Saturday, August 1, 2009

Predestination

I believe that nothing happens apart from divine determination and decree. We shall never be able to escape from the doctrine of divine predestination - the doctrine that God has foreordained certain people unto eternal life. - Charles Spurgeon

The topic of predestination seems to be a widely debated one. Not so much historically. For bible believing Christian’s predestination is not only true it is apparent in scripture. The word "predestined" is not only clear from scripture; it is literally referenced within it. (Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:29-30). For bible believing Christians the idea of predestination is up for debate with regards to interpretation but not with regards to its existence.

Jacob Arminius the founder and of what is known as Armenian theology, known for its strong endorsement of free will, was a believer in predestination...So were his followers. It was simply they believed that God's foreknowledge operated in that he knew who his followers would be and thus chosen them based on what they would choose. He was an advocate of Synergistic salvation. Meaning a double-sided salvation. God opens the door and it is the sheep who walk through that are saved.

His view of salvation differed greatly from John Calvin's (his predecessor). Calvin and his followers held to the idea that it is God alone who saves; this is theologically referred to as monergistic salvation. God opens the door, is the door, and is the shepherd that guides his sheep through the door, without Gods moving them they would never move that way.

Church views held by leaders throughout history

-Origen: 185-254 AD: held to the view that God looked down the corridor of time and saw who would and would not choose him.

-John Chrystrom 347-407 AD: Held the to the same view as Origen

-Augustine 354-430 AD: Believed that none of would choose God, all of us would choose sin every time and it is God who chooses us based on nothing we have done or would do, but his grace.

-John Calvin: would attest to Augustine’s views

-Jacob Arminius: educated at Calvin's school, and refuted his teaching, aligning not only with Calvin’s teaching but also with Augustine.

In 1610: Arminius's followers came up with the 5 points of Armenian theology:

A. Free will/ Partial Depravity

B. Conditional Election

C. Universal Atonement

D. Resistible Grace

E. Perseverance of Some Saints]

In 1618 in response to these points Calvin’s followers came up with the canons of Dort. These conveyed the 5 points of Calvinistic theology

A. Total Depravity

B. Unconditional Election

C. Limited Atonement

D. Irresistible Grace

E. Perseverance of Saints

Now both groups are clearly saved, how the bible is clear that it teaches one method of salvation.

· But first we must see that God loves people, he is good, he defines goodness and love, and he is love and he desires that all would be saved

o 1 Tim 2: 3-4 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our savior, who desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge.

o 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord…is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish, but is patient toward all.

o John 3:16 For God so Loved the World that he gave his one and only son.

o Jesus said “come to me, all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

· God loves all, yet there are many who wont be saved. John 5:40 “You refuse to come me that you may have life” Romans 10:21 “All day long I have held out my hands to you.

So God is good, he desires that all would be saved. But we are wicked, our will, desire, conscience, and existence is totally depraved. We are not utterly depraved (meaning we could do more evil), but we are in bondage to sin, ruled by our sinful nature.

· John 8:34- Everyone who sins is a slave to sin

· 1 Cor.1:14 Things of God are folly to the natural man

· Romans 8 Mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God, it cannot submit to God.

· Eph 2: You were dead in your trespasses…by nature children of wrath.

God is love, we are in bondage. Left to our own wills we would choose sin, Satan, and hell every time. But God “demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”.

· Free Will??

o Luther wrote a book named “The Bondage of the Will” in response to a fellow contemporary of his named Erasmus. Luther’s point was that our will is in chains. The reason it could only be single-handed salvation is that our free will is in bondage to sin. The depth of our depravity is so strong that we must be first emancipated from our sin in order to worship God.

o Ezekiel 36 puts it this way “I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

So…

In love God predestined us, despite of all of our inadequacies and insufficiencies. He loved us, died for us, and ransomed us. Why? For the praise of his glorious grace. Beyond that we cannot be certain. But scripture is Clear, through his inexplicable love, Christ predestined those who would love him...

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