Thursday, January 29, 2009


Well, of course you're not really DUMMIES...but we'll go with "catchy" when we can get it, eh? The new DOCTRINE FOR DUMMIES page will become a separate blog page for BIBLE-SMART and one that we hope will help you in your study. It will provide quick paragraph post-links for commonly used phrases from the Bible and those used by preachers everywhere. Many times these phrases are confusing to people, so we hope this will help you with quick, easy to understand definitions as the words are used in Scripture.

Some words we'll start off with include: Justified, Sanctified, Escatology, Redemption, Born Again, Election, Predestination, etc....

Well, you get the point. These often pass through one "Auricular Canal" and out the other when we hear them in a sermon or see them in the bible, but they are vital to a clear understanding of God's word!

Monday, January 26, 2009



Well, yes, actually I did. Does that make me a Hyper-Calvinist? Not at all. Folks as I've said before, God's Word is God's Word and if something is mentioned or taught in the Bible then we have no need to fear...only to understand what is actually being taught.

Such is the case with this word "PREDESTINATION." Until I had begun studying my bible in earnest as a young Christian, I never heard the word mentioned and certainly never heard any teaching on the subject. In fact, when I asked about the word and its meaning, I was instantly labeled a Calvinist and summarily dismissed under rebuke. My teachers made no attempt to answer my simple query about this teaching...and in hindsight that seems to be because they had no clue what to tell me.

So, we shy away from nothing here at BIBLE-SMART but rather plow ahead. I have good news to all Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ! This teaching actually has nothing to do with "Justification" (cleansing of sin & guilt) and everything to do with you!


  1. That due to God's sovereignty over his creation, that he must foreordain every action, event and thought within his creation. But this is not taught in scripture and is actually not necessary to the clear definition of "sovereignty" at all. Sovereignty simply means that God is completely beholden to none. He is Lord of His creation and none can say unto him "what doest thou?" or withold his hand. Yet our Sovereign God chose to make his creatures with free will and hold them responsible for their choices.

  2. That God randomly chose individual sinners from among human history and forcibly applied the blood of Christ to them and saves them apart from any choice they themselves might effect, overriding the free will of certain individuals in order to forcibly redeem them.

  3. In the same manner of forcibly saving some, that God denies that opportunity of redemption through Jesus Christ by not saving effect choosing to leave them to an eternity of Hell fire.


  1. The Bible clearly teaches that man is a sinner and condemned...however, God has chosen to offer his Son as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind and accept those who believe on Him for Salvation.

  2. Sinful man is pursued by God, shown his sin and guilt by the light of God's word, offered the free gift of salvation, and given the opportunity and responsibility to respond to God's gracious offer.

  3. Man is held responsible for his willingness to receive or reject God's one way of Salvation through faith in His son, Jesus Christ.

WELL, THEN WHERE DOES PREDESTINATION FIT INTO THE PICTURE? Predestination, as I've already stated previously, has nothing to do with a sinner believing on Jesus and having their sins cleansed (justification). Neither does it have anything to do with God foreordaining some to Heaven and some to Hell.

Predestination, predestinated or predestinate, only occurs four times in scripture. (Ephesians 1: 5, 11 & Romans 8: 29, 30)

  1. Ephesians 1: 5 tells us that Believers, for that is who Paul is addressing vs.1, are not only "Justified" (cleansed of guilt and sin) through faith in Jesus, but now being within God's accepted group, He adopts us as children into His family! This is not Salvation, but an added extra to Salvation...something we have because we are "In Christ." God predetermined (predestinated) this extra gift to every believer! WOW!

  2. Ephesians 1: 11 tells us that not only are we adopted as children, but God also predestinated every believer in Jesus Christ to receive an the bible says, "we shall inherit all things!"

  3. Romans 8: 29 also tells us that every believer in Jesus Christ has been predestined to be "conformed to the image of His son." The word for this is "Sanctification," and means God will work in the believer's life to make them more like Jesus...transforming our daily lives into something that will glorify God in this world and lead others to saving faith in Jesus. Once again, this is not "Justification," or having our sins is something extra to the Believer in Jesus ONLY! No unbeliever is ever Sanctified, Adopted or given an Inheritance!

  4. Romans 8: 30 simply tells us that those predestinated already referred to vs.29, are also called, justified and glorified. Only Believers are predestinated to receive these extra gifts from the Father.

Concluding: we find NOT a doctrine of hopeless abandonment for part of humanity, but hope for all who are willing to respond to our Creator's gracious offer of Salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For those who do, you not only have your sins cleansed away, but adoption into the family, an inheritance in glory and a life in this world set apart unto God as he molds and shapes us into the image of his dear son.

Friday, January 23, 2009


We'll be introducing a new feature today: taking a look at the awesome creative work of God with Professor Darwin. Yes, we know he's a monkey...

"Taking a general view of our solar system, I am amazed to find so much order. It really is a system! Consider all of the complex mechanisms in place: Gravity, Planetary Orbits & Rotations, Lunar Orbits & Rotations as well as the distant orbits of comets and the seemingly random meanderings of an untold number of massive objects we never see (some which are the size of small states!)

"Amazingly, like one of those science fair model kits, its all put together and functioning in such a way that the pieces never collide and go BOOOOM!

  1. First, let's consider the Gravity of the situation. Gravity is an attractive force which is responsible for matter remaining bound together into objects like our Sun as well as the planets and moons, etc. It is also responsible for holding the planets in their orbits around the sun and the orbits of moons around planets. A change in the nature of Gravity would literally disperse all matter or crush it together unmercifully. Yet we find that Gravity is under such precise control that everything moves cleanly, efficiently and best of all safely for you and I here on the Earth. Some would argue that Gravity is a natural law...yes, but who established the Law?

  2. Or consider the sizes of objects in our solar system. Since this solar system and Earth in particular supports life, everything must operate precisely to maintain the exact balance of conditions which support that life. For instance, were the Sun larger or simply hotter than it is, life on Earth would fry! Or were the Sun smaller or simply cooler than it is, we'd all be a bunch of popsicles! Now, what if other planets were smaller or larger in our solar system? This would change their gravity and thus effect orbital paths around the sun and the relation of planets to one another. We might find that the slightest change could lead us on a collision course with one of our planetary neighbors. Or gravity being changed among planetary bodies could alter the course of other objects which pass through our solar system like comets. We've seen in recent years, a comet strike the planet Jupiter. The resulting explosions did nothing to the gas giant, but for Earth it would have devastated the planet...amazing that it doesn't ever happen isn't it?!

  3. Next consider the simple axis and angle at which Planet Earth rotates--approximately 23 degrees of tilt. This angle is responsible for our weather patterns and the seasonal changes. If this were not precisely in tune the way we find it, then life would cease to exist on this planet. Could we have life without the seasonal cycle of growth, maturation then death and decomposition? Without the basic foundation of our global food chain, vegetation, every creature would die. Or how long would we last in forever winter or forever summer, etc?

"In closing today's segment, we creatures find a finely tuned balance in creation essential for life to exist on this planet. That infinitely accurate balance extends far beyond little ole planet Earth to everything around us in our solar system and beyond. Zillions and Zillions of objects, movements, and complex processes have to work in complete harmony to sustain our fragile makes me wonder how mere chance and circumstance could ever accomplish the slightest fraction of it."

Thursday, January 22, 2009


For our first installment we will be looking at Ephesians 1: 1-4. I will allow you to read it yourself and simply refer to it by verse as we take a look at this very important yet misunderstood doctrine (teaching) of the bible. In particular we will refer to verse 4.

This doctrine is much debated and very misunderstood. I want to say at the outset that every teaching in God's Word sits side by side with every other in HARMONY. The discord comes from our lack of understanding, NOT a problem with God's Word.

People are made to feel as though they must choose sides regarding the doctrine of Election. Some theologians teach that God made a choice and man has no choice. Others take an opposing view and believe that man has a choice and God doesn't want a choice. These positions are generally taught under the headings: Calvinism and Arminianism respectively. Both of these positions will have problems with the bible in different places. Calvinists, for example, have problems with certain words like: "ALL," and "World" when passages refer to God's desire to save ALL people or God's love for this WORLD of sinners such as John 3:16.

These opposing views generally stem from a lack of understanding how these biblical truths can sit side by side. The Bible clearly teaches that God has chosen (elected) and likewise that man has a choice to make in response to what God has done through Jesus Christ. Man is not a robot. God made man with the capacity of choice (free will) and he interacts with man and holds man responsible based on that capacity for choice.

When God seeks man and confronts man with his lost condition and the means of salvation, man is expected to respond with a choice. Man, by nature, does not seek after God, but God does seek after man. Man is not overriding God's will by responding to God's seeking, rather he is fulfilling it. Responding to God's seeking is not a "work of righteousness" and it does not fulfill The Law of God (as though we were saved by works)...let's remember these things as we look at ELECTION.

The bible clearly teaches that God elected (Chose) two groups of people for different purposes in his overall plan. First, God chose an Earthly nation of people, known as Israel. This nation would be used by God to glorify His name in the Earth, to pen the scriptures and make them available to the world and to bring the promises of salvation and the Messiah into the world. It must be mentioned that God chose them as a group--one that you were either born into or, as in the O.T. provisions, you joined the nation and were accepted. This election of the nation and individuals among that lineage were for these purposes as seen in the misunderstood Romans chapter 9. God electing this nation DID NOT CHANGE THEIR NATURE or cause them to be BORN AGAIN! In fact it can be seen that Israel were continually rebellious toward God...why? Because electing them did not change their nature. Salvation has always been a matter of Faith in God.
The second group that God elected (chose) is Believers in Jesus Christ. Now, to begin with, the bible NEVER states that God ever randomly picked individuals from among human history and overrode their will, forcing them to be born again into the family of God. However, as we find in Ephesians 1:4, God did choose. Whom did he choose? Paul says he chose "us." Now, go back to Eph 1:1 and notice Paul's greeting. He is writing this epistle (letter) to the "saints." Saints are those who believe in Christ for salvation. So, Paul is stating that God chose "believers in Christ" and when he chose "believers in Christ" -- before the foundation of the world.
So, now we find that God chose a group. This group is "In Him," (In Christ) according to Eph 1:4. This is absolutely the truth: every saved person is "In Christ," and all lost people are "Not In Christ."
So, we have two groups in human history: IN CHRIST and NOT IN CHRIST. God's bible declares emphatically that the IN CHRIST group has been elected (chosen) by God to be "accepted" by Him, cleansed of sins (justified), made a new creature, placed into his family and be his people for all eternity to come.

God has not elected (chosen) the NOT IN CHRIST group. These remain as they are--in their own sins and subject to the judgment of God for breaking his Holy Law. This is where God's choice plays into the doctrine of Election...
How does man's choice come into this doctrine? It would be a monumental task to ignore the many, many scriptures where God holds man responsible for a choice in the matter of obeying the gospel and being born again by faith in Jesus Christ. Subsequently, this is exactly how a sinner becomes a part of the ELECT group. God seeks sinners and by the use of the law, he shows sinners that they are guilty and in danger of judgment. God also shows us that he loves mankind and sent his only begotten Son, Jesus, to fulfill the requirements of God's law (which we never could) by his death upon the cross and his resurrection.

When a sinner understands and believes he is lost, then he may respond to God's charge to be saved. God has given man a choice, by grace (undeserved favor) and we must make it. When a sinner turns from their old sinful nature to put genuine faith in Jesus Christ, they are "Born Again" and become part of that elect group, IN CHRIST.

So, we see easily that God has chosen and Man is also given a choice by God. And God expects man to make that choice wisely. Here's the clincher though: God has already informed mankind of His choice. So, we can know beforehand that if we choose Christ, then we are going to be part of that elect and accepted group, but if we reject Christ then we are likewise rejected by God, left in our sins and subject to His judgment.
To finish up let me give you a quick example of Election: In our government, we have essentially a two party system (Democrats and Republicans). We know the independents don't have a chance, so the example works :)

As a voter you are essentially choosing one group or another and the current figurehead of the group. God has chosen (elected) the group He will accept.

The members of each party, Democrat or Republican, were not chosen by the voters. You join each group based upon your beliefs, just as individuals choose to become either "In Christ" or to remain "Not in Christ."

The voters have a choice and the individual has a choice--just as God has a choice and has given man a choice. Both of these facts sit side by side in harmony in the word of God.