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Baptist Confession of 1689: Of Divine Providence

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CHAPTER 5—OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE

Paragraph 1. God the good Creator of all things, in His infinite power and wisdom does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures and things, (Hbr 1:3; Job 38:11; Isa 46:10-11; Psa 135:6); from the greatest even to the least, (Mat 10:29-31); by His most wise and holy providence, to the end for the which they were created, according unto His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will; to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and mercy, (Eph 1:11).

Paragraph 2. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly, (Act 2:23); so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without His providence, (Pro 16:33); yet by the same providence He ordered them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently, (Gen 8:22).

Paragraph 3. God, in his ordinary providence makes use of means,(Act 27:31, 44; Isa 55:10-11); yet is free to work without,(Hos 1:7); above, (Rom 4:19-21); and against them, (Dan 3:27); at His pleasure.

Paragraph 4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in His providence, that His determinate counsel extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of angels and men, (Rom 11:32-34; 2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:1); and that not by a bare permission, which also He most wisely and powerfully binds, and otherwise orders and governs, (2Ki 19:28; Psa 76:10); in a manifold dispensation to His most holy ends, (Gen 1:20; Isa 10:6-7, 12); yet so, as the sinfulness of their act proceeds only from the creatures, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin, (Psa 50:21; 1Jo 2:16).

Paragraph 5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God does often times leave for a season His own children to manifold temptations and the corruptions of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself; and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for other just and holy ends, (2Ch 32:25-26, 31; 2Co 12:7-9). So that whatsoever befalls any of His elect is by His appointment, for His glory, and their good, (Rom 8:28).

Paragraph 6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as the righteous judge, for former sin does blind and harden, (Rom 1:24-26, 28; 11:7-8); from them He not only withholds His grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understanding, and wrought upon their hearts, (Deu 29:4); but sometimes also withdraws the gifts which they had, (Mat 13:12); and exposes them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin, (Deu 2:30; 2Ki 8:12-13); and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, (Psa 81:11-12; 2Th 2:10-12); whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, under those means which God uses for the softening of others, (Exd 8:15, 32; Isa 6:9-10; 1Pe 2:7-8).

Paragraph 7. As the providence of God does in general reach to all creatures, so after a more special manner it takes care of His church, and disposes of all things to the good thereof, (1Ti 4:10; Amo 9:8-9; Isa 43:3-5).



DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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