Foreordination

The entire field of God's revealed purposes will be seen only when all the various approaches to His decree have been noted. This theme includes the doctrine of decrees, of election, of predestination, of foreordination or divine choice, of foreknowledge, of efficacious call, and of the free will of man. In its simplest form, the one phase of foreordination means ascribing to God the ability and sagacity to provide with infinite precision the things which form the ongoing of the universe He has created. That the theme extends into realms of other worlds and contemplates that in God which His creatures may not now understand is readily conceded. There is probably little difficulty in the mind of any serious person who holds God in due respect over the issue of His right and accompanying necessity to plan the course of His universe before He brings it into being. Difficulty may arise with respect to the evil that is present now in that which a holy God designed, created, and is executing. Pious souls, however, will not allow that evil is engendered by God, and a reasonable person will not claim that evil is present because God could not prevent it, nor will thoughtful, observing men conclude that the universe is a gigantic accident moving ungoverned to its own destruction. It must be recognized that in some way quite beyond man's comprehension the permission and presence of evil in God's uni verse is consistent with His holy character and cannot be linked with Him as in any wise responsible for it. This principle is to be seen operating in another and more attractive form when it is observed that, though all fruitful service is being wrought by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, God does not withhold or claim for Himself any reward for that service when the believer stands before the judgment seat of Christ. The Christian is then rewarded as though he had by himself achieved all that may have been done in the overcoming power of the Spirit.

The doctrine of foreordination, then, is almost identical with that of predestination. The former term doubtless has a wider significance in that it may include all things within the scope of God's purpose, while the latter is usually employed only of people and restricted to the predetermined destiny of those who are saved, with the exception of Acts 4:27-28 which is a reference to that determined respecting the sufferings of Christ (cf. Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11).

Chafer, L. S. (1993). Systematic theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

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