Thursday, April 22, 2010

What IS Biblical Predestination? Part 1

God’s Salvation provided for through the death, burial and resurrection of his son is sure, but this is not the purpose of our redemption. We are saved for holiness, to be conformed of Jesus Christ…For He alone is Lord.

The study of Predestination takes many twists and turns, but every time that a confrontation with folks like John Calvin occurs there seems to be an impasse of thought and human systems of religion. The Bible does not suggest Calvinism as a doctrine of faith and neither are Calvin’s thoughts found in the Bible as a system of practice. the work of John Calvin must be organized extra biblically in order to be cohesive and practical for Implementation.

Scriptures do provide the origins of Creation of the earth and the history of the Hebrew people and of the birth of Christianity. The miraculous birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are events that are recorded historically, but the problems surrounding the doctrines of men, ie Calvinism are numerous and fallible. The facts of Calvinism are presented to us with little recognition for logic or relational order. Theologically, Calvin arranged his efforts to erect a Fallible system of theology at an attempted effort to reflect the immutable Person of God found in Holy Writ.

The Bible contains nothing of what anyone might reference as Systematic Theology. Interestingly enough, men have mapped systems of faith and therefore bewildered the search for Christ. erroneous interpretation is not surprising and we have Calvinism as one of the best examples of biblical error.
"Predestined" is used only 4 times in the Bible and this we find in Ephesians and Romans.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:3-8.

Paul writes, "He predestinated US." And addresses the Ephesians as "…the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:" The Apostle addresses those who are Saints, those who are saved and not lost folks. Pause momentarily and inhale Paul’s expressions: "Who has blessed us" (vs. 3). "just as He chose us in Him" (vs. 4). " that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love " (vs. 6). " In Him we have redemption through His blood " (vs. 7). " He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him” (vs. 9). "also we have obtained an inheritance " (vs. 11). " we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. " (vs. 12). " In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, " (vs. 13).

Note that Paul is writing to believers, NOT to unbelievers. This epistle addresses those who have heard the Gospel, believed the message and were saved by God’s Grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10. Paul references the work of God toward the believer after salvation, "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…” We are predestined “To adoption as sons through Jesus Christ…."

Unger’s Bible Dictionary: "Adoption is a word of position rather than relationship. The believer's relation to GOD as a child results from the new birth (John 1:12), whereas adoption is the divine act whereby one already a child is, through redemption from the law, placed in the position of an adult son."

This verse is addresses those who were already saved. They had heard, believed and established in the Christian faith. These believers were predestinated for the adoption as God’s Redeemed children. Predestination has to do with what GOD did for the believer for eternal relationship with him! this alone is GOD's "eternal purpose." "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children." GOD gives us the Blessed assurance that by the exercise of His will, all who come to JESUS, will be adopted. They will receive the redemption and will forever be with the LORD. GOD has predestined those who are saved will be adopted as his children. They can never again be lost ... GOD decrees it!

"PREDESTINED" is also used in Ephesians 1:11.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will..”

Verse 11, as does verse 5, addresses those who are saved and what GOD is now doing for the saved. The lost are not the recipients of the acts of God for the saved. This verse does not teach nor indicate in any way that a sinner is predestined to salvation by the irresistible move of god. Predestined for what reason? It will be noticed that verse 11 continues in verse 12, “to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.” Paul addresses those, " who were the first to hope in Christ." Those who had first trusted in Christ for the praise of his glory this is the topic of Predestination….NOT SALVATION. GOD has determined that the believer will bring praise to His glory, and that His "eternal purpose" will be effected in the life of the believer.

Jesus is Lord

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