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Shorter Catechism

𝒬 7. 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

  1. Psalm 33:11

    The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    the plans of his heart to all generations.

    Isaiah 14:24

    The Lord of hosts has sworn:
    “As I have planned,
    so shall it be,
    and as I have purposed,
    so shall it stand,

    Acts 2:23

    this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

    Ephesians 1:11-12

    In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 12. What are the decrees of God?

𝒜. God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will,1 whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time,2 especially concerning angels and men.

  1. Isaiah 45:6-7

    that people may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is none besides me;
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
    I form light and create darkness,
    I make well-being and create calamity,
    I am the Lord, who does all these things.

    Ephesians 1:11

    In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

    Romans 11:33

    Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

    Romans 9:14-15

    What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    Romans 9:18

    So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (ESV)

  2. Psalm 33:11

    The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    the plans of his heart to all generations.

    Isaiah 14:24

    The Lord of hosts has sworn:
    “As I have planned,
    so shall it be,
    and as I have purposed,
    so shall it stand,

    Acts 2:23

    this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

    Acts 4:27-28

    for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

    Romans 9:22-23

    What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—

    Ephesians 1:4

    even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

    Ephesians 1:11

    In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.