4 occurrences in 4 dictionaries

Reference: Predestination


This word is properly used only with reference to God's plan or purpose of salvation. The Greek word rendered "predestinate" is found only in these six passages, Ac 4:28; Ro 8:29-30; 1Co 2:7; Eph 1:5,11; and in all of them it has the same meaning. They teach that the eternal, sovereign, immutable, and unconditional decree or "determinate purpose" of God governs all events.

This doctrine of predestination or election is beset with many difficulties. It belongs to the "secret things" of God. But if we take the revealed word of God as our guide, we must accept this doctrine with all its mysteriousness, and settle all our questionings in the humble, devout acknowledgment, "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."

For the teaching of Scripture on this subject let the following passages be examined in addition to those referred to above; Ge 21:12; Ex 9:16; 33:19; De 10:15; 32:8; Jos 11:20; 1Sa 12:22; 2Ch 6:6; Ps 33:12; 65:4; 78:68; 135:4; Isa 41:1-10; Jer 1:5; Mr 13:20; Lu 22:22; Joh 6:37; 15:16; 17:2,6,9; Ac 2:28; 3:18; 4:28; 13:48; 17:26; Ro 9:11,18,21; 11:5; Eph 3:11; 1Th 1:4; 2Th 2:13; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2; 1Pe 1:2. (See Decrees of God; Election of Grace.)

Hodge has well remarked that, "rightly understood, this doctrine (1) exalts the majesty and absolute sovereignty of God, while it illustrates the riches of his free grace and his just displeasure with sin. (2.) It enforces upon us the essential truth that salvation is entirely of grace. That no one can either complain if passed over, or boast himself if saved. (3.) It brings the inquirer to absolute self-despair and the cordial embrace of the free offer of Christ. (4.) In the case of the believer who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once deepens his humility and elevates his confidence to the full assurance of hope" (Outlines).

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(See ELECTION.) Ac 2:23; 4:28, "whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done" (proorisen). God has "predestinated" believers "unto the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace." "He hath chosen us in Christ" out of the rest of the world, "predestinated" us to all things that secure the inheritance for us (Eph 1:4-5,11). "Predestination" refers to God's decree, embodied in God's "election" of us out of the mass; His grand end. in it being "the praise of the glory of His grace" (Eph 1:6,12,14). It is by virtue of our union to Christ, "foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1Pe 1:20), that we are "predestinated" (2Ti 1:9).

Believers are viewed by God before the world's foundation as "IN CHRIST" with whom the Father makes the covenant (Re 13:8; 17:8; Eph 3:11), "according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." In 2Th 2:13 the Greek for "chosen" (heilato) means rather "taken for Himself"; He adopted them in His eternal purpose; "in (Greek) sanctification of (i.e. by) the Spirit" (by consecration to perfect holiness in Christ once for all, next by imparting it to them ever more and more). There was no doubt or contingency with God from the first. All was foreordained. God's glory and the believer's salvation are secured unchangeably. All pride on man's part is excluded; all is of God's unmerited grace. Yet the will of man is, in the sense of preserving our reponsibility, free. God alone knows how the two harmonize, His predestination and our freedom; it is enough for us they are both distinctly revealed.

At the same time fatalism is excluded, for God who predestinated believers to salvation as the end predestinated them to be conformed to the image of His Son as the means. We must make as sure of the means as of the end. Not to have the Spirit of Christ is to be none of His. Yet God's predestination is not founded on the believer's character, but the believer's character results from God's predestination (2Th 2:13; Ro 8:9,28-30). God the Father gives us salvation by gratuitous election; the Son earns it by His blood-shedding; the Holy Spirit applies the Son's merits to the soul by the gospel word (Calvin): Ga 1:4,15; 1Pe 1:2; the element IN (Greek) which we are elected is "sanctification of (consecration once for all by) the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (the end aimed at by God as regards us).

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The English word 'predestinate' in the AV is, in the few cases in which it occurs (Ro 8:29,36; Eph 1:5,11), exchanged in the RV for 'foreordain,' a return to the usage of the older Versions. The Gr. word (proorizo) conveys the simple idea of defining or determining beforehand (thus, in addition to above, in Ac 4:29; 1Co 2:7). The change in rendering brings the word into closer relation with a number of others expressing the same, or related, meanings, as 'foreknow' (in pregnant sense, Ac 2:23; Ro 8:29; 11:2; 1Pe 1:2,20), 'determine' (Ac 17:26), 'appoint' (1Pe 2:8), 'purpose' (Eph 1:9), in the case of believers, 'choose' or 'elect' (Eph 1:4 etc.). In the OT the idea is expressed by the various words denoting to purpose, determine, choose (e.g. Isa 14:24-27; 46:10-11), with the ahundance of phrases extolling the sovereignty and immutability of God's counsel in all the spheres of His operation (see below; so in NT). The best clue to the Scripture conception will he found in tracing it as it appears in these different spheres of the Divine action.

1. In its most general aspect, foreordination is coextensive with the sphere of God's universal providence, is, in fact, but another name for the eternal plan, design, purpose, counsel of God, which executes itself in providence. The election of believers, to which 'predestination' is sometimes narrowed, is hut a specific case of the 'purpose' of Him 'who worketh all things after the counsel of his will' (Eph 1:11). It is in this wider regard, accordingly, that foreordination must be studied first. It cannot be reasonably doubted that all Scripture

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PREDESTINATION, according to some, is a judgment, or decree of God, by which he has resolved, from all eternity, to save a certain number of persons, hence named elect. Others define it, a decree to give faith in Jesus Christ to a certain number of men, and to leave the rest to their own malice and hardness of heart. A third, more Scripturally, God's eternal purpose to save all that "truly repent and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel,"