Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We Should All Believe in Predestination

Acts 4:27-28, "For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."

Romans 8:29-30, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

Ephesians 1:4-5, "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will..."

Ephesians 1:11, "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will."

I frequently hear Christians say that they do not believe in predestination. I also regularly read Christians write against predestination. Some Christians seem to have a visceral dislike for the word itself.

I don't understand why Christians feel this way. The reality is that we should all believe in predestination. The reason for this is that the word itself is in the bible. The above verses show the five places where this word occurs. They all come from the Greek verb "prooridzo."

The argument among Christians should not be whether or not predestination is true. It is true because it is in the bible.

If there is a disagreement, it ought to be over what predestination actually means.

In the above passage from Acts, the word "predestined" is used to refer to God the Father's bringing about and controlling the death of Christ. Almost all Christians agree on this meaning.

The real argument is over what is described in the remainder of the above verses: predestination as it relates to the salvation of sinners. Some Christians believe that God predestined who would be saved and who would not based upon His own sovereign will. Others believe that God predestined who would be saved based upon His foreknowledge of who would make a free choice for Him (there are also other nuanced definitions of what predestined means, but I have desire to go in that direction right now).

My purpose here is not to argue for either of the above positions. My point, rather, is to say that predestination is true and is fact (I'm being purposefully redundant). The reason it is true and factual is that it is in the bible.

Since the bible has no errors, the existence of predestination is something we should all be able to agree upon.

It is the definition of what predestination actually is that we should be talking about, but may not agree upon.

If we are to be as biblical as we can be, we must believe all the words of scripture to be true.


Anonymous said...

Eric, I am interested as to what is the general view of predestination among the church body at Chevis Oaks, seeing how it is a Southern Baptist church and the SBC doesn't really emphasize it, at least not in the BFM.

Eric said...


I have discussed this with a few people here, but I'm not certain what the general view is. My guess is that most folks have the traditional SBC view: God is sovereign, but man still has free will to choose.

My goal is to faithfully teach the scriptures. In doing that, I'll definitely come to passages that teach the consistent biblical view that God is sovereign and predestines based on His own will.

I will be interested to see what happens.