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  • God's sovereignty

    I want to open up a discussion on this, but I don't want to begin by inflating this post with a bunch of presuppositional rhetoric, so I will begin simple:

    What is the best definition of God's sovereignty?

  • #2
    I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose'. Isaiah 46:9-10

    That sounds good to me.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Okay....fair enough. That's a good verse, but I was hoping to get more of a definitive-type of answer. For example, I looked up the definition of sovereign online, and these were some of the definitions:

      (1)having supreme rank, power, or authority.
      (2)supreme; preeminent; indisputable: a sovereign right.
      (3)greatest in degree; utmost or extreme.
      (4)being above all others in character, importance, excellence, etc.
      (5)efficacious; potent: a sovereign remedy.

      Do you think that any of these definitions do justice to sovereignty as it applies to God? Moreover, do you feel that there are factors missing?

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      • #4
        I think supreme power or supreme will sums it up.

        Basically, whatever God says, goes.

        Isaiah 55:11
        so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
        It will not return to me empty,
        but will accomplish what I desire
        and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

        Cheers,
        Legoman

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Welder4Christ View Post
          Okay....fair enough. That's a good verse, but I was hoping to get more of a definitive-type of answer. For example, I looked up the definition of sovereign online, and these were some of the definitions:

          (1)having supreme rank, power, or authority.
          (2)supreme; preeminent; indisputable: a sovereign right.
          (3)greatest in degree; utmost or extreme.
          (4)being above all others in character, importance, excellence, etc.
          (5)efficacious; potent: a sovereign remedy.

          Do you think that any of these definitions do justice to sovereignty as it applies to God? Moreover, do you feel that there are factors missing?
          I think those are pretty accurate. I personally believe that God is sovereign over all of creation and nothing happens that He isn't aware of or even predestined beforehand.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Welder4Christ View Post
            Okay....fair enough. That's a good verse, but I was hoping to get more of a definitive-type of answer. For example, I looked up the definition of sovereign online, and these were some of the definitions:

            (1)having supreme rank, power, or authority.
            (2)supreme; preeminent; indisputable: a sovereign right.
            (3)greatest in degree; utmost or extreme.
            (4)being above all others in character, importance, excellence, etc.
            (5)efficacious; potent: a sovereign remedy.

            Do you think that any of these definitions do justice to sovereignty as it applies to God? Moreover, do you feel that there are factors missing?
            When it comes to God's attributes and nature you can't get more definitive than what God says of Himself in Scripture. Why draw from broken cisterns?
            ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

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            • #7
              I completely agree with you guys, but let me run a little further with this concept......

              In every definition that I've encountered, the word sovereign seems to apply to governmental or social spheres.....one ruling authority residing over the affairs of all other people. Would you agree that, in and of themselves, these people are free moral agents? Likewise, God is sovereign over all creation....a creation comprised of free moral agents.

              Would you agree with this?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Welder4Christ View Post
                In every definition that I've encountered, the word sovereign seems to apply to governmental or social spheres.....
                There is a term that has been used a lot, lately in the news concerning all these financial dealings. Sovereign Wealth Funds. These are investment entities that buy into assets, basically for their country. So, in a way, the term sovereign could apply to an independent country, meaning not being ruled by another power, outside of it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ethnikos View Post
                  There is a term that has been used a lot, lately in the news concerning all these financial dealings. Sovereign Wealth Funds. These are investment entities that buy into assets, basically for their country. So, in a way, the term sovereign could apply to an independent country, meaning not being ruled by another power, outside of it.
                  Yes - the concept od independence is very important - we hear of "sovereign states" meaning "independent".

                  I heard a definition of God's sovereignty from a source I didn't expect the other night when I was watching a very interesting programme on one of the satellite channels where the speaker was the late Derek Prince. He defined God's sovereignty as follows:-

                  God does what He wants, when He wants, in the way that he wants - without asking anyone's permission.

                  I think that helpfully sums up the meaning behind Eph 1:11:-

                  In Him also we obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. NKJV
                  Last edited by 9Marksfan; Oct 8th 2008, 10:42 AM. Reason: typo

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                  • #10
                    God is in complete control of everything.

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                    • #11
                      Yes God is truly independent. We are not truly independent.

                      I think there is an inherent contradiction with the concepts of God's sovereignty and us as free moral agents. If we are truly free moral agents, then God is no longer sovereign over us. We are sovereign over ourselves.

                      Now given that the bible says God is sovereign, I conclude that we are not free moral agents.

                      What is a free moral agent?

                      Free - free from cause, not restrained, not mixed with anything, not determined by anything

                      Moral - capable of right and wrong, pertaining to right and wrong, etc

                      Agent - one who acts with some power, a person, us


                      Now I have no problem calling us moral agents. But free moral agents? I don't think so. If we were truly free, we could make choices that are outside of God's sovereignty. We could make choices that are not constrained or caused by anything. In fact all of our choices are constrained and have root causes that cause us to make that choice. This is how God intended us to operate.

                      I view it as a father/child relationship. God is the Father. We are the children. Now does a father let his child do whatever he wants? No. But the father is there to let the child learn, provide love, give the child experience, wisdom, etc. Now that doesn't always happen in real life, because human fathers are not all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving. But God is, and he will make sure everything goes according to his plan.

                      Cheers,
                      Legoman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by faroutinmt View Post
                        God is in complete control of everything.
                        Even as far as your own personal life, in the things you do, the places you go, the life you live -- even to your selection of Himself as Lord and Savior...???










                        And just so you know as so not to miss lead you in any way... But I ask in the form of a question to affirm your comment as to this is what I believe the word instructs...
                        "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
                        Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
                        ... there are few who find it."


                        -----------------------------------------------

                        * All Scripture when quoted is 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)

                        Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by legoman View Post
                          I think there is an inherent contradiction with the concepts of God's sovereignty and us as free moral agents. If we are truly free moral agents, then God is no longer sovereign over us. We are sovereign over ourselves.

                          That is only true if our free will is out of Gods control. If our will is free, by Gods desire, then that is His sovereign desire, and so it must be, and so it is.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Redeemed by Grace View Post
                            Even as far as your own personal life, in the things you do, the places you go, the life you live -- even to your selection of Himself as Lord and Savior.
                            Yes. Absolutely. All the way.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by legoman View Post
                              Now I have no problem calling us moral agents. But free moral agents? I don't think so. If we were truly free, we could make choices that are outside of God's sovereignty. We could make choices that are not constrained or caused by anything. In fact all of our choices are constrained and have root causes that cause us to make that choice. This is how God intended us to operate.
                              This theory gives God all the credit for each and every murder, rape, child molestation, war and disease on the face of the earth. That may be your God, but it is not mine.

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