Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Doctrine of the Divine Decrees. Part 21.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Point 7. The Glory of God and the Divine Decrees.
Since the Members of the Godhead were alone before all creation, the decrees of God concerned no one but them. When they were made, the decrees of God were designed to glorify those who were there, not to glorify us who were not there.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had infinite glory in eternity past and will have it in eternity future. Whatever they do in the interim - from the creation of the universe to the conclusion of history - must bring them infinite glory.
1TI 3:16 And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
1JO 4:12 No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
When history terminates, God’s glory will be as perfect as it was before time began.
Our failures do not stain the glory of God.
PSA 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name; And deliver us, and forgive our sins, for Thy name’s sake.
ISA 43:25 I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
ISA 48:11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.
Grace is born of the glory of God.
Grace means that God does all the work which adds up to our blessing.
The only things related to us that can glorify God are what God Himself accomplishes (such as imputing His righteousness or providing doctrine).
Anytime we are blessed of God, we can count on one thing: we did not earn or deserve it.
Once we understand His glory, we will certainly not want to intrude on it; we will want to go along with it.
Since He is the Origin and Subject (not the object) of the decrees, God will inevitably be glorified by every thought, every decision, every action in human history.
Both in time and in eternity God’s character is vindicated in everything that occurs; even “the wrath of man shall praise Him,”
The extent to which a believer advances is the extent to which the decrees of eternity past were declared for that individual.
In too many cases the potential far exceeds the reality.
Both sin and the Cross were fed into the computer of the divine decrees.
Sin is the permissive will of God; the Cross, the directive will.
God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit knew that the two greatest systems of human law - Jewish and Roman - would meet at the Cross and that both would break down and fail.
The Members of the Trinity knew that hearsay would be accepted as evidence, that the facts would be omitted, and that the whole succession of Christ’s seven trials would be a railroading of the law.
Our Lord’s execution was the sum total of human evil and reversionism.
It was the quintessence of sinfulness - sinfulness related to religion.
The religious crowd crucified the Lord, yet God’s purpose was carried out by the free choice of man - even by the free negative volition of the evil, reversionistic men in the Sanhedrin.
It was religion that put Christ on the Cross, but it was the justice of God the Father who used the crucifixion for His own purpose.
Religion reached its peak only to inadvertently provide the grace way of salvation as the justice of God imputed the personal sins of mankind to Christ and judged them on the Cross.
God not only uses the wrath of man to praise Him, but He uses the wrath of angels as well!
Satan thought he had accomplished his objective, and in no way had his volition been coerced.
All he had done was to contribute to our Lord’s objective.
Point 8. The Practical Application of the Divine Decrees.
Since the decree is the sum total of God’s plan and purpose in eternity past, it centers around the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, EPH 1:4-6; 1JO 3:23.
At the Cross, the sovereignty of God and the free volition of man meet for the glory of God and the advantage of mankind. The basis for this meeting is the justice of God.
Under the divine policy of grace, the work of salvation is accomplished by God while man gains the benefits apart from human merit or ability.
The definite antagonism between divine justice and human works means that human works are set aside in every phase of the plan of grace.
God’s plan in eternity past was designed to include all events and actions, related to their causes and conditions, as part of one indivisible system, every link being a part of the integrity of the whole.
Without violating human volition, God has designed a plan so perfect that it includes directive, provision, preservation, function, cause and effect for all believers.
Under this plan, God has decreed to do some things directly (such as creation or salvation), some through secondary agencies (as through Israel or the Church), and some through individuals (as through the Apostle Paul - or through us).
He never blesses us because of our character, our plans, our ideas, our schemes, our self-righteousness.
He blesses us always and only on the basis of His character.
Anyone who keeps trying to vindicate himself before God will never understand the righteousness of God, how it relates to divine justice, or how both characterize the decrees.
The best plan and purpose that could have been devised by infinite wisdom, consummated by infinite power, and that which will be the supreme satisfaction to infinite love.
“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world,” ACT 15:18.
The divine purpose (EPH 1:11), determinate counsel (ACT 2:23), foreknowledge (1PE 1:2 cf. 1:20), election (1TH 1:4), predestination (ROM 8:30), the divine will (EPH 1:11), and the divine good pleasure (EPH 1:9).
He first tries to attack us personally, but we expect that. He then tries to cause division in the body of Christ. That usually results in weak believers believing lies and trying to cause trouble; all this does is what Satan wants [to stop the progress in the church of doctrine].
That is when the trouble starts; human emotions happen; bitterness steps in; anger comes forward; wisdom is working only part time.
This includes His plan, the predesigned plan of God, and His method which is to use His power, divine omnipotence. The strategy of God for our spiritual warfare is found in the predesigned plan of God and His method is operating in divine power.
The tactical victory for this conflict is now assigned to each Church-age believer.
“All warfare is based on deception.”
“The supreme art of spiritual warfare is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
EPH 6:11 “Hold your ground against the strategies of the devil.”
EPH 6:13 “Hold your ground in the day that evil attacks you”
JAM 4:7 “Submit therefore to God [execute the predesigned plan of God]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
1PE 5:9 “But resist the devil by being firm in your doctrine”
Our main objective in the spiritual war which we are called to fight is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
In spiritual warfare, the objective depends upon the neutralization and destruction of the power of the opposing spiritual forces in battle.
1JO 1:9 “If we acknowledge [name and cite] our sins, He is faithful and righteous, with the result that He forgives us our sins [known sins] and purifies us from all unrighteousness [unknown sins].”
PSA 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to Thee, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Selah.
Sin takes us out of the predesigned plan of God and away from the delegated power of God, but rebound puts us right back in.