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The Bible’s “F” Word?

17 Mar

“Foreknowledge

It seems that you can’t go a day without hearing the “F” word in public. There is very little respect left for anybody. The Bible’s “F” word is not sexually vulgar, but it is theologically vulgar to some. This “F” word is one of the controversial words in all of Scripture. It goes along with the “P” word, and the “E” word. There is not a time when there is no controversy about these words. I have no intention of trying to stir controversy. I was asked by another well respected Christian blogger brother for my understanding of “foreknowledge”. You can be a genuine believer in The Lord Jesus Christ and be saved by His atoning blood holding either posistion. What I am going to point out The Lord taught me many years ago. It truly changed my whole Christian life. I believe that this is taught from the first chapters in Genesis through The Revelation of John. As you read this please go to the texts mentioned and see them in their context.

“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers” (v. Rom. 8:29).

Romans 8:29-30
Everybody believes in predestination. Even humanists believe in predestination; they just believe man is the one who is to do the predestinating. Others believe that the world predestinates itself, and that the future will lead only to the death of the universe.

Every Christian believes in predestination by God. They believe in it because the Bible clearly teaches it. But not all Christians mean the same thing by it.

The most common error, in my opinion, among Christians about predestination stems from a misreading of Romans 8:29. Here we are told that God’s predestination is based upon His foreknowledge. This has been misunderstood to mean that God looked down the corridors of history, foresaw what you and I would do, and stuck that into His plan.

To me this view does not square with the fact that God created time, and therefore all events in time, when He created the world, so that He does not look down through history, but He looks at history as a complete whole. Apart from such a huge objection, however, we can notice that Romans 8:29 does not say that God foreknew certain decisions on our part. It does not say that God foresees our faith, and on that basis predestinates us. It says nothing of the kind.

But, Romans 8:29 says that God foreknew certain people. If you did a study of the idea of knowledge in the Bible it will show that it usually involves a choice of intimate relations, as when Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she conceived. Romans 8:29 means that God “fore-loved” certain people, and predestinated them. He chose them; they did not choose Him.

Romans 9 makes this absolutely clear, because Paul goes into a discussion of God’s sovereign choice of Jacob over Esau, a choice based on nothing either had done (Romans 9:11). The objection, “Is God unjust?” could not have come up unless Paul were teaching real predestination; after all, nobody accuses the “foreseen faith” view of being unjust (9:14). And Paul’s answer in verse 15, which states that God decides whom He will save and whom He will not, answers the matter very clearly.

The “foreknowledge” idea sees all of human history as a great movie that God watched but did not create. He is therefore not sovereign. In this view all of history depends upon the will of man, not the plan of God. If this is the case, God has created and just left everything up to man to fend for Himself. To me this gives God much less credit than He deserves. I believe that He is truly Lord over All!

 
11 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Christianity, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

11 responses to “The Bible’s “F” Word?

  1. Nitin

    March 17, 2014 at 6:19 am

    God is sovereign. I won’t deny that bit. And yes man does get glory when you look it from the Arminian point of view (God looking into the future and choosing). Still there is a reason God gave man free will. And the relationship between God’s sovereignty and man’s free ill is a huge mystery. So as much as I respect your opinion and love reading your posts I’m not going to agree with you fully here. This is Calvinism and this tells us that God only died for the sins of the elect and not everybody else which for me personally is hard to swallow. I think Christ died for us all.

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 17, 2014 at 6:35 am

      Nitin, I respect your opinion. I myself believed this same way for a long time. It is a difficult doctrine to maybe accept but I believe the Bible bears it out consistently. We can agree to disagree. I still enjoy your blog. Thanks for your opinion.

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  2. A Servant

    March 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Thank you for detailing the beliefs you hold. As you know we disagree here but we have both posted our thoughts and our reasons. Someday soon all will be made known and on that day we will both find we had some things wrong I’m sure. I think you can join me on this one… I cannot wait for the return of our Lord.
    A Servant

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

      I’m positive you are right. I too am waiting for that day brother. Have a great day!!

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  3. vwoods1212

    March 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Stirring post. VW

    Like

     
  4. Moore to ponder

    March 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I am so glad you wrote this post. TULIP is something I have contemplated a lot over the past 15 years. I have carefully weighed both sides of this issue searching the scriptures that tend to support each side.of this issue.

    Although you made it clear which side you embrace, you did such a great job explaining how each school of thought approaches the subject. There is a 3rd position that would in a way satisfy the concerns held by each side, but I dare not share it for fear of being labeled a heretic. I will give you a hint, though. Read the 5th chapter of Romans ever so slowly. There is a portion of scripture there that comes across very much like a balanced algebra equation.

    Did you notice that I never shared which side I support? That is because I am still not fully persuaded on any side. However, the one thing I am very persuaded about is the fact that Jesus is the “author and finisher of our faith” who works in us both ‘to will’ and ‘to do’ His good pleasure. I also believe that regeneration is always permanent. 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 18, 2014 at 9:18 am

      I will read Romans 5 and see if I see what you see. Even though you say you haven’t made a decision yet, from your last sentences I see which way you are leaning. Truth as revealed to us in Scripture is all I’m after. Doesn’t matter who’s right. I’m sure that many would label me a heretic with my stance. I think it is crystal clear but it does go against human nature not being in charge.

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  5. SLIMJIM

    March 18, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Hey brother,
    Thank you for this short post to the point! I too land the same place you land concerning foreknowledge; I plan when I have more time to do a post one day on foreknowledge beyond my mere comment here and there but the reasoning you employ here is the same as my own: I don’t see Scripture showing God having foreknowlege of our actions that lead Him to predestine us

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 18, 2014 at 6:41 am

      You’re welcome. I needed to get my stance out there after he asked for it. I figured that your stance was about the same. Thanks!

      Like

       

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