With the election looming (but now over), I thought an appropriate subject for the Sunday morning sermon would be sovereignty of God. The passage I chose was one that we had looked at a couple of years ago, Daniel 4. This is the letter written by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, recounting his humiliation at the hands of the Lord because of his pride. As he strutted about the roof of his royal palace, he boasted of his great power and majesty (v.30). Truly, he thought he was God. But the true God humbled Nebuchadnezzar, turning him into something like a wild beast, so that he would learn that “the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (v.32).
Nebuchadnezzar emerged from his humbling with a whole new outlook! Having his sanity restored to him, he confessed that the LORD, the God of Israel, is the one who reigns with sovereign power over the earth: “… I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation” (v.34).
Now it is the incarnate Christ who reigns over all creation, including the nations of men, with this same absolute power and sovereignty. After his resurrection Jesus said to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). In Revelation he is called “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14, 19:16). No matter who wins the election, as Christians we know that the One who truly rules is Jesus.
I drew three lessons from this truth:
The Lordship of Christ gives us comfort and peace.
Jesus is not only Lord over all creation, but he is the Head of the Church (Colossians 1:18). This means Jesus rules over all things – including whom he puts into power – for the salvation of his people. So no matter what happens in this or any election, we know Jesus has determined the outcome for the good of those who belong to him by faith.
The Lordship of Christ gives us right priorities.
As Christians we are citizens both of the United States and of the Kingdom of God. But since Christ is Lord of all, and our Savior, we owe him our primary allegiance. Though Christians should be responsible citizens of the state (and I believe voting wisely is one way we love our neighbor), and though there is nothing wrong with Christian political involvement, our priority must be honoring Christ in the place where he’s put us: in our families, churches, workplaces, schools, and so on.
The Lordship of Christ gives us freedom to honor those who rule over us.
Even if those in authority over us are corrupt or immoral, we are called to give all due respect and honor to them as those whose authority has been instituted by God himself (Romans 13:1, 7). We may not admire them personally, we may vociferously disagree with their policies, and we may use all legitimate means to oppose whatever wrong they may do. All the while, though, God commands us to honor them in their capacity as God-ordained civil rulers. This includes praying for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1, 2). We can only do this if we believe in our hearts that Christ is the one who rules over them.
At the evening service on Sunday we finished our study of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. This coming Lord’s Day we’ll begin looking at the Heidelberg Catechism.
Soli Deo Gloria!