Sunday, July 8, 2018

Predestination - Part 1

Temple Baptist Church - 7-8-2018
Romans 8:29-30


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 blatantly 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 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, 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 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. 

1.  The “For” at the beginning of verse 29 ties it to the preceding verses (Context Principle of Bible Interpretation) and, therefore to us as God’s children.  There is no mention of the unsaved in these verses!  God is declaring the position of those in Christ.  The antecedent of “whom” is the plural pronouns found in these verses.  There is not one singular pronoun in the context.  Paul, through the Holy Ghost, is speaking of the body corporate or the Body of Christ.

2.  The word “foreknow” is the key to the verses for tonight.  God not only knew about us, He knew us!  God knows all things.  He sees the end from the beginning.  Nothing ever surprises God or even occurs to God.  He is omniscient.  He knew that we would come to trust in Him from the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1:3-7  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  (4)  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  (5)  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  (6)  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  (7)  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;  (Notice the plural pronouns.  Predestination and election are always found surrounded with plural pronouns.  Never, when referring to man, do you find a singular pronoun in the context.  God sees a “finished product” when He sees us!)

Ephesians 2:5-6  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  (6)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  (“Ye” is plural because it becomes “we” and “us” and together.)

Ephesians 2:8-10  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  (9)  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  (10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (“Ye” is plural because it becomes “yourselves” and “we.”  It is the Body of Christ that conforms to the image of Christ.)

3.  “Predestinate” is to pre-determine.  Predestination is our conformity to Christ, not “election” by Christ.  What and who did God pre-determine.  The collective Body of Christ.  God sees us eternally home and like unto Him.  He also sees a Bride perfected.

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.

Ephesians 5:25-27  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  (26)  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  (27)  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

4.  “Called.”  The “called” in this verse are those whom God foreknew that would answer His call.  We that are saved are the “called.”

Matthew 22:11-14  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  (12)  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  (13)  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  (14)  For many are called, but few are chosen.  (The “wedding garment” is the imputed righteousness of Christ.  God’s call is a universal invitation but the chosen are those who answer that call.)

2 Thessalonians 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (How are we “chosen?”  Through faith!  We believed the truth.  Sanctification and belief are simultaneous acts.)

Matthew 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  (This verse Biblically answers the question: “Does man have a choice to accept or to reject?”

John 5:40  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.  (The Pharisees could have been saved just as Paul was on the Damascus Road.)

5.  “Them He justified.”  To be declared or to render innocent.

Galatians 3:6-8  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  (7)  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  (8)  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.  (We are justified through our act of faith, not election or predestination.)

6.  “Glorified.”  As God knew us who are and are being saved before the beginning, He also sees us glorified with Him in eternity! 

Jude 24-25  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,  (25)  To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Conclusion:  I think that the conclusion becomes obvious.

1.  God’s Foreknowledge Sees Our Salvation Blood Based.

2.  God’s Foreknowledge Sees Us Conformed To The Image Of His Son.

3.  God’s Foreknowledge Sees Us Holy And Without Blame Before Him In Love.

4.  God’s Foreknowledge Sees Us Finally Home!

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