Monday, November 17, 2008

Absolute Predestination and Means

"Absolute predestination does not set aside, nor render superfluous the use of preaching, exhortation, etc. We prove from the examples of Christ Himself and His apostles, who all taught and insisted upon the article of predestination, and yet took every opportunity of preaching to sinners and enforced their ministry with proper rebukes and exhortations as occasion required. Though they showed unanswerably that salvation is the free gift of God and lies entirely at His sovereign disposal, that men can of themselves do nothing spiritually good, and that it is God who of His own pleasure works in them both to will and to do, yet they did not neglect to address their auditors as beings possessed of reason and conscience, nor omitted to remind them of their duties as such; but showed them their sin and danger by nature, and laid before them the appointed way and method of salvation as exhibited in the Gospel.

"Our Savior Himself expressly, and in the end, assures us that no man can come to Him except the Father draw him, and yet He says, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor.’ Peter told the Jews that they had fulfilled ‘the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,’ in putting the Messiah to death (Acts 2:21), and yet sharply rebukes them for it. Paul declares, ‘It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,’ and yet exhorts the Corinthians so to run to obtain the prize. He assures us that ‘we know not what to pray for as we ought,’ (Romans 8:26), and yet directs us to ‘pray without ceasing,’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He avers that the foundation or decree of the Lord standeth sure, (2 Timothy 2:19) and yet cautions him who ‘thinks he stands, to take heed lest he fall,’ (1 Corinthians 10:12). James, in like manner says that ‘every good and perfect gift cometh down from above,’ and yet exhorts those who want wisdom to ask of God.

"So, then all these being means whereby the elect are frequently enlightened into the knowledge of Christ, and by which they are, after they have believed through grace, built up in Him, and are means of their perseverance in grace to the end. These are so far from being vain and insignificant that they are highly useful and necessary, and answer many valuable and important ends, without in the least shaking the doctrine of predestination in particular or the analogy of faith in general."
-- Jerome Zanchius- 1516-1590

1 comment:

Stephen Garrett said...


God bless,