Antonio Coppola; KLOOF THEOLOGICAL CENTER; South Africa
The truth that God is indeed sovereign should be of immense comfort and a source of strength for us. What does God’s sovereignty actually mean? In short – God is in charge, he is in control. Let’s look at four points the Bible makes concerning the sovereignty of God.
Because God is sovereign, he does what he wants and achieves all his purposes. Nothing can stop God doing his will. Psalm 115:3 says plainly, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” God speaks himself in Isaiah 46:10, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” God is not limited by anything outside of himself, nor can anything thwart his will, whether it be human sinfulness, rebellion or lack of faith, or even demonic schemes. Our God does what he pleases and will always bring his purposes to pass, simply because he is God!
Because God is sovereign, he is in control of the affairs of this world. Daniel 2:21 says that “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” Nothing in this world happens by random chance, nor has God left us to our own devices to get on with life independently of him. He is the ruler of this world, indeed he rules over the changing seasons, the raising up of kings and presidents, and also overseeing their downfall – God brings it all to pass. We can rest in this magnificent truth that the government is indeed upon the shoulders of the Lord (Isaiah 9:6).
Because God is sovereign, he has chosen a people for himself “before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4). Out of no inherent goodness or foreseen faith within us, but purely because he chose to set his love upon us, “he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” (Ephesians 1:5). God sovereignly chose us for redemption in Christ, despite ourselves! God remains completely sovereign over our salvation – it is all his work – and because of that he will never let us go; indeed nothing will be able to separate us from his love in Christ Jesus. This is great news for us!
Because God is sovereign, he remains in control even in the face of evil, suffering and injustice. Acts 2:23 says, “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” While God is never the author or source of evil, he does permit it. The crucifixion of Christ is a perfect example of that. The greatest injustice in history was carried out by evil men; yet it happened according to God’s “definite plan and foreknowledge.” The greatest injustice in history ultimately turned out be the God’s greatest triumph in redeeming his people. While it is difficult to endure suffering, the fact that God remains sovereign despite it should be of great comfort to us. He is able to use every circumstance to work for his good and glory.