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De Moor VII:9: The Wisdom of Predestination

Divine Wisdom, which we have already observed in a general way on His Decrees, Chapter VI, § 8, especially comes to be celebrated in the Decree of divine Predestination, to which, α. Paul especially has regard, Romans 11:33, 34; and, β. which Wisdom is displayed by the most excellent nexus of the Means of Salvation and Damnation with the End, through which (as we heard in § 8) neither the divine Justice or Goodness sustains any loss; indeed, in the execution of Predestination the proportioning of Justice and Goodness presents itself for admiration, both with respect to the Elect, and with respect to Reprobates: since God, while exercising the riches of His Mercy towards the Elect, detracts nothing from His Justice, demonstrating this in the Mediator; who, since He is the proper Son of God, in His substitution gave a more illustrious demonstration both of His Justice in the punishment of sins, and of His incomprehensible Love towards the Elect. But, although God sentences Reprobates to punishment, by His Goodness He nevertheless tolerates the same for a long time, honors them with innumerable benefits, whereby they are invited to Repentance[1] and are rendered altogether ἀναπολόγητοι/inexcusable,[2] before He delivers them to destruction for a demonstration of His Wrath. As everyone acknowledges the just tie of Destruction with Sins; so the tie of the Satisfation of the Son of God as Mediator and the Faith of the Elect with Salvation infinitely excels all finite understanding in invention: neither was another, more apt way able to be devised, through which all the Glory of Salvation might be completely attributed to divine Grace and the Merit of Christ. Also, the closest possible connection of Means seemingly adverse with Salvation furnishes here evidence of divine Wisdom, Romans 5:3-5; 8:28.

Now, the Patrons of Indefinite, Incomplete, and Revocable Predestination with great temerity undermine this Wisdom; when they maintain that God from eternity only ordained in a general way, that He was going to save Believers, without a Determination of certain persons: or they state that God predestinated them to a certain end only under a fallible condition: or they also posit an Election made in a single moment of time, Revocable all the way to the death of a man, through his possible defection from faith and perseverance. While God Most Wise, actually willing and intending a thing, as He is able, so He is obliged, to determine such Means together with the End according to His own Wisdom, through which Means He infallibly obtains the intended End.

Hence is granted no such Election, 1. Indefinite, because Election according to Scripture does not only determine the manner of arriving at Salvation, but ordains individual persons to it, Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29, 30; 9:11: compare § 16. 2. Incomplete, as if gradually and by degrees it were perfected, after the likeness of Sanctification; both because the End and all the Means, and those proportioned, were constituted together by the same act, Romans 8:29, 30; Ephesians 1:4, 5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; compare § 26: and because it is an immanent act of God, and thereby indivisible. 3. Revocable or not decisive, because the Purpose of God stands firm, and includes τὸ ἀμετάθετον τῆς βουλῆς αὐτοῦ, the immutability of His counsel, Romans 9:11; Hebrews 6:17: compare § 13, 14; likewise the Canons of Dort, chapter 1, Rejection of Erros, § 2,[3] 5;[4] SPANHEIM’S Disputationem inauguralem de Quinquarticulanis Controversiis, § 15, 16, opera, tome 3, columns 1171, 1172, § 26, column 1175.

[1] See Romans 2:4. [2] See Romans 2:1. [3] Canons of Dort, chapter 1, Rejection 2: “That there are various kinds of election of God unto eternal life: the one general and indefinite, the other particular and definite; and that the latter in turn is either incom­plete, revocable, nondecisive and conditional, or complete, irrevocable, decisive and absolute. Likewise: that there is one election unto faith and another unto salvation, so that election can be unto justifying faith without being a decisive election unto salva­tion. For this is a fancy of men’s minds, invented regardless of the Scriptures, whereby the doctrine of election is corrupted, and this golden chain of our salvation is broken: ‘Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified’ (Romans 8:30).” [4] Canons of Dort, chapter 1, Rejection 5: “That the incomplete and non-decisive election of particular persons to salvation occurred because of a foreseen faith, conversion, holiness, godliness, which either began or continued for some time; but that the complete and decisive election occurred because of foreseen perseverance unto the end in faith, conversion, holiness and godliness; and that this is the gracious and evangelical worthiness for the sake of which he who is chosen is more worthy than he who is not chosen; and that therefore faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, godliness and perseverance are not fruits of the unchangeable election unto glory, but are conditions, which, being required beforehand, were foreseen as being met by those who will be fully elected, and are causes without which the unchangeable election to glory does not occur. This is repugnant to the entire Scripture which constantly inculcates this and similar declarations: Election is not out of works, but of Him that calleth. ‘That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth’ (Romans 9:11). ‘And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed’ (Acts 13:48). ‘He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy’ (Ephesians 1:4). ‘Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you’ (John 15:16). ‘But if it be of works, then is it no more grace’ (Romans 11:6). ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son’ (1 John 4:10).”

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Aug 16, 2022
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