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Sermon illustration » God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

Related commentaries – Sovereignty

Our Steps Are Ordered by The Lord – Psalms 107:33 – 107:43

God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

During his days as guest lecturer at Calvin Seminary, R. B. Kuiper once used the following illustration of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility: “I liken them to two ropes going through two holes in the ceiling and over a pulley above. If I wish to support myself by them, I must cling to them both. If I cling only to one and not the other, I go down."I read the many teachings of the Bible regarding God’s election, predestination, his chosen, and so on, I read also the many teachings regarding, ‘whosoever will may come’ and urging people to exercise their responsibility as human beings. These seeming contradictions cannot be reconciled by the puny human mind. With childlike faith, I cling to both ropes, fully confident that in eternity I will see that both strands of truth are, after all, of one piece.” (John Morren, Lake City, Michigan, quoted in Leadership, 1986, p. 38).