Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Saturday, September 9, 2006

The Lie that is Calvinism - Part 2

This verse, without doubt, is the Calvinist's favorite verse in all of Scripture when trying to prove their false doctrine:

"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Rom. 8:29-30).

Calvinists say, "See! God chose ahead of time who would be saved."

Now, let’s look at what this verse really says.

For whom he did foreknow…"

God KNEW ahead of time who would become believers and who would not. (Calvinists will say God foreknew US, but not that He foreknew that we would be believers).

“…he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son,…”

The same ones that God KNEW ahead of time would become believers, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Obviously, a non-believer will not be conformed to Christ. But as believers, we are to die to self and be conformed to Jesus.(See Galatians 2:20.) And since we who are saved are destined for heaven, we WILL ultimately be conformed to the image of our Saviour.
“…that he might be the firstborn among many brethren…”

“…Moreover whom he did predestinate,…”

Those that God KNEW ahead of time would become believers, and whom He therefore predestined to be conformed to Christ. Notice that the verse DOES NOT say that He predestined those He foreknew to be saved. He predestined them to be conformed to Christ because He knew already that they would be saved.

“…them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

God is still talking about those that would be saved. God is talking about believers living according to the purposes of God. This is His plan for believers. He IS NOT telling us that He chose to save certain individuals and chose to condemn others to Hell. Look back at verse 28:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

God’s plan is that whatever happens to the BELIEVER will work out for good, to those who are called according to His plan.

What is His plan? Read verse 28 again and you’ll know. The verse is not referring to God’s plan of salvation, but to His plan for believers.

The basis for salvation given in the New Testament is NEVER based on being “elected”. It is ALWAYS based on belief (or “trust”) in Jesus Christ.

How do I know I’m saved? Because I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. (see Acts 16:31, John 3:36, I John 5:13, etc. etc. etc. etc.)

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At 9:37 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

You have a way of making the seemingly-complicated quite understandable. Keep up the good work, and thank you. Assurance is a good thing.

In truth the moment I read part 1 my mind leapt immediately to an old George C. Scott film called Hardcore, where this belief was front and center in Scott's character. It's kind of like Islam, in that no one can be sure until death whether or not they've been good enough to earn Salvation and Heaven.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I'm very glad that I found this explication. Predestination has always been a troubling doctrine for me, though I've reconciled myself to it on the basis that God created us, so He can do as he pleases with His creation (much as I delete some of my drafts).

My mother used to mention the order of "foreknew" and "predestined," but our Presbyterian minister pooh-poohed what my mother was saying. Eventually, we left that church.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Bryan Harper said...

Great comments Ms. Green! You did a good job refuting the evils of Calvinism.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Russet Shadows said...

God's omnipotence does not contradict or cancel man's freedom; rather, our freedom is absolute only among men. Think of it. Because we are born and die, our freedom is reduced. Because we were born in a certain time, place, way, season, our freedom is reduced. Because our parents raised us a certain way, our freedom is reduced. We are shaped by all these events, not of our own choosing, and they affect what we would even consider doing, much less be able to do. This is to say that God knows all these things and knows us well enough to know what we will do in advance.

That does not negate the necessity of Him reaching out to us so that we will believe. You believe in Christ? You do so because you were prompted by the Spirit of God, correct? So God's power and man's freedom go hand in hand.

It's like Judas. Judas betrayed Christ of his own free will, and yet he perfectly fulfiled the prophecies of the man who would betray Christ.

The two are insuperable.


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