The Sovereignty of God

by A.W. Pink

Banner of Truth – 1988

“Present day conditions’, writes the author, ‘call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotence, God’s sufficiency, God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns. Faith is now in the crucible; it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God.”

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Publishers’ Preface

  • p2 – “However strongly [Pink] insists on the doctrines of Scripture, he never views correct doctrine as an end in itself, but rather as a means to a greater end—the glory ofGod in the salvation and sanctification of sinners.”
  • p3 – “There are two practical matters which it is always well to remember in connection with the doctrine of the sovereignty of God. Firstly, while this is a truth which every minister of the gospel is called to proclaim, it is not a subject which should be made a matter of argument amongst Christians.”
  • p3 – “The one who truly believes that grace and light and spiritual understanding are gifts of God will not attempt to argue about such matters.”
  • p3 – “Divine Sovereignty is not a truth which we can believe of ourselves; we cannot arrive at it by any process of natural reasoning: we cannot receive it merely by the reading of a book; indeed a man may even read the Bible all his life and yet, if left to his own understanding, never find this truth.”
  • p4 – “A doctrine so diametrically opposite to the natural pride of the human heart cannot but arouse objections.”

Introduction

  • p9 – “Two things are beyond dispute: God is sovereign, man is responsible.”
  • p9 – “To emphasize the sovereignty of God, without also maintaining the accountability of the creature, tends to fatalism; to be so concerned in maintaining the responsibility of man, as to lose sight of the sovereignty of God, is to exalt the creature and dishonour the Creator.”
  • p9 – “Almost all doctrinal error is, really, Truth perverted, Truth wrongly divided, Truth disproportionately held and taught. The fairest face on earth, with the most comely features, would soon become ugly and unsightly, if one member continued growing while the others remained undeveloped. Beauty is, primarily, a matter of the Word of God: its beauty and blessedness are best perceived when its manifold wisdom is exhibited in its true proportions. Here is where so many have failed in the past. A single phase of God’s Truth has so impressed this man or that, that he has concentrated his attention upon it, almost to the exclusion of everything else. Some portion of God’s Word has been made a ‘pet doctrine,’ and often this has become the distinctive badge of some party. But it is the duty of each servant of God to ‘declare all the counsel of God ‘ (Acts 20: 27).”
  • p9 – “It is true that in the degenerate days in which our lot is cast, when on every side man is exalted, and ‘superman ‘ has become a common expression, there is real need for special emphasis upon the glorious fact of God’s supremacy.”
  • p10 – “What is needed primarily, by one congregation, may not be specifically needed by another. If one is called to labour where Arminian preachers have preceded, the neglected truth of God’s sovereignty should be expounded–though with caution and
    care, lest too much ‘strong meat’ be given to ‘babes.’ The example of Christ in John 16: 12: ‘I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now,’ must be borne in mind. On the other hand, if I am called to take charge of a distinctly Calvinistic pupil, then the truth of human responsibility (in its many aspects) may be profitably set forth. What the preacher needs to give out is not what his people most like to hear, but what they most need, i.e. those aspects of truth they are least familiar with, or least exhibiting in their walk.”
  • p10 – “And in Scripture each part or aspect of truth is balanced by another aspect of truth. There are two sides to everything, even to the character of God…To be all the time preaching on the one to the exclusion of the other, caricatures the Divine character.”
  • p11 – “Probably 95 per cent. of the religious literature of the day is devoted to a setting forth of the duties and obligations of men. The fact is that those who undertake to expound the responsibility of man are the very writers who have lost ‘the balance of truth’ by ignoring, very largely, the Sovereignty of God.”
  • p11 – “The ‘balance of truth’ has been lost, lost through a disproportionate emphasis being thrown on the human side, to the minimizing, if not the exclusion, of the Divine side.”

The Sovereignty of God and the Present Day

  • p12 – “Throughout Christendom, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that man determines his fortunes and decides his destiny by his own ‘free-will.’ That Satan is to be blamed for much of the evil which is in the world, is freely affirmed by those who, though having much to say about ‘the responsibility of man,’ often deny their own responsibility, by attributing to the Devil what, in fact, proceeds from their own evil hearts (Mark 7: 21-23).”
  • p14 – “But does not everything seem to show that the Devil has far more to do with the affairs of earth than God has? Ah, it all depends upon whether we are walking by faith, or walking by sight.”
  • p14 – “But what does ‘walking by faith’ signify? It means that our thoughts are formed, our actions regulated, our lives moulded by the Holy Scriptures, for, ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God’ (Rom, 10: 17).”
  • p14 – “Ours is peculiarly an age of irreverence, and as a consequence, the spirit of lawlessness, which brooks no restraint and which is desirous of casting off everything which interferes with the free course of self-will, is rapidly engulfing the earth like some gigantic tidal wave.”
  • p15 – “Only two alternatives are possible: God must either rule, or be ruled; sway, or be swayed; accomplish His own will, or be thwarted by His creatures. Accepting the fact that He is the ‘Most High,’ the only Potentate and King of kings, vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power, the conclusion is irresistible that He must be God in fact, as well as in name.”
  • p15 – “Faith is now in the crucible, it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God.”
  • p16 – “Soothing-syrup may serve for peevish children, but an iron tonic is better suited for adults, and we know of nothing which is more calculated to infuse spiritual vigour into our frames than a Scriptural apprehension of the full character of God.”
  • p16 – “It is true that man is endowed with power, but God is all-powerful. It is true that, speaking generally, the material world is regulated by law, but behind that law is the law-Giver and law-Administrator. Man is but the creature. God is the Creator, and endless ages before man first saw the light ‘the mighty God’ (Isa. 9:6) existed, and ere the world was founded, made His plans; and being infinite in power and man only finite, His eternal purpose, and plan cannot be withstood or thwarted by the creatures of His own hands.”
  • p17 – “Begin with the world as it is today and try to work back to God, and everything will seem to show that God has no connection with the world at all. But begin with God and work down to the world, and light, much light, is cast on the problem.”
  • p17 – “Because God is holy His anger burns against sin; because God is righteous His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him; because God is faithful the solemn threatenings of His Word are fulfilled; because God is omnipotent none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel; and because God is omniscient no problem can master Him and no difficulty baffle His wisdom. It is just because God is who He is and what He is that we are now beholding on earth what we do…”
  • p18 – “… all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind.”
  • p18 – “But if instead of bowing to the testimony of Holy Writ , if instead of walking by faith, we follow the evidence of our eyes, and reason therefrom, we shall fall into a quagmire of virtual atheism.”
  • p18 – “Better far, in the presense of bewildering mystery, to say with one of old, ‘I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because Thou didst it’ (Ps. 39: 9).”
  • p18 – “Here is the fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The unbeliever is ‘of the world,’ judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal understanding. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity.”
  • p19 – “…it is only to be expected that much of the contents of the Bible conflicts with the sentiments of the carnal mind, which is enmity against God. Our appeal then is not to the popular beliefs of the day, nor to the creeds of the churches, but to the Law and Testimony of Jehovah.”