Q&A: God's Providence

God's Providence

What do theologians mean by the providence of God?

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Answer

Well, the word "providence" comes from a Latin word, you know, pro video, which means to see ahead. But in theology it means more than just seeing ahead. It means to ordain and govern everything that's occurring in history. So, when we talk about the decree of God from all eternity, it usually breaks out into two categories: creation and providence. So, God has made all things and then he sustains and governs all things, and it includes everything. Every blade of grass, every star, every meteor, everything that ever happened in space and time, God is sovereignly in control of it, and he does it according to his own wise, loving counsel.

Answer by Dr. Sanders L. Willson

Rev. Sanders L. Willson served as Senior Minister at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN, until retiring in 2017. He has also served on the boards of The Gospel Coalition, Union University and Reformed Theological Seminary.