Tag Archives: Sovereignty

The Sovereignty of God

By Kent E. Sweatman, Ph.D.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Oak Cliff Baptist Church is our firm belief in the sovereignty of God over every aspect of His creation. If you have been around Oak Cliff for very long then undoubtedly you have heard the words “God is sovereign” spoken with some frequency. Another way we sometimes refer to our belief in God’s sovereignty is to say that we have a “high” view of God. That simply means that we understand that God is infinite in every attribute and that he is in no way limited in regard to anything.

The reason we believe so strongly in the sovereignty of God is very simple: God has revealed to us in His word that He is sovereign. Certainly we see God’s sovereignty over His creation at the time of creation. He created everything exactly the way He wanted to. No one other than God Himself had any say whatsoever in what or how He created what He created.

That God is sovereign means that He is ruler over all that He has made. Like an earthly king, God decrees whatever He desires, and He has both the authority and the power to carry out His decrees, no matter what they may involve. Psalm 103:19 states: “The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”

Many passages of Scripture declare the sovereignty of God, but one of my favorites Matthew 10:29 because it is so graphic: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” Of course, this is an illustration the Lord Jesus used to describe to complete control God has over His creation in a way the people could understand. Today, it would be perfectly legitimate for us to say that not a quantum particle collides with another apart from God.

I could go on quoting verses that declare in similar ways the truth that God is in complete control of every aspect of His creation, including your life and mine. But some Christians and some Baptists do not believe that God is truly sovereign over all things. Some of our brothers and sisters do not believe that God is sovereign over the will of man. They will argue that God’s sovereignty ends where a human being’s free will begins.

The problem with such a belief is that it is contrary to the plain meaning of many Scriptures. Man does have what we call a “free will” in the sense that we make decisions and seem to be able to set the course of our own lives. But Scripturetells us that man’s will is not free in the way that we think it is. Romans 6:17-18 speaks of our being slaves of sin until we are set free in Christ to becomes slaves of righteousness.

Our bondage to sin is so complete apart from God’s grace that Romans 3:11 says that “no one seeks for God.”

The majesty of God’s grace is seen in the truth that before the foundation of the world, God issued a sovereign decree that He would save many, many of fallen, sinful, corrupt, God-hating, spiritually dead humanity. Because God decreed the end of the story before the story actually began, He Himself refers to this decree as “predestination.” We also call it the doctrine of election. The glory of the doctrine of election is seen in the truth that God’s decree insures that many will actually be saved through the work of Christ on the cross.