The Divine Foundation of Authority–R.C. Sproul

Posted: July 11, 2009 in doctrine, General Discussion, Mentors, Scripture, Theology
Tags: , , ,

“You’re out!” “I’m safe!” “Out!” “Safe!” “Out!” “It’s my ball, and it’s my bat, and I say that I’m safe.” This is how we settled disputes over plays in our pickup baseball games played without the benefit of a referee or umpire. When a disputed play could not be resolved through reason or through yelling, the one who possessed the equipment usually determined the outcome. It was a child’s game in which might made right. It was the nascent expression of the cynical statement: “He who owns the gold, rules.”

These illustrations indicate that at some level ownership is involved in authority. The very word authority has within it the word author. An author is someone who creates and possesses a particular work. Insofar as God is the foundation of all authority, He exercises that foundation because He is the author and the owner of His creation. He is the foundation upon which all other authority stands or falls.

We use the term foundation with respect to the imagery of a building. Houses and commercial buildings are erected upon a foundation. As Jesus indicated in His parables, if the foundation is not solid, the structure will not stand. The house that is built upon the sand will crumble at the first sign of a windstorm.Instead, Jesus commended the building of the house upon a rock. The foundation has to be firm in order for the house to stand. Read the rest here.

  1. Phil says:

    I have to agree with R. C. Sproul, which I don’t always agree with. He brings up an interesting point; if, according to Sproul and I agree, “God’s activity is directed by God’s own character. And His character is completely righteous.”, can he be completely Soveriegn? Because Soveriegnty means of God that He has the “absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure. (” I would then say God cannot be absolutely sovereign, becuase His right to do ALLl things means He can sin or go against His decreed prmises and God’s Righteousness would trump his sovereignty in that case. So, I guess what I’m saying is God’s sovereignty is limited by His Holiness and Righteousness. Of God you can say He is completely Righteous (as Sproul said), but can you really say God is completely Sovereign?

    Bill, i’d appreciate your thoughts or your readers’ thoughts, because I need much guidance in the Scripture and know my opinions can be flawed.

  2. Bill says:

    I’m not 100% sure what your question is, but I’ll take a stab at it and you tell me if I’m close. I believe God is 100% sovereign over everything. He is not limited by anything, not even his righteousness. Could he choose to sin? I say no. Can he allow sin? Obviously. I think Job is a perfect example of this. He allowed Satan to torment Job, the whole time displaying his rightousness in restoring Job. Another point is Romans ch.9
    Rom 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”
    Rom 9:21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
    Rom 9:22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
    Rom 9:23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory–

    I guess I’m trying to say that no, God cannot sin because he is the very definition of righteousness, but he has allowed sin to happen in order that his righteousness might be glorified and he is sovereign over all of it.

    I may have totally missed the point you were trying to make, and if I did I apologize. Also please forgive any grammatical errors as I am typing in the dark:).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bro. Phil.

  3. Randy says:

    In the holy scriptures we read that God is love.1 Jn 4:8. God is sovereign, Eze 13:9. God is righteous, Isa 45:21. God is pure Job 4:17. All these and more are God’s attributes. However when it comes to his Holiness we see this description “God is holy, holy, holy”. The bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or just, just, just, or wrath, wrath, wrath. But it does say God is holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory.Isa chapter 6. When we use the word holy to describe God we face a problem. We often describe God by compiling a list of qualities or characteristics we call attributes. We say that God is a spirit, that He knows everything, that he is loving, just, merciful, gracious, and so on. The tendency is to add this idea of the holy to this long list of attributes as one attribute among many. But when the word holy is applied to God, it does not signify one single attribute. On the contrary, God is called holy in a general sense. The word is used as a synonym for His deity. That is, the word holy calls attention to all that God is. It reminds us that His love is holy love. His justice is holy justice. His mercy is holy mercy. His knowledge is holy knowledge. And His spirit is Holy spirit. Therefore I don’t see how it would be possible for one of His attributes to “trump” the other. It seems to me that we are looking at God as if he is a man when we look at Him this way. May I humbly suggest that since He is holy, holy, holy, that He can not sin, simply because of this fact. And not because one of His attributes “trumps” the other. Some of this reply was taken from a study called the “The Holiness of God” by Bob Deffinbaugh at But it describes my thoughts on this subject. So I thought you guys might like it also.

  4. Mrs. Historic Protestant says:

    I like what R.C. Sproul says about the sovereignty of God. I have qouted this one on several accasions. In Christ!

    In my classes in the seminary, I raise questions like, “Is God in control of every single molecule in the universe?” When I raise that question, I say, “The answer to that question will not determine whether you are a Christian or a Moslem, a Calvinist or an Arminian, but it will determine whether you are a theist or an atheist.” Sometimes the students can’t see the connection. And I say to them, “Don’t you realize that if there is one molecule in this universe running around loose outside the scope or the sphere of God’s divine control and authority and power, then that single maverick molecule may be the grain of sand that changes the entire course of human history, that blocks God from keeping the promises he has made to his people?” It may be that one maverick molecule that will prevent Christ from the consummation of his kingdom. For if there is one maverick molecule, it would mean that God is not sovereign. If God is not sovereign, then God is not God. If there is any element of the universe that is outside of his authority, then he no longer is God over all. In other words, sovereignty belongs to deity. Sovereignty is a natural attribute of the Creator. God owns what he makes, and he rules what he owns.

    Reprinted by permission of Ligonier Ministries from “Now That’s A Good Question” by R.C. Sproul.
    This book and others are available at

  5. Mr. Historic Protestant says:

    It says Mrs. because I’m on my wifes computer, edit that Bill! Thanks! lol

  6. Bill says:

    LOL! That’s funny. I was like wow! Shane has really had an influence on Jenn…….I remember you using that quote on the radio show. Good one.

  7. Randy says:

    To GOD be all the glory, honor, and praise, because He and He alone is SOVEREIGN!!! Hallelujah. My salvation and my hope is in Him. It gives me such a sense of security just to know He is in contrtol. O worship Him! the only Sovereign GOD!

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