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!