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Home arrow 50 Yrs Among The Baptists arrow Justification and Kindred Subjects: Chapter 18
Justification and Kindred Subjects: Chapter 18 PDF Print E-mail
Written by J.H. Oliphant   

We read of the "vessels of wrath fitted to destruction;" and of the "vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory." The one he speaks of as "fitted to destruction." The other "he had afore prepared unto glory." Paul distinguishes between classes of vessels. He one he represented as "fitted to destruction," fitted by their own sins, "Your sins and your iniquities have separated between you and your God." The others were prepared by the Lord for glory.

It is urged that if God’s decrees do not extend to evil as they do to good, this would be a chance world so far as evil is concerned or that it would be under Satan’s direction rather than God’s providence; that it involves the idea that the largest part of the events which make the history of the world are independent of God’s providence; that it sets a limit to the providence and gives to Satan the larger share in directing the events which make the world’s history.

There are other attributes that God may occupy to sin than that of causation, and I desire to call attention to the subject. God restrains or hinders sin; Psalms lxxvi. 10.-"Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain." The fact that he RESTRAINS it is evidence that he is not its source. He has often hindered evil men from carrying out their designs. Pharoah designed to destroy God’s people at the Red Sea, but was hindered. The nations that lived in the promised land formed numberless schemes to overthrow the people of God, and were hindered. Saul Absalom sought to destroy David; Senacherib with his army sought to destroy Jerusalem, but all these were hindered. There were efforts all along the ages to destroy the church, but God hindered the accomplishment of their designs. Millions of men have formed evil designs in their hearts and were as guilty in God’s sight, as if they had carried out their designs, but God prevented their accomplishment. The number of sins thus prevented is infinite. A grain of corn, planted, will produce a hundred fold more in the next crop, and so ten thousand more in the next, etc. So with sins, Evil designs carried out now would be followed by numberless evils through time, as the offspring of parent sins. God not only knows the number and nature of all the sins he has thus prevented from being accomplished, but he knew all the consequences that would have followed those sins that he hindered. None can understand how much the world has been benefited by God’s vigilance, in thwarting the evil designs of men. He suffers men to mature their evil purposes, and set about their accomplishment, and go far enough to manifest to others their object, and, no doubt, in billions of instances, men have matured their schemes of evil and been hindered from their accomplishment when none but God knew their aim. God never has, nor never will, suffer one sin to be matured and committed that will dishonor his name. The sins committed by men shall never cast a shadow of reproach upon the name of the Lord. God suffers sin to have a place among his creatures. It is not here because God could not prevent it, as he has prevented the infinite number of sins which he has hindered, nor is its presence a cause of distress nor uneasiness to him, nor of disappointment or regret, but he willingly PERMITS* it. (I use the word "permit" in the sense of not hinder. God does not hinder those sins that are committed, and so he permits them.)

If God’s design in creation is to display his power and glory, and I hold this is his chief design, then he will in the end be glorified, even by the wickedness of men. Sin will never tarnish or lessen his glory, nor will it ever disappoint the Lord. "For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." So God has a use and end to gain in the creation of everything.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.