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Humans Responding to the Concept of "God's Sovereignty"
The concepts of God's sovereignty and human responsibility are no different than any other concepts found in Scripture. Because of the effects of sin on the human mind (Romans 1:21; Ephesians 4:17-19), it is natural for us to distort these concepts and to respond the wrong way! This is why Scripture has to tell us specifically how we should respond.
We first need to decide who we will accept as our final authority on this issue. We can accept what God says (the Bible) and consider the concepts of God's sovereignty and human responsibility as working together in harmony. Or we can reject what Scripture says and respond as though the two conflicted or contradicted each other. This second view is the way pagan philosophers of the past treated these concepts; and most people go by their views, rather than by what God says in the Bible.
We must also decide how we are going to respond to what Scripture tells us about God's sovereignty. We could choose to talk back arrogantly to God (as illustrated in Romans 9:19-20a); or we could respond with joy and praise, and with an attitude of humility (as illustrated in Romans 11:33-36, Paul’s conclusion after examining the whole issue). We may try to argue and fight against it; or we may choose to cooperate with it. Either way, our response will be the reflection of our own personal choices. At the same time - whether willingly or not - our choices (an expression of human responsibility) will accomplish what God's sovereignty has planned.
The ultimate difference between those who choose the one way and those who choose the other will be the final outcome that each personally experiences. Those in the one group will find themselves experiencing the results of God's sovereignty in a manner that is appropriate for arrogant "back-talkers" - it will work in a way they do not desire, for all eternity. Those in the other group will find themselves experiencing God's sovereignty in a manner that is fitting for those who rejoice in it - they will be able to continue rejoicing in it, for all eternity. In each case, the consequences experienced will be an expression of God's righteous justice, based on our own personal choices (human responsibility).
God's sovereignty guarantees that justice will occur. The only question that remains is how you want the outcome of that justice to be experienced in your life. You do not have to worry about God's sovereignty in this matter; for your present exercise of human responsibility will guarantee the future outcome of God's justice in your life. It's your choice.
Dennis Hinks © 2008