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Understanding Predestination (1 of 4)
Predestination is one of the great hotbed topics within the Christian faith. Few topics generate as many strong feelings and create divisive attitudes more than teachings on predestination. It is often warned that unless you are in a church well defined in its beliefs on this topic, predestination is a topic that should be avoided if at all possible. However, because of the muddied waters of various beliefs people fail to see how crucial it is to understand predestination in order to understand faith and works. If you do not have a basic understanding on this biblical doctrine you will also misunderstand works and will labor for good works based on human intellect rather than working within God's plan which alone has eternal significance. As we will see later, the Bible's teaching on predestination has a direct influence on how we approach works and whether it is God ordained or man-centered.
Most Christians divide into one of two camps: Arminianism or Calvinism. These two belief systems have a lot in common but differ in a few key points that make them irreconcilable. Arminianism teaches that Christ's redemption is offered to all, but Calvinism teaches that there is a limited atonement that is only offered to those chosen beforehand by God. Calvinism teaches that God's grace is irresistible while Arminianism teaches that God initiates His call but man has the right to choose or reject salvation. There are other differences but they vary depending on the church and what source is being studied.
Through much thought and prayer, I have determined that the focus of this study is not to try to influence the reader to side with Arminianism or Calvinism, but to examine the great question that should be answered in every study of God's word: "So what?" The "So what" question is the necessity to look at doctrine and attempt to reveal what this means to our daily Christian walk of faith. The purpose of doctrine ...
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