For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30
Today’s verses have caused some of the most vehement disagreement with the body of Christ. When we read the Bible we see that man has freewill, Adam freely chose to disobey God and cause sin to enter the world. Even the angels have freewill, Satan freely chose to rebel against God. Throughout the Bible we see how men and women have chosen to either obey or disobey God.
But, we also read in the Bible that God has predestined us to follow Christ. God chose each of us from before time began. He already knew who would follow Him and who would not. It would seem that we have no choice in the matter. God called the chosen and those that He did not call will be forever separated from Him. Two different teachings in the Bible and they seem to contradict each other. What are we to believe?
The answer is we are to believe both. God’s word cannot contradict itself. God is not a god of contradictions. What seems to our finite minds to be a contradiction is not. Just because we cannot fully understand does not make something false. If we choose one teaching over the other we are left with some very troubling consequences. If we go the Predestination route only we are left to consider that God will force some people to accept Him and reject some people that want to follow Him. Also is everything is predetermined than we have to answer the question “Is God the cause of evil?”
If we go entirely to the freewill side than we can ultimately come to the conclusion that God is waiting on each of us to choose. God becomes hostage to our decision and He no longer knows what will take place but is stymied by our decision. Both sides of the question can cause problems with what the Bible says God is. So what do we believe, both, we have freewill and God has predestined us. The problem is not which is true but our inability to wrap our mind around the issue. A finite mind cannot grasp the infinite mind of God. For those who would like to explore how both freewill and predestination work together I recommend Norman Geisler’s book “Chosen but Free”.
When we read verses like today’s we need to remind ourselves that God is not a god of contradictions. We cause the contradiction when we choose which part of God’s word we are going to believe rather than believe all of His word.
Chosen or free, we are both chosen and free.
Have a blessed day,