Print Friendly, PDF & Email

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)


Repentance—turning from sin Matt. 9:13; Acts 17:30; 26:20

Faith—turning to the Savior Acts 20:21; Eph. 2:8–9; Heb. 11:6

Substitution—Christ dying on the cross in our stead 1 Pet. 3:18; John 10:11

Reconciliation—bringing together through a third party two opposing parties 2 Cor. 5:18–20

Propitiation – Christ satisfying the holiness of God on the cross Rom. 3:25; Eph. 2:13; Col. 1:20; 1 John 2:2; 4:10

Remission—putting away or carrying away our sins—also synonymous with forgiveness Lev. 16:21–22; Heb. 9:26; 13:12–13; Rom. 3:25; Eph. 4:32; Col. 2:13

Regeneration—receiving a new nature through the second birth John 1:12–13; 3:3; 1 John 5:1

Redemption—obtaining by paying a ransom price Luke 1:68; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12

Imputation—God adding the righteousness of Christ to the believing sinner Isa. 53:5, 11; Rom. 4:3–8; Phil. 3:7–8

Adoption—wherein the believing sinner enjoys all the privileges and responsibilities of adult sonhood Gal. 4:4–5; Rom. 8:15–23; Eph. 1:5

Supplication (prayer)—communicating with God Luke 18:13; Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13; Jude 20

Justification—God declaring a repentant sinner righteous Rom. 5:1; 8:33

Sanctification—God setting us apart for growth and service John 17:17; Eph. 5:26; 1 Thess. 4:3–4; 5:23

Glorification—the ultimate, eternal, and absolute physical, mental, and spiritual perfection of all believers Rom. 8:18, 23, 30; 5:2; 1 Cor. 15:43; Col. 3:4; 1 Pet. 5:1

Election—being chosen by God Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9

Foreknowledge—that attribute of God which provided him in advance with all the facts concerning the elect Acts 15:18; Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2

Predestination—God’s eternal plan whereby all believing sinners are conformed to the image of Christ Rom. 8:29–30; Eph. 1:9–12

Man’s Condition – the Pivotal Issue in Salvation

From the outset there is a fundamental “fork in the road” when it comes to a belief in salvation. The direction taken depends on a person’s deep-seated belief in man’s condition. The two possibilities, theologically speaking can be summed up as either man does have an inherent, innate ability to turn to God by his own choice and power, or he does not. This question by default determines the overall nature of one’s belief concerning soteriology, manifesting itself in what is commonly differentiated as Arminianism or Calvinism.

Arminianism is the idea that man has the potential for choosing God, the potential for rejecting Christ, the potential to be sinless until the first sin is committed and the potential to secure salvation by his own choice (as well as lose it by his own direct rejection of it).

Calvinism purports that man’s creation, man’s destiny, man’s security and man’s purpose are predestined, manifested and sovereignly orchestrated apart from man’s will, man’s ability and man’s choice.

One’s choice between the two belief systems affects every aspect of one’s belief about salvation.

(This section is meant to establish only the fact of man’s condition not how or why it came to be. The subject of original sin as it pertains to Adam, how we are affected by it, and its results will be covered under “The State of Man”.)

What if man can, naturally, without divine intervention, turn to God?

The belief that man can turn to God on his own affects a predictable set of responses and interpretation of Scripture:

  • Man determines his own fate because ultimately it is his decision to accept or reject God. If true, is God truly sovereign and his will ALWAYS done if man’s ultimate decision is what decides his salvation?
  • Salvation cannot be secure or even reasonably depended on because if man is the deciding factor in “getting” salvation, he can “undecide” salvation and “give it back”, lose it or reject it. If so, how could Jesus’ sacrifice have been full and final? What scriptural support is there for “giving back” salvation?
  • There is a natural self sufficiency and pride that would have to be present because some people would by default have to be “more Godly” (in order to choose God) or “more righteous” than others, thus meriting their salvation by the fact that they somehow had more “good” in them, and thus turned to God. In light of scripture, can any unsaved person be more righteous or predisposed to holiness than another saved person? If yes, where does that ability come from?

What if man has no ability to choose God and is doomed, save some divine initiative?

A belief that man has absolutely no ability, no chance and no predisposition towards choosing God, following God or pursuing holiness also creates a predictable set of effects:

  • Man will have no sense of merit or pride in his decision to choose God. Do you sense any spiritual pride that you were somehow “good” and chose to follow God?
  • Man will praise, appreciate and worship God in thanksgiving for the unmerited mercy and grace God has bestowed on him for no reason that he can take credit for. Does the realization that the God of Creation chose to save you for no other reason than his good pleasure and glory cause you thank Him, and worship Him?
  • Man can be assured and secure in his eternal salvation and destiny because he realizes that nothing he did caused it, and nothing he can do can undo it. Do you rest in unsurpassable peace knowing that the King of Kings made your salvation possible and that it is eternally destined to happen according to God’s will?

What does the Bible say about man’s condition and his ability to choose Godliness?

  • Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

    Do children have to be taught to lie, cheat, steal or disobey? Or do they have to be taught to be good, disciplined and obedient? Which nature is displayed without effort?

  • Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

    Sinful from conception, not from the innocent child’s “first sin” at some kind of “age of accountability”.

  • Genesis 8:21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
  • Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
  • John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

    Man is a slave to sin, not sinful by choice. A slave cannot choose freedom, he has to be granted it by something other than himself.

  • Romans 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    The carnal mind is not subject to God’s law, NOR CAN IT BE. Anyone in the “flesh” cannot please God. Would it please God for a man to choose to follow God? How can both be true without something outside of man giving him the ability to please God that he so clearly does not have according to this Scripture?

  • Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

    Can a man have faith except God give it?

  • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
  • 1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

    Adam, being our perfect representative (see Adam and Original Sin), was NOT deceived. He chosen, knowingly, willingly and whole heartedly to sin. We then became guilty of and part of his sinful nature.

  • Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

    We were all made sinners, not instilled with the potential to become sinners the first time we sin. (see Age of Accountability)

  • 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

    How could “in Adam all die” be true if people are born innocent until the first time they sin? How can a “dead man” choose God?

  • Ephesians 2:1-5 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

    Dead… until He made you alive. Can a dead man choose life, choose God, choose salvation?


The Bible portrays man’s condition as totally incapable of doing anything that is pleasing and acceptable to God. While it is obvious that man can accomplish “good works”, social welfare, kindness and even forms of love towards others (as RC Sproul says “even Hitler didn’t kill his mother”), Scripture clearly tells us that in God’s eyes a man’s “good” is no better than “filthy rags”. This is because the unregenerate man has not been recreated and covered by Christ’s sacrifice and no amount of good works can change his guilty standing before God. While his good works might be “good” by our standards, they are unacceptable by God’s holy standard.

Therefore, before God does the supernatural work of regeneration and justification in a man’s life, he is incapable of accomplishing ANY truly Godly work, any decision to honor God and any act that is pleasing to God.

If one believes every man can choose or reject God apart from God supernaturally giving that ability, what makes some choose and some not?

If one has friends or family that are obviously not saved, why did you turn to God and they didn’t? The answer to that question is crucial.

Eternity Past

Scripture contains many deep and infinite riches. Any attempt to reconcile what God has not reconciled for us only serves to cheapen the magnificence and perfection of God’s Revelation to us. It is truly a dull and cheap theology that will not “believe” until it can be “understood”.

In His perfect Wisdom He has determined what to make known to us in simple form; and which truths we should labor, strive, pray and sweat for; spending years scraping just a shred of understanding of; and finally those truths and facts that He has declared “unknowable” or undisclosed.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

For example, consider these things, which in part we know, in part we understand more fully through diligent prayer and study, and in part we can never know until God chooses to reveal it in Eternity:

  • The Trinity

    We know there are Three in One; we know facts about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

    We can understand more fully the idea and purpose by diligent study and a relationship with God (and each Person)

    Presently, we cannot fully reconcile the idea; it is impossible to logically conceive.

  • Redemption

    We know that literally (not only symbolically) our sin is transferred to Christ and that His righteousness is imputed to us. God now (literally) sees us as He sees Christ.

    We can more fully understand and appreciate this by study and prayer

    We can never fully grasp or conceive how this is actually done because it is a supernatural act of God beyond our comprehension or ability to understand

  • Eternal Reward

    We know that God is Eternal, that we are eternal, that our reward will not only be eternal but it will be perfect and will never decrease in perfection.

    We can grow in our appreciation and expectation of this truth by study and prayer.

    During our life on earth, we can never truly grasp eternity, perfection or the depth and quality of what God is preparing for us.

So it is easily established that there are many great wonders and paradoxes in Scripture; glorious truths that we can never fully grasp [1] . With regards to Predestination, there are two major truths that cannot be reconciled:

    1. God declares plainly [2] that He, for His own reasons and good pleasure, chose in eternity past those who would be saved; draws them irresistibly, gives them the power to choose Him; and then grants and secures the Elect’s ability to persevere until death and receive their Eternal Reward and Salvation.
    2. God also plainly declares that all men are without excuse, that all men have a free will choice to reject or accept God, and that He wishes all men were saved. God’s Sovereignty in no way reduces man’s freedom to make his own choices.

An attempt to logically, and finitely, reconcile the two ideas is no more possible than the reconciliation of “God-Three in One (the Trinity)” or “ Jesus: fully man, fully God”. Instead of discouraging or puzzling us, these greats truths should leave us in wonder and awe at our Marvelous God who confounds us with His Infinite Wisdom.

How much less would our God be if everything about Him could be understood, and how much less faith in Him would we need if we had it “all figured out”? Praise God for His infinite Wisdom and Perfect Plan, which we understand to the point He has allowed us to explore, and accept by faith with humility and wonder that which He has chosen to remain a “mystery [3] ” knowing that His Way is the ultimately the best way (and much more, the PERFECT way).

There are two major doctrinal positions concerning what God has declared in the past, or “predestined”. They are identified as Calvinism and Arminianism. Both doctrinal positions come in different forms and extremes from Hyper Calvinism to a very legalistic duty-faith-merit-your-salvation form of Arminianism.

The study of either should never deter us from the simple saving gospel of Jesus Christ. It should be never forgotten that Supra-Lapsarianism, or whether or not you “have” to be baptized, or dispensationalism, or eschatology has very little comfort or meaning to the starving widow; the hopeless drunkard; the immoral humanist; the sick, the dying… the lost.

Our first responsibility should be to preach the simple, saving Gospel of Christ; the boundless grace and riches of surrendering your life to the Saviour of the World; to declare the Good News to a lost and dying world… never with the possible callousness or passivity that unbridled Calvinism can produce, nor with the legalistic or salvation-earning works emphasis that Arminianism can cultivate.

Colossians 1:27-28 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Our call is to preach the simple and saving Gospel to ALL mankind: that Jesus sacrifice can save us; that His love can fulfill us; and that He will judge and condemn those who reject Him.

As we look at “Eternity Past”, we will take a look at God’s attributes, His eternal existence and His revealed purposes. Many volumes could be written on any of these topics, so this study is merely an introduction and familiarization.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit

A basic and introductory Biblical definition of each person of the Godhead.

God the Father

God the Son

God the Spirit

God’s Decrees & Purposes

Has God told us his “reasons” for the way things are? In part, yes. There are also many things he has not chosen to disclose [4] to us at this point and He may never reveal them, we don’t know for sure.

Why did God create Man?

Why did God allow sin to enter His creation creating the need for salvation and the sacrifice of His Son?

What relationship does God have to Time?

Does God give us reasons why He has done things the way He has done them?

Predestination (Election & Reprobation)

Does man have free will? Are all choices and decisions predetermined? Are only certain events preordained and others random? Can predestination and free will exist simultaneously? Are some chosen for salvation and others for punishment? Why would a God of love “skip” or worse, cause some to be predestined for eternal condemnation?

Predestination and Election are among some of the most difficult concepts to understand and wrestle with. There are different schools of thought concerning it ranging from simplistic foreknowledge and some sort of special favor with God on one end, and a type of robotic, “everything has been decided anyway” fatalism on the other.

What does the Bible teach about it? Can it be understood? Does it make sense? Does it really matter what you believe about it?

Let’s begin with a generally accepted definition in common terms:

Predestination – because of God’s will and foreknowledge there are events, decisions, acts, choices and results that in fact will occur because they must… God cannot be wrong and what He wills, will come to past.

The question remains: do these things come to pass because God causes them (and as such foreknows them), or does God foreknow them because He is able to know ahead of time all things that come to pass? The answer is…. Yes.

Election – there are two general ideas about election.

The first is that Election is just a sort of simplistic favored status God has bestowed on Israel in the past, or on the church presently. This idea is sometimes carried over to mean that those individuals who have chosen salvation themselves are “elect” or favored by God. This idea is not supported by Scripture and is dealt with below in “What Predestination is Not”.

The orthodox definition of Election is that in eternity past, God chose some of mankind to be the recipients of His mercy in that He would:

  • Irresistibly call them and draw them to Himself
  • Supernaturally regenerate them and give them the ability to choose salvation which they were previously unable to do
  • Impute righteousness and holiness to them through Christ’s sacrifice
  • Indwell them with His Spirit enabling them for good works and Godly behavior
  • Secure their salvation eternally apart from any ability that man has
  • And finally, bring them into His presence for an eternal existence of unimaginable joy
  • All of this He has done for no other reason than His own good pleasure [5] and for the glorification and worship of Jesus Christ.
  • We will study the Scriptural support for this below under “What Predestination Is”.

What Predestination (and Election) is Not

To begin a process of simplifying (if that’s possible to a reasonable degree) and clarifying Predestination let’s begin with a look at what it is not.

The choice to state that it is “not” a particular idea is based solely on the fact that there is little or no Scriptural support for it. It seems that in general these ideas come not from blatantly aberrant interpretation of Scripture, but from a shallow and incomplete understanding of Predestination, or in some cases the inability to come to terms with Reprobation because it is such an affront to our finite sense of fairness. Thus, there are occasional elements of truth in these ideas but they are not complete.

  • The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not a simple use of foreknowledge by God

    While it is perfectly true that God knows everything [6] that has ever happened, everything that is happening and everything that will ever occur is an understatement originated from our finite and imperfect understanding.

    [7] God is so far removed from the limits of chronology and human knowledge that we experience, His understanding and awareness of events is infinitely greater than the totality of the greatest idea of it we could ever conjure.

    Simple foreknowledge encounters another problem in that it truly removes free will from man. If God looks into the future and sees an event, that event is now fixed and determined. God sees that one person will be saved, and one person will not (according to this teaching). Therefore destinies are determined but they have been determined by man instead of God, or by some impersonal force or fate for God has merely looked forward to what we have decided to do.

    This teaching sacrifices the incredible wonder of Election by God for some sort of fatalism, fate, chance or an impersonal destiny, or worse, it leaves our destiny in our own faulty and limited hands. So the ultimate credit (according to this line of thought) for our salvation is not due to God, but belongs to either man himself, chance, circumstances or some “force”. Not a very enticing choice.

  • Predestination is not a foreknowledge of the faith that a man will exercise in the future

    As established above, man’s condition from birth prevents him from exercising some sort of inborn, innate faith that allows him to choose God. Therefore, predestination cannot be based on the idea the God looks into the future, sees which men will choose Him, then predestine them based on that fact. We are taught “ [8] whom he foreknew he also predestined”. The Biblical pattern is always that a person is saved because God had predestined it. Arminianism and the idea of simple foreknowledge is built around the reverse, that God predestined because man chose to be saved.

    “Foreknew” in this sense is also used to illustrate a personal relationship with a person, not an awareness of some fact about that person such as the fact that “they believed in Christ”. Nowhere in Scripture is there an idea that God ordains events and results based on His knowledge of some fact that He has “looked into the future” and seen.

  • The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not a choice God made based on some “good” or merit in us

    If the ultimate decision to “choose God” rests in man, then he has in fact, earned his salvation. This seriously diminishes the glory that God should receive for determining and completing our salvation according to His choice, His mercy and His purpose [9] .

    This idea also ignores [10] Scripture that clearly teaches man’s inability to do anything that pleases God.

  • The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not a sort of “favored” status by those who choose to serve God

    In some cases where the idea of predestination has been recognized as unavoidable, it has been reduced to a type of favored status for either Israel, the Church or to everyone who serves God in general.

    Scriptures dealing with predestination and election clearly speak of individuals. Even so, logic dictates this conclusion because the church and Israel are in fact collections of individuals.

    Scripture addresses individual children [11] , individual and specific saints in one church [12] , a few individuals who “first trusted” [13] , chose “you” not chose “your church” or “the church” [14] , and again, “saved us”, called “us”.

    To accept that predestination and election is speaking only of a corporate status of the Church (or Israel), and not specifically individuals, is to assume and imply something in every Scripture on the subject that simply is not there. To the contrary, the idea of individual election is simply assumed.

  • The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not a parallel causing of salvation on one side, and a causing of condemnation on the other (known as Hyper-Calvinism)

    A hyper-Calvinistic view of predestination lends itself towards blaming God for evil, which somehow gives its proponents the idea that they can then dismiss God or dismiss election because of it. In some cases it is even presented sarcastically as an attempt to display the “absurdity” of election (which indeed it is to the unregenerate mind).

    If God is a God who actively condemns some and by His Own Will irresistibly causes them to sin and suffer condemnation is exactly opposite of [15] Scripture.

    Mankind would be reduced to an existence of fear and [16] determinism just hoping that to fall on the right side of God’s unfair decisions.

    Does the knowledge and truth that God does indeed cause salvation imply or prove that He must by default affect condemnation as well? The answer to this whole question lies in the answers to its parts:

    • Can God do or cause evil or directly tempt man causing him to sin? [17] God cannot be tempted by evil (which He would necessarily have to succumb to if He chose to tempt others), nor does God tempt anyone (and certainly if He were to be first Cause of condemnation He would have to directly or indirectly
    • Does God irresistibly draw men to condemnation (as with salvation)? In Scripture, drawing [18] close to God is always presented as salvific, never destructive [19] .
    • Does God allow or use evil for His purpose? God does allow it (Job) and use it (Joseph, Pharoah) but never causes it. All things exist for His Glory, even evil.
  • The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not a fatalistic, robotic type of existence that removes the element of free will in man

    Determinism is the idea that if all known attributes and qualities of a given entity can be determined, then you can, from its origination accurately prediction its position or result in the future.

    A simple example would the breaking of pools balls in a game of billiards. If it were possible to know the exact physics of each pool ball, the surface, and every attribute of how the ball will react when it is struck AND you know the exact originating position, direction and force at which the each ball is set in motion… then it would be possible to accurately predict the final positions (and every position in between) of each ball on the table.

    Within the actual game of pool, does this scientific approach make the movement of the balls any less “random” or free from the viewpoint of playing the game?

    Taking this idea and expanding it infinitely to our existence, it is logical and somewhat understandable that God the Creator who created all particles that make up our existence (and omnisciently knows every aspect of every attribute perfectly) and determined the starting position of each particle at the time of creation, and then set those particles in motion according to His perfect Decision (and therefore is the [20] First Cause in our existence) would therefore “predestine” and “foreknow” every aspect of our existence.

    Does this preclude free will or randomness in the manifestation of our daily life? Certainly not. No reasonable person denies the reality of man daily making choices that are obviously derived from his free will. Nor does this in anyway diminish the total sovereignty and completeness of God’s knowledge and will.

    It is like two sides of one coin. Only one side can ever be viewed and contemplated at any given time. However this does not diminish in any way the reality of the reverse side of the coin.

  • The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not an idea of some sort of “arbitrary” God who for no good reason chose some and not others

    For God to act in an arbitrary nature would be to go against His nature [21] . God would not be God if His each and every act were not perfect, complete, purposeful and planned. Everything [22] about His character would come into question if He were truly guilty of committing even one single arbitrary act.

  • The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not an act of an unjust or unfair God

    One of the most common exclamations about election (and in particular reprobation) is that it is unfair and unjust of God to pass over or not choose everyone for salvation.

    There are several reasons why this cannot be accurate:

    • First, the very thought or implication that God can somehow be unjust or unfair is not possible for God would not be God if He was capable of sin (unfairness, injustice) [23] . So by faith we must accept that the very fact that God chooses a certain method for accomplishing His Will in and of itself makes it the most fair, most just and perfect method that could ever be used.
    • Next, Scripture clearly teaches us that creation should not question the Creator, that the pottery may not question the Potter [24] . This is manifested very plainly to us in our daily lives. Should a small child question the choice of the loving parent? Can any material possession question the choice of use made by the rightful owner?
    • Also, there is the aspect of mercy itself. Mercy is only mercy because it is applied according to the wish of the person who is capable of granting it. It is applied selectively and without merit from the object of mercy. If in any way the object of the mercy deserves mercy, then it ceases to be mercy. It now becomes justice (getting what you deserve). As well, if all were to receive mercy, then again, it ceases to be mercy and becomes justice (because it is the result of all, instead of some).
  • The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not without reason or logic. What if there was no Predestination?

    God would be truly arbitrary, distant, harsh and unknowable.

    The Bible would be hopelessly untrue.

    Man’s condition would be unredeemable. A proper understanding of Election is one of the most comforting and clarifying things about our Salvation.

    God is in control of, and has secured our salvation. It is not up to our feeble and faulty efforts. We are free to love and worship God in appreciation for His unmerited choice to save us. It forever removes guilt and doubt that something we are doing could jeopardize our eternal destiny.

  • Predestination is not [25] Single Predestination

    Single Predestination attempts to avoid or ignore the “negative” aspects of the issue, namely Reprobation. This position claims God did make a positive decree of election, but did not make a decree of reprobation.

    There are 5 possible conclusions to Single Predestination:

1. All are elected – which no one believes

2. All are not elected – which no one believes

3. Some are elected and the others can still be saved by self initiation (choosing God themselves) which is a type of qualified Arminianism

4. Some are not elected but you can saved through self initiation – which no one believes

5. Lastly, a complicated and rarely held Dialectical Single Predestination that borders on absurdity.

It would seem that the main reason for the idea of Single Predestination is that Reprobation is such an affront to our finite and imperfect sense of justice and fairness. Nonetheless, any lack of understanding or disagreement about how God chose to do something, does not affect the reality of it in any way.

· Predestination is not [26] the result of something else.

The foundational difference in opinion on Predestination is whether it is a cause, or a result.

In Arminianism, Election is the result of a man’s action. God knew or foresaw that man would act or decide in a certain way therefore He elected that man based on foreknowledge. Election was determined and caused instead of being the cause.

In Scripture, salvation [27] , belief [28] , good works and Godly response [29] were always the result of predestination by God, not the cause of why God predestined those events.

Simply put, election causes salvation, belief and faith. Nowhere in Scripture is election the result of man’s belief or faith.

The idea of Predestination, Election and Reprobation is not a denial of God’s Word that states His desire for all men to be saved.

What Predestination Is

There are two aspects of Predestination: Election & Reprobation. In the context of our study we will consider Predestination as the decision by God to foreordain events and results. He “predestined” certain things. Two of those are Election and Reprobation. We will cover each separately.

Before we begin, let the reader be blessed with one of the incredible gifts that stems from the doctrine of Predestination:

Predestination allows the Elect to know that our past, present and future have been mercifully pre-ordained by the Creator of the Universe and we WILL BE VICTORIOUS.

Our salvation and eternal happiness is as sure as the sun rising which is the essence of why we are continually joyful no matter what our circumstances are. It is truly a peace that surpasses [30] any understanding we could possibly have of it.

We can have supreme confidence and peace about our efforts, our prayers, our worship, our struggles and our destiny because the same God, who created us, has also determined our outcome, AND HE CANNOT BE WRONG.

The Greek definition:

proorizo { pro-or-id’-zo}
AV – predestinate, determine before, ordain
GK – 4633 { proorivzw }
to predetermine, decide beforehand
in the NT of God decreeing from eternity
to foreordain, appoint beforehand

proginosko { prog-in-oce’-ko}
AV – foreknow, foreordain, know, know before
GK – 4589 { proginwvskw }
to have knowledge before hand
to foreknow
of those whom God elected to salvation
to predestinate

As we will study, God determined beforehand to mercifully Elect some to salvation, and to allow others to receive the justice they rightfully deserve. This chart helps to show the dual, or parallel nature of Predestination:




Man is lost and guilty due to his own sinfulness [31]

Justice demands punishment and condemnation which is fair and deserved [32]


In eternity past, God chose some of mankind for His own good pleasure to be the recipients of His saving mercy [33]

God would irresistibly call the Elect and draw them to Himself [34]

Then supernaturally regenerate [35] them and give them the ability to choose salvation which they were previously unable to do

The Elect would experience repentance, conversion, justification, adoption and begin sanctification [36]

God would indwell them with His Spirit enabling them for good works and Godly behavior [37]

He will [38] secure their salvation eternally apart from any ability that man has

And finally, [39] bring them into His presence for an eternal existence in a gloried state free from sin in all forms

All of this He does for no other reason than His own good pleasure [40] and for the glorification and worship of Jesus Christ.



Man is lost and guilty due to his own sinfulness [41]

Justice demands punishment and condemnation which is fair and deserved [42]


Note: the scriptures references given in this table are just meant for general direction. The issues themselves are dealt with in detail elsewhere in this paper.