Banner

"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

Contributors

  • Rev. John Samson
  • Rev. David Thommen (URC)
  • John Hendryx
  • Marco Gonzalez

    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

    top250.jpg

    Community Websites

    Monergism Books on Facebook

    Blogroll

    Latest Posts

    Categories

    Archives

    Ministry Links

  • « The Moment of Awakening | Main | The Extra-Biblical Logic of Molinism »

    Does God's will always infallibly come to pass?

    Does God's will always infallibly come to pass? Well, His eternal will or decree always comes to pass infallibly (Ephesians 1:11) but his commands to men (which are also called "the will of God" - Heb. 10:35-38; Eph 6:5) do not. For example consider the following text:

    "Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." -Acts 17:30

    If this statement could not be distinguished from God's decree then either 1) everyone would be saved, OR 2) God's eternal will could be thwarted since some men disobey this command. Since neither of these can be the case then, in fact, we distinguish God's eternal will (his decree) from his commands or preceptive will, which he gives to men.

    God is not a God of contradiction. When he decrees something it is certain to come to pass. When he commands men to obey, they often do not... therefore His preceptive will is not the same as His's decree but is to be distinguished.

    Posted by John on September 25, 2013 06:40 AM

    Comments

    It sure does, for His Glory...
    Romans 11:32
    For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all. (that "all" referring to the elect, or some, from every tribe, nation, tongue, language, people group, etc.)

    Romans 11:20-21
    20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope;
    21 because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.

    But I know what you mean about His "Preceptive Will," and it is wise to make a distinction. A.W. Pink puts it well here in his chapter on the Supremacy of God here, and his chapter on the Decrees of God in the below link;

    God’s supremacy is also demonstrated in His perfect rule over the wills of men. Ponder carefully Exodus 34:24. Three times in the year all the males of Israel were required to leave their homes and go up to Jerusalem. They lived in the midst of hostile people, who hated them for having appropriated their lands. What, then, was to hinder the Canaanites from seizing the opportunity, during the absence of the men, to enslave the women and children and take possession of their farms? If the hand of the Almighty was not upon the wills even of wicked men, how could He make this promise beforehand, that none should so much as "desire" their lands? "The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water; He turneth it whithersoever he will" (Prov. 21:1).

    But, some may object, do we not read again and again in Scripture how men defied God, resisted His will, broke His commandments, disregarded His warnings, and turned a deaf ear to all his exhortations? Certainly we do. Does this nullify all we have said? If so, then plainly the Bible contradicts itself. But that cannot be. What the objector refers to is simply the wickedness of men against the external word of God. We have mentioned what God has purposed in Himself. The rule of conduct He has given us to walk by is perfectly fulfilled by none of us. His own eternal counsels are accomplished to their minutest details.

    The Decrees of God:

    http://www.pbministries.org/.../godhead_02.htm

    It is wise to note that His "Preceptive Decrees," which happen in the temporal, do fall under His Eternal Decrees, even His Permissive Decrees here in the temporal, as spoken of in the Romans verses above. Such, God's Decrees are never, on the Highest Level, thwarted. He is;
    Ephesians 1:21
    far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come;

    It is as God speaks of hardening Pharaoh's heart, which is a kind of "passive hardening," where He just leaves people in their fallen conditions to do what they would naturally do (the "natural man") in their fallen conditions. Such, out of the Eternal Decree of God, was ordained and brought about by God to bring the most Glory to Christ, and God can't be charged with sin or doing wrong for having Mercy upon only whom He wills to have Mercy upon.

    A decree infallibly comes to pass. A moral command does not. How can anyone therefore claim there is nothing to distinguish? If there is nothing to distinguish then by default you are claiming that God's decree can be thwarted since a command and decree are the same, according to you. Men disobeying his command would be the same as men thwarting his decree. You would therefore misrepresenting God by making him LESS THAN SOVEREIGN -- exactly the opposite of your intention.

    But I agree that how men respond to God's commands is wrapped up in his decree... since his decree infallibly ordains all that comes to pass (eph 1:11)

    Post a comment

    Please enter the letter "o" in the field below: