ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
decrees of God
The decree being the act of an infinite, absolute, eternal, unchangeable, and sovereign Person, comprehending a plan including all his works of all kinds, great and small, from the beginning of creation to an unending eternity; ends as well as means, causes as well as effects, conditions and instrumentalities as well as the events which depend upon them, must be incomprehensible by the finite intellect of man.
The decrees are eternal (Acts 15:18; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13), unchangeable (Psalm 33:11; Isa. 46:9), and comprehend all things that come to pass (Eph. 1:11; Matt. 10:29-30; Eph. 2:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; Psalm 17:13-14).
The decrees of God are (1) efficacious, as they respect those events he has determined to bring about by his own immediate agency; or (2) permissive, as they respect those events he has determined that free agents shall be permitted by him to effect.
This doctrine ought to produce in our minds “humility, in view of the infinite greatness and sovereignty of God, and of the dependence of man; confidence and implicit reliance upon wisdom, righteousness, goodness, and immutability of God’s purpose.”