Foreknowledge, Foreknown, Predestined

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ReformedBaptist, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    This was just too good for me to leave buried in another thread:

    I just picked up another Greek dictionary tonight. I am not biblical language scholar, so these things help me. The author is William D. Mounce, some may be familiar with his training materials for Greek.

    Here's what he has on this term:

    Verb: proginoskso, to foreknow.

    Noun: prognosis, foreknowledge.

    "Two occurances of the verb proginoskso refer to human knowledge, namely, that someone "has known" some person or some Christian teaching "for a long time" Acts 26:5; 2 Peter 3:17

    The other three uses of the verb and the two uses of the noun refer to divine foreknowledge. Peter in his Pentecostal message indicates that Jesus was delivered over to his enemies, "by God's set purpose and foreknowledge" Acts 2:23. In fact, Jesus was divinely "chosen" to this task "before" the creation of the world (1 Peter 1:2). Peter also states that believers "have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God" (1 Peter 1:2). Paul emphasizes the same message, that "those God foreknew he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Rom 8:29; cf. also 11:2). We serve a God who knows all things and acts in accordance with his will*"

    Mounce has an asterick at the end of the definition but I can't find, yet, in what it is in reference to.

    The question was raised as to whether or not what is written in Eph contradicts what is written in Romans. The answer is no. What is in view in Ephesians 1:3-6 is the people whom God has elected before the world began, His purpose in them, and why He chose them "..according to the good pleasure of his will." v5

    Perhaps this is the reason for Mounce's asterick. He is claiming "We serve a God who knows all things and acts in accordance with his will." Romans teaches us that God foreknew those He also predestinated. Ephesians goes into more detail upon the purpose and end of God's predestination. Foreknowledge deals with "whom" and Predestination deals with purpose. God knew whom from all eternity as well as what He would do in them.

    In other words, that believers that have been chosen were chosen according to God's foreknowledge, and this choosing and pre-determining of a people is according to His will. They are foreknown, elect, and predestined according to His will.

    Now, this "predestined" is "prooizo" as a verb and means "to predestine, determine, set apart beforehand." Mouce adds, "Iti is derived from pro, meaning "before" or "ahead of" and orizo, meaning "to appoint, decide, determine."

    And again,

    "God is always the one doing the action in this verb. In Peter's Pentecost sermon, he says of those who put Jesus to death that "they did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen" (Acts 4:28).

    Mounce goes on to show the purposes toward believers in this predestination. I will summarize:

    1. Adoption as sons.
    2. An inheritance
    3. Conformed to the image of Christ.

    Mounce closes with this,

    "These eternal purposes of God for every Christian are a foregone conclusion because they are grounded in his predetermined will. This is why the eighteenth-century theologian Jonathan Edwards referred to God's predestining of believers along with his other saving acts listed in Rom. 8:29-30 as links in the "invioable chain of redemption." Some people struggle with the concept of predestination as it seems to conflict with their supposed personal free will, but the doctrine is clearly taught in Scripture."

    This statement of Mounce resonates in my heart. I think much of the struggle and debate that surrounds the doctrine of predestination is for the reason Mounce mentions. Yet, for all that, the doctrine is clearly taught in Scripture.

    To God be the glory.

    RB
     
  2. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
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    You might really like this one. Dr. Pettingill http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/4027/aboutpredestination.html


    The Bible tells us that God ‘knows’ His people. This not only means that He has knowledge about them but that He has chosen them and entered into personal relations with them. (The same word for ‘know’ (yada) was used in the Old Testament as a euphemism for sexual relations between a man and his wife (e.g. Genesis 4.1; 4.25 and often)).
    For example, in the Bible God says of Abraham, ‘Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. For I have known (yatha’) him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; to the end that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him (Genesis 18.18-19). Here God’s personal call to Abraham (Genesis 12.1) and His covenants with him are described in terms of ‘knowing’ him, and results in godly living and the fulfilment of His covenant.
    This is why God can later rebuke Israel, saying, ‘You only have I known of all the families of the earth, therefore I will visit on you all your iniquities’ (Amos 3.2). Because the nation of Israel has been specially favoured by being chosen by Him, and has turned away from Him, it deserves the greater condemnation. And again He says ‘I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought’ (Hosea 13.5). Then He says to the prophet, ‘according to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted, that is why they have forgotten me’ (Hosea 13.5-6). He had chosen the people of Israel and had entered into a covenant relationship with them in the wilderness, and later provided abundantly for them, but because of the abundance they received they became self-satisfied and forgot Him.
    So when God ‘knows’ people, He does not just know about them, He chooses them and enters into personal relationship with them. But for that reason they are the more accountable. However, in the case of Israel it should be noted that it was Israel as a nation or ‘family’ that He had ‘known’. So His saving purpose did not fail. It continued in those of Israel who were faithful to Him (the remnant 1 Kings 19.18 with Romans 11.4; Isaiah 10.22; the holy seed - Isaiah 6.13). His choice of Israel was not in vain.
    Thus when Paul agonises over the rejection of Israel, he has to ask himself, could God reject those whom He has ‘known’? He answers with a resounding No! For there is a remnant, including himself, who still respond to God and for this reason he declares ‘God has not cast away his people whom he foreknew’ (proginosko - Romans 11.2), for ‘there is a remnant according to the election of grace --- The elect obtained it and the rest were hardened’ (Romans 11.5, 7). So those whom He ‘foreknew’, those whom He has chosen by grace, are still faithful to Him. The verb means in this context ‘to choose and enter into relations with beforehand’.
    This is extended to Christians in general in one of the great verses in the Bible. Speaking of those who are ‘called according to His purpose’ he says ‘For those whom he ‘foreknew ’ (proginosko), he also foreordained (proorizo) to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. And whom he foreordained, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified’ (Romans 8.28-30). So the process begins with God’s foreknowledge. But this is not just to be seen as intellectual knowledge beforehand, but as a deliberate choice in the past by which He, as it were, entered into personal relations with them. Then, because they have been chosen, the rest follows, they are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, then called, then justified, and finally they are glorified. Their being chosen through God’s ‘foreknowing’ is the precursor of the whole.
    The verb to know is used in the same sense in Galatians. ‘But now, after you have come to know God, or rather to be known of God, how do you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elements, in which you desire again to be in bondage?’ (Galatians 4.9). Here again to be ‘known’ by God is distinctly personal. God has ‘known’ them and entered into personal relations with them.
    Peter teaches the same thing when he describes Christians as ‘elect according to the foreknowledge (prognosis) of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ’ (1 Peter 1.1-2). They are ‘elect’ because God has chosen them and entered into relations with them beforehand, and the purpose of their choosing is that they might be cleansed and obedient. He accomplishes this ‘through sanctification of the Spirit’. On the one side is God’s activity resulting from His pre-choice, the separating and purifying work of the Spirit, and this results on the other side in obedience and cleansing.
    This significance of foreknowledge is illustrated when Peter could say of Jesus Himself that ‘Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge (prognosis) of God, you, by the hands of lawless men, did crucify and slay’ (Acts 2.23). Here the will of God is clearly in action in His ‘foreknowing’. He is not just ‘knowing about it beforehand’, but choosing for it to happen. It results from His determinate counsel. Peter tells us that this ‘foreknowing’ (proginosko) of the Lamb without blemish Who was slain occurred ‘before the foundation of the world’ (1 Peter 1.20). And again he prays to God, ‘For of a truth in this city against your holy Servant Jesus, whom you did anoint, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, in order to do whatever your hand and your counsel pre-determined (proorizo) to come about’ (Acts:4:27-28). So both fore-knowing (proginosko) and pre-determination (proorizo) are part of the same action of God’s will in relation to Jesus as they were in relation to His people.
    The will of God lies at the root of His foreknowing. For God ‘has made known to us the mystery of His will, in accordance with His good pleasure which He purposed beforehand (protithenai) in Himself, unto a dispensation of the fulness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, both things in Heaven and things on earth, in Him in Whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained (proorizo) according to the purpose of Him Who works all things after the counsel of His own will’ (Ephesians 1.9-11). Here Paul takes us right into the heart of ‘the mystery of the will of God’, and that is that His aim is finally, in His outworking in the fulness of times, ‘to sum up all things in Christ’. And he stresses that this is in accordance with God’s purpose and within His good pleasure. Then he brings out that through Christ we also have our part in this ‘having been foreordained according to the purpose of Him Who works all things after the counsel of His own will’ to become part of God’s inheritance. Here all that we have been speaking about of God’s foreknowing, is set within God’s eternal purposes.
    As Paul puts it elsewhere. ‘He saved us and called us with a holy calling, --- according to His own pre-purpose (prothesis) and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal and has now been fully made known by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus’ (2 Timothy 1.9). So our calling was ‘before times eternal’. Or as Paul puts it in Ephesians 1.4-5, ‘He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before Him in love, having foreordained (proorizo) us to being adopted as sons, according to the good pleasure of His will’. Here again His foreknowing us and choosing us is placed directly in eternity. This explains the words of Jesus where He says, ‘All whom the Father gives to me will come to me’ (John 6.37). And ‘this is the will of Him Who sent me that of all that He has given me I should lose nothing’ (John 6.39). And ‘no man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him’ (John 6.44). Here Jesus clearly teaches that there are those who have been given to Him by the Father, whom the Father will draw to Him.This is confirmed in John 17.6. ‘I have made your name fully known to the men whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word’. Note the order. They were the Father’s, then He gave them to the Son. The belonging comes before the outward response. Note further that it results in them keeping His word. Salvation is God’s gift, but there is no salvation without transformation.
     
  3. reformedbeliever

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    This is the rest of the previous commentary from Dr. Pete

    In most cases the work of election is imputed to the Father. It is God as Father Who calls, enters into relationship with His own, adopts them and gives them to the Son. This does not mean that the whole Godhead is not involved in the work. It is because the Son is the mediator of God’s saving purposes that the Father is shown as the source. Jesus makes clear that He and the Father work together in all aspects of God’s saving purposes.
    The question will no doubt be asked. Where does man’s free will enter? That man is able to act ‘freely’ is demonstrated by the fact that without freedom there would be no guilt. When the first man made his basic choice and tainted the human race with sin, he chose freely (Genesis 3.6; Romans 5. 12). But we must beware of thinking that we always act freely.The vast majority of our so-called choices are simply the result of our following our programming. Our very genes give us a strong tendency to act in a certain way, and this has been further reinforced by our environment. Thus when we ‘opt’ to do something, what we ‘opt’ to do could have been forecast by anyone who knew these factors. In all these decisions God knows the choices we will make.
    The only time when we possibly actually exercise our free will is when our conscience conflicts with what we want to do, and we are faced with a moral choice, or when we use our intellects to solve a problem. But even in these cases our free will may not be called on. We may simply go along with what we want to do or think. In the first case we may not follow our conscience, in the second we may not follow the facts. Thus we exercise free will rarely, and many of us not at all. Those who do so are rare creatures. The truth is that we freely chose to follow our genetic and environmental programming in our earliest years and have done so ever since. And even those who do at times follow their conscience and again exercise their free will (Romans 2.15), do so too late from the point of view of being guilty before God. They began the path of sin long before, and they know it. With man’s sin, sin has entered into the human race (Romans 5.12), and the practical result is that, from the first, all of us freely opt to follow his path. This is a practical fact - ‘there is none righteous, no, not one’ (Romans 3.10). ‘All have sinned’ (Romans 3.23; 5.12).
    There was only One exception, and He was the Divine child, sharing our manhood, but not born of a human father. He alone, though He was tempted in all points like we are, was without sin (Hebrews 4.15 compare 2 Corinthians 5.21; 1 Peter 2.22; 1 John 3.5). He alone from His earliest years did not choose the path of selfishness.
    Thus, having sinned, we are no longer free, we are slaves of sin (John 8.34). But God offers salvation freely to all who will. ‘Whoever will may take the water of life freely’ (Revelation 22.17). ‘Whoever put their trust in Him will have everlasting life’ (John 3.16). The offer is there. But who will accept it? The slaves of sin? Never. They are set on a course of selfishness and sin. Thus all are doubly guilty. They are guilty because they have gone against what they know to be right (Romans 3.10) and they are guilty because they do not believe on Jesus (John 16.9). They have both sinned, and spurn the offer to come. So God has to step in in His unmerited favour and call some and empower them that they may respond to Him, giving them to His Son (John 6.39) and drawing them to Him (John 6.44). Those who come to Him are those whom He has chosen from the beginning for salvation ‘through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth’ (2 Thessalonians 2.13). But did God purpose that man should sin? The Bible nowhere suggests so, and to do so would make God the author of sin and invalidate both free will and guilt. However, it is clear that He knew that man would sin, for He provided for it from the beginning. Indeed He knew that if His purpose of sharing eternity with mankind was to come to fruition, that was the path that must be followed. Thus He permitted sin, but did not decree it. It was within His overall will but not His specific will. It was allowed so that His hatred of sin might be revealed, and thereby the greatness of His compassion was also revealed in that He saved ‘chosen’ sinners (Romans 9.22-23). But the consequences for the unforgiven rests on their freewill decisions alone. If they are hardened it is because they have first rejected Him. No one is positively predestined to damnation, it is because they choose to be so.
     
  4. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    You guys have three things noticeably in common:

    1. Calvinists

    2. Long quotes.

    3. RB.

    :thumbs:
     
  5. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
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    Yeah..... but the similarities stop there. Don't you see that long hair on that drug consuming hippie? lol
    I'm getting pretty slick on top. :laugh:
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    Hey man, if you scroll this thread up and down real fast it makes happy trails. Far out man.....:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  7. reformedbeliever

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    ........ :laugh: Too funny!
     
  8. rjprince

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    Here are some notes I took in Systematic Theo in the late 70's or early 80's

    Prognosis - (in relation to God) to choose beforehand - it is not just a passive foresight, it definitely contains the element of cause and effect.
    ∙ Peiper - “Prognosis means to choose before, or appropriate beforehand.”
    ∙ In Scripture, when the word is used in reference to God, causality is clearly implied.
    1. Use of “proginosko” (Grk proginoskw)by Peter:
    a. 1Pet 1:2 - “. . .elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. . .” Is Peter only saying that God knew beforehand? He makes a further statement. . .
    b. 1Pet 1:20 - “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world. . .” In this passage it sounds stronger. The English word “foreordain” implies a stronger and more direct action than “foreknow.” The same Greek word “proginosko” is used in both places! Peter uses the same word in his sermon at Pentecost in Acts 2.
    c. Acts 2:23 - “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Is Peter indicating the God simply knew what would happen? Or, is he stating that God planned the sacrifice of His Son?
    Kenneth Wuest, in his Practical Use of the Greek New Testament, (p. 23) uses this passage to illustrate the Granville Sharp Rule. If two nouns are connected by “kai” (and), and if the first one has the definite article (the) and the second one does not, then the second noun amplifies and elaborates upon the first. Both nouns have reference to the same thing. Therefore, “determinate counsel” and “foreknowledge” refer to the same aspect of God’s plan! If God “foreknows” something, according the usage of the word in Scripture, God has determined that thing. It is incorrect to simply say that God knew it would happen ahead of time. A precise statement would be that God knew it would happen, because God knew that He would cause it to happen.
    2. Use of “proginosko” by Paul:
    a. Rom 8:29 - “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate...”
    (1) Strict view says: This cannot be merely intellectual foresight.
    (a) If it were, the result would be universal election and salvation since God ‘knew’ or foresaw every person before they existed.
    (b) The passage says, “Whom He did foreknow... He also justified.”
    (2) Mild view says: This means whom He foreknew would be saved.
    (3) Strict view replies: That is not what the passage says. It says, “Whom He did foreknow.” The mild view has to add to the passage to substantiate their position.
    b. Rom 11:2 - “God hath not cast away His people which he foreknew.”
    (1) In reference to Israel, was not Israel chosen?
    (2) God’s knowledge of Israel involved both choice and intimacy!
    D. General Call - this refers to a general invitation - “Whosoever will may come.”
    1. Passages which indicate that all who come to the Savior will find salvation:
    a. Matt 11:28 - “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
    b. Matt 7:24 - “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them...”
    c. Matt 16:25 - “Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
    d. Luke 12:8 - “Whosoever shall confess me before men...”
    e. See also John 3:15,16; 11:26; John 12:46; Acts 2:21; 10:43; Rom 10:13
    2. These clearly say that all who come will be received. The strong view in no way minimizes this, it only recognizes that apart from divine intervention, the invitation would remain unheeded.
    3. The Bible doctrine of "WHOSOEVER WILL" does not imply the freedom or ability of the human will to do good. The human will is free, but its freedom is within the limits of fallen human nature. It is free like water; water is free to run down hill. It is free like the vulture; the vulture is free to eat carrion, for that is its nature, but it would starve to death in a wheat field. It is not the buzzard's nature to eat clean food; it feeds upon the carcasses of the dead. So sinners starve to death in the presence of the bread of life. Our Lord said to some sinners, who were in His very presence "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life" (Joh 5:40).
    E. Effectual Call - this refers to a direct call of God which always produces saving faith.
    1. This is not simply a general invitation. This call always effects, or brings about, the salvation of the person so called. The effectual call never fails to bring salvation.
    2. There is some controversy over this term and this precise wording does not appear in scripture, though the concept does.
    3. Key Passages for consideration:
    a. Rom 8:28 - “those who are the called...” - Does this mean everybody in general? No matter how one defines “foreknow” there is a definite all inclusive progression beginning with being “foreknown” and culminating in ultimate glorification. The progression is as follows...
    (1) Whom He did foreknow...
    (2) He also did predestinate...
    (3) Them He also called...
    (4) Them He also justified...
    (5) And glorified...
    b. Rom 9:23-24 - “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called...
    c. 1Cor 1:18,24 - “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God... But unto them which are called...”
    d. The previous instances of called refer to a calling that always results in the salvation of the one being called. The context must determine if a general or effectual call is in view.
    F. Purpose - gr. protithami (protiqami) - pre-placing, pre- planning, blue print. The following passages indicate that election and salvation are a result, not of man’s will, but rather of God’s sovereign election.
    1. Rom 8:28 - “according to His purpose...”
    2. Eph 1:11 - “according to His eternal purpose...”
    3. Eph 3:11 - “according to His eternal purpose...”
    4. 2Tim 1:9 - “According to His own purpose...”
    G. Predestinate - gr. pro + horizo (proorizw)- before + horizon = to predetermine destiny. The word means to determine the destiny beforehand.
    1. Acts 4:28 - “For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” (ASV - “foreordained”)
    2. 1Co 2:7 - “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:”
    3. Eph 1:5 - “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will.”
    4. See also Rom 8:29,30; Eph 1:11
    H. Election - God’s act of choosing out, or picking a people before time. Election is unto salvation, not unto condemnation. The Bible doctrine of election does not condemn anyone, everyone was already condemned. Election simple guarantees that certain ones will be saved. See Matt 22:14; Eph 1:5,9; Rom 8:33; John 15:16; 2Tim 2:10; Rev 17:14.

     
  9. rjprince

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    Sorry, subpoints did not line up well and type is so small. See a few typos as well.
     
  10. swaimj

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    Hmmm. See, here is the problem I have with what you are saying about forknowledge:

    God knows all. His knowledge is comprehensive for He knows the end from the beginning. His knowledge is detailed because he even knows how many hairs on on my head. Not only does he know everything, but he planned everything and he brings all things about. So, if we say that he elects based upon foreknowledge, defining foreknowledge as knowing beforehand, why does that make God less sovereign as calvinists object (if I understand their arguments)? Election according to foreknowledge means that he bases his choice on his knowledge of future events, but the future events become reality because he planned them. To be more specific, he bases his choice in election on what he knows man will do, but he knows what man will do because he created the heart of man and he knows what the individual will do in the circumstances in which he has placed him. I don't see how this weakens the sovereignty of God.
     
  11. rjprince

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    Foreknowledge means more than to know beforehand, buried in the fine print above is this...

    Acts 2:23 - "Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." Is Peter indicating the God simply knew what would happen? Or, is he stating that God planned the sacrifice of His Son?
    Kenneth Wuest, in his Practical Use of the Greek New Testament, (p. 23) uses this passage to illustrate the Granville Sharp Rule. If two nouns are connected by "kai" (and), and if the first one has the definite article (the) and the second one does not, then the second noun amplifies and elaborates upon the first. Both nouns have reference to the same thing. Therefore, "determinate counsel" and "foreknowledge" refer to the same aspect of God’s plan! If God "foreknows" something, according the usage of the word in Scripture, God has determined that thing. It is incorrect to simply say that God knew it would happen ahead of time. A precise statement would be that God knew it would happen, because God knew that He would cause it to happen.
     
  12. TCGreek

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    1. And to say that God knew it would happen ahead of time, therefore, He foreknew it, is to impinge on the sovereignty of God.

    2. I'll have to agree with Wuest observation of the oneness conveyed by this Greek construction.
     
  13. ReformedBaptist

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    The text of Scripture isn't teaching us what God foreknew, but whom. He knew whom He would predestinate. This, according to the text of Scripture, does not rise from man, but from God, that it is according to the good pleasure of His will, not a libertarian choice the creature might make. I am not primarily concerned whether or not an idea weakens the Sovereignty of God, but whether the idea is derived from Scripture.

    God does not elect based on anything but Himself. As offensive as that may seem to some, it is what the text says.
     
  14. rjprince

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    Sorry, Wuest cites it as an example of Granville Sharp, but the quote is not from him. To tell the truth, I have retyped and reworded so much of my old seminary notes on this subject I am not even sure how much of it was from the professor. The handwritten copies have long since gone the way of all flesh... and I know that this is about the 7th or 8th revision of my notes on election and sovereignty...
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

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    Ok, you and Weust said it better than me.
     
  16. TCGreek

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    Thanks for the quote; never mind who it came from, the observation is true.
     
  17. TCGreek

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    1. Good observation, RB, the object of God's foreknowledge is always a person/people not a thing.

    2. Therefore, this idea of foreseen faith of God's foreknowledge does not line up well with the scriptural data.
     
  18. skypair

    skypair
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    I'm with prince ...

    ... If God foresees everything beforehand, He can choose how He will keep things under control. This is His huge advantage! So in the "fulness of times" He "inserts" Jesus, knows how that is going to go -- that instead of being crowned King, He is crucified -- so in "His determinate counsel" He goes with the "crucifixion scenario."

    But look -- you guys don't think God had options, do you? That the offer of a King could have been accepted (just as salvation might have been accepted by any individual) and the outcome (still under God's control and "determinate counsel") might have worked out differently.

    The point I am trying to make is that God foreknows but He doesn't disallow that His first desires might be accepted -- like that NONE should perish but have eternal life.

    Well, if I haven't confused you -- foreknowledge as meaning see beforehand cannot be ruled out since God has that ability for sure -- nobody can deny this. So which view reflects the whole counsel of God? Read Acts. See that every person is offered a CHOICE to believe or not believe unto salvation. It is a personal decision -- none are coerced either by the preacher or by God, not even Paul who could well have gone blind the rest of his life if he hadn't gone to find Annias.

    Thus, it is human, personal decision that God foreknows. And the issue would be, Have you personally repented and received Christ?

    skypair
     
  19. swaimj

    swaimj
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    rjprince said:
    I said (if I may take the liberty to quote myself):
    First, nowhere have I limited God's foreknowledge to mere "knowing what will happen ahead of time". His foreknowledge is infinite in its depth and breadth. Second, I really don't see any difference between what I am saying and what you said. Yet you find it necessary to disagree and correct me? What gives? I think that you are responding to what you think I must hold because of my position on related matters rather than to what I actually said.

    ReformedBaptist said:
    But God does not merely know whom he will choose, He knows how they will be brought to salvation. He now only ordains the end but he ordains the means. His foreknowledge is infinite in breadth and in depth. Your statement severely understates God's foreknowledge
     
  20. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    To answer your last question first, yes, by the grace of God I have been brought to repentence and faith in Christ Jesus. All glory to God.

    The doctrine of predestination as I understand it and there will be much agreement to what I share, but then the departure from what you have written here:

    1. God created all things. This none deny. And it should be allowed to all that God first formed the purpose to create and then put that purpose into action in creating.

    2. God governs the world. No christian I know believe God created all things and then stepped away and left the world unmanaged. That is deistic. We all believe God governs the world, had a purpose for which He created it and all things, and He governs the world according to His purpose.

    3. God most assuredly accomplishes His purposes. Isa 46:9-10 "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"


    And again,

    "The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations." Psalm 33:10-11

    And,

    Prov 19:21
    "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."

    4. What is the purpose of God in creation? "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." Prov 16:4

    Rev 4:11
    "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

    5. Does God's government over the world include both matter and mind? Yes. Of God's governing of material things, I think no one denies. It is upon the mind of men that the dispute ensues. What saith the Scripture?

    "Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?" Prov 20:24

    "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."
    Psalm 37:23

    5. How God impresses upon the human mind in such a way that does not interfere with free agency and accountability I cannot explain. That is so, I cannot deny for it is too clear from Scripture.

    6. God purposed from eternity to display His manifold glory and wisdom in a blood-bought Church. Ephesians 3:8-11

    "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord"

    This must mean, since this purpose is eternal, that God foresaw the fall of man. A design that God created man to continue in holiness cannot be allowed since His eternal purpose was to display His manifold wisdom by the Church. Indeed, Christ was "foreordained before the foundation of the world to be the Saviour of sinners.

    7. God governs wicked men.

    "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her." Gen 20:6

    Here we see God's government restraining wicked men.

    "For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year." Ex 34:24

    Again, God restrains wicked men from desiring the land of Israel so that His purpose may be fulfilled in them.

    The Lord also exerts influence upon wicked man (as inclining them) that His Word might be fulfilled:

    "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying," Ezra 1:1

    God also exerts influence on wicked men to direct them in such ways that what they purpose for evil, God means for good.

    "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." Gen 50:20

    God accomplished His purposes and counsel, though man be completely ignorant of it.

    "O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few." Isa 10:5-7

    "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Jer 10:23

    God hardens the heart of wicked men and blinds their minds.

    "And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go." Ex 4:21

    "And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen." Ex 14:17

    "He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them." John 12:40

    "Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee." 1 Kings 22:23

    Writing on these things the late N.L. Rice wrote,

    "...God exerts an influence upon the hearts of men, disposing them to feel and act wickedly." (God Sovereign and Man Free, p.45 Sprinkle Publications, 1985)

    In the context of this Rice uses terms like "given up by God" as we find in Romans of the reprobate whom "...God also gave them up to uncleaness..." In the midst of all this the eternal purpose of God is being worked out to perfection.

    "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain." Psalm 76:10

    A closing statement on the question that often comes up, which is: "If God has foreordained whatever happens in the world, how is He not the author of sin?"

    It should be automatically granted that God is not the author of sin. It should also to be plain by all from the above Scriptures that God's purpose and counsel is unshakable, unless one has some prior committment to a particular viewpoint. It is from trying to reconcile the absolute soverignty of God over all things with the presense of evil in the world that such a question arises.

    Rice writes concerning this, "Two things only did God purpose to do concerning the fall of man, viz: to permit it, and to overule it for good." p.47 and,

    "God chose to permit some angels and all the human race to fall into sin, and so to overule their dispositions, softening, restraining, directing, hardening, as to bring good out of evil, to accomplish his all-wise purposes." p.46
     

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