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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Three – The Decrees of God (Q.15)

William F. Leonhart III

Q.15: What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?

A. When God created man, He entered into a covenant of life with him upon condition of perfect obedience: forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death.1

1Galatians 3:12; Genesis 2:17

“COVENANT THEOLOGY, SIMPLY STATED, is the view of God and redemption that interprets the Holy Scriptures by way of covenants,” (Earl Blackburn, Covenant Theology: A Baptist Distinctive, pg. 17).

What we see in Genesis 2 is not only an account of the creation of Adam and Eve. In the garden, God and man entered into a covenant. God bestowed certain benefits upon Adam; He gave him life and all the provisions he needed to sustain life in the garden. He created man sinless and in….

 

 

 

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Three – The Decrees of God (Q.14)

February 23, 2017 Leave a comment

William F. Leonhart III

Q.14: What are God’s works of providence?

A. God’s works of providence are His most holy,1 wise,2 and powerful preserving3 and governing of all His creatures, and all their actions.4

 

 

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Three – The Decrees of God (Q.13)

February 16, 2017 Leave a comment

William F. Leonhart III

Alfred Hitchcock is accredited with having said, “Self-plagiarism is style.” While my views have changed since writing the paper “Trinitarian Foundations for Christian Education,” I have largely used its material in this section of our Studies in The Baptist Catechism series. As you can observe, the sections taken from the paper have been altered to reflect a change in views. I no longer take the ESS view of the Trinity in marking the unity and diversity of man, but rather point to the economic Trinity.

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Q.13: How did God create man?

A. God created man, male and female, after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.1

 

 

 

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Three – The Decrees of God (Q.11-12)

William F. Leonhart III

Q.11: How doth God execute His decrees?

A. God executeth His decrees in the works of creation and providence.

Under the headings of creation and providence, God accomplishes all of His good purposes. Thereby, He creates, sustains, and directs all things toward His own desired, good, and glorious ends. Nothing that comes into existence does so without God’s decree. Likewise, nothing that comes to pass does so without God’s decree. God is the prime Actor in all of creation and is necessary for its continued existence.

 

 

 

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Three – The Decrees of God (Q.10)

William F. Leonhart III

Q.10: What are the decrees of God?

A. The decrees of God are His eternal purpose according to the counsel of His will, whereby, for His own glory, He hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.1

1Ephesians 1:4, 11; Romans 9:22-23; Isaiah 46:10; Lamentations 3:37

Moving along in our discussion of what man ought to believe concerning God, let us pivot a bit from what God is to what God does. Now, these two aspects of God should not be divorced from one another. Obviously, what God is will determine what God does. When we say that God is good, after all, we are claiming that God is the ultimate standard of all that is good. In order to properly define what good is requires that we do so in reference to what God is. It also requires that we do so in reference to what God does.

The first step in examining what God does is to look to His eternal decrees. In the decrees of God, we find the Source and Purpose for all that occurs, whether in the secret counsels of God or in the created order, from eternity to eternity. God Himself is the Source of everything that occurs. He is also the Purpose. The Westminster Assembly put it this way:

 

 

 

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Two – Theology Proper (Q.9)

William F. Leonhart III

Q.9: How many persons are there in the Godhead.

A. There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one God, the same in essence, equal in power and glory.1

11 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19

As we move from the question of how many Gods to the question of how many Persons, we must keep in mind that our subject has not changed. We are still speaking with reference to triune monotheism. We have simply moved from our focus on the monotheism part of the construction to a focus on the triune part.

 

 

 

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Two – Theology Proper (Q.8)

by William F. Leonhart III

Q.8: Are there more Gods than one.

A. There is but one only, the living and true God.1

1Deuteronomy 6:4; Jeremiah 10:10

Besides monergism, monotheism is the doctrine that most distinguishes Christianity from myriad other world religions. While it could be argued that all religions besides Christianity promote a works-based view of salvation, there are admittedly other religions that hold to monotheism. Judaism and Islam are just two such religions. Other religions, like many pagan religions, teach a view known as polytheism. This view teaches that there are many gods. Mormonism and many Hindu sects teach henotheism, a brand of polytheism in which only one of the many gods is to be worshipped.

Still others, like Buddhism, are ultimately atheistic or agnostic at their root, teaching no particular view of God or the gods. Other religions teach pantheism (all things are god) or even panentheism (god is all things and more). Others, like African Traditional religions, have adopted animism teaching that all things (plant, animal, and mineral) have a soul and are animated by a supernatural force in the world.

 

 

 

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