In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
But it is one which the Bible does speak about – quiet eloquently, I might add.
According to the Wikipedia article on predestination, “it is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul.” [Wikipedia contributors, “Predestination,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Predestination&oldid=800806295 (accessed September 24, 2017)]
In other words, God chose to save you from sin, death, and the power of the devil through the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
And he chose to save you even before you were born.
Inevitably, the question will arise, does God know that some will reject his salvation, even before they are even born? And that leads to a bone-chilling question, how could God do something like that?
I realize that what you are about to read is not going to be very satisfying, but it is, nevertheless, true. There are some things that we just will not know. There are some things that God will not reveal to us.
I don’t know why God won’t reveal them to us, but I must assume he has a pretty good reason. He is, after all, God!
The topic of predestination is brought up in the Bible, in Ephesians 1. Why?
Like most things brought up in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, it is for our comfort!
It is comforting to know that God always knew that we were going to be saved! It is comforting to know that I don’t have to question whether I am saved or not! God chose to save me before I – or anyone else, for that matter – existed!
How can we think about this in a comforting way?
The Formula of Concord – a confession of the Lutheran Church since 1580 – says in its Solid Declaration (an expanded explanation of the original Formula of Concord, which become known as the Epitome):
“If we want to think or speak correctly and usefully about eternal election, or the predestination or preordination of God’s children to eternal life, we should make it our custom to avoid speculating about God’s bare, secret, concealed, mysterious foreknowledge. Instead, we should think or speak about how God’s counsel, purpose, and ordination in Christ Jesus—who is the true Book of life—is revealed to us through the Word. In other words, the entire teaching about God’s purpose, counsel, will, and ordination belongs to our redemption, call, justification, and salvation” (Formula, Solid Declaration, Article XI God’s Eternal Foreknowledge and Election, quoted from A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord © 2005, 2006 Concordia Publishing House, p 604).
Predestination is revealed in Scripture solely to comfort us. To make us sure that we are saved. And it is comforting when we understand that we are saved solely by God’s grace and not by anything we do or do not do.
Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me even before I knew that I needed saving. Thank you for saving me from my sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. I pray that I find comfort in the truth that you saved me even before the foundation of the world, even though I cannot understand how that can be. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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