Read His Words Before Ours!
The supreme or highest in power, superior to all others.
Scripture often portrays God as the One who rules over all things. His most common proper name, Yahweh, is regularly translated Lord in English, and found thousands of times in the Bible. So, to discuss the sovereignty of God is to discuss His lordship.
When we consider the Biblical concept of divine sovereignty or lordship, the components of God’s control, authority, and presence stand out (John Frame, The Doctrine of God). God is absolutely sovereign. The Bible starts with God, “In the beginning, God [. . .]” (Genesis 1:1) There could be no glorious gospel of Jesus bearing our sins, without the glorious sovereignty of God.
In His sovereignty, God foresaw Adam and Eve’s sin.
He created them anyway, in His own image, to bring glory to Himself.
Just as humankind’s choice to pursue self over God was foreknown by God, Jesus’ crucifixion, and resulting atonement for our sin, was foreordained by God as well.
The crucifixion of Christ is the greatest sacrifice of the greatest love in the history of the world. (John 15:13)
God’s glory is displayed in the way He chose to create humanity, including allowing for our sinful nature. God weaves the allowable reality of sin with His perfect plan and uses it all for good.
Hundreds of years before Jesus would walk the the earth, the prophet Isaiah revealed how He would endure the cross for the joy of restored relationship with His creation.
“When you make [Jesus] a guilt offering,
[. . . ]the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished.
After His anguish, He will see light and be satisfied.” (Isaiah 53:10-11)
The ultimate exhibition of God’s glory was at the cross, where His justice and mercy met.
As I ponder the weight of sin, I am looking at my own life. Just in the past forty-eight hours, I chose to put my wants over submission to my spouse; I usurped his God-given place as head of our family. In another situation, I am struggling with harboring unforgiveness in my heart against a sister in Christ. I know this is not pleasing to God.
I am not alone in these battles against sin.
Scripture reveals how the pattern of sin established in Eden pervades every single life.
“In this way, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
Yet in His sovereignty, God decided the story wouldn’t end in a world lost to sin.
Instead, He wrote sacrifice into the story of His creation.
In Eden, as Adam and Eve stood awash in shame before their Creator God,
He made the very first sacrifice.
“The Lord God made clothing from skins for the man and his wife, and He clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)
One of His own wonderful creatures was sacrificed to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness.
And so sacrifice became a major theme of the salvation story, showing up throughout the Bible’s narrative, both in the Old Testament (Leviticus 1, for example) and New Testament.
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
We understand Christ’s death on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice, and as recipients of such lavish love, we are compelled to emulate Him in our everyday lives. God desires us to be living sacrifices.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.” (Romans 12:1)
A biblical sacrifice pleases God.
It is sacrifice of self, with a heart of surrender to God’s ways, that prioritizes the advancement of God’s kingdom, welcoming God’s purpose over our own wants or plans.
It is life, lived in conjunction with God’s will.
Today, we have taken a brief look at sacrifice from its origin in Eden, to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, to our own living sacrifices of true worship to our sovereign, glorious, loving God. My hope is we come away with a deeper gratitude for, and devotion to our God, who overcame the power of sin and death by sacrificing Himself for His beloved!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!