Providence – General and Special

The Reformed Reader

The Reformed Faith: Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith Westminster Confession 5.7 makes an excellent distinction between general and special providence.  [This is related to the Reformed distinction between common grace [benevolence] and saving grace and the distinction between Christ’s kingdom of power and his kingdom of grace/glory.]  Here’s WCF 5.7:

“As the providence of God does, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it takes care of his church, and disposes all things to the good thereof (1 Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8, 9; Rom 8:28; Is. 43:2-5, 14).”

Robert Shaw wrote some excellent comments on this paragraph in the WCF.

“The providence of God may be considered as general and as special. His general providence is exercised about all his creatures; his special providence is exercised, in a particular manner, about his Church and people. “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong…

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