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 Re:

Romans 8:28-30
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

It is to be understood from the above that God foreknew who He called. God always foreknows whom He calls unto whatever purpose or plan He has in mind because of the foreknowledge He alone possesses concerning everyone, both the good and the bad.

In this can be seen that Paul is only referring to those God foreknew to be His followers. We must keep in mind that with God there is no time frame of reference; everything is in the present tense with Him. Choices made by Him in eternity past are as today’s happenings. If He would say to us, “You are My son” it is because He saw from eternity, aeons ago. In our heart we may doubts about being a son, a child certainly, but a son? However, if God said it, it is a fact regardless of the work of rectification within yet to be accomplished. This can be looked upon as Reality vs Actuality; we are saved to be saved. Ergo, in reality we are Justified from eternity past because of God foreknowing us and performing ahead of our of discovery of Him….By His Grace given, mind you. Predestination should be easy to understand from this perspective.

 2007/1/25 8:41
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

The Foreknowledge of God
Is God’s foreknowledge based upon man’s decision or is it based upon God’s choice?

I doubt most people familiar with Christianity would ever make the following statement: ‘God doesn’t know I exist.’ I would guess that almost anyone who has ever read the Bible, heard a sermon, or had a friend who is a Christian knows that God is supernatural and is aware of all things and all people. The concept of an all-knowing deity is very well-known and almost universally accepted.

However in Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus says the following: “On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

Jesus says a very remarkable phrase: ‘I never knew you.’ What does He mean by this phrase? Is Jesus saying that He has no knowledge of this person’s existence?
An answer of ‘Yes’ states the belief that it is possible for someone to be born, live, and die without God ever being knowledgeable of those events and that person. This is proven false because Scripture affirms that God knows everyone—all who have ever lived, all who are now living, and all who will ever live. Acts 17:25-26 tells us that God Himself “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” Therefore, the answer must be ‘No.’ Scripture affirms that God has knowledge of every person’s existence.

So, why does Jesus make the statement, ‘I never knew you’ if He is not referring to the knowledge of a person’s existence? What other reason is available? For the answer to this we must go to Romans 8:28-30:
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

The word “Foreknew” is translated here from the Greek word Proginosko. This word derives its meaning from the words Pro and Ginosko. Pro meaning “before” and Ginosko meaning “to know”. Ginosko is the same word Jesus used in Matthew 7:23. To foreknew basically means “to have knowledge beforehand.”

Proginosko in Romans 8:29 refers to knowledge that God possessed before the world began. What was this knowledge? Romans 8:29-30 tell us that it is the knowledge of those individuals who would receive salvation.

Before we continue with a deeper study of foreknowledge, I will give a short summary of Romans 8:29-30.
- Every person who is foreknown by God is also predestined.
- Every person who is predestined is also called.
- Every person who is called is also justified.
- Every person who is justified is also glorified.

How does Romans 8:29-30 correlate with Matthew 7:22-23? Specifically, Jesus’ statement, “I never knew you”? We must conclude the following:
- The person addressed was never known (As Jesus states).
- If the person was never known then he was never predestined.
- Since the person was never predestined, he was never called.
- Since the person was never called, he was never justified.
- Since the person was never justified, he was never glorified.

Who are these foreknown people? Jesus said in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” God gave certain people to Jesus and these people come to Him. Jesus also says in John 17:6, “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.”.

It is almost universal among Christians that the foreknowledge spoken of in Romans 8:29 is the knowledge that God possessed before the world began of who would receive salvation. The question that has caused disagreement among Christians is the basis of this foreknowledge. Is it based upon man or God? Is it based upon man’s decision or God’s decision? This is what shall be addressed.

1) Foreknowledge based upon Man’s choice/decision
In this view God in His Omnipresence and Omniscience look throughout the portals of time to see who will respond in Faith to the Gospel message. For example, before the world began, God saw that in 1999 John Doe would “make a decision for Christ.” God—seeing this Faith in John—predestined John to be adopted in Christ. God chose John to be His child because John chose God. God then in 1999 calls John to salvation, then justifies him and glorifies him.

This view of foreknowledge is popular but is it biblical? It says that God chose us because we chose Him? But what does Scripture say? It says the exact opposite in Titus 3: 4-5, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy,” Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” It is unscriptural to say that God chose us because we chose him.

What does this view say about the nature and character of God? Since not all men are saved, God in this option either does not have the power to save all men or the desire to save all men. If God does not have the power to save all men then it must be because man’s free will is more powerful than His will. If God does not have the desire to save all men then it must be because He chooses not to violate man’s free will even though He has the power to do so.

People who believe that God chooses based upon man’s decisions are quick to assert that God does desire that all men be saved. They point to a number of verses for backup. One being 1 Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

However, this now leaves the other option as the truth. They are implying that God does not have the power to save even though He has the desire to save. A person who holds this view believes—even if they might not publicly say—the following:
- God wants to save all men but He can not.
- God can not save all men because of man’s free will.
- When God meets man’s free will, God is defeated and rendered powerless.
- God stands outside the door of a man’s heart begging and pleading for man to allow Him to enter.
- Salvation is based on what man does or does not do. If man believes, he will be saved. If man does not believe he is condemned.
- God wants to violate man’s free will but does not because he cannot.
- God is as a deity who pleads, begs, and hopes that man would just open his eyes to see the truth.
- God begs and pleads until the day of judgment and sends the person to hell…even though He doesn’t want to.

I contend from scripture that this is a false view of God’s foreknowledge. First of all we are expected to believe that the Omnipotent God can create and sustain the universe, He can bring the mountains down and raise the valleys up, and He can raise the dead back to life but He meets man’s free will and is powerless. In this view, God is at the mercy of man.

2) Foreknowledge based upon God’s choice
In this view God in His Omnipotence chooses for Himself certain people out of the world to be His treasured people. God makes this choice before anyone is born and this choice is not based upon what anyone has done or ever will do whether good or bad. He makes this choice because He is God and He has the authority to do so. He is Just in His choice because He is God. What right does the clay have to judge the Potter? The Potter has power over the clay to do as He wishes. God foreknows this people and predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies them.

Many verses in scripture support the view that it is God who chooses.
For example, in the Old Covenant God made a covenant with Abraham. Why did God chose Abraham out of the entire world to enter into a covenant with? God did not do this because of anything Abraham had done. Abraham did not earn this attention from God. God in His own mercy and will Made a covenant with Abraham.
Genesis 12:1-3, “The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

The children of Abraham began to increase and God kept His covenant with Abraham. God made the children of Israel His special people not because they had earned the right, but because of His will.
Deuteronomy 7:6, “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
Deuteronomy 14:2, “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”

The Lord chose the nation of Israel to be His treasured possession. But then something happened, God in His mercy sent His son Jesus who was the offspring (Seed) of Abraham who was prophesied. Galatians 3:16 says, “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ.” God then chose people—not from just Israel—but from the entire world to be His chosen people. This is the New Covenant that God confirmed.
1 Peter 2:9-10 says that Christians “…are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Colossians 3:11-13, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. …In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,”.

Ephesians 1:11 is a good verse with which to end. It states that Christians have been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. It does not say that He works all things according to man’s will.

In conclusion, the foreknowledge of God must be based on scripture. Scripture says that God foreknows people based upon the counsel of His will. Salvation is nothing that can be earned or merited. It is something that God does in His grace and mercy. Man responds to the grace of God in Faith, but as the great Arminian preacher Adrian Rogers once said, “Faith is you saying what God has already said.” Thus our response of Faith is the confession of what God has already done in our lives.

 2007/1/25 16:28Profile









 Re:

This writer has asked:

"Is God’s foreknowledge based upon man’s decision or is it based upon God’s choice?"

My short answer is, neither, since God is omniscient and therefore He cannot ever not know a thing.... or person. That's a scriptural given.

Starting out a discussion with a wrong convoluted question, one that should not even be asked, how can the rest of his post be addressed? It is like being asked: "Would like to ride the buss or take your lunch?"

Concerning Matthew 7:22-23, the answer is very simple. However, if the discussion starts off wrong no answer will nor can, ever by right. I believe I'll save my writing for better [in] formed questions.

 2007/1/25 16:58
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
Starting out a discussion with a wrong convoluted question, one that should not even be asked, how can the rest of his post be addressed? It is like being asked: "Would like to ride the buss or take your lunch?"



Ormly, you are a very bright person and I am sure that you know exactly what this post is about and why the question is asked. I am not accusing you of anything, but you are leaving me with the impression that you wish to evade my post.

 2007/1/26 8:38Profile









 Re:

Indeed I do. You ask a stupid question that angers me, as it should anyone with a basic understanding of the scriptures.. Discussing the rest of your ramblings is pointless.

Post a question that can be truthfully answered. Post one that is not misleading and loaded with a wrong assumption you state as being a choice. When you do, I will be here.

 2007/1/26 9:03
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
You ask a stupid question that angers me, as it should anyone with a basic understanding of the scriptures.



Ormly,

Proverbs 14:29, "Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."

 2007/1/26 9:12Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re: Concerning God's Grace

Quote:
charis, Greek 5485, Strong’s
charis, khar'-ece; from Greek 5463 (chairo); graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude) :- acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

Where, in the above, does it state that it is God's "unmerited" favor?



The definition you supplied above says "gift." A gift is something given without merit. When a person earns something by their merit, then it is considered "pay." We earn a degree at a university by our merit through years of hard work, unless we have received an unmerited honorary degree given by the university as a gift.

Hope this helps,

Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2007/1/26 9:47Profile
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
Hope this helps



Makes perfect sense.

 2007/1/26 10:03Profile









 Re:

Quote:
The definition you supplied above says "gift." A gift is something given without merit. When a person earns something by their merit, then it is considered "pay." We earn a degree at a university by our merit through years of hard work, unless we have received an unmerited honorary degree given by the university as a gift.



I have repeatedly stated God's Grace is gift to all mankind for it is by Grace we can only be saved, if we appropriate it. God's part = the Gift of Grace.
Our part = receiving it.

Conclusion: God's Grace can be ignored, blasphemed, abused, resisted, presumed upon, etc, etc.
Why? Man has a freewill, even to damn himself.

 2007/1/26 10:11
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
I have repeatedly stated God's Grace is gift to all mankind for it is by Grace we can only be saved, if we appropriate it. God's part = the Gift of Grace.
Our part = receiving it.
Conclusion: God's Grace can be ignored, blasphemed, abused, resisted, presumed upon, etc, etc.
Why? Man has a freewill, even to damn himself.



Ormly, you are spinning! You have maintained that Grace is not unmerited favor and now you are saying it is favor extended to us regardless of merit.

 2007/1/26 10:22Profile





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