Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The Doctrine of The Divine Decrees. Part 15.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

 Point 1. Definition and description.
Point 2. There are five characteristics of the divine decrees.

(A) All-comprehensive.
(B) Eternal.
(C) God is perfect; therefore, His decrees are perfect.
(D) Unchangeable and certain.
(E) The free choice of God in eternity past.

Point 3. The principle of the pre-creation reality and lapsarianism.
Point 4. The distinctions between what God permits and what He desires.

Distinction should be made between God’s laws and God’s decrees. God has decreed a Sovereign will and has decreed a permissive will to all His creatures.

When we sin or act in human power, which is evil, we make ourselves independent of the Sovereign will of God. God allows that as His permissive will.

God doesn’t want you to hurt yourself. Sin and evil (human good) hurts you! Not Him!

“Blessed” - eulogetos = worthy of praise and glorification.

God is glorified with or without you. He doesn’t need you. He is pure glory. Nothing can come against His true glory. You have an opportunity to glorify God by making good decisions, but God will be glorified if you don’t.

Distinction should be made between God’s laws and God’s decrees.

God brought discipline upon Israel to wake them up to their rejection of God’s laws so that they may repent and He heal them.

The Church-age also has laws, but more importantly for us He has given His new laws through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. In the Church-age the question is do you walk according to the Spirit or according to the flesh?

The mere avoidance of sin is not the primary issue. It happened, it happens, get over it.

GAL 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
GAL 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
JOH 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

“Keep” - tereo = to guard as dear.

ROM 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
GAL 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

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.

Then there is the distinction between God’s desires in the decrees, like election, and the rejection of God’s desires.

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 knows all your negative acts but does not interfere with your free will; for this would prevent the angelic conflict from ever being settled.

“Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata - of creatures that worked like machines - would hardly be worth creating.

The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.

Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk. Perhaps we feel inclined to disagree with Him. But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its own source.

If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will - that is, for making a live world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings - then we may take it it is worth paying.”

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

Or while loser believers are displeasing to God and incompatible with His sovereign will, nevertheless, they belong to the decrees, having a printout from their own free will.

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

God desires His perfect will and sovereignty, but both 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 the printout of retribution for all who express negative volition at God-consciousness and at Gospel hearing.

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

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

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

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

It also prints out facts on the unbeliever under the categories of reprobation, condemnation and retribution.

First of all there is the permission of sin. Calvinistic theologians have made a distinction in the divine decrees by dividing them into two combinations, the decrees which are efficacious and those which are permissive. The efficacious decrees are those which determine the affairs of this life directly by physical causes, Job 28.

The efficacious decrees are also those which determine the affairs of this life directly by spiritual forces, PHI 2:13; EPH 2:8,10.

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

This is in contrast to His efficacious and divine purpose which works to the end that men will and do His good pleasure. By way of permission, “God, in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways,” Acts 14:16. This is also why He gave the rebellious children of Israel their own evil desires, PSA 78:29; 106:15.

Scroll to Top