Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Oft Rejected & Ignored Orthodoxy

Predestination. The word is used multiple times in the New Testament (Romans 8; Ephesians 1; Acts 4), and the idea is expressed all throughout the entire Bible (Jeremiah 1; Galatians 1; Acts 13). Both the word and the idea imply that a certain act will definitely take place because the sovereign God previously decreed that it would happen. I think the question ought to be asked: if that is true, and the Bible is unequivocal on the matter, why not take it for what it says? As an Arminian, this idea was borderline impossible for me to reconcile (most of my Christian life I embraced Arminian theology). To say that God predestined certain events to certainly happen seemed to me an irreconcilable idea because of my strong persuasion of the dignity of human will in relation to God’s will. In order for my doctrinal system to work, ultimately decisions involving mans future must be left to him.

The mere idea expressed in the verses that either speak
of God’s predestination or allude to the idea was a crushing blow to to the theology I ardently held to. The omnipotent, sovereign God decreed what would happen in the future, but ultimately man must give his “ok” for the event to occur. Do you see the contradiction of that statement? It would be a blatant contradiction for me to affirm such a statement. Psalm 115 says, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” Not maybe, not possibly, and definitely not man willing. He absolutely does all that He pleases and purposes to do.

Did you know that the Bible not only speaks of God’s predestination concerning events like the cross of Christ, but also speaks of God’s predestination in reference to our individual salvation? “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29) It’s a provocative thought, maybe even unsettling and offensive to some believers; nonetheless, the Bible clearly teaches it. God predestined you and me to be His before He ever created the universe ( Revelation 13:7-8). It isn't a possibility that those who He predestined will be His; it is a surety.

As the verse below reads, “in love he predestined us… according to the purpose of His will.” Not because He looked through the corridors of time and saw that you would accept Him, but because of His own purpose and will. He works all things according to the counsel of His will, thus if He purposes, who can thwart that sovereign purpose?

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved… In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…” Ephesians 1:3-6

By: Chris Blaise

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