The Decrees Of God I Definition Of Decrees

By the decrees of God we mean that eternal plan by which God has rendered certain all the events of the universe, past present, and future. Notice in explanation that

(a) The decrees are many only to our finite comprehension; in their own nature they are but one plan, which embraces not only effects but also causes, not only the ends to be secured but also the means needful to secure them.

In <450828>Romans 8:28 ? ?called according to his purpose? ? the many decrees for the salvation of many individuals are represented as forming but one purpose of God. <490111>Ephesians 1:11 ? ?foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will? ? notice again the word purpose, ?in the singular. <490311>Ephesians 3:11 ? ?according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.? This one purpose or plan of God includes both means and ends, prayer and its answer and labor and its fruit. Tyrolese proverb: ?God has his plan for every man.? Every man, as well as Jean Paul, is ?der Einzige? ? the unique. There is a single plan which embraces all things; ?we use the word ?decree? when we think of it partitively? (Pepper). See Hodge, Outlines of Theology, 1st ed., 165; 2d ed., 200 ? ?In fact, no event is isolated ? to determine one involves determination of the whole concatenation of causes and effects which constitutes the universe.? The word ?plan? is preferable to the word ?decrees,? because ?plan? excludes the ideas of

(1) plurality,

(2) shortsightedness,

(3) arbitrariness and

(4) compulsion.

(b) The decrees, as the eternal act of an infinitely perfect will, though they have logical relations to each other, have no chronological relation. They

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