God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

Taken from the chapter bearing this heading in his book The Sovereignty of God, Arthur Pink offers his argument of why God’s Sovereignty does not negate man’s responsibility for his rebelliousness against God. I think I will grapple with this one for a very long time… but here is a quote that gives me a perspective that I will have to mull over….

How is it possible for God to “withhold” men from sinning and yet not to interfere with their liberty and responsibility – a question which so many say is incapable of solution in our present finite condition.  This questions causes us to ask, In what does moral “freedom,” real moral freedom, consist?  We answer, it is the being delivered from the BONDAGE of sin.  The more any soul is emancipated from the thraldom of sin, the more does he enter into a state of freedom – “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).  In the above instances God “withheld” Abimelech, Balaam, and the heathen kingdoms from sinning, and therefore we affirm that He did not in anywise interfere with their real freedom.  The nearer a soul approximates to sinlessness, the nearer does he approach to God’s holiness.  Scripture tells us that God “cannot lie” and that He “cannot be tempted,” but is He any the less free because He cannot do that which is evil?  Surely not.  Then is it not evident that the more man is raised up to God, and the more he be “withheld” from sinning, the greater is his real freedom!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeremy (JB2)
    Aug 12, 2008 @ 06:18:40


    It was very nice to meet you and your family. I look forward to getting together in the future!

    The Bias’


  2. Wendy
    Aug 12, 2008 @ 16:52:59


    isn’t God’s sovereignty so beautiful? i am overwhelmed as i think about how that is central to all that we know and believe to be True. i hadn’t been on your blog for a few days so i was intrigued to see that both of us had posted an entry related to sovereignty of God. what a blessing to see how God is working in our lives……


  3. julesnpebbles
    Aug 12, 2008 @ 17:37:28

    Yes, surely He is sovereign. It’s the most beautiful doctrine I have learned thus far. It’s also the hardest for me to let go of…


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