Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 7

The decrees of God are most free, according to the counsel of his own will; depending on no other, but all flowing from the mere pleasure of his own will, Rom. 11:34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?” Whatsoever He decrees to work outside Himself, is from His free choice. So, His decrees are all absolute, and there are none of them conditional. He has made no decrees suspended on any condition outside Himself. Neither has He decreed anything because He saw it would come to pass, or as that which would come to pass on such or such conditions; for then they should be no more according to the counsel of his will, but the creature’s will.

For God’s decrees being eternal, cannot depend upon a condition which is temporal. They are the determinate counsels of God, but a conditional decree determines nothing. Such conditional decrees are inconsistent with the infinite wisdom of God, and are in men only the effects of weakness; and they are inconsistent with the independency of God, making them depend on the creature.

The decrees of God are unchangeable. They are the unalterable laws of heaven. God’s decrees are constant; and He by no means alters His purpose, as men do. As nothing can escape His first view, so nothing can be added to His knowledge.

They are pure and holy. God decrees the permission of sin, and yet is not the author of sin. God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does He tempt any man. With God there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


Please read Psalm 33:11