Luke recorded the Apostle Peter’s explanation of a secondary cause used by God to accomplish redemption. “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless me.” Acts 2:23.
The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 3, Paragraph 1, states this concerning secondary causes: “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”
Every action and circumstance has been ordained by God. Yet, He has chosen to accomplish His ordained plan through secondary causes, namely our choices.
Thereby, the sovereignty of God does not excuse man for his actions. The Bible affirms from cover to cover that every man is responsible for his actions!
The Creator has the right to make creatures as He wills. The Apostle Paul used very strong words aimed at those who rejected the absolute sovereignty of God in choosing some for salvation and passing over others. “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you make me like this?”’ Romans 9:20.
You may be thinking that the doctrine of secondary causes is interesting but all that one needs is to believe in Jesus. True, but, simply saying His name is not the extent of the saving faith given by God.
When one comes to Jesus he comes to the One who is Lord of all. He is the one by whom and for whom all creation was made. His word declares that we are accountable to Him for our choices.
He has also revealed Himself to be the sovereign ruler of the universe. True, all that is necessary is to believe in Jesus, but in what Jesus do you believe?
Is He the one who somehow permits you to wander in life as you choose or is He the one offered in the gospel who has ordained the steps of your life?
The Rev. Lou Tiscione is pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA).