How does God carry out His decrees?


Question 8Question 8 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “How does God carry out His decrees?

The answer given is, “God carries out His decrees in creation and providence.

God not only created us and the world around us, he is the one who sustains it with his providence. The next few questions in the catechism add definition to the terms creation and providence.

I am fascinated by the fact that God chooses to work out his will in the world through the prayers of his people. It is not as though God could not accomplish his purpose without our help. God’s providence does not depend upon us, but he allows us to participate in it.

God also chooses to work out his will in the world through the actions of his people. We are called to love God and to love our neighbors. The love of neighbor takes many forms and is the basis for many charitable works. Jesus tells us that an act as simple as giving a cup of water to someone who is thirsty (Matthew 10:42) will earn reward for that act, presumably because it is an act according to what God wants for the thirsty one.

We are also called to be good stewards of the universe that God has created. Christians should be at the forefront of efforts to reduce pollution and conserve resources. We should care about the plants and animals that God has placed on Earth.

God created the world we see around us (including us). God also cares about that world. God cared enough to send Jesus so that in the end, Jesus can fix all the the things we’ve broken.

May that day be soon.