Predestination

More About Predestination

Rev. Martyn McGeown

Whether we agree with predestination or not, it is the Bible’s teaching. Whether we react in a positive or negative way emotionally to this teaching, it is the truth of God’s Word. When God’s Word offends our sensibilities—and it often will because we are sinners—we must learn to submit to its teaching.

But before we react emotionally, we need to make sure that we understand the teaching. Often, we react emotionally to a misunderstanding.

First, predestination means God’s determination beforehand (pre) of the eternal destiny (destination) of His rational and moral creatures. Since God is God, He has the right to do this. Paul reminds us of our place before God: “Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay? (Romans 9:20-21). How absurd it would be for a creature to complain to the Creator!

Second, God’s predestinating choice is unconditional. We know what a conditional choice means—we make conditional choices every day. Why do you choose one breakfast cereal over another, or why do you choose eggs or toast (or whatever) for breakfast? Because of some quality in the food—that choice is conditional. An unconditional choice is one where the choice is not determined by any quality in the thing chosen. It is almost impossible for a human being to make such an unconditional choice. Things always influence us. God chooses His people unconditionally—He finds no attractive quality in them; they are not better, greater or nicer than anyone else. God does not even choose them because He foresees that there will be some good quality in them. God explains this to Moses: “The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you [for such and such a reason], but because the LORD loved you” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). The verdict—God loved His people simply because He loved them! There is no reason in us!

Third, God’s choice of His people is eternal and therefore unchangeable. God did not wait and see how history and His people would turn out before He made His choice. It was before the foundation of the world, or, as Paul writes, “the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that purpose of God according to election might stand” (Romans 9:11).

That is humbling—salvation is not our choice; it is the Lord’s.

But where better place for salvation to be than in the wise hands of the almighty, always good God!

BLOGSITE

http://www.limerickreformed.com/blog/

I should add that notwithstanding the decree of predestination every human being because of their sin in Adam AND their own rebellion against the most high God deserves eternal hell, and will rightly suffer that judgment unless by God’s grace they believe in Christ—JK

ECOS PARKRUN

 

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In one of best ever Parkruns this year (73.2% age-graded Age Grade explained), I did the 5K (3 miles) in 22mins 42 secs– just down on my best this year and less than a minute down on pre-hip replacement. It was down to prayer for God’s enabling, quality training, a good night’s sleep, rest day from running yesterday, light racing shoes and pushing myself as hard as I could even though I was in “no man’s land” with no runners ahead to chase or behind to keep ahead of. Thankful. Citius-Altius-Fortius…Faster-Higher-Stronger even at my age!

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Another video

 

 

God’s grace

“He gives us habitual grace; — a principle of grace, opposed to the principle of lust that is
in us by nature. This is the grace that dwells in us, makes its abode with us; which, according to
the distinct faculties of our souls wherein it is, or the distinct objects about which it is exercised,
receiveth various appellation, being indeed all but one new principle of life. In the understanding,
it is light; in the will, obedience; in the affections, love; in all, faith. So, also, it is differences in
respect of its operations. When it carries out the soul to rest on Christ, it is faith; when to delight
in him, it is love; but still one and the same habit of grace. ” Owen in Communion with God.

The young ass

” And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,

 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.” John 11:14-15

Do you realise who this man was who rode into Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday” nearly 2,000 years ago? God says he is a king. King of the Jews. And who is a Jew? Not someone descended from Abraham physically, but a believer, someone who acknowledges Jesus Christ as King, King over all things and their King. The King who suffered and died to win his Kingdom. The King who one day will make heaven and earth new  as rightly his. Is he your King? He is also appointed to judge all me when he comes again. Will you be able to say on that day, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”?

The Land

The Land

Sung Psalm 105:8-14

Reading Genesis 12:1-20

The Holy War was for the Holy Land: We have

  • The covenant promise to give the land to Abraham and his seed
  • The promise of God to dwell there
  • The land was for a people
  • The land came with God’s law

All Old Testament history, except Esther was played out in the land. The prophets can be divided into pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic according to when the prophesied concerning Israel and the land they were to be exiled from viz:

Pre-exilic Exilic Post exilic
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea Daniel Haggai
Obadiah, Jonah, Micah Ezekiel Zechariah
Nahum, Habbakkuk, Zephaniah Malachi

 

The land of Israel is an issue of hope and eschatology. To Abraham it was an unseen land and object of faith. To this was added the promise of Gen.13:15-16 adding that his seed would be innumerable.

Key points:

  • the seed who would inherit the land was Christ and all the elect in him (Gal.3:7, 16).
  • The land is a type/picture of heaven (Heb.11:9-10).

Communion with God

 

I cannot recommend highly enough this treatise by arguably the greatest British Theologian, John Owen. Particularly the section on delighting in Christ from page 80. It is very clear from Scripture that Christ’s love for us and our love for Christ is expressed in delight, the one with the other. We are meant to ENJOY him and fellowship with him just as he, unbelievably delights in us! If you relish the covenant this is a must read! I will be summarising the best bits on this blogsite.

http://www.ntslibrary.com/PDF%20Books/John%20Owen%20Communion%20with%20Father%20Son%20&%20Holy%20Ghost.pdf

Holy War (16)

The New Testament Warfare

Sung Psalm 144:1-8

Read II Cor. 10:1-10

In Isaiah 11:10-15 we read that God’s and Israel’s O.T. enemies will serve Christ. God uses O.T. imagery and names in a prophetic way which has a N.T. fulfilment. This is likewise true in Amos 9:11-12 where it reads that David’s kingdom will include Edom and all the heathen nations but again we know that this is a prophecy fulfilled in the N.T. age when the elect among all nations come into the church (Acts 15:16-17).

Whereas in the O.T. the enemies were heathen nations and the goal was territory through offensive war either to possess the land (Joshua), or extend the empire (David), although there were also defensive wars, when we get to N.T. times there is no actual land to possess (heaven is assured) but rather the extension of the kingdom of God to the ends of the earth through missions is the goal. In order, the great cities central to this purpose were Jerusalem, Antioch and then Rome.

The king of God’s N.T. army sits enthroned in heaven. He too undoubtedly has fought and does fight (Isaiah 59:17). His captains were initially apostles, prophets and evangelists but now ministers, elders and deacons. The foot-soldiers are all believers. The armour and weapon are outlined in Eph.6:10-16 and Heb.4:12. For defence, the helmet, the assurance of salvation; the breastplate of (Christ’s) imputed righteousness; the belt of truth (Christ and his word); the sandals of the gospel of peace with God and a readiness to share it; the shield of faith; the sword of the Spirit. From the Corinthians epistle which in context refers to self-control and church discipline we see that winning arguments is not enough, the battle is in the mind. To win over an enemy God must regenerate them. In the battle faith is vital as is discipline, effort and patience (I Tim.6:12, II Tim.2:3-6) and we must not be distracted and be over-occupied with civilian (worldly) pursuits.

See also