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DECREE OF GOD
Confession 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:(a) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of
sin,(b) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the
liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.(c)
(a) Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15, 18.
(b) Jam. 1:13, 17; I John 1:5.
(c) Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27, 28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.
Confession 3.2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can
come to pass upon all supposed conditions,(d) yet hath He not decreed anything
because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such
(d) Acts 15:18; I Sam. 23:11, 12; Matt. 11:21, 23.
(e) Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18.
Confession 3.3. By the decree of God, for the
manifestation of His glory, some men and angels(f) are predestinated unto
everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death.(g)
(f) I Tim. 5:21; Matt. 25:41.
(g) Rom. 9:22, 23; Eph. 1:5, 6; Prov. 16:4.
Confession 3.4. These angels and men, thus predestinated,
and fore-ordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their
number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or
(h) II Tim. 2:19; John 13:18.
Confession 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,(i) 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:(k) and all to the praise of His glorious grace.(l)
(i) Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:30; II Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:9.
(k) Rom. 9:11, 13, 16; Eph. 1:4, 9.
(l) Eph. 1:6, 12.
Confession 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.(m) Wherefore they who are elected,
being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,(n) are effectually called unto
faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted,
sanctified,(o) and kept by His power through faith, unto salvation.(p) Neither
are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted,
sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.(q)
(m) I Pet. 1:2; Eph. 1:4, 5; Eph. 2:10; II Thess. 2:13.
(n) I Thess. 5:9, 10; Titus 2:14.
(o) Rom. 8:30; Eph. 1:5; II Thess. 2:13.
(p) I Pet. 1:5.
(q) John 17:9; Rom. 8:28 to the end; John 6:64, 65; John 10:26; John 8:47; I
Confession 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.(r)
(r) Matt. 11:25, 26; Rom. 9:17, 18, 21, 22; II Tim. 2:19, 20; Jude ver. 4; I
Confession 3.8. The doctrine of this high mystery of
predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,(s) 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.(t) So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise,
reverence, and admiration of God,(u) and of humility, diligence, and abundant
consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.(w)
(s) Rom. 9:20; Rom. 11:33; Deut. 29:29.
(t) II Pet. 1:10.
(u) Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:33.
(w) Rom. 11:5, 6, 20; II Pet. 1:10; Rom. 8:33; Luke 10:20.