Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 7

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?

A. The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.

The heart of this question in my humble opinion is: “Is God really God?” If God is not sovereign over everything that happens, then He is really not God. As Dr. R. C. Sproul has said, “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”

I have heard people say that God is sovereign over the big things, but not sovereign over the little things, but are not the “big” things made up of the “little” things? As the children rhyme states so well:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail
.”

While God is never the author of sin, even sin is under His control. As Joseph said to his brothers after they had sold him into slavery, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:19-20) And, of course, the ultimate example is found in Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost when he clearly states that men crucified Jesus with their evil hands but it was done within the predetermined plan of God, “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” (Acts 2:23)

“Lord, thank You, that You ‘cause all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to His purpose.’”

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