"Oh to Grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be.
Let thy goodness, like a fetter
bind my wandering heart to Thee!"

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Sovereignty of God

-An excerpt from the book "The Sovereignty of God" by A.W. Pink

The "Sovereignty of God" is an expression that once was generally understood. It was a phrase commonly used in religious literature. It was a theme frequently expounded in the pulpit. It was a truth which brought comfort to many hearts, and gave virility and stabilty to Christian character. But, today, to make mention of God's sovereignty is, in many quarters, to speak in an unknown tongue. Were we to announce from the average pulpit that the subject of our discourse would be the soverignty of God, it would sound very much as though we had borrowed a phrase from one of the dead languages. Alas! that is should be so. Alas! that the doctrine which is the key to history, the interpreter of Providence, the warp of woof of Scripture, and the foundation of Christian theology, should be so sadly neglected and so little understood.

The sovereignty of God! What do we mean by this expression? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the Godhood of God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What doest Thou? (Daniel 4:35). To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purposes, or resist His will (Psalms 115:3). To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is "The Governor among the nations" (Psalms 22:28), setting up kingdoms, over throwing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the "Only Potentate, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords" (1Timothy 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible.

How different is the God of the Bible from the God of modern Christendom! The conception of Deity which prevails most widely today, even among those who profess to give heed to the Scriptures, is a miserable caricature, a pathetic travesty of the Truth. The God of the twentieth century is a helpless, effeminate being who commands the respect of no really thoughtful man. The God of the popular mind is the creation of maudlin sentimentality. The God of many a present-day pulpit is an object of pity rather than of awe-inspiring reverence. To say that God the Father has purposed the salvation of all mankind, that God the Son died with the express intention of saving the whole human race, and that God the Holy Spirit is now seeking to win the world to Christ; when, as a matter of common observation, it is apparant that the great majority of our fellow-men are dying in sin, and passing into a hopeless eternity: is to say that God the Father is disappointed, that God the Son is dissatisfied, and that God the Holy Spirit is defeated. We have stated the issue baldly, but there is no escaping the conclusion. To argue that God is "trying His best" to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to imply that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature in omnipotent. To throw the blame, as many do, upon the Devil, does not remove the difficulty, for if Satan is defeating the purpose of God, then Satan is Almighty and God is no longer the Supreme Being.

To declare that the Creator's original plan has been frustrated by sin, is to dethrone God. To suggest that God was taken by surprise in Eden and that He is now attempting to remedy an unforeseen calamity, is to degrade the Most High to the level of a finite, erring mortal. To argue that man is the sole determiner of his own destiny, and that therefore he has the power to checkmate his Maker, is to strip God of the attribute of Omnipotence. To say that the creature has burst the bounds assigned by his Creator, and that God is now practically a hopeless Spectator of the sin and suffering entailed by Adam's fall, is to repudiate the express declaration of Holy Writ, namely, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain" (Psalms 76:10).
In a word, to deny the sovereignty of God is to enter upon a path which, if followed to its logical terminus, leads to blank atheism.
The sovereignty of the God of Scripture is absolute, irresistible, infinite. When you say that God is sovereign, we affirm His right to govern the universe, which He has made for His own glory, just as He pleases. We affirm that His right is the right of the Potter over the clay, viz: that He may mould that clay into whatsoever form He chooses, fashioning out of the same lump one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour. We affirm that He is under no rule or law outside His own will and nature, that God is a law unto Himself, and that He is under no obligation to give an account of His matters to any."

-Arthur W. Pink

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