Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on October 12, 2014
Today we are going to tackle an immense topic, the sovereignty of God. We are examining this because I am, hopefully, Biblically laying a foundation for the next five messages on the Doctrines of Grace, otherwise known as Calvinism. The reason I say graciously is because this journey into the depths of God’s Word, and the truth of God’s Sovereignty is not an easy road. It is a road that will potentially flip your world on its head, but there is no doubt that it is a road worth traveling, and it is a road where the word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
John Piper, who many of you know I enjoy reading and listening to, said something that resonated with me. He said, “No one is born a Calvinist.” What does he mean by that? He means that knowing God and His sovereign power towards you in your salvation, is not like a great banquet that on day one of your Christian life you feast upon. Instead the Christian walk is more like daily rations. Whereby each day, after God has brought you into his fold, provides you, through his Word, new understandings of His greatness directed towards you. And when you think about your testimony, this makes sense.
We are born sinners. Meaning we are not God centered we are self-centered. Our world revolves around our own control and authority. Then someone preaches the gospel into your life, and for some reason, it splits you wide open and your feel the weight of your sin and your cry out yes to Jesus, “Save me.” In that moment you have no clue what happened. You have no way of explaining why you went from not caring about Jesus, to laying down your life for Him. If someone were to ask you why, what happened, perhaps all you could say is “I was blind, but now I see.” From that point on, you spend the rest of your life trying to figure out what happened to you. This is what we are trying to in the months of October and November, to figure out what happened to us to go from enemies of God to willing to die for Him.
In our short time today, we will barely skim the surface to this enormous topic of God’s Sovereignty. However, do to not be frustrated by this, because we will spend an eternity scratching the surface of the Sovereignty of God. This is because our God is an infinite God. He is immeasurable. His ways are above our ways. He is light unapproachable. He is a God who sits on his throne and demands our worship whereby we cry out “Holy, Holy, Holy.” So do not be frustrated today if it isn’t all clear immediately. Today, just let your heart be drawn into it and let God take care of the growth.
Last week I attempted to show you through Ephesians 1, that God desires you to know that the surpassing power in your salvation belongs to God, not man. And the reason that God desires this is so that you are left with only one option, to praise His glorious grace. The goal of God is to get you to praise Him. God delights in our worship of Him. He wants us to be God centered and worship Him and Him alone. This is what he designed you to do, to see His Glory and proclaim His glory.
So my aim today is to lift God up as high as I possibly can, so that your hearts will sing, in truth, Holy, Holy, Holy. There is only one way in which we can do this, and that is by the Word of God. For the Bible is God’s revelation of Him. Today, I am using more scripture than I ever have. I want the Bible to convince you, not Phil Parsons.
So let us start with the question, what does it mean that God is Sovereign? There are not many place that scripture uses the phrase Sovereign when describing God. One place, however, is Acts 4:24. This was a prayer of the earlier Church after they received their first taste of persecution. Listen to how they addressed God.
So we see God's sovereignty stretching beyond just creating, but also into dieing. He holds life and death in his hands. Is this where the hand of God's power ends? Is this as far as God reaches into the World? Does God set the beginning and the end and stands back and watches to see what happens? No. God's sovereignty goes deeper.
So is there where God's sovereignty stops? Does God just see the World as one giant game of Risk? Does his control end with world events? What about individuals decisions of men, are they under the sovereign hand of God?
Some of you may really struggle with this today, and this is why I wanted to use so many Biblical text. I don't want you to believe God's sovereignty because I say so, but because God says so. And to be honest, as I said earlier, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If there is one thing that God wants to make abundantly clear to you in the scripture, it is that God is in control. Nothing is outside his reach. He is God. I leave you with one of the greatest verses in all the Bible.