3. 1 Decree and Foreknowledge

God’s Eternal Decree

God never has been, nor ever will be taken by surprise. Of his own free will, without obligation to any, in infinite wisdom and goodness, he has decreed, or determined, before the foundation of the world, everything that has already happened as well as everything that will come to pass. Ephesians 1:11, Romans 9:10-21, 1 John 1:5

God’s Foreknowledge

God does know everything that is going to happen because he has determined everything that is going to happen. With regard to salvation, foreknowledge has the meaning of God making a loving choice in eternity past to save some. God has not determined the future by seeing what man will do and then decreeing it to come to pass. Romans 8:28-30, Amos 3:2, Deuteronomy 7:7-8, Romans 11:1-2, Ephesians 1:4-5, Romans 9:10-13


3.2 Election and Means

God’s Election

God has, before the world began, predestined to eternal life all those who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He chose them freely, according to the secret counsel of his own pleasure, to be in Christ and to share in his eternal glory. He did not choose them because he saw that they would believe, since saving faith is a gift of God. Neither did he choose them because he saw any goodness in them, because all men come into the world as God-haters and are incapable of performing any good work in relation to salvation. The elect do not live perfect lives after their conversion, but they will struggle to obey their Lord and will give evidence of a changed life. Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, John 6:44, Romans 3:10-18, Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 9:10-13, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Galatians 5:16-18, Romans 8:1-14, Revelation 2:7


God’s Means

Just as God has predestined the salvation of the elect, He has also determined the means of their salvation. They are redeemed from their fallen state in Adam through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross. They are called to Christ, in due time, by the Holy Spirit through the hearing or reading of the gospel. They are justified, adopted into God’s family, and are guaranteed sanctification. They are also kept by his power throughout their lives by a God-given faith. God has also decreed their glorification, which is the guarantee that they will be with him forever in a perfect state. John 6:44, John 3:16, Romans 10:1-15, Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 5:12-21, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Romans 8:1-17, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 3:21-26, Galatians 4:1-7, Ephesians 1:4-5, Philippians 1:6

3.3 Predestination

Double Predestination

God, in his grace, has decreed that a fixed number of men and angels will inherit eternal life. The rest he has determined to leave in their sin to suffer their just condemnation, thereby revealing his perfect justice. We do want to stress that God’s determining to leave others is as deliberate as his determining to save the elect. Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, 1 Timothy 5:21, Matthew 25:41, Romans 6:23, Romans 9:18

Man’s Responsibility

Since God, in his being, is not like man, he is able to determine everything that will happen, including human actions and choices, without forcing man against his will, to carry out his decrees. Yet, God can never be blamed for the evil that is committed by man. Man is always blamed for his own evil that he commits. Romans 9:19-21, 1 John 1:5, James 1:13-15, Acts 4:27-28