Dear Pastor Gallups, " I am thoroughly confused on the topic of predestination and election. Is a person predestined or elected to be saved? " J.D., Milton
Dear J. D.,
The word "predestined" is use only FOUR times in the Bible. It is used two times in Romans 8 and two times in Ephesians 1. The apostle Paul wrote both of these books. He is the ONLY Bible writer to use the word. In both of these cases Paul makes clear that he is talking directly and specifically to Christian JEWS of the early church when he uses the word 'predestined'!
In Romans 2:17, Paul begins by saying "if you call yourself a JEW..." In Romans 7:1, he clearly reiterates that he is still speaking Jewish Christians.
Paul was a Jew. He knew and understood that there was a "remenant" of Israel promised in the days of the Messiah's appearance, which would be believers and be chosen of God to take the gospel to the Gentile world. Paul was "chosen", "elected", "predestined" on the road to Damascus. He was on his way to KILL Christians when God "elected" him!
Again in Ephesians 1, he begins by speaking to the Christian JEWS in the church at Ephesus and then he SWITCHES to the Gentile Christians in Eph. 1:13. Here he describes the Gentiles as coming to Jesus solely through the preached Gospel and by faith. This “shift” in his target audience is undeniable.
The word “elect” is used a bit more widely of believers in general. Especially when Jesus uses the word. But, again, Paul clearly defines who the “elect” are that he and Peter speak of (the only other two New Testament writers to use the word “elect”)…in Romans 11:28 and in Rom. 11:5. Here Paul says they are the JEWISH Christians of HIS DAY!
Consider this also…Since Jesus is God’s “elect” son and the Gospel is God’s “elect” power unto salvation and since faith is God’s “elect” response to receive his Grace …then if you are a born-again Christian, having heard the Gospel and responding by faith, then you are a part of God’s “ELECT”! I hope this clears up the matter for you J.D.
For a thorough study of this subject, log on to-http://www.hickoryhammockbaptist.org/booklets/calvinism.html