Either you and I are sovereign over our lives—or God is sovereign. There is no other option.
The sovereignty of God is foundational to Reformed theology, and I learned it from Dr. Sproul. The truth hit home for me during my college years, shaping the trajectory of my life and of my family’s life. Like many Christians, I had misunderstood what it means that God is sovereign, so my faith was easily shaken.
New vistas were opened for me as R.C. taught the Scriptures. I saw more clearly the message of the Word of God and the God of the Word. I realized that what we believe here is no insignificant matter. As R.C. so often said, “If God is not sovereign, then God is not God.”
We seek to boldly proclaim the sovereignty of God, in all of history and in our personal lives, to as many people as possible around the world. We do this because there is nothing more important and life-giving than to know God as He is. We can know who we are only when we know who God is. When we see the look of fear that engulfs billions of souls today, it becomes clear that the false view that we’re in control, rather than God, is catastrophic.
Today, men and women do not know who they are. Our corrupted humanity invents empty ideas of reality, and we often see those ideas in the arguments surrounding the sanctity of human life and the basic biological facts of boys and girls. Even 2+2=4 is being questioned.
Ignorance of who the one true God is in all His fullness lies at the root of this. R.C. made that point again and again in his teaching ministry. Human beings are made in the image of God, (Gen. 1:26–27), and if we don’t know the One in whose image we are made, we’ll be confused about who we are. When people don’t know the truth of God, they are forced to make up the answers to the fundamental questions of human identity. The results, as we can see all around us, are disastrous.
The answers to the questions of human identity provided by the world are twisted, and sadly, the answers provided in many churches also fall short. Here is where the doctrine of God’s sovereignty matters. If God does not sovereignly define and control human identity, then we must turn within ourselves. Though the mantra of “find yourself,” sounds liberating, it leads to enslavement—enslavement to our desires, to worldly philosophies, to anything but that which grants us full humanity.
Some people mistakenly reason that if God chooses according to His good pleasure who will be saved, then men and women cannot be truly free, and therefore we cannot be truly human. However, Scripture reveals the opposite to be true—God’s absolute sovereignty actually establishes human freedom:
Understanding the sovereignty of God frees us to receive our identity from Him in and through Christ; we’re no longer crushed under the never-ending pressure of having to reinvent our identity according to passing whims.
Understanding the sovereignty of God frees us to rest the salvation of our loved ones in His hands and find comfort that He’ll save His elect in His time.
Understanding the sovereignty of God frees us to proclaim the gospel boldly, knowing that He can use even our imperfect words to redeem His people.
Understanding the sovereignty of God frees us to be confident that He’ll complete His work of salvation in us and that we’ll not finally fall away.
Understanding the sovereignty of God frees us to give Him all the glory.