|Frans Hals, St Luke. mid-17th century|
It amazes me how growing up in an Evangelical Arminian church, and being so involved in it, (even to the point of going to a Bible College with the same doctrine), I never saw God’s sovereignty. It was that my eyes were not yet open. My sight was blurry, I though I knew but now I understand that I did not know the Scriptures at all. I knew few verses here and there to support the teachings I received, but I did not study the Bible, I did not know my God.
But He called me out of the emotionalism, out of the ignorance and gave me light to see. This is the greatest miracle I have experienced! I was a passionate Arminian (even though I had no idea on what that meant, because who cares about terms where I was?) and now, I am a passionate Biblical believer, a paasionate Calvinist, Reformed, grateful from head to toe, from the inside out. I am grateful, forever grateful! Who am I that the Lord has set His eyes upon me and visited me?
God is Sovereign. And what does this mean?
“The sovereignty of God is the exercise of His supremacy. God is the high and lofty One; no one is greater than He, equal to him, or any where near to Him. And when this great God acts, when He goes about His divine business, then he does so in perfect freedom! Sovereignty implies authority, and authority is the right to rule. It is the right to do what one wishes, to decide what is good and evil, to impose one’s will on others and demand conformance; authority is the right to reward obedience and to punish disobedience! In close connection with this, soveriegnty is the freedom to do what one pleases without being answerable to anyone. No one may question God as to what He is doing!”
Rev. D.H Kuiper
I have been reading the gospel of Luke this week, and I have seen that God’s character, God’s sovereignty manifested clearly in several passages; but look at this particular one with me:
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.”
And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away.”
For further study:
Theological Term of the Week @ Rebecca Writes
The Sovereignty of God in Salvation by A.W Pink
The Absolute Sovereignty of God: What is Romans Nine About? by John Piper
>This is a great post! I grew up in an Apostolic Pentecostal church and also missed God's sovereignty. My childhood church was focused so much on man. But, once you come into the realization of God's Sovereignty it really is amazing, breath-taking … there's no words to describe it really. And it is EVERYWHERE! Soli Deo Gloria indeed 🙂 I love your insight into these passages of Luke, I've never quite noticed it like that before.
Diana and Petra,
Yes, isn’t it amazing? It is there all over, one passage here, another one there, God is Sovereign. His Sovereign character is shown throughout the Bible and we did not know!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Becky, dear sister, I so identify with this post in so many ways!
“I was a passionate Arminian (even though I had no idea on what that meant, because who cares about terms where I was?)”
I too have been overwhelmed by reflecting on God’s sovereignty. Everywhere I look, I can now see it! Scripture proclaims it everywhere my eyes land! The freedom it brings is indescribable! How very blind I was! Thank God for His mercy and grace!
Thank you for this great piece! Love and blessings!
This is a very insightful observation of this passage Becky – one that I might have passed over. Oh, the amazing depths of God’s Word! Sometimes we just read it too quickly!
The more I come to know this great Sovereign God of the universe, the more I must marvel – “But why me?” Even when I knew enough about Him intellectually to believe, I still was utterly bent on pursuing my own lusts. It nearly killed me literally, but He had mercy on me, a wretch!
Sometimes we can become so familiar with these marvelous truths that such words roll easily off our tongues (or fingers while typing). Lord, please awaken my sleepy forgetful heart!
Many blessing dear sister Becky!