23 February 2003
Revelation 4:11, Ephesians 1:11, Isaiah 46:10 & Mark 13:31
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?
A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.8. How does God carry out His decrees?
A. God carries out His decrees in creation and providence.
1. To what can we compare the decrees of God to enable us to better understand them?
“We compare the decrees of God to the plans an architect draws for a great building. If most of us saw the blue-prints for this building we could not imagine what the building would look like... But when the building was all complete then we would see what was in the architect’s mind and what was the meaning of his blue-prints. So we cannot read God’s mind except by what He has said and done and by what He is doing.” (The Christian Faith According to the Shorter Catechism, by Dr. Wm. Childs Robinson, Pgs. 12-13).
2. What is the meaning of God executing His decrees?
The meaning is God bringing His will to pass, doing what He purposed from all eternity.
3. Is it possible for the decrees of God to fail?
It is not possible. No man can stay the hand of God or question what He is doing. (Daniel 4:35)
4. Where does redemption fit in the division of His decrees?
Redemption comes to pass in His providence as His majestic gift to some men through Jesus Christ.
5. What is the difference between His works of creation and providence?
Creation is His work of making all things out of nothing by the word of his power. Providence is His work of constant support and control of the universe and all that is in it.
6. What can be learned from the execution of God’s decrees?
Two verses are suggested to teach us great lessons: (1) Revelation 4:11 - the fact that He created all things for His own glory and therefore we should attribute to Him the glory, honour and power. (2) Hebrews 1:3 - the fact that He is upholding all things by His power and therefore our complete sense of security is in Him.