Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?

Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?

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


“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Gen 50:20)


We saw last time what God’s decrees mean. One take away lesson should be remembering our status as servants before God. We are, of course, God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ. However, we never cease to be God’s servants. But remember that servanthood is not a dirty concept in the Bible. Our Lord Jesus was a servant (Mark 10:45; Phil 2:5-8). Jesus has dignified servanthood for God’s glory. Let the world deride servanthood of Jesus Christ. We will glory in it!

Remembering that we are servants is crucial if we are to rightly understand God’s decrees. To simplify the matter a little bit, the word “decrees” communicates God’s eternal purpose, which he carries out with unfailing power from beginning to end. In other words, we are talking about predestination. But, of course, there are few topics which bend us so out of shape like predestination. In time, DV, we will delve more deeply into that subject.

But for now it’s important to remember that we are servants, and that has an immediate implication for rightly understanding God’s decrees. Because, sadly, some people respond to the Bible’s teaching of God’s sovereignty badly. Some outright reject it (Pelagians/Arminians). Others become cynical, thinking if God will do what he wants, there is no point to man doing anything (Hypercalvinists). Neither is acceptable.

But how should servants respond? Servants are those who pray, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” But servants do more than talk. They work diligently to accomplish their Master’s will. And if God’s grace has taken root in our hearts, we do not say, “Not my will but yours” grudgingly, but joyfully. That is, Christians have all the more reason to rejoice and diligently labor to do God’s will, which he has purposed to accomplish. We are servants. We rejoice in God’s purpose. May the Lord’s will be done, and may he find us faithful. Such should be the attitude of every Christian.

Our catechism question understands God executing his decrees through his creation and providence. We will, DV, deal with both creation and providence in future installments. So for now just a few words will have to do.

Creation: God created the world in the beginning out of nothing. We are his workmanship, and so is the whole world.

Providence: God governs all things he has created most wisely and powerfully, even when we cannot see God at work.

In both of these things, in creation and in providence, we see God’s great wisdom and power. Now, how should we think about creation and providence as servants? Tune in next time for answers!