Predestination or Free Will?

Sermon Passages: Ephesians 2:1–10; 1:3–5, 11; John 8:34; Romans 9:1–23.

Sermon Notes

Freedom Defined: The ability to act according to your nature without coercion.

What is our nature?

  • Death (Eph 2:1–2)
  • Slavery to Sin (John 8:34)
  • Children of Wrath (Eph 2:3)

What is the only thing we naturally want to choose?

  • Disobedience (Eph 2:2)
  • Trespasses (aka. sins; Eph 2:5)

"But I remember choosing God!" you might say.
That's because you did, but only after he changed you, as Eph 2:5 says:

Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.

You were dead.
Dead people don't choose life.
God resurrects people by grace (grace = undeserved favor).

Why did God choose us?
For his will (Eph 1:3–5; 2:8–10). His will is to display how salvation is more awesome when it is free (grace) than when it is earned (by working for it or choosing it because you're smarter than the next person).

Predestination Is Not: God being stingy, selecting only a few of many people knocking on his door.
Predestination Is: God loving and rescuing his enemies even while they reject him (see Ro 5:8).

 Wrong Response to Predestination:

  • How do I know if I'm elect?
    (Hint: if you repent, you're elect. Get in contact with a church leader)
  • I need to tell everyone else they're wrong.
  • What's the point of evangelism? (Hint: You have 100% success rate)

Right Response to Predestination:

  • Submit to the Bible's teaching
  • Praise God for his grace and do not boast in your good works or choosing God (Eph 2:5–9).