I Peter 1:1-2… Predestination stuff

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
-I Peter 1:1-2

Sounds hard to read doesn’t it? I kinda like how the writers in the New Testament would often start their letters with something poetic or grandiose. If you read it with a deep voice, you’ll sound like a preacher. Really, go ahead and try it. No one is listening and they don’t know how to pronounce Bithynia either….

Anyway, there’s a part in there that starts arguments, can you guess which phrase? Times up. It’s this one: “…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God…” If you have a King James Version or one of the older ones, instead of “have been chosen” it says “the elect”. The elect is a term given to people who belong to God and this isn’t the only time it is used. Speaking of the end of the world Jesus said:

And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. -Matthew 24:31

It means chosen, (which is why the NIV just translated it that way instead of confusing us with “elect” and making us think we missed something at the ballot box…) and I Peter 1:2 says God chose people because of his foreknowledge, implying that God could see into the future, and knew what we’d be like, what we would do and not do ahead of time. You see, according to the New Testament, we were already chosen before we were even born.

…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…
-Ephesians 1:4-5

Interesting how the writers seemed to enjoy bringing this up at the beginning of their letters. Hmmm… anyway…

Doesn’t this mean that, according to the Bible, we don’t really have a choice? Continue reading “I Peter 1:1-2… Predestination stuff”

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Is He the Same God in Both Places?

God seems a whole lot more…for lack of a better word….cruel in the Old Testament. These days people will scoff at the idea of the Bible, and young believers express surprise, at what seems like such a huge a difference. Why was God so bent on punishment in the Old Testament and so bent on forgiving in the New? Continue reading “Is He the Same God in Both Places?”