Why We Believe

Back to main page Predestination vs. Freewill HandoutBtn.jpg 200*31

I. What is predestination?
     A. God has foreknowledge of all that will happen; all humans sin and deserve only condemnation, but God has pre- ordained, at the beginning of time, who it is that He will graciously save. We, of course, cannot understand why some are saved and others not. -John Calvin
     B. As you might guess by my chioce of Calvin to explain predestination. I am a 5 point Calvinist. I don't include this to page to offend my Arminian bretheren, but because the Bible mentions predestination frequently.
II. What is free will?
     A. Free will is not defined in the Bible, there is a clear indication of will and personal responsibility. The words free and will do not appear together.
III. What does the Bible say?
     A. In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”" Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?’"" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:8-24)
     B. The Bible uses the word for predestination or election 219 times in the new testiment. It never uses free will.
IV. What do you do with this information?
     A. You can wrestle with the intricacies of the interactions between God's will and yours. Or you can accept the fact that God knows what is going on and where His will starts and stops. I understand that I am not smart enough to go beyond what God has told me. Clearly he chose us and we have responsibility for our actions.
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