Westminster Confession, Chapter 3, Paragraph 5
- Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace.
The writers of this confession are laboring very hard to stress the doctrine of predestination from a reformed and calvinistic perspective. They also do a marvelous job of giving glory to God alone for the gift of salvation. It is to the praise of his glorious grace alone that anyone attain eternal life.
Years ago, a friend of mine gave me a tour through the old Ford plant in Minnesota. It was neat to see all of the stages involved in manufacturing a Ford Ranger pick-up. I saw some elaborate machinery that would have been programmed by an engineer to do certain tasks. The engineer would have foresaw what the machinery would need to do and have programmed it accordingly. This process is complex, and those who can do such things are gifted.
Now imagine manufacturing machinery that reproduces itself over time. This machinery is not programmed, but instead given duties, commands, and certain character qualities. This machinery also has the freedom to disobey whichever duties at whatever time it chooses. Imagine that this machinery has a life span of 100 years and then quits.
Let’s talk about this engineer of this machinery. He is outside of the machines time restraint so he never dies, or ages at all. He, not only predestines which machines will do good, and which machines will do bad; but predetermines each and every movement, decision, and outcome for not only the life span of each machine, but of every machine for all of time. And this he does without interfering with the freedom of the machines to do their own choices.
This is possibly a crude example, but it highlights one thing; the brilliance of the engineer of this machine world. To be such an engineer, he would be worthy of adoration and respect. Yet this engineer doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the worth and glory due to The Lord of heaven and earth. The Lord is sovereign over every aspect of his creation. He predetermines whatsoever comes to pass. He deserves to be trusted completely by you and me.