The Perception of the Position
(Romans 9:18) “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”
(Romans 9:20) “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?”
(Romans 9:21) “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”
There is a natural desire placed in all men to have access to a “higher power” to help in certain instances wherein man cannot help himself. Man knows by experience of his own limitations in what he can see, and in what he can do. He knows that he cannot create life; cannot add days to his life; cannot stop death; and cannot control his health. He has no control over his natural intelligence; his body characteristics; or the color of his skin. He cannot control his own thoughts, much less anyone else’s thoughts, etc.
Man without God in his spirit has been searching for ages to find something with god-like abilities that he could call on in his time of need, and even one he could worship.
Examples of man’s innate desire to have access to a god is seen in man’s imagination – such as Greek Mythology; super-human heroes; fake divine writings written by men and peddled as truth, but which are the writings of depraved men giving the false god credit – all of this is fabricated for man to be worshipped as a god. Man’s imagination evolves into his invention of idols of wood, stone, brass, etc. (as the pagans and heathens have); idols that cannot move or talk, and are lifeless. (See Acts 17:23; the altar to the unknown god.) This innate desire is also seen in men ascribing deity to the creations such as the sun, moon, animals, etc. And finally, men seek to make gods out of other men who possess superior intelligence and abilities above others – seeking the help of men to heal their bodies; to extend their life – and those men of stirring philosophies and talents.
The reason for man’s desire to worship can only be attributed to Jehovah (the only True and Living God). When God created the first man, Adam, God gave man a conscience and wrote His law in man’s spirit, as evidenced in (Gen. 2 – 3). These two things guide man in morality, and reveal the nature of sin. However, conscience and law do not give you the power to restrain from sin (as Adam and Eve did sin against God in the Garden of Eden; Gen. 3:1-14); nor give you the perception, or Divine understanding, of God being your personal God; nor of your position in God (which only comes through the regeneration of the sinner by the Spirit of God). But, they do give direction and guidance to the One and only God, Jehovah; the God of the Bible; the God of Creation, the God of Control, and the God of Consummation. The conscience and the law were written by God on the heart of every man to reveal sin, and to guide man to moral excellence. However, unless God gives the gift of faith to the person, that person does not have spiritual perception of the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).
The word Sovereign, as an adjective, is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as:
- Supreme in power or authority; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.
- Supreme; superior to all others; chief.
The word Sovereign, as a noun, is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as:
- 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.
God (Jehovah) is The Sovereign because the Bible records in (Gen 1:1) that He is First: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Also, He is the Creator of all matter; inanimate and animate. “In the beginning GOD…” There was none before Him.
The prophet Isaiah wrote:
(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) “….yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
Therefore, being the Creator of all things, God is First. He, being the Creator, is also the Controller of His own creation. Paul said in (Rom 9:20) “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?” God, being the Creator, has the Absolute Right to do as He pleases with His Creation. God is Just and Holy; therefore, all His control of His creation is planned and purposed within the parameters of God’s attributes.
(Isa 45:21) “Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.”
However, natural man, or man in his unregenerated condition – which is dead in trespasses and sin – cannot perceive spiritual things of God. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life are the unregenerated man’s primary guiding principles. Therefore he seeks wisdom from men. He creates his own gods from the work of his own hands, and out of his sin-darkened imagination. He can, by his conscience and the law being written in his spirit, see God as the Creator; but without the indwelling of Christ in his spirit, he worships the creation rather than the Creator. This way he can control his god of his own creation. But his god has no life, no power; it cannot move, nor speak.
But, to bow to the Sovereignty of the One True and Living God (or to His absolute rule and control over him); man cannot do it – without God giving him the ability to perceive Who He is, and giving him the power to surrender to Him as his Sovereign Ruler and Controller. Man cannot, nor will he ever, surrender his so-called “free will” to God; for He knows he cannot manipulate God. The unregenerated man wants a man/god and not The God/Man to rule and reign in his spirit and life. He is in rebellion to God, and has self on the throne. Man will never relinquish his rule of himself to the rule of God without a nature change; from the old man to the new man. The reason being: he is born totally depraved – which means he is spiritually dead in trespasses and sin; his flesh is in charge of his spirit – until regeneration.
Therefore, the perception of Who God is – as Love, Mercy, and Grace – comes only in a personal relationship given to man in the process of regeneration by the Holy Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:5-6). When man is born from above by the Holy Spirit of God (Jn. 3:3-8); then man is given life (proven by his spiritual resurrection or quickening (made alive) from being dead in trespasses and sin) (Rom 6:4; Eph. 2:1; Jn. 6:63, 65). His soul is separated from his spirit (Heb. 4:12); he is given the gift of faith (Eph. 2:8-9), and the gift of repentance for his sins (Acts 5:31). He is given eyes to see and ears to hear spiritual things of God (1 Cor. 2:9-16); and given a New Nature (2 Cor. 5:17), one that is “created after God in true Righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). He is drawn to God and taught by God (Jn. 6:44-45); and brought by God to confess that he knows that Christ is his Substitute, Sacrifice, and Savior (Rom. 10:9-10) for his sin debt; to redeem him from the curse of the law (spiritual death), from the power of sin, from the penalty of sin, and from the punishment of sin.
The regenerated sinner now knows he is no longer a bond slave of unrighteousness; but now is bond slave of Righteousness. He now loves God more than himself. He has a new will because he now hears, sees, and knows that he is to keep the commandments of Christ. He also knows that God dwells in him; and therefore, he possesses the power to overcome sin in his life. He knows that he is a son of God, whereby he cries “Abba, Father.” Now he loves the brethren. He knows that he is not his own any longer; for he is now to glorify God in his body and in his spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Therefore, the First Step in Surrendering to the Sovereignty of God is that you first must know (by experience of the New Birth) that you are “in Christ” as to Position; which knowledge comes about through the process of Regeneration. Your Position is one of Reconciliation, Redemption, Justification, Sanctification, and Wisdom in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30). That is, that Christ is your Substitute, Sacrifice, Savior, and Security. The regenerated sinner now knows that Salvation is of the Lord; that it is on the basis of the Nature of God (that is knowing Who God is); upon the Will of God (that is the Eternal Purpose of God in Christ and His Purpose for you); and upon the Works of Jesus Christ in the Atonement Process on the Cross (being God, the Perfect Sinless Sacrifice to reconcile, redeem, and justify the sinner from his sin debt) for the chosen sinner – and not on any of his merits as a sinner. He knows not only that God created him; but also that God created him with a purpose, as a vessel of honor, to receive Grace and Mercy, to become one with God, and to be a witness of the Grace of God to others, in revealing the change that comes to a sinner when the Love of God is shed aboard in the heart of the sinner by the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows that he is now a New Creation with the command to keep the commandments of God; even to walk in the peace and holiness of God.
Therefore, the first step to Surrendering to God as Sovereign is to surrender to the truth that “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9); and not of the works of himself, or on any of his merits – for Christ is The Life; Eternal Life (1 Jn. 5:20). It is Christ, and Him alone, that has the power to call the dead sinner in trespasses and sin to life (Jn. 6:63); and it is God alone that teaches the converted sinner of his Position in Christ, now and forever and ever. Therefore, the converted sinner knows that he is not his own any longer; he knows that God owns his body, soul, and spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Now he is a slave of Righteousness; and he is to bow to God as his Creator, Controller, and Consummator. It is God that made him; gave him his characteristics; gave him his talents; even placed him geographically – and all this was done for the glory of God, and for his good. Therefore, being given this “understanding,” or perception, of who he is in Christ (1 Jn. 5:20); then he surrenders to God as Sovereign in his life. He surrenders to God as the One who has a plan and purpose for his life. No ‘ifs’ or ‘ands’ or ‘buts’; for he confesses: ‘God you are in control of my life, my breath, my days on this earth, and all in between.’
The regenerated, then comes to Surrender to the Sovereignty of God, and say:
I am Yours and You are mine. Do as you please with me, for I know that You are my Creator, my Controller, and my Consummator. I know that I was created for Your honor and good pleasure; and I know You have good for me. I know that Your “exceeding great and precious promises” are for me; and You will never leave me or forsake me. Yes God, You are my All in All; You are my Head, my Authority, my King, and my Sovereign. I have been given, through the gift of faith, the ability to believe Your Word, and rest in Your Power to keep Your Promises for me. Yes God, no matter what my outward circumstances are, I will trust in You. Therefore, I surrender to Your Sovereignty; for You are God, the only True and Living God; You are my God. Therefore, You own me. Here I am God, for Your service.