our eternal future?
After giving it careful thought, how would you answer George’s contention?