Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Doctrine of Divine Decree: part 6: lapsarianism.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Point 3: The order of the divine decrees (lapsarianism).

Of all the decrees, five of them are related to the purpose of God in election - the five elective decrees.

1. Supralapsarianism. This is hyper-Calvinism.
a. The decree to elect some to be saved (a false position) and to reprobate all others. This is double predestination and heresy.
b. The decree to provide salvation for the elect, which is the basis for limited atonement.
c. The decree to create man, both elect and non-elect.
d. The decree to permit the fall.
e. The decree to save the elect.

This view elects a non-entity, states that election and the “limited atonement were before the fall, and provides man with a “sit on your hands” attitude.

God has allowed through His permissive will, free will to His creatures to give them the opportunity to play a significant role and have a significant impact in the holy decree.

The decree is not conditional, but the fulfilment of certain aspects, like election and receiving escrow blessings depended on what God foreknew in EP - your decisions.

While God Sovereignly holds the circumstances in your life, your decisions are your own. They can be influenced, they can be motivated, but in the end you make decisions.

ECC 10:2 A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left.

PRO 16:9 The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

2. Infralapsarianism, A form of moderate Calvinism.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to provide salvation for all mankind (unlimited atonement)
d. The decree to elect some from among fallen mankind, and to leave others in their sin (those who will not believe in Christ).
e. The decree to save the elect through faith in Christ or to apply salvation to those who believe.

This is the Biblical view of the order of the decrees, but it does not take cognizance of EPH 1:3, the work of God the Father in eternity past depositing in escrow greater blessing for us.

Escrow blessings are received when election (God’s highest and best) is fulfilled by the believer in time by growing up to maturity.

Therefore, with escrow blessings provided before election in the divine decree (EPH 1:3-4), we are persuaded to believe that election was done by God in EP, but its experiential fulfilment is realized by the believer in time and not in EP.

Election was done by God in eternity past, but the potential to realize the fulfilment of your election occurs in time.

2TI 2:4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
PRO 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

Martha’s steps took her all over the house with dishes and cups and napkins and food etc. Mary’s steps took her right to the feet of the Lord.

2. Infralapsarianism.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to provide salvation for all mankind (unlimited atonement).
d. The decree to elect some from among fallen mankind, and to leave others in their sin (those who will not believe in Christ).
e. The decree to save the elect through faith in Christ or to apply salvation to those who believe.

It’s very important to understand that the Bible states that mankind is the object of grace after the fall, not before the fall. The order of the divine decrees must show this.

3. Sublapsarianism, also a form of moderate Calvinism.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to elect those who believe in Christ, and to leave in just condemnation those who do not believe in Christ.
d. The decree to provide salvation for the elect (limited atonement).
e. The decree to save the elect through faith in Christ, sometimes stated as the decree to apply salvation to those who believe in Christ.

c. The decree to elect those who believe in Christ, and to leave in just condemnation those who do not believe in Christ.
d. The decree to provide salvation for the elect (limited atonement).

4. Armenian Lapsarianism, represented by Richard Watson, their greatest theologian.
a. The decree to create all mankind.
b. The decree to permit the fall.
c. The decree to provide unlimited atonement (but they don’t understand it correctly.)
d. Salvation by foreseen human virtue + faith + obedience; hence the blasphemy of salvation by works.
e. Election as an act of God in time. (which makes election synonymous with experiential sanctification)

EPH 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

Election is the expression of the Sovereign will of God for you and predestination is the provision of the Sovereign will of God for you and you can say yes or no to them, but they are never based on your works.

Though God designed the plan in eternity past, the Bible states that man is the object of grace after, not before, the fall in Jn 15:9, ROM 11:5-7; EPH 1:4-6; 1 Pet 1:2.

God formed His decree in eternity, though its execution is in time.

JOH 15:9 "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

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