QUESTION 8. How does God execute his decrees?
ANSWER: God executes his decrees, in the works of creation and providence.
Q. 1. What is it for God to execute his decrees?
A. It is to bring them to pass; or, give an actual being in time, to what he purposed from eternity, Isa. 46:10.
Q. 2. Does not God leave the execution of his decrees to second causes?
A. Whatever use God may make of second causes, in the execution of his decrees, yet they are merely tools in his over-ruling hand, to bring about his glorious designs; they are his servants, and must do all his pleasure, Acts 4:27, 28.
Q. 3. What difference is there between the decree and the execution of it?
A. The decree is an immanent or inherent act in God, and is nothing else but Cod decreeing; but the execution is a transient or passing act of his infinite power, bringing the thing decreed into actual existence, 2 Pet. 1:3.
Q. 4. Is there an exact harmony, or correspondence, between God's decree and the execution of it?
A. When the thing decreed is brought actually into being, it exactly corresponds to the idea or platform of it in the infinite mind of God, Psalm 139:16; as the tabernacle of Moses answered the pattern given of it in the Mount, Ex. 25:40.
Q. 5. Can none of the decrees of God be defeated, or fail of execution?
A. By no means; the counsel of the Lord shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure, Isa. 46:10. "Who hath resisted his will?" Rom. 9:19. "None can stay his hand, or say unto him, What dost thou?" Dan. 4:35.
Q. 6. What are the works of God, in which his decrees are executed?
A. They are the works of creation and providence.
Q. 7. To which of these works of God does redemption belong?
A. To the providence of God, as the most glorious part of it towards men.
Q. 8. What then is the first external work of God?
A. It is creation: which is therefore called, "The beginning of his ways," Prov. 8:22.
Q. 9. What is the difference between God's executing the work of creation, and that of providence?
A. He executed the work of creation entirely without means, by the word of his power; but he executes the work of providence, ordinarily, in the use of them.
Q. 10. What may we learn from God's executing his decrees?
A. That all his promises shall be punctually accomplished, and not one of them fall to the ground, Mark 13:31.