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All Articles For God's Providence and Sin

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We concluded our last article by calling attention to the Scriptural truth that God is free. We noted that Pelagianism would maintain a freedom for the sinner in the sense that he is free, able to choose both the good and the evil. Otherwise, so he claims, we lose man’s responsibility. The Arminian, we understand, is guilty of the same heresy. Man, he asserts, must be free to accept the general, well-meaning offer of the gospel. To him, the preaching is such a general, well-meaning offer of a salvation which the Lord would bestow upon all that hear it.

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As we stated in our preceding article, we, as Protestant Reformed Churches do not believe in Hyper-Calvinism. That God is sovereign and has surely willed sin does not annul our calling to demand of all who hear the preaching of the gospel to repent and believe. Continually we are admonished as people of God unto faith and repentance because the truth stands sure that God does all things, but also that He causes us to stand in His grace. If it is God Who worketh in us the willing and the doing, we then, as the result of that work...

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In this rubric, “Taking Heed To The Doctrine,” we wish to call attention, first of all, to the doctrine of God’s providence in sin. We believe this subject to be pertinent. It is surely a fact that the doctrines of the sovereign government of the Lord over all things and sin have been a “bone of contention” throughout the ages. The Pelagian would solve this problem by simply denying God’s absolute sovereignty and maintaining the will of man as wholly independent of the Lord. He confuses man’s freedom with man’s sovereignty. He denies the organic connection between Adam and the...

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Having God’s providence and sin now clearly before us, we face the question: what is the connection as such between them, according to Scripture, without as yet discussing how they are actually related to one another. And then we would remark, in the first place, that the child of God surely demands a scriptural explanation of this phenomenon of God’s sovereign providence and sin. His soul cries for this explanation. He cannot ignore it or brush it aside.

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We concluded our last article by calling attention to the seemingly irreconcilable conflict between the providence of God and sin, between the holiness and the righteousness of God. That the Lord is absolutely sovereign and that therefore the reality of sin must be understood as having been willed by the alone sovereign God is surely Scriptural. Of this there cannot possibly be any doubt. His counsel, we read in Isaiah 46:10, shall stand and the Lord will do all His good pleasure.

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The subject of God’s Providence and Sin places us before an unfathomable mystery. This we readily concede and confess. And we have no intention of comprehending and understanding this mystery. On the one hand, man is a free responsible being. He performs iniquity because he loves it. He is unmolested in his sinning, is never forced or coerced. Besides, he never wills or desires anything else than sin, does not rest until and unless he commits evil, is a slave of iniquity, but always a very willing slave. He is always free, only however in this moral sense of the...

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