Summary: If man is predestined by God then does human free will even exist? If there is no free will how can God hold men accountable for their sin?

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Dakota Community Church

September 12, 2010

Chosen Yet Free

Ephesians 1:1-14

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

Why tackle these doctrinal issues?

In essentials – UNITY In non-essentials – LIBERTY In all things – CHARITY

I am not a Calvinist, I do not fully agree with the Reformed theologians but I do believe in predestination and the foreknowledge of God.

I also believe in the free will of man – though if I do this morning’s message justice you may be wondering why – until next week.

Proverbs 18:17

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.

Why not just talk about tips for happy living?

I need to be engaged in my faith, I need it to be more than a passing thought, I need it to be central and that means wrestling with ideas and mind sets that got established without much searching on my part.

I want this for you as well.

I have been reading, studying, and listening to a lot of Reformed and Calvinist teaching in the last little while. I really like most of it.

It is good to be certain of things that we can be certain of:

Salvation by faith through grace

Substitutionary atonement

Division of law and gospel

Authority of scripture

It is not so good to be certain of things which are not certain:

Infant baptism

Role of women in ministry

Eternal security

Limited atonement

The good is really good; the bad is really bad. It makes me sad knowing that many of my Calvinist brothers do not consider me a brother and some would even label me a heretic doomed to eternal damnation because I do not believe that “choosing” is a work.

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