Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, February 25, 2013

Westminster Larger Catechism: Question 12

Question 12

What are the decrees of God?

God’ s decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will, (Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:33, Rom. 9:14–15,18) whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time, (Eph. 1:4,11, Rom. 9:22–23, Ps. 33:11) especially concerning angels and men.

The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

The decrees of God are controversial today even in Presbyterian churches.  Just mention preordination of good and evil and see where the conversation takes you.  One lady in a children's Sunday school class didn't understand that providence means that God is in control of absolutely everything that comes to pass in real time.  This means that even when a Christian sins and falls from grace for a temporary time, even that was foreordained by God.  We are still accountable for all our actions, and we have no excuse.  But that does not remove the fact that we get none of the credit when things go right, and we get all the blame when things go wrong.  Yet if we sin God has predetermined it to be so just as it happens.

To deny this is to deny both what Scripture teaches and what the Westminster Confession and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms teach.  On the flip side, there is great comfort in knowing that no matter how badly we mess up our lives God is able to use even our sinful rebellion, our mistakes, and our stupidity to get us where we need to be.  The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints means that God will preserve His elect, not that we preserve ourselves, keep ourselves saved, or persevere to the end in our own effort or strength.  They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:27-31).


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