First the Question: There is only ONE case of apostolic succession in The Bible. True or False?
Take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day
Romans 8:28-32 Predestination and Free Will in this Age of Grace
Quite frequently we hear a Child of God quote Romans 8:28, especially when some sorrow or disappointment has been experienced. But it is interesting to note the “FOR” that connects this verse with the three verses that follow. Note Romans 8:28 and the three verses that follow, Romans 8:29-32:
“AND WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, TO THEM WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. FOR WHOM HE DID FOREKNOW, HE ALSO DID PREDESTINATE, TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN. MOREOVER WHOM HE DID PREDESTINATE, THEM HE ALSO CALLED: AND WHOM HE CALLED, THEM HE ALSO JUSTIFIED: AND WHOM HE JUSTIFIED, THEM HE ALSO GLORIFIED. WHAT SHALL WE THEN SAY TO THESE THINGS? IF GOD BE FOR US WHO CAN BE AGAINST US” ROMANS 8:28-32.
Here we note that God had, and has, a purpose. Note the words of Acts 15:18: “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Surely if God is omniscient, He knows all things. God not only knew the end from the beginning, but God had a secret purpose from before the foundation of the world.
Note Ephesians 3:9, Ephesians 3:11, and Ephesians 1:12. “And to make all men see what is the dispensation (fellowship) of the Mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God. According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.”
Then note 2 Timothy 1:9 and Ephesians 1:4-5. “God Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
So, God’s Word tells us very definitely that God purposed in Christ BEFORE the world began that which He has revealed in the Epistle to the Ephesians. Look at Ephesians 1:9: “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself.”
God has made known the secret of His will. Then all Children of God should diligently search the Scriptures and learn that revealed Divine secret. The sons of men in other ages and generations did not have this wonderful privilege; for God did not choose to disclose His eternal purpose to them, “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints.” Colossians 1:25-26.
Now go to Ephesians 3:5 and Ephesians 3:8, “Which in other ages was NOT made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; UNTO ME, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ"
God wants all members of The Body of Christ to see this glorious truth NOW and to know the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:17-18.
Again in Ephesians 1:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. An inheritance, being predestinated according to God’s purpose."
We should know, and be well studied in, God’s revealed secret, the Mystery of His will, His eternal predestinated purpose. And if we honestly endeavor to walk worthy of our calling, as members of the Body of Christ, and constantly endeavor to make others see the Dispensation of the Mystery, we can know and say positively, that all things work together for good for such Children of God who love God and are the called according to God’s purpose. For....for what? “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29.
Now, look at the questions in Romans 8:31: “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” What blessed truth to know. BUT, what appalling ignorance among Children of God concerning God’s purpose and grace given us in Christ before the world began. Most of the Children of God in this age and generation, are as ignorant of this glorious Divine Truth as were the sons of men in other ages and generations to whom it was never revealed.
Perhaps you have observed that Children of God who are opposed to the Doctrine of Eternal Security actually HATE the Doctrine of Predestination, for the two truths are inseparably connected. No Child of God should hate the Word of God. And every Child of God who really knows and believes the truth concerning God’s predestinated purpose believes in the eternal security of the believer.
“All things work together for good.” Note it, “for good.” To whom? To those who are the CALLED according to God’s purpose. And note the good things that God has on deposit for those who are called according to His purpose, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ: According as He hath CHOSEN us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:3-4
We can never appreciate either of these facts until we know both of them, namely, that those who are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ, were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Ephesians 1:5.
When we learn these facts then we will begin to comprehend “with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:18-19.
How many Children of God are filled with all the fullness of God? How many Children of God know what is meant by the fullness of Christ in Ephesians 1:23: “Which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all?”
Note the climax of the wonderful Mystery of God’s will. The magnificent purpose and grace given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. Note Ephesians 4:12-13: “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a Perfect Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
We shall come to the fullness of Christ in the unity of faith. There is ONE Faith. Ephesians 4:5. God will permit no Child of God to see this glorious profound truth until that Child of God will receive the truth from the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, that there is but ONE Body, even as there is but one Head of the Body, that there is ONE baptism (NOT water), for this age, even as there is but one Spirit for this age. Children of God have been blinded by sectarianism and traditions of men and have made very little earnest effort to keep the unity of the Spirit on the basis of the seven-fold unity of Ephesians 4:3-7. Therefore, they could not obey Ephesians 3:9 even if they wanted to!
The present Divine program concerning the Body of Christ the hope and calling of its members was not prophesied by the men of old. Therefore the Apostle Paul speaks of this distinctive ministry as “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8. “Unsearchable” means “untraceable” and has the meaning of “un-prophesied,” NOT made known to other ages and generations.
So the Body of Christ, and the heavenly position and possession of members of this Body, were NOT prophesied; but they were PREDESTINATED, “According as He hath CHOSEN us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having PREDESTINATED us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Ephesians 1:4-5.
“Moreover whom He did PREDESTINATE, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Romans 8:30.
So, we see that all the way from foreknowledge to glorification, Salvation is of God, and is by His grace from beginning to end, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Timothy 1:9
There is also the human responsibility!
Note Romans 10:13-14, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” “How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
And 1 Corinthians 3:8, “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.”
WHO GAVE HIMSELF FOR US, THAT HE MIGHT REDEEM US FROM ALL INIQUITY, AND PURIFY UNTO HIMSELF A PECULIAR PEOPLE, ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS.” Titus 2:11 and Titus 2:14.
How often have we heard, “How are we to reconcile the ‘predestination’ message, with the ‘whosoever’ message?” Look, they are both the TRUTH of GOD! They are both Bible doctrines. JUST preach them, and teach them, and let the Holy Spirit do the reconciling!
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)