CHAPTER 3 – Of God’s Decree

PARA 1 – God’s Decree Described

  1. Meaning of God’s Decree
    • 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 comes to pass;
  2. God’s decree qualified.
    • yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; 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. God’s decree shows unsearchable wisdom of God.
    • in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.

PARA -2 – God’s decree is not based on the foreknowledge of future, but future is based on God’s decree.

  • Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions, yet hath he not decreed anything, because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

PARA 3- God’s decree has ordained the end of all his creatures

  1. Predestination of some unto salvation to glorify God’s grace:
    • By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace;
  2.  Predestination others unto reprobation to glorify God’s justice
    • others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.
  3.  Goal of God decree ordaining the end of all his creatures
    • to the praise of his glorious grace; to the praise of his glorious justice.

PARA 4- Unchangeableness and certainty of God’s decree

  • These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

PARA 5- Source of God’s decree

  1. What is source of God’s decree
    • Those of mankind that are predestinated 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,
  2. What is not the source of God’s decree
    • without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto

PARA 6- God’s decree not only ordained the end, but also the means unto that end.

  1. Means to bring Elect unto eternal life
    • 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; wherefore They who are elected, being fallen in Adam,
      1. Redeemed by Christ,
      2. Effectually called unto faith in Christ, by his Spirit working in due season,
      3. Justified,
      4. Adopted,
      5. Sanctified, and
      6. Kept by his power through faith unto salvation;
  2. . Means will be effective only to elect
    • neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

PARA 7- Application of God’s decree

  1. Caution and self examination to make one’s eternal election sure.
    • The doctrine of the 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;
  2. Worship and Praise God
    • so shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and
  3. Humility
  4. Diligence,
  5. Consolation
    • of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.

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