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The Sovereignty of God

The Attributes of God in Salvation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God is sovereign over everything, including salvation, and is free and able to do whatever he wills with human hearts, including saving some and leaving others in their sins.

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We’re going to be talking about God’s sovereignty tonight over everything. We’ve talked about his wrath and how we shouldn’t be numb to it, how God’s wrath over sin is what makes salvation necessary in the first place. We’ve talked about God’s love, both in a general sense of compassion towards all humanity and a specific intimate love for His people. Now, we’re going to talk about God’s sovereignty over everything, from the natural world to human life to history to the minutest details in life to even our very salvation. We’re going to talk about how salvation is not finally in the hands of man to determine. Humanity’s choices do have consequences and people do have responsibility, but they are not the final, decisive power in salvation. God’s sovereign grace is. But first we’re going to talk about this attribute in general:
We’re going to be talking about God’s sovereign choice in salvation tonight. We’ve talked about why His wrath is what makes salvation necessary, and how His love is why He chooses to save, but now we’re going to talk about how God’s sovereignty plays a part in the salvation process. We’re going to talk about how salvation is not finally in the hands of man to determine. Humanity’s choices do have consequences and people do have responsibility, but they are not the final, decisive power in salvation. God’s sovereign grace is. But first we’re going to

Sovereignty of God

The fact that God is free and able to do all that he wills; that he reigns over all creation and that his will is the final cause of all things. This is often expressed in the language of kingship.
creation and that his will is the final cause of all things. This is often expressed in
the language of kingship.
Those two parts are very important—God is FREE and he is ABLE. He has the
Those first two parts are very important—God is FREE and he is ABLE. He has the freedom of will to do whatever he wants, and he has the power to do whatever he wants, the ability. If God had the freedom to do whatever he willed, but no the power, he wouldn't be God. If God had the power to do whatever he willed, but didn’t have the freedom of will, he wouldn’t be God. This is what separates us from God—we don’t have the freedom of will to do whatever we want, and we don’t have the power to do whatever we want. We’ll discuss all of these topics in depth later.
freedom of will to do whatever he wants, and he has the power to do whatever
Romans 9 ESV
1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ ” 26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ ” 27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” 29 And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” 30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
The fact that God is free and able to do all that he wills; that he reigns over all creation and that his will is the final cause of all things. This is often expressed in the language of kingship.
he wants, the ability. If God had the freedom to do whatever he willed, but no the
power, he woudn’t be God. If God had the power to do whatever he willed, but
didn’t have the freedom of will, he wouldn’t be God. This is what separates us

The Freedom of God

from God—we don’t have the freedom of will to do whatever we want, and we
Psalm 135:4–6 ESV
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession. 5 For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6 Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
Psalm 135:4–7 ESV
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession. 5 For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6 Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. 7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
We’ll come back to the idea in verse 4, of God choosing Israel.
Psalm 135:
don’t have the power to do whatever we want. We’ll discuss all of these topics in
Isaiah 46:8–13 ESV
8 “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 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,’ 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. 12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off, and my salvation will not delay; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory.”
Isaiah 46:8-13
depth later.
God has the freedom to do what He wills, and He does so, declaring the end from the beginning and accomplishing everything He wants to do.
Daniel 4:35 ESV
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
No one can hold God accountable. No one can stop Him. He does whatever He wants, whenever He wants. No one can say to Him “this isn’t a good thing that you did” Why? Because He’s God. Whatever He does and says, that is what is right and what is true, and for no other reason than he did it or said it.
Isaiah 45:9–10 ESV
9 “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? 10 Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’ ”
God has the absolute right of a creator to create whatever He wants, however He wants.
One last point I want to bring up about God’s freedom—the fact that He is not

Our Lack of Freedom

Unlike God, we do not have free will. I’ll pause there for a minute for everyone to be like “wait, what? what do you mean we don’t have free will? can’t we choose to do what we want to do?” Well, yes, but there are a couple of limitations that we have on our will that God doesn’t. Let’s dig into them.
Romans 8:7–8 ESV
7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Here we have our first limitation. With our fallen minds, we can’t choose to follow God’s law. We are hostile to God, His enemies, and so we sin. We don’t have free will because in our fallen state, we don’t have the ability to do good things.
But wait, we do good things all the time, you say! Little old lady across the street.
Isaiah 64:6 ESV
6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
So, we can’t choose to do good things. What can we choose to do? Well, like I said earlier, we can do whatever we want to do. But unlike, God, the “whatever we want to do” is severely limited. Why? Because we are enslaved to sin.
John 8:34 ESV
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
Romans 6:6 ESV
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
These verses mean that in our fallen state, we are slaves to sin. Sin has enslaved our mind, body, and soul. Does this mean that when we were an enemy of God, we were struggling against sin, like a rebellious slave against their master? No, there are no slave rebellions amongst sinners. The insidiousness of sin is so great that even as we’re slaves to sin, we WANT to be slaves to sin. Unlike God, the “whatever we want to do” is enslaved by sin. The only thing we want to do as fallen human beings is to sin. So we don’t have the freedom to follow the Law of God, as was saying. We don’t have free will. We have free agency. A free will means you can choose anything. A free agency means you can choose to do whatever you want, but ONLY whatever you want.

The Ability of God

Matthew 19:23–26 ESV
23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Now we get to the second aspect of God’s sovereignty. God has the power to do whatever He wants. Not only is His will not enslaved to sin or any other outside force, but He has the power to do anything He puts His mind to. We serve a God who is so powerful that He can breathe galaxies out of His mouth. That’s why Jesus can say “with God all things are possible.”
2 Chronicles 20:5–6 ESV
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6 and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
This goes into more detail about God’s sovereign will. Not only does He have the power to do whatever He wants, but no one else has the power to stop Him. If God decides to rule over the nations, they can’t just decide they don’t want to be ruled by Him.
Nehemiah 9:6 ESV
6 “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
We serve a God who made everything, which gives him the right and the power to do whatever he pleases with it.

Our Lack of Power

Let’s go back to that passage in Matthew:
Matthew 19:23–26 ESV
23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew
This gets to the heart of the salvation issue. This is why we need a savior. We can’t save ourselves. And this is why this is so important, guys: we have to make sure that we’re being faithful to scripture and to the truth about our salvation, or else we’re going to give ourselves credit when we shouldn’t get it. With man, salvation is impossible. A rich man can’t enter the kingdom of God on His own—why? Because as we said before, He’s a slave to sin, just like any man. The whole point of Jesus’ statement here was to impart it upon the disciples just how impossible salvation was without the Lord.
That’s ultimately the reason why we repent—we know that we can’t possibly save ourselves, and we have to throw ourselves on the mercy of God for salvation. Let’s think about it this way:
Scripture describes us as being spiritually dead. All throughout the book of John, there are analogies of being born again from death to life, from blindness to sight, from deafness to hearing, from darkness to light. John’s not just using pretty analogies when he writes these things, he’s trying to impress it upon us just how hopeless our state is before God.
John 3:3–6 ESV
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:3
Ezekiel 36:24–27 ESV
24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
This is right before the section in Ezekiel with the Valley of Dry Bones, where God raises an army from the dead bones. The idea is clear: We were dead in our sins, completely cut off from God, and God had to breathe life into us for us to have the power to resist sin.
Ezekiel 36:24-
Analogy of the drowning in the sea vs. the bottom of the ocean.
Romans 8:27–30 ESV
27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Sovereignty Extends Over All Things

There isn’t anything that God doesn’t have complete and utter control over.
Romans 8:27–30 ESV
27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:27

He is Sovereign Over Creation

Revelation 4:11 ESV
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
John 1:1–3 ESV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

He is Sovereign Over Human Life

1 Chronicles 29:12 ESV
12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

He is Sovereign Over the Minutest Details of Life

Matthew 10:26–31 ESV
26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
There is so much comfort in knowing that God is in sovereign control over everything

He is Sovereign Over World History

Isaiah 10:5–7 ESV
5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! 6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few;
Isaiah 10:12–15 ESV
12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. 13 For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones. 14 My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped.” 15 Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
God is in such control that even when a king does evil, God intends it for good and sovereignly decrees it.

God is Sovereign Over Suffering and Evil

Passage in Genesis about Joseph’s brothers meaning something for evil and instead God meaning it for good.
Genesis 50:20 ESV
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
This doesn’t just mean that God allowed the evil, it means that he MEANT the evil. If he is sovereign over everything, that means everything. That means evil too. He doesn’t just let evil slip through his fingers with a purpose, or react to the bad things that are happening in the world and make good out of them. He causes them to happen. But don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that God does evil things. He is never the author of evil. This is another weird paradox of the Christian faith.
But we have to be clear about this, because if we aren’t, then we’re allowing evil to have more power than God. If there is even one act of evil that God isn’t control of, then he isn’t God.
“There is no maverick molecule if God is sovereign.”
When we look at Isaiah and Job, we see that even the evil actions of men God is sovereign over, and he is not letting one bit of it go to waste.
Job 13:15 ESV
15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.
Job understood that it was God who was ultimately responsible for his trials, yet he would still praise him, hope in him, trust in him, because he is in control and he has a plan.
If you are dealing with trials and suffering, take comfort in knowing that God is in full control of everything and he is helping those who are in Christ to be sanctified and make more like Jesus through every difficulty.
Romans 8:28 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

God is Sovereign in Salvation

Ephesians 1:3–12 ESV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

“Chose Us In Him Before The Foundation of the World”

Romans 8:29–30 ESV
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What does this mean? Simply put—it is God who brings a person through the salvation process, beginning to end, by his sovereign power. This is what is called the Golden Chain of Redemption. God, in eternity past, foreknew and predestined who His people would be in history. In history, He calls them with the Holy Spirit and the preaching of His Word, and then justifies them before him. He then continually sanctifies them throughout their lives through the working of the Holy Spirit, and then glorifies them when Christ returns and they are resurrected. Every single person who goes through this process will be saved, without exception. That is what we’re going to talk about today.
Those two parts are very important—God is FREE and he is ABLE. He has the freedom of will to do whatever he wants, and he has the power to do whatever he wants, the ability. If God had the freedom to do whatever he willed, but no the power, he woudn’t be God. If God had the power to do whatever he willed, but didn’t have the freedom of will, he wouldn’t be God. This is what separates us from God—we don’t have the freedom of will to do whatever we want, and we don’t have the power to do whatever we want. We’ll discuss all of these topics in depth later.

The Freedom of God

Ephesians 1:4–5 ESV
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Ephesians 1:4 ESV
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

“For Those Whom He Foreknew”

For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,

Israel as his own possession.

5  For I know that the LORD is great,

and that our Lord is above all gods.

6  Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,

in heaven and on earth,

in the seas and all deeps.

7  He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,

who makes lightnings for the rain

and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

This is where God’s sovereignty comes up in salvation. In the same way that He chose to create the world and everything in it, to rule over the act of even the smallest sparrow falling to the ground, to choose the Assyrian king as an instrument of His wrath on His people, He CHOSE sovereignly who would be His true people in history. When did he do this? Before the foundation of the world.
A common misconception about this passage is that God’s foreknowledge here means that He looks into the future and chooses (predestines) those who He sees choosing Him in the future. The problem with that is it paints a very wrong view of who God is.
Psalm 115:3 ESV
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Some will say that God chooses based on the criteria of faith—if he looks down the corridors of time and sees that someone will choose of their own free will to serve him in the future, then he’s chosen them. But that’s not logically or Biblically consistent.
Isaiah 46:8–13 ESV
“Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; 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,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off, and my salvation will not delay; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory.”
-31
Logically: It never says in scripture that we chose God for salvation. It always says that He chose us. If us choosing him is the criteria for God choosing us, then it’s not God’s choosing that makes us holy and blameless. It’s our choosing. And that’s not how salvation works.
Daniel 4:35 ESV
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
We don’t get to have a say in whether or not we get brought back from the dead. That’s just something that happens to us. We also don’t get to have a say in whether or not God chooses us before the foundation of the world.
Job 9:12 ESV
Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
Isaiah 45:9–10 ESV
“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’ ”
Isaiah 45:9-
If that was the criteria for salvation, then what does that mean? When we look at ourselves and see that we’ve been saved, who was ultimately responsible for our salvation? Us or God? Sure, God helped us, and we couldn’t have done it without him! But did he save us? Or did we save ourselves? It doesn’t say anywhere in scripture that God gives an offer of salvation to everyone and then we can accept or reject it. That’s not how salvation works in any part of scripture. God just saves. He just chooses people to save and people to not save.

The Ability of God

If God
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Job 42:1
Job 42:1–3 ESV
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Does this verse mean that everyone has a chance at salvation? No! It says whoever believes in him won’t perish but have eternal life. It doesn’t say anything about who can believe and who can’t. But remember, as we saw in scripture, we can’t follow after God’s law or do anything but sin. Wouldn’t be a good thing to believe in God? We can’t even do that without God!
Matthew 19:23
Matthew 19:23–26 ESV
And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Ephesians 3:20–21 ESV
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20
2 Chronicles 20:5–6 ESV
And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
2 Chronicles 20:5-
Romans 3:11 ESV
11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
Nehemiah 9:
Nehemiah 9:6 ESV
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
God has to seek after us!

God’s Sovereignty Extends Over All Things

Ephesians 1:4–5 ESV
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
There isn’t anything that God does not have complete and utter control over.
This is the same predestination that we’ve seen in other parts of scripture. This is God decreeing that something will happen in the future, and making it happen.

He is Sovereign Over Creation

Isaiah 46:10–11 ESV
10 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,’ 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.
Revelation 4:11 ESV
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
These are the same concepts. If we believe in a God who is sovereign, then we must believe in a God who is sovereign over everything, including salvation. If God is up in heaven wanting to save everyone but being unable to because of their free will, then he is not a sovereign God!
Isaiah 40:21-
Isaiah 40:21–23 ESV
Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
Isaiah 40:21–22 ESV
Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
If God created the universe and He is all-knowing and all-powerful, but he’ll only save people who he sees in the future put their faith and trust in him, why wouldn’t he look through all of the possible universes that he could’ve created and made one where everyone of their own free will chooses him?
John 1:1–5 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:
John 1:1–3 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
We have two options when we look at sovereignty and salvation: Either God is sovereign, and that means over salvation to, choosing who will be saved, or He is not sovereign, and just has to the best he can, trying to save people but failing to save everyone. There’s no middle ground there.

He is Sovereign Over Human Life

For those of you who might be fighting this, wondering if what I’m saying is true when you’ve probably all heard that we have to make a decision for Christ, good! That means you’re thinking, striving to understand what scripture is saying. Let’s go to together.
1 Chronicles 29:12 ESV
Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
After saying the same things that I’ve just said about the sovereignty of God in salvation, Paul answers imaginary objectors to this idea of salvation
2 Chronicles 25:8 ESV
But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down.”
Romans 9:14
Romans 9:14–24 ESV
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
Isaiah 10:5
Isaiah 10:5–7 ESV
Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few;
There are so many other things we could talk about with the idea of sovereignty and salvation and if you have any questions, please feel free to come to me or the other youth leaders if you have questions about this. One last thing before we end here, you might be wondering:
Isaiah 10:12-
Isaiah 10:12–15 ESV
When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones. My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped.” Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
If God is in control of everything, then I’m just a robot? Nothing I do matters? God has chosen me or not, so I can just do whatever I want and it doesn’t matter, because it’s already been decided. And to that I say, with Paul, by no means!

He is Sovereign Over the Minutest Details of Life

John 6:36-
John 6:36–40 ESV
36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Matthew 10:26
Matthew 10:26–31 ESV
“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
We won’t understand in this life how what we do can simultaneously be completely in God’s control yet totally our responsibility, but we’ll have a clearer picture on the other side of eternity.

He is Sovereign Over World History

Proverbs 21:1 ESV
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.
Psalm 22:27–31 ESV
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
Psalm 22:27
Isaiah 10:5–7 ESV
Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few;
Isaiah 10:12–15 ESV
When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones. My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped.” Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!

God is Sovereign in Salvation

Ephesians 1:3
Ephesians 1:3–12 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
1 Corinthians 1:26
1 Corinthians 1:26–31 ESV
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
James 1:16–18 ESV
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

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