Monday, February 23, 2009

After Creation, Providence

Calvin's Institutes
Book 1 - Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 16 - God by His power nourishes and maintains the world created by Him, and rules its several parts by His providence
Sections 1-4 - God's special providence asserted, against the opinions of philosophers
Section 1 - Creation and providence inseparably joined.
We can't understand what "Creator" means without knowing His providence.
God doesn't just "keep things in motion," impersonally, as pagans think.
He sustains and nourishes all things with Fatherly care.
Matt 10:29; Ps 33:6, 13. Especially Ps 104:27-30.

Section 2 -There is no such thing as fortune or chance
Rather, "all events are governed by God's secret plan." Matt 10:30.
He proves this by creating plants before the sun (Gen 1:3, 11, 14).
And by having the sun stand still or go back (Josh 10:13; 2 Kings 20:11).
The world doesn't run on its own; God "governs its course."

Section 3 - God's providence governs all
Not just generally, but He determines each particular.
Ps 115:3; 8:2.
God protects us; we are not to fear signs of heaven (astrology) - Jer 10:2.

Section 4 - The nature of providence
Extends to God's hands, not just His eyes. Not just foreknowledge.
He brings all things to pass by His power and determination.
John 5:17; Acts 17:28; Heb 1:3.

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