3. God’s Decree (cont.)
3. 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. Others are left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice.
(1 Timothy 5:21; Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:5-6; Romans 9:22-23; Jude 4)
4. Those angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and the number of them is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
(2 Timothy 2:19; John 13:18)
5. Those of mankind who are predestinated to life, God chose before the foundation of the world was laid, in accordance with His eternal and immutable purpose and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will. God chose them in Christ for everlasting glory, solely out of His free grace and love, without anything in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him to choose.
(Ephesians 1:4, 9, 11; Romans 8:30; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Romans 9:13, 16; Ephesians 2:5, 12)
6. As God has appointed the elect unto glory, so, by the eternal and completely free intention of His will, He has foreordained all the means. Accordingly, those who are elected, being fallen in Adam:
– are redeemed by Christ,
– are effectually called to faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season,
– are justified, adopted, sanctified,
– and are kept by His power through faith unto salvation;
– neither are any but the elect redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved.
(1 Peter 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; Romans 8:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:5; John 10:26; John 17:9; John 6:64)
7. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, in order that men who are heeding the will of God revealed in His Word, and who are yielding obedience to it, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation be assured of their eternal election.
So shall this doctrine provide cause for praise, reverence, admiration of God, and also provide cause for humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all who sincerely obey the Gospel.
(1 Thessalonians 1:4-5; 2 Peter 1:10; Ephesians 1:6; Romans 11:33; Romans 11:5-6, 20; Luke 10:20)