His comments are in black and mine are typed in blue.
A Publication Addressing Critical Issues Of Concern To The Local Church And To Those That Seek A Biblical Perspective To The World Around Them
The major problem with this article isn't so much the points that are made about the sovereignty of God, but the applying of it to the teaching that God elects some to be saved and consequently others to be lost.
The writer has tactfully used all the supporting Scriptures possible to promote his views, while totally ignoring the many portions that speak of man's will in salvation.
We strongly feel that a proper balance of these two factors can be scriptural made.
We would want it known that though we disagree with the extreme views of this dear brother, we are not at all disagreeable about it. We love him as a brother in the Lord.
Further, we do not feel it profitable for us to enter into a future discussion of these things. We shall state our thoughts and let the matter rest.
At the outset, we believe that, Election, Foreknowledge, Predestination and Adoption are totally in the realm of the Sovereignty of God. Man has nothing at all to do with these things. The problem we have with this article is how they are being applied.
Election and Predestination being applied to God selecting some before the foundation of the world to be saved and other not.
We will enter here and there with our comments.
ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION OUR CHOICE OR HIS?
There are few topics within the Church today that will stir-up as much controversy than that dealing with the subject of Election and Predestination. Much has been written on this subject, yet few can come to terms with the Biblical clarity with which the final answer exists. Personally, I have been challenged by many with questions relating to this subject. As such, I have been challenged even further to devote much study to not simply
"proving my point," but rather allowing Scripture to speak for itself with more clarity, and certainly more accuracy that I am able to muster. I therefore submit this rather brief but logical outline for others to consider when dealing with this topic. This by no means addresses the entire subject but rather is intended to be used as a teaching tool and as a systematic means of attacking a plan for Biblical study. It therefore is presented in outline form, merely as a much simpler way of organizing a method of study.
It is further acknowledged that this material is extracted from my personal study and from notes, as gleaned from my classes in Soteriology, while a student at Philadelphia College of Bible, and this course in particular, while sitting under the teaching of Dr. Ranald Showers, from the Department of Systematic Theology and Biblical Exposition.<>I stand corrected, should I err, but please have your Bible nearby, ready and opened when that discussion becomes necessary. It is of the utmost importance that we arrive at a Biblical perspective, in particular, as it relates to witnessing to others.
Before we even begin this study, I believe that it is extremely important that we define some of the terms that we are about to study and determine from that, some of the difficulties encountered in our use of those terms. The means of defining and their supporting illustrations, present a rather strong argument for the total sovereignty of God in this matter.
If, the writer, means by the "total sovereignty of God" that it rules our man's will completely, we will later remind him of passages that teach that man has a free will.
1. The Problem of Election Based Upon Foreknowledge
In 1 Pet. 1: 1-2, Peter states that believers were "chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father." This statement clearly indicates that foreknowledge is the basis of election. In other words, God chose or elected to salvation only those whom He already foreknew. Foreknowledge took place first, then election.
This fact creates a problem: what does foreknowledge mean, particularly that foreknowledge of God upon which His choosing or electing to salvation is based?
1. A Popular Interpretation of the Meaning of Foreknowledge
Perhaps the most popular interpretation of God's foreknowledge is as follows:
"In eternity past God chose or elected to salvation all those whom He foreknew would believe. In fact God's foreknowledge involved nothing more than foresight of faith. It did not involve an act of God's Will whereby He determined who would be saved; instead it involved a mere recognition of something that certain human beings would do in the future."
According to this view, election to salvation is based, not upon God's sovereign will or choice but upon man's will or choice and God's recognition of that human choice. In essence, then, election consisted of God saying, "I choose you, because I saw that you will choose Me."
That God is sovereign we do not deny; but what do we understand by the sovereignty of God? Do we understand that He rules apart from any consideration of man's will? We do not believe this to be so, and will show in our comments that there is no conflict between the two. Further, that man's will does not merit or work God's salvation. Salvation does not depend upon man, his merits or will, but he is the subject of salvation and has a part in its initiation and progression.
The above statement implies that others
believe that God depends on man for His electing.
3. Problems With This Popular Interpretation
This popular interpretation of the meaning of God's foreknowledge has some genuine problems. They are as follows:
a. Even if foreknowledge were to mean "foresight of faith." The issue of God determining who would be saved is not thereby avoided. For the Scriptures teach that God is the one who determines who comes to salvation and the one who give the ability to believe. Evidence for this:
(1) Scripture Passages:
John 1: 13 --"who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
There is no consideration for the context of this verse. V.12 "To as many as received Him .....even to them that believe on His name." Both verbs, "received and believe" are in the active voice. In the two verses, v.12 precedes V.13, they received and believed and God gave them life through "being born of God." What is "not of the will of man...." is the birth. Only God can perform this. This is an area of His sovereignty.
John 6: 37--"All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."
Now, this verse does not teach that God elected them to salvation before time began. It is simply saying that God, the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, draws men to Christ. Apart from this drawing man cannot and will not come. John 6:44, "No man can come to me except the Father..... draw him."
As to how He draws Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw ALL MEN (literally "any man") unto Me."
Further, John 6:37, the Father draws, and gives to Christ and man, "shall come (active voice) to Me." Here you have both the sovereignty and the will of man.
John 6:44-- "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."
John 6:65 -- "And He was saying, 'For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
(Both of these verses explained above)
Acts 5: 31-- He is the one whom God hath exalted to His right hand as a Prince and Saviour, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
Israel had nationally rejected their Messiah. God's offer of a national repentance and kingdom was no longer theirs. He, Christ, is at the right hand of God and will grant repentance (nationally) to Israel in the future. Acts 3:20, speaks of a future time of refreshing for them. Romans 11:12, "Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world...how much more their fulness?" As of now, the door is closed to them nationally, but not individually.
The door of repentance that was closed (nationally) to the Gentile world, was opened in Acts 11:18, "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also granted to the Gentiles (nationally) repentance unto life." This door has now been opened for the past 1900+ years
Acts 13: 48-- "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed."
This is a favorite verse to teach election of some to be saved. The verse most certainly teaches the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. The word "ordained" is mentioned eight times in the N.T. It is a word that means "to put in order, arrange in a military fashion." It is used here in the passive voice, meaning that somebody or something other than themselves did the arranging. Extremist would teach that the arranging was all done before the foundation of the world. However, they are reading that into the text and context. What or who really ordained these Gentiles? The verse says, "..they were glad, and glorified (not God who had chosen them before time) but the Word of the Lord. This is what "put them in order" for eternal life through their belief in the gospel that was being preached to them. The Spirit of God and the preaching of the gospel "set them up" for salvation. This very thing has happened to every person that ever was saved. God alone, by His Spirit and the preaching of the gospel "set up" every person that gets saved. On their part, "..faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom. 10:17. Another important word in the verse is the word "were" ordained. This word is in the imperfect tense, meaning they were "being" set up. Now this could not be so, if they were already "set up" before the world began. It would have to have been in the perfect tense.
Acts 18: 27 " . . . and when he (Paul) had arrived, he helped them greatly who believed through grace."
Rom. 9:16 -- "So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy."
These verses have no application to the doctrine of God electing some to be saved. We all believe through (translated 241 times "by.") grace. It is only by the mercy and grace of God that we are saved. This alone is the only grounds that we, as sinners, can come to the Lord. Tit. 3:5 Eph. 2:8
Phil. 1:29 -- "For to you it has granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.
The word "given" ("granted," here) means "to do something pleasant or kind." We do not doubt that to be a "believer in Christ" is a kind and gracious privilege bestowed by God. Likewise, to suffer for His name sake, is what we are to rejoice in. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye.." 1 Peter 4:14. But we read nothing at all about being chosen to be saved before the world began.
Several of the results of the fall of man make it obvious that it is impossible for any fallen human being to believe unless God gives him the ability to believe.
(a) Rom. 8: 7-8 --Fallen man is totally incapable of doing the will of God or of pleasing God; --because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
If this were so, as it is being projected, why would God command men every where to repent if they are incapable of doing it? Acts 17:30, "..but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent. Why would God send a man before Christ to be a witness of the Light, that ALL MEN might believe. (John 1:7), if they were incapable?
(B) Eph. 2: 1-5 -- Fallen man is spiritually dead (not even a spark of spiritual life in him Eph. 4: 18 -- "... being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart." and a spiritually dead man cannot do anything spiritual.
Man is not dead spiritually, like a man is physically. "There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth Him understanding." Job 32:8. Jesus said, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the WORDS that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not..." ("believe," active voice)
(c) Rom. 3: 11b -- Fallen man does not seek after God in and of himself. "..there is none who seeks for God."
Right on. God seeks the sinner, Gen. 3:9 "Where art thou,?" and the sinner responds. "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Zacchaeus was seeking the Lord in response to the Divine Seeker Luke 19:3.
(d) 1 Cor. 2: 14 -- Fallen man does not welcome the things revealed by the Spirit, including the Gospel. They are moronic to him. "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."
This is because Satan "hath blinded their minds to the light of the gospel. 2 Cor. 4:4. The entrance of thy Word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple." Ps. 119:130
(e) 1 Cor. 2: 14-- Fallen man is totally incapable of understanding spiritual truth. (see above)
In light of this Biblical teaching, the following question has too asked: Upon what basis does God determine to whom He will give the ability to believe,
No where does the Scriptures say He ever does.
and who will come to salvation? The popular interpretation that foreknowledge is simply the foresight of faith has no answer to this question.
b. The popular interpretation of foreknowledge reads something
the passages on foreknowledge that is not there. Romans 8: 29 and
11: 2, simply says, "whom He foreknew." They do not
that "He foreknew who would believe." The passages do not say
foreknew what certain persons would do. They simply declare
that God foreknew certain persons PERIOD.
God's foreknowledge is not some act He performs, but an attribute. There is no past or future with God. What God foreknows He does not necessarily decree or wills.
There are four major words that have to do with the absolute sovereignty of God.
They are listed below under purposes:
God has purposes that He will perform and nothing will hinder. Isa. 14:27, "For the LORD of hosts hath purposed it, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back."
HIS PURPOSES: Election, Predestination, Adoption and Foreknowledge all have to do with the purposes of God. He is sovereign in all these things. (None of these are said to be directly connected with some being saved and some being damned.)
He also has a will that will never be accomplished.
HIS WILL: 1 Tim 2:4, "Who will have ALL
MEN to be saved.." 2 Pet 3:9, "..not willing that any should
This will never be done. Many have perished and many more
They do not give any qualifying words at all. If Paul had meant that God foreknew those who would believe, he could have added those qualifying words easily, but the fact remains that he did not add them.
(c) The popular interpretation of foreknowledge makes divine election unnecessary. If foreknowledge is simply the foresight of those who will believe, then those who are foreseen obviously will believe whether they are elected or not. If election plays no role whatsoever in determining who will be saved, then what is its purpose? What purpose could there be if people are going to believe anyway, whether or not they are chosen of God? Election is necessary and has a purpose only if it plays a role in determining who will be saved. An illustration from the political realm: When you go to the polls to vote, do you go for the purpose of playing a role in determining who will win the election? Would you bother to vote if an election that played no role who receive the political office at stake? What purpose is there for an election if one of the candidates is going to receive the office whether or not he is elected by the people?
(d) The popular interpretation goes contrary to some Biblical statements. As was noted earlier, the popular interpretation has God choosing people as a result of their choosing Him. But note how this concept is contrary to Jesus statement:
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you." (John 15:16) and His statement: "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us ...We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:10,11)
(e) The popular interpretation goes contrary to the force and meaning of the words "foreknow." "foreknowledge" and other related terms. When the terms "foreknow" and "foreknowledge" are used with regard to man, they simply refer to advance knowledge that a human being possesses (Acts 26: 5; 2 Pet. 3: 17)- Although it is true that God knows beforehand everything that will happen. The terms "foreknow" and "foreknowledge," when used with regard to God have a stronger force and meaning than mere advance knowledge. Evidence for this:
(1) The leading Greek and Hebrew lexicons assign a stronger meaning:
Kittel--1, 715, says that God's foreknowledge "is an election or foreordination of His people (Rom.8: 29; 11:2) or Christ (1 Pet.1: 20).
Arndt and Gingrich. 710, say that "foreknow," when used of God, means to "choose beforehand" and foreknowledge means "God's omniscient wisdom and intention." Note the word "intention."
All of these meanings recognize God's will as being active in foreknowledge.
(2) God's foreknowledge was an active, determining force in the crucifixion of Christ. Acts 2:23--Peter said that Christ was "delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God." Here foreknowledge played an active role in Christ's crucifixion. This involved far more than just a mere recognition or foresight of Christ's death in the future.
God foreknew and then determined it. It was not His foreknowledge that determined the death of Christ, but a foreknown plan that was devised by the triune God. This was not apart from the will of the Son of God who of His own will came to "do Thy will of God..." (Heb. 10:7)
(3) The words "know" and "foreknowledge which are the major parts of the words "foreknow" and "foreknowledge, " have a strong, active force when used of God in the Old and New Testaments.
Kittel. 1. 698 -- In the Old Testament the word "know," when used of God, involves an action of God's will. It "can mean 'to elect," i.e. to make an object of concern and acknowledgment." (see Num.. 16: 5)
This verse has nothing to do with anyone being saved, but who would be priests in Israel.
Murray, Romans 317 -- The word "know" in the New Testament has a strong meaning which goes beyond mere recognition of something when used of God. It is used in a sense that is practically synonymous with "love, and thus has the following meanings: "to set regard upon," to know with peculiar interests,' 'delight,' 'affection and 'action. In Mt. 7: 23, Jesus' statement to the unsaved said, "I never knew you." Certainly Jesus knew them as to their existence and deeds, for in verse 21, He knew that they do not the will of God, and in verse 23, He knows that they practice lawlessness. Thus, when He said "I never knew you," He cannot be using "know" in the sense of knowing their existence and deeds. He can only be using it in the stronger sense of loving or owning someone.
This is not right. Jesus is simple saying, "I never had a personal knowledge of knowing you as my own. There is no thought of foreknowing them or foreloving them. The writer is putting something in this word that is not there.
In I Cor. 8: 3, -- Paul states, "but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him." Since God is omniscient and knows about the existence and deeds of everyone, "know" here must be stronger in meaning than in the sense of knowing about existence and deeds. In Gal. 4: 9 -- "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn your back again to the weak and worthless elemental things..." Here, "known by God," is used in the sense of salvation.
This is more easier said than proven. God knew all about them, but they didn't know Him as Redeemer and He didn't know them as His children. More is being read in the passage than is there.
Certainly before their salvation, God knew them in the sense of their existence and deeds. (see 2 Tim 2:l9; l Jn 3: 1)
f. The popular interpretation goes contrary to the meaning of "foreknowledge in Romans 11:2 and to the basis upon which God chose Israel.
In Romans 1l:2 Paul said, "God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew." In the immediate context of this verse God's people are the whole nation of Israel. Two things should be noted about this. First, Paul's language indicates that God foreknew Israel in a way that He did not foreknow any other nation, Certainly God foreknew the existence and deeds of every nation before they came into existence, thus, the foreknowledge of Israel that Paul refers to cannot be referring merely to a foreknowledge of Israel's existence and deeds. It can only mean that God foreloved Israel and chose to make Israel the special object of His concern in distinction from all other nations before Israel began as a nation.
The word "foreloved" is not a biblical word. "God is love." (1 John 4:16). He loved the world of John 3:16 in His foreknowledge and not just Israel. "Herein is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins,......and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 4:10; 2:2).
Secondly, the fact that God foreknew the whole nation of Israel means that He foreknew not only those Jews who would believe, but also those who would not believe. Yet God chose or elected the whole nation to be His special people, including those Jews whom He foreknew would never believe. Here is a clear case of divine election that was not based upon mere foresight of faith. If the basis of God's election of Israel was not foreknowledge of faith, then what was the basis of that divine election? The answer is found in Deut. 4: 37; 7: 7-8. God did not choose Israel because of any merit in Israel. He chose her because He loved her. By a sovereign act of His will He chose to love her even before she became a nation. Israel's election was based upon God choice to forelove . In Deut. 10:15-16, we see God set His affection to love (an act of the will). Circumcision of the heart was to be the results, not the cause, of election.
The choice of Israel, as a nation was seen in two boys Jacob and Esau. Rom. 9:11, "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the PURPOSE of GOD according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth." Here is a clear case of God's sovereignty in electing Jacob instead of Esau.
The question must now be asked, "What did He elect Jacob for?" To be saved, instead of Esau? If He did, there is no where in the Scriptures that tells us about it. We know from Bible history that He elected Jacob to be the father of the nation of Israel that would eventually give us the "oracles of God" and bring the promised Seed of the woman into the world to die for sin. God is sovereignly working out His purpose, without any merits in Jacob. Does this mean Esau could never be saved? If it does we know nothing about it in Scripture. It did mean that Esau could have never been the father of the nation of Israel.
Here, is a case, of God working out His own purpose, without man at all.
4. Conclusions Concerning Foreknowledge
(a) God's foreknowledge that is related to election is not merely foresight of faith. Instead, it is a sovereign act of the will of God in which in eternity past He set His affections upon or made objects of His special concern certain of His human creatures. God's foreknowledge, then, is God's foreloving of certain human beings long before they came into existence.
(b) God's choice of whom to forelove is based, not upon some merit or deeds of the ones loved, but upon God's sovereign will. Romans 9: 11-16 makes this very clear (God foreloved Jacob before he was born, and on the basis of His own sovereign choice, not on the basis of merit in Jacob.)
There are two important words connected with God's choice of Jacob and not Esau. They are found in Gen. 25: 23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
It was not two boys and their eternal destiny that God had in mind, but "two nations are in thy womb..."
Secondly, the elder shall serve the
It is service, and not salvation that is in view. Esau never seem
to have served Jacob as a person during his lifetime, but the people of
Edom has served Israel.
(c) Election to salvation and predestination are based upon this kind of foreknowledge or foreloving.
It is not foreloving at all. This is a foreign thought that God foreloves some and not others. God does not forelove, He is love. God's foreknowledge of a people called Israel and the Body of Christ enables Him to elect a goal or purpose for each and predetermine (mark out) and work that goal for them, without any of our help.
In the case of election, God elects His people for His sovereign purposes. This is not destiny, in the sense of heaven or hell, but for certain purposes that He has determined within his own self. God chose (elected) Israel (nationally) "........to be a special people." Deut 7:6 They were not chosen individually to be saved, many have already perished. So, this choice did not have anything to do with individual destinies. Judas was elected (John 6:70) but not for heaven or hell.
1 Pet. 1:1,1 -- "...to those who reside as aliens, scattered who are chosen, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father..."
Chosen for what? God in His mercy provides and works salvation for us and in us, but He has a purpose in doing this. His purpose isn't just to save us from hell, but to be, "... the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." Eph. 1:23
In other words, God does not elect some to be saved, but He does elect a purpose for them when they are saved.
Romans 8:29-- "For whom He foreknow He also predestinated."
He predestinated them not to be saved, but, ".. to be conformed to the image of His Son." This He will accomplished without any of man's help.
By the same token, He predestinates the end of all unbelievers. Jude 1:4, "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before ordained to this condemnation..." These men willfully because apostates. God did not make them that way. However, in His sovereignty, He ordained the condemnation they were to receive. That is, He never ordained them to that condemnation, but He ordained that condemnation for them. God never elected Adam to sin. But, He did predetermine the results of his sin.
If, Pharaoh, hardened his heart against the Lord, the Lord had every right, to show His power in making it harder.
Eph. 1:4-5 -- "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. He predestined us according to the kind intention of His will."
Here, again, it is "chosen in Him" (not to be put in Him) It is after (when God foreknew us as in Him) we are in Him that we are chosen to be before Him in love holy and blameless as children by adoption (placing of a son) This is God working out His purpose for all those who are among the redeemed. He does not choose those who are redeemed, but He most sovereignly chooses their ultimate goal.
We have been elected IN CHRIST to BE SOMEBODY and not to GO SOMEWHERE.<>Israel is God's elect nation for His purposes. Ruth the Moabitess was not an Israelite. But because she said, "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:" Ruth 1:16, she came into the realm of God elect people. Prior to her decision she was not elected of God. Prior to my salvation I was not elected, but because Christ is God's Elect, and because I am IN Him I come into the benefits of His elected purposes in Christ
However, we would like to give a few scriptures that teach that man has a free will to be saved or not.
We see no clash between the free will of man and the sovereignty of God. We do not believe that God became sovereign in time, but ever was sovereign. When He created the man, He was the sovereign God. Yet, He created him with a free will. There was no clash between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man at that time.
We do not believe man became incapable of exercising freedom of choice when he sinned. Cain did not make the right choice in his offering. Was this because he was not elected to be saved? We think not. He could have reversed his decision and made the right offering for God said, "If thou doeth well, shalt thou not be accepted?..." Gen. 4:7. It would have changed his destiny. Therefore, Cain was lost, not because he was not elected to be saved, but because of his own choice of offerings.
John 1:11,12 "He came unto His own (Israel, the chosen of God) but they received (active voice, meaning it was a choice they made) Him not." To as many as received (active voice) Him..."
Again, the same Israelites "would not come to Him that they might be saved. John 5:40, "And ye will not (active voice) come to me that ye might have life."
John 3:16, "...whosoever believeth (active voice) should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 5:24, "....he that heareth (active voice) my word, and believeth (a.v) ...hath everlasting life..."
God commands ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent (a.v) (Acts 17:30). Does God command men to do what they cannot do and then holds them accountable for not doing it? We think not!
The last words of Holy Scripture sounds this invitation, "....And whosoever will (a.v.) (there is the human will) let him take (a.v.) The water of life freely." (Rev. 22:17)
Sufficient to show the freedom of man's will in being saved.<>You will note each of these verses has salvation in view. end of my article
1. The Meaning of Predestination. The word translated "predestinated" in the New Testament literally means: to foreordain, to mark out beforehand, to determine beforehand to decide upon beforehand. Thus, predestination in the Scriptures refers to the act of God in eternity past whereby He foreordained or determined beforehand things which come to pass including the salvation of individuals.
2. The Time of Predestination. In eternity past, before the ages of World history began ( I Cor.2: 7 "..we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden Wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory "
3. The Agent of Predestination. God is the agent, not some impersonal force.
Acts 4:28 -- "to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur "
Romans 8: 29-30 -- "'For whom He foreknew He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called, these He also justified whom He justified, these He also glorified. "
1 Cor.2: 7 -- "...which God predestined before the ages to our glory."
Eph. 1:5 -- "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ Himself, according to the kind intention of His will."
4. The Basis of Predestination. There is a twofold basis:
(a) His own sovereign purpose or decision
Acts 4:28-- "...to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestinated to occur."
Eph. 1: 4, 5 -- "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will---also we have obtained an inheritance having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."
5. The Goals of Predestination. In other words, that to which people are predestinated.
(a) Eternal life Acts 13:48 -- "And when the Gentiles heard this, (Paul and Barnabas speaking) they began rejoicing and glorifying at the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. " This is a different Word, but the same force, (perfect tense,) meaning it was something that happened in the past, passive voice, while says that it was appointed by someone else, not themselves.
(b) Conformity to the image of Christ
In Rom. 8:29, God has determined in eternity past that someday we will be like Jesus. Also in 1 John 3: 2, "Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. WE know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is."
(c). Adoption as sons to Himself
In Eph. 1:5, God determined in eternity past that we would be His children, members of His family, a child of the King of the universe.
d. The Praise of the Glory of His Grace
Eph. 1:6,12 states that He predestined us in eternity past in order to make His grace all the more impressive.
6. The Results of Predestination
a. Effectual Calling to Salvation. (Rom.8: 30)
b. Belief, (Acts 13:48)
I . The Meaning Of Election
Election is the sovereign act of God in eternity past whereby He chose those people who would be saved. It would be synonymous with "chose."
3. The Agent of Election.
2. The Times of Election
In eternity past, before the foundation of the world. (Eph. 1:4), "..just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.
3. The Agent of Election
God the Father (Eph. l : 3-4; l Thes l: 4; 2 Thes 2 : 13; Mk. 3 : 20)
4. The Basis of Election
There is a threefold basis for election:
a. God's Own Sovereign Purpose or Decision. NOT human merit (Rom. 9: 11,16
b.. The Grace of God. (Rom. 1: 5,6 - "God's choice of grace."
c God's Forelove (l Pet l: 2) "chosen according to the foreknowledge (foreloving) of God the Father." Col. 3:12; 1 Thes. 1: 4; 2 Thes 2:13--all tie in election with "having been loved."
5 The Goals or Purposes of Election. that to which God's elected
a. Salvation ( 2 Thes. 2: 13; 1 Pet 1:1-2 unto obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling with His blood) cf. Rom. 11:7)
b, That believers should be holy and blameless before God (Eph.1:4)
c. That believers may proclaim the excellencies of God who called them out of darkness into His marvellous light (I Pet.2: 9)
6. The Results of Election
a- It makes the believer responsible to act properly toward other believers. (Col.3: 12-17) It is the basis for sanctification, not license. Election does not give the believer liberty to live just any way that he pleases.
b- It makes the believer holy (set apart as belonging to God) (Col.3: 12; Rom.8:33)
c. It makes the believer responsible to sacrifice and to do all that he can to get the gospel out so that the unsaved elect can get saved (2 Tim.2: 10; Titus l: l). Election is not a deterrent to evangelism.
d- It guarantees that some people will get saved in response to the gospel (2 Tim.2: 10; Titus 1:1) In light of unsaved man's condition, there would be no possibility of anyone getting saved apart from election.
e- It makes the believer safe from any changes that are designed to threaten the believer's salvation. (Rom.8: 33) No one can successfully bring a charge against God's elect.
7. of Election Evidences
a. A proper response to the gospel (1 Thes 1:4-5) Their belief was how Paul knew they were elected
b. Perseverance in the practice of basic Christian qualities.
Pet. l: 5- 10) This gives assurance that one has been chosen.
1. The meaning of calling.
a. The meaning of the word - "an invitation or the act of inviting."
b. Usage in the Now Testament
(I) General Call - it is used of God's invitation to accept the benefits of salvation that goes, out to all kinds of people in general (elect and non-elect alike.) Mt.22: 14 - this call does not guarantee a proper response.<>(2) Effectual Call - it is used of the sovereign act of God by which He draws the elect in such a way that every elect person believes and becomes saved. This call takes place l during the lifetime of the person (not in eternity past) and guarantees a proper response. 1 Cor.1: 23-24 (here the called are not all the Jews and Gentiles in general, but a select -group of Jews and Gentiles). Rev.17:14 (here the called are just the elect and faithful, not all people in general). The evidence for the effectiveness of this call: John 6: 44,65; Acts 16: 13-15.
2. The Agent of Calling is God the Father
Rom.9:11; I Cor.1: 9; Gal.1:6,15; I Thes.2: 12: 4:7
3. The Subjects of the calling
Jews and Gentiles alike. Rom. 9:24; 1 Cor. 1:24
4. The Basis of Calling
a. No human works or merit. 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Cor. 1:26
b. God's own purpose. 2 Tim . l: 9; Rom.8: 28
c. God's Grace. 2 Tim. l: 9; Gal 1: 6,15
d. God's Foreloving. Jude I (perf. pass., having been loved); Rom.8:29-30
e. God's Keeping. Jude I (perf. pass., having been kept for Jesus) - the elect are given to and kept reserved for Christ by God even before they are called and believe. cf. John 6:37,39; 17:2,24.
f. Predestination. Rom.8:30
5. The Nature of Calling
a. It is irrevocable, Rom. 11:29 (it cannot be taken away, changed, reversed , canceled, annulled). Once God starts the call, He never stops it. It is guaranteed.
b- It is holy. 2 Tim. l: 9. It separates a person from sin and the world, to belong to God.
c. It is heavenly. Heb.3: 1. It comes from heaven (source) and relates a person to heaven (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2: 19)
6. The Means of Calling (what draws to belief)
a. God's glory. 2 Pet. 1:3 Any quality, action or possession of God that impress a person.
b. God's Power. 2 Pet.1: 3 (excellence)
7. The Goal's of Calling
a. Salvation. Rom.1: 7; I Cor.1: 2; I Tim. 6: 12; Heb. 9: 15
b. A Godly Walk. Eph.4: 1; l Thes.2: 12; 4: 7; I Pet. l: 14- 15
c. Fellowship with Christ. I Cor. l: 9
d. Freedom from law works. Gal.5: 13
e. Peace. Col.3:15
f. Participation in God's Kingdom. I Thes. 2: 12
g, Participation in God's Glory. I Thes.2: 12; 2 Thes.2: 14; I Pet.5: 10
h. Unjust suffering. I Pet. 2: 21
j. Inheritance of Blessing, I Pet. 3: 9
j. Participation in the Body of Christ, the Church. Col. 3:15
8. The Results of Calling
a. Hope, Eph.1: 18; 4:4
b. God's providential care. Rom.8:28
c. A proper attitude toward Christ 1 Cor. 1 23-24
d. Fulfilment of God's purpose in one's life. 1 Thes. 5:24
e. Person brought out of darkness into God's light. 1 Pet. 2:9
f. Justification, Rom.8: 30
9. The Evidence of Calling. 2 Pet.1: 5-10 Perseverance in the practice of basic Christian qualities.
I conceded at the beginning of this study that the material contained therein does not come close to exploring the entire subject at hand, in particular as man has decided to tackle the issue. However, by presenting certain well defined terms used in our study, and then by defining them by their Biblical use, it becomes a convincing way of seeking the truth of Scripture.
It was my intentions as a teacher of the Word, to make this
with the anticipation that there would be some that are not totally
that this satisfies their concept. I would warmly invite those of that
persuasion to be as brethren in Berea were and "receive the Word
with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether
things were so." (Acts 17:11) May I accord the invitation and
to share with you in that endeavour.