Session 4 Predestination/Foreordination Notes

Predestination and Foreordination

I. The Words

 Predestination

Meaning: The Greek term proorizw is built on the verb orizw meaning to determine or mark off by boundaries {root or oros meaning boundary} plus the preposition pro before (A/S 323). Therefore the simple meaning is to mark off before hand or to predetermine. Only the verb form appears in the NT and it is unique to the NT; there are no LXX or classical uses.

Uses: The term “predestination” (* indicates orizw for which the “in advance” idea is evident even without the prefix) encompasses…

The details and results of the cross

NAU Acts 4:28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.

NAU 1 Corinthians 2:7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;

 **Acts 2:23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 

 

**Luke 22:22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"

Individuals becoming part of God’s family and sharing in its benefits

 

NAU Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

NAU Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

NAU Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Eternal judgement

**Acts 10:42 "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.

**Acts 17:31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

The existence and scope of all nations

**Acts 17:26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,

The power and resurrection of Christ

**Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

The future security of believers

 

**Hebrews 4:7 He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS."

All things

NAU Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

 

{Other use is Acts 11:29 referring to disciples as subject, not God}

Summary: God irrevocably pre-planned all happenings in the universe. Ephesians 1:11.

Foreordination

Meaning: The Greek term protiqhmi is built on the verb tiqhmi meaning to set or place plus the preposition pro before. Therefore, the simple meaning is to place before hand or to foreordain. The noun form (proqesij) literally means a presentation or setting forth. It is often translated “purpose” or “plan” with the implied idea of “in advance”.

Uses: The term “foreordination” (verb or noun) encompasses…

The mystery and detail of God’s grace

NAU Ephesians 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

See context - refers back to grace in v 7

The manifold cross-work of Christ

NAS Romans 3:25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed

The calling, election, and predestination of believers

NAU 2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

NAU Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

NAU Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will

NAU Romans 9:11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls 

The context is clearly not limited to service as v 12 is sometimes understood. See vs 13-18 – strong language.

The ministry of Paul

NAU Ephesians 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord

(see context vs 8-12)

All things

NAU Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Other uses are: Matt: 12:4; Mk 2:26; Luke 6:4; Heb 9:2 (the consecrated or sacred bread in the tabernacle); Acts 11:23; 27:13; Rom 1:13, 2 Tim 3:10

Summary: History transpires precisely as God purposed in eternity past. Ephesians 1:11

II. A Perspective

  1. Thus, the New Testament concept of predestination is a fairly simple idea that generates a very complex theological notion that is at the heart of salvation. However, it is much larger than salvation. It encompasses everything. God predetermined all things - everything that has happened or that ever will happen. Salvation, in all of its minute details, is one of the categories of things God has predetermined. This has staggering implications.
  1. Predestination and foreordination are distinct theological concepts but nonetheless closely related (nearly synonymous). To speak of one is to speak of the other. Consider their proximity in the following passages:

Romans 8:28-29 - “purpose” v 28; “predestined” v 29

Ephesians 1:4-11 - “predestined” v 5; “purpose” v 9; “predestined” and “purposed” v 11

Predestination is a core plank of Christian theism. It especially saturates Paul’s writings. As such it should be taught to all believers including new believers rather than reserved for mature Christians only. Predestination saturates Paul’s writings. An example:

BNT Ephesians 1:11 Ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἐκληρώθημεν προορισθέντες κατὰ πρόθεσιν τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐνεργοῦντος κατὰ τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ

NAU Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance (κληρόω appointed by lot), having been predestined (προορίζω passive) according to (κατὰ) His purpose (πρόθεσις) who works (ἐνεργέω) all things (τὰ πάντα) after (κατὰ) the counsel (βουλὴν) of His will (θελήματος)

  1. Because predestination paints God as the exalted sovereign master and ultimately reduces man to a lowly powerless spectator, men, including believers, naturally tend to reject this Biblical truth or drastically modify it.

Predestination is the pattern (kata “according to”) behind God’s salvific calling of believers to Himself. It is a foundational decree that we can’t afford to miss.

Examples: Ephesians 1:5, 9, 11; 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 8:28; 9;11

  1. To strip the Bible of this truth is to emasculate God and be left with a universe wildly out of control.

III. Predestination, Free Agency, and Accountability

 A. Thoughts 

God has ordained all things and events. This includes the personal actions of men - both good and evil. He has also ordained human liberty as part of those things (an apparent contradiction). Thus God is the ultimate cause of all things; men are the immediate cause. An example might be Joshua encouraging Israel that the Lord fights for them yet they go to battle (Jsoh 23:3). We don’t normally think in these terms.

If anything exists outside of God’s plan, then God is not God.

Further, even though God foreordains sin, he is not the blameworthy cause of it. Wicked men serve God’s purposes throughout history yet they are responsible for their wicked actions. God is never the author of sin (James 1:13-15).

The key is that God does not reach down and guide men around like robots. We are free in the sense that no outside compulsion interferes with our choices. We are self-willed (in contrast to free will).

Another key is that God governs inward feelings, external environments, habits, desires, and motives of men so that they freely do what he purposes. Thus man’s acts are governed by his own character and nature. Man is free as long as his own activity is governed by his own reason and affections (so in the same way God is free to only act in harmony with who he is – he can not lie for instance).

Scripture Illustrations

 Joseph: Genesis 42:21: 45:3,5,8; 50:20 (consider the all things in Joseph’s life)

Crucifixion: Acts 3:17-19; 13:27-29

King of Assyria (Isa 10): 5-6 control of God; 7-11 free agency preserved; 12-15 responsible for actions.

General: Jer 10:23; Prov 16:9

So What? - institutional and individual applications

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2017. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source.

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