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THE DECREES OF GOD

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THE DECREES OF GOD THE WORKS OF GOD THE DECREES OF GOD The Final Cause of all is the Glory of God, Antecedent Will The means towards those ends are the Consequent ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: THE DECREES OF GOD


1
THE DECREES OF GOD
2
THE WORKS OF GOD
Opera Ad Intra- God in himself
Opera Ad Extra- God in relation
to creation
Ad Extra
Emanent Execution of Decrees
Works of God
Ad Intra
Immanent Decree
3
THE DECREES OF GOD
  • Definition 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. S.C. Q. 7
  • The Final Cause of all is the Glory of God,
    Antecedent Will
  • The means towards those ends are the Consequent
    Will of God
  • The Decree is the determination to employ those
    ends

4
BIBLICAL DATA FOR THE DECREE OF GOD
  • Psalm 13916, All the days ordained for me were
    written in your book before one of them came to
    be
  • Psalm 3311, the plans of the Lord stand firm
    forever
  • Isaiah 1424, the Lord Almighty has sworn,
    Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as
    I have purposed, so it will stand
  • Ephesians 15,11 he predestined us . . . In
    accordance with his pleasure and will . . . .
    having been predestined according to the plan of
    him who works out everything in conformity with
    the purpose of his will

5
THE DECREES OF GOD
  • Includes even the minute details, Matthew
    1029,30, not one of them sparrows will fall .
    . . apart from the will of your Father
  • Includes the wicked acts of men
  • Luke 2222, the Son of Man will go as it has
    been decreed
  • Acts 223, this man was handed to you by Gods
    set purpose and foreknowledge
  • Acts 427-28, They did what your power and will
    had decided beforehand should happen
  • Are Immutable, Isaiah 1424,27, I have purposed,
    so it will stand
  • Isaiah 469-10, my purpose will stand

6
THE DECREES OF GOD
  • Human responsibility WCF 3.1 God from all
    eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel
    of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain
    whatsoever comes to pass yet so, as thereby

neither is God the author of sin, nor is
violence offered to the will of the creatures,
nor is the liberty or contingency of second
causes taken away, but rather established.
7
HYPER-CALVINISM
100
The sovereignty of God
8
ARMINIANISM
100
Human Freedom
9
COVENANTAL CALVINISM
100
Human Freedom
200 Solution
The sovereignty of God
100
10
WORKS OF GODPROVIDENCE
  • Gods works of providence are, his most holy,
    wise, and powerful preserving and governing all
    his creatures, and all their actions. S.C. Q 11

11
PROVIDENCE
  • Creation anticipates Providence
  • All Christians profess belief in providence
    Calvinists extend it to every detail of life
  • Providence means that God enters into his
    creation and upholds it- preservation and
    government
  • Providence is universal and all-inclusive
  • Ordinary Providence, Jonah 13, the boat
  • Extraordinary Providence, Jonah 14, great wind
  • Supernatural Providence, Jonah 117, the fish

12
MYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE
  • Agency and Responsibility (second causes) are
    established by Gods providence
  • Biblical Examples
  • Genesis 5020, You intended to harm me, but God
    intended it for good
  • Isaiah 105ff, Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of
    my anger . . . I send him against a godless
    nation . . . But this is not what he intends,
    this is not what he has in mind
  • Acts 2722-25, keep up your courage, because not
    one of you will be lost . . . it will happen just
    as he (God) told me

13
MYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE
  • The Moral (Revealed) Will of God- tells us what
    pleases God
  • The Decretive (Secret) Will of God- this is what
    God has decreed to come to pass
  • Choices ordained by God are nonetheless real
    choices- herein lies the paradox!
  • Necessity versus Compulsion, ICR 2.3.5,
    Therefore if the fact that he God must do good
    does not hinder Gods free will in doing good if
    the devil, who can do only evil, yet sins with
    his will- who shall say that man therefore sins
    less willingly because he is subject to the
    necessity of sinning?

14
FREEDOM OF THE WILL
  • A Wesleyan speaks
  • Human choosing is governed by its Orderer as
    having rational freedom, not as stock or stone.
    Providence acts not only through natural
    causality but amid a freewheeling, proximately
    indeterminate history, hedging and persuading and
    constraining human folly.
  • T. Oden, Wesleys Scriptural Christianity, 114.
  • A Calvinist speaks
  • That Calvin regards everything that occurs as
    embraced in the eternal decree of God lies on the
    face of his teaching at every point . . . . While
    repudiating the Stoic doctrine of necessity, . .
    . He is insistent that God is the arbiter and
    governor of all things.
  • J. Murray, Collected Writings, 4,192.

15
WESLEY ON FREE WILL
  • Now if man be capable of choosing good or evil,
    then he is a proper object of the justice of God,
    acquitting or condemning, rewarding or punishing.
    But otherwise he is not. A mere machine is not
    capable of being either acquitted or condemned.
    Wesley, Works, X.233-4

16
WESLEY ON GRACE
  • First, God worketh in you therefore you can
    work- otherwise it would be impossible. On
    Working Out Your Own Salvation, 3.3
  • Everyone has a greater or less measure of this
    (i.e., preventing grace), Ibid., 3.4
  • . . . there is a measure of free-will
    supernaturally restored to every man.
    Predestination Calmly Considered, sec. 45.

17
CALVIN ON FREE WILL
  • Because of the bondage of sin by which the will
    is held bound, it cannot move toward the good,
    much less apply itself thereto for a movement of
    this sort is the beginning of conversion to God,
    which in Scripture is ascribed entirely to Gods
    grace. ICR, 2.3.5

18
CALVIN ON GRACE
  • I do not tarry over those fanatics who babble
    that grace is equally and indiscriminately
    distributed.
  • The ambiguity in the second part offends me, for
    it has given rise to a perverted interpretation.
    They thought we cooperate with the assisting
    grace of God, because it is our right either to
    render it ineffectual by spurning the first
    grace, or to confirm it by obediently following
    it.
  • ICR, 2.2.6

19
HUMAN NATURE IN ITS4-FOLD ESTATE
  • Innocent Good, but able to fall
  • Fallen Bad, Not able to do good
  • Regenerate Mixed, able to do good or evil
  • Glorified Good, not able to do evil

20
SCRIPTURE ON NATURE AND FREE WILL
  • No one comes to me unless the Father draws him
    John 644
  • For the sinful nature is always hostile to God
    Romans 87
  • The natural man does not receive the things of
    the spirit I Corinthians 214
  • A bad tree cant produce good fruit. Matthew
    718
  • An evil person produces evil words out of an
    evil heart Matthew 1233
  • Whatever is in your heart determines what you
    say Luke 645

21
THE PROBLEM OF SIN
How Does This Fit?
Sin Exists In Gods Universe
God is Good
God is All Powerful
22
SIN AND SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
All the reformers of the sixteenth century,
including even the gentle Melanchthon and the
compromising Bucer, under a controlling sense of
human depravity and saving grace, in extreme
antagonism to Pelagianism and self-righteousness,
and, as they sincerely believed, in full harmony
not only with the greatest of the fathers, but
also with the inspired St. Paul, came to the same
doctrine of a double predest- ination which
decides the eternal destiny of all men. Nor is it
possible to evade this conclusion on the two
acknowledged premises of Protestant orthodoxy-
namely the wholesale condemnation of men in Adam,
and the limitation of saving grace to the present
world. -Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 1,451.
23
ELECTION
  • Biblical Language
  • bachar, rxB, choose, elect, decide for 198x
    Deut. 76,7 Deut. 437 Ps. 1354 7868 I
    Kings 816 I Chr. 285 I Sam. 1024
  • eklegomai, Pick for oneself, choose 22x, Eph.
    14
  • eklektos, elected, chosen 22x, I Peter 11,
    24,6,9
  • eklogh, election, choosing 7x, Rom. 911
    115,7,28 I Thess. 14
  • airew, take, choose II Thess. 213
  • tassw, appoint, ordain Acts 1348

24
ELECTION
  • Biblical Language
  • proginwskw, foreknow 5x Romans 829, 112
  • prognwsij, foreknowledge 2x Acts 223, I
    Peter 11-2
  • proorizw, decide upon beforehand, predestine 6x
    of Gods decree, Romans 829-30 I Cor. 27 Eph.
    15 11
  • protiqhmi, plan, propose, purpose 3x, (Rom.
    113 325) Eph. 19
  • proetoimazw, prepare before Rom. 923 Eph.
    210

25
EXTENT OF ATONEMENT
  • Arminian. Christ died for all people equally. It
    is Arminian doctrine that Christ came to save
    all men that he died for all that he atoned for
    all, even for those that finally perish. Wesley,
    Works, X,215
  • Calvinistic. Christ died for the elect. The
    extent of the atonement is identical with the
    intent of divine election
  • Hypothetical Universalism. Moses Amylraut
    (1596-1664) made a distinction between objective
    and subjective grace. The former rendering
    salvation objectively available to all men, he
    held was universal. The latter, which give the
    gracious ability to accept the gospel, he
    admitted was designed for the elect alone. This
    is often referred to as 4-Point Calvinism.

26
EXTENT OF ATONEMENT
  • Did Christ offer himself a sacrifice for the
    whole human race, for every individual without
    distinction or exception? Boettner, Reformed
    Doctrine of Predestination, 150.
  • This question does not involve the nature of
    Christs work it is a satisfaction for sin
  • It does not involve the value of Christs
    satisfaction which is deemed by all to be of
    infinite value
  • It does not involve the suitableness of the
    atonement, for it is appropriate for and adapted
    to all
  • It does not involve the application of the
    atonement- which all (except Universalists)
    limit!
  • The whole question, therefore, concerns simply
    the purpose of God in the mission of His Son.
    Hodge, ST, II,544-5.

27
EXTENT OF ATONEMENT
  • There are many passages which teach particular
    atonement
  • John 1011, the good shepherd lays down his life
    for his sheep 14-15, I know my sheep
  • Acts 2028, the church of God, which he bought
    with his blood
  • Eph. 525, Christ loved the church and gave
    himself up for her
  • There are passages which limit the extent of the
    atonement
  • Matt. 2028, give his life a ransom for many
    2628, my blood of the covenant, which is poured
    out for many
  • Heb. 928, sacrificed once to take away the sins
    of many

28
EXTENT OF ATONEMENT
  • There are additional passages of importance
  • Rom. 833-34, gave him up for us all . . . Whom
    God has chosen
  • I Cor. 153-4, Christ died for our sins
    according to the Scriptures
  • Eph. 14-7, in him we have redemption
  • Matt. 723, I will tell them plainly, I never
    knew you
  • John 1026, you do not believe because you are
    not my sheep
  • Rom. 924-32, even us, whom he also called, not
    only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles

29
OBJECTIONS TO DEFINITE ATONEMENT
  • Election violates my free choice to accept or
    reject Christ
  • I am not a robot!
  • What about my free will?
  • The Devil votes against you, God votes for you-
    you cast the deciding vote!
  • BUT, APART FROM THE REGENERATING WORK OF GOD, YOU
    WILL ALWAYS VOTE THE WRONG WAY! See Rom. 118-25
    310-18
  • Election is unfair
  • This stacks the deck!
  • BUT- ISNT THAT THE WHOLE POINT OF GRACE? IT
    ISNT FAIR OR JUST!

30
OBJECTIONS TO DEFINITE ATONEMENT
  • God only expects of me what I am able to give him
  • But, cf. Ezekiel 371-4. Were the bones capable
    of doing what God required?
  • God loves everyone alike
  • BUT, Cf. Luke 2231 with John 1327
  • God is no respecter of persons!
  • Indeed- Rom. 310, 323- in reference to sin 
  • Election removes any reason for evangelizing
  • So- God ordains ends without necessary means?
    Does that make sense? 
  • Election means the free offer of the gospel not
    sincere

31
SINCERETY OF THE FREE OFFER OF THE GOSPEL
  • The Scriptures clearly teach that the gospel
    must be preached to all. Whether we can square
    this with particular election is another
    question. But the rule for our preaching must
    always be the revealed will of God. In the last
    analysis, it is Gods business to bring into
    harmony the predetermined outcome of the
    preaching of the gospel with the general offer of
    salvation. A. Hoekema, Saved By Grace, 68.

32
ARMINIANISM
  • An abstract concept of Justice governs how God
    may dispense his grace. A major part of
    Christendom has never been able to accept the
    concept of the unconditional election of
    individuals as biblical. They declare that
    Scripture just does not teach such an idea, which
    appears to be unjust and arbitrary on Gods part
    and seems to lead to pessimism and quietism on
    mans part. Cottrell, Grace Unlimited, 56.
  • Re abstract notions, Calvinists argue we must get
    our concepts of justice and freedom of the will
    from the biblical data- not from some other
    philosophical or a-prior source. The concrete
    biblical teaching on this issue must be
    determinative for the Calvinist.

33
ARMINIANISM
  • Based on several concepts
  • Some passages appear to teach universal
    atonement, John 651 II Cor. 519 Col. 120 I
    Tim. 26, 410 Titus 211 Heb. 29 II Peter
    21, 39 I John 22
  • An abstract notion of Free-Will is usually played
    off against the notion of Divine sovereignty. So
    when a theory comes along, whether philosophical,
    theological, or psychological, which endeavors to
    deny this intuition of freedom, it is up against
    a basic human self-perception that will
    eventually overwhelm it. Clark Pinnock, Grace
    Unlimited, 96.

34
ARMINIANISM
  • Nevertheless, Arminianism results in a limited
    atonement as well as does Calvinism
  • All people are salvable, since the atonement is
    not limited
  • Not all are saved, since not all choose to
    believe
  • Furthermore, even those who will not believe are
    created and allowed to rebel, according to
    Arminian doctrine. They are just as certain of
    damnation as the reprobate in a Calvinistic
    construct
  • To interpose foreknowledge only moves the
    problem back one level- it does not remove the
    problem!

35
FOREKNOWLEDGE
  • Knowledge, to know, often means intimate personal
    relationship Gen. 41 Jer. 15 Amos 32 Matt.
    125 723 I Cor. 83 Gal. 49 II Tim. 219
  • Foreknowledge is more than merely knowing
    beforehand Acts 223 Rom. 829, 112 I Peter
    12, 19-20
  • In Acts 223, by Gods set purpose and
    foreknowledge tou/ton th/ wrisme,nh boulh/
    kai. prognw,sei tou/ qeou/
  • In I Peter 11-2, Chosen according to the
    foreknowledge of God the Father, by the
    sanctifying work of the Spirit unto obedience
    and the sprinkling with the blood of Jesus
    Christ.
  • What is NOT asserted here is the idea that
    foreknowledge is foreknowledge of (ek) or on
    account of (dia) but unto (eij) obedience. kata.
    pro,gnwsin qeou/ patro,j evn agiasmw/
    pneu,matoj eivj upakoh.n kai. rantismo.n
    aimatoj VIhsou/ Cristou/(

36
CALVINISM
  • Christ did make salvation, as an objective fact,
    possible to all men to whom it is offered, if
    they will believe
  • A purpose to make salvation objectively available
    to those for whom it was never intended (purpose)
    must not be an independent purpose in itself
  • Rather, this availability of salvation for all is
    subsidiary to the main design of entirely
    effecting the salvation of those for whom it was
    intended

37
CALVINISM
  • Calvinism Argues
  • No one is saved except God intends his/her
    salvation
  • Ultimately, all Gods people (eschatologically)
    will be saved
  • Broad or general passages in Scripture (all)
    are limited by the more detailed and specific
    passages (his sheep, the elect)
  • The practical impact of Arminianism is not
    significantly different from Calvinism it
    explains the universal offer by another, less
    consistent means

38
ELECTION AND DECREE
  • Supralapsarian View (Beza, Pink)
  • To Predestine some to life, others to death
  • To Create mankind
  • To Ordain the fall (lapsus)
  • To Redeem the elect
  • Infralapsarian View (most Calvinists)
  • To Create mankind
  • To Ordain the fall
  • To Elect some to eternal life, pass by others
  • To Redeem the elect

39
ELECTION AND DECREE
  • The Arminian View (Arminius, Works, II,719)
  • To Appoint Christ as Redeemer
  • To receive into favor those who believe/persevere
  • To render all means necessary for
    faith/repentance
  • To save those whom God foreknows will believe
  • Amyrauldian View (Hypothetical Redemptionism)
  • To Create mankind
  • To Ordain the fall
  • To Send Christ to redeem all
  • To Elect some to eternal life, pass by others
  • To Send H.S. to apply salvation to elect.

40
THE DECREE OF GOD
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