When we love something we generally want to share it. Ate at a great restaurant? Tell someone! Saw a great movie? Spread the word! Enjoyed a new song? Play it for someone! When we come to faith in Jesus we have a great desire to pass that faith on…not just to our friends and loved ones, but to everyone. The same thing happens when we come to embrace the doctrines of grace, especially as those doctrines focus on the sovereignty of God in salvation. Sadly, many initially reject these great truths. The following devotional by Octavius Winslow may be a help in spreading the word to others. Pass it on.
He also did predestinate. – Romans 8:29
THIS word admits of but one natural signification. Predestination, in its lowest sense, is understood to mean the exclusive agency of God in producing every event. But it includes more than this: it takes in God’s predeterminate appointment and fore-arrangement of a thing beforehand, according to His divine and supreme will. The Greek is so rendered: “For to do whatever Your hand and Your counsel determined beforehand to be done.” Again, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” It is here affirmed of God, that the same prearrangement and predetermination which men in general are agreed to ascribe to Him in the government of matter, extends equally, and with yet stronger force, to the concerns of His moral administration. It would seem impossible to form any correct idea of God, disassociated from the idea of predestination. And yet how marvelously difficult is it to win the mind to a full, unwavering acquiescence in a truth which, in a different application, is received with unquestioning readiness! And what is there in the application of this law of the Divine government to the world of matter, which is not equally reasonable and fit in its application to the world of mind? If it is necessary and proper in the material, why should it not be equally, or more so, in the spiritual empire? If God is allowed the full exercise of a sovereignty in the one, why should He be excluded from an
unlimited sovereignty in the other? Surely it were even more worthy of Him that He should prearrange, predetermine, and supremely rule in the concerns of a
world over which His more dignified and glorious empire extends, than that in the inferior world of matter He should fix a constellation in the heavens, guide the gyrations of a bird in the air, direct the falling of an autumnal leaf in the pathless desert, or convey the seed, borne upon the wind, to the spot in which it should grow. Surely if no fortuitous ordering is admitted in the one case, on infinitely stronger grounds it should be excluded from the other. Upon no other basis could Divine foreknowledge and providence take their stand than upon this. Disconnected from the will and purpose of God, there could be nothing certain as to the future; and consequently there could be nothing certainly foreknown. And were not Providence to regulate and control people, things, and events-every dispensation in fact-by the same preconstructed plan, it would follow that God would be exposed to a thousand contingencies unforeseen, or else that He acts ignorantly, or contrary to His will. What, then, is predestination but God’s determining will?
Now all this will apply with augmented beauty and force to the idea of a predestinated Church. How clearly is this doctrine revealed! “According as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” “Whose names are written in the book of life, from the foundation of the world.” “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” “Who has 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.” What an accumulation of evidence in proof of a single doctrine of Scripture! Who but the most prejudiced can resist, or the most skeptical deny, its overwhelming force? Oh, to receive it as the word of God! To admit it, not because reason can understand, or man can explain it-for all truth
flowing from an infinite source must necessarily transcend a finite mind-but because we find it in God’s holy word. Predestination must be a Divine verity,
since it stands essentially connected with our conformity to the Divine image.