Infralapsarianism and Supralapsarianism

Infralapsarianism and Supralapsarianism by Jack Kettler

In this study, we will seek to understand infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism. This is a study in Reformed theology. This study will deal with God’s eternal decrees involving predestination. Christians that are not reformed also have theologies that attempt to understand God’s eternal degrees. The serious reader should consult the Cannons of Dort to see two competing systems in contrast.

The doctrine of predestination more than any other teaching of Scripture takes salvation out of man’s hands and places it in God’s control. The cause of God’s choosing or election is found in God Himself. If a man insists that he played a part in God’s choice, then human merit is brought into the picture. Salvation then becomes synergistic (a cooperative effort) rather than monergistic (God alone saves apart from man’s effort). Biblical salvation is monergistic. Christ alone, by his complete and finished work saves a fallen man. Within a synergistic scheme, salvation becomes a mutual effort.

The words predestination and election appear in the pages of Scripture. A Christian, therefore, must have an understanding of passages that teach this. This study of infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism will seek to clarify and help us better understand the doctrine of grace seen in God’s election of sinners. The goal of this study is to glorify God.

Therefore, we must start with the Scripture:

“My name is the LORD! I won’t let idols or humans share my glory and praise.” (Isaiah 42:8 CEV)

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

“Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4)

“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

“Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.” (Psalm 25:4)

Definitions from two sources:

Infralapsarianism:

The view that in the plan made by God in eternity, his decree to permit the fall logically preceded his decree of election, so that when God chose some people to receive eternal life, he was choosing them from the whole mass of humanity, all regarded as fallen creatures. *

Infralapsarianism:

An issue within Reformed theology dealing with what may have happened in God’s mind regarding the logical order of His considering whom to elect into salvation before the foundation of the world. The word means “after the fall.” The position is that God first decided he would allow sin into the world and second that he would then save people from it. By contrast, the supralapsarian (“before the fall”) position holds that God first decided that he would save some people and then second that he would allow sin into the world. **

Supralapsarianism:

The view that in the plan made by God in eternity, his decree of election logically preceded his decree to permit the fall, so that when God chose “some to receive eternal life and rejected all others,” he was contemplating them as unfallen. *

Supralapsarianism:

An issue within Reformed theology dealing with what may have happened in God’s mind regarding the logical order of His considering whom to elect into salvation before the foundation of the world. The word means “before the fall.” This position holds that God first decided that he would save some people and then second that he would allow sin into the world. By contrast, the infralapsarian (“after the fall”) position is the reverse in that it holds that God first decided he would allow sin into the world and second that he would then save people from it. **

Scripture in support of infralapsarianism:

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)

It will be good to look at John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible on John 15:19:

“If ye were of the world … Belonged to the world, were of the same spirit and principles with it, and pursued the same practices:

the world would love its own; for every like loves it’s like; the men of the world love each other’s persons, company, and conversation:

but because ye are not of the world: once they were, being born into it, brought up in it, had their conversation among the men of it, were themselves men of carnal, worldly, principles and practices; but being called by Christ, and becoming his disciples, they were no more of it; and as he was not of the world, so they were not of it, though they were in it. The Jews distinguish the disciples of the wise men, from, “the men of the world” (u), pretending that they were not; but this is a character that only belongs to the disciples of Christ, in consequence of their being called by him out of it:

but I have chosen you out of the world: which designs not the eternal election of them, but the separation of them from the rest of the world in the effectual calling, and the designation of them to his work and service:

therefore the world hateth you; and since it was upon that account, they had no reason to be uneasy, but rather to rejoice; seeing this was an evidence of their not belonging to the world, and of being chosen and called by Christ out of it.” (1)

The next passage:

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Ephesians 1:5 is particularly helpful:

Having predestinated us – On the meaning of the word here used, see the notes at Romans 1:4, Romans 8:29 note. The word used πρωρίζω prōrizō means properly “to set bounds before;” and then to “pre-determine.” There is the essential idea of setting bounds or limits, and of doing this beforehand. It is not that God determined to do it when it was actually done, but that he intended to do it beforehand. No language could express this more clearly, and I suppose this interpretation is generally admitted. Even by those who deny the doctrine of particular election, it is not denied that the word here used means to “pre-determine;” and they maintain that the sense is, that God had pre-determined to admit the Gentiles to the privileges of his people. Admitting then that the meaning is to predestinate in the proper sense, the only question is, “who” are predestinated? To whom does the expression apply? Is it to nations or to individuals? In reply to this, in addition to the remarks already made, I would observe,

(1) that there is no specification of “nations” here as such, no mention of the Gentiles in contradistinction from the Jews.

(2) those referred to were those included in the word “us,” among whom Paul was one – but Paul was not a heathen.

(3) the same objection will lie against the doctrine of predestinating “nations” which will lie against predestinating “individuals.”

(4) nations are made up of individuals, and the pre-determination must have had some reference to individuals.

What is a nation but a collection of individuals? There is no such abstract being or thing as a nation; and if there was any purpose in regard to a nation, it must have had some reference to the individuals composing it. He that would act on the ocean, must act on the drops of water that make up the ocean; for besides the collection of drops of water there is no ocean. He that would remove a mountain, must act on the particles of matter that compose that mountain; for there is no such thing as an abstract mountain. Perhaps there was never a greater illusion than to suppose that all difficulty is removed in regard to the doctrine of election and predestination, by saying that it refers to “nations.” What difficulty is lessened? What is gained by it? How does it make God appear more amiable and good?

Does it render him less “partial” to suppose that he has made a difference among nations, than to suppose that he has made a difference among individuals? Does it remove any difficulty about the offer of salvation, to suppose that he has granted the knowledge of his truth to some “nations,” and withheld it from others? The truth is, that all the reasoning which has been founded on this supposition, has been merely throwing dust in the eyes. If there is “any” well-founded objection to the doctrine of decrees or predestination, it is to the doctrine “at all,” alike in regard to nations and individuals, and there are just the same difficulties in the one case as in the other. But there is no real difficulty in either. Who could worship or honor a God who had no plan, or purpose, or intention in what he did? Who can believe that the universe was formed and is governed without design? Who can doubt that what God “does” he always meant to do?

When, therefore, he converts and saves a soul, it is clear that he always intended to do it. He has no new plan. It is not an afterthought. It is not the work of chance. If I can find out anything that God has “done,” I have the most certain conviction that he “always meant” to do it – and this is all that is intended by the doctrine of election or predestination. What God does, he always meant to do. What he permits, he always meant to permit. I may add further, that if it is right to “do” it, it was right to “intend” to do it. If there is no injustice or partiality in the act itself, there is no injustice or partiality in the intention to perform it. If it is right to save a soul, it was also right to intend to save it. If it is right to condemn a sinner to we, it was right to intend to do it. Let us then look “at the thing itself,” and if that is not wrong, we should not blame the purpose to do it, however long it has been cherished.

Unto the adoption … – see John 1:12 note, Romans 8:15 note.

According to the good pleasure of his will – The word rendered “good pleasure” – (εὐδοκία eudokia) – means “a being well pleased;” delight in anything, favor, good-will, Luke 2:14; Philippians 1:15; compare Luke 12:32. Then it denotes purpose, or will, the idea of benevolence being included – Robinson. Rosenmuller renders the phrase, “from his most benignant decree.” The evident object of the apostle is to state why God chose the heirs of salvation. It was done as it seemed good to him in the circumstances of the case. It was not that man had any control over him, or that man was consulted in the determination, or that it was based on the good works of man, real or foreseen. But we are not to suppose that there were no good reasons for what he has thus done. Convicts are frequently pardoned by an executive. He does it according to his own will, or as seems good in his sight.

He is to be the judge, and no one has a right to control him in doing it. It may seem to be entirely arbitrary. The executive may not have communicated the reasons why he did it, either to those who are pardoned, or to the other prisoners, or to anyone else. But we are not to infer that there was no “reason” for doing it. If he is a wise magistrate, and worthy of his station, it is to be presumed that there were reasons which, if known, would be satisfactory to all. But those reasons he is under no obligations to make known. Indeed, it might be improper that they should be known. Of that he is the best judge. Meantime, however, we may see what would be the effect in those who were not forgiven. It would excite, very likely, their hatred, and they would charge him with partiality or with tyranny. But they should remember that whoever might be pardoned, and on whatever ground it might be done, they could not complain.

They would suffer no more than they deserve. But what if, when the act of pardon was made known to one part, it was offered to the others also on certain plain and easy conditions? Suppose it should appear that while the executive meant, for wise but concealed reasons, to forgive a part, he had also determined to offer forgiveness to all. And suppose that they were in fact disposed in the highest degree to neglect it, and that no inducements or arguments could prevail on them to accept of it. Who then could blame the executive? Now this is about the case in regard to God, and the doctrine of election. All people were guilty and condemned. For wise reasons, which God has not communicated to us, he determined to bring a portion at least of the human race to salvation. This he did not intend to leave to chance and hap-hazard. He saw that all would of themselves reject the offer, and that unless some efficient means were used, the blood of the atonement would be shed in vain.

He did not make known to people who they were that he meant to save, nor the reason why they particularly were to be brought to heaven. Meantime he meant to make the offer universal; to make the terms as easy as possible, and thus to take away every ground of complaint. If people will not accept of pardon; if they prefer their sins; if nothing can induce them to come and be saved, why should they complain? If the doors of a prison are open, and the chains of the prisoners are knocked off, and they will not come out, why should they complain that others are in fact willing to come out and be saved? Let it be borne in mind that the purposes of God correspond exactly to facts as they actually occur, and much of the difficulty is taken away. If in the facts there is no just ground of complaint, there can be none, because it was the intention of God that the facts should be so. (2)

Scriptures in support of supralapsarianism:

“For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Thou wilt say then unto me, why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:17, 19-21)

Matthew Poole’s Commentary sums up Paul’s argument in Romans perfectly:

“He argueth from the less to the greater, that if a potter hath power over his clay, to form it as he pleaseth, then God hath much more power over his creatures, to form them or order them as he listeth. God’s authority over his creature, is greater than that of a potter over his clay. The potter made not his clay; but both clay and potter are made by God. Here is something implied, that as there is no difference in the matter or lump out of which the potter frameth diversity of vessels, so there is no difference in mankind; all men are alike by nature, and in the same corrupt state; both those who are elected, and those who are rejected, that are made vessels of mercy, or vessels of wrath. And here is this expressed, that as the potter maketh vessels of honour or dishonour, of nobler or viler use, out of the same lump, as he listeth, and is not bound to give a reason of his so doing to his pots; so God may choose some, and reject others, and give no account thereof unto his creatures. The potter takes nothing from the clay, of what form soever he makes it; and the Creator doth no wrong to the creature, however he doth dispose of it.” (3)

Loraine Boettner on INFRALAPSARIANISM AND SUPRALAPSARIANISM:

Among those who call themselves Calvinists there has been some difference of opinion as to the order of events in the Divine plan. The question here is, when the decrees of election and reprobation came into existence were men considered as fallen or as unfallen? Were the objects of these decrees contemplated as members of a sinful, corrupt mass, or were they contemplated merely as men whom God would create?

According to the infralapsarian view the order of events was as follows: God proposed,

1. to create;

2. to permit the fall;

3. to elect to eternal life and blessedness a great multitude out of this mass of fallen men, and to leave the others, as He left the Devil and the fallen angels, to suffer the just punishment of their sins;

4. to give His Son, Jesus Christ, for the redemption of the elect; and

5. to send the Holy Spirit to apply to the elect the redemption which was purchased by Christ.

According to the supralapsarian view the order of events was:

1. to elect some creatable men (that is, men who were to be created) to life and to condemn others to destruction;

2. to create;

3. to permit the fall;

4. to send Christ to redeem the elect; and

5. to send the Holy Spirit to apply this redemption to the elect The question then is as to whether election precedes or follows the fall.

One of the leading motives in the supralapsarian scheme is to emphasize the idea of discrimination and to push this idea into the whole of God’s dealings with men. We believe, however, that supralapsarianism over-emphasizes this idea. In the very nature of the case this idea cannot be consistently carried out, e.g., in creation, and especially in the fall. It was not merely some of the members of the human race who were objects of the decree to create, but all mankind, and that with the same nature. And it was not merely some men, but the entire race, which was permitted to fall. Supralapsarianism goes to as great an extreme on the one side as does universalism on the other. Only the infralapsarian scheme is self-consistent or consistent with other facts.

In regard to this difference Dr. Warfield writes: “The mere putting of the question seems to carry its answer with it. For the actual dealing with men which is in question, is, with respect to both classes alike, those who are elected and those who are passed by, conditioned on sin; we cannot speak of salvation any more than of reprobation without positing sin. Sin is necessarily precedent in thought, not indeed to the abstract idea of discrimination, but to the concrete instance of discrimination which is in question, a discrimination with regard to a destiny which involves either salvation or punishment. There must be sin in contemplation to ground a decree of salvation, as truly as a decree of punishment. We cannot speak of a decree discriminating between men with reference to salvation and punishment, therefore, without positing the contemplation of men as sinners as its logical prius.”1

And to the same effect Dr. Charles Hodge says:

“It is a clearly revealed Scriptural principle that where there is no sin there is no condemnation. . . . He hath mercy upon one and not on another, according to His own good pleasure, because all are equally unworthy and guilty . . . Everywhere, as in Romans 1:24, 26, 28, reprobation is declared to be judicial, founded upon the sinfulness of its object. Otherwise, it could not be a manifestation of the justice of God.” 2

It is not in harmony with the Scripture ideas of God that innocent men, men who are not contemplated as sinners, should be foreordained to eternal misery and death. The decrees concerning the saved ‘and the lost should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign, but this sovereignty is not exercised in an arbitrary way. Rather it is a sovereignty exercised in harmony with His other attributes, especially His justice, holiness, and wisdom. God cannot commit sin; and in that respect He is limited, although it would be more accurate to speak of His inability to commit sin as a perfection. There is, of course, mystery in connection with either system; but the supralapsarian system seems to pass beyond mystery and into contradiction.

The Scriptures are practically infralapsarian, — Christians are said to have been chosen “out of” the world, John 15:19; the potter has a right over the clay, “from the same lump,” to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor, Rom. 9:21; and the elect and the non-elect are regarded as being originally in a common state of misery. Suffering and death are uniformly represented as the wages of sin. The infralapsarian scheme naturally commends itself to our ideas of justice and mercy; and it is at least free from the Arminian objection that God simply creates some men in order to damn them. Augustine and the great majority of those who have held the doctrine of Election since that time have been and are infralapsarians, — that is, they believe that it was from the mass of fallen men that some were elected to eternal life while others were sentenced to eternal death for their sins. There is no Reformed confession which teaches the supralapsarian view; but on the other hand a considerable number do explicitly teach the infralapsarian view, which thus emerges as the typical form of Calvinism. At the present day it is probably safe to say that not more than one Calvinist in a hundred holds the supralapsarian view. We are Calvinists strongly enough, but not “high Calvinists.” By a “high Calvinist” we mean one who holds the supralapsarian view.

It is of course true that in either system the sovereign choice of God in election is stressed and salvation in its whole course is the work of God. Opponents usually stress the supralapsarian system since it is the one which without explanation is more likely to conflict with man’s natural feelings and impressions. It is also true that there are some things here which cannot be put into the time mould, — that these events are not in the Divine mind as they are in ours, by a succession of acts, one after another, but that by one single act God has at once ordained all these things. In the Divine mind the plan is a unit, each part of which is designed with reference to a state of facts which God intended should result from the other parts. All of the decrees are eternal. They have a logical, but not a chronological, relationship. Yet in order for us to reason intelligently about them we must have a certain order of thought. We very naturally think of the gift of Christ in sanctification and glorification as following the decrees of the creation and the fall.

In regard to the teaching of the Westminster Confession, Dr. Charles Hodge makes the following comment:

“Twiss, the Prolocutor of that venerable body (the Westminster Assembly), was a zealous supralapsarian; the great majority of its members, however, were on the other side. The symbols of that Assembly, while they clearly imply the infralapsarian view, were yet so framed as to avoid offence to those who adopted the supralapsarian theory. In the ‘Westminster Confession,’ it is said that God appointed the elect unto eternal life, and the rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.’ It is here taught that those whom God passes by are ‘the rest of mankind’; not the rest of ideal or possible men, but the rest of those human beings who constitute mankind, or the human race. In the second place, the passage quoted teaches that the non-elect are passed by and ordained to wrath ‘for their sin.’ This implies that they were contemplated as sinful before this foreordination to judgment. The infralapsarian view is still more obviously assumed in the answer to the 19th and 20th questions in the ‘Shorter Catechism.’ It is there taught that all mankind by the fall lost communion with God, and are under His wrath and curse, and that God out of His mere good pleasure elected some (some of those under His wrath and curse), unto everlasting life. Such has been the doctrine of the great body of Augustinians from the time of Augustine to the present day.” 3

Notes referenced in the article:

1. The Plan of Salvation, p. 28.

2. Systematic Theology, II, p. 318.

3. Systematic Theology, II, p. 317. (4)

Conclusions from the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology published by Baker:

Infralapsarianism, (Sublapsarianism)

(Lat. for “after the fall,” sometimes designated “sublapsarianism”). A part of the doctrine of predestination, specifically that which relates to the decrees of election and reprobation. The issues involved are God’s eternal decrees and man’s will, how can the one be affirmed without denying the other. If one argues for God’s predetermination of mankind’s fate, this tends to deny mankind’s free will and threatens to make God responsible for sin.

On the other hand, if one argues for the freedom of mankind’s will, thus making man responsible for sin, this can threaten the sovereignty and power of God since his decrees then are contingent upon mankind’s decisions. The argument / dilemma is not new. Pelagius and Augustine argued over the issue with the Synod of Orange, 529, which sided with Augustine. In the Middle Ages, Duns Scotus and William of Ockham questioned Augustine’s position. Luther and Erasmus argued the issue in Freedom of the Will and Bondage of the Will. Melanchthon got involved and was accused by Flacius of synergism, and by the end of the sixteenth century the position of Arminius stirred the controversy among the Reformed, who attempted to resolve the issue at the Synod of Dort.

What is the order of the eternal decrees of God? Infralapsarians argue for this order:

(1) God decreed the creation of mankind, a good, blessed creation, not marred or flawed.

(2) God decreed mankind would be allowed to fall through its own self determination.

(3) God decreed to save some of the fallen.

(4) God decreed to leave the rest to their just fate of condemnation.

(5) God provides the Redeemer for the saved.

(6) God sends the Holy Spirit to effect redemption among the saved.

The key to the order of the decrees is that God decreed election to salvation after the fall, not before; hence the name of the view “infralapsarianism.” The supralapsarian view would offer an order in which the decree for election and reprobation occurs before the creation. Those on both sides of the issue cite weighty arguments for their positions, quote Scripture as a foundation, and comb through Augustine, Calvin, and others for support. Generally most Reformed assemblies have refused to make either infra – or supralapsarianism normative, although the tendency has been to favor the former without condemning those who hold to the latter.
R V Schnucker
(Elwell Evangelical Dictionary) (5)

Supralapsarianism

The doctrine that God decreed both election and reprobation before the fall. Supralapsarianism differs from infralapsarianism on the relation of God’s decree to human sin. The differences go back to the conflict between Augustine and Pelagius. Before the Reformation, the main difference was whether Adam’s fall was included in God’s eternal decree; supralapsarians held that it was, but infralapsarians acknowledged only God’s foreknowledge of sin. Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin were agreed that Adam’s fall was somehow included in God’s decree; it came to be referred to as a “permissive decree,” and all insisted that God was in no way the author of sin. As a result of the Reformers’ agreement, after the Reformation the distinction between infra – and supralapsarianism shifted to differences on the logical order of God’s decrees.

Theodore Beza, Calvin’s successor at Geneva, was the first to develop supralapsarianism in this new sense. By the time of the Synod of Dort in 1618 – 19, a heated intraconfessional controversy developed between infra – and supralapsarians; both positions were represented at the synod. Francis Gomarus, the chief opponent of James Arminius, was a supralapsarian.

The question of the logical, not the temporal, order of the eternal decrees reflected differences on God’s ultimate goal in predestination and on the specific objects of predestination. Supralapsarians considered God’s ultimate goal to be his own glory in election and reprobation, while infralapsarians considered predestination subordinate to other goals. The object of predestination, according to supralapsarians, was uncreated and unfallen humanity, while infralapsarians viewed the object as created and fallen humanity.

The term “supralapsarianism” comes from the Latin words supra and lapsus; the decree of predestination was considered to be “above” (supra) or logically “before” the decree concerning the fall (lapsus), while the infralapsarians viewed it as “below” (infra) or logically “after” the decree concerning the fall. The contrast of the two views is evident from the following summaries.

The logical order of the decrees in the supralapsarian scheme is:

(1) God’s decree to glorify himself through the election of some and the reprobation of others;

(2) as a means to that goal, the decree to create those elected and reprobated;

(3) the decree to permit the fall; and

(4) the decree to provide salvation for the elect through Jesus Christ.

The logical order of the decrees according to infralapsarians is:

(1) God’s decree to glorify himself through the creation of the human race;

(2) the decree to permit the fall;

(3) the decree to elect some of the fallen race to salvation and to pass by the others and condemn them for their sin; and

(4) the decree to provide salvation for the elect through Jesus Christ.

Infralapsarians were in the majority at the Synod of Dort. The Arminians tried to depict all the Calvinists as representatives of the “repulsive” supralapsarian doctrine. Four attempts were made at Dort to condemn the supralapsarian view, but the efforts were unsuccessful. Although the Canons of Dort do not deal with the order of the divine decrees, they are infralapsarian in the sense that the elect are “chosen from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault from their primitive state of rectitude into sin and destruction” (I, 7; cf. I, 1). The reprobate “are passed by in the eternal decree” and God “decreed to leave (them) in the common misery into which they have willfully plunged themselves” and “to condemn and punish them forever…for all their sins” (I, 15).

Defenders of supralapsarianism continued after Dort. The chairman of the Westminister Assembly, William Twisse, was a supralapsarian but the Westminister standards do not favor either position. Although supralapsarianism never received confessional endorsement within the Reformed churches, it has been tolerated within the confessional boundaries. In 1905 the Reformed churches of the Netherlands and the Christian Reformed Church in 1908 adopted the Conclusions of Utrecht, which stated that “our Confessional Standards admittedly follow the infralapsarian presentation in respect to the doctrine of election, but that it is evident…that this in no wise intended to exclude or condemn the supralapsarian presentation.” Recent defenders of the supralapsarian position have been Gerhardus Vos, Herman Hoeksema, and G H Kersten.
F H Klooster
(Elwell Evangelical Dictionary) (6)

In closing:

From The Westminster Shorter Catechism:

Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?

A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.

Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?

A. God, having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.

“Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:12)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Notes:

1. John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, John, 9 Volumes, Romans, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 504.

2. Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Ephesians, pp. 3354-3356 .

3. Matthew Poole, Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, Romans, vol. 3, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985), p. 511.

4. Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing CO. signed copy 1984), pp. 126-130.

5. Walter A. Elwell, Editor, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House), p. 560-561.

6. Walter A. Elwell, Editor, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House), p. 1059-1060.

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com

For more study:

* https://www.gotquestions.org/

** CARM theological dictionary https://carm.org/dictionary-hermeneutics

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