Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III – Of God’s Eternal Decree.

God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:(1) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,(2) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.(3)

(1)                Eph 1:11; Ro 11:33; Heb 6:17; Ro 9:15,18

(2)                Jas 1:13,17; 1Jn 1:5

(3)                Ac 2:23; Mt 17:12; Ac 4:27,28; Jn 19:11; Pr 16:33

 

  1. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,(1) yet hath He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.(2)

(1)                Ac 15:18; 1Sa 23:11,12; Mt 11:21,23

(2)                Ro 9:11,13,16,18

 

iii.                 By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels(1) are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.(2)

(1)                1Ti 5:21; Mt 25:41

(2)                Ro 9:22,23; Eph 1:5,6; Pr 16:4

 

  1. 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.(1)

(1)                2Ti 2:19; Jn 13:18

 

  1. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto 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,(1) out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto;(2) and all to the praise of His glorious grace.(3)

(1)                Eph 1:4,9,11; Ro 8:30; 2Ti 1:9; 1Th 5:9

(2)                Ro 9:11,13,16; Eph 1:4,9

(3)                Eph 1:6,12

 

  1. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto.(1) Wherefore, they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ;(2) are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified,(3) and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation.(4) Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.(5)

(1)                1Pe 1:2; Eph 1:4,5; Eph 2:10; 2Th 2:13

(2)                1Th 5:9,10; Tit 2:14

(3)                Ro 8:30; Eph 1:5; 2Th 2:13

(4)                1Pe 1:5

(5)                Jn 17:9;Ro 8:28; Jn 6:64,65; Jn 10:26; Jn 8:47; 1Jn 2:19

 

vii.                The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.(1)

(1)                Mt 11:25,26; Ro 9:17,18,21,22; 2Ti 2:19,20; Jude 4; 1Pe 2:8

 

viii.              The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,(1) 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) So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God,(3) and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.(4)

(1)                Ro 9:20; Ro 11:33; Dt 29:29

(2)                2Pe 1:10

(3)                Eph 1:6; Ro 11:33

(4)                Ro 11:5,6,20; 2Pe 1:10; Ro 8:33; Lk 10:20

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7 Responses to Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III – Of God’s Eternal Decree.

  1. Anonymous says:

    If Israelites were chosen in God’s foreknowledge, why do they still lose the promise? If even Israelites themselves do not know for sure who among “Israel” had been truly chosen or not, how can the Calvinists assure themselves?

    From where do Calvinists think they stand and cannot fall?
    1Cor 10:12
    Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

    From where do Calvinists think the Faith Alone saves them?
    Jas 2:14
    What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?

    From where do Calvinists think the election of saints can’t be revoked without doing certain good deeds?
    2Pet 1:10
    Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

    From where do Calvinists think they can’t be led away from steadfastness?
    2Pet 3:17
    Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

    From where do Calvinists think they can’t fall without labors or works?
    Heb 4:11
    Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

    From where do Calvinists think the election of the saints can’t be revoked, and cannot be tempted by pride and fall?
    1Tim 3
    6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

  2. θ says:

    In Islam the belief in the “known” Scriptures come preceding the belief in the “unknown” foreordain Decree. In Islam it is a sin to believe in the information which we don’t know its contents, such as the contents of Fate.

    The end (Final fate) of each person is influenced by his own will toward his salvation: Easy End vs. Difficult End.
    Muslim, Book 033, Number 6398.
    ‘Ali reported: We were in a funeral in the graveyard of Gharqad that Allah’s Messenger came to us and we sat around him. He had a stick with him. He lowered his head and began to scratch the earth with his stick, and then raid: There is not one amongst you whom a seat in Paradise or Hell has not been allotted and about whom it has not been written down whether he would be an evil person or a blessed person. A person said: Allah’s Messenger, should we not then depend upon our destiny and abandon our deeds? Thereupon he said: Acts of everyone will be facilitated in that which has been created for him so that whoever belongs to the company of the blessed will have good works made easier for him and whoever belongs to the unfortunate ones will have evil acts made easier for him. He then recited this verse (from the Qur’an): “Then, who gives to the needy and guards against evil and accepts the excellent (the truth of Islam and the path of righteousness it prescribes), We shall make easy for him the easy end and who is miserly and considers himself above need, We shall make easy for him the difficult end.” (Q.92, v.5-10)

    Unlike other false beliefs that dehumanise the people into invaluable animals, Islam elevates humans by denying determinism. Islam is not fatalist. Moslems believe there are always Two Fates hung inevitably on every person.
    If Islam were deterministic, why would Hadith tell the important knowledge about Two Fates given to each person since the time of conception in the womb? Only a stupid person believes in just one Fate.

    Bukhari, Vol. 2, Book 23, Hadith 422
    Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their foot steps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: What did you use to say about this man, Muhammad ? He will say: I testify that he is Allah’s slave and His Apostle. Then it will be said to him, Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. Allah has given you a place in Paradise instead of it.

    Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, Book 32, Hadith 2283
    ‘Ali narrated: We were with the Messenger of Allah and he was scraping the ground, when he raised his head to the heavens, then said: There is not one of you but (his place) is known. Waki said: His place has been decreed in the Fire, and his place in Paradise. They said: Shall we not rely upon this O Messenger of Allah? He said: No. Work, for everyone is facilitated for what he was created.

  3. θ says:

    The sixth pillar of Faith in Islam is a belief in the Good Decree and the Bad Decree. Now the sixth pillar should be also understood in a belief in the giving of Two Fates to every person by Allah: both Heaven and Hell.
    Hence, the end (final fate) of each person is influenced by his own will toward his salvation: Easy End vs. Difficult End.
    Q.92, v.5. Then, who gives to the needy and guards against evil,
    Q.92, v.6. And accepts the excellent,
    Q.92, v.7. We shall make easy for him the Easy End
    Q.92, v.8. And who is miserly and considers himself above need,
    Q.92, v.9. And refuses the excellent,
    Q.92, v.10. We shall make easy for him the Difficult End.

  4. madmanna says:

    “Q.92, v.9. And refuses the excellent,
    Q.92, v.10. We shall make easy for him the Difficult End.”

    Not just the difficult end but the difficult here and now, visa blasphemy and apostasy laws, laws to persecute etc.

  5. madmanna says:

    “Unlike other false beliefs that dehumanise the people into invaluable animals, Islam elevates humans by denying determinism.:

    talking of animals and dehumanizing:

    [8.22] Surely the vilest of animals, in Allah’s sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who do not understand.
    [8.55] Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe.

  6. madmanna says:

    “From where do Calvinists think the election of the saints can’t be revoked, and cannot be tempted by pride and fall?”

    Election cannot be revoked. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

    All the verses you quoted do not and cannot change the decree. Our faith does not allow us to see the unseen things but it does not mean that these things are not sure or that we cannot already rejoice in our certain but unseen future.

    We have the assurance that our salvation is already completed in Christ, i.e we are already raised with him and we have already passed from death to life:

    King James Bible
    And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

    This chain of events is unbreakable:

    God Works In All Things
    (Ephesians 1:3-14)

    Romans 8 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    Ameen

  7. θ says:

    “madmanna says: [8.55] Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe.”

    Since when has an unbelieving Jinn been categorised as animal?
    The Arabic word “dawab” just means living being. Angels, Jinn, and other “moving” beings are all “dawab”. An’am means domesticated animal, Ajma’ means wild animal.

    “madmanna says: talking of animals and dehumanizing:”

    How about calling the Jews “serpent”, Gentiles “dogs”, Peter “Satan”?

    “madmanna says: Election cannot be revoked. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

    Only a silly deity keeps the elects forgiven without repentance even after those elects apostatise, make themselves Gods, worship devils, and become antichrists.
    In fact, Jehovah infers that *everyone* was named in the book of Life, everyone was the elect one until sinning against Him. Since none can do sins against God in the childhood, everyone must be named in God’s book.
    Exo 32:33
    And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

    Election can be revoked by Jesus himself.
    Rev 3:5
    He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    Peter also confirms one’s election can’t be sure without fulfilling a condition of works.
    2Pet 1:10
    Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

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