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Romans 13 Home Page

The Biblical Doctrine of

This page provides a brief summary of the doctrine of Providence and a few helpful links with lots of Scripture references. Our purpose is to undergird action which seeks to put Micah's Vine & Fig Tree vision into effect.

God's government is called "Providence." Here is a tiny fraction of the Biblical data:

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. {30} But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. {31} Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Genesis 45:7 "And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. [Click here if you have forgotten this story]

Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Isaiah 63:14 As a beast goes down into the valley, And the Spirit of the LORD causes him to rest, So You lead Your people, To make Yourself a glorious name.

Question 18 of the Larger Catechism sums up these verses by asking,

Q. 18. What are God’s works of providence?
A. God's works of providence are his most holy,[w] wise,[x] and powerful preserving[y] and governing[z] all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions,[a] to his own glory.[b]

[w]. Ps. 145:17  [x]. Ps. 104:24; Isa. 28:29   [y]. Heb. 1:3    [z]. Ps. 103:19   [a]. Matt. 10:29-31; Gen. 45:7   [b]. Rom. 11:36; Isa. 63:14

Here is some more relevant information:

Nehemiah 9:6 You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.

Psalm 145:14-16 The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. {15} The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season. {16} You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Daniel 4:34-35 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. {35} All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?"

Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places.

Acts 17:25-28 "Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. {26} "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, {27} "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; {28} "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.

2 Chronicles 16:9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars."

Acts 15:18 "Known to God from eternity are all His works.

Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them."

Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

Psalms 33:10-11 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. {11} The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.

Ephesians 3:10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."

The Westminster Confession of Faith sums up the above as follows:

Of Providence

1. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[a] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[b] from the greatest even to the least,[c] by His most wise and holy providence,[d] according to His infallible foreknowledge,[e] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[f] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[g]
[a]. Neh. 9:6; Ps. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
[b]. Dan. 4:34-35; Ps. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 38:1-41:34
[c]. Matt. 10:29-31, see Matt. 6:26-32
[d]. Prov. 15:3; II Chron. 16:9; Ps. 104:24; Ps. 145:17
[e]. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
[f]. Eph. 1:11; Ps. 33:10-11
[g]. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 9:17; Gen. 45:7; Ps. 145:7

The following links are most helpful.
Robert Shaw on Providence in the Westminster Confession
An exposition of the passage above
Calvin on Providence (from Book I, chap 16 of his Institutes)
Providence distinguished from and contrasted with fatalism
Arthur Pink on the Sovereignty of God (chapter 3)
God's Providence in even the smallest and inanimate matter.
B.B. Warfield on Predestination
Not "whether" we are controlled, but by Whom? --or by what?
Loraine Boettner
On the Providence of God
America's Founding Fathers believed in Providence.
• They believed God overruled the desires of the British to give America victory. They may have been wrong to believe that God was "on their side," but they were right to believe that God intervenes in human history to accomplish His purposes.
• Things don't happen "naturally." Everything that takes place in history is a result of the direct intervention of God. God is personally and intimately involved in the movement of every molecule in the Universe.
• The denial of God's personal intervention in space-time is called Deism or Baalism. Please click either of these Baalism pages; the information there is critical to our argument. Back in 1844, when America was still a Christian nation, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that deism was a "form of infidelity." An "infidel" is one who is not faithful to the Bible.

Discussion: The Doctrine of Providence

The Doctrine in American History


How God Governs

Not like the Baal-worshippers believe. Not mechanistically. Not impersonally. Not "naturally."

Supernaturally. God is a personal and loving God. He sends his angels to accomplish His purposes.

Vine & Fig Tree's Romans 13 Home Page

The subject of God's Providence is deep and mysterious. But it is everywhere taught in the Bible. Gordon Clark rightly observes:

The authors of the Westminster Confession compressed the doctrine of the Trinity into one section of five lines; but when they came to God's control over all His creatures and all their actions, they wrote two fairly lengthy chapters [chaps 3 and 5]. The devout scholars who made these chapters so long must have done so under the belief -- a belief fully justified -- that the Bible has a great deal to say about God's sovereignty and that it is all-important. [These] proportions [are] those of the Bible.

You can't know God if you don't know how He operates. If we could we could kidnap you and spend an entire year brainwashing you into believing our "Christian Anarchist" position, we would spend about 3 months on the doctrine of Providence alone. We would make you read our TOTAL Predestination web site from beginning to end.

When you are convinced that God Governs all things by His heavenly host, then you are ready to study Romans 13.

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