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Featured Sovereignty--the most important characteristic of God

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Johnny4ChristJesus, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sovereignty is the most important characteristic of God. If you don't agree, please share what you think is and why. Thank you! Ya'll can argue, if you want. I'm not interested in that. I am re-exploring what I believe and why. I may interact with you, but it is only to deepen my clarity on the most important characteristic of the only True God.

    Glad we have power and internet back so I can post again!
     
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  2. John Bowen

    John Bowen Active Member Supporter

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    Book of Genesis : God created man to take dominion of the Earth . That means we are co creators with God .We have free will to do anything we want God can't step in and override that .Unless we ask than we shall receive.Why is the world so messed up cause The majority are of people are denying God and the ones who know there is a God are not praying to end things like war, poverty , abortion , rape , child abuse. If the 1.5 billion people who claim to be Christians did something by making the calls to Jesus the world could be changed overnight .Instead they are following the false preachers blind teachers that are telling them "its all good " .Look at all the people on this forum who are arguing back and forth just like the temple priests were in Jesus day over some letter of the law .When 2/3 the world lives in poverty and millions are dying especially children .
     
  3. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Dear Johnny: My friend, the fact that God is Sovereign for me is fundamental. We behold unbelievable evil on a daily basis, but in the final word, the Lord works out things according to the counsel of His Purpose.

    Until a few weeks ago, the essence of our God, that which is the fabric of His being, was>>>

    LOVE>>>FIRE>>>SPIRIT>>>LIGHT>>>SAVIOUR

    What had dopey F.L. missed?

    "He IS [the] propitiation for our sins>>>

    AND not for our sins ONLY>>>

    But for the sins of the whole world."

    The essence of our God=

    LOVE/FIRE/SPIRIT/LIGHT/SAVIOUR/PROPITIATION


    1 John 2:2 - He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  4. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have heard this type of theory before.

    My concerns regarding this are:

    (1) If I am the Sovereign, and I delegate, it doesn't mean I surrender either complete control or responsibility to the subordinate or have to allow them to do something grossly inappropriate with that delegated authority that I can't override. As the Absolute Sovereign, it doesn't really matter what others think, but I would have to live with my own conscience.

    Again, I point to the story of Job as one example. God had to allow satan to do stuff that Job didn't ask for or create. I could also point to the story of Joseph as another. Joseph had to endure stuff that he didn't ask for in prayer, nor did he create for himself. Others did. I could also point to the story of Noah. God wasn't about to let man continue the way we were going. He intervened and decided to start over with Noah and his family.

    (2) I also don't think this world is God's primary concern. This temporal world is a proving/preparing ground for the eternal world. Just one example I would point to is Hebrews 11. I also note that Jesus didn't undo the curse or do away with the Law, He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. We are joint heirs, if we share in the sufferings. Jesus warned that in this world we would have trials, tribulations, and persecution. Jesus spoke to the churches and shared Revelation. There is no where in there where Jesus Christ said that we are co-creators and we needed to change this world by how we speak and pray. Paul even says we don't know what we should pray for as we aught, but the Spirit makes intercession for us according to the will of God. Again, we aren't completely on our own to blow it. John says that "If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us...." We don't have equal authority to just unilaterally do what we want--even Jesus didn't have that. It will still fall within the bounds of the Absolute Sovereign's plan in preparation for the New Heaven and the New Earth, which God has already foretold of.
     
  5. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nobody is dopey. To the extent that we are willing, we are being taught by God's Spirit. We aren't in the same place and maybe I'm way behind most.

    I am just re-examining what I have assumed, based sometimes on hand-me-down teachings, to be true.

    So, to me, the most important characteristic is God's Sovereignty. If I don't have that, it doesn't matter that a god is love, because that god can only lead me to self-sacrifice at the hands of a stronger God. It doesn't matter that a god is atoning for me, because it doesn't matter if the stronger God doesn't accept that atoning. It doesn't matter if that god claims to be my savior, if he can't stand up and protect me from the stronger God.

    That God is Spirit and fire and love and full of mercy are characteristics, though I am glad John identifies a primary characteristic of God as love (versus wrath). It certainly makes me feel good that He is omniscient and omnipresent, too. But, if He isn't truly sovereign, none of that really matters.

    We believe what Jesus taught, because God raised Him from the dead, just like Jesus said He would. That enables us to believe that everything else Jesus said was with the complete backing of God the Father. Otherwise, what we call the Bible would have little value, because we certainly couldn't trust in a God who couldn't bring about what He promised. And, this is even more important for a gentile like me, because the Old Testament comes alive to me, because of Jesus' resurrection. Because Jesus quoted the Old Testament. He talked about the flood, so why wouldn't I believe that account? He talked about God creating us, so why wouldn't I believe that account? He quoted the Psalms, as if they were Scripture to be fulfilled, so why would I believe the scholars who relegate them to simply poetic literature versus Truth in poetic form?

    When I talk to the kids God has entrusted to me, I speak about how God calls His shots in advance. He demonstrates His sovereignty by telling us what He is going to do in advance then pointing to what He already told us after He does it--and even the spirit-beings like satan--miss it! I stand in awe of Him!!!!!
     
  6. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't think any charateristic of God is more important than any other characteristic. What do you mean important anyway? Shall we disect God as it pleases us?

    The Bible states God is Holy, God is love, that God is just, that God is sovereign, that God is immutable, that He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, an eternal spirit, independent, merciful, and more...

    None of His characteristics are any more or less important than another as they all lead to an understanding of HIM. When we downplay an attribute of God or erase an attribute then we are no longer talking about God in our speech. You can't understand His justice without also understanding His Holiness, for instance.

    So no, I don't think the sovereignty of God is "more important" than any other attribute, but those who teach around it as if it doesn't exist aren't teaching the Biblical God either.
     
  7. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I missed this the first time I responded to you.
    If you feel this way, why are you even on the forum? Is it simply to chastise others?
    Do you think people like me wouldn't go, if God paid the bills and gave us a place to go?
    When Peter and the other original Apostles brought deacons on board to do the daily feeding of the poor believers they had in their time, so they could devote themselves to ministering to The Word and prayer, were they wrong, too? When Mary wasn't helping Martha do the necessary things of this world, what did Jesus say? When Judas tried to scold Mary for putting expensive perfume on Jesus' feet, didn't Jesus say "you will always have poor among you." You can't keep up with the amount of babies people, who have no way to take care of them, have. You can't tell them they can't have babies out of wedlock or without a place to live or without the ability to put food on the table. They wouldn't listen if you did.
    There have always been wealthy who control the majority of the wealth and who could fix the poverty of the rest. But, wealth is power and they aren't going to surrender it, in this fallen world.
    How many people who profess to be Christians have plenty while people not far down the road are poor? I can think of one, in particular, who has made a killing off his salesmanship of God.
    What can I do to feed poor, if I have insufficient funds? How do I go, without the funds to get somewhere else or a job to pay the bills to stay? God knows my finances, God knows I could be making more, even doing what I do. God has kept me here for His purposes. And, you feel you have the authority to override His choice to keep me where I am at?
    Why are you still on the forum, shouldn't you be serving the poor? Isn't it hypocritical for you to blast us while you are on the very forum you blast us for being on? What would Jesus say about that?
     
  8. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you for sharing. I have mixed feelings about what you shared. On one hand, I disagree for reasons I have already shared. If He is all those other things you mentioned, but isn't Sovereign, then He can't keep His promises. On the other hand, I agree in that if God was Sovereign, but not trustworthy, we wouldn't have a promise we could stand on. "God is not a man that He should lie," is extremely important, because if God was like a politician who said whatever He wanted to but didn't stand behind His Word, we'd be in trouble anyway. It is also incredibly important that God is full of grace and mercy. Without that, I wouldn't even be having this discussion. But, without His Sovereignty, trustworthiness, graceful, merciful, loving, etc, don't mean anything, because a god without sovereignty couldn't affect anything on my behalf without the approval of another God or gods.
     
  9. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just don't dissect God and you never have any problems.

    God is sovereign, but He is also love. His being love does not one thing to diminish the fact of His sovereignty.

    God is just, but His mercy does nothing to diminish His justice.

    God is Holy, but His Holiness does nothing to diminish His omnipresence.

    We could go on and on, but no aspect of His nature diminishes any other aspect.

    A well rounded view of God is necessary to understanding Him. That is why we were given many different aspects to His nature, so we can understand the fullness of Him, to the best of our capacity.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  10. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Let me go one step further which may help you.

    When we say God is love, we mean not that God loves, as in, something He does, but rather IS love as in, love is a part of His very nature.

    It is exactly the same with His Sovereignty. God is sovereign as in, it is a part of His very nature. It cannot be separated from His essence.

    This is the same for all the aspects of God. We can no more separate the Mercy of God from God than we can separate anything essential from any other essential thing.

    If we separate the heart out of a man we kill the man.

    It is the same with God. If we separate Gods Justice from Him, we "kill" God in that, we won't be talking about the same God anymore.

    That is what I mean by not dissecting God.. God's attributes are part of His essence and cannot be removed. God is immutable. Unchanging. And He has given us many aspects of His nature so that we know Him.
     
  11. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We never "kill" God. We just have wrong thinking about Him. That wrong thinking affects us, not Him.

    I understand what you are saying, we need to look at the whole person of God, not pieces. I get that. And, without considering the whole person of God, there are some pretty weird theologies out there. And again, thank you for your interaction with me on this topic. In considering my response to you before, it led me to one of the other most important quality--trustworthiness (That God doesn't lie).

    But, from my perspective, different qualities have more importance to us. God talks about Himself being a jealous God. He talks about His wrath. But, while those are also characteristics of His nature, from my perspective, they are not the qualities I need from God. That doesn't diminish at all that they are just as much a part of His nature as His love or His Sovereignty. I can't build a theology that denies those attributes are just as much a part of Him as His sovereignty. But, my point was simply that without His Absolute Sovereignty, none of those other characteristics would really matter to me. He could love me all He wanted, but if He wasn't capable of conquering any other gods or people who stood against me in order to keep His promises to me, then it wouldn't really matter that He loved me. That was my point.
     
  12. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was being metaphorical in my speech when I said "kill"..

    Now, I must say that what your saying, how each attribute of God interacts with you personally in respect to what you personally need, that isn't talking about God's attributes so much as it's discussing God's relationship with you.

    There are times sovereignty is all I see, because it's all I need in that moment. Other times I need to see more of His love, and yet others I actually have needed to see His jealousy and His justice..today it's His mercy..

    But all that is more discussing our relationship to God, and we have to be careful when discussing God with others that we are speaking the fullness of His Truth (or at least what they need in that moment in their walk with Christ) and not just imparting our specific needs in that moment, as unlike God that is changing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  13. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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  14. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Dear Johnny: The Will of all little wills prevails! He is sovereign, and that is foundational for me. This is a characteristic of the Most High One to be sure. What I am attempting to point out is the very fabric of His vast Being, that which He is, is the foundation for everything flowing from Him.

    I have been walking with Him for a while now, & I must confess He leaves me breathless attempting to consider His vast Being!

    I do appreciate your humble spirit towards Him & your generous gift to me. Your final words in this post strikes a chord in me!

    "I stand in awe of Him"

    Amen & amen: So do I!
     
  15. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The reference to God's sovereignty is comprised of many things, such as His authority, power, knowledge, control, etc. But if you asked God what is greatest characteristic is, He might very well say that it is love. That is probably the most important thing we need to know about God. He gives personal answers, not textbook answers. He wants us to know him more than know about him.

    However, I think the greatest characteristic of God is that He is the eternally existent one, also known as God being the "I am." He is greater than any label/name we can imagine.

    far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:21, 1995 NASB)

    But it all depends a lot on what a person's definitions are for the terms involved. One could take all the things in which God is great and put them under the heading of sovereignty. (e.g., his holiness)

    “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8, 1984 NIV)
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
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  16. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I appreciate that you took the time to respond. I don't know what God would say is His greatest characteristic. I know what He said to Moses was "all his goodness" would pass by him: "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children unto the third and fourth generation." (Exo 34:6-7)

    And all those are certainly necessary for us. We need every bit of his mercy, graciousness, patience, goodness and truth. Isn't it interesting that He didn't call Himself love?

    Still for me, the most important one is that He is Sovereign (meaning: "possessing supreme or ultimate power" and "the Supreme Ruler" and "having controlling influence" and "freedom from external control." Without that, none of the others matter, because without it, His mercy, grace, patience, goodness, and truth is only relative and can get blocked from me by another stronger God.

    This is a great definition of sovereign: "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come." (Ephesians 1:21, 1995 NASB) And to place Jesus Christ there, The Father had to already be there, and He was--according to Ephesians 1:20.

    Like you said, He also referred to Himself as "I Am Who I Am" (The self-existent One) and that is the only way I know to explain that our God is not a created being and thereby Himself subservient to another God or Gods, but the one and only true and living God.
     
  17. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just so you know, I'm not trying to talk from a selfish viewpoint. I'm trying to generalize. We do need all His attributes; but we each need Him to be sovereign above all, because if He isn't, He can't bring to pass anything that He promises any of us. His being merciful doesn't matter, if He isn't in control. Think of a guy who loves his wife and children, but won't deny Jesus, so they get killed in front of him by isis. His love for his wife and his children didn't save them from death. That believer's love was powerless to stop the senseless act of violent terrorism. If God loved, but couldn't stop something that went against all his promises--like couldn't uphold the "no more tears, no more suffering, no more death" and couldn't raise us from the dead or couldn't protect us from the second death, then what can that love change?
     
  18. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    From God's perspective, his power is definitely not his greatest attribute. That is a product of "might makes right" thinking. His power may be what awes us the most, but it is hardly anything compared to his love in terms of inherent greatness. His goodness would be superior to his power. But his love is superior to even that.

    I presume God did not list his great (agape-type) love (God sacrificing for us) in Exodus 34:6-7 because at that time it was the Jew's task to struggle to sacrifice for God. However, it was with the coming of Jesus that God revealed he would sacrifice His Son for us! The Jews were to learn through their struggle to keep the whole Law the enormity of what Jesus was going to do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  19. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Im a Calvinist, and I honestly think your going too far with this line of thinking.

    If what your thinking is true, really true, then God would have said so and not instead shared with us such a balanced view of Himself. There is nothing God does or says lightly and what God says of Himself is what we repeat without addition or subtraction.

    Even Jesus said:

    "For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken." John 12:49

    And of the Holy Spirit it is written:

    "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come." John 16:13

    Therefore saying one attribute has more importance is an incorrect assumption about His nature and we cannot accept it.

    Sure, an over analysis of a Holy Nature that is to us exciting to learn about, to ponder endlessly. Its a beautiful thing. Ive been there, done that and got the t-shirt I'm sure.

    But we should take care for our thinking to never over-extend the teaching of scripture, because in doing so we may be saying the wrong things about the One we love so dearly... and that would be a shame really - because He is worthy of all our love and devotion and praise exactly the way He is in truth.

    As far as love? Love changed me... that is real power - it's a power the enemy doesn't have. We love Him because He first loved us. That's Biblical truth. The very first thing we see about God, when He introduces Himself to us, is His love. Sovereignty was second for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  20. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I disagree. This is not a particularly Christocentric reading of the Bible's narrative about God.
     
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