• Ashish Roy

Sovereignty of God

Updated: Aug 31

If we look at the meaning of “sovereignty” in the dictionary we’ll find something like “supreme”, “authority”, “reign”, or “rule”. The sovereignty of God is concerned with the lordship of God. He is powerful and authoritative to the extent of being able to override all authorities and power. In a nutshell, it means, “God is in control over everything.”

God’s sovereignty is the attribute by which He rules His entire creation, and to be sovereign God must be all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely free. (A.W. Tozer)

The present translations of the Bible don’t directly use the word “sovereign” or “sovereignty” but we can find the concept of Sovereignty of God throughout the Bible.

When the Bible says that God is sovereign it means He reigns over everything and nothing happens outside of His will and authority. There is not even a single atom in the universe that is radical and not in His control. He Lords over creation, angels, demons, history, and authority figures. Even Satan cannot act on his own he needs God’s permission first.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1 ESV)

As God is sovereign, He exercises His rule. He exercises it as king but not as human kings who are corrupt in nature. But He carries out His eternal purpose in every single detail in the best way one could imagine, as He is the epitome of goodness.

Now, this doctrine raises so many questions in the mind of readers and I’m pretty sure even you are having some problems with this doctrine and some questions were coming into your mind related to this. Like if God is sovereign, how can men be free? Or if everything is under God’s control does that means all the evil and suffering is caused by God?

And the best place we can tackle both of these questions and can see the sovereignty of God is when we look at the cross.

In Acts 2:22-23, Peter says “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Here we see that Christ was crucified according to the predetermined and sovereign plan of God. Is God the one who caused it? No. But in the same verse, it says that Christ was crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. Were they responsible and guilty? Yes, definitely. Did God plan it and decreed it? Yes. But He is not responsible for the evil. He gets the credit for the goodness and glory that came out of that evil act. You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good… (Genesis 50:20 ESV). That is how God works sovereignly. He overrules evil and turns it for His glory. He ordains and wills everything that comes to pass in our life.

God uses human means to fulfill what he has ordained. With regard to tragedies and evil, Paul and the other biblical writers never blame God for them (cf. Rom. 5:12; 2 Tim. 4:14; also Job 1:21–22). Rather, they see the doctrine of God’s sovereignty as a means of comfort and assurance (cf. Rom. 8:28–30), confident that evil will not triumph, and that God’s good plans for his people will be fulfilled. How God’s sovereignty and human responsibility work together in the world is a mystery no one can fully understand.

When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head. ~C.H. Spurgeon

The doctrine of Sovereignty of God is such a comforting doctrine. It shows that nothing comes ever in our lives that is out of God’s will. He sovereignly decreed and allowed everything. If tomorrow some tragedy happens or the world goes to pieces, one thing is sure He is sovereign. Consequently, whatever you may be facing in your life right now, you can take comfort in that God is in control of everything, He is on the throne and HE IS SOVEREIGN.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

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