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Understanding Biblical Predestination
Is everything written in stone or is there room for change?

-By Jorge L. Trujillo



“I wanted to kill myself, [the reason] I didn’t do it is because I would end up in hell”, those were the words of a desperate young man who had left the church but still knew that God existed and that there is heaven and hell; he had been taught that since he was a child.  But now, after so many problems in life, he had come to the conclusion that life had no meaning; that it did not matter what you did, things were just going to happen the way ‘God’ had them arranged. “You can try doing everything right and things are just going to go wrong, there is no guarantee, no matter what you do that things will go well”.  That basically meant that if God is in control of everything, then our choices really make no difference.

How do we answer this? Obviously God has plans that no one can change and they will come to pass; but do we have any say about or own circumstances?  Is everything written in stone or is there room for change? I think that there is, many things are not what they could have been; “it could have been different.”


Any thoughts or ideas formulated by men on the purposes, meaning and the end of life should start with the basic presupposition that there is a God.  The Bible begins with one simple declaration “In the beginning God…” As believers we do not question the existence of God, we simply affirm it not only because creation reveals it but because the Scripture declares it.  Therefore we can say: The truth is that there is a God.  From the Biblical and logical perspective only a fool would deny that truth[i].  It is also true that God created everything; there’s plenty of evidence that points to that direction not only from a biblical but also from a scientific point of view (cf. intelligent design). The God revealed in the pages of Scripture is a God who is almighty.  That means that He is all knowing (omniscient), all power (omnipotent) and is everywhere (omnipresent).  Also, the truth is that only God is God and that means that He is in total control of everything that happens – for if He were not in control then He would not be God.  The Bible sheds a lot of light into that reality.  No doubt, God is in control.  It is also a Biblical truth that God has ordained from eternity past all things that should ever take place in the universe and that He has done according to His good pleasure and purpose and counsel "...being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11).  However, it is also true that all of these facts can confound the brightest human minds as it has done throughout history. If God is in control, how can we explain adversity, disaster, sin and chaos? How can we explain pain, disease and suffering in the world? This becomes an even greater dilemma if we consider the fact (as stated above) that God is all-powerful, all knowing and He is everywhere and combined that with the biblical declaration that “God is love” and “father of all mercies”.  Why is it then that 'under His control' certain bad or horrible things take place and his creatures endure adversity and suffering without having any apparent relief from God or by Him not doing anything to stop it?  Is He then all-powerful, or knowable and everywhere? Or is He really “love”?  The Christian thinker will not waiver for one second from these truths.  Regardless of the realities of life, God is still and will always be all-powerful, all-knowing, always present, a Father of all mercies and a God of Love.  But that does not answer the questions that have been raised.

Questions like these have occupied the minds of many thinking individuals that take a moment to look around in the world and analyze the situation with a critical mind.  The truth is that reality of this world is a harsh one:  Bad things happen! Yes bad things happen to 'good' people.  Of course some people experience bad things more than others, it happens to all of us and we sometimes cannot help but to ask ourselves: Why? What is this? Or where is God?  We would be liars if at one point in our lifetime, after reflecting on this subject we have not asked ourselves those questions.  Certainly, the writers of the Bible did not hide the fact that sometimes they too asked themselves the question: Where is God? Or even yet, they asked God himself, Where are you? When Jesus the Christ was hanging from the cross and suffering his death he asked, “God, why have you forsaken me?”

Various Solutions to the Difficulty

Some people have tried to find ‘logical’ solutions to the issue of adversity before the reality of an all-powerful God.  Many have taken the path of denying the existence of God altogether.  When I was a young man, still in my late teen years, I remember meeting a man who emphatically denied the existence of God.  He was a veteran stationed in Germany during World War II and after seeing so much destruction, the loss of innocent lives and the atrocities of war, he concluded that there was no God - “If God exists,” he told me “he would not have allowed such horrible things to happen”.  Others have tried to explain it by charging the evil to man’s free will – God cannot interfere with the ‘free will’ of his moral creatures. Even though God is all-powerful and desires certain things to happen, He cannot (by His own choice) interfere with the decisions of human beings.  God has imposed a ‘self-limitation’ on His sovereignty and will not interfere in the world for good or for bad.  People make decisions and reap their consequences - because people sometimes make bad decisions (even unknowingly), bad things happen.  This is an old form of ‘deism’ view of God or some modern form of “Radical Arminianism”.

In recent years some “evangelical christian theologians” have argued the case for ‘open theism’; taking a rather disturbing path to answer those questions, they have stated that “Man has libertarian free will and God is not omniscient (he does not know everything)”.  This step is a major move away from traditional Christianity, and one that has been considered heretical by many. In order to explain the bad things that take place in the world, many have humanized God. A superhuman being who knows a lot but does not know it all. 

Others have found an answer in ‘predestination.’  Theologians such as Augustine, Luther and Calvin have held similar interpretations - is the view of the ‘absolute predestination’ of all things.  They have taken a path which has kept intact God’s attributes of omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence, but that in the eyes of their critics, has made God a cruel being who delights in the suffering of his creatures and is the source (or creator) of evil, sin and disaster in the world. For the most part, those who believe in predestination also maintain the (limited) free will and the moral responsibility of humans as being compatible with God’s sovereign decrees.  Although many distinguished Christian theologians have found predestination to be the Biblical answer to the things that happen in life, the accusation raised seems to be ‘logical’; but we should ask: Is there another answer?  The same accusations can be leveled against the other common alternative in Christianity “Arminianism” (which comes in different forms), where God does not interfere with the free will of His creatures.  God sees pain and suffering taking place but does not interfere because that would take away their freedom unless they take the free initiative to involve God. Opponents of Predestination ask: What can anyone do if all things have been ‘fixed’ since before anyone was born and everything is just taking place as it was pre-ordained by God since the beginning?  Others might conclude that things are just the way they are and they could not have been any other way regardless of what we had done one way or another.  Pain, suffering and adversity follow us and come to us freely, without we even asking for it.  This way of thinking can take people down a dangerous and blasphemous path to conclude that probably God is a cynical being who is really enjoying all the suffering of his creatures or that he really does not care about anyone.  In other words, they conclude: “this whole thing is a joke” of God.  But, could that be true?  I’d like to strongly suggest that it is NOT the case.  There are certain ways to understand and deal with the facts presented above without concluding that God enjoys our suffering, and to still believe that God is sovereign, that he is omniscient, omnipresent, almighty and in total control of everything; that He truly loves us and cares for us. It is possible that ‘certain’ things could have being different than they are, have been or will be.

An Understanding God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Freedom

The first thing we need to realize is that even though God has ordained everything that is to take place from before the foundation of the world, and that certain things are what they are and will not change no matter what, like your height, the color of your eyes your blood type or that disease or impediment you might have been born with; that, in reality does not mean that everything is written in stone and things have to be only in one way and no other.  Predestination is a biblical truth that cannot be denied or changed.  Some have tried to ‘redefine’ predestination to mean 'foresight' but the two concepts are totally different from the other.  Predestination literally means to set, ordain or establish before hand (pre-ordain) something to take place and it includes foresight in the sense that it is an essential part of predestination, but predestination is not dependent upon it.  In other words, God does not predestine what he saw (or knew) was going to happen since that would make predestination unnecessary, rather God foreknows what he predestined to happen.  This means that God is in full control of everything that takes place and whatever takes place is not a surprise to him nor affects his original plan. If God is not in full control of everything then He is simply not in control and if He is not in control, then He is not God. However, as I will try to explain below while maintaining that God has pre-ordered (or pre-ordained) and established everything that ever comes to pass in the world since the beginning to the end, not everything is fixed and unchangeable, there is still plenty of room for change in the affairs of men and the outcome of their lives.

The Government of God: Decrees, Laws and Commandments

We will start this section by stating that ‘predestination is true’[ii] and also that ‘the decisions of man make a difference’.  The Bible is full of promises and conditional statements presented in an “if…. then….” format.  But before we proceed we must understand that many of the commandments of the Bible (like the 10 commandments) are not there to demonstrate man’s capability but to show his incapability.  This is an undeniable fact of Scripture that no serious and honest Bible student can deny:

Galatians 3:22

But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

The commandments were given to men, to demonstrate their incapacity to meet the holy demands of God, and to condemn them. They also demonstrate the need of divine intervention to save men from the ruin of their natural state.  That truth was declared even from the moment they were given when Moses said to the people: but Jehovah hath not given you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.” (Deut. 29:4)  John writes: "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17.) Although some of the conditions required by God in the “if” portion of the promise will never be met by man alone due to his sinful and corrupt nature, there are other conditions, of the natural order which are met by men and after that, the “then” part takes effect.  Now, if those conditions and promises are true (and I believe they are), then it’s also true that certain things are not fixed in a way for which the outcome (good or bad) cannot be determined by the actions of man.

God established certain means by which the world is divinely governed.  I will classify them in three categories or levels: ‘Eternal Decrees’, ‘Natural Laws’ and ‘Moral Commandments’.  The ‘Decrees’ are the unchangeable declarations of God established from the eternity past. Everything that happens in the world will move toward their fulfillment because God has established it that way.  That is why God says that he “declares the end from the beginning:”

Isaiah 46:9 

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me; 10  declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure;

Yes, the counsel of God will take place no matter what.  Certain things will happen when God ‘decreed’ that they should happen, they will take place where God “decreed” that they would take place and they will produce what God “decreed” that they should produce.  The ‘fixed laws’ are laws that will function in a particular way every time, for example the “law of gravity.”  These include the laws of nature. Finally there are ‘moral laws’ or ‘commandments’ to govern the human actions.  These moral laws state that certain different outcomes can occur depending on a particular cause (ie. decisions made by man).  The ‘Decrees of God’ are eternal and unchangeable by God or man, the ‘Fixed Laws of God” are changeable by God but never by men (I believe miracles happen at this level) - God intervenes at this level as he sees fit and necessary in order to uphold his eternal decrees for his own glory and to the benefit of his people according to such decrees.  Finally the “Commandments of God” are often changeable (broken) by men but never by God.  Matters of human obedience and/ or disobedience, faith and sanctification, changeable and/ or contingent events as well as demonic activity and attacks happen at this level.  God intervenes at this level as he sees fit and necessary in order to uphold his eternal decrees.

God’s Will

We can say that God has only “one will” but this will is not a simple will but a complex one. Even though God possesses only ‘one’ will, this will works in different ways, or at different levels.  Some Bible students have noticed that the will of God as revealed in Scripture seems to contradict the will of God also revealed in Scripture.  For this reason, Martin Luther and others distinguished theologians have divided the will of God into two categories: (a) the revealed will of God and (b) the secret will of God. Others have classified God’s will in two categories, (a) Perfect will and (b) permissive will[iii]. The way I’d like to present the will of God from Scripture will be in line with the three levels in which God has revealed His governing purpose. Therefore, in line with God’s government: eternal decrees, natural laws and moral commandments, the will of God can also be divided into three categories: (a) The eternal will (which God never changes), (b) the natural will (which God sometimes changes) and (c) the temporal will (which often changes). 

Government of God:    Will of God:  
Eternal Decrees    Eternal Will (Unconditional: God never changes it)  
Natural Laws    Natural Will (Contingent: God sometimes changes it)  
Moral Commandments    Temporal Will (Conditional: God/ Men often Changes)  

In these categories we can see how the Decrees, Laws and Commandments of God interrelate with the Eternal Will of God, the Natural will of God and the Temporal will of God. It is in this interaction where the “providence of God” takes place and we will talk about it shortly. But let’s first look at these three different aspects or levels of the will of God.

The Eternal will of God

The eternal decrees reveal the eternal will of God, this is the highest level.  Theologians call this the ‘decretive will’ of God. The eternal decrees flow out of God’s sovereign will and will accomplish what God wants – The will of God at this level is unchangeable, and without repentance.  No one can stop, distort or change the eternal will of God (his decrees).  

Isaiah 14:24-27

The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying,

     “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
      And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
      25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land,
      And on My mountains tread him underfoot.
      Then his yoke shall be removed from them,
      And his burden removed from their shoulders.
      26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth,
      And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
      27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed,
       And who will annul it?
       His hand is stretched out,
       And who will turn it back?”

The eternal decree/will of God rules over His natural and the temporal will.  At times, the natural and temporal wills of God may seem to be against His eternal will but they are still used by God himself to accomplish his eternal will and purpose.

The Natural Will of God

The natural will of God, works in agreement with the eternal and temporal will of God and can be changed as God sees it fit in order to accomplish God’s eternal or temporal purposes.  This natural will may change depending on situations that arise due to man’s actions or because God chooses to do so in order to show his power and glory.  For example, it is the will of God that the oceans remain in their place; that the waters of the rivers flow downstream, that the sun give its light during the day and the moon during the night according to what He has established in his “natural laws.”  However, we can see in the Bible instances where God miraculously parted the Red Sea and stopped the flow (against gravitational laws) of Jordan River for His people to cross on dry land.  On another occasion He stopped the universe in place (the sun and the moon) for His people to win a battle and even made the universe (or the earth) go back to serve as a witness to a King.

The Temporal Will of God

The temporal will of God deals with the temporal events that are not necessary directly related to the laws of nature.  This temporal will of God we can say is conditional and may change as God sees fit and necessary depending on the actions of people.  For example, the kingdom was taken from Saul and given to David due to Saul’s disobedience.  The Bible clearly states that God would have established Saul’s throne forever if he had obeyed. 

“…and Jehovah repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” (1 Samuel 15:35)

God had expressed his desire to establish the house of Eli (1 Sam. 2:30-31) to be high priests forever in Israel, but when they sinned against God, they lost the promise and the priesthood was given back to the family of Eleazar, the elder son of Aaron.  From a "temporal will" point of view God really repented and went back on His plans. That is why the Bible states that God changes His mind and repents and at the same time says that God does not change His mind and repent (Numbers 23:19.)

Whenever the Bible says that God repented (changed His mind) of something he was going to do, we can look at it from the temporal will and purpose but not from his eternal will or decree.  This temporal will of God is the most apparent to humans but many fail to see the different levels of God’s wills (eternal, natural and temporal), by failing to make this distinction they also fail to see the complete reality of God’s plan as He deals with mankind.  God deals with people at this lower level most of the time.  In the Old Testament days, God dealt with the people of Israel at this level and as we have seen from the stories of the Bible, they always ‘grieved’ and ‘offended’ God. However, that does not mean that His eternal decrees, will and purposes were affected.  His eternal plans take place even if people choose not to obey God or to submit to His will at this lower level.

Divine Providence

The providence of God is defined in this manner by Easton’s dictionary:

Literally means foresight, but is generally used to denote God's preserving and governing all things by means of second causes[iv]

It would seem that the belief in the predestination of all things would rule out divine providence. That would be true unless it is asserted that ‘divine providence’ itself has being predestined.  The way I understand the Bible and see God’s work, I think that providence works at the lower level of things (i.e. thru commandments and natural laws) and  predestination deals with the higher order of things (i.e. eternal decrees of God).  That God may use providential means to advance his predestinated purposes is possible but divine providence leaves room for the freedom of man and the contingent events that happen at this lower level that could affect the outcome of the higher order of things.  God did not create the world and the things in it, set it in motion, and forgot about it. He created all things according to his decree; He put the creation in motion and in His sovereignty is wisely actively guiding everything in a providential way to fulfill his ultimate and final purposes and decrees.

By acknowledging the place of divine providence in the order of things, we can see how free moral agents as human beings can truly make free decisions and still not destroy the ultimate plans of God.  If this possibility were not real, men would not be truly responsible for their sinful actions and therefore not guilty of sin.

The Power of Decision Making

We also need to remember that the Bible does not deny the fact that we are ‘volitional’ beings.  Yes, it is true that according to Scriptures human beings have a natural inclination to sin that is what is theologically called the ‘bondage of the will’; but nevertheless, despite his limitations, in natural order of things, man has the power of choice although according to the overwhelming testimony of Scripture, but such choice does not include any spiritual good toward God.  Nonetheless, we have being given the power to decide and many of the things that happen in our lives are the product of the way we use that power of choice (marriage, education, careers, jobs, health, wealth, etc.)  We get into extreme debt because of the way we handle money.  Yes there is that ‘emergency’ or that ‘accident’ that caused us to get into unplanned debt but for the most part, things that happen or that we experience are simply a ‘fruit’ of our own decision and you know what, we have to learn how to live and learn from our mistakes.  The fact that someone married the ‘wrong’ person is also part of the decision making process.  Yes, you could have married someone else, or simply not married at all.  Our decisions (choices) have consequences that are either beneficial or detrimental to the way you and I (and even our children) live, and is not God’s fault, although He knew exactly what your decision was going to be way before you did.

The Issue of Sin

By definition sin is the violation of God’s law.  The moral law of God reveals His holy and pure character, as he desires it for mankind.  In presenting humans with His law, God is setting the standard of his will for all of us.  Sadly, men have always gone against the revealed moral law and commandments of God.  It is at this level that every man is found to be a sinner against God and justly condemned to hell and perdition. Even though sin is a serious violation of God’s purpose and will for man, it does not go against the eternal decree of God by which He permits it and uses it to advance His eternal plans or decrees.  It is at this level of God’s plan and will where He most often intervenes providentially as He sees necessary to accomplish His eternal purposes and will.

Sin in the world did not take God by surprise.  Sin was not an unforeseen or unknown event in God’s plans.  We can safely say that sin is ultimately part of Gods’ plan and came into the world because of that reason.  Can we say that God is the ‘author’ of evil? No, if we also acknowledge that humans are free agents and could have done otherwise, yet God indirectly provided the situation to make sin possible although not forcing it.  By putting the forbidden tree in the midst of the Garden, the possibility for disobedience was created by God.  The reality of sin came about from that possibility and when it took place it was an act against God’s revealed will (his commandments) but did not affect God’s eternal decree, to the contrary, it affirmed it.  We may not be able to explain how this could be from a human point of view but that is a reality we see in Scripture time and time again.  The best example of this truth is seen in the plot to kill Jesus. While it is true that Judas, the religious leaders of Israel and the Roman authorities all got together and kill Jesus through treason, lies and deception, it is also very true that in so doing they accomplished the eternal plan of God of providing redemption for the world through the death of Christ. 

Luke 22:22

And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

Acts 2:23

Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

Acts 4

27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

So, we can see how sin itself was a part of God’s eternal will and purpose although in the process His moral will (commandments) was violated time and time again.  Sin, is therefore a necessary and important part in the plan of God and is NOT out of His control.

Can God be blamed for using sin as part of his plan?

Let’s face it, after all there are certain things about which someone can still say “are not fair” or “just not right” and therefore “it’s God’s fault!” Well, and if that were true, what can you or I do about it? Honestly nothing!  God is God and that’s the bottom line.  Can we judge God? No! Can we accuse God... and if so, before whom? After all there is no one higher that God who can punish Him for doing what ‘we’ might think is wrong; we certainly cannot punish him.  Remember, He is God. So, what are we to do? There are only two things we can do, we either rebel against God facing the consequences (punishment) for our rebellion or we trust God, submit to his government and power and receive the reward for our trust and obedience.

The Correct Theology of Life

In the Bible we find the writings of a man who was considered the wisest man that ever lived, his name was King Salomon.  Salomon was a very rich man who lacked nothing that a man would ever want. Like many of us, he started on a quest to find “the meaning of life”.  He observed the lives of the rich and the poor, the wise and the unwise.  He looked at everything that took place on the face of the earth and scrutinized what takes place under the sun.  His final conclusion was that good and bad things happen in the same way to good and bad people.  Bad people suffer and so do good people.  Bad people get sick and so do the good.  Bad people die and so do the good ones.  People work hard from dawn to dusk and get up the next day to repeat the same routine.  What was his conclusion? He concluded that life is simply emptiness - all is vanity! This truth destroys the false idea of many teachers who misguide their followers when they say “come to Christ and all your problems will be solved”.  The fact is that you may come to Christ and all your problems become worse, after all that is exactly what Jesus said. The Bible assures increasing ‘tribulation’ and persecution for believers, not peace and lack problems in life.  We do not deny that God blesses his children greatly but the gospel is not about solving life problems. Christ is about solving the sin problem – and that’s the real problem.

After going on for a few chapters explaining and describing what he encountered in life, Salomon finally gives us some wise counsel that should help us to live our lives, he says “fear God and follow his commandments because this is the all of man”. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13

 This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.

The point is that God has given us a prescription of a better life, “obedience to His word”, but that does not mean problems and adversity will not be present.  Although we know that God has certain decrees that He has established and they will come to pass no matter what, the main focus of our lives should be placed on what he has expressly told us to do and not on what he has determined in his secret counsel (Deuteronomy 29:29)


Sometimes people who think about predestination and God’s control over His creation tend to go to extremes, some completely deny it and others affirm so much as to create a form of fatalism: “lo que sera, sera” (what will be, will be.)  That happens because they fail to make clear distinctions of the different aspects or levels within the will of God.  If we only look at the highest level of his will, the decrees of God, his ‘eternal will’ we will have a fatalistic way of thinking and living that will promote idleness, lack of personal responsibility and disrespect toward God.  On the other hand, if we deny it, then God will cease to be God in the sense the Bible describes Him. He would not be “all powerful” and would not even be able to keep his promises.  A balanced (I mean biblical) view of God looks at the whole picture. It knows that God is sovereign and has established decrees that will never change, that he governs the world providentially and that he has also allowed room and some liberty for the actions of men to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.  What you and I do, plan and say, matters, things can be different because God has given us the ability to choose, but as with every freedom, our freedom has a limit, the eternal will and purpose of God.  Although some might not think so, that is something good, it also means that if we make mistakes, big or small, as we often do; or if we disobey God (sin), as we normally do, the eternal plans of God with our lives and His creation will not change one bit. 

Soli Deo Gloria!


Created: July 7, 2006

Last Revised: March 7, 2009


End Notes:

[i]  That to say that there is no God is a fool’s way of thinking can be proven theologically, scientifically and logically. The most a person who does not wish to ‘recognize’ that there is a God and still sound a little bit more ‘intelligent’ is to say that he or she does not know whether there is a God. That would be of course, a statement made despite all undeniable evidence that points to the existence of a higher supreme being which religion calls God.

[ii] No serious theologian or Bible student will deny that absolute predestination is a true Christian doctrine even though some have attempted to redefine the concept.

[iii] Even though by ‘permissive’ will many suggest that since going against God’s revealed commands is sometimes ‘permitted’ by Him, that also means that He approves of it, such understanding I believe to be erroneous.  We either follow God’s revealed will or we don’t.  If we follow it, we are doing his will, if we don’t follow it, we are not doing his will but being disobedient and sinners no matter whether in His mercy He may allow it.   Now it should be also clear that whether we follow or not follow his will has an immediate impact and direct consequences on God’s temporal plans for our own lives and the lives of others, but in no way does it destroy His eternal decree and will.

[iv] Providence: Literally means foresight, but is generally used to denote God's preserving and governing all things by means of second causes (Psa_18:35; Psa_63:8; Act_17:28; Col_1:17; Heb_1:3). God's providence extends to the natural world (Psa_104:14; Psa_135:5-7; Act_14:17), the brute creation (Psa_104:21-29; Mat_6:26; Mat_10:29), and the affairs of men (1Ch_16:31; Psa_47:7; Pro_21:1; Job_12:23; Dan_2:21; Dan_4:25), and of individuals (1Sa_2:6; Psa_18:30; Luk_1:53; Jam_4:13-15). It extends also to the free actions of men (Exo_12:36; 1Sa_24:9-15; Psa_33:14, Psa_33:15; Pro_16:1; Pro_19:21; Pro_20:24; Pro_21:1), and things sinful (2Sa_16:10; 2Sa_24:1; Rom_11:32; Act_4:27, Act_4:28), as well as to their good actions (Phi_2:13; Phi_4:13; 2Co_12:9, 2Co_12:10; Eph_2:10; Gal_5:22-25).

As regards sinful actions of men, they are represented as occurring by God's permission (Gen_45:5; Gen_50:20. Compare 1Sa_6:6; Exo_7:13; Exo_14:17; Act_2:3; Act_3:18; Act_4:27, Act_4:28), and as controlled (Psa_76:10) and overruled for good (Gen_50:20; Act_3:13). God does not cause or approve of sin, but only limits, restrains, overrules it for good.

The mode of God's providential government is altogether unexplained. We only know that it is a fact that God does govern all his creatures and all their actions; that this government is universal (Psa_103:17-19), particular (Mat_10:29-31), efficacious (Psa_33:11; Job_23:13), embraces events apparently contingent (Pro_16:9, Pro_16:33; Pro_19:21; Pro_21:1), is consistent with his own perfection (2Ti_2:13), and to his own glory (Rom_9:17; Rom_11:36).


 Copyright ©1999-2009 Jorge L. Trujillo
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