Here are the particular
Here are the particularConfession extracts we're looking at this Sunday evening, along with the study group questions:
Scripture: Job 26
Confession: Chapter 5: Providence
1. 1God who in infinite power and wisdom, has created all things, upholds, directs, controls and governs them, both animate and in animate, great and small, by a providence supremely wise and holy, and in accordance with His infallible foreknowledge and the free and immutable decisions of His will. 2He fulfils the purposes for which He created them, so that His wisdom, power and justice, together with His infinite goodness and mercy, might be praised and glorified.
Job 38.11; Ps. 135.6; Isa. 46.10-11; Matt. 10.29-31; Eph. 1.11; Heb. 1.3
2. 1Nothing happens by chance or outside of the sphere of God’s providence. 2As God is the First Cause of all events, they happen immutably and infallibly according to His foreknowledge and decree, to which they stand related. 3Yet by His providence God so controls them, that second causes, operating either as fixed laws, or freely, or in dependence upon other causes, play their part in bringing them about.
Gen. 8.22; Prov. 16.33; Acts 2.23
4. 1God’s almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness are so far-reaching and all-pervading, that both the fall of the first man into sin, and all other sinful actions of angels and men, proceed according to His sovereign purposes. 2It is not that He gives His bare permission, for in a variety of ways He wisely and powerfully limits, orders and governs sinful actions, so that they effect His holy designs. 3Yet the sinfulness involved in the actions proceeds only from angels and men and not from God who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.
Gen 1.20; 2 Sam. 24.1; 2 Kings 19.28; 1Chron 21.1; Ps.50.21; 75.10; Isa. 10. 6,7,12;
7. 1God’s general providence reaches out to all creatures, but in a very special way it is directed to the care of His church. 2 All things are controlled providentially for the good of the church.
Isa. 43.3-5; Amos 9.8-9; 1 Tim. 4.10
- According to paragraph 1 of the Confession, in what ways does God control the world, and us?
- Why does the Confession 1 suggest this is a good thing? (look at the first and last sentences)
- Confession 22 tells us that ‘God is the First Cause of all events’. What does this mean and how does it relate to the ‘second causes’ of the next sentence? Use Acts 2.23 to help you.
- If all sin ‘proceed[s] according to [God’s] sovereign purposes’ (Confession 41) why is the Confession, and the Bible, justified in saying that God is not responsible for our sin, and that we are? Use the references to find the Biblical evidence.
- What do these paragraphs, especially Confession 7, teach us about the extent of God’s providence?
- According to Confession 7 and Romans 8.28-30, what purpose does the providence of God have in the lives of His people?
- As Christians, what comfort can we take from knowing that God is in control? How should this truth impact upon our lives?