How do you define Sovereignty

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by romanbear, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. romanbear

    romanbear
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    Hi everyone;
    This is what my dictionary says;
    Sovereign
    SOVEREIGN, a. suv'eran. [We retain this babarous orthography from the Norman sovereign. The true spelling would be suveran from the L. supernes, superus.]

    1. Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.

    2. Supreme; superior to all others; chief. God is the sovereign good of all who love and obey him.

    3. Supremely efficacious; superior to all others; predominant; effectual; as a sovereign remedy.

    4. Supreme; pertaining to the first magistrate of a nation; as sovereign authority.

    SOVEREIGN, n. suv'eran.

    1. A supreme lord or ruler; one who possesses the highest authority without control. Some earthly princes, kings and emperors are sovereigns in their dominions.

    2. A supreme magistrate; a king.

    3. A gold coin of England, value 20s or $4.44
    ------------------------------------
    To me it means absolute power.

    If I had absolute power and you came to me and asked for protection. wouldn't I have the choice of weather or not to grant it.

    Let's say I made a decree and said all who want my protection has to ask first. Gracefully I had decided not to give it unless you ask for it. How would this lessen my sovereingty? I simply want confirmation of your respect for my authority.

    I could just select a few and protect them weather they wanted it or not. Though I would never actually be sure of there respect. I would think that I would much rather have genuine respect of my authority than have to spend eternity with those who could care less about me

    Choice does not lessen Sovereignty it increases it
    Romanbear
     
  2. The Archangel

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    Bear,

    The Soverignty of God should always be viewed in terms of Biblical data--not necessarily a dictionary. That said, Soverignty, in relation to God, means that God can do what ever He wants in keeping within His Charachter. He is absolutly free to do anything which His Charachter does not forbid (Sin, for example--God cannot sin).

    You said, "I would much rather have genuine respect of my authority" . God does not work this way. He is entirely self-sufficient. Or, to put it another way, the angels flying around His throne are not saying "Holy, Holy, Holy are You Oh God" to try and convince Him of something. The angels, and all of heaven I might add, praise Him because He and He alone is worthy of that praise. They are not trying to convince God that He is Holy. They are stating Fact--He IS Holy.

    I know I didn't deal with much of what you posted. Please forgive me--I am short on time.

    Blessings,

    Archangel
     
  3. Yelsew

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    God is God!
     
  4. romanbear

    romanbear
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    Archangel; [​IMG]
    I don't want you to get the wrong idea in my statement. The reason is a word is what it is define to mean. It is representative. A Bible dictionary describes it the same way as Webster.
    Sovereignty

    of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure (Dan_4:25, Dan_4:35; Rom_9:15-23; 1Ti_6:15; Rev_4:11).

    He has this right. I've never denied that He limits Him self by His Character. Just as there are things I will not do,because they aren't in me to do them, there are things He will not do because they are not in Him to do. I'm not in anyway trying to compare my self with God here because there is no comparison. I think I have a fairly good Idea what is meant by the term.

    The problem I have is how Calvinist think that God is somehow not able to let man choose between Himself and the world and still maintain His Sovereignty.

    For instance When I say that I choose to ask God to save me. I'm told this is works and we are not saved by works. Works are a service provided by one for another and is suggested for reward only by some. How is that choosing to believe in Christ is a work when if anything it is not a service to Him but rather a service provided by God. In the act of saving. God is the one saving me, not me saving myself. I'm only asking and admitting that I believe in Him. I admit that I have sinned and ask for forgiveness.I turn from sin that is I choose not to do it. This is somehow seen as a works for Salvation.

    Romanbear [​IMG]
     
  5. Ray Berrian

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    In the Garden of Eden God gave Adam a limited sovereignty, dominion and authority over the garden. God created each animal and brought them to Adam who in turn named every living creature. [Genesis 2:19] The Lord could have named them Himself but sublet, if you will, His sovereignty to the first created being, Adam.

    God in His sovereignty does what He wants as in the case cited above. We believe that God can remain sovereign and yet will the free agency of men and women. This free agency takes the form of a person either accepting Christ or turning away from Him. [John 1:11-12] The Israelite people, for the most part, turned from Him so the Gospel was fully opened up to the Gentiles.

    Is God sovereign? Yes. But, He has ordered His will to deal with human beings in His special way. All we have to do is see His pattern and truth in the Sciptures.
     
  6. 4study

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    romanbear,

    I think you bring up a good point. I'll be interested to see the responses.
     
  7. 4study

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    Ray Berrian,

    God gave Adam responsibilites. He was not able to do as wished over the things he had dominion over. So I think the terms "limited sovereignty" and "authority" are inaccurate.

    I'm not advocating Calvinism. Just making an observation.
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    God's pattern and plan in the Scripture is to make man responsible for his destination, as noted in Romans 10:9. The Lord says to human beings, 'If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart . . . ' There is no picture here of God picking and choosing people for Heaven and destruction. IF is the Greek word, {ean, ehan}. The conditional participle suggest clearly that man can either believe and trust in Jesus or continue in Adamic rebellion.

    Just as God ordained and allowed Adam to have authority over the Garden and the naming of all of the animals, so too He has given humans the free will to either yield to Him or to walk toward the gates of Hell. 'IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART . . . ' The heart life of the person is the center of decision making in His created beings that we call humankind.
     
  9. sturgman

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    You quoted-
    3. Supremely efficacious; superior to all others; predominant; effectual; as a sovereign remedy.

    Look up the word efficacious. You will find that it means one can produce exactly the result in which he wants too.

    You say that God wants to save the whole world, yet He doesn't. Let me ask you, does He not want to, or does He not care? In my theology, He saves those in whom He purposes to save. This means He is efficacious.

    Good Question [​IMG]
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    Sturgman,

    You are right that God is efficacious in ministering regeneration in His elect. But, it is incorrect to suggest that God is partial in His nature to the point where He actually damns the majority of human beings, at will, while only selecting the elect for Heaven.

    Election is conditioned on belief and trust in Christ, as duly noted in Romans 10:9. 'IF you confess and believe in your heart . . . . you will be saved.' Notice the conditional participle in the language of God. There is always a reason for His using explicit words and grammar.
     
  11. romanbear

    romanbear
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    Sturgman;
    This verse below says He is not willing that any should perish. So does this mean everyone will be saved?

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    If it's God will that no one perishes then how is it they die the second death and wind up hell? How is it that only the elect will be saved? How is God's Sovereignty effected by Him giving man a choice to be saved.
    Romanbear
     
  12. sturgman

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    Ray,

    You say that God sends people to hell as iff man does not deserve hell. God only send people to hell in the same way that a judge sends a guilty man to jail. Man is guilty and God does not have to account for those in hell. They deserve it. God only must account for those in heaven.

    Although you already know this because we have told you this many time before, you refuse to listen to it.

    Also, This does not make God partial to men. God does not choose men based upon the charachteristics of men. He chooses them according to His good pleasure and purpose. Therefore it does not depend on man that God chooses him.
     
  13. sturgman

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    Romanbear, if my wife says in a letter that she loves me, does that mean she loves the neighbor? No, why so? Because the letter was to me. In this letter who was the audience? The audience is Christians. So what is he saying there? He is saying the same thing that Jesus said in John 10. That he will not loose one that the father has given him... aka efficacious.
     
  14. Ray Berrian

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    Sturgman,

    I do not discount your understanding of your doctrines of Calvinism. They must have been plausible to the minds of some people or they would not have embraced them.

    You did not answer my question as to Romans 10:9 as to why God used the conditional participle. He did have a reason. The word IF was to 'head off at the pass' any idea like "Unconditional Election." If God did select individuals as to salvation He sure would not have used this word, IF. 'If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.'

    He did drop in the word, IF, telling us that salvation is conditioned on a human response to the Gospel.
     
  15. sturgman

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    Ok, I thought your question was answered many times before, but let me do it again.

    1. If I was giving you directions to my house, I would tell you to come down main street, and IF you get to University you have gone too far. This does not mean that it is conditional, it is a sign to show you something. Likewise, when it says "If" in Romans 10:9 it does not grammatically mean it is conditional. In context to Romans 9, that answers that a physical jew can go to hell; Romans 10 answers the question that what jews are children of Abraham. He answers it by saying "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your hear that He raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" So those who do this are part of the elect. If you say that it is conditional, it would not fit in the text.

    2. We are not saying that the elect doesn't have to do this. We are saying that the elect will confess with their mouth and believe in their heart. Only the elect will do this.

    I hope this addresses your question.
     
  16. Ray Berrian

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    If people believe in Jesus they are children of Abraham, by faith and also the children of God. If they do not believe in Jesus they are not the sons and daughters of Abraham, in the sense of being related to God by faith. Of course, all without faith remain the children of of the evil one.
    [I John 3:8]

    The IF of Romans 10:9 is still and ever will be a conditional participle; conditioned on something. In this case believing in the heart. This is what determines election as God views things.
     
  17. sturgman

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    I am not saying it is conditional in the sense that man must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. But only the elect will do this. You make it seem like it proves ability, it doesn't. It is answering the most likely of questions from Romans 9. Romans 9 answered the most likely question from Romans 8. Let me show you how the progress.

    Romans 8 - Man is sinful and is only saved by Grace.
    Question - "Paul are you saying that a physical Jew can go to hell?"

    Answer Romans 9 - Yes, for not all Israel's are Children of God, but only those of the promise. What if God bore with great patience object of wrath prepared for distruction, which He did, to show his lovingkindness to the objects of His mercy.
    Question - "Well Paul, how do we know we are really God's children?"

    Answer Romans 10 - If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    You see, the IF does not mean that all men are capable, the IF means that if one is to be saved then they must do this. if Romans 1-9 speaks of the depravity of man and God's election to show grace to the object of his mercy, it would take great grammatical flip flopping to say that this speaks of ability then to flip flop around in 11 to speak of hardeing of some and in chapter 12 to say that we should give thanks.

    IF does mean IF, but it does not mean all are capable.
     
  18. Aki

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    maybe it will be a nice idea to insert the concept of the different types of God's will.

    to say the two most related in this topic:

    1. absolute will: with this God does what He does, regardless of man's volition. with this, when God wants something to happen, it happens.

    2. permissive will: with this God permits what happens, allowing man to choose. and though God would desire that a man choose the decision inclined to what God want him to decide, God allows man the benefit of volition.

    the question now is, what type of will does God apply to specific situations.

    with Adam in eating the fruit or not: permissive will

    Christ dying on the cross: absolute will in the sense that God wanted to die on the cross. permissive will in the sense the God the Father allowed Jesus Christ to have the last say on whether to choose to die on the cross or not.

    Each man accepting God's offer of salvation: permissive will.

    Calvinist from this point however will contend that man has no ability to choose for God upon general call, thus God applies His absolute will in regenerating His elect without His elects' volition, and then once more apply the permissive will for those regenerated elects who will then naturally choose to apply faith in God.

    on the other hand, there are those (including me) who believe that each man, though spiritually dead, has the ability to choose for or against God come conviction.
     
  19. The Archangel

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    Ray,

    What exactly are you saying here? Are you saying that God elects based on the "IF" decision. So, then, God's election is based on what He knew you would do. Is this what you are saying?

    Obviously, if this is what you are, indeed, saying, I must disagree. However, I wanted to clarify your position to save myself from puting words into your mouth [​IMG]

    Blessings,

    Archangel
     
  20. romanbear

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    Hi sturgman;
    a quote from you;
    -------------------------------------------------

    I am not saying it is conditional in the sense that man must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. But only the elect will do this.
    -------------------------------------------------

    My Reply;
    I don't believe I have ever read in the Bible where it says that only the elect will be saved. Are you really sure of your statement.

    A quote from you;
    -------------------------------------------------

    IF does mean IF, but it does not mean all are capable.
    -------------------------------------------------

    My Reply;

    I believe it does. Just because you say it doesn't mean all are incapable You should prove your point.
    These verses implies choice as well;
    Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house

    Now I know your going to say we can't believe with out being regenerated but you haven't proved that either. Calvinism is not provable from the Bible because it's not Biblical.

    Romanbear

    [ March 07, 2003, 05:50 PM: Message edited by: romanbear ]
     

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