Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The Doctrine of The Divine Decrees. Part 9.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Point 1. Definition and description.
Point 2. The five characteristics of the divine decrees.
(a) All-comprehensive
(b) Eternal
(c) Perfect
(d) Unchangeable and certain
(e) The free choice of God in eternity past

Point 3. The pre-creation reality and lapsarianism.

They are called in theology the five elective decrees.

Lapsarianism provides the logical environment as well as the logical order for the five elective decrees.

It provides the place for the insertion of escrow blessings for every believer in the portfolio of invisible assets.

By logical order is meant that although the entire decree is one thought in the mind of God, the principle of cause and effect is involved in human perception and in human understanding.

The term lapsarian refers to the doctrine of divine decrees from the standpoint that man is a fallen being or creature.

Now the whole key here is to understand that the word “Lapsarianism” comes from the Latin word for “fall”!

There are five schools of interpretation in the order and arrangement of these five elective decrees.
Supralapsarianism
Sublapsarianism
Infralapsarianism
Arminian Lapsarianism
Biblical Lapsarianism

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).

The whole key here is to understand that the word “Lapsarianism” comes from the Latin word for “fall”!

In God’s order of the elective decrees, where does Election rank in relation to Permit the Fall?

SUPRA lapsarianism = Election is placed ABOVE Permit the Fall.
SUB lapsarianism = Election is placed BELOW Permit the Fall.
INFRA lapsarianism = Election is placed TWO RANKS BELOW Permit the Fall.

Supra lapsarianism
Sub lapsarianism
Infra lapsarianism
Arminian Lapsarianism
Biblical Lapsarianism

1. Supralapsarianism - hyper-Calvinism or Beza’s theory.

A. The decree to elect some to be saved (a false position) and to reprobate all others. (This is double predestination and heresy.)

Predestination is a word that applies to believers only!

1CO 2:7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden {wisdom,} which God predestined before the ages to our glory;

No one has ever been predestined to Hell!
No one has ever been predestined to eternal damnation!

“Has not believed” - perf-act-ind - pisteuon = in the active voice it means that he has refused to believe in Jesus Christ!!

Predestination is a print-out from the sovereign will of God and it applies to believers only!!

2PE 3:9 “The Lord is not willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

B. Under Supralapsarianism, the second decree that they teach is the decree to provide salvation for the elect, which is the basis for limited atonement.
C. Then they teach that there was the decree to create man, both elect and non-elect.
D. The decree to permit the fall.
E. The decree to save the elect.

God the Father in eternity past could not deposit greater blessings in escrow and provided a unique portfolio of invisible assets for a non-entity!

One of the main problems behind supralapsarianism = supralapsarianism ignores the part played by human volition in human history.

Hyper-Calvinism is actually the work of a Burgundian theologian and noble who lived from 1519-1605, Theodore Beza, who was the rector of a theological seminary at the university of Geneva.

In their first decree they have the decree to elect some to be saved and to reprobate all others.

Hyper-Calvinism or Supralapsarianism says salvation really begins, not when you believe in Christ, but in eternity past when you were elected.

The problem with this is that it places election and limited atonement before the fall instead of after the fall.

It begins by assuming that a certain number of men will be elected and the rest reprobated, which denies the justice and fairness of God.

God cannot elect until He creates. You cannot elect until you permit the fall.

In supralapsarianism, man is an abstract concept of non-existence; therefore, any divine determination concerning mankind is dealing with something that doesn’t exist. This is the blasphemy of ignoring selection before election.

Hyper-Calvinism or supralapsarianism says, “the only reason you ever believed in Christ was because you were elected. So you were really saved when you were elected, not when you believed in Christ.”

By putting election first in the decrees, supralapsarianism would assume that non-entities exist from which to elect and reject.

This heresy says God is unfair because He selected some people to be saved and the rest are lost, no matter what they do or think.

The Bible indicates that the elect and non-elect are taken out of an existing aggregate of beings -
JOH 15:19 “I have [chosen] elected you out of the world.”

Chosen - aor-mid-ind - eklegomai = middle voice tells us that God did not choose us based upon His volition only but also based upon our response to His initiation.

Aor-mid-ind - eklegomai = middle voice tells us that God did not choose us based upon His volition only but also based upon our response to His initiation.

The logical order is that man must be created, then the fall must be permitted, and then he must be saved by grace through faith before he can be said to be elected.

Scroll to Top