Taken from chapter III of the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646 A.D.), these four paragraphs in particular very beautifully express the sovereign work of God in ordaining whatsoever comes to pass, as well as His glory in mercifully saving whom He chooses to save through (in) the work of Christ, as revealed in the Scriptures. Not only does God ordain the ends (final salvation), but He also ordains all the means (evangelism, preaching, ministry, sanctification, etc) to that end, so that nothing stops Him from saving His people. What a hope that when God sets out to save, He doesn’t just leave it to our sinful, wavering wills that are bent on evil and fall short at every moment, but He makes it happen through regeneration in the person who is to be saved by the working of His Holy Spirit creating in them something that was not there (true faith). What a loving and merciful God!

I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace.

VI. As God has appointed the elect unto glory, so has He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.

For the whole Westminster Confession, go here: