Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Sovereignty of God: Part 1

A simple definition of the sovereignty of God might be "God is completely in control." But just to clarify and a void confusion I will state the sovereignty of God in more depth and in this way:

"God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere at once). God is eternal (He always existed eternity past and will exist eternity future). God is immutable (He never changes and is unchangeable). God is the creator of all things and in control of all things created. God is Holy, perfect and sinless and is Himself the author of truth, the standard of good. Anything that pleases God to do, He does. Nothing can hinder the plans and/or the will of God."

That said, everything that will be said from here (looking at the sovereignty of God) on through the study of the five points of Calvinism will be approached with the assumption that the reader believes in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible as the word of God. I am not out (at least in this series) to provide proof that Scripture is indeed "God breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). This study and discussion is for those who already accept the Bible as the word of God. Also, I should note, we will be discussing these things with the assumption that the reader believes or at least understands that I believe in the orthodox view of the trinity. Now, let’s begin.

What does the Bible say about God’s sovereignty? Where do we find the biblical claims to back up my given definition above? Let’s break down the given definition and explore each claim one by one, until we can indeed walk away from the Scripture knowing that it does indeed teach the Sovereignty of God.

"God is omnipotent (all powerful)"

The most obvious place to start when making the argument that Scripture teaches that God is unlimited in His power is Genesis1:1.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

The very opening statement in the Bible is one that assumes the infinite power of God. It assumes that there is a God and that God created everything. We see furthermore in Genesis 1 that God does not appear to exert any great force that would cause Him to be drained of energy, He is not lifting beams to reinforce the structure of the earth or lugging dirt here and there or using a crane to place the moon and planets where they are, instead we see a certain phrase repeated. Here is the phrase, "And God said" (Gen. 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24). And almost every time we read "And God said" we see further down the sentence or paragraph something like "and there was" or "And it was so." The mere spoken word of God was what he used to create "the heavens and the earth."

So the opening chapter of the Bible clearly assumes and demonstrates God’s unlimited power. We could stop here but let’s look at some more examples of God’s omnipotence.

We could take so many examples here but let’s just run through some of them. Exodus 7-12 and the ten plagues that God brought upon Pharaoh and his people. This shows God’s total control over the elements (Ex. 7:14-25; 9:13-35; 10:21-29) and the animals (Ex. 8:1 through 9:7; 10:1-20) and in the end life itself (Ex. 12:29-32). I might add also that this again shows that God is unstoppable. His plans cannot be foiled by the intentions of man. God desired that the Hebrew people leave Egypt, and He made it happen.

We see in the New Testament that Jesus exercises His sovereign control over creation in these very familiar passages: Matthew 21:18-19, Jesus curses a fig tree and it dies. Jesus multiplies food, Mark 8:1-10. Jesus walks on water, Mark 6:45-52. Jesus raises a man from the dead, John 11:38-44. There are many more example we could give, but we don’t have that kind of time to go through the thousands of verses in Scripture that demonstrate the omnipotence of God. I would note that Jesus too often merely spoke a command and it was so. Scripture very clear teaches that nothing is impossible for God, He is omnipotent.

I have other things to get to today, so we will pause here for now, and pick up next right where we left off with "God is omniscient."

In Him -Jacob

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