Wednesday, August 19, 2009

God's sovereignty has its own equity

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 3 of 4 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ

Chapter 23 - Refuting false accusations burdening election
Sections 6-9 2nd Objection: election removes human responsibility
6. How can man be held responsible, if God causes His sin - Prov 16:4? We can't find refuge in foreknowledge - "He foresees future events only by reason of the fact that He decreed that they take place."

7. God did not lay aside His omnipotence when it came to Adam's future. Adam did not have "free choice that he might shape his own fortune."

8. Can we say God permitted it but did not will it? No! "Man falls according as God's providence ordains, but he falls by his own fault." We should focus on our fault, and "submit our understanding" to God's sovereignty. "Craving to know" God's secret decrees is "a kind of madness."

9. I can't stop the objections here, but have answered as well as is possible. "The ordinance of God... has its own equity." It is wrong to blame our condemnation on God's predestination; it is our own fault.

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