ongoing existence of the universe?
The implication here is that Jesus continues to sustain the existence of the universe by His power. The universe is not independent; its existence depends on the continuous exercise of divine will. This is a refutation of deism, the philosophy that teaches that God created the world to govern itself and then left it to evolve without any further action from Him. The Bible rules out such theories.
Also, God is not within the creation, constantly creating it, as in the false theories of pantheism (God and the universe are the same thing) or panentheism (God inhabits the universe as though it were His own body). God is not dependent on the universe in any way. He is separate from the universe. He existed, and continues to exist, independently of it. The universe depends on God; God does not depend on the universe.
We are dependent on God’s sustaining power, moment by moment, day by day. It is because of His love that we continue to exist and are able to act and also form relationships. This is true in a special way for those who have committed themselves to God and who are, as Paul would describe it, “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17, Eph. 2:10; Note the references to creation in these texts). It is also true that even those who reject salvation are, nevertheless, dependent on God’s sustaining power for their existence. Daniel made this point very poignantly to King Belshazzar when he said, “and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified” (Dan. 5:23).
With all this in mind, how do we understand the reality of free will and free choice? Why are these elements of our existence so important to all that we believe?