Issues surrounding predestination

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Supersillymanable, Jul 11, 2012.

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  1. Supersillymanable

    Supersillymanable Puritan Board Freshman

    I was discussing with my Dad the other day, issues surrounding predestination and the perseverance of the saints. Due to circumstances, my parents are in a situation where they must attend an Arminian/Semi-Pelagian church (I'm not entirely sure which it is). We both agreed that agreeing with the perseverance of the saints was a very important issue, but my Dad didn't seem to agree with me that the issue of election and reprobation is as important, which I somewhat disagreed with.

    My question essentially is, how does the doctrine of election and reprobation affect our lives in our daily walk. Evangelism seems to be an obvious one. Also, I find that an Arminian view of salvation will lead to guilt and burn out (as, if it isn't entirely down to God to save, then how could we rest, knowing it was within our power to bring people to Christ? Their eternal destination is in our hands, kind of thinking).

    If I'm wrong on these points, could I have some correction? If not, what other ways does election and reprobation help us in our daily life, as well as how does NOT holding to these doctrines affect our daily lives?

    P.s My Dad is Soteriologically reformed, though I'm not sure how important he sees them to be. I think God is currently challenging his attitude towards other brothers in Christ, who do not hold to doctrines he values highly.
  2. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Junior

    One way that the doctrine of election becomes practical is knowing that we were taken from the same sinful lump of the flesh of Adam as those who will burn eternally, and it's only God, by free grace, who saves us (Rom 9).

    The semi-arminian has earned his salvation by asking for it, therefore he can boast. The for the Biblical predestinitarian, boasting is excluded.
  3. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    Consider the argument of 2 Peter 1, climaxing especially in v. 10. Day to day living is intricately tide to election, and therefore understanding election must be intimately tied to day to day living.
  4. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    From the LBC:

    The doctrine of election leads to greater assurance, worship, humility, diligence and consolation. In general, the doctrine of election, if handled with prudence and care, is necessary for an understanding of how big God really is. Throw out election and you are left with an impotent God. How does the study of an impotent God help us in our daily walk?
  5. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    I just finished "The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination," by Professor Loraine Boettner, Gave me a more complete understanding of the Sovereignty of God, election, reprobation and perseverance of the saints. I highly recommend the book if you can get hold of a copy.
  6. Supersillymanable

    Supersillymanable Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks guys. Would any of you, or others on the PB be able to give any examples of ways it has helped them to worship more, or be more diligent in their faith, or helped them through rough times in life/struggles with sin/struggles with their identity in God etc? I guess what I'm looking for is practical ways these doctrines help us in daily life. The theology of them, I am very clear on, the practicalities and how this works out in our lives, I don't think I have as good an understanding.

    I'll see if I can get a copy, thanks :).
  7. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    Election reminds me that God is God. It reminds me that it is He and not I who has authority over all things, including salvation.
  8. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    33*Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? sIt is God who justifies. 34*tWho is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—uwho is at the right hand of God, vwho indeed is interceding for us.10 35*Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36*As it is written,
    w“For your sake xwe are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
    37*No, in all these things we are more than yconquerors through zhim who loved us. 38*For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39*nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8)

    (sorry for the extra letters, copying and pasting is harder on an iPad)

    I think this text says it all. Knowing that God has us in His hands; That He has chosen us as a "people for His own possession" creates in my mind and heart an external (and internal) comfort. We should be living our lives with full confidence that no matter what happens, God is for us and loves us. We must bath our lives in this. We are a special people. Separated for God's own pleasure and will (Eph 1).

    Trying to be more specific, I can give you a practical example. I'm in the infantry. I haven't been to Iraq or afghan, but I wouldn't be anxious or stressed out or worried if I did. If it came down to a firefight, I know that God is in complete control of my life because I am His child. For he works all things together for good to those who love Him; to those are called according to His purpose (Rom 8). This would apply to daily living in the civillian world as well. Most importantly, I believe your view on election and the sovereignty of God in general affects your worship.

    Hope this helps.
  9. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Regarding worship, these lines from a hymn come to mind: "Why was I made to hear thy voice, and enter while there's room, when thousands make a wretched choice, and rather starve than come? Twas the same love that spread the feast; That sweetly drew us in; Else we had still refused to taste, and perished in our sin." And in another line of thought, in Rev. 5 you see that Jesus was the only one who could unseal the scroll; and the reaction? The elders fell down and worshiped.

    As far as practical day-to-day living. Think about it: if you believe that any must choose, and God is unable save in his sovereignty, that means there are elements in the universe that are outside His control. I wouldn't want to live in a universe where even one electron is outside the control of my almighty, loving Father. Such a thought strikes at every aspect of His character.
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Puritan Board Freshman

    Paul's introduction to Ephesians, the great eulogy, emphasizes the fact that election is the very fountain from which "every spiritual blessing" flows. Paul erupts in praise to God when considering such a truth! There is great comfort in election, knowing that God, before the foundation of the world, chose me and set his love on me in Christ. There is great motivation that God elected me to be holy and blameless before Him in love. The daily realization that apart from election, I would utterly lost and forever abiding under the wrath of God is fresh and sweet encouragement to my soul.
  11. Supersillymanable

    Supersillymanable Puritan Board Freshman

    These are really helpful! Keep 'em coming if anyone has any more.
  12. newcreature

    newcreature Puritan Board Freshman

    Practical example:
    My husband plucked me out of an Arminian mega-church. He introduced me to Reformed theology, by the Grace of God. I fought at first, but once I understood the doctrine of election, my life became so much better. In worship, instead of praising man and worrying about satisfying an audience (in the choir), I now seek to worship God in all of his glory. In day-to-day living, I now know that I can't deliver myself from sins. Instead, my trust is in my saviour Jesus who died on the cross. He carried my sins to the grave, and it is him through faith alone that will deliver me. Because of this, I no longer live in guilt and shame, but I walk in freedom, giving praise to the God of heaven.
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