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Romans 8V29-30 and Ephesians 1V4,5,11 speaks about predestination. Did God set each person's destiny?

Romans 8V29 - 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. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Ephesians 1V4,5,11 - (V4)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:(V5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will..... (V11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will

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MsMS, Rush, and all, I know I have more questions that you asked which I haven't replied yet. Like MsMS on page 3, Sept 8 (I think) there was a post filled with questions and I had other posts at the same times. I always meant to answer you MsMS as they were important questions, but my time is limited and addressed the easy one first. I didn't get around to those yet, as these will take a lot of time to address them. I want to address them and any others that will come. BUT I am falling behind my priorities and responsibilities and I need all my time to focuss on these this coming month. So my absence will be due to that. I will still be reading your insights and comments with great interest as I believe this an important discussion.

To get to the bottom of this all revolve in the proper understanding of our "CHOICE" and our "FREEDOM". Do I really choose Jesus? Is the difference between me and the wicked regarding salvation is because "they didn't choose Jesus" whereas "I'm saved because I chose Him"? As I pointed out in another post, I view that we have a mis conception of what is our Freedom or choices consist of.

Reflections on the Works of the Holy Spirit
I was reflecting about this today and really we all need to look at our conversion/repenting times where we come to a point in life and we realize things like, "Boy, am I ever a real Jerk!", or "My, I'm full of Crapola!" or "I'm really Pathetic!". These realization is what makes us need a Savior. These are what make us "CHOOSE" Jesus. Think about it, how these realization came to you? Isn't it the working of the Holy Spirit in you, without you choosing him? Isn't it infringing on your will? Ellen says, The work of the Holy Spirit is invisible, silent, and secret, and Jesus said to Nicodemus, that the wind bloweth but you don't know where it came from and where it goeth. Then with time, as His work, as the leavened in the dought groweth... What happens? The mind is softened and subdue. Is that your choices here? Isn't this secret work infringing on your Freedom? Then when time is ripe, one brain cell trigers another, an surge of electrical awakening happens in your brain and you say, "Boy, I'm a real Jerk!" and you feel your need for a Savior. Then with your softenened and subdued mind, unites with Jesus's will and Jesus's mind becomes ours, and our mind is changed and the conscience is AWAKENED or QUICKENED! And into action!

COL 98
"The leaven hidden in the flour works invisibly to bring the whole mass under its leavening process; so the leaven of truth works secretly, silently, steadily, to transform the soul. The natural inclinations are softened and subdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted.

A new standard of character is set up--the life of Christ. The mind is changed; the faculties are roused to action in new lines. Man is NOTendowed with NEW faculties, but the faculties he has are sanctified. The conscience is awakened. We are endowed with traits of character that enable us to do service for God." {COL 98.3}


Blessings!
Thank You again MsMS for your kind and great reply.

Holy Spirit worked the "choice" in us

MsMS : would say, that is exactly it. That is ALL we can do and even then it is the work of God to bring us to the free choice of "choosing Him" or the work of satan to bring us to "choosing" Him.

B: Here we agree fully. That's what was my emphasis, that "OUR choice" is ALL the working of God. Without the continuous working of the Holy Spirit, never anyone can ever make a choice for God. It is 100% Christ's working in us.
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The Natural Man is already "in Tune" with Satan's choices

MsMS : or the work of satan to bring us to "choosing" Him.

B: I agree with you here also, but I would add that our "natural man" already is "in tune" with Satan's believes and directions. So it is "natural" for us to choose Him, for we are already "Married" to him and our desires(choices) are towards him.
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The Great Controversy is About God's Character being Manifested

MsMS : This is what the great controversy is all about.

B: I agree to a great extend that the great controversy has to do about saving souls, but my current understanding is that it's mainly about God's being able to reveal His Character(which the Cross is the center of it, but there's more to be revealed yet!) not only to man, but to the whole Universe.

It is His Character that draws us and all other creation, and will continue to draw us forever. Without the Manifestation of God, Life eternal wouldn't of been possible for no-one. And I would even say, it was a necessity for all of Creation to see God's Character, so to bring everything on Earth and in Heaven in subjection("in Love" is a more correct word) to Jesus so that all things would mature in the relationship and stop calling God "Baali" (LORD) and start calling him "Ishi" (Husband). Hosea 2:16,17

I'm so moved that God subjection is exactly like a Marriage relationship. Love is such a strong and wonderful thing to be subjected to. In this world we relate and define Love as a feeling, but largely this is incorrect. The Bible says God IS LOVE. 1Jhn 4:16 and that's what All of Creation need to witness and come to know.

"Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" Jhn 9:3

"...serve ye every one his idols, and ...not hearken unto me but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts ... And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doing, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God." Ez 20:39,44

"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope" Rom 8:20

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The Cross Gaved us our Freedom

MsMS : It took the Cross to give us the freedom of "choice". This freedom is what makes us akin to God. The ability to think and choose. It is His gift to us and it is given because He desires love from us. Love cannot ever be given excepting by "free choice".

B: I agree. However, I would change your statements as "It took the Cross to give us the freedom." and "The ability to think and to respond".

The choice always comes from the work of the Holy Spirit as we agreed on top. The ability to respond is more accurate, it is heart expression from our "freedom" that is built in our creation. I believe the animals and plants have the same "freedom" and nothing God created are automatons, even the unliving things. What makes us apart from animals, is our ability to reason which makes us capable to respond with our full heart. Animals are able to respond to God also, but not with the dept of knowledge we can behold.

I think we need to be very careful how we choose words especially when it comes to the plan of Salvation and relating this to others in our witness. Man has a natural and very strong tendency to work their Salvation for it is the philosophy of this world and of Satan. When we say things like "I choose Christ and that's why I am saved and that's why the wicked are not", we are expressing Salvation by works and that's how people will relate to it, even thought in your understanding you know it is the working of the Holy Spirit that your choice came about.
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Our Desires(Choices) shall be to thy Husband's

MsMS : You say, "Isn't this secret work infringing on your Freedom?" No way, our minds are only under the control of two powers at any given time, God or satan. There is no area that belongs to us!! Ellen White teaches this as does the Bible. We may think we have the power to have a "neutrality" of our own, but it is merely an illusion.

B: Very well said, and I agree with the underlined. We are either married to Satan's beliefs or married to the person, Jesus. "Our Desires(choices) shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee" Gen 3:16 It is an illusion to think that it belongs to us!
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Does the Work of the Holy Spirit Infringe on our Freedom?

Regarding infringing on our freedom, it is, if we believe we have or OWN the "Freedom of Choice". But it is not, if we believe we belonged from the beginning to God, and our "soul" (inward parts Jer 31:33) longs for our Freedom and for our Creator.
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Conclusion

Since we have establish that it is the work of the Holy Spirit that worked "our choices" and "our choices"(desires) is to whom we are married; then let's ask the vital question again:

"What's the difference between the saints and the wicked?" It is not our choices because it is an illusion and it doesn't belong to us. The answer is what the Bible says all over, it is the working of God.

"So then it is not of him that willeth, not of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." Rom 9:16

"For God hath concluded them ALL in UNBELIEF, that he might have MERCY upon ALL." Rom 11:32

"Who will have ALL men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth" 1Tim 2:4


"For WHEN thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitantS of the WORLD will LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS"
Is 26:9

Blessings!
The concept of predestination is most clearly understood by examining the message that is being communicated to us in Ephesians 1V4-5, which says “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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”
Now, we know that God does not choose some persons to be saved and some to be condemned, according to John 3v16 and Revelation 3v20. Clearly in these two scriptures, and many others as well, Christ makes an open invitation for everyone to be saved, however, some will accept and some will reject this invitation. In Ephesians 1v4-5, Paul is simply stating that God knows “before the foundation of the world” those who will be ultimately saved and those who will be ultimately lost. Although God knows who will be lost and who will be saved, he pleads with everyone to accept him as Savior from their sins so that he can “work within them both to will and to do his own good pleasure” (Philippians 2v13), and so will they gain victory over the dominion of sin. In Isaiah 26v10, the scripture says “Let favour be shewed to the wicked, [yet] will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord”. This tells us that if sin continues to have dominion over us now, and God accepts us into heaven, then sin will be propagated into heaven, but God has promised us that there shall be no sin heaven. Hence, we must accept and believe that Christ has the power, not only to forgive us from sin but also to keep us from our sinful habits, and in so doing, we would have predestinated ourselves to be a part of the kingdom of God and become sons and daughters of the most High God.
Hello. Interesting Discussion here on Predestination. It is a topic that I have done, and am currently expanding indepth exegetical studies on. I have posted a Book Preview on the larger topic of ‘God and the Future’ Divine Foreknowledge or Divine Foreplanning on my blog which may be of interest here.Over, fifty (interacting) comments by SDAs have also been added to the presentation there.

I will, briefly here, address the two key opening passages that started this discussion here as, as in many things it serves to start with the proper and solid (i.e., exegetical) foundation, and then properly build upon it (cf. Luke 6:47-49):

In Eph 1:4, 5, 11 the qualifying terms is “in him” (vs. 4 - Greek “en”) and “through him” (vs. 5 - Greek “dia”) i.e., Jesus Christ show that it is solely and indirectly ‘in/through Christ,’ who existed before the foundation (i.e., creation) of the world, that we are both “chosen” and “predestined”; and that this is accomplished only because of a future, free will acceptance of Christ when He was manifested on Earth as our Redeemer. Also (vs. 11) “predestined” involves ‘having been placed on the right course to reach an intended destination’ and not, as most assume by most, ‘having had our destination firmly set beforehand,’ and that ‘from the ceaseless ages of eternity.’

Rom 8:29-30 - I have come to understand from the greater context of the Bible on this topic that the “foreknowledge” mentioned here, and elsewhere in the Bible, does not necessarily mean ‘from the ceaseless ages of eternity,’ but from some prior time after the conception of a person until then, i.e., being known by God at some time in the past, during the time of one’s existence/lifetime, and before that person, as with Paul, even, personally knew of God (in Paul’s case, Jesus Christ Acts 9:1-9).

So these passages do not speak of anyone having their futures already set beforehand by God.
Jason

I am uploading a file of a paper I have written on this subject, if you are intersted.

Maranatha :)
Ray

Visit my web site at: www.basicsoftheword.com
Attachments:
God said he knew you before you was born. and there is a day appointed to die. between that time you make your own choice.
What exactly is your scriptural support for these two assertions? I agree with the "make your own choice" part, however I would like to see on what you base the prior two statements.
NJK,
I believe the first part is in Jeremiah 1:5. And the second is in Hebrews 9:27.
I had suspected that these could be the texts that are assumed to support this view. However, upon careful examination, they do not.

In Jer 1:5, God tells Jeremiah that he knew him before he formed him in the womb. This “divine forming” could have taken place anytime during the nine months from Jeremiah’s conception to his birth. To say that this means that God knew Jeremiah before he was conceive is reading into the text what is not actually said (i.e., eisogesis) and also makes/uses the false assertion that God so “forms” everyone who is born. One would then have to answer why God would “form” all of the defects and disease that occur in many births, not to mention miscarriage. It seems to me that from the time that God actually “formed” the first man and woman and then told them to ‘be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth’, the entire process of the reproduction of mankind has been a natural one. This does not mean that at times, a sovereign God can intervene to “form” someone with the physical and/or psychological/character traits that He needs for a particular mission, as with Jeremiah who arguably had the toughest task of any prophet as he was to speak of the doom of Jerusalem and the Temple, and also speak against existing powerful foreign powers (see Jer 46-51); however, for the most part, babies are natural formed, and according to the genes of their parents’ that they “inherit”.

So Jer 1:5 is not saying that ‘God knew Jeremiah from the ceaseless ages of eternity’, but rather from the time he was conceived and until the time God decided to specifically “elect” and work with this one child in order to shape him to be the “Mega-prophet” that He needed and expected him to be. Hence also the early announcement to a young Jeremiah of that special investiture. Indeed, if God “knew and formed” every single like this, this would not be anything special for Jeremiah. So it is an exegetical fallacy to extrapolate this text to mean ‘an eternally known birth/person’ and ‘customary divine formation.’

Heb 9:27 is clearly, simply saying that ‘it is appointed for man to die once and then the judgement’ (except, of course, for the final generation who will see Christ return while alive), and not that a specific date for one’s death has been set. Perhaps Daniel had another passage here in mind for this second assertion.
the point is that God does not plan each of us for heaven or hell. and yes God knows you before you are born. and there is a day appointed to die. God is all knowing and all seeing.
Daniel, I agree with your final point as this is what the Bible demonstrates and teaches in many ways, however what is the Biblical support for your other two assumptions. Simply ‘restating these verbatim’ does not suddenly establish them as a Biblical Truth!? Millions of people out there just claim whatever they want the Bible to say without any actual support.
Praise God ... each of us were 'predestined' to be saved. That gives us a good start. We may refuse the gift ... but the gift is ours' if we desire it.

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