Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, March 15th. No matter how confusing things seem in the world today, the Lord is still in absolute control. Let's continue the Character of God series to hear what the Bible says about the sovereignty of God. Now, if someone should ask you if God is sovereign, more than likely, some of you may scratch your head and say, well, I'm not too sure.
But deep in your heart, you believe that he is and that is that God is in control. So we simply mean by the meaning of sovereignty that God is exercising supreme authority in the entire creation, including man. The sovereignty of God means that God is exercising supreme authority in the total creation, including in the life of man. Now if God is not sovereign, then he cannot be God. Because you see the fact that he is God demands that he must be sovereign over the total universe. If he is not sovereign over everything, he cannot be the sovereign God. Now you may have read somewhere in a Sunday school lesson or somewhere that God is sovereign. Not really maybe applying that to your own particular life. What is the sovereignty of God have to do with me?
I'm a senior citizen or I'm a 16 year old high schooler or I'm a middle aged person. What do I have to do with the sovereignty of God? And I will tell you, my friend, if he's not sovereign, you are in instantaneous trouble. So as we look at each area of the facet of God and each attribute of God, every single one of them applies moment by moment to your life and my life as we simply go about our daily walk. Now for example, for God to be sovereign, that is if he is to have absolute and supreme and complete authority in the total universe, including man, there are certain things that are essential. Number one, he must be omniscient. For God to have absolute and total control, he must know everything. Listen, if there is one bit of knowledge that God does not know, if there is one fact that is beyond the mind of God, if there is one bit of information that somewhere has been left out of the mind of God, then he is not in total control. If God is sovereign, not only must he know everything, God must be likewise omnipotent. That is he has all power. That is not one single iota or modicum of power can be beyond the reach of God. If one atom is floating around in the universe beyond the reach and the supreme control of God, he is not the sovereign of the universe. You see, not only must he have absolute and perfect knowledge of everything, not only must he be omnipotent and have all power, but in order for God to be sovereign, he must be totally free. Now once in a while, you'll meet someone who says, well, I don't believe in that kind of God.
Listen, let me ask you something. Would you want a God, first of all, who didn't have the knowledge of knowing what to do and who didn't have the power to do it and who didn't have the freedom to do it? You see, people who argue with us about our concept of God have never thought through what they're implying by trying to carve our God away and shape him into something that they can control. Now listen, if God is sovereign, that is if he has supreme authority over the entire earth, the entire creation, including man, where does that leave us?
It leaves us at a point in our life whereby we will either accept him as sovereign Lord or we will live in rebellion against God and there is no other alternative. If he's sovereign, he has the right to expect obedience from us. Now somebody says, well, I don't know why he has the right to claim all that anyway.
Well, let me give you two simple reasons. Number one, he created this whole thing. He has the right to be sovereign because he created the whole earth. And he says in Colossians, as we saw once before, that not only did he create it, but he is the one who sustains it.
That is, he keeps it in motion in perfect motion. God is sovereign. He is in absolute control. Now you may look around you and ask the question, well, if he is in absolute control, why does the Bible say that Satan is the ruler of this age? Well now remember this, that because God is sovereign does not mean that he has not purpose to allow certain things that you and I sometimes do not understand, number one.
And secondly, we would rather him not to have allowed. Why would God allow sin? Why would he allow the garden of Eden experience? Why does he allow wars and pain and suffering and children to be born deformed? Why does God allow all this?
I can tell you this. These things are not the result of man's doings apart from the knowledge of God. Neither is God in heaven reacting to what man is doing. Nor does God have his angelic ministers, and that's what they are, out trying to patch up a world that's falling apart and God fidgeting and frustrated over what we've done to the whole thing. When God created it all, he set a pattern in motion and God gave to man a degree of freedom of his will. And listen, the fact that man has a free will to a certain degree is the result of the sovereign power of God to grant it to man, so that there is no real conflict between man's certain degree of free will and the sovereign absolute will and purpose and authority of God available and ruling and reigning in the universe. He says, for example, in Romans chapter 11, the depth of his riches, Paul having described how God worked and how he grafted in to the original vine, the Gentile. He says, oh, the depths of the riches, both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God, how unsearchable, unfathomable, indefinable, infinite, beyond human understanding are his judgments, his ways are past finding out.
Now why? Because he is absolute sovereign and let me tell you something, until the people of God get a hold of the sovereignty of God, they'll never be able to accomplish God's purpose because we will live in fear. We will live in hesitation.
We will be constantly be backing off and checking circumstances and weighing the world's opinion. God wants his people living under the authority of the sovereign unquestionable rule of the absolute supremacy of the power of God. Now what is the purpose of God's sovereignty?
Why is it that God declares to be the sovereign over everything? Well, for example, he says that nature, he says in that 19th Psalm, the first verse, he says the heavens declare what? The glory of God. He says in Ephesians chapter one, a beautiful chapter about the sovereignty of God, he says that the salvation experience itself is what?
To the glory of God. And then of course, in the book of Revelation, if you're talking about the sovereignty of God, you look at the book of Revelation and you'll find it all the way through. He says in the fourth chapter, the 11th verse, thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for thou has created all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created. You see, God is sovereign, exercising his supremacy in order to do what? God wants the whole universe, including man, to glorify him. We are here not because we have to be. We are here to glorify God. Now listen, if in our life, regardless of our accomplishments, whatever they may be, if your life and my life does not glorify and magnify the Lord Jesus Christ, we have failed in God's ultimate purpose for everything he's done for us. Now we need to get ahold of that because listen, you can serve the Lord all of your life. You can do a thousand things for self-glory. You can be known as the most faithful member of the church.
You can give and give and give and give and give, and you can share your faith and do a thousand things, but my friend, if those actions and attitudes do not magnify the Lord Jesus Christ, do not lift him up, and if men do not see him and his power and his love generated and related in our life somehow in our daily walk, he says it's wood, hay, stubble, and God's sovereign purpose for our life becomes ashes in the presence of God. Now the word sovereign is not in the Bible unless it's in your index somewhere. So what I want us to do, I want us to look through the scriptures, and I just want to map out a few passages so you'll get the idea of what the prophets thought about the sovereignty of God and how they responded to that, and then I'm going to show you how this applies to our life on a personal basis. Well I want you to turn to 1 Chronicles, the last chapter, chapter 29, David's prayer.
I want you to understand something. I want you to listen and watch for the evidence of his understanding of the sovereignty of God. He's praying, verse 11, thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine. Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee and thou reignest over all and in thine hand is power and might and in thy hand it is to make great and to give strength unto all.
Now listen, the next time you get down in the dumps and you think nobody cares, nobody loves you, turn to 1 Chronicles 29 and think about the God who is your God. 2 Chronicles, chapter 20, chapter 20 and verse 6, listen, Jehoshaphat, verse 5, stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem in the house of the Lord before the new court. 2 Chronicles 20, verse 6, and he said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven and rule ist not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen and in thine hand is there not power and might so that none is able to withstand thee?
Listen you need to get a hold of that. He says, God, is it not true that thou dost rule over the heathen that there is not one who is able to withstand thee? Let's go back to what we said a few moments ago.
If God is sovereign in the universe, there cannot be loosed one single invisible atom that is not in the control of God. One of my favorite passages, Daniel, chapter 4, the most beautiful passage, it ought to say something to God's people today. Listen, chapter 4 of Daniel, verse 17, you see, God has placed us in a position to view from the Christian's perspective the unfolding of the sovereign hand of God. And you know what we do? We get all mixed up in it. We get word and fretted and fumed.
We get all agitated, frustrated, anxious about the whole thing. Listen, verse 17, this matter is by the decree of the watches and the demand by the word of the Holy One to the intent that, listen, the living may know that the most high ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he wilt, and setteth up over it the basest of men. Now we get all upset on who's going to do this and who's going to do that. You know what that verse says? God's in control. He's in control of presidents, dictators, premiers, kings, it doesn't make any difference. There has never been a man elected to office or who has gotten it by hook or crook who got it apart from the knowledge and the permissive will of God. God's people need to stand on the truth of the sovereignty of God. This nation isn't floating along nowhere.
We worry about the Congress and worry about the president, wonder what's going to happen next. It's for sure we don't know. And we can't figure that out, but we do know who does know. God is in sovereign control of all of those who sit upon thrones. Back to Psalm 135. Psalm 135 tells us just how he sovereignly rules. Listen, 135 verse 6 says, Whatsoever the Lord pleaseth, that did he in heaven and in earth, in the seas and all deep places. You see, who commands God to do anything?
God is the supreme sovereign of the universe. Now let's move to the New Testament for a couple of scriptures, one of them being John chapter 10. And here's a beautiful passage about our Lord and His keeping us.
He says, beginning in verse 27, John 10 27, He says, My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish. Neither shall any, anything, anybody, anyone pluck them out of my hand. Listen, what can you snatch or steal from the sovereign omnipotent hand of an omniscient God?
What can leak from that? What can be stolen from Him? Who can take a child of God out of the hand of God? Listen, verse 29, My Father which gave them to me is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
I and my Father are one. He says, nothing shall be able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. Turn to Romans chapter eight. People have a hard time believing that God's in control when the bottom drops out, they turn to Romans chapter eight and verse 28.
And you know what we do instead of bleeding and we just hope it's true. Verse 27, He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know, now you have to decide whether you know it or not, we know that all things work together for good. Now listen, if God isn't in absolute supreme sovereign control of this universe, get yourself a pair of scissors or razor blade and whack out Romans 8 28. There is no way for you to believe Romans 8 28 if God's not sovereign. You say, yeah, but what about sin, suffering, pain, and death?
What about it? There is no conflict. You see, He says there's some things are past their understanding, but there's no conflict.
Because He's sovereign, God has chosen to allow those things, but look what He says. He says that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who call according to His purpose. And what I want to ask you is who's doing the working?
Is it not true in the bottom falls that you're not doing the working? You don't know what to do. Either we are on the bottom end of a fatalistic philosophy, not knowing what's going to happen next or a personal, warm, loving, tender God of grace is putting His plan together and it's going to all work out beautifully.
That's your choice. It is either fatalism or the sovereignty of God. And if you believe Romans 8 28, you've got to believe that God's in control of everything. You may not be able to explain why He allows certain things, but He has this whole earth and all the creation, all the universe out there.
In fact, how do you get outside of it? The human eye cannot get outside of the creation. Only God is beyond the creation. The scientists tell us they can look millions and millions and millions of miles out there. And what do they see? They keep seeing the evidences of creation. Well is God all caught up in the maze of the galaxies?
No. He's outside of all of it and He's controlling it. And He's not running around like we do behind schedule. He has everything in perfect control. Thank you for listening to The Sovereignty of God. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
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