- The Text
- The Chapter
- The Confession
- Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly
- so that there is not anything befalls any by chance or without his providence
- yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently
Romans 11:36 (CSB) For from him and through him
and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever. Amen.
Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly
Acts 2:23 (CSB) Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him.
God is the first cause of all things. What does that mean? From his most wise and most holy council, he is the first cause of all things to be. And whatever he wants them to be, it will happened without being altered or changed in anyway (immutably). And whatever he wants them to be, it will happen without fail (infallibly).
We have seen this His bringing about all of Creation. But what happens when sin breaks the world? Is the God still the first cause? Yes. Does everything he wants to happen, happen? Yes. Does everything he wants to happen, happen without fail? Yes. Does it happen without being altered or changed in anyway or failing in anyway? Yes.
Proverbs 16:33 (CSB) The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
Every dice roll result is has been provided and determined by God. Every lottery number drawn. Or the stack of the card deck in poker. Everything that appears to be chance is determined by God. He is the first cause of all things.
Let me address this one thought that you might be thinking: now do you see why Paganism is incompatible with Christianity. Humans invented idols that they could control by doing a set of things to please their idols in order to get something in return.
Throughout all of human history including the Bible, I could easily speculate that mankind enjoys the thought of an Almighty God. But the moment he doesn't do nor gives what we want--even if it is a very good thing--that thought wear us down and pushes against our harden hearts.
Romans 4:3–5 (CSB) For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. Now to the one who works, pay is not credited as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.
In other words, Paganism is putting God in our debt. And I know, that every Christian reading this would not willing fall for Paganism. "Come join us at Pagan Church." Christians be like, "Nope." But another term for Paganism is Legalism. Another, Works-Based Salvation. Another, Word of Faith aka Name it and Claim it aka Prosperity Gospel aka "You have to make sure you do the right things in order to step into the blessings of God." In other words, "let me do the right things that please God so that God will bless me with the life that I want and when that fails and my life falls apart, I will blame God for not doing what I wanted him to do." The term Paganism is not outright in American Christianity. It just takes on other forms and fully infect most of the evangelical churches in the world.
yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently
Genesis 8:22 (CSB) As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”
Matthew 5:45b (CSB) For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
What if something he does and all down the line, sin happens? Answer the direct question: If God made Satan and Adam, and Satan rebelled against God and Satan tempted Adam and Adam sinned against God, is God still the first cause? Yes. Is the first cause of all sin? Absolutely not.
What is really going to blow your mind is that it is the God of the Universe who created not just the material but the situation and the circumstance that crucified our beloved Messiah:
So completely was Jesus bent upon saving sinners by the sacrifice of himself, he created the tree upon which he was to die, and nurtured from infancy the men who were to nail him to the accursed wood.
Octavius Winslow. The Life of Christ. 1855.