These words often make simple souls shy from further investigation. But we should not fear or be confused as children of God who have received the Spirit which searcheth all things even the deep things of God (1 Co. 2:10). Here then are a few remarks which could help us better appreciate and understand these elements of divine truth.
The foreknowledge of God. God knows all things (omniscience) even those to come; He knows all ahead of time (foreknowledge). Prophecy, directly related to God's foreknowledge, tells forth, predicts not only what will happen on the earth through the exercise of man's will but also the sure events to come about through the intervention of God in His perfect and sovereign will.
Predestination is the determining of something ahead of time. If I take a train, my destination is determined ahead of my arrival; if it goes to a certain city, that is where I will end up. Thus predestination gives us to know ahead of time what or where those that are at the benefit of the Christ's work, will be. We are predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son (Ro. 8:29); we are predestinated to be to the praise of the glory of His grace (Ep. 1:5) and "to the praise of his glory" (Ep. 1:11). It is never said in Scripture that we are predestinated to be saved. But those that are have a predetermined destination.
Election is really a choice, namely God's choosing. He chose us in Christ, His elect, before the foundation of the world. Therefore, we who are Christ's, find the origin of our blessings in this free choice of God towards us in Christ. God chose, before the foundation of the world, to bless in and by Christ alone; no blessing apart from Him and in Him, all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.
The calling of God is the means by which God reaches the sons of men to reveal to them what He has chosen them for, that is life and incorruptibility by the Gospel. The calling of God places men in a position of great responsibility should they refuse or neglect His calling. For us who have believed, we know the Spirit of God worked in us to quicken the good seed, the Word of God through which He produces divine life in us. When I accept the Lord Jesus as my personal Saviour, by the calling of God (present) and that the Spirit of God opens my heart and understanding, I learn that this was foreknown of God (past) and that I am predestined to blessing (future). But this wonderful plan which reaches me was chosen of God in Christ before the foundation of the world (election). The election of grace (Ro. 11:5-7) reminds us that God, Who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, also sovereignly calls in time, specific persons like Paul and other special servants. Who are we to argue with Him. It pleases God to save them that believe the gospel thus putting great responsibility on those that hear his call to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ac. 20:21). We give thanks to God who has worked in our hearts the faith for such a great salvation (Eph. 2:8)!
Chosen in Him,
Foreknown of Him,
Called by and to Him,
Predestined to be with and like Him!
NOTE: All Bible references are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified. All unsigned material is in the spirit of Ecc. 12:11. Send all correspondence, comments, suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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