A Beggar King?

One of the most difficult things to reconcile in theology is God’s absolute sovereignty with human freedom and responsibility.    If God is absolutely sovereign, what room does that leave for my own thinking, volition, or decision-making?  Really, what do these things matter, if God is absolutely sovereign?  Furthermore, how can He hold me responsible for the things I do?  Do I even have a choice?  The simple (simplistic?) answer is, God is a Personal Being, not the arbitrary reality called fate.  Furthermore, He made us in His own image, so that we also have a will, the ability to reason, and even the responsibility to exercise our own sovereignty under Him as His viceroys on earth.

A more challenging question is: if God is absolutely sovereign, why have you titled your blog “God Begs You”?  Kings are not beggars.  They issue decrees, and those decrees are followed closely, sometimes on pain of death.  There is truth to this penal reality when we think about God as the King of Kings.  God warned Adam that the penalty for his disobedience to the first commandment, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you must not eat, because if you eat of it, dying you will die” (Genesis 2:17, my rendition).  Adam disobeyed (sinned) and died.  His sin injected sin into the whole world; now everyone sins.  Therefore all die (see Romans 5:12).  “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  Some of the words used for “sin” involve the idea of treason.  So, we must affirm that God is the absolute sovereign, and that disobeying Him brings about the death penalty.  He warned us it would.  This death includes separation from God.  We have made ourselves His enemies.

The Fates
The Fates. From https://greece.greekreporter.com/2018/03/17/the-moirai-the-fates-of-greek-mythology/

But that explanation of God’s sovereignty doesn’t come close to answering the question raised above, does it?  In fact, it seems to lend support to the objection.  The thing is, God is not merely absolutely sovereign.  He is also merciful, gracious, and loving.  In fact, when He proclaims His name to Moses, He begins by saying, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6, NIV).  While God has a just, reasonable, well-founded, and controlled anger toward rebellion against Him – and it is the more just and well-founded because He is so good – anger is not His only response to sin and the unrepentant sinner.  He is also compassionate, gracious, and loving toward us, because He sees how lost, deceived, and enslaved we are by sin.

This is why He sent His Son into this world to save us and why His Son came willingly and voluntarily to save us.  “All this is from God, Who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18, ESV).  God is so gracious, compassionate, and loving, that He doesn’t desire for any sinner to die.  Instead, He desires that sinners repent and live (see Ezekiel 18:23, 31-32).  It is the King’s grace, compassion, and love that causes Him to stoop so low as to become a beggar: “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20, NKJV).

God would do anything to bring you back to Him, so great is His love for you.  In fact, He already did.  He sent His Son to be an offering for our sin.  Will you receive this gift?

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