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The Sovereignty of God

Pastor Tom Ascol continues the series on “The Attributes of God” with a message entitled “God Is Sovereign.” When the Bible speaks of God’s sovereignty it speaks of His rule and reign over all things. Isaiah 46:10, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure,” indicates both His rule and overrule in the affairs of life.

There are three specific realms where God is sovereign. First is creation. Genesis 1:1 leaves little room for other explanation; God created and rules. God answers the challenges of Job in Chapter 38 plainly claiming creation and sovereignty. God’s sovereignty also extends to providence. Hebrews 1:3 states “He upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Nothing happens without His ordination. He uses normal natural-course-of-life events (Acts 27:22 – 26) as well as miraculous interventions (Romans 4:19 – 21) to effect His will and plan. He is sovereign over people (Exodus 3:21 – 22; 12:35 – 36), over nations (2 Chronicles 20:6; Isaiah 40:23 – 24), and nature (Jeremiah 14:22; Amos 4:7 – 9; Exodus 4:11).

While God is shown to be sovereign over creation and providence He has also accomplished a great work as the Sovereign of redemption. He sovereignly has planned our salvation (Ephesians 1:4 – 6; John 6:37; Acts 13:48), accomplishes it (Acts 2:20 – 27; Isaiah 53:10; Acts 4:26 – 28), and applies it (John 3:3 – 8; Galatians 1:15 – 16). While it may be hard for us to comprehend all that is involved with God’s sovereign predestination that does not make it any less true. Man is responsible to believe the revelation he has been given. Nowhere does that mean we must understand everything. Some things are beyond our ability to comprehend and so, by faith, we must take God at His word.

Recognizing God’s sovereignty points believers to four actions. First among the four is worship (Romans 11:33; Ephesians 1:4 – 14). That God has chosen us leaves us without alternative but to worship Him. There is also a necessary reverence (Job 42:1 – 6). Beholding with awe all God’s creation, providence, and redemption allows only for amazement and accompanying reverence. Prayer is the third action (Acts 4:26 – 28). Somehow, seemingly inexplicably, the prayers of the saints are intertwined with God’s providence. He has commanded prayer and promised to answer. Finally, the saints are led to evangelization (Matthew 11:25 – 30; Romans 9:1 – 3). God uses his saints to spread the gospel to those who have been set apart for salvation since before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4). It is a responsibility not to be ignored lightly.

It may be that the Lord is using this message to speak to the heart of one who has been set apart, whose separation from God can be turned to a separation to God by responding to Jesus’ call to come to Him. Do you have a good reason not to heed His call? Does such a reason even exist?

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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