Category Archives: God

What’s So Great about the Sovereignty of God? | Richard Phillips

from Ligonier.org

A great many Christians can bear testimony to the earthshaking effects of realizing the sovereignty of God. These same kinds of testimonies are found in the Bible, perhaps none more profound than the prophet Isaiah’s account of his life-changing encounter with the sovereign Lord. If the apostle Paul is the New Testament figure most associated with the teaching of God’s sovereignty, his Old Testament counterpart is surely Isaiah. How did Isaiah gain his understanding of God’s sovereignty, and what influence did this have on his life? In other words, how would Isaiah answer the question, “What’s so great about the sovereignty of God?

What difference does God’s sovereignty make? For Isaiah, it meant everything. In his response to the vision of God’s sovereign lordship, we can observe four hallmarks that will also play out in our experience as our faith is centered on a biblical vision of the sovereign grace of God.

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Divine Sovereignty | Dr. Steve Lawson

from Ligonier.org

The sovereignty of God is not a secondary doctrine that is relegated to an obscure corner in the Bible. Rather, this truth is the very bedrock doctrine of all Scripture. This is the Mount Everest of biblical teaching, the towering truth that transcends all theology. From its opening verse, the Bible asserts in no uncertain terms that God is and that God reigns. In other words, He is God—not merely in name, but in full reality. God does as He pleases, when He pleases, where He pleases, how He pleases, and with whom He pleases in saving undeserving sinners. All other doctrines of the Christian faith must be brought into alignment with this keystone truth.

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Isaiah’s Sixfold Depiction of God’s Glory | Derek Thomas

from Ligonier.org

What kind of God does the prophet proclaim in Isaiah 42:18– 43:21? What must God be like if He promises to restore and renew despite the abject failure of His people?

What kind of God is our covenant Lord? The answer is that He is like no other!

I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isa. 43:11)

In a series of statements that open chapter 43, a sixfold depiction of God’s glory emerges.

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Is It Necessary to Preach Divine Wrath? | Steve Lawson

from Ligonier.org

The Genevan Reformer John Calvin said, “Preaching is the public exposition of Scripture by the man sent from God, in which God Himself is present in judgment and in grace.” Faithful pulpit ministry requires the declaration of both judgment and grace. The Word of God is a sharp, two-edged sword that softens and hardens, comforts and afflicts, saves and damns.

The preaching of divine wrath serves as a black velvet backdrop that causes the diamond of God’s mercy to shine brighter than ten thousand suns. It is upon the dark canvas of divine wrath that the splendor of His saving grace most fully radiates. Preaching the wrath of God most brilliantly showcases His gracious mercy toward sinners.

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God’s Sovereignty and Our Responsibility | Derek Thomas

from Ligonier Ministries

God is sovereign in creation, providence, redemption, and judgment. That is a central assertion of Christian belief and especially in Reformed theology. God is King and Lord of all. To put this another way: nothing happens without God’s willing it to happen, willing it to happen before it happens, and willing it to happen in the way that it happens. Put this way, it seems to say something that is expressly Reformed in doctrine. But at its heart, it is saying nothing different from the assertion of the Nicene Creed: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty.” To say that God is sovereign is to express His almightiness in every area.

God is sovereign in creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Apart from God, there was nothing. And then there was something: matter, space, time, energy. And these came into being ex nihilo—out of nothing. The will to create was entirely God’s. The execution was entirely His. There was no metaphysical “necessity” to create; it was a free action of God.

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God’s Sovereignty | Ligonier Ministries

“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Ex. 33:19b).
– Exodus 33:19B

Arminians (semi-Pelagians) know the Lord is all-powerful (Job 42:1–2) and can stop or start any event if He so desires. Arminians also affirm the Creator’s complete knowledge of the future (Isa. 46:8–10) even if they do not attribute causation to God in the same sense that Augustinians (Calvinists) do. Therefore, Arminians, no less than Calvinists, believe the Lord foreordains all things. For example, if God knows He will stop me from wearing every shirt I own today except my green one, then the Arminian has to admit that I must wear my green shirt. The event is established; it is foreordained.

As Dr. R.C. Sproul has said, “There is no maverick molecule if God is sovereign.” If He cannot control the tiniest bits of the universe, then we cannot trust Him to keep His word. The Lord vowed to bring Abraham’s sons out of Egypt (Gen. 15:12–16), but if Joseph was not the object of his father’s favoritism, his brothers would not have envied him. If they had not envied him, they would not have sold him to the Ishmaelites, Israel would not have gone into Egypt, and God could not have kept His promise to the patriarch (37–50). Continue reading