The sovereignty of God and the free agency of mankind seem to be mutually exclusive. It seems to be logical to say that for one to be true, the other must be false. If God is sovereignly all-powerful, then man must not be free. If man is free to choose and determine his destiny, then God must not be all-powerful and sovereign.
The Bible says that a big fish swallowed Jonah, that Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land, that Jesus fed five thousand with a kid’s happy meal, and that three days after being entombed in death, Jesus appeared victoriously alive. The Bible says it, so I believe it. The Bible says that God is sovereign, and the Bible also says that man is free to make his own determinations and decisions. The Bible says both are true. Therefore, though it may seem illogical, both must be true.
“Jesus loves me, this I know!” How can I know? “For the Bible tells me so!”
The Bible says that God is one God, and that God is Father, Son and Spirit. The doctrine of the trinity is also illogical. God is not limited to human wisdom and logical thinking. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways... For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
God created a world where man is free to choose. Indeed, man must choose. Joshua called the conquering Israelites together and commanded, “choose for yourselves today” (Joshua 24:15). John the Baptist and Jesus preached the same message. “Repent!” (Matthew 3:1, 4:17). Accordingly, man was free to determine his response. Repentance or rebellion.
Everlasting life, abundant life, life in relationship with Christ is promised freely to anyone who believes. “God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). God’s free gift of salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone... but man must choose.
Jesus invites His children to find rest and renewal in His presence, but each must choose. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28–30). “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and drink. The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him” (John 7:37–38).
Think about the ramifications of this incredible truth. God knew the decisions that man would make, and yet God created a world where man was free to choose evil. There must be something stunningly beautiful and remarkable about free will that only God can truly grasp, because God hates, literally abhors evil, yet He created a world where man is free.
God sovereignly rules over His creation, but that doesn’t mean that we’re just pawns on the celestial chess board. We’re free to choose. We must choose.
All Scripture quotation, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.