A good brother, who does not attend the church I pastor, stopped me at my favorite haunt this week and shared what someone from a local church he used to attend said about God’s sovereignty. This man said, “I think God gives us some of his sovereignty.” This kind of unbiblical thinking is becoming popular in some of our churches. In the last 20 years or so, views about God have been undergoing seismic shifts in seminaries, pulpits, and pews throughout America. Views such as Open Theism that stress the limited sovereignty of God are making headway in some evangelical circles.
Often times people who find God’s sovereignty an issue when it comes to a particular doctrine, will try and “rescue God” from being seen as harsh or unloving in the way he exercises his sovereign will. They will try and place limits on him with some actually coming to the erroneous view that God “gives up” something of himself. One man I knew actually believed God placed self-imposed limits on himself so that he left such critical decisions with man. In this way God could not be accused of playing favorites with sinners.
God does not need us to rescue him from hard choices. He is the all-powerful, sovereign God of all creation. He is glorified in all he does, including whenever he exercises his sovereign will. His holy word tells us that he says of himself,
I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give my glory to another (Isa 42:8a, b)
God always does things to bring the most glory to himself. He receives glory every time he acts, every time he chooses, every time he carries out his will. It is wrong to believe that God abdicates this glorious part of his essence in order to give man the privilege to exercise his will in divine matters. He does not share such glory with anyone! It is pure heresy to argue that “God gives us some of his sovereignty.”
The psalmist was correct when he spoke of the sovereignty of God and wrote,
But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases (Ps 115:3).