Written by on August 21, 2023

Since the first century, the church has discussed the finer points of theology, the trinity, the perseverance of saints, baptism, and the like. Predestination is one such topic, a source of many debates in the Christian community. I am not writing for or against some of the issues bought out by this biblical concept but to shed light on what it means and how it works. Predestined essentially means to determine something beforehand. It is something we do all the time in our life. We predetermine where we are going before we get into the car or go to the supermarket or work. We typically determine our destination before we get to it. When we apply this to scripture, God predestines people to various destinations. In Jeremiah 1:5, God tells the prophet, Jeremiah, that before he was in his mother’s womb, he knew him and set him apart to be a prophet to the nations. Multiple times in the gospel of John, Jesus alludes to keeping, teaching, and protecting those whom the Father has given him, indicating the Father chose whom he would give to the son ( John 6:37,44; John 10:29, John 17:2,6). We also read about some people destined for wickedness and destruction (proverbs 18:4, Acts 4:27-28, 1 Peter 2:8).

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30

One of the most well-known passages on predestination is Romans 8:29-30. In the previous verses, the Apostle Paul brought his readers to the conclusion that those in Christ Jesus have no fear of condemnation: they have been set free to walk in the Holy Spirit. Those who live by the Holy Spirit are children of God and co-heirs of the future glory of Jesus Christ. Paul gives us hope we love the Lord and are called to his purpose that all things work together for our good. He tells us that we can trust God to finish what he started in us. Not a moment in a believer’s life is a waste. The Lord works all of our circumstances for our ultimate good. Sometimes our situations don’t feel good, but God uses them to work out his plan of salvation in us. A design that he set in motion before we were ever born. God knew us, chose us, and called us to himself, made us right with him, and has guaranteed that he will make us perfect when we finally enter his presence. Paul is so sure our future glory as believers in Christians secured just as our justification was when God raised Jesus from the dead.

He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace which he has freely given us in the one he loves. Ephesians 1:5-6

Paul uses the word predestination again in Ephesians 1:3-12 to describe our adoption by God and our receiving his blessings. He tells us that the Lord’s choice was according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved. Paul considers God’s predestination of people for salvation as an outstanding, awe-inspiring reality that brings him a posture of excited worship.

As God’s Children, he created us for a reason and a purpose. We are not on the earth by mistake, God knows us from our beginning to our end, and he knows what decisions we need to make and where we need to go. We only need to trust him and his plan for our salvation through Christ Jesus. Charles Spurgeon said, “I believe in the doctrine of election because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me, I should never choose him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born or else he never would have chosen me afterward; and he must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why he should have looked upon me with a special love. So I am forced to accept that doctrine.”

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