On the Sovereignty of God

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalms 139:16

As I meditate on these verses the topic of God’s sovereignty comes up. I believe that in this world, nothing is a coincidence. Every single strand of our hair is counted (Matthew 10:30), and even sparrows are watched over (Matthew 10:29). Psalm 135:6 says, “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.”

So if God is sovereign, up to where does our free will extend? If all the days of our lives are “ordained” for us and “written in God’s book” before one of them “came to be”, are we really, truly free? Do we have free will in the face of a sovereign God, who hardens hearts or softens them based on His mercy and will?

Is our salvation something we choose or is grace truly irresistible?

If God prepared good works for us to do in advance, can we truly say no?

God Knows Our Ways

According to R.C. Sproul, and I’m just quoting him nonverbally here, human beings do have free will. We have the power to make choices. But since God is infinitely wise, he knows what we’re going to do before we even think about doing them. He knows our “destiny” because he knows us so well. Our path, before the creation of the world, God has already seen.

He knows our ways, and so “all the days ordained for [us are already] written in [God’s] book before one of them came to be.”

God could have created us and then left us alone. He could have simply watched as we, ultimately, destroyed ourselves. But from the beginning, creation was made with redemption in mind, which leads us to the next question:

Is our salvation something we choose or is grace truly irresistible?

Resistible Grace

The answer to this is that yes, salvation is something we can choose, but not by our own will. We cannot force ourselves to believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit if Jesus did not choose us first. God awakens our Spirit and gives us this choice. Writes Apostle Paul: “for we were dead in our transgressions…” We were dead in our sin, and you can’t prompt a carcass to sit and wake up. It is God who must give us this faith, wherein we can choose to accept or reject him.

It’s amazing to think, that even with how much God has already loved us, has sacrificed for us, people still reject Him. And yet they do. Millions of people reject God and rebel against Him.

We Can Say No to God

Finally, for the last question (If God prepared good works for us to do in advance, can we truly say no?), I believe that yes, we can say no. The Parable of the Talents demonstrates this. God gives us gifts, abilities, talents, intelligence, material blessings—everything good, basically, God gives us everything good—and for us to do good works, which He has set up for us in advance. Think of them as assigned tasks or a Godly to-do list. We can choose not to do them. We can choose to waste what He has given us by being “wicked and lazy servants”—or we can choose to obey and rejoice in the joy of our salvation.

I believe that God gave us work here on earth so that He can reward us later in heaven. Our earthly obedience will determine what rewards we receive.

To sum it all up, God is still sovereign, we still have free will, we have good work set out for us to do, and our good work here on earth is the basis for the portion we will receive in heaven.

So Beloved, take heed.

Photo by Amariei Mihai on Unsplash

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