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What Is God's Sovereignty?


Sovereignty of God
Darren Robb / Getty Images

Definition: Sovereignty means that God, as the ruler of the Universe, has the right to do whatever he wants. Further, he is in complete control over everything that happens.

The sovereignty of God is supported by many verses in the Bible, among them:

Psalm 115:3
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. (NIV)

Daniel 4:35
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?" (NIV)

Romans 9:20
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" (NIV)

God's sovereignty is a stumbling block for atheists and unbelievers, who demand that if God is in total control, that he eliminate all evil and suffering from the world. The Christian's answer is that the human mind cannot grasp why God allows evil; instead, we are called to have faith in God's goodness and love.

A theological puzzle is also raised by the sovereignty of God. If God truly controls everything, how can humans have free will? It is obvious from Scripture and from life that people do have free will. We are not robots. We make both good and bad choices. However, the Holy Spirit prompts the human heart to choose God, a good choice. In the examples of King David and the Apostle Paul, God also works with man's bad choices to turn lives around.

The ugly truth is that sinful human beings deserve nothing from a holy God. We cannot manipulate God in prayer. We cannot expect a rich, pain-free life, as touted by the prosperity gospel. Neither can we expect to reach heaven because we are a "good person." Jesus Christ has been provided to us as the way to heaven. (John 14:6)

Part of God's sovereignty is that despite our unworthiness, he chooses to love and save us anyway. He gives everyone the freedom to accept or reject his love.

Pronunciation: SOV ur un tee

Example: God's sovereignty is beyond human understanding.

(Sources: carm.org, gotquestions.org and albatrus.org.)

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