Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Predestination - Part 2

Temple Baptist Church - 4-7-2010

Ephesians 1:1-7


A. As we look at predestination tonight, we need to remember that the Bible plainly asserts that God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:6-11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; James 2:1) Any doctrine that places God in a position of such is patently false!

B. Some confuse and equate Divine foreknowledge and foreordination. God can know a matter before hand without predetermining the matter to the point that the people (in this case) are excluded, as far as their will and participation are concerned. Some religionists, nonetheless, maintain such a radical view of predestination that in stressing the sovereignty of God, they have totally eliminated the will and role of man.

C. God “understandeth our thoughts afar off” and, therefore, knows what choices that we will make. God knew that Satan would tempt Eve and that Adam would sin. He did not force or program them to sin. They committed sin by choice. God is a God of love and ultimate equity!

D. Biblical predestination is proof of God's omniscience. Furthermore, biblical prophecy is predicated on God's foreknowledge and predestination. The fact that God knew that only a few would accept his Son is also indicative of God's love in sending his Son. "The few" who will be saved are not a group whom God arbitrarily and totally, without any participation on their part, chose to be save, but those who "enter in at the strait gate," which is faith in Jesus Christ!

E. First of all, I hope everyone has the preceding straight. Man has responsibility to come to Jesus Christ for salvation. Period!

F. Secondly, predestination has to do with God’s purpose in salvation, not selection in salvation. Predestination has to do with foreknowledge! As we look at these verses, we see them from God’s side which was precipitated in eternity past, declaring His purpose and man’s side which began in verse 7. No man is predestined to either heaven or hell. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, not man! (Unless some ignorant theologian thinks that all of the unsaved are the “angel-humans” of their “Sons of God” theory in Genesis 6!)

G. Let’s look at these verses in their context and see what God said concerning predestination. GOD’S SIDE: The problem is that we are seeing from God’s perspective. He declares the end from the beginning and, thus, sees us as already saved, sanctified, and secure in Heaven with Him.

1. God’s Foreknowledge Sees Us In Heaven - vs. 3 – Eternity Future – according to Ephesians 2:6, we are already seated “in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Thus, the Holy Spirit sets the context. He is dealing with eternity.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Ephesians 2:6-7 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

God’s Purpose for us is that we might be with Him for all eternity! Blessed with all of the riches at His disposal!

2. God’s Foreknowledge Sees Us Holy And Without Blame Before Him In Love – vs. 4 - Chosen – before the foundation … holy and without blame … before Him
Chosen of God does not relieve man of his responsibility to accept the call of God.

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

God’s Purpose for us is that we be “holy and without blame before Him in love!”

3. God’s Foreknowledge Sees Us Conformed To The Image Of His Son – vs. 5-6 The Beloved is a reference to the Body of Christ, the Church, and—as some call it—the Family of God. We are all baptized into one body by the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (For those who deny spirit baptism: John the Baptist believed in it; Jesus Christ believed in it; the apostles believed in it; Paul—in the “Church Epistles”—believed in it; and the Holy Spirit believed in it because He penned 1 Corinthians 12:13! The word “Spirit” is capitalized which is a direct reference to deity and one body means just what it says.)

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

God’s Purpose for us is that we be like Him!

4. God’s Foreknowledge Sees Our Salvation Blood Based – vs. 7 Salvation is not through election or predestination. Salvation is through the precious blood of Christ! It was the blood in Genesis, it is the blood in Revelation (Revelation 7:14), and it is still the blood!

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

1 Peter 1:18-20 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

God’s Purpose for us is that we might be eternally saved through the blood of His Son!

Conclusion: MAN’S SIDE: Come to Jesus Christ through faith and be saved! Be transformed through presentation of our bodies to Christ and, one day, be conformed!

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