Romans is perhaps one of the greatest theological books that has ever been written. Many have described it as Paul’s gospel, but unlike the four gospel, Paul does not deal with the historical presentation of Christ but rather he deals with the philosophical and the theological aspects of Jesus. Paul shows us the Jesus that we have come to believe in from the four gospels. Paul shares with us the meaning of principles such as propitiation, reconciliation, justification, adoption, and redemption. He shares with us what Jesus was all about
In chapter nine Paul has just finished showing that all have sinned and only through Jesus can we be saved, but if we come to God through Jesus then nothing can separate us from His love. In chapter nine Paul begins to share with us that it was always the plan of God to bring the Gentiles into covenant with Him. He did not do this because He was angry with Israel or because He has become so discussed that He changed His mind about them being the chosen people. He did this because it was His plan from the very beginning. In the mist of chapter nine Paul shares with us what God said to Moses, “I will show mercy on whom I have mercy” (Romans 9:15). In that statement we see a characteristic of God that I believe we have forgotten and that is that above all God is Sovereign.
What does it mean when we say that God is Sovereign? Webster defines it as supreme power or authority. Sovereign means that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His directions and permission. God works not just some things but all things according to the counsel of His own will. His purpose is all-inclusive and never thwarted. The sovereignty of God is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but that He does so, always and without exception. Because He is sovereign God gave man a right to choose. Even in chose we see the sovereignty of God at work. He could have made us mindless robots but He decided to give us the right to choose whom we would serve. Thus we find that God’s Truth came together with Man’s Responsibility. God truth is that His will is going to take place, Man’s responsibility is to make the right chose. A great example can be found in Acts 28. Paul is a prisoner on a ship that is in the mist of a great storm. In the mist of the storm God tells Paul that all will be saved. Later in the story the sailor are about to abandon ship when Paul informs them if they do then all will perish. The thing is that God said that they would all live, God’s Truth, but Paul knew that they had a responsibility to do what God had told them to do in order for that to come about. What we do matters because God uses means to accomplish His will.
God is sovereign and that means that God is in control. Now the question that is always asked to me when ever the subject of the sovereignty of God comes up is “If God is all powerful, righteous, and in control then why do bad things happen to good people?” and my response is “you’re ask the wrong question”. The right question is How in the world can a holy and righteous God know what I did, what I thought, and what I said yesterday, how God know all that and not have killed me in my sleep last night? That is the question. Because when you ask the first question you are assuming that there is someone in this world that deserves the mercy and grace of God. You are saying that man is supreme and how can God not use His power to help me in life. The truth is every breath you take you are breathing in borrowed air. Every day you live is a gift from God because if we got what we deserve we would have been wiped off the face of the earth along time ago. God in his sovereignty has decided to show mercy on us, even though none of us deserve that mercy.
Lastly, most people don’t want to see the sovereignty of God. They want God to be omnipresence and omnipotent but they do not want sovereign, because if He is sovereign then that means that He makes all the rules and the consequences of those rule. The truth is that God is sovereign and He does make the rules and He is the only one that decides on the consequences to breaking those rules. Weather man believes it or not one day we all will stand before God and answer for how well we followed His will.