I find it amazing to read the comments of so called Christians on other blogs and elsewhere online that say that God is sovereign yet man has a free will.
This is an ever-present source of confusion and irritation to me, and I would like to clarify these two terms here and now for all to read.
When we mention the word ‘SOVEREIGNTY’, what do we as Christians mean?
The Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission. God works not just some things but all things according to the counsel of His own will (see Eph. 1:11). His purposes are all-inclusive and never thwarted (see Isa. 46:11); nothing takes Him by surprise. 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. In other words, God is not merely sovereign de jure (in principle), but sovereign de facto(in practice).
Quoted from: http://www.theopedia.com/sovereignty-of-god
Quite simple and straightforward? I personally think that ye who desire to argue, should remain silent and just read the definition of sovereignty and accept its truth. For to argue, is to argue against the very words of God Himself.
“What do we mean by [the sovereignty of God]? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the god-hood of God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Psa. 115:3). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is “The Governor among the nations” (Psa. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the “Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible.” A. W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, chapter 1.
God’s sovereignty in salvation
God’s sovereignty in salvation means that He saves whom He will, and those whom He saves owe nothing to anything in or of themselves. They are saved because God graciously chose them in eternity and regenerated and called them in history. They cannot even take credit for their faith because it is the gift that He Himself sovereignly bestows.
Now that we cleared up that mis-understood definition, let’s move on to the definition of ‘FREE WILL’.
: the ability to choose how to act
: the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God
Full Definition of free will
1: voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>
2: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention
Simple and straight forward yet again. We have sovereignty that says God is in control of ALL. Nothing falls outside of His rule and government. God directs all, controls all and moves all according to His plans and purposes for mankind.
Then we have the definition of free will which states that man can make any and all decisions on his own and those decisions, by the definition of free will, will never be influenced by divine or any other intervention.
In other words, according to free will, man is God. According to the definition of sovereignty, God is God.
There is no other middle ground. There is nothing else that can be argued or said on the matter to expand either side.
Which do you believe? Which do you hold fast to? Or perhaps you think you hold fast to a mixture of the two? In truth though, anyone who defends the position that God can be sovereign and man can still hold onto his freedom of choice is actually stating that God is not sovereign and man is in control.