Let me attempt to postulate some of my beliefs about God’s sovereignty. I have been called by some as a borderline heretic for my views.
For me, God’s sovereignty is directly linked to God’s love. We often see the cross of Jesus Christ and the sacrament of communion as beautiful expressions of God’s love and while it’s hard to argue against those powerful truths, I would contend for another possibility as the ultimate sign of God’s love.
Creation is a beautiful reflection of God’s character. And in that creation, he gives to humanity what I often interpret as the greatest expressions of His love: Freedom or Free will.
What’s even more amazing is that God gives us the gift of freedom knowing the possibility that humanity could sin and rebel. For me, this is stunning.
In giving the gift of Free Will, I believe God actually chooses to “relinquish” power. He still remains in control because power or authority isn’t stripped away from him but in His love, benevolence, and grace, God chooses to give the gift of ‘free will’ to humanity.
In essence, I believe that God is the one True God and sovereign over the entire cosmos and all that is within it. God creates man and woman and gives them this profound gift of free will & freedom and in so doing, chooses to place Himself within the framework that honors the true integrity of free will. In as much as he doesn’t violate the integrity of free will, God exercises his now “self-limited sovereignty” to work in, for, and through circumstances and situations as He pleases – for His Glory, purposes, and plans.
While I can write so much more, let me refrain and seek to answer the one question one may naturally ask:
How is God’s power and authority limited by this “self-limited sovereignty?”
My answer: In the end, God will accomplish and fulfill everything. His will … will be done. But in the process, I believe He will honor the integrity of free will and exercise this “self limited sovereignty.”
Some time ago, one of my parishioners asked me a question that in various forms have been asked of theologians and pastors:
- Question: “Can God do anything?
- My answer: “Yes, God can do anything.”
- Question: “Can God create a stone He can’t move?”
- My answer: “Yes, God can create a stone He can’t move?”
- Question: “Then, how can you believe God is all powerful?”
- My answer: “Because while God can do all things and can create a stone – philosophically speaking – He can’t move, He can then create (or send) Someone that can move the stone…” In the end, God will accomplish His purposes and plans.
Have I thoroughly confused you? (Think John 3:16)
In our human finitude, how can we possibly understand the infinitude of God? We simply marvel and worship the Loving Creator.
This post was originally written as a contribution to Tyler‘s series on the Sovereignty of God.