The Articles Concerning Predestination

Articles concerning Predestination

  1. Before the first man was created, God in his eternal counsel had determined what he willed to be done with the whole human race.
  2. In the hidden counsel of God it was determined that Adam should fall from the unimpaired condition of his nature, and by his defection should involve all his posterity in sentence of eternal death.
  3. Upon the same decree depends the distinction between elect and reprobate: as he adopted some for himself for salvation, he destined others for eternal ruin.
  4. While the reprobate are the vessels of the just wrath of God, and the elect vessels of his compassion, the ground of the distinction is to be sought in the pure will of God alone, which is the supreme rule of justice.
  5. While the elect receive the grace of adoption by faith, their election does not depend on faith but is prior in time and order.
  6. As the beginning of faith and perseverance in it arises from the gratuitous election of God, none are truly illuminated with faith, and none granted the spirit of regeneration, except those whom God elects. But it is necessary that the reprobate remain in their blindness or be deprived of such portion of faith as is in them.
  7. While we are elected in Christ, nevertheless that God reckons us among his own is prior in order to his making us members of Christ.
  8. While the will of God is the supreme and primary cause of all things, and God holds the devil and the godless subject to his will, nevertheless God cannot be called the cause of sin, nor the author of evil, nor subject of any guilt.
  9. While God is truly wrathful with sin and condemns whatever is unrighteousness in men since it displeases him, nevertheless all the deeds of men are governed not by his bare permission but by his consent and secret counsel.
  10. While the devil and the reprobate are ministers and organs of God and promote his secret judgments, God nevertheless in an incomprehensible way operates in and through them, so that he restrains nothing of their wickedness, just because their malice is justly and rightly used to a good end, while the means are often hidden from us.
  11. They are ignorant and malicious who say that God is the author of sin, since all things are done by his will or ordination; for they do not distinguish between the manifest wickedness of men and the secret judgments of God.*

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*J. K. S. Reid, Calvin: Theological Treatises (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 1954), 179–180.

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