Divine Sovereignty

There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty.

Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all.

There is nothing for which the children of God should more earnestly contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands—the throne of God, and His right to sit upon that throne. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they kick around the most, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah.

Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne.

They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow Him to be in His position as Giver to dispense His gifts and bestow His blessings. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and uphold its pillars, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean.

But when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth. And when we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter—that is when men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. They love him anywhere better than they do when He sits with His sceptre in His hand and His crown upon His head.

But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust.

Read more sermons by Spurgeon at Blue Letter Bible.

14 thoughts on “Divine Sovereignty

  1. Completely agree. Nothing riles the rebel than speaking of God and His sovereignty. He ordains the good and the evil, He creates light and darkness, and it really separates off the believer from the false convert.

    In order to expose the false convert and his rebellious and proud ways all one has to do is mention the sovereignty of God.


  2. Paul, you are correct. Even now, if we do not seek to remain humble before God, our own flesh can rise up in rebellion. Those are the times that are eyes are clearly not focused on Christ.

    It is of interest to note that many will say, “Yes, God is sovereign.” There is then a brief pause followed by, “But…we still have free will to choose Him whenever we want.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha! Yeah, I love that. God is in control of the entire universe but not our will? C’mon…as a friend said once, “Free will? Only as God allows”.

    God has to be in control of the good and the bad if He is to be sovereign. Sovereign is sovereign. Dominion is dominion and being in control is being in control. Only those whose eyes have been opened to the severity, sovereignty and holiness of God will understand this. And yes…it is comforting.


  4. I’ll just come out and say it – I don’t find His sovereignty to be comforting, and I do not understand why anyone would.

    I understand it’s a reality. I understand that ultimately, He is in control, as is His right. He can do with His creation as He sees fit, and owes us no explanation. Further, it is unlikely that we will get one.

    in some ways, it makes the bad things even worse – God did not have to let me suffer (redacted), but He actively chose for me to suffer it.

    I understand that it is not meaningless or random; He has an agenda, which is His glory. Again, His right as Lord. He chose for me to suffer (redacted), and I, as His creation, have no room to argue. But I don’t find it comforting.

    What am I missing?


  5. Then I can make an assumption that you are not biblically saved. Do children derive comfort from the fact that they have a strong daddy that protects them and runs the house and make decisions for their betterment? Of course. I derive much comfort in knowing that my loving Father has hand-picked me for salvation and runs my life.

    Remember the chief end of the entire universe is to bring God glory. We are His vessels as Romans 9 tells us, and seeing as we are His property, He can do anything He wants with us. Whether we are used for pouring pure water, or used as a bed pan, it’s up to Him.

    His beloved can rest easy knowing that He loves them and takes care of them.

    This isn’t comforting to you?

    Perhaps you are scared that you are not saved and if so, then yes, you need to be afraid. Be very afraid because you are securely placed in the hands of an angry God and nothing will help you out until you come to grips with your sinfulness and throw yourself at the mercy of God.


  6. “In order to expose the false convert and his rebellious and proud ways all one has to do is mention the sovereignty of God.”

    Yes, that is how the kingdom of God works. Calvinists are saved, everyone who disagrees with them are lost rebels. What seminary taught you that, it certainly wasn’t the Holy Spirit! Your words are nothing but fleshy rhetoric. Spurgeon didn’t preach such things, he said men like Wesley would be closer to the throne of God then he. I’ll leave you with a Edwards quote and tell you to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. Hell will be filled with prideful calvinists too dear friend.

    “There are two sorts of hypocrites: one that are deceived with their outward morality and external religion; many of whom are professed Armenians, in the doctrine of justification: and the other, are those that are deceived with false discoveries and elevations; who often cry down works, and men’s own righteousness, and talk much of free grace; but at the same time make a righteousness of their discoveries and of their humiliation, and exalt themselves to heaven with them.”



  7. Jim,

    I think you may be missing the point that “Paul the Slave” was making. Nobody at DefCon has ever stated that “Calvinists are saved, and everyone who disagrees with them are lost rebels.”

    The issue is never whether one is a Calvinist or an Arminian. The real heart of the issue is how we define who Christ is. What relevance do we give to God in the doctrine of salvation? This defines whether we are truly broken before God or not. If a person tries to come to God with what they think they can offer Him and think He will accept it, they are mistaken. Even Spurgeon was clear on this point. It is not Christ plus something or Christ minus something.

    I do agree with you that hell will be filled with many who claim a certain title or label. It will be a tragic day when God pours out His final judgment on those who reject the Son. It is not something to be glad about, nor something of which we can speak lightly.

    As for Spurgeon’s quote about Wesley, it is not one with which I am familiar, but even Spurgeon was not correct in everything he said. There will be no tiers or levels of holiness by which some get a “mansion” closer to the throne than others. All who will be there will be thankful for grace and mercy that abounded to the greatest of sinners.


  8. Ha, I misquoted that is why you couldn’t find it. Whitfield actually said that (though he was sound in grace too)… no need to argue about rewards and like in eternity brother. There is a point in it none the less. It is a shame to see people place their faith in their knowledge of sovereignty rather than in Christ. As Paul Washer says “better to have it and not know how to perfectly explain rather than not have and be able to explain it perfectly”.

    God bless you in Christ -Jim

    …. Whitfield was asked this question, “Do you expect to see John Wesley in Heaven?”

    “No,” was his reply.

    But then Whitfield continued, “John Wesley will be so close to the Throne of Glory, and I will be so far away, I will hardly get a glimpse of him.”


  9. The dispute between Calvinists and Arminians is a family debate among brothers and sisters who have been born again through faith in Christ.

    Born again, you say? That’s where one of the disputes begin. Arminians see the outcome of God’s sovereignty in his salvation, but Calvinists see the whole process of salvation beginning with God’s sovereignty in election from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). We have to work our way through that process as Scripture teaches us.

    The passage in Romans 8:28-30 is full of God’s sovereignty, whichever way you look at the verses. Soli deo Gloria!


  10. The sovereignty of God is misunderstood by most folks, who – as was noted above – draw lines around their own will to exclude creator God’s intrusion upon it. They turn a blind eye to the plethora of Scripture that declares who YHWH is so that they can sit in command of their own will.

    All Christians have errors in our theology, which is why are to NEVER stop growing grace and knowledge of Christ. I think we all start out our spiritual lives as Arminians, as we only know fleshly discernment. This is why the church MUST make disciples of those who are being saved – that we would see the glorious Truth about the God who saves.

    I call Arminianism heresy and would not comfort one who holds to all 5 points of that heresy a brother. I have yet to meet such a person. One who believes he chose to be saved may be born again, but if he is stiff-necked and unwilling to examine the Scriptures, he should not be comforted in his belief – but exhorted to search the Scriptures.


  11. I believe that Paul the slave and 072591 are talking past each other. C. S. Lewis lectured on the problem of pain, from theory. Then he lived through genuine pain and suffering as his wife died of cancer. I am far more inclined to heed his words after he suffered than before. I will listen to Corey Tinboom and to Joni Tada for they have lived immense suffering and unending suffering respectively. Likewise I will heed the Apostle Paul after reading all that he suffered for the sake of the gospel. Yet suffering persecution for the gospel differs greatly from being chosen to suffer either insane inhumanity or suffering by some sovereign act of God.
    Even John the Baptist struggled to reconcile Gods sovereignty. No one born of a woman was more righteous than John. The Prophets and the Psalmists always at times bemoaned the sovereignty of God when the wicked prospered and the righteous suffered. There are countless thousands of Jobs who are going to and have gone to their graves knowing only the pain and the loss and the suffering of Job but never the restoration of Job, in this life.
    For such ones even the greatest desire to reconcile their tortured souls with Romans 8;28 is a daily life long struggle. It is not Romans 8:28 alone that gives comfort in such crushing pain and grief. It is knowing that this same sovereign God behind our suffering is the one who so loved he also endured the passion.


  12. Hi, Manfred. I agree with you that Arminianism is wrong in its formulation, but I would not go as far as to think that the Arminian, who is spiritually regenerated, is not a brother. As what you have rightly observed, we were all born with Arminian tendencies and our flesh perennially craves satisfaction from our own works and achievements.

    It is best to keep preaching the truths of divine sovereignty in salvation and let others heap their criticisms, or even abuses, and be right with God. Live by James 3:1. All of us will be called to account for our preaching. May God forgive us for our own ignorance; and when we have become enlightened, let us treat those who are in the place where we have been, not with condescension but with consideration. As Paul would have said, they are “opposing themselves” in terms of doctrines.

    We wonder, why is it that people cannot see the truths of Scripture that are so plainly revealed? Answer: We were once there.


  13. Jeremy – I would not discount anyone as a brother who has been spiritually regenerated. But someone who understands and holds to all 5 points of the Arminian remonstrance would not fit in that category. As I noted – though I have many Arminians as friends and many I count as brothers, I have known none who understand and hold to all 5 points of that system.

    Yes, we each progress in our spiritual growth as it pleases the Lord. As long as a brother is seeking to grow and is not content to remain as he is, I embrace him and thank the Lord for him.


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