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12.04.22 Evening - Baptist Catechism Q11

Baptist Catechism  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:30
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Covenant Reformed Baptist Church meets at 10:30 am Sunday mornings and 6:00 pm the first Sunday of every month at 1501 Grandview Ave, Portsmouth, OH 45662.

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Good evening.  •We are continuing our study of the Baptist Catechism.  •Specifically, we are using the edition found in the white catechism booklets that we give away here at the church.  •And this evening, we come to Question 11.  •And this question has to do with God’s sovereignty. •Our question is, “What are the decrees of God?” This evening we come to consider a distinctive of Reformed theology: God’s foreordination of all things.  •And let me be explicitly clear: I mean ALL THINGS.  •Not some things. Not most things. Not the big things. Not the small things. BUT ALL THINGS.  •As our confession states in chapter 3 paragraph 1, •“God hath decreed in Himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His will, freely and unchangeably, all things whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin, nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree.” •Amen and amen. Our God IS God. He is the sovereign King of all things.  Now, this doctrine is hated by many.  •Even by many whom we would call brothers and sisters in the Lord, sadly.  •Many kick against the goads of this truth and reject the plain teaching of the Word of God at this point.  •But they do so inconsistently.  •And praise God for their inconsistencies. For it is precisely because they are inconsistent in their denial of God’s sovereignty that they do not run headlong into heresy and a denial of the Faith itself.  •And we pray for them that they would come to understand the glory of God’s sovereignty as we have.  But, unlike them, we glory in this truth.  •For all the difficulties it may conjure in our minds, and all the questions it may raise, nevertheless, we praise God for His complete sovereignty over all things.  •We praise Him that He foreordains all things and, therefore, all things are under His control for His glory and our ultimate good.  Absolute sovereignty is what we love to ascribe to God.  •We love to say with the Psalmist, “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” (Psalm 113:5) •We love to glory in the kingship of our Triune God.  And this evening, we will do exactly that.  •I will not spend time today teaching against the errors of Arminianism and it’s cousins.  •I would much prefer to declare the truth than to spend all evening refuting error.  •I find that often simply focusing on the truth clears the head and warms the heart more than presenting falsehood and knocking it down. (Though, there is definitely a time and place for that in preaching.) •So then, we will consider the plain, biblical truth that God has foreordained all things, whatsoever comes to pass. And that He has done so in perfect holiness, righteousness, wisdom, and goodness. And that He has done it all freely and for the glory of His Name.  So, brothers and sisters, we will first pray.  •Then we will consider the assertion of our catechism.  •After that, we will search the Scriptures to see if these things are so.  •And then I will answer a couple of questions that this doctrine may bring to mind.  •And, finally, we will consider some points of application to our hearts in light of the truth.  So then, let’s begin with prayer and seek God’s help as we turn to His Word.  (PRAY) Our Great God and Father,  Thank you for another Sabbath Day. We hope we honored you in it. And, if we haven’t, we ask that you would teach us how to keep the day holy.  But now we come to you asking for help to understand your Word.  Help us to gladly receive whatever you’ve revealed about yourself, your will, and your ways.  Give us faith to receive the pure Word of God.  And show us how the truth of your Word applies to us.  By your Spirit, seal the Word to our hearts and sanctify us. Teach us to trust you, rest in you, and praise you.  Glorify yourself in us by your Word and Spirit.  We ask these things in Jesus’ Name and for His sake.  Amen.  Our question this evening. I ask that you would read the answer with me. Q. What are the decrees of God? A. The decrees of God are His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His will, by which for His own glory, He has foreordained whatever comes to pass.  •(Let’s do that again.) 1.) Let’s begin by first considering what our catechism is saying.  •Another version of this answer says, “God’s decree is His eternal plan, whereby, according to His decretive will and for His glory, He foreordained everything that comes to pass.”  •But maybe there is even a simpler way to say it: God’s decree is what HE HAS SAID.  •To decree is, if nothing else, to SAY SOMETHING. It is to say something with utter authority.  •And, for God to decree, for God to say something, is for Him to say it with all the power and authority of GOD.  •So, what God says will be, WILL BE.  •He speaks with the force of Law. His word is EFFECTUAL. He cannot be contradicted.  •But this decree that we’re considering this evening isn’t about commandments given to men. It’s about WHAT WILL COME TO PASS.  So then, as our catechism says: •“God’s decree is His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His will, by which for His own glory, He has foreordained whatever comes to pass.” •God’s decree is WHAT HE HAS SAID WILL HAPPEN.  •And it includes every person, every being, every action, every event, every everything.  Now, it may be the arrogance of youth, or a lack of understanding the intention of the wording of our catechism, but I don’t like it at a certain place.  •Our question asks “What are the decrees of God?” (Plural decrees.) •I’m not a fan of that wording. I prefer to speak of God’s decree in the SINGULAR. One decree.  •And that’s because, properly speaking, God’s decrees are actually ONE decree. They are “His eternal purpose” (singular purpose).  But I think I know why our catechism has it in the plural (decrees).  •We speak of a plurality of decrees because God has decreed ALL THINGS and, in order for us to talk about what God has decreed, we must break them into categories •But, in reality, God has one decree that encompasses all things that will come to pass.  •He has ONE will and all things are contained in that singular will.  •And His since He is timeless, He doesn’t decree in a succession of moments. So His decrees are one in Him.  •NOTE: Notice once again that our God is incomprehensible. Even when we talk of His decrees we have to break them into categories fit for human minds. Truly, our God is high above us and holy.  So, as I’ve said already the decrees of God are His one eternal purpose for all things.  •And that comes to expression in His foreordaining all things that come to pass.  •Now let’s flesh out the language of our catechism: 1. What does it mean to “foreordain?” Literally, it is to ordain beforehand.  •“Foreordain” is basically synonymous with “predestine.” Except that, in theology, “predestination” usually refers to salvation, while “foreordination” is often used in a broad, more all-encompassing way.  •But the point is that God determines BEFOREHAND what will take place in time.  2. Next, what does our catechism mean when it refers to “His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His will?” •It’s simply stating that God’s decree, His foreordination, is OF HIMSELF.  •God took counsel in Himself. His foreordination is for HIS PURPOSE. It’s His will. It’s His decision.  •That is, God’s decree is not contingent or dependent upon anyone or anything in all creation.  •God’s decree comes from Himself and from none other.  3. Third, what is the meaning of “for His own glory?” •God decreed/foreordained for His own praise.  •God decreed all things to, in the end, according to His will, glorify Himself. The end of all things, the purpose for all that comes to pass is His praise.  •God has decreed what He has decreed so that He might be displayed in His creation, according to how He wanted to display Himself.  •And this was done so that all creation, in one way or another, would praise Him in all that He has done.  •God is in the business of making much of Himself. And that is why He has decreed all that happens.  4. Last, what does our catechism mean by “whatever comes to pass?” •I don’t mean to insult your intelligence, but this must be reiterated: “Whatever comes to pass” means EXACTLY THAT.  •God’s decree is completely exhaustive. IF something happens, God foreordained that it would happen.  So allow me to summarize the assertion of our catechism: •God’s decree is His declaration from eternity what will come to pass in time.  •This decree is completely from Him, with no outside influences whatsoever.  •This decree is for His own praise and glory.  •And this decree is completely exhaustive and encompasses literally everything that happens in time and eternity.  •Once again, as our catechism says, “God’s decree is His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His will, by which for His own glory, He has foreordained whatever comes to pass.” 2.) That is the assertion of our catechism.  •Let’s now consider the Word of God and evaluate what has been said so far.  •And to do so, I think a series of questions and answers will be helpful.  •NOTE: We will be considering no less than a dozen different portions of Scripture this evening. So you probably won’t catch me. But I will provide you with a copy of my notes if you want them.  First, does God have a decree? •This is the biggest question: Does the Word of God tell us that God decrees things before they happen? •Isaiah 46:8-10 answers “Yes.” “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” Now, I want to be clear: The immediate context of this passage has a direct reference to God sending a nation against Israel for judgment.  •BUT, v10 also constrains a broad truth: God declares “the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done…” •That is, God DECREES the end FROM the beginning.  •The nation coming against Israel is just ONE EXAMPLE of this. But clearly, God declares what will come to pass in general from the beginning (before there was anything).  •This, brothers and sisters, is His divine decree.  Another text that shows us this is Proverbs 19:21. •Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. •This text tells us that the LORD has a purpose that will stand. He has intentions for all things, just as men plan all kinds of things.  •And it is God’s purpose that gives way to His decree.  •If He has a purpose for all things, then He must determine all. If not, then His purpose is merely wishful thinking. •And we must reject that, for He can do all His holy will. The proverb itself says that God’s purpose “will stand.” It’s not wishful thinking. He will do what He has purposed.  •That He has a purpose for all things reveals that He has determined all things, since His purpose will stand.  •This, again, is His divine decree.  So God has a decree. But does this decree extend to all future events? •Consider Ephesians 1:11.  In Him (Christ) we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him (God) who works all things according to the counsel of His will, •It’s right there in the text, I think:  •GOD works ALL THINGS. And how does He work them? According to HIS PURPOSE and the counsel of HIS WILL.  •Our being predestined to eternal life is one example of this. But, nevertheless, the Apostle states that God’s will and purpose extend to ALL THINGS.  •And, as we’ve proven already, where God has purpose, God has decreed, for His purpose will stand.  •So then, God’s decree extends to ALL THINGS.  3.) Now, I know that I just gave you a text that says, “ALL THINGS.” But I want to prove that a little more.  •So I’ll use three categories of my own devising: 1. The big stuff.  2. The normal stuff.  3. The small stuff.  •So let’s see if God foreordains the big, normal, and small stuff. That is, ALL THINGS.  1. First, THE BIG STUFF. •I’m referring here to eternal matters. Matters of salvation and damnation. Nothing is bigger than this.  Does God foreordain the salvation of sinners? •Yes. Ephesians 1:3-6 says,  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. •It couldn’t be any clearer. If anyone denies that God foreordains the salvation of all who are saved, it is because they have come to this text with a theological prejudice.  •If someone is adopted through Jesus Christ, then they have to faith in Him. And if they have come to faith in Christ, they are justified. And if they are justified, they will receive full salvation in the end.  •And Paul says that were predestined, it was foreordained by God, that we would be adopted through Jesus Christ.  •And since our adoption was foreordained, so is everything else. Therefore, the salvation of every sinner who is saved is foreordained by God.  •Clearly, all who are saved are predestined to it. God foreordains the salvation of His Elect.  But what about the flip side? Does God foreordain the damnation of other men? •Yes. Romans 9:22 says, What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction… •Proverbs 16:4 says, The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.  •Jude 4 says, For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  •This is a hard pill to swallow for many, but the Word of God is clear: Just as God foreordains the salvation of His Elect, He also foreordains the damnation of other men.  •Now, this brings many questions to our minds. And that is understandable.  •I won’t answer those questions right now, for it is not the purpose of this sermon to flesh out the justice of God in predestining some men to salvation and others to damnation.  •But, know this: Both the salvation and damnation of sinners have been foreordained by God. This is the teaching of God’s Word.  So then, we see that God’s decree extends to the “big stuff.” •God’s decree concerns eternal matters.  2. Let’s now consider THE NORMAL STUFF.  •Here I’m referring to the everyday events of life: Births, events, actions, abilities, nature, and deaths.  •Does God foreordain all of these things? •To answer this question a beloved text comes to mind. But it’s one that MANY Christians have not thought through very deeply.  •They take the sentiment of the verse, but they leave the meat and implications of it behind.  Psalm 139:16 says,  •Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. •This statement is so sweeping and all-encompassing that it staggers our imagination.  •The Psalmist tells us that before we ever lived a day, God had WRITTEN every one of our days in His book.  •Brothers and sisters, this is everything that happens in our lives. The Word of God says that EVERYTHING was written beforehand.  Everything was planned by God.  •Your birthday. Your death day. The family you were born into. Your spouse. Your job. Your abilities. Your education.  •Your miscarriage. The birth of your children.  •Your sicknesses. Your health. Your intelligence.  •The day of your conversion. The moment you were born again. The church you would join.  •Your trials. Your suffering. Your friendships. Your joys. Your food. Your hunger. Your wealth. Your poverty.  •Your successes. Your failures.  •Right down to what the weather would be like each day. Whether it would shine or rain or snow on you was written.  I can’t stress this enough: •EVERYTHING WAS WRITTEN. Every one of your days.  •This passage is actually just as exhaustive as Ephesians 1:11. It covers everything in your life.  •And if everything in every person’s life is written before we are born, then literally everything in the world is decreed by God beforehand.  •So, yes, the normal stuff is foreordained by God.  3. But what about THE SMALL STUFF? •Consider Proverbs 16:33: The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. •This one is a killer to any idea that God has not decreed literally all things that come to pass.  •The lot, the dice, that are cast into the lap are determined by God.  •(Yahtzee is a perfect game for Calvinists.) What does this mean? •It means that the most insignificant, seemingly random things are foreordained by God.  •Every shuffle of cards, every roll of the dice, every encounter, everything is foreordained.  •And that leads us to confess that the big, significant things must be as well.  •If God foreordains the dice roll, how much more does He foreordain more weighty matters? So, does God foreordain literally everything that comes to pass? •Yes. Absolutely and undeniably, yes! •Does chance exist in God’s world? Absolutely NOT.  •Chance is for atheists and heretics. But we are neither. So we confess that God foreordains all things.  NOTE: Now, I know that some want to argue against this truth.  •Some want to say, “That’s unfair.” Or, “Why would God foreordain this or that? That isn’t right.” •And there is a passage that addresses such thoughts: •Romans 9:20-21 says, But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? •I mean this with all the pastoral warmth that I can muster: This world is God’s world. He is the Potter. And everyone and everything in the world is His clay.  •God is free and righteous and good to do whatever He wants with all that He has made.  •And we need to recognize ourselves and our lives as clay in His hands. God is God. And we are not. And we need to know our place and humble ourselves before the Sovereign King of all.  4.) Now, having established that God foreordains all that comes to pass, it’s now fitting for us to consider this: •What kind of foreordination is this? •What is the nature of God’s decree? 1. First, God’s decree is SOVEREIGN AND FREE. •Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” •Our God does whatever He pleases. And that means that He has decreed whatever He pleased.  The point here is that God’s foreordination is NOT dependent upon His creatures/creation.  •He doesn’t “look down the corridors of time” and then foreordain according to what He saw that His creatures would do or be like.  •That wouldn’t be free. That wouldn’t be whatever He pleased. That wouldn’t be according to the counsel of His will.  •In such a situation, God would be BOUND. It would no longer be HIS purpose and will, but the purpose and will of His creatures that determined all things.  •His creatures, then, would functionally BE GOD because they would determine God’s own decree.  •We absolutely cannot allow such a view of God, for it is contrary to everything God reveals about Himself in the Word.  •GOD IS GOD. He is the King. He is sovereign, not men.  Also, God is of Himself.  •He is dependent upon none IN ALL REGARDS.  •So then, He is completely independent in His willing and decreeing.  •Brothers and sisters, God didn’t ask for help when He foreordained all things. He didn’t ask for advice. He didn’t ask for permission.  •God freely ordained all things. As one minister likes to say, “God ain’t running for God.” This isn’t a democracy. This is a divine Monarchy. He does what HE wills.  2. Second, this decree is ETERNAL.  •As we’ve seen already, God predestines, He foreordains before the foundation of the world.  •Before time even existed, He decreed. He decreed time itself would exist. It didn’t exists apart from Him.  •So God is not decreeing on the fly. What has been decreed has always been decreed by God.  •God is eternal. And so, His will is eternally His will.  •So then, His decree is eternally His decree.  3. Third, this decree is WISE.  •How could it not be? The One who decreed is ALL-WISE.  •Our God has foreordained the best course of events for His world.  •He has organized everything perfectly, according to His divine and inscrutable and unsearchable wisdom.  •To say otherwise is to blaspheme His character.  •He knows best. And He has decreed what is best for His own glory and the good of His People.  4. Fourth, this decree is HOLY.  •Again, how could it not be? The One who decreed is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY.  •And, as the holy One, He can only do that which is perfectly good and righteous.  •There is no unrighteousness in God’s decree. There may be things we don’t understand. But there is no unrighteousness in His decree, for there is no unrighteousness in GOD.  5. Fifth, this decree is UNCHANGEABLE.  •God Himself is immutable. So His will is immutable. What God says will be, WILL BE.  •Our God is not in the business of changing His mind, for He Himself does not change.  •For God to change His decree would mean one or more of the following impossibilities: •He has a better idea now, which means He is not all-wise.  •He decreed the wrong thing, which means He is not holy.  •He decreed something He cannot accomplish, which means that He is not omnipotent.  •None of those things can be true. Therefore, God will never change His decree.  6. Sixth, this decree WILL COME TO PASS.  •Again, God is omnipotent. He can do ALL His holy will.  •No one can stop Him from accomplishing His purposes, for to thwart the Lord would mean that He has been overpowered.  •And that simply is not possible.  7. Seventh, this decree IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. •God’s decree is hidden from us. It is unknowable unless He has revealed some aspect of it in the Word.  •Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” •God has not revealed all that He has foreordained. He has simply revealed that all IS FOREORDAINED.  •And it is not our business to search it out. It is hidden from us.  Our duty is not to ponder what God has foreordained for history.  •No, our duty is much simpler: It is to live by what He has revealed.  •“How do I know I’m predestined to be saved?” That’s none of your business. Your business is to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  •“How do I know that my child hasn’t been predestined to die young?” That’s not your business. Your business is to raise her right and cast your cares upon the Lord.  We are not to search into mysteries that are above our pay grade.  •Rather, we are to do as the Psalmist and quiet our souls and trust that what the Lord has decreed is for His glory and our good.  •As Psalm 131 says, O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD form this time forth and forevermore. 5.) Now, we turn to a couple of questions this doctrine raises in our minds. 1. Does this all mean that God foreordains sin? •Clearly, yes.  •The most explicit example of this is about our Lord Jesus Christ.  •Acts 4:27-28 records a portion of a prayer of the early Church. And it says, “for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” •Brothers and sisters, the greatest sin of all time was foreordained by God.  •The crucifixion of the sinless Son of God at the hands of wicked sinners was predestined.  •This text teaches us EXPLICITLY that God foreordains even sin.  •God’s decree includes even the sins of His creatures.  Secondarily, by resistless logic, we see that God must foreordain sin.  •Since God foreordains all that comes to pass, and people sinning comes to pass, then the sins of men have been foreordained by God.  2. And this raises a second, crucial question: •Since God foreordains sin, does that make God evil or the author of sin? •Clearly, no.  •“But how?” That’s the next question.  •I’ll tell you now, there are a great many books and many long conversations we can have about this.  •I simply don’t have time to answer that question in this sermon. And it is not the scope of this sermon to delve into this issue.  •But let me put something to you as your pastor: Before we can even begin to try to think through how God’s foreordination of sin doesn’t make Him evil or the author of sin, we have to do something: •We have to first receive the Word of God as the Word of God and submit ourselves to what God has said.  •And with regard to this question, God has said three things clearly: 1. He foreordains all things including sin.  2. He is holy and the perfect hater of sin.  3. He does not tempt or have any fellowship with sin.  •The Word of God says these things all over the place.  •So our conclusion is this: God MUST, then, foreordain sin in a sinless, holy, and righteous manner.  The Bible explicitly states all three of those things.  •And so we must believe them ALL before we even begin to try and answer the question of, “How do those things fit together?” •We must confess and believe in our hearts that, somehow, even if it’s beyond our ability to understand, that God foreordains sin in a sinless manner.  This kind of theology, this way of doing theology requires a huge dose of piety.  •It requires a huge dose of humility.  •And it requires a huge dose of implicit faith in what God has said in His Word.  •We must rely upon the Word God and not our fallible, weak, human abilities.  We must come to a question like this saying in our hearts,  •“God, your Word says that you foreordain sin, that you also hate sin and are perfectly holy, and that you have no fellowship with sin. So I will believe all three of those things at the same time. And even if I can’t ever answer how those things are true at the same time, I will confess them anyway because you have said them. Even if my fallen, human reason can’t put them together, I DON’T CARE. I believe what YOU have said because YOU HAVE SAID IT.” •And then, and only then, can we begin to try to untie the knots in our minds.  •We must start with humble submission and reception of the Word of God and then work from there.  And if we can never get to the bottom of this or explain it in such a way to satisfy human reason or curiosity, I don’t see a problem with that as a Christian.  •We can’t EXPLAIN the Trinity.  •We can’t EXPLAIN the Hypostatic Union of Christ.  •We can’t. We can confess it. But we cannot explain it.  •We simply take all that God’s Word says, believe it, and distill it into confessions about our Triune God and the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ.  •But we can’t explain HOW God is one in essence and three in Persons.  •We can’t explain HOW the human and divine natures are united together in the one Person of Christ.  We can’t explain everything in the Bible.  •But we can believe and confess it.  •And why is that? Because God, who is beyond our comprehension, and cannot lie, has revealed truth to us in His Word.  •The same is true about His holy hatred of sin and His simultaneous foreordination of sin.  Christian, before you try to answer any difficulties in theology, make sure that you are first receiving the Word of God with humility and faith.  •Before you take up the pen to do theology, make sure that you are first squarely planted on your knees before the Book.  6.) Now, with all that said, let’s turn to consider what application can be made to hearts in light of God’s sovereignty over all: 1. Christian, trust Him. You can trust Him.  •Since He has foreordained all things, you can rest assured that everything happens for a reason.  •That’s not a religious platitude. That is revealed truth.  •Everything is working toward God’s goal for all things.  •Everything is working toward His glory and your good.  •Not one thing that befalls you, whether pleasure or pain, is meaningless or purposeless. God has a purpose for everything. And He controls it all.  •Let God’s decree be the pillow on which you lay your head at night.  •Sleep well, knowing that the One who controls all things is YOUR GOD. Trust Him.  Trust Him through every difficulty of life.  •He has planned all your days.  •And He loves you.  •Trust in the Lord, O Israel. 2. Let God’s decree have a sanctifying affect on you.  •Everything that comes upon you in life, comes from His decree for your life.  What a sanctifying thought! •All good things are from Him. How much more would we give thanks if we recognized daily that all blessings come to us because God decreed it would be so? •All trials are from Him. How much more would we endure suffering in a godly manner if we knew that God had sent the hardship upon us for His glory? •To know that all things comes from His will should change how we receive everything, whether good or bad.  3. Let God’s decree lead you to worship Him.  •Remember, this decree is the decree of your salvation.  •You were predestined to be adopted to Him through Jesus Christ from all eternity.  •The work of Christ on your behalf, to live and die in your place to save you, was decreed from all eternity.  •The day you would hear and believe the Gospel was decreed from eternity.  •Your preservation and perseverance to the end has been decreed from all eternity.  •And your final glorification, that you will one day behold Christ face to face as a friend and be freed from the very presence of sin has been decreed from eternity.  O Christian, worship this sovereign God! •Everything you are and have, from your breath to your final salvation has been decreed by Him.  •Worship Him always! May God grant us faith to receive and glory in the truth of His decree.  •Amen.   
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