Decrees of God

Definition of God’s Decree

The decrees of God have been established in eternity past and have reference to God’s sovereign control over every realm and over all events. The decrees are reflected in Ephesians 1:11 in that He “works all things after the counsel of His will.” Question 7 of the Westminster Shorter Confession states: “The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.” Ultimately, there are only two options. Either God is sovereign and has absolute control over the world and universe or God does not have sovereign control, and the world and universe carry on in defiance of His holy will. Of course, the former is true; the world does not operate by chance. God has absolute control. Yet it must also be affirmed that man is responsible for sinful actions. God is never the author of sin nor does His sovereignty eliminate man’s responsibility.

The London Confession of Baptist Faith, Chapter III

 Of God’s DecreeI.  God hath decreed in Himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever come to pass;[1] yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein;[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established;[3] in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree.[4] 1.  Isa. 46:10; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15, 182.  James 1:13; I John 1:53.  Acts 4:27-28; John 19:114.  Num. 23:19; Eph. 1:3-5 II.  Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions,[5] yet hath He not decreed anything, because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[6] 5.  Acts 15:186.  Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18 III.  By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ,[7] to the praise of His glorious grace;[8] others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice.[9] 7.  I Tim. 5:21; Matt. 25:348.  Eph. 1:5-69.  Rom. 9:22-23; Jude 1:4 IV.  These angels and men thus predestined and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[10] 10. II Tim. 2:19; John 13:18 V.  Those of mankind that are predestined to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love,[11]without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto.[12] 11. Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:30; II Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:912. Rom. 9:13, 16; Eph. 2:5, 12 VI.  As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so He hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto;[13] wherefore they who are elect, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[14] are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,[15] and kept by His power through faith unto salvation;[16] neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[17] 13. I Peter 1:2; II Thess. 2:1314. I Thess. 5:9-1015. Rom. 8:30; II Thess. 2:1316. I Peter 1:517. John 10:26; 17:9; 6:64 VII.  The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election;[18] so shall this doctrine afford matter of praise,[19]reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility,[20]diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.[21] 18. I Thess. 1:4-5; II Peter 1:1019. Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:3320. Rom. 11:5-6, 20

21. Luke 10:20

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9 Responses to Decrees of God

  1. peter says:

    Brother Wayne,

    I read your decree. Sounds interesting. It has always amazed me how, in the face of Scripture’s silence, we can assume we know the contents of the decrees.

    Second, I am sorry to inform you, Brother Wayne, that you make a serious mistake in your presentation. You write: “Ultimately, there are only two options. Either God is sovereign and has absolute control…or God does not have sovereign control, and the world and universe carry on in defiance of His holy will.” This is the classic form of an either/or fallacy, my Brother.
    Why can’t it be thinkable that a world exists that is defiant but God, in the end, wins? Or, another option could be that God is sovereign, but that He chooses to limit His sovereignity just enough to give creatures free will but not ultimately be able to thwart His overall Purpose?

    Peace today. With that, I am…

    Peter

  2. Peter,
    Thanks for visiting, sorry to see that you don’t see Our Sovereign God in complete control of His creation. God control the wind and all of his creation. Mankind wants it their way Free Will. So I don’t see any Free Will people able to save themselfes. I get a different read of God’s Word and His Grace.

    In His Name

  3. peter says:

    Wayne,

    Here is the fact of the matter: I have been a believer since 1977. I have preached God’s glorious Word in His Church for over 25 years. I have never once questioned His word or His Sovereignity. Nor do I ever expect to, period.

    But I will not allow Creeds–The London Confession, Westminster Confession or even the BFM–dictate to me exactly how I will believe Scripture. That’s what being a Baptist is all about.

    Nor, Wayne, will I allow Arthur Pink, Charles Spurgeon or any other man define Sovereignty for me. And, what I see in Scripture is a Sovereign God Who runs His household (Creation) like a Heavenly Father, not a Despot Dictator Who runs His country (Creation) like Castro. From my vantage point, many Calvinists unfortunately possess a view like the latter not the former. That’s one reason differences exists.

    Peace to you, Brother. I am…

    Peter

  4. Peter,

    Would you please read the following articial written by John Frame and then I will ask some question about your wallk with God.

    http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/Godintime.htm

    In His Name

  5. peter says:

    Wayne,

    I read the article. Frame is a good theologian–albeit Calvinist–but very good, nevertheless.

    I am…

    peter

  6. Wayne Smith says:

    Peter,
    John Frame is one of the most humble Christian men I have ever met in my 71 years, as well a very wise man of God.

    In His Name

  7. fromthehill says:

    Wayne

    Thought I would return the favor of commenting on your blog. You are always welcomed to return as I will return to yours.

    God Bless

    Bro. Robin

  8. Wayne,

    I like your new blog. I have been limiting my blogging time because I have too much going on. However, I still check in and read every 2 or 3 days. I’ve been posting on limited atonement. I’ve got a couple more to go.

    Also, as for God’s sovereignty, I love Dan 4 where the Word says that God rules over the heavens and the earth and all the peoples of the earth are repudited as nothing. He does whatsover He pleases to do and none can stay His hand or say to Him “What have you done?”.

    This is paraphrased from my memory. I didn’t look it up.

  9. Great blog. It was a good read. I plan to show it to my pastor here at The Moody Church.

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