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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Are the Decrees of God?

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Don Stewart

The decrees of God are declarations or pronouncements that He has made in working out His plan in the various ages. The Bible says that God causes all things to work together for good.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Paul wrote to the Ephesians

Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11).

He also wrote.

According to the eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:11).

Christ is the king of the ages.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1:17).

The Extent Of The Decrees

The decrees of God extend to His creation of the universe, His plan of salvation for humankind, and His providence over all things.

There Are A Number Of General Statements About The Decrees

The Scripture contains a number of general statements about the decrees of God.

The prophet Isaiah wrote.

Concerning the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back (Isaiah 14:26,27).

Isaiah recorded God saying.

For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, "My purpose shall stand, and I will fulfill my intention (Isaiah 46:9,10).

Daniel wrote.

And He does what he wills with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can stay his hand or say to him, "What are you doing?" (Daniel 4:35).

Paul wrote.

Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11).

The Specifics Of The Decrees

Scripture also gives specifics about God's decrees. They include the following things.

1. The Stability Of Universe

God has decreed that the universe will remain stable.

Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; you established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to your ordinances, for all things are your servants (Psalm 119:89-91).

2. The Free Acts Of Human Beings

God has decreed that humans can act either good or evil.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

3. The Circumstances Of Nations

God has decreed the circumstances of the nations.

From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live (Acts 17:26).

4. The Length Of Human Life

God has decreed the length of a person's life.

Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with you; and his limits you have set so that he cannot pass (Job 14:5).

5. The Way One Will Die

The Lord has also decreed the manner in which one will die. Jesus said to Simon Peter.

Now this he said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said to him, "Follow me!" (John 21:19).

6. The Salvation Of Believers

God has decreed that those who believe in Jesus shall be saved.

But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory (1 Corinthians 2:7).

Paul wrote.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ . . . with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth (Ephesians 1:3,10).

7. The Establishment Of Christ's Kingdom

God has decreed the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at his coming, (1 Corinthians 15:23).

The Decrees Are In Harmony With Other Attributes Of God

The decrees of God are in complete harmony with His other attributes including justice, knowledge, unchangeableness, and goodness.

There Are Practical Benefits In Understanding The Decrees

The biblical doctrine of divine decrees has a number of practical benefits. They include.

We Gain Confidence In God

Since God has decreed certain things will happen in the future, the believer can be confident that His word will indeed come to pass. All things in the life of the believer are working together for good.

It Makes Us Humble

It also instills humility in the believer that God is working out His eternal plan in each individual life.

It Gives Us A Warning

The fact that God's declarations will comes to pass serves as a warning for unbelievers to that there will be a judgment day for their sin.

It Provides Hope

With the warning for the sinner comes hope of forgiveness if that person will turn to Christ as their Savior.


According to Scripture God has made a number of decrees or divine pronouncements. The Bible says that God has decreed a number of things. First, he has decreed the stability of the universe. The universe remains stable because of God's pronouncement. God has also decreed the free acts of human beings - humans can act either good or evil. God has also decreed the circumstances of nations. God has decreed the length of a person's life. The way one will die has also been made by God's decree. The Lord has also decreed the salvation of believers. Finally, God has decreed is the kingdom of Jesus Christ. The various decrees of God are in harmony with God's attributes.

There are a number of practical benefits that can be derived from understanding God's decrees. First, there is confidence that what God has decreed will come to pass. What God says will happen; will indeed happen. This also brings humility to the believer. For the unbeliever the decrees warn them of judgment to come. Finally the decrees bring a genuine hope to believers. Consequently it is important to understand the things that God has decreed for humanity and for the universe.

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