Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The doctrine of the Divine Decrees deals with the distinctions between what God permits and what He desires.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Point 4. The Distinctions Between What God Permits and What He Desires.

Laws regulate human conduct, while decrees are God’s plan and action in eternity past.

Laws can be broken; the decrees of God can never be broken.

The distinction between God’s desires in the decrees, and the rejection of God’s desires.

EZE 18:32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, declares the Lord God. Therefore, repent and live.”

ROM 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.

Turn to GAL 3:22

PSA 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

GAL 3:22 man is restricted by divine decree to be under sin.

God has confined all in unbelief that they might become the objects of divine mercy.

Election - God willed His highest and best for every believer, so He deposited in escrow blessings for time and greater blessings for eternity.

1CO 3:15 If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss [escrow blessings for eternity]; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. 2PE 1:10 Be motivated even more to make certain about His calling and election;

God knew all your negative decisions and programmed them into the divine decrees because He will not interfere with your free will.

While sin and death are displeasing to God and incompatible with His divine nature, they belong to the decrees under the fall of man.

While loser believers are displeasing to God and incompatible with His sovereign will, they belong to the decrees from their own free will.

God’s decree rendered all things as certain to occur, and He decided they would exist.

In giving us volition, He decreed that our decisions would certainly take place, even those contrary to His desires.

Sin, human good, and evil are not the desires of God but are in the decrees because they are performed by our free will.

God desires His perfect will and sovereignty, but angelic and human creatures use their God-given free will and self-determination to violate the desires of God.

God does not desire to cast His creatures into the Lake of Fire forever, but it is so decreed under retribution for all who express negative volition at God-consciousness and at Gospel hearing.

REV 14:11 - where their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night.

God does not desire the discipline of believers, but it is decreed for all believers who live in carnality, apostasy and reversionism.

Unlimited atonement is the demonstration that the sovereignty of God desires that no one should perish.

2PE 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

God’s eternal and sovereign will for every believer is expressed in the divine decrees - election, glorification, justification, and predestination.

Your life and the decisions that you would make were read by God but not altered.

The divine decrees contain all data or facts regarding the function of the free will of man in human history.

All logistical grace, and those who would be blessed and their blessings, were fed into the divine decrees.

ISA 65:24 It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. MAT 6:8 “Your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.”

It prints out facts on the unbeliever - reprobation, condemnation and retribution.

1. The permission of sin.
A distinction is made in the divine decrees -
1. Efficacious
2. Permissive.

The efficacious decrees determine the affairs of this life directly by physical causes, Job 28.

The efficacious decrees determine the affairs of this life in the spiritual realm, PHI 2:13; EPH 2:8,10.

PHI 2:13 “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

EPH 2:8-10 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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Permissive - God does not actively promote the execution of the decrees even though they have been determined by Him to take place.

He gave the rebellious children of Israel their own evil desires, PSA 78:29; 106:15.

God determines not to hinder the course of action which His creatures pursue, but He does determine to regulate and control the boundaries and the results of such actions.

God’s permissive will is His will to permit whatsoever He thinks fit to permit or not to hinder; He also intends to regulate it and not to behold it as an idle unconcerned spectator.

God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so a demonstration of His divine power might be fully displayed.

EXO 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the Lord had said. EXO 8:32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.

EXO 9:34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.

JOS 2:10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt,

Unless Adam did sin, there would be no need for the Savior who was decreed in eternity past before Adam to be slain, REV 13:8.

1SA 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.”

By decree it was determined and the was prophecy was given that the everlasting throne and kingdom for Israel was to come through Judah, and not Benjamin, Saul’s tribe, GEN 49:10.

GEN 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Satan admits he can bring no testing upon Job apart from the permission of the Lord, and the Lord gave Satan this permission, JOB 1:12; JOB 2:6.

After the sin has been committed, the one who sins could say: God is to be blamed.

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