The Sovereignty of God

From Michael Horton, "Where in the World is the Church?"
The sovereignty of God is not only an essential tenet of the Christian faith in particular (and theism in general), but it is also immensely practical for our confidence that God fights our battles for us; evil can never have the last word. At the Cross, we are told, our debt was not only canceled, but 'having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross' (Colossians 2:15). Is it not the height of arrogance, bordering on blasphemy, to suggest that it is the believer's victory over demonic forces rather than Christ's once-and-for-all triumph that secures liberation from bondage? It is by proclaiming the Gospel, Paul declares in his famous passage on spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6), not by taking it upon ourselves to eradicate spiritual darkness, that God's kingsom is extended and Satan's diminished.

Often, our political causes, like our evangelistic cursades, tend to ignore this fundamental truth, so that we sometimes sound as if this latest, greatest movement (the Christian Right in politics, or Promise Keepers [or other movements] ...) of our own frenetic activity and ambitious, entrepreneurial projects will achieve the work credited in Scripture to the Cross of Christ. Or, on the other end, if the wrong person occupies the White House, we give the impression that the universe is out of control, as if God depended on us and our machinery for the realization of His kingdom. Very often, the most well-meaning believers engage in these ambitious causes with the best of motives, but the temptation is great to forget, when we lose, that Christ is still King, and when we win, that we are not.

Of course, this is not to say that Christ's triumph at the Cross eliminates our responsibility to evangelize the nations or to teach them righteousness, but it is to say that the only way we bring this victory to the nations is by proclaiming what Christ has already accomplished, not by our feats of grandeur and glory. For, unlike the "super-apostles," as Paul referred to the Gonostics, "We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake (2 Corinthians 4:5).

The sovereignty of God comforts us in crisis and curbs our pride in triumph, reminding us that it is not we who determine the outcome of spiritual battles, but Christ the King who fights for us and has already secured the final victory.

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