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IS GOD STILL SOVEREIGN?

OzSpen

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Sovereignty would be like an earthly King.
It means that God rules over everything...He has the power to do as He wishes.

But I do NOT believe this removes our free will.

As far as I can understand,,,the very fact that God has given us Free Will is indicative of the fact that He is so sovereign that He does not FEAR giving us free will.

I believe that those that think God loses Sovereignty by giving us free will understand Him to be a weak God that cannot even handle that.

To me God is More Sovereign (if that could be possible) precisely because of our Free Will.

wondering,

When we see the wickedness in our world, we could be tempted to say that God, the Almighty One, is not in absolute, sovereign control of our world. I’m thinking of:
How do we deal with God’s sovereignty and those kinds of atrocities?

1. God is not absolutely sovereign

He can change his mind. This is the view of open theism. The late Clark Pinnock (d. 2010) was regarded as the father of open theism. Here is an online lecture by Pinnock, ‘Clark Pinnock on Open Theology (Pt. 1 of 7)’.

Greg Boyd, a promoter of open theism, has stated that God ‘does not know every detail about what will come to pass…The future is, to some degree at least, open ended and God knows it as such’ (Boyd 2000:8).

Open theism questions these fundamentals of orthodox theology:
  • God’s omniscience (all knowledge);
  • God’s immutability (unchanging);
  • God’s eternity;
  • God’s omnipresence;
  • God’s unity;
  • God’s omnipotence (all-powerful).
See the article, “An examination of open theism“.
Also see, “The doctrine of open theism“.

2. God’s sovereignty and free will

I consider that the biblical teaching is that God is absolutely sovereign and that sovereignty includes the free will decisions of human beings. This is a brief overview of God’s sovereign attributes:

clip_image002 God is before all things (Ps 90:2; Col 1:17);
clip_image002[1] All things were created by God (Jn 1:3);
clip_image002[2] God sustains all things (Heb 1:3);
clip_image002[3] God is above and over all things ( Eph 4:6);
clip_image002[4] God is all knowing (Ps 139:4-6; Heb 4:13);
clip_image002[5] God is all-powerful (Gen 18:4);
clip_image002[6] God’s sovereignty implies that He does what He wills (Isa 14:24, 27).

This sovereignty means that
clip_image002[7] God is the ruler over all things (1 Chron 29:11-12);
clip_image002[8] God does whatever He pleases (i.e. is in control of everything) (Ps 115:3);
clip_image002[9] Earthly kings are controlled by God (Prov 21:1);
clip_image002[10] God’s control extends to human events (Isa 55:11);
clip_image002[11] Good and evil angels are under God’s control (Col 1:15-16; Eph 1:21; 1 Ki 22:19-22);
clip_image002[12] God controls Satan (Job 1:6; 2:1; Rev 20:10).

3. The most difficult concept to grasp

This is the one we find most perplexing to understand:

clip_image004
God sovereignly controls our free choices, including our salvation (Eph 1:4, 11; 1 Pt 2:8). Yes, he is sovereign, but that does not eliminate human free will decisions.

God’s sovereignty does not make free choice and human responsibility to be fakes. God is not a sovereign Puppet Master who pulls the strings of life for all people and nations. One of the great mysteries of God’s sovereignty is that He is absolutely sovereign but human responsibility is genuine in the midst of this mystery.

The apostle Paul affirms the depth of the riches in God’s wisdom and knowledge in Romans 11:33. Long before Paul, Moses stated it profoundly,
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of the law (Deut 29:29 ESV).
God's sovereignty can never be dissociated from his attribute of omniscience (all-knowing). They go together like a hand in glove.

That should be a starter.

Oz
 

WIP

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Some believe that God, being a Sovereign God, must control everything...
this is determinism, or predestination.

They believe that if God is NOT in complete control of EVERYTHING,
then He would not be a Sovereign God.

What is a defense against this?
Being in control does not require Him to control. If I am turning a piece of pottery on a wheel, I am in control, however, in my state of control I could decide to close my eyes and see what comes of it. I am still in control but I may not be directly controlling every aspect of the entire process.
 

JohnDB

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In prophetic literature...
We miss the acrostic of Terror, pit, and snake.

A man runs from terror, just to be afraid of a snare trap, and finally gets home and gets bitten by a snake. This is explained in a colorful way about how man has free will but God knows the choices people will make when confronted with particular situations.

Man has free will, but that doesn't mean that God can't make a person's life very difficult until he chooses correctly.
Sampson was a great example of this. He didn't want to fight the Philistines...he wanted to be friends... even marry them. He liked their technology. That wasn't what God wanted. God wasn't opposed to their tech as much as their lifestyles.
Sampson had an anger management problem..God used that to get his purposes fulfilled.

Easy way or hard way you cannot thwart what God has planned for your life.
 

jerry63935

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we can use examples proper terms .scriptures etc. what it boils down to is folks like to argue .o i know its called discussion .the voice of reason soon turns to chaos and the voice of i am right will still ring loudly . we are told in psalms 121 where to lift our eyes to and where our help comes from. it sure aint man . we are told that our faith should not be in man but God.
yet its still about us . i really enjoy isaiah 43 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+43&version=KJV

even though scriptures tell us. we still have to be right and anything out side our circle belief is false . there has been some great illustrations wrote in this post and most of them i agree with
 

wondering

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Being in control does not require Him to control. If I am turning a piece of pottery on a wheel, I am in control, however, in my state of control I could decide to close my eyes and see what comes of it. I am still in control but I may not be directly controlling every aspect of the entire process.
Agreed.
I also believe there's a difference between God ALLOWING things to happen and CAUSING things to happen.

I have no problem with this.

Since we have free will we can sin if we want to...
God will allow it.
But He did not cause it.
 

wondering

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we can use examples proper terms .scriptures etc. what it boils down to is folks like to argue .o i know its called discussion .the voice of reason soon turns to chaos and the voice of i am right will still ring loudly . we are told in psalms 121 where to lift our eyes to and where our help comes from. it sure aint man . we are told that our faith should not be in man but God.
yet its still about us . i really enjoy isaiah 43 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+43&version=KJV

even though scriptures tell us. we still have to be right and anything out side our circle belief is false . there has been some great illustrations wrote in this post and most of them i agree with
Jerry, we all think we are right.
You believe you are right,
and I believe I am right.
I didn't sit down one day and read the N.T. and make up my own theology.
I follow theology that those more intelligent than myself have written.
Some seems to agree with scripture, and maybe some does not.

God will judge us based on our belief,,,not someone else's.
However, we cannot make up our own theology.

Why do you suppose we cannot agree on everything?
 

wondering

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In prophetic literature...
We miss the acrostic of Terror, pit, and snake.

A man runs from terror, just to be afraid of a snare trap, and finally gets home and gets bitten by a snake. This is explained in a colorful way about how man has free will but God knows the choices people will make when confronted with particular situations.

Man has free will, but that doesn't mean that God can't make a person's life very difficult until he chooses correctly.
Sampson was a great example of this. He didn't want to fight the Philistines...he wanted to be friends... even marry them. He liked their technology. That wasn't what God wanted. God wasn't opposed to their tech as much as their lifestyles.
Sampson had an anger management problem..God used that to get his purposes fulfilled.

Easy way or hard way you cannot thwart what God has planned for your life.
Agreed.
Man meant it for evil...
But God meant it for good.
Genesis 50.

God USES what we do to bring about His plan...which we don't really know what He has planned for the finishing touches of the tapestry.

We retain our free will,,,But God uses our choices to bring about what He had determined from the beginning.

Some find this difficult to understand and so remove man's free will from his attributes, making God the creator of evil.
 

jerry63935

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Jerry, we all think we are right.
You believe you are right,
and I believe I am right.
I didn't sit down one day and read the N.T. and make up my own theology.
I follow theology that those more intelligent than myself have written.
Some seems to agree with scripture, and maybe some does not.

God will judge us based on our belief,,,not someone else's.
However, we cannot make up our own theology.

Why do you suppose we cannot agree on everything?
you completely missed the point . but that's ok .it usually elevates to another degree of disagreement
 

for_his_glory

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We at times question God's supreme power and authority as we look at the world through our eyes and say "why Lord". God is in control and will let that which He let's and will bind that which needs binding, 2 Thessalonians 2:6,7. Freewill choices are just that, choices we make whether good or bad, but yet does not affect God's sovereignty.
 

jasonc

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Canadians are evil creatures?
LOL

But I believe I DID understand jerry63935 ....
Snow birds,vile ,these flock to,my,state bringing death and mayhem .

Canadian ones ,these torture you,with already knowing the answer to a question and are cheap.
 

Randy

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Some believe that God, being a Sovereign God, must control everything...
this is determinism, or predestination.

They believe that if God is NOT in complete control of EVERYTHING,
then He would not be a Sovereign God.

What is a defense against this?
God allows everything now that is His will.
Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy."

Clearly Gods enemies are still in the world.
'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand UNTIL I put your enemies under your feet.

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28“ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”

Not by His power or might but by His Spirit is how God chooses to act currently.
 

Not_Now.Soon

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Free will aside, God's sovereignty is both a heart warming hope, and a hell fire worry. In the end He is either our Father who's love welcomes us into His heavenly home, or He is the head judge who knows all of our sins.

That's where our free will comes into play. Without Jesus, our free will with all the good that comes with it doesn't save us from our issues, our sins, our history, our anger, our ... our everything in humanity that we see in the news that we don't like about human nature.

God loves us though. Hates our sins, but He Loves the world so much that He sentHis only son Jesus. Even in our sin He sent His son to save us. That's something to hope on. If God isn't sovereign, then we're in trouble, because we can't save ourselves. And I don't want to think of the world never changing for the better. We need to be saved so very badly.
 

wondering

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God allows everything now that is His will.
Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy."

Clearly Gods enemies are still in the world.
'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand UNTIL I put your enemies under your feet.

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28“ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”

Not by His power or might but by His Spirit is how God chooses to act currently.
Randy,
I don't understand what the above verses have to do with what I wrote in my post no. 39.
I do believe, as you've said, that he ALLOWS to happen what naturally happens.

I'm of the belief that if something changes, like a healing for instance, it's a miracle and I doubt too many of those happen --- but I know they do.

What I'm saying is that there's a difference between God ALLOWING and God CAUSING.

Do you understand this difference?
 

wondering

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Free will aside, God's sovereignty is both a heart warming hope, and a hell fire worry. In the end He is either our Father who's love welcomes us into His heavenly home, or He is the head judge who knows all of our sins.

That's where our free will comes into play. Without Jesus, our free will with all the good that comes with it doesn't save us from our issues, our sins, our history, our anger, our ... our everything in humanity that we see in the news that we don't like about human nature.

God loves us though. Hates our sins, but He Loves the world so much that He sentHis only son Jesus. Even in our sin He sent His son to save us. That's something to hope on. If God isn't sovereign, then we're in trouble, because we can't save ourselves. And I don't want to think of the world never changing for the better. We need to be saved so very badly.
Hi NNS,
Maybe I'm wrong...but I don't worry about my salvation.
I agree with you that we have to choose who God is.

Jesus said: And who do YOU say that I AM??

The most important sentence in the N.T.
Depending on our answer we are either an enemy of God or a son of God.
There's no in-between, as much as some would like to believe there is.
Many will say they "haven't killed anyone" and yet Jesus stated that if we hate someone we have already murdered.

I also wish the world would change for the better...but I doubt that it will.
Sometimes I feel that this was the goal Jesus had: The Kingdom of God. (here on earth).
 

Randy

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Randy,
I don't understand what the above verses have to do with what I wrote in my post no. 39.
I do believe, as you've said, that he ALLOWS to happen what naturally happens.

I'm of the belief that if something changes, like a healing for instance, it's a miracle and I doubt too many of those happen --- but I know they do.

What I'm saying is that there's a difference between God ALLOWING and God CAUSING.

Do you understand this difference?
Yes - hence Jesus attributing the weeds to a act of a enemy.
 
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