Category: Columns

You are predestined

This is the fourth in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics.

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The Bible refers to some people as “predestined.” What does that mean? How does predestination fit into God’s work of redemption? And if the Bible presents a fatalistic view of predestination, is there any room for human freedom?

As we search the Scriptures for answers, it’s good to remember that, for followers of Jesus, it is biblically faithful to say, “I am predestined.”

Predestination is God’s plan from eternity past to complete the work of redemption in every saint, fully conforming us to the image of His Son.

The Greek word proorizo and its variations, found six times in the New Testament, carry the meaning of “predestine,” “limit or mark out beforehand,” “design definitely beforehand,” or “ordain ahead of time.” Proorizo comes from two Greek words: pro, which means “before” or “ahead of,” and horizo, which means “to appoint, decide, or determine.”
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You are elected

This is the third in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics.

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Every Christian should readily acknowledge that the Bible teaches divine election. Disagreements arise with respect to how this doctrine is biblically defined, and how it’s applied.

In any case, if you are a follower of Jesus, it is biblically faithful to say, “I am elected.”

The word “election” in Scripture is derived from the Greek eklegomai, which means “to choose something for oneself.” The Bible also uses words such as “choose,” “predestine,” “foreordain,” and “call” to indicate that God has entered into a special relationship with certain individuals and groups through whom He has decided to fulfill His purposes.
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You are foreknown

This is the second in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics.

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God knows everything, which means nothing surprises Him. Satan’s brash rebellion didn’t catch the Creator off guard. Neither did Adam’s fall send the Lord into divine panic, forcing Him to sacrifice His Son in a desperate “Plan B.”

Every event in time and eternity plays out exactly as God knows it will. His foreknowledge is more than perfect, however; it’s personal.

If you are a follower of Jesus, it is biblically faithful to declare, “I am foreknown.”
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What does it mean to be saved?

The Missouri Baptist Convention has released What Every Christian Should Know about Salvation: Twelve Bible Terms That Describe God’s Work of Redemption. This book is available in print form from the MBC, as well as in print and Kindle versions at Amazon. This excerpt is from the Introduction.

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Introduction

This resource is designed for personal or group study. It explores twelve Bible terms that describe God’s work of salvation as He rescues us from sin, returns us to a right relationship with Him, and ultimately restores us — and the fallen world in which we live — to perfection.

People use the words salvation and saved in a variety of settings, from sporting events to political campaigns to natural disasters. Even within Christian circles, there is disagreement as to what it means to be saved and how salvation is acquired. So, it’s critical for us to begin with a definition.

Stated simply, salvation is God’s remedy for the sin that has ruined everything and alienated everyone from Him. The Lord reveals this remedy as soon as Adam and Eve rebel against Him. He promises a future Redeemer who crushes the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15). Then, He provides additional promises throughout the Old Testament, granting us more than four hundred prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowings of the Messiah, a King who comes as a virgin-born child in Bethlehem.

This child, Jesus of Nazareth, bursts onto the scene at just the right time (Gal. 4:4). He lives a sinless life and dies on a Roman cross, taking upon Himself our sins and paying the penalty of death for them (2 Cor. 5:21). Then, He rises physically from the dead on the third day, conquering Satan, sin, and death, and freely offering forgiveness of sins and everlasting life by grace through faith in Him. Before ascending into heaven, He promises to return one day to fulfill all things — that is, to complete His work of salvation and to set everything right (Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; John 14:1-3).
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Who is the I AM?

This is the last in a series of columns addressing Jehovah’s Witnesses and their understanding of Jesus.

Previously, we looked at passages in the Watch Tower’s official New World Translation 2013 (NWT) that seem to affirm Christ’s deity, even though the Watch Tower blots out Jesus’ divine identity in other verses.

Specifically, we looked at both Jehovah and Jesus as Lord, as the Creator of all things, and as the first and the last. Now, let’s consider Jehovah and Jesus as the “I AM.”

In the second column in this series, we visited John 8:58. Let’s return briefly to this verse, which the NWT translates, “Jesus said to them: ‘Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been’” (emphasis added). Curiously, the Watch Tower translators have rendered the Greek phrase ego eimi as “I have been.”

Other English translations render these words, “I AM,” connecting them with the divine name in the Old Testament, where Yahweh self-identifies as “I AM” (Ex. 3:14). However, if the correct translation of ego eimiis “I have been,” one would expect the NWT to render this phrase consistently. But it does not.
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