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  • Writer's picturestrengthintruth

Updated: Feb 10

God decrees everything that comes to pass, good and bad, does this mean He decrees suffering? Does He decree sin? Before we delve into these questions, we must remember who God is. God is not the same as us[1].

God is a Spirit[2], Infinite[3], Eternal[4], and Unchangeable[5], in his Being[6], Wisdom[7], Power[8], Holiness[9], Justice, Goodness and Truth[10].

This is who He is, everything He does, has done, or will do, is in complete harmony with these attributes, His way is perfect[11].

If God decreed something and it did not happen, how could we say He was all powerful? His decree would have failed. Why would God decree some things and be indifferent about others? God is the first cause and last end of all things[12][13]. Therefore, everything that comes to pass must surely be decreed by God, even suffering.

The world when it was created was perfect[14], it was paradise, no cancer, no death, no suffering, these all came about because of sin. The first humans Adam and Eve sinned by taking of the forbidden fruit[15], God being infinite in justice, must punish their sin. Every person is under the sentence for sin, which is physical, spiritual, and eternal death[18], people tend to think God overreacted, that His punishment was overly harsh. We might also say why am I punished for a sin I did not commit? But we sinned in Adam, What does that mean? Adam represented the whole human race, he represented us when he sinned[17], we might think we would have done better, but we have no stones to throw.

So why was Adam's sin so heinous to God? Well, Adam knew exactly what he was doing, he knew that he was going against God’s express instruction[16], God had given him everything he could wish for, yet it wasn’t enough. Adam’s sin was rebellion against God, he wanted to decide right and wrong for himself, by his actions he proclaimed God a liar.

But then how can Adam or anyone be responsible for sin, if God decrees it? Firstly, God does not make people sin.

God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed[19].

We sin because we want to, we are responsible for the choices we make, we are drawn into sin due to our own lust. you can see this working in the life of Joseph. Joseph's brothers hated him so much, they sold him to strangers. Skipping a long story short, Joseph ended up in Egypt, and eventually became Pharaoh's right hand man, second ruler to Pharaoh, years later there was widespread famine, but Pharaoh had plenty of corn. Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy corn. Joseph’s father Jacob, his sons, and their families, afterwards moved to Egypt, at the request of Joseph to Pharaoh, this meant they had plenty of food despite the famine. After Joseph’s father died, Joseph’s brothers were afraid that he would take revenge on them. The words of Joseph at the end of this story are remarkable, he told them not to be afraid and said, “you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good”[20].

God didn’t force or coerce Joseph’s brothers to the evil act of selling him, and deceiving their father Jacob, nor make them do it like puppets on a string, but they out of their own jealousy, bitterness, and hatred towards him did it, everything was performing God’s plan for the preservation of Jacob’s family, who would become the nation of Israel. The evil in Joseph's brothers hearts when they sold him, and all the other things that happened to him were all part of God's plan.

You may hear people say when referring to an event, “it’s God’s will”. Sometimes they mean it’s God’s decree, at other times they mean it’s in God’s favour, evil is not in God’s favour. Everything that comes to pass whether good or bad is in God’s decree, but evil is not in God’s favour.

God has revealed everything we need to know in the Bible, it clearly shows the difference between right and wrong, what is in His favour and what is not. Therefore, we are to seek to do what is in His favour. We are not to take the doctrine of God’s decree to justify fatalism in any aspect, spiritual or temporal. God doesn’t anywhere say to sit there with the attitude of what will be will be.

God’s ordering of all things should not discourage us, but rather encourage us. However crooked things may seem, we know that behind the seeming chaos, the heavenly potter is shaping all things, working all things for good to those that are called according to his purpose[21]. Not one atom is out of place in the whole cosmos, but each one is working out the divine decree of God who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

Just as God decreed the fall of mankind, so He has decreed the redemption of mankind. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive[22]. Adam by one sin ruined the whole creation, so Christ by His one offering, offering up himself, has redeemed sinners from the curse they are under[23]. The light has shined into darkness. God could have left the whole human race to their sin, but by His infinite mercy He chose to redeem sinners from the corruption of their own hearts, and bring them to glory.

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons[24].

Bible References [click links below to read references]

[1] Psalm 50:21, [2] John 4:24, [3] Job 11:7, [4] Psalm 90:2, [5] James 1:17, [6] Exodus 3:14,

  • Writer's picturestrengthintruth

Updated: Feb 10

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth[1].

God created everything by the word of His power[2], He spoke everything into being[5]. God himself has always existed, he has no beginning or end, He is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting[3].

People ask who created God? The creator is not created, He has always existed, and will always exist, the ancient of days[4]. We can’t imagine anything that doesn’t have a beginning, and an ending, but God is outside of time, He created time, and so is not bound by time, He created the laws of nature, and so is not limited by them, He is outside of them. You can’t get something from nothing, something has always had to exist, for there to be something now.

At a point in eternity the universe was created by God, including our solar system and planet earth, over six twenty-four-hour days. God could have created everything instantly, but He chose to do it over six days and rested on the seventh day, and blessed it[5], to give us a pattern for our week, the pattern is six days work, and one day of rest dedicated to worshipping God.

The creation was perfect, the world was very different then to now, there was no death, no predators. When Adam and Eve sinned by taking the forbidden fruit the whole creation changed; death came into the world, just as God had warned Adam it would[6], but this wasn’t the only major change, hundreds of years later Noah emerged from the ark into a radically different post flood world.

The beautiful account of God creating the world in six days is ridiculed by most people, even people who claim to be Christians don’t believe it, Instead, they try to squeeze the theory of evolution into the bible. People come up with various theories attempting to make the bible compatible with evolution. It is true that species change and adapt over time, but the claim that we evolved from pond scum over millions of years of gradual change, in a fight for survival, is not compatible with the bible.

If you think science isn’t compatible with Christianity, go and find out what Isaac Newton and Michael Faraday believed. Science done right is the pursuit of truth. God is by definition supernatural, He is not bound by the laws of nature. As Creator God is not bound by His creation, He can perform miracles and do with His creation as He pleases. People look at the miracles in the Bible through the lens of the laws of nature, and say impossible every time, forgetting that with God nothing is impossible[7].

Whilst we should be able to make logical arguments for our faith, our faith cannot rely on them, doing so, is to build on the sand[8]. You may be smart, but there will always be someone smarter. It is also worth remembering that we want to be our own boss. We don’t want God telling us what to do or be judged by Him[9].

Evolution gives the appearance of freedom, It tells us we are just intelligent monkeys, there is no ultimate right or wrong. Evolution is all about survival, passing your genes on to the next generation, but how can survival be a purpose in itself? What are we surviving for? Surviving to survive, well for what? Thus, philosophers conclude man is a useless passion.

‘You only get one life, so live it’; It’s just ‘eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’ dished up differently. Pleasure apparently is the purpose in life, but we know it isn’t, we know deep down that life really matters, we need something more, we need the divine. The creature was made for The Creator[10].

In the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever’.

The only sure defence against the temptations of believing evolution, the only foundation that will stand the storms of life, the only way that gives life ultimate purpose is to be found trusting in the rock of ages the LORD Jesus Christ[11].

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon[12].

Bible References

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