Systematic Theology Essay Example
|📌Published:||21 March 2021|
It is folly to deny or doubt a sovereign being, incomprehensible in his nature, infinite in his essence and perfections, independent in his operations, who hath given being to the whole frame of sensible and intelligible creatures, and governs them according to their several natures, by an inconceivable wisdom, who feels the heavens with the glory of his majesty, and the earth with the influence of His goodness (Stephen 1797, 9).
This study of God’s sovereignty is being written to focus on the systematic, historical, and application approaches to God's Sovereignty. humanity can learn of God’s sovereignty through the Bible and everyday situations. Gods’ rulership is unchanging throughout scripture, He remains the same throughout history, and Gods’ power is manifested throughout everyday human behavior and action. God is all powerful and is good to his creation.
Systematic theology is the study of God’s word, as it relates to any given topic. Grudem defines systematic theology, "What does the whole Bible teach us today?" about any given topic (Grudem 1995,21). In this work, we will answer the question of how God's sovereignty relates to systematic theology. Sovereignty in relation to God is His complete control. "Once we understand that God is the all-powerful Creator, it seems reasonable to conclude that he also preserves and governs everything in the universe as well." (Grudem 1995,315) God's sovereignty and power over the universe is made known through his word.
God is actively participating in creation and is the ultimate source behind the foundation of the earth. The Bible states, "The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1 KJV). The Bible teaches us that God is in complete control of the earth. The Bible also teaches us God is the creator of the universe. "Moreover, the biblical doctrine does not teach that events in creation are determined by chance (or randomness), nor are they determined by impersonal fate (or determinism), but by God, who is the personal, yet infinitely powerful Creator and Lord” (Grudem 1995, 335).
God’s complete control in the earth shows his sovereignty and His rulership throughout creation. Since God is the creator, he maintains creation. "God keeps all created things existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them." (Grudem 1995, 335). God is a self-existing power, "Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58 NIV) God's power has extended from generations; he has always been and always will be.
God is the one thing in the universe that's unmovable. "When God has decreed a thing shall be, He knows it will! be. "In the nature of things, there cannot be anything known as what shall be unless it is certain to be, and there is nothing certain to be unless God has ordained it shall be" (Pink 2013,226). From Author Pink's quote, we can visualize God's sovereignty. If God declares something, He operates in complete control of what He says He will bring to pass. The Bible shares this "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Num 23:19 NIV). In the scripture text, we can see God's sovereignty in his inability to speak falsehoods and His ability to keep his word.
God is all-powerful and by words, he spoke creation into existence. He actively holds creation together. “In Hebrews 1:3, the use of the present participle indicates that Jesus is “continually carrying along with all things” in the universe by his word of power. Christ is actively involved in the work of providence.” (Grudem 1995, 316).
If God did not exist or lacked power, then the universe as we know it to would cease to exist. The world can only exist with a creator who has power. If God ceased to have power, then there would be no creation or world to live in. Before creation the earth was void, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Gen 1:2 NIV). The only way the earth was filled is by God’s command and his power. If God didn’t speak the earth into existence, it still would be void and powerless. Yet, we serve an all-powerful God. “Great is our Lord and mighty in power his understanding has no limit. (Psalm 147:5 NIV).
God maintains through scripture his ultimate authority. He states, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13 NIV). This gives God the first and the last say. His words are final and authoritative. God is the ultimate source of power and authority working in the universe, not only in creation but throughout mankind God has always been the ultimate authority. The Bible is the word of God and, where creation can go to relate to its creator. We constantly see examples of God’s power throughout scripture, He is at the beginning of time, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. (John 1:1 NIV) He is the one whom delivers the children of Israel, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 20:2 NIV) He is the same God who became like man took the humble place and died for our sins. When He rose, He rose with all authority. God will keep what He created and give them the ability to do the task God assigned for them to do.
God’s sovereignty is what causes creation to exist. Not only is humanity subject to God’s authority, but also nature is also subject to God’s authority. God’s sovereignty was manifested when the winds and waves obeyed Him. “The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 28:27 NIV). This shows God’s sovereignty in nature. God's power and authority are limitless. The Bible teaches this, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28 NIV). God’s authority is made known through scripture text and creation, as nothing exists apart from God calling it into existence. It is God whose will is done on the earth. Whatever happens on the earth has a purpose and God is the master creator and authority behind His will. God can work through creation to bring his will to pass.
God is also the God who rules over the nations and He causes wars to cease. He also gives creation the ability to fight battles. “All of these passages, reporting both general statements about God’s work in the lives of all people ¬ and specific examples of God’s work in the lives of individuals, lead us to conclude that God’s providential work of concurrence extends to all aspects of our lives, Our words, our steps, our movements, our hearts, and our abilities are all from the Lord. “(Grudem 1995, 321). The scripture tells us this as well. “For in him we live and move and have our being.' s some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' (Acts 17:28). Apart from God’s sovereignty, it is impossible for creation to exist as creation exists in and through God.
Historical theology is the study of the history of the church. One of the benefits of studying historical theology is seeing God's sovereignty throughout the church's history. “Finally, as beneficiaries of the heritage of doctrinal development sovereignly overseen by Jesus Christ, the church of today is privileged to enjoy a sense of belonging to the church of the past” (Allison 2011, 40).
Creation reveals God’s sovereignty. Creation didn’t exist in the beginning of time. The Bible states “Now the earth was formless and empty” (Genesis 1:2 NIV). Creation reveals God's sovereignty. God's creative design didn't exist at the beginning of time. The Bible states, "Now the earth was formless and empty" (Genesis 1:2 NIV). An all-powerful sovereign God would have to speak creation into being.