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Diving into Deep Waters

Last Sunday we found ourselves in deep theological waters - Lamentations chapter 3 refers to both the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of people. However, we only really managed to dip our toes in to these deep theological waters. If you want to dive deeper, have a read (and a re-read and a re-read) of the following statements from the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (in modern english) - they're well worth reflecting on...

(3.1) From all eternity God decreed everything that occurs, without reference to anything outside himself (Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 6:17; Romans 9:15, 18). He did this by the perfectly wise and holy counsel of his will, freely and unchangeably. Yet God did this in such a way that he is neither the author of sin nor has fellowship with any in their sin (James 1:13; 1 John 1:5). This decree does not violate the will of the creature or take away the free working or contingency of second causes. On the contrary, these are established by God's decree (Acts 4:27, 28; John 19:11). In this decree God's wisdom is displayed in directing all things, and his power and faithfulness are demonstrated in accomplishing his decree (Numbers 23:19; Ephesians 1:3-5).

(5.4) The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God are so thoroughly demonstrated in his providence, that his sovereign plan includes even the first fall and every other sinful action both of angels and humans (Romans 11:32-34; 2 Samuel 24:1; 1 Chronicles 21:1). God’s providence over sinful actions does not occur by simple permission. Instead, God most wisely and powerfully limits and in other ways arranges and governs sinful actions (2 Kings 19:28; Psalm 76:10). Through a complex arrangement of methods he governs sinful actions to accomplish his perfectly holy purposes (Genesis 50:20; Isaiah 10:6, 7, 12). Yet he does this in such a way that the sinfulness of their acts arises only from the creatures and not from God. Because God is altogether holy and righteous, he can neither originate nor approve of sin (Psalm 50:21; 1 John 2:16).

These are just two statements from the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith about the decree and providence of God. There are more, and they're well worth reflecting on too - you can read them here:


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