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A God-Determined Progress to a God-Determined End

Calvinism

In his outstanding work The Plan of Salvation, B.B. Warfield brought his consideration of Calvinism to a glorious conclusion by describing how far reaching God's grace in Christ is in regard to the ordering of all things in the cosmos for the salvation of His people. He wrote:
The goal to which the race is advancing is set by God: it is salvation. And every stage in the advance to this goal is, of course, determined by God. The progress of the race is, in other words, a God-determined progress, to a God-determined end. That being true, every detail in every moment of the life of the race is God-determined; and is a stage in its God- determined advance to its God-determined end. Christ has been made in very truth Head over all things for his Church: and all that befalls his Church, everything his Church is at every moment of its existence, every "fortune," as we absurdly call it, through which his Church passes, is appointed by him. The rate of the Church's progress to its goal of perfection, the nature of its progress, the particular individuals who are brought into it through every stage of its progress: all this is in his divine hands. The Lord adds to the Church daily such as are being saved. And it is through the divine government of these things, which is in short the leading onwards of the race to salvation, that the great goal is at last attained. To say this is, of course, already to say election and reprobation. There is no antinomy, therefore, in saying that Christ died for his people and that Christ died for the world. His people may be few today: the world will be his people tomorrow. But it must be punctually observed that unless it is Christ who, not opens the way of salvation to all, but actually saves his people, there is no ground to believe that there will ever be a saved world. The salvation of the world is absolutely dependent (as is the salvation of the individual soul) on its salvation being the sole work of the Lord Christ himself, in his irresistible might. It is only the Calvinist that has warrant to believe in the salvation whether of the individual or of the world. Both alike rest utterly on the sovereign grace of God." All other ground, is shifting sand.1
  1. B.B. Warfield The Plan of Salvation  (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1915) pp. 132-13

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