“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16

Creation and the Bible are full of examples of God’s sovereignty.  Wayne Grudem defines sovereignty as “God’s exercise of power over all of His creation.”  God is described as existing eternally (Ephesians 1:4), the Creator (Genesis 1:1), knowable (Jeremiah 9:24), independent (Acts 17:24-25), unchangeable (Malachi 3:6), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscient (1 John 3:20), all-wise (Romans 16:27), all-good (Luke 18:19), all-loving (1 John 4:8), omnipotent (Genesis 18:14, Matthew 19:26) and sovereign (Ephesians 1:11).

It is particularly helpful to see how God works in salvation to see His saving power over His creation. Have you read “What Does the Bible Say about Salvation?” yet?  If not, it’s a great place to start!

Top Bible Verses on God’s Sovereignty

(Romans 11:33-36) Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! [34 ] “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”[35 ] “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” [36 ] For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Job 38-39

(Romans 4:17) God “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.”

(Job 40:1-5) And the LORD said to Job: [2 ] “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” [3 ] Then Job answered the LORD and said: [4 ] “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. [5 ] I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”

(Romans 11:36) For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.

(1 Corinthians 8:6)  yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. 

(1 Corinthians 15:10)  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

(Ephesians 1:11) 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

(Acts 4:27-28) for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, [28] to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

(Matthew 6:10) Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

(James 4:15) Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

Top Books on Divine Sovereignty and Human Will

  1. Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility by D.A. Carson
  2. The Doctrine of God by John Frame
  3. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
  4. Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper and Justin Taylor.  Available free at: www.desiringgod.org/books/suffering-and-the-sovereignty-of-god.
  5. Whomever He Wills: A Surprising Display of Sovereign Mercy edited by Matthew M. Barrett and Thomas J. Nettles
  6. Five Points by John Piper.  Available free at: www.desiringgod.org/books/five-points.

Helpful Terms and Quotes on God’s Sovereignty

  • Sovereignty: God’s exercise of power over all of His creation.” Wayne Grudem
  • "Salvation is from our side a choice; from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our accepting and willing are reactions rather than actions." - A.W. Tozer
  • "Is it not wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside ourselves?" – Martin Luther
  • "God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination." - Augustine
  • “I am myself persuaded that the points of the Calvinist alone is right upon some points, and the Arminian alone is right upon others. There is a great deal of truth in the positive side of both systems, and a great deal of error in the negative side of both systems. If I were asked, ‘Why is a man damned?’ I should answer as an Arminian answers, ‘He destroys himself’. I should not dare to lay man’s ruin at the door of divine sovereignty.  On the other hand, if I were asked, ‘Why is a man saved?’ I could only give the Calvinist answer, ‘He is saved through the sovereign grace of God, and not at all of himself.’” – Charles Spurgeon

Here are some of our TrustworthyWord resources on God’s Salvation!

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