by Don Fortner
There is absolutely no difference between the
denial of God's sovereignty and the denial of
God's being. Arminianism is neither more nor
less than religious atheism.
The sovereignty of God's grace is set before us
most clearly in Hebrews 2:16. It is written, "For
verily he took not on him the nature of angels;
but he took on him the seed of Abraham."
The Sovereignty Of God's Grace--
We were lost, rushing headlong to destruction,
until Christ reached down the hand of his sovereign
power and delivered us. Every saved sinner is "a
brand plucked from the burning" (Zech. 3:2),
snatched out of the jaws of hell, snatched out
from among perishing men by sovereign mercy
and irresistible grace. He passed by the fallen
angels, and took hold upon the seed of Abraham.
God our Savior reserves the right of absolute
sovereignty in the exercise of his saving grace
and in the application of his mercy. As he is
sovereign in creation and in providence, our God
is absolutely sovereign in the salvation of sinners.
Let men, if they dare, deny it, ridicule it, and rebel
against it as they will. Godís indisputable sovereignty
is a fundamental doctrine of Holy Scripture, a vital
point of Christian theology.
Sovereign Grace Illustrated
Grace For Fallen Men Ė No Grace For Fallen Angels
As a result of their sin, the angels were forever
doomed to suffer the wrath of God. No mercy was
extended to them. No grace was offered to them.
No Savior was sent to deliver them. The fallen
angels were forever damned without the least
measure of grace. The angels who sinned were
passed by, reprobate, without mercy.
Yet, when Adam did the same thing, God extended
mercy to man. That is divine sovereignty.
Why did God pass by the angels that fell?
Why did God extend mercy to fallen men?
Only one answer can be given, "He has mercy
on whom he will have mercy, and whom he
will he hardens" (Rom. 9:18).
The God of the Bible is an absolute sovereign.
He can save you, or he can damn you. That is
his right as God. It is entirely up to him.
Great Grace For Some Men -- No Grace For Others
Among the fallen sons of Adam there are some who
are chosen of God, to whom he will be gracious, and
there are some whom God has passed by, to whom
no grace is given.
Adam had two sons, Cain and Abel. God
passed by Cain, the older, and saved Abel.
Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
God passed by Ishmael and saved Isaac.
Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. God
passed by Esau because he hated Esau, and
saved Jacob because he loved Jacob.
In the days of Noah, God destroyed the entire
human race, except for one man and his family.
Why did God save Noah? Because "Noah found
grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Gen. 6:8).
It is Godís right as God to do with his own what
he will, to be gracious to whom he will be gracious,
to have compassion on whom he will have compassion,
to save whom he will and to harden whom he will.
The God of glory is absolutely sovereign in salvation.
He wounds; and he heals.
He kills; and he makes alive.
It is his sovereign right to either save me or damn
me, to either be gracious to me, or to pass me by.
For Godís elect, and them alone, he made intercession.
For them, and them alone, he shed his precious blood.
For them, and them alone, he obtained eternal redemption.
In this day of man centered, man exalting, man
pleasing "will worship," while men everywhere
declare Godís helplessness, I am determined to
lift high the glorious banner of Godís absolute
sovereignty, calling for proud worms to bow
down before Godís sovereign throne. I am, in
the name of God, calling for lost sinners to lay
down your weapons of rebellion and surrender
to God our Savior in his total sovereignty.
Do you ask, "Where does that leave man?"
I answer, it leaves man in the hands of God almighty.
Do you ask, "What about my choice? Have I no
choice in this matter?" I answer, you do indeed.
You have two choices: Either surrender to Christ's
sovereign dominion, or be crushed into hell for
Men rail at Godís servants for preaching the
sovereignty of his free grace in Christ. They
angrily denounce us. I care nothing for their
opinions. I count it an honor to be the brunt
of their slander and scorn. If a man hates the
truth, I shall never be backward about stirring
up his wrath. If a man is offended by the
character of God, I shall be delighted to
offend him (Isa. 45:5-10, 20-25; 43:1-13).
It is the very glory of God to have mercy on
whom he will have mercy and to be gracious
to whom he will be gracious (Ex. 34:6).
Those who deny his sovereignty hate the fact
that he is God and would rob him of his glory
as God. Do not be numbered among them.