1. These verses are part of one of the most uplifting sections of Scripture (vs.18-39) in the entire Bible. 2. In our lesson we are studying a subject that is mentioned twice in vs.29-30 -- "predestination." 3. Unfortunately, there is a great amount of confusion concerning predestination, but we can know what the Lord wants us to know by examining several passages in their context. 4. Let us begin by considering . . .
I. A STATEMENT FROM THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH
A. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (p.84) "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated to everlasting life, and others are foreordained to everlasting death. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished." B. If God has predetermined where all men and angels will spend eternity, . . . 1. why did Jesus invite everyone to come to Him for rest? (Matthew 11:28-30) 2. why did Jesus want the Gospel to be preached to every creature so we would all know how to be saved? (Mark 16:15-16; Romans 1:16) 3. why did Jesus speak the words found in John 3:14-21? 4. why did Peter say that the Lord does not want anyone to perish? (2 Peter 3:9) 5. why did John say that "the water of life" is available to "whosoever will" take it? (Revelation 22:17) C. Let us turn our attention to several . . .
II. PASSAGES THAT MENTION PREDESTINATION AND OTHER RELATED SUBJECTS
A. Romans 8:29-30 1. In the context, Paul was writing about blessings available to those who are "in Christ" (8:1). 2. He showed earlier how we get into Christ (6:3-4). 3. Notice that a change occurs when a person gets into Christ (6:17-18). 4. Those who are in Christ are the ones that God "did foreknow" and that He "did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son" (8:29). 5. Those predestined by God are called, justified, and glorified (8:30). 6. This occurs when we hear, believe, and obey the Gospel. B. Ephesians 1:3-5 1. In the context, Paul was writing about the spiritual blessings that God provides through Christ (vs.3). a. (vs.4) God has chosen "us" in Christ. b. (vs.5) God predestined "us" unto the adoption of children by Christ. c. (vs.1) "Us" includes the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ [Christians]. 2. When and how had these people in Ephesus become God's children? (see Acts 19:5; Galatians 3:26-27) 3. Who has been predestined to become God's children? [those who have obeyed the Gospel] C. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 1. This letter was written to "the church of the Thessalonians" (1:1). 2. These people had been chosen from the beginning to salvation. 3. They had been saved through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. 4. God had called them by the Gospel. 5. These people whom God had chosen to salvation from the beginning were in the church. D. 1 Peter 1:1-2 1. This letter was written to those who were "elect according to the foreknowledge of God" (vs.2). 2. Peter also mentioned "sanctification of the Spirit,""obedience," and contacting the blood of Christ. 3. When did this occur? [see vs.22-23]
1. From these passages, whom did God predestine to be saved? [those who hear the Gospel, believe it, obey it, and are in His Son's church] 2. Does God predetermine who will obey the Gospel? [no -- we must make this choice ourselves] 3. God predestined that whoever chooses to obey the Gospel and remains faithful to Christ will be given a home in heaven. 4. He does not predetermine individually who will be lost and who will be saved. 5. Are you in the Lord's church?