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It is very important for us to examine how the church fathers or whatever we like to call them, understood doctrine. None of them would have 100% understanding - no-one has not even Paul who admitted he was giving his own understanding on certain points, and there would be error, but when they are just about in agreement on anythiing then we must take that seriously, being so close to pure apostolic teaching.

They taught holiness doctrine, and did not teach original sin, two things that the church since Augustine have departed from.

 2012/1/31 15:01

Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 431
New York

 Re: Predestination

Here is Paul informing the church of the fact of Predestination. I'll write what Paul wrote, and then I will translate it into English, that all may understand.

Ephesians 4-13:

4. He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (i.e. Cosmos), that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

God knew us, chose us, before the foundation of the world [Gr. cosmos], and that we would be Holy and Blameless before Him

5. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

We were predestined to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to His kind will.

6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

And by His grace, this, God freely bestowed upon us in Jesus.

7. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

In Jesus we have redemption through His BLOOD, the forgiveness of our sins, by His rich graces we are redeemed.

8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight

It's a gift to us, well planned out before time.

9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

He revealed this truth of his kind intention through Jesus Christ

10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

According to God's timing and plan etc.

11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

We Have Obtained (past tense) an inheritance, as predestined according to God's will, work, and purpose

12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

The early Christians receiving the fulfillment of the above plans of God first.

13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise

We listened to the message of truth (gospel), and we believed Jesus message of our salvation, Thereby this faith we were sealed in Jesus with the Holy Spirit Jesus promised us (the indwelling Paraclete, God in me).

14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Holy Spirit in us is Jesus's pledge (pledge = Security down payment) of our inheritance until (the time of) the full ransom of Jesus's acquisition of us unto the praise of His glory.

Eph 2:1-10
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ ( by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

And Paul wrote This about Predestination:

Ro 9:6-26

6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. 9 For this is the word of promise: "AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON." 10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." 13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."

14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, " I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"

20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

22 What IF God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea,


However, Paul does write about the salvation of the Jews in Romans Chapter 11

Ro 11:25-32

25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,


28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

From the above, it is plain to see that we are all Predestined by God from the Foundations of the Cosmos, saved not by our works, but by His mercy, Love, Kindness, and compassion for us. For God Predestined Jews and gentiles to be purified in the fiery Cauldron of the Cosmos, but predestined us to enter the Kingdom, which He created for us at the same time He made The Cosmos.

Arthur Biele

 2012/1/31 15:02Profile

 Re: Pilgrim778

Howdy Pilgrim. Chuckke....Sorry bro could not resist doing that. I do agree with you. Jesus said in Mat.23 to not call anyone on earth father. For you have one Father and he is in heaven. If we are going to study anything written by the Father, let it be the glorious revelation of his Son Jesus. Those other dudes don't do it for me. Jesus does.


 2012/1/31 15:51

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


I had not read anything from the "Church Fathers" for a large part of my Christian walk. When I did finally read some of their writings I realized that my walk had not been hampered by ignorance of their writings.


 2012/1/31 18:47Profile

Joined: 2008/10/24
Posts: 146


Hello ARTB, Augustine is not Pre-Nicene, he's post. You will also be very hard pressed to find post Nicene holding to Augustine's version of Predestination. thanks russ

 2012/1/31 19:04Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


Should i be very careful about reading this material?

Bible 4life, I would agree that you exercise discretion - not merely because of this material itself, but because of you personally. The Christian tradition is rich with literary contributions, and you could find yourself running down no end of bunny trials. It will prove unfruitful for you. You want to remain focused in your priorities. I suggest you aim for foundational material first – not just in a hit and miss fashion, but in an orderly, concise, and directed way. A good place to start is a Biblical interpretation course, and then other subjects which are relevant to you now. Here are sites you may wish to check out: Or this one:

If you have a well-prepared foundation, you will be equipped to apply thoughtful critical judgment to the ideas of other people - be they the Church fathers or modern Christian movements – or more importantly, your own life and relationships.

Why not share my suggestions with your friend. You could pray for guidance together in this matter, and then encourage each other to keep focused on your goals.

May God grant you wise discernment,


 2012/1/31 20:13Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


oh... I forgot to mention: On the Biblical Training website there is a fabulous lecture on the Church Fathers - especially Tertullian and how his ideas affected theological thought down the centuries. I think it's a church history lecture.




 2012/1/31 20:30Profile

Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 431
New York

 Re: Predestination

rnieman on 2012/1/31 16:04:06 wrote:

Hello ARTB, Augustine is not Pre-Nicene, he's post. You will also be very hard pressed to find post Nicene holding to Augustine's version of Predestination. thanks russ"

I appreciate your reply rnieman.

There is no real difference between Predestined and foreknew.

Please note that Pre-Nicene and ante-Nicene both have the same meaning, 'Before the Nicene Creed'.

I quoted Jesus words on predestination. He declared that His sheep will recognize His voice, the voice of their good and faithful Shepherd. For this to be true, they must somehow foreknew the voice of Jesus, thus they trust and come to Him. This, to recognize the voice of Jesus is a form of predestination, it requires a foreknowledge of Jesus voice. This makes them an elect.

Last I looked, Paul is also pre-nicene. The Apostle Paul of whom I quoted quoted extensively on the validity of predestination of God's Children. Did you read those quotes? What do you think Paul means.

Just this one example by the Apostle Paul ought to convince of Predestination:

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:11-13). My post you responded went into more detail.

And, Romans Paul reiterates the Doctrine of Predestination and the Role of The Holy Spirit in the Predestination process.

When did God Predestined (foreknew) us?

Eph 1:4-5 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world [gr. Cosmos], that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, ...

How could God choose us before the Cosmos was created if we were not predestined to be saved? The scripture does not say that God will give us a chance to be holy and blameless, otherwise, if we fail, to Hell we go.


17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 BUT WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD, AS OF A LAMB UNBLEMISHED AND SPOTLESS, THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. NASU

Finally, from the Sermonindex reference of the early Chruch fathers in post # 2 this thread, we have these following pre-Nicene comments from

III. Predestination and foreknowledge of God (Top)

Please note the definition of the word foreknowledge.

foreknowledge: Knowledge or awareness of something before its existence.

If you have foreknowledge of an event that WILL occur: than that event must be predestined to occur.

The comments on predestination(i.e.foreknowledge) are from (Apostle Peter), Justin Martyr (160 AD), Irenaeus (A.D. 180), Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195), Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195), and -

Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg.23 who wrote:

"We are they "upon whom the ends of the ages have met, having ended their course." We have been predestined by God, before the world was, (to arise) in the extreme end of the times. And so we are trained by God for the purpose of chastising, and (so to say) emasculating, the world. We are the circumcision - spiritual and carnal - of all things; for both in the spirit and in the flesh we circumcise worldly principles."

But the bottom line is not what the opinions of Church Fathers have to say on the topic, but what the NT of the Bible actual has to say on Predestination, which ought to be given the ultimate source. God's word is written down, The words of all others are commentary. They are helpful, but they must be in agreement with the actual scriptures.

Ro 8:26-39

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him FREELY GIVES US all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,


37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NASU

These are irresistible positive statements by Paul of Gods work in us, whom He Predestined (foreknew).

God does not leave it to chance the bright future He has planned for His children, both gentiles and Jews. Good fathers seek a good future for their children, though in our imperfection we often err, but we being Gods children, He seeks our good future, and He never errs. That is why He gave us the indwelling Holy Spirit. For it is the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit working within us to enable the good God created us to do, that guarantees our predestination, and WHOM prays on our behalf, even when we ourselves do not know what to pray for.

Arthur Biele

 2012/1/31 22:05Profile

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