Calvinists are a zealous bunch. We are diligent in the perusals of deep theological truths. We delight in the logical soundness of the five points. We are quick to refute the gainsayers. We love our books. We love our knowledge. Books line the walls. We have Calvin’s Institutes on our nightstand, Augustine’s City of God in our restroom.
Yet, like the man who missed the forest for the trees, it seems as though often times we miss the absolute sovereignty of God for God’s sovereignty in one area — soteriology. We so frequently forget simple truths (or forget to apply them), namely, God is sovereign and we are not. We have our heads so far up the TULIP stem that we neglect to apply the doctrine of the sovereignty of God to every area of our lives.
But let us not forget; God is not only sovereign in salvation, but over you and me — He is sovereign over the totality of our lives. We have recognized God as the sovereign over spiritual things (election) , but have we forgotten that God is also sovereign over material things (for the earth is the Lord‘s and the fullness thereof). Have we opted for a Neo-Platonic abstraction of the sovereignty of God (actually, more accurately it‘s a Neo-neo-Platonic abstraction, but that reads awkwardly)?
Sure, we know God has given us His Word to direct us in everything. However, we seem content sometimes to behave as though this isn’t true. Do we raise our families according as God has decreed we ought? Do we work our job as though we’re working for the King of the universe? Do we steward our property correctly? Are our ethics governed by the Word of God or by what’s convenient?
This is a sober truth to contemplate: Our families, our jobs , our time, our knowledge, every material possession we call “our property”, yes, the sum total of our lives are not ours, they are God’s, and He has given them to us not to be gods of our own little universe and operate as we see fit, but to steward according to God’s revealed will and for His purpose and glory.
How do I treat my wife? Do I love her as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her? How do I raise my children? Do I discipline them properly and for the right reasons, knowing disobedience to me is a violation of the law of God? Do I catechize them diligently as Deuteronomy 6 requires? Do I operate my business according to the guidelines of Scripture with diligence ? Do I use my finances in ways that will best advance the Kingdom? Do I love the church as I ought and support her work and worship? Do I ignore the corruption of society at large and its leaders, thinking God’s Word is only for the church and individual and not for the nation as a whole?
Am I to be ruled by myself and not Christ and His Word? Is Christ not sovereign over me. Is He not sovereign over the church? Is He not sovereign over the state and the nation? Yes, God is sovereign over all things. Why don’t we act like it? When was the last time that we, with as much diligence and fervor as we studied the five points, took the time to study the sovereignty of God in our families? Or the sovereignty of God in the culture? Please note: That is not merely saying God orchestrated the events of the families, and of the culture (though He surly does), but God rules the family with revealed Word, Scripture. Likewise, the culture, the church, the state, and everything. The Bible was not given to us simply that we may know of God and His might works, but also that we may know what God requires of us.
May God grant us the grace to see and to relinquish the little bits of sovereignty we keep for ourselves.
– Ben Murch