WCF 3 – Our Predetermining God
WCF 3 – Our Predetermining God
Of God’s Eternal Decree
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 (Rom_9:15, Rom_9:18; Rom_11:33; Eph_1:11; Heb_6:17): yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin (Jam_1:13, Jam_1:17; 1Jo_1:5), nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established (Pro_16:33; Mat_17:12; Joh_19:11; Act_2:23; Act_4:27, Act_4:28).
3:2 Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions (Mat_11:21, Mat_11:23; Act_15:18; 1Sa_23:11, 1Sa_23:12), yet hath He not decreed any thing because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions (Rom_9:11, Rom_9:13, Rom_9:16, Rom_9:18).
3:3 By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels (Mat_25:41; 1Ti_5:21) are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death (Pro_16:4; Rom_9:22, Rom_9:23; Eph_1:5, Eph_1:6).
3:4 These angels and men, thus predestinated and fore-ordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished (Joh_13:18; 2Ti_2:19).
3:5 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 (Rom_8:30; Eph_1:4, Eph_1:9, Eph_1:11; 1Th_5:9; 2Ti_1:9), 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 (Rom_9:11, Rom_9:13, Rom_9:16; Eph_1:4, Eph_1:9): and all to the praise of His glorious grace (Eph_1:6, Eph_1:12).
3:6 As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, fore-ordained all the means thereunto (Eph_1:4, Eph_1:5; Eph_2:10; 2Th_2:13; 1Pe_1:2). Wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ (1Th_5:9, 1Th_5:10; Tit_2:14), are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified (Rom_8:30; Eph_1:5; 2Th_2:13), and kept by His power through faith unto salvation (1Pe_1:5). Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only (Joh_6:64, Joh_6:65; Joh_8:47; Joh_10:26; Joh_17:9; Rom_8:28-39; 1Jo_2:19).
3:7 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 (Mat_11:25, Mat_11:26; Rom_9:17, Rom_9:18, Rom_9:21, Rom_9:22; 2Ti_2:19, 2Ti_2:20; 1Pe_2:8; Jud_1:4).
3:8 The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care (Deu_29:29; Rom_9:20; Rom_11:33), 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 (2Pe_1:10). So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God (Rom_11:33; Eph_1:6), and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel (Luk_10:20; Rom_8:33; Rom_11:5, Rom_11:6, Rom_11:20; 2Pe_1:10).
Summary statements we are taught:
1. God Predetermines All Things That Happen. (Wcf 3.1)
2. The Predetermining Plan Of God Is Eternal (Wcf 3.1)
3. All Things Large And Small Is Included In God’s Predeterminations. (WCF 3.1)
4. God Is Not The Author Of Sin. (WCF 3.1)
5. God Does Not Force Men To Do What They Do Not Want To Do. (WCF 3.1)
6. Predestination Does Not Destroy Freedom Nor The Cause And Effect Relationships . Predestination Is The Basis Upon Whereby They Exist. (WCF 3.1,2)
7. The Sovereign Predestined Plan Of God Is Not Based Upon Or Conditioned Upon Anything Forseen By Him. (WCF 3.2)
8. God Decrees The Salvation Of Men. (WCF 3.3)
9. God Decrees Those Whom Will Be Left In Their Lost State. (WCF 3.3)
10. God’s Decrees Concerning Salvation Are Unchangeable. (WCF 3.4)
11. God’s Determinations Arew Not Based Upon Anything He Forsees Will Be Fulfilled By Men. (WCF 3.4)
12. The Ultimate Purpose Of God In Predestination Is His Own Glory. (WCF 3.5)
13. God Has Not Only Determined The Ends That He Intends To Accomplish But He Also Has Determined How Those Ends Will Be Accomplished. (WCF 3.6)
14. God Has Determined The Order Of How Men Will Be Saved. (WCF 3.6)
15. There Are None Others That Will Be Saved (WCF 3.6)
16. God Has Determined To With Hold Saving Grace From Some Men. (WCF 3.7)
17. This With Holding Is Of God’s Own Unsearchable Counsel. (WCF 3.7)
18. It Is Done For God’s Own Glory (WCF 3.7)
19. It Is A Just With Holding Because Of Their Sin. (WCF 3.7)
20. This Doctrine Is To Be Taught With Great Care In Order To Bring Good To Believers And Glory To God. (WCF 3.8)
21. This Doctrine Is A Blessing To Those That Receive It. (WCF 3.8)