GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #515
THE GLORIOUS DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Don’t ever be afraid of that blessed word predestinate; and don’t ever be ashamed of it. We are predestinarians because we believe the Bible. Let those be ashamed who do not believe this Book. The doctrine of predestination is a Bible doctrine full of comfort and joy to every believer’s heart. Predestination is God’s infallible purpose of grace regarding his elect, whom he foreknew. That simply means that our eternal destiny was settled by our heavenly Father before the world began according to his great, everlasting love toward us in Christ. Those whom God foreknew in electing love, he predestinated to be conformed to the image of his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. How can anyone who possesses even a slight measure of sanity, find fault with that?
Salvation is conformity to the image of Christ. It is accomplished by a climatic conformity to Christ in the new birth, when chosen, redeemed sinners are give a new, holy nature and made “partakers of the divine nature” by the life-giving, irresistible power and grace of God the Holy Spirit. It is a conscientious conformity in sanctification. Every regenerate person is sanctified in Christ, and grows in grace. He does not become more holy; but he does grow in grace. This growth in grace is God’s work in him. Yet, it is something to which he purposefully consecrates himself. Every child of God longs to be like Christ. And salvation, in its finality, is a consummate conformity to Christ. In the resurrection, every chosen, redeemed, called sinner shall be perfectly conformed to the image of God’s dear Son. That is the object of God toward his elect in predestination.
Yet, God’s chief design in predestination is the glory of his Son. -“That he might be the first born.” The firstborn is the first to be born. Christ is, in that sense, the firstborn both as God and as man. He is God the eternal Son, eternally begotten of the Father. And he is the man of redemption, born in the covenant of grace. The man Christ Jesus is the image of God, after whose likeness our father Adam was made. He who was to come as our Savior is the One to whom the triune God referred when he said, “Let us make man in our image.” The firstborn son is the one in whom the whole family was dedicated to God under the Mosaic law. The firstborn son was the head of the family. The father committed the affairs of his household to him when he was of age. As such, the firstborn son held all the property of the family. In all these senses, Christ is “the firstborn” in the family of God
God has predestined many to be sons in the family of grace. Our Lord Jesus Christ shall “be the firstborn among many brethren!” At any one time in history, or at any given place in the world, God’s elect appear to be just a few. But when they are all gathered in from the four corners of the earth, they shall be a multitude which no man can number!
This is predestination: God determined from eternity to save a great multitude of sinners for the glory of Christ.` AMEN.