A Little Time With The 1689: Day 54


Day 54

Of God’s Decree

Chapter 3, Paragraph 1.

“… nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established;...”

Scripture Lookup

Acts 4:27,28.

John 19:11.


Asked to lead my college Bible study group, I chose to work through the book Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton. I had recently learned of the doctrines of grace, and was eager to share that knowledge with the group of ladies who attended Campus Crusade with me. All claimed to be Christian, so diving into these great doctrines would be fun. Or so I thought.

The other girls balked when the idea that God was sovereign over all was introduced. “I’m not a robot!” one young woman vehemently said. You know what? She was right. Reformed theology agrees with her: God does not carry out His decrees by violating human will. Through His wisdom, He carries out His decrees while allowing for freedom of will and action.

It is important to remember that while God has decreed all that comes to pass, that does not mean that we have no responsibility in our actions. Fatalism is not biblical. Rather, God orchestrates so that all things work according to the counsel of His will, yet in that orchestration uses our desires and events to serve His purposes. Thus we are still responsible for how we think and behave. May we seek His aid to freely do His will.

Questions to Consider

  • Does the notion that God has decreed all that comes to pass, yet we still have free agency, confuse you?

2 thoughts on “A Little Time With The 1689: Day 54

  1. Interesting article. Two points. First, people tell me that they have “fee will.” Ny response is, “Free from what? Certainly not sin or you could exercise you will without needing a Savior. Second, they tell me they are not a “robot.” I Respond, “Sure you are – you are an utter slave to sin incapable of God-pleasing rightousness of your own.”

    • Thanks for commenting! You are right – the unbeliever is a slave to sin and cannot please God. They do not have the “freedom” to be saved on their own. The Confession will get into that in chapter 9, “Of free will.” I would be careful in saying that the unbeliever is a robot, though, because although they are a slave to sin and cannot choose to do good, they willingly sin and desire to sin. Jonathan Edwards’ “The Freedom of the Will” is helpful in explaining this.

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