Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Sovereignty of God

The sixth chapter in Arthur Pink's book The Attributes of God (Baker Books, 1975) is entitled "The Sovereignty of God” and is an extension of the last chapter. Pink argues that the supremacy of God is his exaltation and power over all things while the sovereignty of God is the exercise of his supremacy. In other words, the sovereignty of God makes the supremacy of God visible.

“Divine sovereignty means that God is God in fact, as well as in name, that he is on the Throne of the universe, directing all things, working all things ‘after the counsel of his will’ (Ephesians 1:11)…‘Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that he did in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places’ (Psalm 135:6). Yes, dear reader, such is the imperial Potentate revealed in Holy Writ. Unrivalled in majesty, unlimited in power, unaffected by anything outside himself” (40-41).

But at this point many object for, they say, such a view of the sovereignty of God excludes human will and responsibility. However, Pink counters, the sovereignty of God does not exclude human will or responsibility rather it is the basis of both. “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). And among what he pleases is making creatures as he sees fit—angels, Adam, Israel, the elect, whomever—with whatever freedom of will he decrees. For instance, “What right has the husband to require submission from his wife? None, unless God had appointed it…[In this way,] human responsibility is based upon Divine sovereignty” (44).

“Many have most foolishly said that it is quite impossible to show where Divine sovereignty ends and creature accountability begins. Here is where creature responsibility begins: in the sovereign ordination of the Creator. As to his sovereignty, there is not and never will be any ‘end’ to it!” (43)

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