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Predestination.

I. Acc. to the Bible, all that God does in time for our conversion, justification, and final glorification is based on, and flows from, an eternal decree of election or predestination, acc. to which God, before the foundation of the world, chose us in His Son Jesus Christ out of the mass of sinful mankind unto faith, the adoption of sons, and everlasting life; this election is not based on any good quality or act of the elect, nor is it intuitu* fidei, but is based solely on God's grace, the good pleasure of His will in Christ Jesus. The Bible does not teach reprobation, i. e., an election of wrath for those who are lost; God earnestly desires the salvation of all; the lost are lost by their own fault. The Bible does not solve the problem that exists for the human mind that tries to harmonize the doctrine of universal grace and the doctrines of election and salvation by grace alone. The doctrine of election by grace, properly used, will not foster carnal security, but will make the believer conscious of the matchless glory of the grace of God, serve as a constant incentive to sanctification, comfort him in the ills and tribulations of this life, and give him the blessed assurance of final salvation. Since the doctrine of election by grace is clearly taught in the Bible, it is written for all Christians to learn. FK

II. The decree of predestination is an eternal act of God (Eph 1:4; 3:11; 2 Th 2:13; 2 Ti 1:9), who, for His goodness' sake (Ro 9:11; 11:5; 2 Ti 1:9), and because of the merit of the foreordained Redeemer of all mankind (Eph 1:4; 3:11; 2 Ti 1:9), proposed to lead into everlasting life (Acts 13:48; Ro 8:28–29; 2 Ti 1:9; 2:10), by the way and means of salvation designated for all mankind (Ro 8:29–30; Eph 1:4–5; 1 Ptr 1:2), a certain number (Mt 20:16; 22:14; Acts 13:48) of certain persons (Jn 13:18; 2 Ti 2:19; 1 Ptr 1:2), and to procure, work, and promote what would pertain to their final salvation (Mk 13:20, 22; Ro 8:30; Eph 1:11; 3:10–11). Cf. A. L. Graebner, Outlines of Doctrinal Theology par. 51.

III. FC Ep XI 5–7: “Predestination or the eternal election of God … is concerned only with the pious children of God in whom He is well pleased. It is a cause of their salvation, for He alone brings it about and ordains everything that belongs to it. Our salvation is so firmly established upon it that the 'gates of Hades cannot prevail against' it (John 10:28; Matt. 16:18).

“We are not to investigate this predestination in the secret counsel of God, but it is to be looked for in His Word, where He has revealed it.

“The Word of God, however, leads us to Christ, who is 'the book of life' in which all who are to be eternally saved are inscribed and elected, as it is written, 'He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world' (Eph. 1:4).”

FC SD XI 14–23: “This means that we must always take as one unit the entire doctrine of God's purpose, counsel, will, and ordinance concerning our redemption, call, justification, and salvation, as Paul treats and explains this article (Rom. 8:28 ff.; Eph. 1:4 ff.) and as Christ likewise does in the parable (Matt. 20:2–14), namely, that in his purpose and counsel God has ordained the following:

“1. That through Christ the human race has truly been redeemed and reconciled with God and that by His innocent obedience, suffering, and death Christ has earned for us 'the righteousness which avails before God' and eternal life.

“2. That his merit and these benefits of Christ are to be offered, given, and distributed to us through His Word and sacraments.

“3. That He would be effective and active in us by His Holy Spirit through the Word when it is preached, heard, and meditated on, would convert hearts to true repentance, and would enlighten them in the true faith.

“4. That He would justify and graciously accept into the adoption of children and into the inheritance of eternal life all who in sincere repentance and true faith accept Christ.

“5. That He also would sanctify in love all who are thus justified, as St. Paul says (Eph. 1:4).

“6. That He also would protect them in their great weakness against the devil, the world, and the flesh, guide and lead them in His ways, raise them up when they stumble, and comfort and preserve them in tribulation and temptation.

“7. That He would also strengthen and increase in them the good work which He has begun, and preserve them unto the end, if they cling to God's Word, pray diligently, persevere in the grace of God, and use faithfully the gifts that they have received.

“8. That, finally, He would eternally save and glorify in eternal life those whom He has elected, called, and justified.

“In this His eternal counsel, purpose, and ordinance God has not only prepared salvation in general, but He has also graciously considered and elected to salvation each and every individual among the elect who are to be saved through Christ, and also ordained that in the manner just recounted He wills by His grace, gifts, and effective working to bring them to salvation and to help, further, strengthen, and preserve them to this end.”

See also Analogy of Faith; Double Predestination; Infralapsarianism; Supralapsarianism; Thirteen Theses.

A. Hunnius, Articulus de providentia Dei et aeterna praedestinatione seu electione filiorum Dei ad salutem (Frankfurt, 1603); W. Elert, “Versöhnung und Prädestination bei Luther in Disjunktion” and “ Versöhnung und Prädestination in den Bekenntnissen in Konjunktion,” Morphologie des Luthertums, I (Munich, 1931; improved print., 1952), 103–123, tr. W. A Hansen, “Reconciliation and Predestination in Luther in Disjunction” and “Reconciliation and Predestination in the Confessions in Conjunction,” The Structure of Lutheranism, I (St. Louis, 1962), 117–140; Verhandlungen der Allgemeinen Pastoralconferenz der Synode von Missouri, Ohio u. a. Staaten über die Lehre von der Gnadenwahl (St. Louis, 1880); Einundzwanzigster Synodal-Bericht des Westlichen Districts der deutschen ev.-luth. Synode von Missouri, Ohio und anderen Staaten (St. Louis, 1877), pp. 21–109 (C. F. W. Walther essayist); Zweiundzwanzigster Synodal-Bericht des Westlichen Districts der deutschen ev.-luth. Synode von Missouri, Ohio und anderen Staaten (St. Louis, 1879), pp. 22–120 (C. F. Walther essayist); Zeugniss wieder die neue, falsche Gnadenwahlslehre der Missouri Synode auf Grund der hl. Schrift und des lutherischen Bekenntnisses abgelegt von einigen ehemaligen Gliedern genannter Synode (Milwaukee, 1882); G. J. Fritschel, Die Schriftlehre von der Gnadenwahl (Chicago, 1906) and Zur Einigung der amerikanisch-lutherischen Kirche in der Lehre von der Bekehrung und Gnudenwahl, 2d ed. (Chicago, 1914); C. W. Schaeffer, W. J. Mann, A. Spaeth, and H. E. Jacobs, “Concerning the Dogma of Predestination,” The Lutheran Church Review, III (1884), 223–236; C. F. W. Walther, The Controversy Concerning Predestination, tr. A. Crull (St. Louis, 1881); F. Pieper, Zur Einigung der amerikanisch-lutherischen Kirche in der Lehre von der Bekehrung und Gnadenwahl, 2d ed., enl. (St. Louis, 1913), tr. Conversion and Election: A Plea for a United Lutheranism in America (St. Louis, 1913); L. S. Keyser, Election and Conversion: A Frank Discussion of Dr. Pieper's Book on “Conversion and Election,” with Suggestions for Lutheran Concord and Union on Another Basis (Burlington, Iowa, 1914); A. L. Graebner, “The Doctrine of Predestination as Taught in Ephesians 1, 3–6,” TQ, V (1901), 25–46; T. Engelder, “Let Us Get Together on the Doctrines of Conversion and Election,” CTM, VI (1935), 539–543; T. Graebner, “Predestination and Human Responsibility,” CTM, V (1934), 164–171; J. T. Mueller, “Die Gnadenwahl nach Ewigkeit und Zeit,” CTM, V (1934), 748–757; F. Kramer, “The Doctrine of Election, or Predestination,” The Abiding Word, I, ed. T. Laetsch (St. Louis, 1946), 522–543; 3 arts., each headed “Predestination,” 1 each by A. L. Graebner, S. Fritschel, and H. E. Jacobs in The Lutheran Cyclopedia. ed. H. E. Jacobs and J. A. W. Haas (New York, 1899), pp. 388–393; L. Poellot, “The Doctrine of Predestination in Romans 8:28–39,” CTM, XXIII (1952), 342–353.


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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