Friday, July 20, 2018

The Calvinist Misuse Of Romans 8:28-30

  • Calvinists Use The Following Text To Teach Unconditional Election:
          -"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be confirmed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:28-31)

          The people under consideration in Romans 8:28-30 are those who love God, not a select few whom God "irresistibly causes" to love Him. It does not state that certain people are predestined to become Christians. Rather, those who believe on Christ and His gospel for salvation are destined to inherit eternal blessings. This Scripture passage simply discloses what happens to the elect.

          Even so, it appears that the Apostle Paul places the concept of foreknowledge before predestination, which is problematic for unconditional election. Calvinism has traditionally argued that foreknowledge follows predestination. In other words, the inspired author presented the alleged sequence of the order in a backwards manner, not in a consistently Calvinistic fashion.

          Whether or not the term "foreknow" in this passage of Scripture simply means knowing basic facts before hand or God's eternal love is essentially moot. We can all agree that God foreknew believers personally as His children. He is not simply a cosmic hard drive that stores random information. He is all-knowing. He is all-powerful. Consequently, God predetermined a plan of redemption before the creation of the world. This does not amount to Him predetermining the eternal destiny of each individual.

          The type of election being addressed in Romans 8 is not a matter of identity, but rather concerns the character, intention, and plan for those who are justified in the sight of God. Believers experience fellowship with God. Believers are appointed for His glory. This process of reconciliation takes place when we first believe (Romans 5:1-2). It is a decree to save those who come to Christ by faith. These soteriological blessings are categorically applied to all Christians.

          The entire point that the Apostle Paul establishes here is that God works for the good of all who love Him, and that He wields absolute power over everything. Nothing is beyond His grasp. Nothing is beyond His comprehension. Humans having free will does not negate the sovereignty of God. We as believers should have great comfort and assurance because of these scriptural truths. God does interact with creation. He works things to His eternal glory.

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