Friday, September 08, 2006

WCF 5 – Our God And Creator Works to Provide For His Creation To His Own Glory

WCF 5 – Our God And Creator Works to Provide For His Creation To His Own Glory

Chapter 5:

5:1 God the great Creator of all things doth uphold (Heb_1:3), direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things (Job 38:1-41:34; Psa_135:6; Dan_4:34, Dan_4:35; Act_17:25, Act_17:26, Act_17:28), from the greatest even to the least (Mat_10:29-31), by His most wise and holy providence (Psa_104:24; Psa_145:17; Pro_15:3), according to His infallible fore-knowledge (Psa_94:8-11; Act_15:18), and the free and immutable counsel of His own will (Psa_33:10, Psa_33:11; Eph_1:11), to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy (Gen_45:7; Psa_145:7; Isa_63:14; Rom_9:17; Eph_3:10).

5:2 Although, in relation to the fore-knowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly (Act_2:23): yet, by the same providence, He ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently (Gen_8:22; Exo_21:13; Deu_19:5; 1Ki_22:28, 1Ki_22:34; Isa_10:6, Isa_10:7; Jer_31:35).

5:3 God in His ordinary providence maketh use of means (Isa_55:10, Isa_55:11; Hos_2:21, Hos_2:22; Act_27:31, Act_27:44), yet is free to work without (Job_34:10; Hos_1:7; Mat_4:4), above (Rom_4:19-21), and against them at His pleasure (2Ki_6:6; Dan_3:27).

5:4 The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men (2Sa_16:10; 2Sa_24:1; 1Ki_22:22, 1Ki_22:23; 1Ch_10:4, 1Ch_10:13, 1Ch_10:14; 1Ch_21:1; Act_2:23; Act_4:27, Act_4:28; Rom_11:32-34); and that not by a bare permission (Act_14:16), but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding (2Ki_19:29; Psa_76:10), and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends (Gen_1:20; Isa_10:6, Isa_10:7, Isa_10:12); yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither, is nor can be, the author or approver of sin (Psa_50:21; Jam_1:13, Jam_1:14, Jam_1:17; 1Jo_2:16).

5:5 The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season His own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled (2Sa_24:1; 2Ch_32:25, 2Ch_32:26, 2Ch_32:31); and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support unto) Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends (Psa 73:1-28; Psa_77:1-10, Psa_77:12; Mar_14:66-72; Joh_21:15-17; 2Co_12:7-9).

5:6 As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins doth blind and harden (Rom_1:24, Rom_1:26, Rom_1:28; Rom_11:7, Rom_11:8), from them He not only withholdeth His grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts (Deu_29:4); but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had (Mat_13:12; Mat_25:29), and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin (Deu_2:30; 2Ki_8:12, 2Ki_8:13); and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan (Psa_81:11, Psa_81:12; 2Th_2:10-12); whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others (Exo_7:3; Exo_8:15, Exo_8:32; Isa_6:9, Isa_6:10; Isa_8:14; Act_28:26, Act_28:27; 2Co_2:15, 2Co_2:16; 1Pe_2:7, 1Pe_2:8).

5:7 As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a most special manner it taketh care of His Church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof (Isa_43:3-5, Isa_43:14; Amo_9:8, Amo_9:9; Rom_8:28; 1Ti_4:10).

Summary statements we are taught:

A. God Sustains All Of His Creation (WCF 5.1)

B. He Exercises Complete Control (WCF 5.1)

C. The Exercise Of This Control Affects The Execution Of God’s Sovereign Plan (WCF 5.1)

D. God’s Providential Control And Care Is For The Manifestation Of His Glory (WCF 5.1)

E. God’s Absolute Sovereignty Does Not Destroy Mankind’s Liberty. (WCF 5.2)

F. God’s Absolute Sovereignty Does Not Deny The Operation Of Second Causes. (WCF 5. 2)

G. God Is Free To Overrule These Laws And Causes When He Pleases. (WCF 5.3)

H. God Ordered The Fall Of Man Without Doing Evil And Wrong Himself. (WCF 5.4)

I. God’s Sovereignty Extends To The Inward Operation Of Man’s Heart Both (Believer And Unbeliever) Without Participation In Sin. (WCF 5.5-6)


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