Musings on Sovereignty 10

It would be foolish for us to expect that this work will meet with general approval. The trend of modern theology—if theology it can be called—is ever toward the deification of the creature rather than the glorification of the Creator, and the leaven of present-day Rationalism is rapidly permeating the whole of Christendom. The malevolent effects of Darwinianism are more far reaching than most are aware. Many of those among our religious leaders who are still regarded as orthodox would, we fear, be found to be very heterodox if they were weighed in the balances of the Sanctuary. Even those who are clear, intellectually, upon other truth, are rarely sound in doctrine. Few, very few, today, really believe in the complete ruin and total depravity of man. Those who speak of man’s “free will,” and insist upon his inherent power to either accept or reject the Savior, do but voice their ignorance of the real condition of Adam’s fallen children. And if there are few who believe that, so far as he is concerned, the condition of the sinner is entirely hopeless, there are fewer still who really believe in the absolute Sovereignty of God. (A.W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God)

The doctrine and biblical teaching of the sovereignty of God seems to have been eclipsed today by many things. The sovereignty of God, while many would verbally assent to it, in the doctrine of it, the preaching of it, and the application of it appears to be absent in the modern professing Church. While the sovereignty of God may be mentioned, where can one find it really preached and perhaps stressed? If the true God is indeed sovereign, then can we preach the true God if we do not preach and even stress sovereignty?

If the sovereignty of God is not preached, then are we not by neglect allowing for or even pushing the sovereignty of man? Is this not, as Pink says above, something toward the deification of the creature? If we are not preaching and teaching the sovereignty of God and even being clear about it, I am not sure how we can get away from (at the very least) allowing for the deification of man to be asserted. If we are not preaching and teaching the sovereignty of God, then men will not hear about the true God and will think of themselves as being in control. If men do not look to the hand of the sovereign God for all things, then they will look to themselves. If men do not think of God as absolutely sovereign, it is not clear how they will escape forms of Rationalism and Arminianism. There is no logical stopping point between the sovereignty of God and absolute atheism, though men will usually find a resting point somewhere in between.

Pink notes that many religious leaders with the reputation for being orthodox would be heterodox if they were examined. But why is this? Is there any heterodox position that does not start with an attack on the sovereignty of God in an attempt to exalt man or free man? Even in Reformed (by creed or in name) churches there has been a massive backing away from the sovereignty of God. Fleeing from God as the special Creator of all things is fleeing from the sovereign God. Regardless of where the god of Rationalism will take men, the true God reigns over all at all times and in all ways. God is sovereign and man is not. God is sovereign and science is not. Shall we simply say that God is God and science is science and we must know that while science is a wonderful gift of God, it is not God and it is not sovereign.

The present day certainly appears to be a wonderful time to be alive, yet it is also a very deceptive time to be alive. There are so many things to take our attention from God and so many things to take our time. There are so many religions and so many beliefs that it makes our heads and our hearts swim. However, we must never, never, never back away from the plain and basic truth that God alone is sovereign. It is a wicked and idolatrous thing for men to deny the sovereignty of God and following from that is the idolatrous trust in self. We either look to self for wisdom or we look to the sovereign God for wisdom. We either look to God as all-sufficient or we look to self for some sufficiency in some way. Again, there is no middle ground. God is either absolutely sovereign and reigns supreme over all or He is not and man makes up for the lack in his own estimation. When preachers back off from declaring God as absolutely sovereign, they are making room for men to trust in themselves rather than God.

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