Musings on Sovereignty 14

In addition to the widespread effects of unscriptural teaching, we also have to reckon with the deplorable superficiality of the present generation. To announce that a certain book is a treatise on doctrine is quite sufficient to prejudice against it the great bulk of church-members and most of our preachers as well. The craving today is for something light and spicy, and few have patience, still less desire, to examine carefully that which would make a demand both upon their hearts and their mental powers. We remember, also, ‘how that it is becoming increasingly difficult in these strenuous days for those who are desirous of studying the deeper things of God to find the time which such study requires. Yet, it is still true that “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and in spite of the discouraging features referred to, we believe there is even now a godly remnant who will take pleasure in giving this little work a careful consideration, and such will, we trust, find in it “Meat in due season.” (A.W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God)

It might be important to call to our attention why the sovereignty of God is so vital to basic Christian doctrine. It is true that shallow and superficial teaching will not dive to the heart and reveal the corruption of the hearts nor will it dive to the bottom of the teaching of the real and true God. Shallow and superficial study and teaching will not move people to go beyond what appears to be obvious to the senses and obvious in light of the world. Shallow and superficiality will never see beyond the surface to see the depths and reality of the glory of God.

The sovereignty of God is at the very foundation of God and His kingdom. His kingdom cannot be seen with physical eyes, but instead it is seen with spiritual understanding. There is no doctrine that the sovereignty of God does not touch because God is the very center and the realest reality (so to speak) of all things. When we think of the attributes of God, not one of them can be understood beneath the surface unless we understand them as sovereign. The world was created by a sovereign God and as such it was created because He was pleased to create it and as a way of manifesting or expressing His glory. There is no room for such nonsense as God creating people because He was lonely. That is a terrible heresy if one cares to look beyond the surface.

The Gospel itself cannot be understood in truth apart from the sovereignty of God. He does not save sinners because all of a sudden they decide that they want to be saved, but He saves because He has sovereignly chosen to save. He saves sinners to the praise of the glory of His grace and not because they think they want to at some “random” moment and in order to deliver them from some horrible fate. The grace of God is always sovereign and must be sovereign or it is no longer grace at all. We will either look to Christ as God’s grace or we will look to Christ thinking we move Him because of something we do.

A superficial people in a superficial age will not study their own hearts and they will not want to understand the true nature of God. People do not want to take the time or effort to study, meditate, and pray over the great truths of the faith, yet that is what it will take. People do not want to humble themselves and seek the face of God for Himself; they only want God to the degree that they can get something from Him. A sovereign God, however, knows the hearts of men and as a sovereign and holy God He will not be sought and found by the selfish hearts of people. Until men learn that they are opposed to God in themselves and in their desires, they will not get past their superficiality and seek Him for humility and light.

There is no God but a sovereign God. There is not grace but a sovereign grace. There is no love but a sovereign love. We cannot earn those things and we cannot move God to give them. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is how a sovereign God who sovereignly loves and sovereignly shows grace saves sinners. It is a different God altogether that is waiting on man who thinks he is sovereign. We live in such a superficial day that those things are barely comprehended rather than people seeing those things and seeking Him who alone can show them the depths of their sin and then the depths of His glory. Biblical Christianity rests upon a sovereign God and the Gospel He has sovereignly worked and sovereignly applies. A shallow version of “Christianity” knows virtually nothing of true Christianity though it has the Bible and uses some of the same language.

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