Q. Can God be limited?
A. According to Calvinism, if man can resist God or thwart His purposes then God is no longer Sovereign God – and man must be Sovereign. Thus they claim that it is impossible that man could either accept or reject God’s salvation.
But the Bible says that man does resist and reject God. This has been going on since the earliest days of his history. Adam rejected God’s Word. Cain rejected it, Noah’s generation rejected it and so did the men gathered at the Tower of Babel.
When the Psalmist recounts the experience of Israel in the wilderness, he describes them as “a stubborn and rebellious generation” – Ps 78:8 – who “refused to walk in his law” – Ps 78:10. He then makes this amazing statement: “THEY LIMITED THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL” – Ps 78:41.
The Calvinist thinks that this is not possible, and if it were, it would mean that God is not sovereign. But Calvinism is wrong on both counts. For God to make man in His own image with a will and an ability to make real choices, and for God to allow man to exercise his will, even in the matter of receiving salvation, does not make God any less sovereign than had He created a robot.
And it makes no sense that man can resist God in some things but not in the matter of salvation. If man can resist, reject and limit God in any way, and God can still be God, then God can still be God if He offers salvation to all and some receive it and some reject it. The Bible plainly says, “And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” – Rev. 22:17.
Now, since the question has been asked, let us ask, Are you limiting God? He loves you and appeals to you in many ways, but the choice to respond to Him is always yours. God will never force you to serve Him or respond to Him. Of course, your choices have consequences, sometimes eternal and terrible consequences, so be sure to make right choices!
Paul tells the Corinthians – 1 Cor 1:17 – that preaching with man’s wise words makes the Cross “of none effect” – thus limiting God. The same applies to trying to please God by living according to the Law; it makes His promises “of none effect” – same result! In Mk 7:12 and Matt 15:6 Jesus warns that our culture or traditions may make the Word of God, and God’s commandments, “of none effect.”
Yes indeed, you can limit God through unbelief, disobedience and hardness of heart. Paul tells the Galatians, in 2:21, that he does not frustrate the Grace of God – and neither should you or I! Let’s love and serve Him with a ready willingness to respond to Him in every way. He directs us so clearly in His Word, through the Ministries in the Body Of Christ and by the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.