Predestination

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We believe that all the posterity of Adam, being thus fallen into perdition and ruin by the sin of our first parents, God then did manifest himself such as he is; that is to say, merciful and just: Merciful , since he delivers and preserves from this perdition all whom he, in his eternal and unchangeable council, of mere goodness hath elected in Christ Jesus our Lord, without respect to their works: Just , in leaving others in the fall and perdition wherein they have involved themselves. (Art. XVI)

Predestination in its broadest conception is the doctrine that because God is all-powerful , all-knowing , and completely sovereign , he "from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass," ( Westminster Confession ). "In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will" (Ephesians 1:11).

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mid-14c., "the action of God in foreordaining certain of mankind through grace to salvation or eternal life," from Old French predestinacion and directly from Church Latin praedestinationem (nominative praedestinatio ) "a determining beforehand," noun of action from past participle stem of praedestinare "set before as a goal; appoint or determine beforehand," from Latin prae- "before" (see pre- ) + destinare "appoint, determine" (see destiny ). First used in theological sense by Augustine; given prominence by Calvin.

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Biblical scholars have interpreted this passage in several ways. Many say this only has to do with service, and is not about salvation. The Catholic biblical commentator Brendan Byrne wrote that the predestination mentioned in this passage should be interpreted as applied to the Christian community corporately rather than individuals. Another Catholic commentator, Joseph Fitzmyer, wrote that this passage teaches that God has predestined the salvation of all humans. Douglas Moo, a Protestant biblical interpreter, reads the passage as teaching that God has predestined a certain set of people to salvation, and predestined the remainder of humanity to reprobation (damnation). Similarly, Wright's interpretation is that in this passage Paul teaches that God will save those whom he has chosen, but Wright also emphasizes that Paul does not intend to suggest that God has eliminated human free will or responsibility. Instead, Wright asserts, Paul is saying that God's will works through that of humans to accomplish salvation.

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