header image
Home arrow Writers arrow J.S. Newman arrow Who Are The Primitive Baptists? Chapter III
Who Are The Primitive Baptists? Chapter III PDF Print E-mail
Written by J.S. Newman   

PREDESTINATION-- CONTINUED.

If the Lord purposed for Adam to sin He has nowhere said so, or recorded it in His Word; and as the Scriptures are a thorough furnisher unto all good works I conclude that ii is not a good work to preach that God decreed for Adam to sin.

When Adam sinned he fell from God and immediately plunged himself and posterity into the vortex of sin. We are asked to believe that Adam is now just the kind of man and in the condition that the God of mercy, love and pity wanted him to be in. The statement is frequently made that as [:he covenant of grace was made for sinners that if Adam had not sinned the covenant of grace would have been frustrated. Such a position involves us in the rankest kind of Arminianism. The position plainly is, that the good man God made had to do wrong in order to salvation. If it was necessary for Adam to sin that there be sinners for God to save, then sin was necessary to man's salvation, and as sin came by man, man was active in fulfilling the stipulations of the covenant of grace. If Paul had preached such a doctrine I can't see but what the charge, "Let us do evil that good may Come," was true. Paul said: "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto His glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? Let us read the text thus: For if the purpose of God hath more abounded through Adam's transgression unto God's glory; why am I also judged as a sinner? "And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm we say) Let us do evil that good may come? whose damnation is just." Rom. 3: 7, 8. If Paul preached that if Adam had not sinned the covenant of grace would have been a failure, and some one had reported that Paul said, "Let us do evil that good may come," would you think that Paul had been slandered?

God hates, detests, abhors, punishes, and will finally destroy sin, which incontestably demonstrates that God did not will if, desire it, want it, or purpose it.

With the divine persuasion of this wholesome and comfortable truth written in every chapter and verse in the Bible, yet we have brethren who foolishly charge God as having purposed sin. But reason, as well as the Scriptures, positively and loudly proclaims that God, who is transcendent in purity and absolutely holy in all His divine perfections, can not be so intimately associated with sin as to will it and to purpose it.

The Bible tells us plainly how sin came about, and I feel in my heart that the only safe way for anyone to preach or write on the subject is to be sure to stop with the Bible narrative and not speculate and theorize about something we know nothing about. Please get your Bible and turn to the third chapter of Genesis: "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." The serpent contradicted what the Lord said. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die," and offered the following argument through which he beguiled Eve: "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods .knowing good and evil," "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave unto her husband with her; and he did eat." Adam and Eve heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and they hid themselves among the trees of the garden. God said to Adam, Where art thou? Adam said, "I heard Thy voice and I was afraid because I was naked." Adam is now a poor naked sinner and he was afraid. God said to him, "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" Adam told the Lord the truth when he said, "The woman which thou gavest to be with me, she gave me and I did eat." The Lord then asked the woman what she had done. She did not say, Just what you wanted and purposed for me to do, but she told the truth even on the serpent when she said: "The serpent beguiled me and I did eat." Adam and Eve nor the serpent did not even intimate that it was God's will and purpose for them to violate His law. But as Adam has multiplied and become more corrupt he can, and does assume the prerogative, without a particle of divine authority, to say that when Adam and Eve Sinned they did so in perfect harmony and conjunction with God's righteous purpose and will. Adam and Eve did not even try to get behind the purposes of God to hide their nakedness but they hid themselves among the trees of the garden. The man who tries to hide behind the purposes of God by claiming that when he sins he only acts in harmony with God's secret and decreetive will, blasphemes the God of purity, imprecates the Holy Spirit, stultifies the Scriptures, and traduces christian experience.

Adam and Eve are now sinners and there is not a friend or foe on earth today, nor ever has nor ever will be who can prove by the Bible that God purposed they should be sinners, for the very good reason the Bible does not say so.

Paul refers to the entrance of sin into the world in the following language: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin- and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned." Rom. 5: 12. When Adam sinned he disobeyed God, which would not have been true if he sinned according to God's will and purpose. Paul says, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." Rom. 5: 19. If Adam did what God purposed and willed for him to do, how is it that Adam disobeyed God?

Strange as it may appear, some of the people of God are now contending that in order that it be sure for Adam to sin the Lord so fixed it that tie must do wrong. The Lord then fixes a sore punishment on the man for doing what He willed and purposed for him to do. The question may be asked, Do you believe Adam could have kept the law? to which I readily answer, yes. Again it may be asked, Do you believe the Lord knew Adam would sin? to which I answer, yes. If God's knowing that Adam would sin did not disable him, then Adam could have kept from sinning as he was able to do so. If Adam was not able to keep the law, and all the ability he had was of God, then the Lord only gave Adam the ability to disobey Him; so Adam could not have acted right because the Lord did not give him the ability to act right. If it was right for Adam to keep the law and the Lord decreed for him to violate it. then Adam could not do right because the Lord predestinated that he should do wrong. The predestination of God fixes the things embraced in His decree, while the foreknowledge of God does not fix the things foreknown. To put God's purposes before His divine foreknowledge (and He has no other knowledge) means that His predestination was without knowledge. If God must predestinate a thing before He can positively know whether the thing will come to pass, then there is nothing certain in God's foreknowledge. If God knew a thing with more certainty after He purposed it than He did before, then His foreknowledge was imperfect and deficient until He purposed that man should sin.

If it is true that man must sin, as the covenant of grace was made to save sinners, then man by disobeying God put himself in a position that God could save him; whereas, if the man had obeyed the Lord could never have saved him according to the covenant of grace. So according to this theory the covenant of grace could never have been effectual in the salvation of man if man had not sinned.

Elder J. C. Sikes in speaking of the transgression of Adam said: "I suppose, however, that all who claim to be Primitive Baptists will admit that He had both. the wisdom and power to have had it different if he had wanted it different, but this would be an admission that He did not want it different, which would be to say that He wanted it to come to pass as it did. "--Advocate of Truth, April 1, 1901.

According to the philosophy of this extract God made man good but He did not want a good man long. God told Adam to obey Him but He wanted Him to disobey. God told Adam to do right but He wanted him to do wrong. God told Adam not to eat lest he die but He wanted the man to eat and die. God told Adam to dress the garden but He wanted him to sin that He might drive him out. Is it sound philosophy? Is it Scriptural to say, that because God has the power to prevent a thing and don't do it that He wanted that thing? I think not. God had power to have kept Cain from murdering his brother but did not do it, therefore, God wanted Cain to murder Abel. He had the power to have kept Noah from getting drunk but He did not prevent it, therefore, He wanted Noah to get drunk. Indeed, if all things were fixed by the Lord in eternity, God Himself could not have prevented a single thing occurring as it has, without frustrating and thwarting His eternal purpose in Christ. Again, if the Lord before the world began by His eternal will purposed all things that ever has occurred or ever will occur, then if God wanted men and women to do better than they have done, or are doing or may do, God could not make them do better, or have had things different to the way they have been. If all things were purposed in Christ before the world was made, and God should have prevented, or kept one thing from coming to pass, either good or evil, that has come to pass, He would by so doing have kept one thing from coming to Pass that He had predestinated to come to pass.

Again Elder Sikes says "if God had rather sin had not entered the world, then it follows that there has never been one single act, or creature, or thing, in this universe that has been as God originally would rather have had it." But as Elder Sikes believes that God wanted sin to enter the world, every act, creature or thing has been precisely as God wanted it to be.

In Gen. 6: 5, 6 we have this language: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart." If the Lord predestinated for Adam to sin He could not have kept Adam from sinning without preventing His purpose from being fulfilled. So the man whose wickedness was great in the earth was just the "creature, or thing" God wanted. The man, the thoughts of whose heart is only evil continually, is precisely the kind of man God "rather have." It repented the Lord, though, and grieved Him at His heart that He made man on the earth. "And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man and beast, *** for it repenteth Me that I have made them." Verse 7. We are asked to believe that every "act, creature or thing" is exactly as God "originally rather" it should be, still God was grieved at His heart when "every act, every thing, and every creature" were as "God originally would rather have had it."

It is too bad to think that any child of God is so confused and wrapped up in vain philosophy as to claim that because God has the power to prevent a thing and don’t do it that He wanted that thing.

My feeble feet aspiring climb

The narrow, steep ascend to God;

Onward I press, with hope sublime,

Along the road the fathers trod.

The above philosophy was never taught by our fathers and we should shun it, for it genders strife and confusion.

< Previous   Next >

Purpose

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.