Theology Proper
The Study of God
by WordExplain

Bringing Truths from Different Books of the Bible into Focus, Perspective, and Understanding.


"For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods."  Psalm 95:3































The SOVEREIGNTY of God
by WordExplain



God Rules Supremely over All the Earth


A.            Statement.  With regard to AUTHORITY, God is SOVEREIGN.

1.             Meaning.  God is the Supreme Ruler.

2.            Scripture.  (Acts 4:27-28)  "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, {28} to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”

B.             Explanation.  God is the Supreme Sovereign.  He maintains absolute control over whatever happens in His Universe.

1.            His control over human actions is so powerful and yet so intricate that even if man defiantly devises the most hideous act against God imaginable, killing God, it turns out to be exactly what God from eternity past has predestined shall happen (Acts 4:27-28)!  God had planned from eternity past, through the death of His Son, to provide salvation for anyone in the rebellious human race who wishes to forsake his rebellion and embrace in faith God’s Savior!  Now that is Sovereignty!

2.           God’s Sovereignty is vast.  In Ephesians 1:11 Paul states that believers are predestined according to the purpose of Him “who works all things after the counsel of His will,” and He does so “for the praise of His glory” (1:12).  The language Paul used is explicit.  God constantly works “the all things” in accordance with His will.

3.            God’s Sovereignty is microscopic.  Man rolls the dice or casts the lots, but God controls every outcome! (Proverbs 16:33).

4.            A great many people do not like the idea of God’s Sovereignty.  They scream shrilly about protecting man’s free will.  Or they redefine God’s sovereignty almost to the point of making His actions contingent on man’s decisions. (God chose me because He knew I would choose Him.)

5.            The Bible is full of moral commands: “Thou shalt;” “Thou shalt not.”  Clearly God holds man responsible for whether he obeys or not.  The Bible is full of invitations:  “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Rev 22:17).  Clearly God holds man responsible for whether or not he accepts the invitations.  But to say that man is free is open to debate.  When was man the freest?  It was when he lived in the Garden of Eden before the Fall.  Once he sinned, he died and was in bondage to sin.  He lost the lion’s share of his freedom, but that question must be reserved for another discussion.  Suffice it to say that God has never lost even a tiny bit of His Sovereignty.  A Biblical approach is to say that God is Sovereign, and He holds man responsible.

C.             God reveals His Sovereignty in a number of ways:

1.                He is called King (Psalm 47:2; 95:3; Jer. 10:10; 46:18; 48:15; Dan. 4:37; Mal. 1:14).

2.               He rules as King (Ps. 93:1; 96:10; 97:1-2; 99:1; Micah 4:7).

3.                He takes sole responsibility for the survival or the death of all animals (Psalm 104:27-30).

4.               He takes responsibility for making people “mute or deaf, or seeing or blind” (Exodus 4:11).

5.                Because of man's great evil, God drowned all land animals and birds and all humans on the face of the earth except those preserved aboard the ark (Genesis 6-8).

6.               He issues decrees to all the nations (Isa. 2:1-3; 51:4; Micah 4:1-2) and imposes His will on the earth (Ps. 46:9).

7.                God uses one nation to judge another nation for its evil, and then turns around and judges the conquering nation (Habakkuk 1-2).

8.               He will judge all the nations, all peoples (1 Sam. 2:10; Ps. 82:8; 96:13; Isa. 2:4; 11:3-4; 51:5; Micah 4:3).

9.               All nations will come to worship Him and submit to Him (Ps 22:28-29; 86:9; Jer. 3:17; Zech. 8:21-23).

10.             His Kingdom will conquer the earth and displace all rival kingdoms (Dan. 2:44-45).

11.              He both removes and installs kings and rulers (Dan. 2:20-21; Isa 40:21-25).

12.             He declares the future before it comes to pass (Genesis 15:13-15; Psalm 22:1, 6-8, 14-18; Daniel 2:36-47; 7:1-27; 8:1-26; 9:24-27; 11:1-45; 12:1-3; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; 53:1-12; Revelation 6 - 22).

13.             He imposes His will on individuals for His own purposes (Gen. 25:21-23; Malachi 1:2-3; Romans 9:10-13, 17-18).

14.             He has chosen Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the nation of Israel as His own unique possession, has determined to bless them, and has allotted them the land of Canaan as their eternal possession (Gen. 12:1-3, 6-7; 13:14-17; 15:7, 18-21; 17:1-8, 15-19, 21; 18:10-15; 21:12; 22:15-18; 24:7; 25:11, 21-23; 26:1-6, 12-14, 24-25; 27:19-29; 28:1-4, 10-15; Ex. 19:5-6; 33:1; Deut. 34:4; Nehemiah 9:7-8; Psalm 105:6, 42-25; 135:4; Isa. 41:8-9; 43:1; 44:1-2; 44:21; 48:12; 49:3; Jer. 31:31-37).

15.             He has graciously chosen some from among all nations unto eternal salvation apart from any merits of their own, for they have none (Acts 9:15; Romans 8:29-31, 33; Eph. 1:4-5; 2:8-9; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; Titus 1:1; James 2:5; 1 Peter 1:2; 2:4, 9; 2 Pet. 1:10; Rev. 17:14).

D.       Application.

1.                I am glad that God is in control of time.  I entrust my times into His hand! (Psalm 31:15).

2.                I am glad that God, in His Sovereignty, is able to control events to such a degree that all things can work out together for good in my life (Romans 8:28).

3.                I am grateful that God can control my environment to such a degree that He will faithfully ensure that I am not tempted above my ability to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13).

4.               I am grateful God sovereignly controls human history (Daniel 2:20-21).  Otherwise I might think elections in my country are exercises in futility.

5.                I am grateful God controls the actions of Satan (Job 1-2).  Otherwise I would be petrified at his power.

6.               I am grateful the Father drew me to the Lord Jesus; otherwise I would never have come (John 6:44).

7.                I am grateful God's control is so tight that no one can take me out of His hand (John 10:29).

8.               I am grateful God’s authority is so great He is able to conform me to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

9.               I am glad God controls the future, and that God and good will win!  If it were not for that, life would really not be worth living.

The Sovereignty of God

Prepared by James T. Bartsch

February, 2009. Updated August, 2013


Published Online by WordExplain.com

Email Contact: jbartsch@wordexplain.com


Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ,

Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)










WordExplain by James T. Bartsch

(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Used by Permission.)

Updated March 18, 2014

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