This is a devotion I presented to my colleagues at Hamilton Christian School expounding the second point in our statement of faith. It was well received by staff and again with students later, so I thought I would share it here also. I pray it is edifying to your soul.
Traditionally, when we come into the presence of a King, we must be on our best behaviour. If we offend the King, he has authority and power to have us beheaded! If we travelled to a far away country, ruled by a monarch, we become subject to his rules as soon as we cross the border and enter his land. This is the sovereignty of a ruler: to have ruling authority and power over his dominion.
Now, the sovereignty of God is not limited the way it is for a mere man. God’s sovereignty is perfect and absolute. There is no sneaky revolt or resistance against God. You cannot overthrow the rule of the King of the universe.
Creation, revelation, redemption, and final judgement. God rules over these things perfectly, and accomplishes his purposes perfectly.
God’s sovereignty in creation is expressed in his totally free choice whether to create or not. Nobody existed in eternity past to persuade him to create. He did not need to create as he is totally self-sufficient within his own triune being. It is ultimately a mystery to us why he did choose to make the universe, but we do know that his creation exists to glorify himself, and that the fall of all creation was no surprise to him but is a part of his perfect purpose in glorifying himself.
All this talk of self-glory sounds awfully arrogant and lacking of humility to our human ears, but God is right to seek his own glory because he is God! He rightly loves himself the most, and gains the most joy out of loving himself perfectly within his triunity… I wish we could even begin to comprehend what that looks like!
God’s sovereignty in revelation is shown in his totally free choice to reveal truth to humanity. This is not only the special truth of his personal self and the gospel in the Bible, but is general truth as seen in the natural order of things too. The Spirit of God is active in a more personal sense also, revealing himself to each of us who believe through his word. God would have been well within his rights to leave us ignorant of any truth, fumbling around in existence without a clue about the difference between our back and our front… Yet he goes so far to bless us with the wonderful knowledge of himself!
God’s sovereignty in redemption is shown in his totally free choice to save us from our sin by sending Jesus. This is closely linked with his free choice to judge sinful humanity and justly punish all that offends him. God freely chose to create hell, as the deserving punishment for sin and the necessary consequence of his free choice to allow the fall to happen. He freely chose to take the weight of hell upon himself in Christ, his Son. This was an uncoerced deed expressing absolute love and glory for God in:
- His ordaining this plan through the Father
- Carrying it out in obedience through the Son, and
- Effectually applying it to those who are born again through the power of the Spirit.
God’s love for us, even in salvation, is firstly love for himself, as all expression of our love for others should be too. We love because he first loved us and loving him can’t help but lead to loving our neighbour.
Finally, why is this in a statement of faith that separates us from the world and from liberal forms of so-called faith? Because this foundational knowledge of God is essential to everything we should seek to do in life. There is no purpose in serving ourselves or some godless philosophy. Ours is a life of joyful service to our sovereign and most worthy ruler, the eternal King Jehovah.