top of page

De Moor VII:15: The Object of Predestination, Part 1

Predestination also concerns Christ: for, α. He is said to have been προεγνωσμένος/foreordained, 1 Peter 1:20, and Elect, Isaiah 42:1. β. God from eternity predetermined that Sufferings and Glory were going to meet Him, and were for that reason necessary, Luke 24:26. Indeed, there in the context regard is paid to the necessary fulfillment of those things that Moses and the Prophets had foretold, verses 25, 27. But the certain fulfillment of these prophecies was depending upon the Decree of God, in which He, agreeably to His Righteousness, Holiness, and Goodness, thus determined concerning the Humiliation and Exaltation of the Mediator of the Elect; this His Counsel God of old revealed by His Prophets to His people. Thus in the case of the Sufferings of Christ we are also instructed to ascend to divine Predestination, Acts 2:23; 4:28. γ. We are not able to be predestinated in Christ, unless He Himself was likewise predestinated, Ephesians 1:4.

Johannes a Marck

But, as our AUTHOR observes that the Predestination of Christ differs from ours in some things, namely, with respect to, α. the destined Felicity, β. the Misery going before, γ. and the Manner of execution: so he advises that the same Predestination of Christ is able Either to be ordained before ours, not by a priority of Causality, as if the Mediation of Christ and His Satisfaction were the Impulsive Cause and Foundation of our Elections, the contrary of which we asserted in this Chapter, § 8; but by a priority of Order and Dignity, on account of the Dignity, 1. of Christ as the Captain of salvation,[1] to whom we have been given for redemption by the Father, 2. of the Glory destined for Him: thus ZANCHI and POLANUS, see HEINRICH ALTING’S Theologiam elencticam novam, locus IV, in the Appendix, page 308 compared with page 311. Or to be subordinated to ours, as a means of executing our Election; since otherwise the Son of God would not have been incarnate, nor delivered to sufferings, unless this had been destined as the Means for the execution of our Salvation. But this latter manner of consideration is better received, and safer for avoiding all universal, indefinite, and inefficacious Destination of Christ as Mediator, which the Universalists ignorantly wish to support from this: while some of Our Own, who admit the Election of Christ to be ordained before our own by a priority of order, nevertheless observe, that the Election of Christ unto Mediatorship is extended no farther than the Election of men that are to be saved; so that He might be destined and sent for no more than for the Elect: compare Formulam Consensus Helveticæ, § IV-VI.[2]

Simon Episcopius

The Remonstrants, from a false hypothesis concerning the end and effect of the Sufferings of Christ and of the Causes of salvation, deny that the Election of Christ is able to be subordinated to our own, Confessione, chapter VIII, § 10, pages 117, 118: “They enervate,” say they, “the whole force of this merit and the truth of its efficacy, indeed, they utterly overthrow it, namely, those that assert that absolute Election and Reprobation of certain persons…were made in order, before Jesus Christ was designed a Mediator for them by the Father. For, it was not necessary, nay, not even possible, that a true expiation of sins be made through the λύτρον/ransom/atonement of Christ for those…whose peremptory and absolute determination was already previously made by name, in some cases to life, in other cases to death. For, the Elect, as they call them, or those predestinated to life, have no need of such an expiation and reconciliation, because in this very thing, that they were particularly elected to salvation, they are in the ardent grace of God, and are necessarily already loved by God with consummate and immutable Love, which sort belongs to the sons and heirs of God.” But it should have been observed, that those to be saved were loved by God in Election with a Love of Benevolence, but not with a Love of Complacency, since He hates their sins. That Love of Benevolence implies that God is Reconcilable, but not actually Reconciled. Hence it is the most illustrious demonstration of the divine Love and His ardent Grace towards the Elect, that He destined His own Son as Mediator, so that with His Satisfaction intervening He might be able to render the Elect sharers of Salvation in communion with Himself. The Decree of the Reprobation of certain persons does indeed exclude the possibility of Mediation with respect to them, but not the Decree of Election. TRIGLAND, Antapologia, chapter XVI, page 252b, provides an exemplary response to this argumentation of the Remonstrants: “It is to be considered that there is in God Mercy or Grace in His Goodness; there is also in Him Righteousness: and God willed in the work of our Redemption to manifest both, and to render them glorious. There is Mercy and Grace in this, that He wills to free some from sin and perdition, and to make them sharers in His grace and communion. But Righteousness in this, that He wills to punish their sins in His own Son as Mediator and Redeemer, and so not to make them sharers in that grace and communion except in that Son, and through that Son and His satisfaction and merit. These things are always to be conjoined. And so the very Elect, in whom it was pleasing to God to declare the riches of His grace and mercy, are indeed by Election in the ardent grace of God, with respect to the decree of having mercy upon them; but yet only in the Son of God and in consideration of His merit, by comparison with Ephesians 1:4, 5. Now, the Will of having mercy and saving is able to be considered efficacious in diverse ways, either as it follows the determination of the Mediator, or as it precedes. For, let the first be conceptualized in this manner, that God, willing to render His mercy and grace glorious in the redemption and salvation of some, and at the same time not willing to have His righteousness injured in any regard, determined to designate a Mediator, by whom He might satisfy His Righteousness, and through whom He might reconcile to Himself those that He wills redeemed: finally, He decreed to give to the Mediator whom He willed, to be liberated, redeemed, reconciled to Himself, and conducted to Salvation. What would thence be gained for the cause of the Remonstrants? Again, let it be conceived in this way, that God, willing to manifest His mercy and grace in these and those elect, yet being unwilling to allow His righteousness to perish, determined to give to them His Son as Mediator, through whom He might reconcile them to Himself. What thence is lost, either to the cause of God or His truth? For Scripture teaches both, that Christ is given to the elect, and that the elect are given to Christ.” Well said. Of course, one and the other are at one and the same time in God, who decreed all things in one perfectly simple act, both those things that have regard to the end, and those things that have regard to the means: and so prior and posterior only obtain in the Decrees of God with respect to us, who because of the finitude of our understanding conceive of them inadequately, by dividing those things that are nevertheless united in themselves: compare SPANHEIM, Decadum Theologicarum VII, § 4, opera, tome 3, column 1236.

[1] See Hebrew 2:10. [2]Helvetic Formula of Consensus, Canons IV-VI: “IV. Before the creation of the world, God decreed in Christ Jesus our Lord according to his eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:11), in which, from the mere good pleasure of his own will, without any prevision of the merit of works or of faith, to the praise of his glorious grace, to elect some out of the human race lying in the same mass of corruption and of common blood, and, therefore, corrupted by sin. He elected a certain and definite number to be led, in time, unto salvation in Christ, their Guarantor and sole Mediator. And on account of his merit, by the mighty power of the regenerating Holy Spirit, he decreed these elect to be effectually called, regenerated and gifted with faith and repentance. So, indeed, God, determining to illustrate his glory, decreed to create man perfect, in the first place, then permit him to fall, and finally pity some of the fallen, and therefore elect those, but leave the rest in the corrupt mass, and finally give them over to eternal destruction. V. Christ himself is also included in the gracious decree of divine election, not as the meritorious cause, or foundation prior to election itself, but as being himself also elect (I Peter 2:4, 6). Indeed, he was foreknown before the foundation of the world, and accordingly, as the first requisite of the execution of the decree of election, chosen Mediator, and our first born Brother, whose precious merit God determined to use for the purpose of conferring, without detriment to his own justice, salvation upon us. For the Holy Scriptures not only declare that election was made according to the mere good pleasure of the divine counsel and will (Ephesians 1:5, 9; Matthew 11:26), but was also made that the appointment and giving of Christ, our Mediator, was to proceed from the zealous love of God the Father toward the world of the elect. VI. Wherefore, we can not agree with the opinion of those who teach: l. that God, moved by philanthropy, or a kind of special love for the fallen of the human race, did, in a kind of conditioned willing, first moving of pity, as they call it, or inefficacious desire, determine the salvation of all, conditionally, that is, if they would believe; 2. that he appointed Christ Mediator for all and each of the fallen; and 3. that, at length, certain ones whom he regarded, not simply as sinners in the first Adam, but as redeemed in the second Adam, he elected, that is, he determined graciously to bestow on these, in time, the saving gift of faith; and in this sole act election properly so called is complete. For these and all other similar teachings are in no way insignificant deviations from the proper teaching concerning divine election; because the Scriptures do not extend unto all and each God’s purpose of showing mercy to man, but restrict it to the elect alone, the reprobate being excluded even by name, as Esau, whom God hated with an eternal hatred (Romans 9:11). The same Holy Scriptures testify that the counsel and will of God do not change, but stand immovable, and God in the, heavens does whatsoever he will (Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 47:10); for God is in finitely removed from all that human imperfection which characterizes inefficacious affections and desires, rashness repentance and change of purpose. The appointment, also, of Christ, as Mediator, equally with the salvation of those who were given to him for a possession and an inheritance that can not be taken away, proceeds from one and the same election, and does not form the basis of election.”

32 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page