« IndietroContinua »
God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ.–35. One, not, by Conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God.-36. He is not one by mixture of Substance, but by Unity of Person.-37. For as the reasonable Soul and Flesh is one Man; so God and Man is one Christ.–38. Who suffered for our Salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the Dead.-39. He ascended into Heaven, sits at the right Hand of God the Father Almighty.-40. From whence he shall come to judge the Quick and the Dead.--41. At whose coming, all Men shall rise again with their bodies.–12. And shall give account for their own works.-13. And they that have done Good, shall go into Life everlasting; and they that have done Evil, into everlasting fire. 44. his is the Catholic Faith, which except a Man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
RATIFIED IN THE NATIONAL SYNOD OF THE REFORMED CHURCH, HELD AT DORDRECHT, IN THE
YEARS 1618 AND 1619.
FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE.
Of Divine Predestination.
As all men have sinned in Adam, lie under the curse, and are obnoxious to eternal death, God would have done no injustice by leaving them all to perish, and delivering them over to condemnation on account of sin, according to the words of the apostle. Rom. iii. 19, “ that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” And verse 23,
for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” And Rom. vi. 23, “ for the wages of sin is death.”
But in this the love of God was manifested, that he sent his only begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 1 John iv. 9. John iii. 16.
And that men may be brought to believe, God mercifully sends the messengers of these most joyful tidings, to whom he will, and at what time he pleaseth; by whose ministry men are called to repentance and faith in Christ crucified. Rom. X. 14, 15.“ How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed ? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard ? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent ?",
The wrath of God abideth upon those who believe not this gospel. But such as receive it, and embrace Jesus the Saviour by a true and living faith, are by him delivered from the wrath of God, and from destruction, and have the gift of eternal life conferred upon them.
The cause or guilt of this unbelief as well as of all other sins, is no wise in God, but in man himself: whereas faith in Jesus Christ, and salvation through him is the free gift of God, as it is written, “By grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Eph. ii. 8. “ And unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him," &c. Phil. i. 29,
That some receive the gift of faith, from God, and others do not receive it, proceeds from God's eternal decree, “For known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Acts xv. 18. Eph. i. 11. According to which decree, he graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe; while he leaves the non-elect in his just judgment to their own wickedness and obduracy. And herein is especially displayed the profound, the merciful, and at the same time the righteous discrimination between men, equally involved in ruin; or that decree of election and reprobation, revealed in the word of God, which though men of perverse, impure and unstable
minds, wrest to their own destruction, yet to holy and pious souls affords unspeakable consolation.
Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath, out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation.
This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than others, but with them involved in one common misery, God hath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by him, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his word and Spirit, to bestow upon them true faith, justification and sanctification; and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally, to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of the riches of bis glorious grace; as it is written, “ According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Eph. i. 4, 5, 6. And elsewhere, 6 Whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Rom. viii. 30.
There are not various decrees of election, but one and the same decree respecting all those, who shall be