William Perkins: understanding God’s sovereign decree of reprobation

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... Secondly, it must be remembered, that we teach not, that God doth simply ordain some men to hell fire: but touching reprobation, our doctrine is this: that God hath decreed and purposed to glorify his name, in the due and deserved condemnation of some: for in man’s reprobation? God hath two actions: First, he decrees to pass by some men, without shewing his eternal mercy unto them, and only to declare his justice upon them; then after he decrees, when they are by themselves fallen into sin, to inflict upon them deserved condemnation for the same.

The unlearned also, from this doctrine of Predestination, take occasion of most fearful falling; for thus they reason: If I be predestinate to salvation, I am sure to be saved, let me do what I will; and if I be predestinated to condemnation, I am sure to be condemned, though I live never so godly; for God’s decree changeth not, and therefore I will live as I list. Thus do desperate persons embolden themselves to sin, and to cast away their souls.

The way to cut off this offence is this; they must remember, that in God’s decree, the end, and the means that bring men to that end, go always together: and therefore, that such as are ordained to salvation, are ordained to the means thereof; namely to vocation, justification, & sanctification, Rom. 8. 30. The end and the means in Gods decree must never be severed: Now righteousness and holiness in Christ, is the means whereby God hath decreed to bring men to salvation: and therefore they sin grievously, that upon the immutability of God’s decree, take occasion to live profanely. ...

For more, see William Perkins: understanding God’s sovereign decree of reprobation.
 
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