Chapter 3

 

OF GOD’S DECREE

 

Paragraph 1. God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass;1 yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein;2 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;3 in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree.4

1 Isa. 46:10; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18

2 James 1:13; 1 John 1:5

3 Acts 4:27-28; John 19:11

4 Num. 23:19; Eph. 1:3-5

 

Paragraph 2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions,5 yet hath He not decreed anything, because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.6

5 Acts 15:18

6 Rom. 9:11,13,16,18

 

Paragraph 3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels*are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ,7 to the praise of His glorious grace;8 others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice.9

7 I Tim. 5:21;  Matthew 25:34

8 Eph. 1:5-6

9 Rom. 9:22-23; Jude 1:4

 

Paragraph 4. These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.10

10 2 Tim. 2:19; John 13:18

 

Paragraph 5. Those of mankind that are predestinated to 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, out of His mere free grace and love,11 without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto.12

11 Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:30;  2 Tim. 1:9;  I Thess. 5:9

12 Rom. 9:13,16; Eph. 2:5,12

 

Paragraph 6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so He hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto;13 wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,14 are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,15 and kept by His power through faith unto salvation;16 neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.17

13 1 Pet. 1:2;  2 Thess. 2:13

14 1 Thess. 5:9-10

15 Rom. 8:30;  2 Thess. 2:13

16 1 Pet. 1:5

17 John 10:26, Jn 17:9, Jn 6:64

 

Paragraph 7. The doctrine of the high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, 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;18 so shall this doctrine afford matter of praise,19 reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility,20 diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.21

18 1 Thess. 1:4,5;  2 Pet. 1:10

19 Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:33

20 Rom. 11:5,6,20

21 Luke 10:20

 


 

*Editor’s Notes:

 

Chapter 3 and paragraph 3 speaks of angels who are “predestinated, or fore-ordained to Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ to the praise of his glorious grace”.  The only proof text for the mentioning of the angels is 1 Timothy 5:21.

I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.

In chapter 2 of Hebrews we read about Christ becoming a MAN and relating to mankind.

Read Hebrews 2:16-18

16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (KJV)

or,

16  For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
17  Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
18  For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (NKJV)

 

Christ became a Man in order to save men.  He did not become an angel.  He did not die for the salvation of angels; His salvation is not for angels.

If this paragraph of the confession intended to state that angels are included in Christ’s redemptive work, in the same way as men, then it is wrong. If the intended meaning is that God fore-ordained and predestinated which of all the angels would be faithful (as with men) and that these angels would be sustained by Christ their Creator (as with men), then it should have been worded with less ambiguity.

 

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