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Summary: This sermon unpacks article 3. of the Baptist confession of faith 1689. Article 3.Gods Decree.

ARTICLE 3. GOD’S DECREE. Ephesians 1:3-12.

SO WHAT IS THE DECREE OF GOD? THE DECREE OF GOD IS HIS ETERNAL DECISIONS (HIS WILL) HIS PURPOSES AND PLANS . THAT ARE FORE ORDAINED AND IMPLEMENTED FOR HIS OWN GLORY.

• THE BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH STATES PART1: GOD HAS DECREED IN HIMSELF (DECIDED BY HIMSELF) FROM ALL ETERNITY, BY THE MOST WISE AND HOLY COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL, FREELY AND UNCHANGEABLY, ALL THINGS WHICH SHALL EVER COME TO PASS.(NOTHING FORCED HIM IN THE MAKING OF ANY OF HIS PLANS AND ALL HIS INTENTIONS WILL COME TO PASS WITHOUT THE SLIGHTEST ALTERATION.)

• -YET IN SUCH A WAY THAT GOD IS NEITHER THE AUTHOR OF SIN NOR DOES HE HAVE FELLOWSHIP (MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY) WITH ANY IN THE COMMITTING OF SINS, NOR IS VIOLENCE OFFERED TO THE WILL OF THE CREATURE (NO ONE IS MADE TO SIN) NOR YET IS THE LIBERTY OR CONTINGENCY OF SECOND CAUSES TAKEN AWAY (THE LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT IS NOT INTERFERED WITH) BUT RATHER ESTABLISHED.

IN ALL THIS GODS WISDOM IS DISPLAYED, DISPOSING ALL THINGS (ORDERING THE COURSE OF EVENTS) AND ALSO HIS POWER AND FAITHFULNESS IN ACCOMPLISHING HIS DECREE. (GOD FAITHFULNESS HERE MEANS – HIS UNSWERVING CONFORMITY TO HIS OWN HOLY CHARACTER AND REVEALED WORD.)

• THIS WORLD IS NOT SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL – THIS WORLD HAS NOT BEEN WOUND UP LIKE A CLOCK AND LEFT TO ITS OWN DEVICES GODS PURPOSES AND PLANS ARE BEING PLAYED OUT AS WE SPEAK............ YOUR LIFE IS NOT JUST A PRODUCT OF CHANCE WITH RANDOM CHOICES (CHOICES WE FREELY MAKE, BUT WE ONLY CHOOSE HIM BECAUSE HE HAS CHOSEN US IN ETERNITY EPH 1:4, ROM 9:10 -12) EVERY HUMAN BEING AS A GOD GIVEN DESTINY, GOD HAS DECREED IT, AND IT WILL COME TO PASS.

GOD IS IN CONTROL

• GOD KNOWS THE BEGINNING FROM THE END, HE KNOWS WHAT IS TO COME, ITS ALL WITHIN HIS PURPOSE AND PLANS WHICH WILL STAND FOREVER. THE WHOLE OF CREATION IS HELD TOGETHER BY HIM (COL 1:15-17 ).

• EVEN A SPARROW THAT FALLS TO THE GROUND DOESN’T DO SO WITHOUT THE WILL OF THE FATHER. (MATT:10:29 -30) AND THEN CONSIDER OUR ENTIRE LIVES (WHICH HE KNOWS INTIMATELY) ARE FAR MORE IMPORTANT ARE ALSO ARE ORDAINED UNDER THE WILL OF GOD.

TODAY I WANT TO LAY OUT SOME BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS IN REGARD TO GODS DECREE.

1. GODS DECREE IS IRREVOCABLE.

A DECREE IS A RULE OF LAW WHICH IS CREATED BY SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY A KING, A PRESIDENT TOGETHER WITH CONGRESS, A PRIME MINISTER TOGETHER WITH PARLIAMENT AND WHEN APPLIED TO ITS SUBJECTS IT HAS THE FORCE OF LAW.

IN THE NT WE SEE THAT LUKE 2:1 CAESAR AUGUSTUS ISSUED A DECREE THAT A CENSUS SHOULD BE TAKEN OF THE ENTIRE ROMAN WORLD. AT THE TIME OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST, HENCE MARY AND JOSEPH TRAVELLED TO BETHLEHEM TO REGISTER FOR THE CENSUS.

• AT THE OT KINGS LIKE THE PERSIAN KINGS LIKE DARIUS AND XERXES ISSUED DECREES AND SEALED THE DECREE WITH HIS SIGNET RING IT COULD NOT BE REVOKED IT COULD NOT BE CHANGED. ESTHER 3:9 -10 (NOT EVEN BY THE KING HIMSELF). HERE HAMAN PERSUADED XERXES TO ESTABLISH A LAW TO ERADICATE THE JEWISH PEOPLE V10. WHEN NEWS SPREAD TO MORDECAI OF THE PLOT, HE IMPLORED ESTHER TO SPEAK BEFORE THE KING, TO CHANGE HIS MIND, AS A RESULT XERXES ISSUED ANOTHER DECREE WHICH COUNTERACTED HIS EARLIER ONE BECAUSE HIS EARLIER DECREE COULD NOT BE REVOKED. ESTHER: 8:8 -12.

• ANOTHER CASE IS FOUND IN DANIEL WHERE KING DARIUS WAS DUPED INTO MAKING A DECREE DAN 6: 8 -12 . ANYBODY FOUND PRAYING TO ANOTHER GOD BUT THE KING IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS WERE TO BE THROWN INTO THE LIONS DEN. DARIUS REGRETTED HIS ACTIONS, BUT DANIEL WAS THROWN INTIO THE LIONS DEN. THERE DECREES WERE UNCHANGING THEY COULD NOT BE REVOKED.

GODS DECREE CONTINUED.

THEN HOW MUCH MORE SO ARE GODS DECREES UNCHANGING, THEY CANNOT BE REVOKED, THEY HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN ETERNITY PAST. OUR GOD MAKES ETERNAL DECISIONS THAT ARE IIRREVOCABLE.

EPH 1:11 IN HIM WE WERE ALSO CHOSEN , HAVING BEEN PREDESTINED ACCORDING TO THE PLAN OF HIM WHO WORKS OUT EVERYTHING IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PURPOSE OF HIS WILL.

• WE MIGHT MAKE PLANS AND DECISIONS AND COMMITMENTS YET SO OFTEN WE BREAK THEM WE SEE IT IN MARRIAGE, BUSINESS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIPS AND EVEN IN CHURCHES BUT GODS DECREE HIS ETERNAL PLANS HIS DECISIONS WILL NOT BE TWARTED BY OUR FAILURES HIS ETERNAL DECISIONS CANNOT BE UNDONE.

• SOMETIMES HE CAN UNDO OUR DECISIONS AND PLANS TO BRING US TO A PLACE OF HUMILITY.

• OUR NATION S LEADERS MAKE DECREES AND DECISIONS AND PLANS – BUT NONE TAKE PLACE WITHOUT THE CONSENT AND WILL OF GOD AND AS THOSE DECISIONS GO AGAINST GOD AND HIS WILL THERE COULD WELL COME A TIME IN OUR OWN NATION WHEN GOD WILL INTERVENE.

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