A Transcript Of The Video Study
This is the twenty-second study in the series, and I would like to speak to you once again on the subject of Supralapsarianism. In our previous study, I shared several reasons I believe Supralapsarianism is the correct view of God’s electing love. For this study, I would like to explain why I believe the issue of Lapsarianism is an important matter. You see, there are many who view the subject of Lapsarianism as an insignificant issue.
Some say the whole idea of discovering an order in God’s decree of election is nonsense. They say it is like attempting to count the number of angels that can fit simultaneously through the eye of a needle—what’s the point? They say it is a subject of pure speculation, which God has been pleased to conceal under the canopy of His secret will, and therefore we should not meddle with or pry into the hidden things of God. They say it is a subject which makes absolutely no difference in the major teachings of the gospel—so long as we all agree in the chronological order of God’s decree in time, the logical of God’s decree from eternity doesn’t matter. Well, I certainly do not agree with these assertions. I believe the subject of Lapsarianism is an important issue, and I say that for the following reasons.
First, Supralapsarianism is revealed in the scriptures, and therefore is a doctrine to be understood and embraced. Now, if Supralapsarianism is an issue based entirely on human speculation, rather than divine revelation, then I agree, we should stay away from the topic and not pry into things that God has chosen to conceal and keep secret. However, in the previous studies, I have given to you my understanding of Paul’s epistle to the Romans, particularly his teachings in chapter 9, which sets forth a legitimate interpretation of that passage of scripture. And you see, it is based on the teachings of Paul’s epistle to the Romans that the order of God’s decree of election is set forth. If, therefore, the subject of Supralapsarianism is revealed by God in the scriptures, then is it not our responsibility to study it, and understand it and embrace it as that which God has revealed to us? Yes, my friends, I believe Supralapsarianism is an important teaching because the scriptures reveal it.
Second, Supralapsarianism is the basis for the redeeming grace of God the Son, and therefore is a doctrine to be understood and embraced. I pointed out in the previous study, that unless the Father owns His people prior to their being sold into sin, then how could He redeem them? How could He “buy back” from sin and condemnation that which He never owned before sin and condemnation? In my view, the doctrine of Redemption is based on Supralapsarianism, which therefore makes the subject fundamentally important. I believe it is a major branch of the gospel! And this is the second reason the subject of Supralapsarianism is an important issue.
Third, Supralapsarianism is the detailed information concerning the electing love of God the Father, and therefore is a doctrine to be understood and embraced. You will notice when reading the various historic creeds and confessions, that while there tends to be a great deal of detail set forth regarding the redeeming grace of God the Son, and the sanctifying power of God the Spirit, yet there is a very small section on the electing love of God the Father. The same is true for the preaching and teaching ministries of many gospel heralds. They have invested much time in the study of the Atonement, Redemption and Justification, and spend much time teaching these great truths. Likewise, they give a lot of time to the study of Sanctification, Regeneration and Spiritual Growth. However, by comparison, they give very little attention to the finer truths connected with the electing love of God the Father. They seem to be satisfied with generalizations such as, “Election is eternal and unconditional”, or, “The Father has chosen His people in Christ before the foundation of the world”. They seldom look behind these generalizations, seeking to discover from the scriptures what God has revealed concerning the great truths connected with the Father’s electing love. Well, I believe the details connected with the electing love of the Father are as important as the details belonging to the Son’s redeeming grace and the Spirit’s sanctifying power. All three branches of the gospel are set forth in scripture, with much detail, and should be studied, understood and embraced by the Lord’s people.
Fourth, Supralapsarianism is the foundation upon which the masterplan of God for the ages is based, and therefore is a doctrine to be understood and embraced. When I refer to the masterplan of God for the ages, I am speaking about the Framework of Sovereign Grace. Now, very few Christians who embrace the doctrines of grace have taken the time to diagram how they understand God’s masterplan for the ages. They tend to capture the teachings of sovereign grace, creating a mental image on how those teachings fit together, but they have never attempted to illustrate what that image looks like on paper. As a result, many Christians often nurture inconsistent views, as they have not been able to clearly see how the various parts of God’s masterplan fit together as a whole. Throughout this series on Bible Doctrine, I have sought to emphasize the importance for every believer in Christ to put on paper how he/she understands God’s masterplan for the ages. As I went about doing this for myself many years ago, the Framework of Sovereign Grace took shape, and it was based on the teachings of Paul in Romans 9 and 2 Timothy 2, which of course sets out the Supralapsarian view of election and reprobation. It is on the basis of this view, that the entire framework of God’s masterplan is structured. Henceforth, if the Framework of Sovereign Grace is an accurate diagram of God’s masterplan for the ages, which I believe it is, then Supralapsarianism is the foundation upon which it is based.
My dear friends, these are some of the leading reasons I believe Supralapsarianism is an important subject—it is revealed in the scriptures, it is the basis for the redeeming grace of God the Son, it is the detailed information concerning the electing love of God the Father and it is the foundation upon which the entire masterplan of God for the ages is based. You know, I suspect there will be two or three hundred studies for this series on Bible Doctrine. We are only on the twenty-second study. Yet, I have prioritized the subject of Supralapsarianism at the beginning. Most times, this subject is reserved for the more advanced levels of study in a Bible college or theological seminary, as it is not viewed as foundational to the gospel. But I have brought out these teachings at the beginning of these studies, because I believe it is foundational to the gospel. As we move forward in the series, I hope you will come to appreciate the vital role Supralapsarianism assumes in the masterplan of God for the ages.
For our next study, I hope to return to the Five Points of Calvinism, often identified by the acronym TULIP, showing you how the doctrines of grace fit together in a well rounded structure. Until then, may the Lord continue to grow you in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jared Smith served twenty years as pastor of a Strict and Particular Baptist church in Kensington (London, England). He now serves as an Evangelist in the Philippines, preaching the gospel, organizing churches and training gospel preachers.