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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Foreknowledge

I am three weeks in to the second time facilitating the Predestination and Free Will, Sunday school class.  Last Sunday I was out.  One of the men who has been in our Thursday morning group and was in the last class in which I taught this.  He taped it for me so I could follow the class.

One of the consistent issues that comes up in discussing this topic is the nature of God’s foreknowledge.  One of the ways it is defined by many is that God chooses those who He knows will accept Him.  That came up in this session last week.
Foreknowledge
Today we talked through that using the diagram above.

The person on the top accepts Christ.  The one on the bottom does not.  God is shown on the left choosing.  I asked what was the difference in the people on the right?  The obvious answer is that one chooses Christ and one does not.  If God chooses because the person on top chooses Christ, then He chose him based on merit.  The merit is that person chose and the other did not.  So the one who chose has reason for boasting.

Problem.

Ephesians 2:8 – 9 says that we are not able to boast.  Because our salvation is by grace, unmerited.  That definition of foreknowledge does not work.

3 comments:

  1. The root problem is adoption of the teaching of the Nicolatians, which is what the church inculcated with the first Nicene ecumenical council.
    Doctrines come from the theological principle created by mankind, which is what the Nicolaitaias represent.
    Where the Nicolaitans lived Satan has his throne.

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  2. Good posts, Mike and Salt (or is it Rock?), Ephesians 2 is difficult to get around, all right. It seems we humans are solidly hard-wired to want credit for what we do. I am who I am because of the good choices I have made. the hard work I had to do to get through school, my faithfulness in the jobs I was given in employment situations, etc., etc, etc.

    My only problem in my own case is that just didn't line up with the reality in my life. I never in my conscious life sought God. I didn't choose my family of godly Bible honoring ancestors including clergymen and generations who fled religious persecution to come eventually to America and have all the opportunities offered hard working middle class European white folks of the Colonial era and beyond. And for as long as I can yet remember I went to church, at least twice a week and often three. I was so divinely preconditioned that when I heard the Good News clearly at ten years old, I responded.

    What did I have to do with that? It was really no choice; I was thoroughly prepared through no doing of my own.

    My late wife as a teen at a church camp was in such pain and despair that one evening she was headed into the camp kitchen, get a knife and kill herself. It "just happened" that a friend came by at that time and asked her if she would go to the evening meeting with her, she wend and met Christ.

    Even if I was deceived into thinking that either of us "chose" for ourselves I would still be left to the grace of God having brought us to Himself sovereignly.

    As I have reflected in this over the past few decades, I can only come to the conclusion that Eph. 2.8,9 is true just as it says; I brought nothing (in fact didn't even come) to the table. He pursued me at His pleasure until He caught and wrestled me to the ground.

    The last three+ weeks since my Beloved's flight into the strong arms of the Savior she loved so dearly here on earth I have been reevaluating everything about my life (I've read this is normal in grieving such a loss). I am realizing how easy I have often lived congratulating - or condemning - myself on the basis of my efforts. My life is shot thoroughly through with "salvation by works." I am slowly learning to come to God with deep mourning and brokenness over my sin and trying to live by my feeble, futile efforts.

    I often these days find myself asking God, "What did I do to deserve to live 45 years with a true angel and experience her faithful unshakable love. And what did I do, God, to be your child?"

    The answer is the same: "Nothing!" It's called grace. Pure and simple.

    But grace doesn't just end at conversion. If God were showing my sin like He now is without the Gospel in my life now, I would end it in a minute. Grace now says without condemnation, "Yes. That is the way you are and it's a whole lot worse than you know. But, you are forgiven by my grace from eternity past. Follow Me...." I still have a lot of learning to do.

    I'm sorry I'm coming to this so late in life, and the cost is great. I miss her terribly with pain inside I'm told will never go away, but will moderate in time. I hope so. But I know in my head when I get to heaven and the Lord asks me if it was worth it, my answer will certainly be, "Yes, Lord. Worth it."

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    Replies
    1. This is much better than my post. Thank you for taking time to share your heart.

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