The word “sovereign” is not a word that is translated from the original Hebrew or Greek in the Bible. However, there are two Hebrew words and two Greek words used in the Bible that correspond to the word sovereign and are translated as “Lord.”
In the Old Testament:
The first Hebrew word that is translated “Lord” is אָדֹן אָדוֹן ‘âdôn ‘âdôn aw-done’, aw-done.’ From an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine): – lord, master, owner. Compare also names beginning with “Adoni-”.
The second Hebrew word translated “Lord” is יְהֹוָה yehôvâh yeh-ho-vaw.’ From H1961; (the) Self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord. Compare H3050, H3069.
In the New Testament:
The first Greek word for “Lord” is: κύριος; Eng. “kurios” “koo’-ree-os” From κῦρος kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title): – God, Lord, master, Sir. (Strong’s Concordance).
The second Greek wd. translated “Lord” is Δεσπότης despotēs des-pot’-ace: Perhaps from G1210 and πόσις posis (a husband); an absolute ruler (“despot”): – Lord, master. (Strong’s Cond.)
The Definition of the word “sovereign” is a definition that describes God in His preeminence and supremacy over all creation; the same as the word “Lord” in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. God is the Creator of all inanimate (non-living) and animate (living) things. God is the Creator, and the Controller, and the Consummator of all things.
The word “sovereign” means (from Webster Dict.):
Sovereign, as an adjective:
- Supreme in power or authority; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.
- Supreme; superior to all others; chief.
Sovereign, as a noun:
- A supreme lord or ruler; one who possesses the highest authority without control. Some earthly princes, kings and emperors are sovereigns in their dominions
- A supreme magistrate; a king.
In summary of the definition of Who God is in relation to us: First, God is Sovereign; which means He, being the Creator (Gen. 1:1), is Supreme; the Absolute Authority; and the Absolute Ruler over His own creation. Therefore, God is the Controller of all creation; and He is the Consummator of all His Creation. This fact, or truth, means that even Man is under the control of the Sovereignty of God; the “I Am that I Am”; Jehovah; the only Eternal One; the self-existent One; and the God of relationship to His people.
God’s Sovereignty is not only over some men; but over all men. There is only One, True and Living God; and His Name is Jehovah, Joshua, and even Jesus. This same God revealed Himself in the face of Jesus Christ; God in the flesh, yet without sin; to His people as Messiah of the Old Testament, Jehovah of the Old Testament, Jesus (God in the flesh) in the New Testament; as That Prophet, the Great High Priest; Sacrifice for the sin debt; the Substitute for His people on the Cross; and Savior (as Redeemer, Righteousness, Wisdom, Sanctifier and Justifier); and is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Jesus revealed to the Apostle John that He was Sovereign (or Supreme in authority and power) because of being First and Last: (Rev 1:11) “Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last…” (Rev 1:17-18) “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
Therefore, Jesus, God in the Flesh was, and is, the Creator and Consummator of all creation (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-19).
Second, God is Sovereign because He is the Consummator (the Judge) of all His Creation (this includes the saved and the unsaved). The Apostle Paul wrote that not only Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, The Creator of all things; but, Jesus Christ is the Judge of His creation: (Heb 9:27) “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Paul records that all the saved shall come before Christ to face The Judge Christ: (2 Co 5:10) “For we must all (all the saved) appear before the judgment seat of Christ…”
The Apostle John wrote that all the unsaved would appear before Jesus Christ, The Judge (Rev 20:11-15).
The previous verses prove that Christ, God in the Flesh, yet without sin, is the Creator (Gen. 1:1) and Consummator of His Creation (as the final Judge) both of the saved and of the unsaved.
Third, not only is God the Creator and Consummator of His Creation; He is also the Controller of His Creation. Notice the following verses to prove that God is also the Controller of His creation:
- (Psa 115:3) “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Ps. 136:5)
- (Psa 37:23) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”
- (Job 14:5) “Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;”
- (Job 23:13)“But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.”
- (Job 23:14) “For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.”
- (Pro 19:21) “There are many devices (or plans or schemes) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”
- (Psa 110:3) “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power…”
- (Ecc 11:5) “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”
- (Jer 13:23) “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? …”
- (Isa 46:9) “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”
- (Isa 46:10) “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”
- (Isa 46:11) “Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
There are multitudes of verses in the Bible to reveal that God is Sovereign in the Creation, the Control of, and the Consummation of His Creation; there are too many to list in this devotion. Many Christians will agree that God is Sovereign in everything but in man’s salvation. However, the Bible reveals just the opposite (Eph. 1:4-11; Rom. 8:29-39; 2 Tim. 1:9-10; and many, many more); for the Bible reveals that God, before the foundation of the world, had an Eternal Covenant of Salvation in Christ Jesus for those chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. (Read Eph. 1:4-14.) Eph. 1:4-6 reveal Eternal Justification – in the mind and choice of God. 2 Cor. 5:21 reveals Judicial Justification – in time, Christ came to earth; He made atonement for the sinner’s sin debt, as the sinner’s Substitute as the sinner’s Sacrifice where Christ paid the Ransom price for our Reconciliation, Redemption, and Justification (Eph. 1:7-11; Rom. 3:24-25). And then is Experiential Justification (Eph. 1:12-14; Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:5-6); when the Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner, and brings the quickened sinner to conversion.
The Bible reveals that God is the Author of our conception in the womb; of how we are made in the womb; of our individual characteristics; ordaining the day of our birth; giving breath at birth; ordering our steps of life; sustaining our life; ordaining where we live, where we work, who we marry; and yes, ordaining the number of our days on this earth. Therefore, He has ordained the day of our death. (Refer to the 12 verses listed above; also see Ecc. 3:1-2; Ps. 31:15.)
But, these facts presented from the Written Word of God, is where the problem arises in many people concerning the Sovereignty of God in every aspect of life. Many give assent to the Sovereignty of God, and you hear people say at the funeral visitation of a beloved friend: ‘Well, it was just his time to go.’ But when this statement is investigated with the one who made it, they began to fudge and say: ‘If he had just done this, or that, etc. – he would have lived longer.’ There are many, many such examples; but time and space prohibit from giving anymore examples. When everything is said and done, many (if not most) Christian people believe God is the Creator of all things; and even say that God is all-powerful, and that He died on the Cross to make an Atonement for sin.
However, for the most part, Christian people think like the humanist thinks; and that is, it is up to man’s “free will” to determine his own destiny. Of course there are varying degrees of people’s acknowledgement of God’s Sovereignty. Some believe in the Absolute Sovereignty of God; and some believe in Partial Sovereignty of God. The Partial group labels the Absoluters as fatalist, as robots; and they say the Absoluters make God a God of hate and wrath, and not a God of love. On the other hand the Absoluters call the Partials compromisers of Biblical truth, and say that the Partials make themselves equal to God in determining their own destiny.
Keep in mind the primary focus of this devotion, and the devotions to follow in this series, is not a defense of the Sovereignty of God; but stating the fact (or truth) of the Sovereignty of God as presented and explained in the Written Word of God. The second reason for this series of devotions is to give a Biblical explanation of why it is hard for many Christians to accept the Absolute Sovereignty of God.
The common accusation of the Partialist group is found in the Five questions posed by the Apostle Paul in Rom. 9:14-24. In the answer to these questions, Paul explains the difference in the children of Abraham; that is why one group was called “the children of the flesh” (typed out in Esau), and the second group is called “the children of the Promise” (typed out in Jacob), as is found in Rom. 9:6-24.
Paul begins his explanation by showing the Purpose of God in making a definite difference in Esau and in Jacob as to the Promise. The word “Promise” makes the difference of these two men on a spiritual plane. The “difference” is of God’s will; and it had nothing to do with the merits of either man:
(Rom 9:9-13) “For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. (10) And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (11) (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth😉 (12) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. (13) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
Paul very plainly states the Truth of the Sovereignty of God in the following questions and answers concerning the typology that each one (Esau and Jacob), two nations were in Rebekah’s womb: Esau would represent the Old Testament, the “unprofitable servant”; and Jacob would represent the New Testament; the “profitable servant.” See Gen 25:23: “And the LORD said unto her (Rebekah), Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
The First Question and Answer:
(14) “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
(15) For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
(16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
(17) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
(18) Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”
The Second Question and God Answers:
(19) “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
(20) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”
The Third Question and Answer:
(21) “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”
The Fourth Question and Answer:
(22) “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:”
The Fifth Question and Answer:
(23) “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
(24) Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”
The above Scriptures were given not for debate; but to declare the Truth of the Sovereignty of God, as illustrated in the Written Word of God as is found in Romans 9:6-24. The premise of these devotions, “Why is it hard to accept the Sovereignty of God?” is that the Sovereignty of God (or the absolute Supremacy of God in Authority and Power over His Creation) is a Fact, or Truth.
This being Truth, the next devotion titled, “Surrendering to the Sovereignty of God” will explain the first step for a child of God to take in order to Surrender to the Sovereignty of God. The problem that many Christians face, in finding that it is hard to accept the Sovereignty of God in and over His creation, is presented; and the solution will also be given in the next devotion, Part One.
If you find that you resist the truth of God’s Absolute Sovereignty, please examine the Scriptures that are given in this devotion and those that follow. Do your examination in prayer, and request that The Holy Spirit (Who is our Teacher; 1 Jn. 2:20, 27) give you the interpretation of the Scriptures given.
Take note, in all the regenerated children of God, the “old man” has been dethroned by the Holy Spirit of God. He (the old man) has lost his control of your spirit; for he has been replaced by the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:22-24), or called the “new man,” the new nature. However, the old man is still living in you, even though he has been crucified and is no longer in control; and tries daily to assert himself again and again; and in so doing, he tries to get you to follow his advice. The old man hates God; and he is in rebellion to God as Head of your life, as King of your life, and as the first Love of your life. Be on defense, for the old man hates the Sovereignty of God; for the old man knows when the child of God surrenders to the Absolute Sovereignty of God – then the believer will walk in perfect peace, and in the love of God, and in the power of God, and in the Joy of the Holy Ghost.