| Home | Sermons | Articles | Links | Class |


Michael Pickford

The calvinistic doctrine of predestination basically teaches that before the worlds were ever formed, God chose certain individual people, even by name, who were going to be saved, and certain ones who were going to be lost.

The Bible does teach predestination, but not this calvinistic type. Calvin got his doctrine from a twisting of Ephesians 1:4,5 which says, “Just as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Does this passage mean that God chose each individual personally who would be saved or lost even before the world began? Perhaps this is a difficult passage, and as such, we need to apply some rules of Bible study; namely, we need to apply the fact that whatever understanding we come to on this passage cannot contradict other plain passages of scripture. Calvin’s understanding is faulty because it contradicts other plain passages of scripture. For example, Paul wrote, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3,4). Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise...not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). These passages plainly teach that God wants all men to be saved. Therefore, if God desires all men to be saved, He would not have sat down before the foundation of the world and chose individually who would be saved and who would be lost, as Calvin contends He did. If He did so, He would have put them all in the saved category because He doesn’t want anyone to perish! Everyone would be saved! Therefore, these verses in Eph. 1:4,5 cannot mean what Calvin said they mean.

What do these verses mean? In the context of the book of Ephesians, Paul is discussing those who are in Christ (1:3, 1:10,11), in the body (1:22,23) in the church (2:9). God had planned, or predestined, to save any who would obey the gospel and become part of the church, the body. Christ is the “Savior of the body” (Eph. 5:23). The church was “according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10,11). Predestination, as taught by Paul, teaches that God, before the foundation of the world, decided to save all those who would get into the body, the church. Look at the verse, “Just as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). Do you want to be saved? Then you must get “in Him” through baptism (Gal. 3:26,27). The calvinistic doctrine of predestination is erroneous because it contradicts plain passages of scripture. Understand the true meaning of biblical predestination, as taught by the apostle Paul. Get in Christ!

| Back To Articles |