WCF. III. Of God’s Eternal Decree – 6. Q & A

Blogging through and answering the questions from G. I. Williamson’s The Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes for personal review and comprehension.

WCF. III. Of God’s Eternal Decree – 6.

1. Read Acts 27:14-44. What divine end was promised by God (v. 24)? What means did the inspired apostle require for attaining this end (v. 31)? Was the end reached? Were the means used as required? Which then was ordained (decreed, or predetermined) by God, the end or the means?

God says in verse 24 that Paul’s life will be preserved, because he must be brought to Caesar, and that the lives of “all them that sail with thee” will also be preserved. The means required for preservation were obeying the inspired Apostles command, “Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved” (their lives will be preserved if they remain in the ship and obey Paul’s instructions). Yes, the end was reached: verse 44 says, “And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.” Both the end and the means were decreed by God. God predetermined that all would be preserved through the storm and shipwreck, and God predetermined the means would be by listening and obeying Paul’s instructions.

2. What is wrong with this popular statement: “If I’m elect then I will be saved no matter what I do?”

This popular statement is wrong and foolish because it denies that God predetermines the end as well as the means, i.e., “Paul links divine predestination (the end) with calling, justification and glorification (means to this end) (Rom. 8:30)” (35). The popular statement above is wrong because it is not a fully Biblical view, since God ordains both the end and the means. In light of Romans 8:30, you cannot say you will be saved (the end) no matter what you do (the means).

3. By what is the plan of God never contradicted?

“The plan of God is never contradicted by the works of God by which the plan is executed” (35). The Godhead is in perfect harmony, therefore, the Godhead’s decree (end) and executed plan (means) are in perfect harmony. Their is no contradiction within the Godhead, therefore, there is no contradiction within the Godhead’s decrees.

4. Why may we not say that Christ’s death was intended for the salvation of all?

Scripture says that not all men will be saved, therefore, Christ’s death (the means) cannot be intended for the salvation of all.