Musings on Sovereignty 7

The late deservedly celebrated Dr. Young, though he affected great opposition to some of the doctrines called Calvinistic, was yet compelled, by the force of truth, to acknowledge that “there is not a fly but has had infinite wisdom concerned not only in its structure, but in its destination.” Nor did the late learned and excellent Bishop Hopkins go a jot too far in asserting as follows: “A sparrow, whose price is but mean, two of them valued at a farthing (which some make to be the tenth part of a Roman penny, and was certainly one of their least coins), and whose life, therefore, is but contemptible, and whose flight seems giddy and at random; yet it falls not to the ground, neither lights anywhere, without your Father. His all-wise Providence hath before appointed what bough it shall pitch on, what grains it shall pick up, where it shall lodge, and where it shall build; on what it shall live, and where it shall die.” Our Savior adds, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. God keeps an account even of that stringy excrescence. Do you see a thousand little motes and atoms wondering up and down in a sun-beam? It is God that so peoples it, and He guides their innumerable and irregular strayings. Not a dust flies in a beaten road but God raiseth it, conducts its uncertain motion, and, by His particular care, conveys it to the certain place He had before appointed for it; nor shall the most fierce and tempestuous wind hurry it any further. Nothing comes to pass but God hath His ends in it, and will certainly make His own ends out of it. Though the world seems to run at random, and affairs to be huddled together in blind confusion, and rude disorder, yet, God sees and knows the concatenation of all causes and effects, and so governs them that He makes a perfect harmony out of all those seeming jarrings and discords. It is most necessary that we should have our hearts well established in the firm and unwavering belief of this truth, that whatsoever comes to pass, be it good or evil, we may look up to the hand and disposal of all, to God. In respect of God, there is nothing causal nor contingent in the world. Augustus Toplady

It is so striking how fundamentally different the thinking of the men above was as compared to the thinking of today. In the modern day men start with everything from a man centered point of view and God is thought to be in the service of man. In the past (with the men above and others in that day as well) men thought of God as the starting point and that everything followed from there. They thought of God as being centered upon Himself and not man. They thought of God as gloriously do all for Himself and His own glory.

The doctrine of the sovereignty of God permeates the whole of the doctrine of God and all the doctrines of Scripture. When Moses cried out for God to show him His glory, the Lord declared that He would be gracious to whom He would be gracious. That is sovereignty and it is an aspect of the divine glory. Indeed, it is a brilliant aspect to that glory and it is a beautiful aspect to that glory. This doctrine of sovereignty is at the heart of what it means to be God. This doctrine of sovereignty is at the heart of the Gospel of grace alone. However, in our day men want to water the sovereignty of God down and make it out to be less than what sovereignty really is. They do so in order to be popular with men and to climb the ranks of denominations.

When men water the sovereignty of God down, they are attacking the very nature of God and the very glory of God. If the sovereignty of God is watered down, then the so-called sovereignty or freedom of man is lifted up and exalted to the throne of God. The Gospel is changed from the Gospel of grace alone to the gospel of mostly grace but a little of the acts of men. This simply cannot be tolerated as it is a different Gospel and a different God. We cannot expect for God to come down and show Himself in glory if we are going to water the truths of Him down. We cannot expect God to use the message from our lips to truly convert sinners if we are not going to preach the truth of God and the truth of grace.

Many claim to be seeking revival today, but apart from standing on the full sovereignty of God there will be no true revival. There may be false things rise up, but when the truth of God is not declared we cannot expect revival to happen. No, it is not because God is waiting on us to get the message right, but He is not making hearts in ministers and so-called ministers with the right message. We must cry out to the sovereign God to give us hearts that love Him and His sovereignty and His sovereignty in Jesus Christ. If we don’t really want that, then we must seek Him to give us that desire. There will be no real revival until ministers are broken from self and pride and they seek the glory of the sovereign God in truth from the heart.

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