Some people raise another objection to God's complete sovereignty over all things. They argue that if God not only uses the wicked's actions to accomplish his purpose, but actually governs their thoughts and affections, then God must be the author of all their sins. And, therefore, when people are merely executing what God has decreed, … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.18.4 | Is God the Author of Evil?
I have written about what Scripture unambiguously teaches. Those who disagree with what I have written need to realize the kind of rebuke they deserve. What greater arrogance could there be than to disagree with the authority of God? For instance, to say "I think about things differently" or "This topic should have be broached." … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.18.3 | Objections to the Fact that God Wills All Things
Solomon declares that the Lord turns the heart of a king wherever he wants it to go (Proverbs 21:1). What applies to the king certainly also applies to the whole human race. God must direct whatever we conceive of in our minds. If God did not work internally in the minds of people, then Scripture … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.18.2 | Even the Wicked Do His Will
Some Scriptures indicate that God uses Satan for his purpose. Not only does God use Satan, but also all the reprobate and wicked. It can be difficult to understand how God remains free of the stain of sin when he uses them for his purpose. He also remains exempt from all guilt, yet he himself … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.18.1 | Does God Permit or Decree All Things?
God's providence provides solid instruction and comfort for believers. Yet for those who don't believe, discussions of God's providence will never answer all of their questions or provide satisfying answers for them. So trying to conclusively prove these things to them is probably a fool's errand. Nevertheless, there are some Scriptures which seem to teach … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.12-14 | Does God Change His Mind?
Believers can be very happy even in spite of the hardships of human existence. So many ills trouble human life. Our bodies break down and our susceptible to so many diseases. Death stalks us at every turn. Even the weather being too hot or too cold can threatened us. Wherever human beings turn, they are … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.9-11 | Life is Misery; Get Happy Knowing God’s Providence
If bad things happen to believers, they will immediately begin thinking about God. His hand is the most effective at impressing upon us the need for patience and calm thinking. If Joseph kept thinking about how he was betrayed by his brothers, he could have never forgiven them. Instead, he turned toward the Lord, which … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.8 | Providence Trains the Godly
The servant of God, who is encouraged by all the Scriptures that speak of God's care for him, will add the passages which teach that all people are under God's power. His power will either encourage their minds or curb their wickedness, preventing them from causing harm. It is the Lord who gives favor, not … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.7 | God Uses His Providence to Bless His People
Those who argue that God's providence can be used as a cover for sin can be easily refuted by meditating on God's providence. Meditating on his providence produces the best and sweetest fruit in our lives. Therefore, Christians will always direct their eyes to God as the principle cause of events because they know that … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.6 | God’s Providence Extends in a Special Way to the Church
Some people class past events as belonging to simple providence. They believe that whatever happened in the past, whether theft or adultery or murder happened without God's intervention. Therefore, they ask, "Why should the thief be punished for robbing a person for whom the Lord chose to punish with poverty? Why should the murderer be … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.5 | God Uses Evil, but is Not Stained with Evil