What we mean by the sovereignty of God is captured in paragraph 3.2 of The Bethlehem Baptist Church Elder Affirmation of Faith. The dozens of biblical passages used to support this paragraph are found in the online version.

3.2 We believe that God upholds and governs all things—from galaxies to subatomic particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons—all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself, yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.

Why does it matter whether we believe this? Ten reasons.

1. The good news of God’s substituting his Son for us on the cross depends on it.

“Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” (Acts 4:27-28)

2. The perseverance of the saints in the fear of God depends on it.

“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.” (Jeremiah 32:40)

3. Progress in holiness now, and the final perfecting of the saints in the end, depends on it.

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13)

“But you have come to Mount Zion . . . and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.” (Hebrews 12:22-23)

4. The assurance of God’s final triumph over all natural and supernatural evil depends on it.

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

5. The comfort that there is a wise and loving purpose in all our calamities and losses, and that God will work all things together for our good, depends on it.

“Though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. . . . Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” (Lamentations 3:32-38)

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20)

6. The hope that God will give life to the spiritually dead depends on it.