The decrees of God!
(Arthur Pink, 1886-1952) LISTEN to audio! Download audio
(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)
"But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations!" Psalm 33:11
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21
"This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?" Isaiah 14:26-27
"I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please." Isaiah 46:10
The decrees of God relate to all future things without exception.
Whatever is done in time, was foreordained before time began.
God's purpose was concerned with everything, whether great or small, whether good or evil.
1. The divine decrees are Eternal. "According to His eternal purpose . . ." Ephesians 3:11. To suppose any of God's decrees to be made in time, is to suppose that some new occasion has occurred, some unforeseen event or combination of circumstances has arisen, which has induced the Most High God to form a new resolution.
2. The divine decrees are Wise. Wisdom is shown in the selection of the best possible ends and of the fittest means of accomplishing them. That this character belongs to the decrees of God is evident from what we know of them. They are disclosed to us by their execution, and every proof of wisdom in the works of God is a proof of the wisdom of the plan, in conformity to which they are performed.
3. The divine decrees are Free. God was alone when He made His decrees, and His determinations were influenced by no external cause. He was free to decree or not to decree; and to decree one thing and not another. This liberty we must ascribe to Him who is supreme, independent, and sovereign in all His doings.
4. The divine decrees are Unconditional. The execution of them is not suspended upon any condition which may, or may not be, performed. In every instance where God has decreed an end, He has also decreed every means to that end.
"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." Ephesians 1:11
Don Fortner: "God does not permit things to happen. He purposed all that comes to pass in time, before time began (Romans 11:36; Isaiah 45:7). And all that He ordained from eternity and performs in time, is good."