After we follow all the principles we are to submit ourselves to God’s Providence. Even though God grants us great liberty in making any decision we want (as long as it conforms to His Word), we need to recognise that sometimes our decisions are not actually God’s will. What must we do then? We are not to fight or resist it, but rather we are to submit ourselves to God’s will. This is illustrated by what we read in . Continue reading What is the Will of God? Principle 8: Submission
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Meet Thomas Watson
The date and place of Thomas Watson’s birth are unknown. However, it is believed that he was likely born in Yorkshire, England. Watson earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1639 and a Master of Arts degree in 1642 at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. After this, Watson was a lecturer for about ten years and served as pastor at St. Stephen’s in Walbrook, London. In his early years at St. Stephen’s, he married Abigail Beadle. In 1662, as a result of the Act of Uniformity, Watson, along with two thousand other ministers, was ejected from his ministry. However, he continued to preach in private settings whenever the opportunity was available. Continue reading Thomas Watson and Divine Providence – Part 1
John Calvin writes about our “knowledge” of God’s providence in his Institutes of the Christian Religion:
‘Gratitude of mind for the favourable outcome of thing, patience in adversity, and also incredible freedom from worry about the future all necessarily follow upon this knowledge.’ (see 1.17.7)
By knowledge he means that we properly understand and see the ramifications of the doctrine. By “providence” he means that as described by many passages of scripture (e.g. ), and by the 1689 London Confession 5:1, which says that God “upholds, directs, organises and governs all creatures and things, from the greatest to the least … ” I wrote about God’s providence recently here.
With that in mind, read the quote again. Calvin says that when we know and trust God in his providence, we should be 3 things.
1. Thankful for all of the good things that come about in our life,
2. Patient in difficult times in our life, and
3. Free from worry.
God is in control, says Calvin. So, be thankful! Be patient! Don’t worry!
Picture credit: John Calvin’s church in Geneva, by Mark Gstohl. Some rights reserved.
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.