Focal passage: Romans 11:33-12:2; Ephesians 1:4-6
Life is full of questions. Some questions are inconsequential, but others have a huge impact on our daily lives. Is a hot dog a sandwich? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Why do some people seem to experience more suffering than others? When will the cure for cancer be discovered?
One of the biggest questions we will ever confront as Christ’s followers is, ‘How do we reconcile God’s sovereignty and our own free will?’
The Bible explicitly teaches that God chooses people to follow Him. In Ephesians 1:4, Paul writes, “For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world.”
We trust these words to be absolutely true, and yet, we must admit that as finite humans, our understanding of God’s sovereignty is limited. We know God is in control.
We also know God has given us a free will. For example, God calls us to exercise that will by repenting and believing the gospel.
I’m so glad God never requires us to fully understand how His sovereignty and man’s free will can exist at the same time. According to Pastor Matt Chandler, “Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss.” Even the author of Romans writes, “who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34).
Our response to this mystery must never be fear or defensiveness.
Instead, when we dwell richly in these truths, we will be overwhelmed with worship and praise. What’s more, the result will be that we are able to “discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2b).
You and I may never agree on the status of a hot dog, but almost all of us can admit they are pretty tasty!
In the same way, although the tension between our will and God’s can sometimes seem overwhelming and uncertain, we must be careful to never allow this mystery to keep us from thanking God for His overwhelming gift of salvation.