Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The doctrine of the divine decrees. Part 12.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
God decreed to apply salvation to everyone who believes in Christ.
The decree includes what we call “God consciousness” - where people become aware of the existence of God through five different systems of thinking.
Positive volition at God consciousness means that an individual will have the means of hearing the Gospel regardless of geographical isolation or problems of linguistic barriers.
The distinction between the decree and the execution of the decree in our thinking means the one logically follows the other.
The decree occurred in eternity past, the execution occurs in human history.
Matt. 6:23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
The term lapsarian refers to the doctrine of divine decrees from the standpoint that man is a fallen being or creature.
The key here is to understand that the word “Lapsarianism” comes from the Latin word for “fall”!
Lapse: a temporary deviation or fall especially from a higher to a lower state; an error; becoming less.
The whole key here is to understand that the word “Lapsarianism” comes from the Latin word for “fall”!
“The” Question: In God’s order of the elective decrees, where does Election rank in relation to Permit the Fall?
The prefix supra- indicates a rank above
The prefix sub- indicates a rank below
The prefix infra- indicates a rank below sub-.
(therefore 2 ranks below)
SUPRA-lapsarianism means that Election is placed ABOVE the Fall
SUB-lapsarianism means that Election is placed BELOW the Fall
INFRA-lapsarianism means that Election is placed TWO RANKS BELOW the Fall
A. God decreed to create all mankind with free will in the status of perfection for two reasons:
To resolve the prehistoric angelic conflict
To bring many sons into glory
B. God decreed to permit mankind’s fall through the function of his own determination, his own volition as the extension of the angelic conflict into human history.
C. God decreed to provide eternal salvation for all mankind under the doctrine of unlimited atonement.
D. God decreed to leave the reprobate (those who reject Christ as Savior) to their just condemnation.
E. God decreed simultaneously in eternity past both Election and Predestination for believers only.
The plan of God has to do with God gathering into one all-inclusive plan, all the objects of salvation, whether in heaven or earth, in Christ.
It is also called the mysterious purpose or plan which had been hidden for ages in God, which is now made known to His saints, EPH 3:4-11
The selection of some definite end or object to be accomplished.
The choice of appropriate means.
At least in the case of God, the effectual application and control of those means to the accomplishment of the contemplated end.
The decrees of God are His eternal purpose according to the counsels of His own will whereby for His own glory He has foreordained whatever comes to pass.
Supralapsarianism: says that God is unfair because he selected some people to be saved and the rest are lost, no matter what they do or think.
Sublapsarianism: teaches the limited atonement and is blasphemous for many reasons especially inherited sin!
Infralapsarianism: makes election before the application of salvation
Armenian lapsarianism: makes election synonymous with experiential sanctification and depending on foreseen human virtue, faith, and obedience.
Biblical lapsarianism: election last as the crown jewel of God’s grace and love by capstoning the decrees with unfathomable escrow blessings
ROM 8:28 we "are called according to His purpose"
ROM 9:11 for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose according to His election might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls
EPH 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord
2TI 1:9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity
The purpose and the plan of God have to do with God glorifying Himself, not glorifying us!
EPH 1:10 that God did all this "with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth."