For a Christian, it is axiomatic that God is sovereign, and rules over all things. However, this does not mean that our concept of God’s absolute sovereignty is God’s idea of his sovereignty. In particular, for Christians God’s sovereignty does not mean that we do not truly have free will. Who would claim that God is not willing or able to allow ordinary human beings to exercise the free right of choice? Of course, we are not always, and in every way, free to do whatever we want, but within the parameters that God allows, Christians believe that we are free to make choices, and that we are responsible for our choices.
God has a plan for this world, and we can see from the whole Bible that his plan will be achieved as a result of his interventions in the world.
From the call of Abraham’s family to a special relationship with him, through the call of Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, the appointment of David as king, and the challenges given through the prophets, we can see evidence of God’s intervention in the world. It reached its climax in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is being worked out in the life of the Christian Church.
Christians believe that God’s purposes for mankind as a whole are predetermined, and have been predetermined from the beginning of time. On the other hand, it is pretentious to claim that God’s plan for mankind means that God has an immutable plan for you as an individual, and that in some way, the idea of you as an individual already existed before even the creation of the world. Rather, when the New Testament writers are talking about God’s plan in Christ, they are discussing the fact that it was God’s plan for the salvation of the people of this world to come through Jesus Christ, which is for everyone who believes in Jesus and stays true to him to the end.
For example, Peter teaches us, in 1 Pet. 1:-2-7 and 2 Pet. 1:10-11, that the blessings that God planned from the beginning of time for those who believe in Jesus Christ are conditional on those persons enduring through to the end. Jesus also taught, in Matt. 24:13, that whoever holds out to the end will be saved.
God is sovereign, and his will for mankind will prevail in the end. Our share in God’s plan depends upon our response. As Paul indicated, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the proclamation of God’s power to offer and give eternal life to all who believe in Jesus [Roman 1:16].