Predestination or Free Will?

 

 

 

1. Predestination is unquestionably a Biblical FACT

 

 

Predestination

Date: 14th century
1 : the act of
predestinating : the state of being predestinated
2 : the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation

 

Acts 4:27-28

"For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur.”

 

predestined NT:4309 proorizoo:

to predetermine, decide beforehand, to foreordain: in the N.T. of God decreeing from eternity, Acts 4:28; (from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

Rom 8:28-30

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. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

 

(causes) work together3rd Person Singular Present Active NT:4903 sunergeoo, sunergoo; to work together, help in work, be a partner in labor: 1 Cor 16:16 (from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

called NT:2822 kleetos, kleetee, kleeton  called, invited

invited (by God in the proclamation of the gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God through Christ Rom 8:28

called to (the discharge of) some office: Rom 1:1

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

Foreknew—3rd Person Singular Aorist Active NT:4267  proginooskoo;

to have knowledge of beforehand; to foreknow: namely, tauta, 2 Peter 3:17

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

Predestined—3rd Person Singular Aorist Active :4309 proorizoo:

to predetermine, decide beforehand, to foreordain: in the N.T. of God decreeing from eternity, Acts 4:28;

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

1 Cor 2:6-9

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written,

"Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,

And which have not entered the heart of man,

All that God has prepared for those who love Him."

 

Eph 1:3-6

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just 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 [Verb, Aorist Passive Participle] us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

 

Chose—3rd Person Singular Aorist Middle NT:1586 eklegoo:

to pick out, choose Luke 10:42

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

Eph 1:7-13

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined [Verb, Aorist Passive Participle] according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were

 

Acts 13:47-49

"For thus the Lord has commanded us,

'I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,

That You should bring salvation to the end of the earth.'"

And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

 

Appointed—Verb Perfect Passive Participle Masc. Plural NT:5021 tassoo:

to put in place; to station

to place in a certain order to arrange, to assign a place, to appoint:

to appoint, ordain, order: followed by the accusative with an infinitive, Acts 15:2

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

1 Peter 1:1-2

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen [Word NOT in original Greek] according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.

 

foreknowledge NT:4268 prognoosis, prognooseoos, hee

1. foreknowledge:

2. forethought, pre-arrangement 1 Peter 1:2

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

 

1. Free will for mankind is unquestionably a Biblical FACT

 

 

 

Free Will

1: the power asserted of moral beings of willing or choosing within certain limitations or with respect to certain matters without the restraints of physical or divinely imposed necisity or outside causal law:  spontaneous will or partially causeless volition

2: the ability to choose between alternative possibilities in such a way that the choice and action are to some extent creatively determined by the conscious subject at the time.

(Webster’s 3rd New International Dictionary)

 

 

Philem 12-15

And I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that in your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel; but without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.

 

free will—NT:1595 hekousios, hekousion (hekoon), voluntary: kata hekousion, of free will, Philem 14.

(Num 15:3; kath' hekousian, Thucydides (423 B.C.) 8, 27 -- (The word understood in the one case appears to be tropon (Porphyry (270 A.D.), de abst. 1, 9 kath' hekousion tropon, comp. Euripides (480-406 B.C.), Med. 751 hekousioo tropoo);

in the other, gnoomeen so hekousia (doubtful, see Liddell and Scott (1883) Greek-English Lexicon), ex hekousias, etc.; compare Lobeck, Phrynichus, p. 4; Lightfoot on Philemon, the passage cited; compare Winer Grammar (1883), 463 (432)).) *

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

John 6:21

They were willing therefore to receive Him into the boat; and

 

NT:2309 theloo

to be resolved or determined, to purpose: Rom 9:16

equivalent to to desire, to wish: ti, Matt 20:21

equivalent to to love; followed by an infinitive, to like to do a thing, be fond of doing: Mark 12:38; Luke 20:46

in imitation of the Hebrew chaapeets, to take delight, have pleasure

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

Rev 22:17

And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes [Verb Present Active Singular] take the water of life without cost.

 

wishes NT:2309 theloo

to be resolved or determined, to purpose: Rom 9:16

equivalent to to desire, to wish: ti, Matt 20:21

equivalent to to love; followed by an infinitive, to like to do a thing, be fond of doing: Mark 12:38; Luke 20:46

in imitation of the Hebrew chaapeets, to take delight, have pleasure

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

Gen 2:16-17

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die. "

Gen 3:6

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

1 Tim 2:14

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.

 

[Adam and Eve, and all of their seed through them, were condemned for exercising their free will in disobedience to God’s clearly expressed will. This condemnation would be a lie and a sham if they were not, indeed, free to make the choice, but were compelled to do so by God.]

Deut 30:19

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,

 

choose OT:977 bachar --

to choose, elect, decide for

a)         (Qal) to choose

b)         (Niphal) to be chosen

c)         (Pual) to be chosen, to be selected

(Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright (c)1993, Woodside Bible Fellowship, )

 

Josh 24:15

And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Josh 24:22

And Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the LORD, to serve Him." And they said, "We are witnesses."

 

[Joshua calls on Israel do decide for itself whom they shall follow, then makes his own choice clear; a sham and a lie if we are not free to choose. Then, the point is stressed that Israel chose freely to follow God!]

 

John 3:16-17

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him

Rom 10:13

for "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

[If there is no free will, then these and other verses offering salvation to “whoever” will believe, are a lie!]

Rom 14:22

Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

[Our choices can be the basis of our condemnation]

 

 

3.    Closing thoughts

 

Both conditions are true, biblically. God, in his sovereignty, predestines, AND man has true free will.

 

 

Giving His creatures free will in no way limits or denies God’s sovereignty, nor does it make man responsible for his own salvation. If someone offers to give you a thousand dollars, for no other reason but that they want to, it is a matter of THEIR WILL, and not yours. Should you accept the gift, it would be ridiculous to believe that you earned the money in any way.  Mostly, the foolish exercise of our free will gets us into trouble,  just as it did for a certain angelic being long ago:

 

Isa 14:12-15

"How you have fallen from heaven,

O star of the morning, son of the dawn!

You have been cut down to the earth,

You who have weakened the nations!

"But you said in your heart,

'I will ascend to heaven;

I will raise my throne above the stars of God,

And I will sit on the mount of assembly

In the recesses of the north.

will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

I will make myself like the Most High.'

"Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,

To the recesses of the pit.”

 

 

 

God is sovereign.

He foreknows, chooses and predestines.

Yet, we are responsible for our choice to believe, or for our unbelief.

 

Acts 28:24

And some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe.

 

Rom 11:19-23

 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.

 

 

How can this possibly be reconciled? I have some notions, but the Bible is not specific in this regard. Yet, I can say with absolute certainty that devising a system of  theology that depends upon one aspect of the equation while, denying the other, is contrary to the clear Word, and necessarily false where it speaks of these things.