Is God's sovereignty limited?

John Piper, Desiring God Ministries

Is God's sovereignty limited?

I reject this idea because the Bible doesn't teach it. In fact, it teaches the opposite.

  • It teaches that not a bird falls to the ground apart from our Father's will.
  • It teaches that the king's heart is like a river in the hands of the Lord; he turns it wherever he wills.
  • It teaches that when Joseph was sold into Egypt and finally turns around and his brothers are found to be guilty, God says, "You meant it for evil, but I meant it for good."
  • I reject it because the book of Proverbs says that the die is cast into the lap and its every decision is from the Lord; a man designs his way, but the Lord directs his steps; and on and on...

The Bible teaches that God is sovereign, that he rules over all things.

There are emotional reasons as well for believing in God's absolute sovereignty. If I rejected the sovereignty of God over all things including my will and my life, I would lose the very God, the very power that stands behind all the promises that make my life livable in pain.

So when you surrender the sovereignty of God in order to get him off the hook of calamity, you also lose him at the point where you need power to endure the calamity and see all the calamity turned for good. If God is going to be rejected here, then what have I got except God-less calamity?

If that is what people want to choose, they can make that existential decision; but it would be unbiblical and, I think, it would be folly for life.


© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Comments

  • Editors' Picks

    Humanum Conference at The Vatican
    Humanum Conference at The Vatican
  • Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
    Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
  • Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
    Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
;