I. God’s _____
A. Over _____
B. Over _____
C. Over _____
II. _____ to the sovereignty of God
A. The presence of _____
B. Human free _____
III. _____ of God’s sovereignty
A. I can let go of my need to _____
B. I can trust Him in _____
- Theologian John Frame says, “A sovereign is a ruler, a king, a lord,
and Scripture often refers to God as the one who rules over all.”
Why is it important that God is the one who rules over all?
- In what ways do you see God’s sovereignty over creation?
- In what ways do you see God’s sovereignty over humanity?
How has God sovereignly directed you in your life?
- In what ways do you see God’s sovereignty over circumstances?
Read Isa. 14:24-27; 43:13; 55:11. What do these passages teach us
about God’s sovereignty over circumstances? How does this change
your view of God (if at all)?
- Arthur Pink describes the sovereignty of God as “the foundation of
Christian theology…the center of gravity in the system of Christian
truth – the sun around which all the lesser orbs are grouped.” Why is
God’s sovereignty so important (the foundation of Christian theology)?
- One author says, “The basic reason why women and men do not
like the doctrine of God’s sovereignty is that they…wish to be
autonomous. So they either deny God’s existence entirely, deny this
attribute of his existence or else simply ignore him for all practical
Have you seen this in your life? How is ignoring God not the answer?
- John M. Frame provides a good summary of God’s sovereignty.
Read this paragraph and look up the passages referenced:
God’s control is always efficacious; nothing can prevent him from
accomplishing his purpose (see Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Isa. 14:24–27;
43:13; 55:11; Dan. 4:34–35; Rev. 3:7). It is also universal; that is, it
covers all the events of nature and history. This includes the natural
world (Ps. 65:9–11; 135:6-7), human history (Acts 17:26), and
individual human life (1 Sam. 2:6–7; James 4:13–16). God even
governs the free decisions of human beings (Prov. 16:9), including our
attitudes toward others (Dan. 1:9; Ezra 6:22). More problematically, God even foreordains people’s sins (Exod. 4:21; Deut. 2:30; 1 Kings 22:23; Rom. 9:17–18). But, as sovereign Lord, he also ordains that some will come to faith and salvation (Eph. 2:4–10). So, salvation is God’s work from beginning to end, doing for us what we could never dream of doing for ourselves. We should always remember that God’s saving grace in Christ is part of his control over creation as the Lord. (Several passages summarize the doctrine of the efficacy and universality of God’s sovereign control: Lam. 3:7; Rom. 8:28; 11:33; Eph. 1:11.)
- Charles Hodge says, “[God’s sovereignty] binds all creatures…as physical laws bind the material universe.” Why is this important?
- Do we have self-determining, personal free will? A. W. Tozer gives an illustration of an ocean liner from New York to Liverpool. The destiny of the ship is predetermined. At the same time the people on the ship “are completely free to move about as they will.” This is how Tozer explains God’s sovereignty and free will co-existing. Do you see any problems with this illustration? Arthur Pink also seeks to make sense of God’s sovereign will and the free will of man. He uses the term “conditional footing” and "unconditional footing” as interchangeable with “free will” and “pre-determined.” The problem is we do not see these terms in Scripture.
- Read Psalm 2. What do the kings of the earth do in v. 2-3? How does God respond to their desires in v. 4? God laughs because He is sovereign. He is big and these “great” rulers are small.
- God’s sovereignty allows us to let go of our need for control. James Boice says, “The doctrine of the sovereignty of God lies at the root of all admonitions to trust in, praise and commit one’s way to him.” Do you have a need to feel in control? How does affirming God’s sovereignty help you let go of this perceived need?
- God’s sovereignty allows us to trust him in suffering. Read 1 Peter 1:3-9. How can we take comfort in God’s sovereignty even in the midst of suffering? How will you apply this to your life this week?
To go deeper regarding free will and God’s sovereignty, see John
Piper’s article. Click Here To Read The Article