Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (The Sovereignty of God works hand-in-hand with the Responsibility of Man)
There is no question about the Sovereignty of God. How does the Soverignty of God work hand-in-hand with the responsibility of man? If God is sovereign over all His creation how does man really have a free will? What is the delegated authority that Sovereign God has given man? Has the Sovereign God self-limited himself in any area? What are the boundaries of the Sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man? I pray that the Holy Spirit will open new and fresh doors and truth to everyone seeking Him today.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
"I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God beside Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things" (Isaiah 45:5-7).
First, Only the Lord God is Sovereign over All Things in the Entire Universe
Through the lips of the prophet Isaiah, the Lord Himself declares His self-existent rule over all things. The Lord as used three (3) times in Isaiah 45:5-7 is the word in the Hebrew: Yehovah or Jehovah, which means the Self-Existent or Eternal One. The Old Testament uses this Hebrew word for Lord over 6000 times. Although the word sovereignty is not used in the Bible, there are nearly 500 times that the Lord is spoken of using the name Adoni, most often in the emphatic form. Adoni from the Hebrew root word which means to rule. Adoni means sovereign, controller, lord, master, or owner. The emphatic form of Adoni is Adonay – the proper name of God only. It is often used in scriptural text as O Lord, the Lord, or the Lord God – the Sovereign Jehovah or the Sovereign Elohiym. Elohiym is plural form of God, indicating multiple Persons or personalities of the Triune God are being manifested and operating together. Only the Triune Lord God is sovereign over all things and the only One who operates as Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent in the entire universe.
Second, Christ is the Creator and Sovereign over all His Creation
Paul tells us, "For by Christ were all things once then created, all things in the heavens, and upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or authorities. All things have already been completely created through Him and for Him" (Col. 1:16). The Lord God, our Father, set the entire eternal plan in motion in His heart and mind before the foundation of the world. Our invisible Father chose to have a visible portion of this universe and set His Word or Son to be visible and speak everything visible or invisible into existence. Christ – the Living Word created the angels. When Satan and a third of the angels rebelled against God, they did not prevail against the God and His angelic forces. They were cast out of heaven and down to this earth (Rev. 12:7-10). Christ is the creator and sovereign over all His creation.
Third, Our Sovereign Father Gave Adam a Will and His Delegated Authority
Our Father predetermined His eternal plan for man before the foundation of the world. Our Father chose us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). The Lamb was slain in the mind and heart of the Father before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). The fall of Adam was no surprise to the foreknowledge of God. His redemptive plan in Christ was already settled and in place. God wanted man to have a love-fellowship relationship with Him. Our Sovereign Father gave created Adam a will and His delegated authority to choose or not to choose and set consequences for disobedience (Gen. 2:16,17).
Fourth, Our Sovereign Father Has Chosen to Self-Limit Himself for Man
Our Sovereign Father created Adam, put him in the Garden of Eden and expressly gave His own delegated authority to Adam to lead and rule over the things of this earth. Adam out of his disobedience, through the deceptive trickery of Satan, gave some of His delegated authority away to Satan when he chose to obey His lying word contrary to the Word of God. David states, "For You have magnified Your word above all your name" (Psa. 138:2b). David again declares, "Forever, O Lord (Hebr: Jehovah), Your word is settled in heaven" (Psa. 119:89). Our Father did not come back to Adam, stop the consequence, and say let's have a retake and do it all over again. Our sovereign Father foreknew that Adam would sin and pass sin to all men (Rom. 5:12). God is faithful to His Word. God has chosen this self-limitation upon Himself, in order for man to continue to have a will to freely choose Him and have a loving fellowship with Him or not.
Fifth, Our Father Has Chosen to Operate a Significant Part Through Men
Our Father has left a significant part of His authority of this earth in the hands of man in accordance to His Sovereign word forever settled in heaven. This is why our Father chose prophets and let them speak His word into existence in this earth. Through His Word chosen to be spoken by the free will of the prophets, the Father legally used this delegated authority to make changes. This is why our prayer and words, led by the Spirit, are His creative force to make changes in this earth in some cases. As Spirit Rebirthed sons, we are His instruments and messengers of His Spirit word to be spoken in and through us to make His changes in this earth. Our Sovereign Father is also working through governing authorities in our country who are appointed by Him (Rom. 13:1-4). Paul exhorts that first of all we should be instruments of prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks for all men, rulers, and all who are in authority (I Tim 2:1-2a). If there are problems, perhaps we are not praying first of all for all as He has asked?
Sixth, The Sovereignty of God Works Along with the Responsibility of Man
Paul was sent from King Agrippa to sail with some other prisoners to Italy. Paul had a word of knowledge by the sovereignty of God and advised the men that the voyage would end in much disaster (Acts 27:10). Soon, a tempestous wind arose (Acts 27:14). The men took responsibility and lightened the load (Acts 27:18-19). Paul fasted and an angel appeared unto Paul by the sovereignty of God and advised him (Acts 27:21-24). Paul told advised the men that the ship would be lost but no lives. Paul said that he believed God and they must run aground on a certain island (vs. 26). Later some men sought to escape the ship in a skiff, but Paul told them they had to remain in the boat to be saved. Both of those were the responsibility of man. They ran the ship aground (vs. 41) and the centurion kept the soldiers from killing any prisoner (vs. 42-43). All 276 men (vs.37) swam with some on ship pieces and escaped safely to land (vs. 43-44). The sovereignty of God worked hand-in-hand with the responsibility of man.
Seventh, Our Sovereign Father Uses Man's Decision to Receive Salvation
God permissive will allows the responsibility of man to work inside the ultimate boundary of His sovereignty. Sovereign God is not willing that any perish, but that all should repent and call on the Lord to be saved (II Pet. 3:9; Rom. 10:13).