Calvinism-The Sovereignty of God
Title: Calvinism-The Sovereignty of God
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:10-11
A. A single idea can have great consequences
B. Calvinism is system of belief that has spread to many of the protestant
C. All if its false tenets hinge on it’s belief that the Sovereignty of God, correctly
defined, is that God is in control of everything and nothing happens without God
having foreordained it to be so.
I.God is Sovereign
C. Acts 17
D. Sovereignty- Having supreme rank or power, self-governing, of superlative strength.
II.Does God’s Sovereignty Mean that He Causes All Things
A. Ephesians 1:3-12 is a verse they try to use to prove God causes all things
1. “All things” is often modified by the context in scripture (II Peter 1:3)
2. The “all things” in Ephesians 1:11 in context is talking about the mystery of the
Gospel: that through Christ we can be saved
B. The False dichotomy of the Calvinist: “All Things must be instigated by God. God
must either rule or be ruled. God must either accomplish His will or be thwarted by
C. The third and correct option: God rules, and as He does He grants man the liberty
to submit or rebel.
III.Sovereignty and Free Will
A. The Calvinistic view of sovereignty teaches that I cannot be good unless God
causes me to be good.
1. Deut. 30:19: means God gave Israel choice. It would be absurd for God to
encourage that which was impossible for them to do. [You don’t really have free
will, but try to choose life anyway.]
2. We know that Jesus died for all so we strive to teach others to be saved (I John
3. If we don’t have the ability to live holy lives, then why get off the couch? Just
wait for God to move you.
B. If Calvin’s view of sovereignty is true:
1. What is the purpose of the Bible?
a. Alexander Campbell defeated the idea of Calvinism in an 1843 debate on the
Holy Spirit by proving that the Holy Spirit works through the word only.
b. The Calvinists have to believe that the Holy Spirit works outside of the word
in order to maintain their position that the saved are caused to obey.
c. If the Holy Spirit works outside of the Bible then what is the purpose of the
Bible at all?
2. What are those in Heaven rejoicing about?
a. They can’t be rejoicing that God saved the obedient and punished the evil
doers as the book of Revelation indicates
b. Instead they must be rejoicing that they were “lucky rather than good” and
that they weren’t counted among those predestined to be damned from birth.
IV. Does Romans 9:1-24 Prove Calvin’s Belief?
A. Calvinists say Romans 9 shows God chose Jacob to be saved and Esau to be lost
B. v.1-5 Most Jews are Lost
1. Moses had the same type of feelings (Exodus 32:32-33)
2. How can it be that most are lost despite the advantages they had
C. v.6-9 The Rejection of the Seed
1. They rejected Christ
2. They were God’s people, but chose not to be by rejecting Him
D. v.10-13 God’s Will Done Through Nations
1. Jacob was chosen (not Jacob was saved)
2. God’s sovereign will was done through Jacob’s nation and that will was that all
could be saved
E. v.14-18 God’s Will Done Through Individuals
1. These verses do not teach that Pharaoh was damned from the start or forced to
2. Can you imagine Pharaoh saying, “I wish I could let these people go but no
matter how hard I try something is keeping me from it”?
3. Pharaoh is described in playing a part in hardening his own heart (Exodus 8:15,
F. v.19-24 God’s Will Done Does Not Equate Obedience to His Sovereignty
1. God used Pharaoh, God’s will was done, but Pharaoh disobeyed God
2. God used Joseph’s brothers, God’s will was done, but Joseph’s brothers
3. God used Babylon, God’s will was done, but Babylon disobeyed God
4. God used the scribes and Pharisees, God’s will was done, but the scribes and
Pharisees disobeyed God
G. Some would say that because God is sovereign, He simply chooses who will do evil
and who will do good to exercise His will. In reality God allows those who reject him
and harden their hearts to the truth to help meet His will so that those who have
open hearts can have salvation.
H. God does not choose (force) good men to practice evil and then destroy them
I. Romans 9 does not prove Calvin right. There is a difference between Calvinistic predestination and scripture predestination!
V. The Bible According to Calvin
A. Genesis 4:7
1. “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” [But you can’t do well because I
did not make you do well Cain]
2. “And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door” [Because you really have no
B. Joshua 24:15
1. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” [but don’t strain yourself because I
have already ordained what will you will decide.]
2. “but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” [Only because God decided
for Joshua that he would.]
1. “As I live saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” [Actually I
do because I chose who would be wicked and who would be righteous.]
2. “but that the wicked turn from his way and live” [Actually he has no power to do
D. Acts 2:38
1. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins” [I can’t overrule the Sovereignty of God so baptism must be
an outward show of an inward grace. See God already chose to save me by His
sovereign will, and I will be baptized to show the world that this happened.]
A. Calvin is wrong because the Bible disagrees
B. We stand on the side of God which says, “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” (II Peter 3:9).