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Predestination and Election

RBC Pamphlet

It is strange that many of those who profess to be Christians refuse to accept God at His word when He declares that He chose us and predestinated us before the foundation of the world.  It is not possible to believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God and not believe in the election and predestination of His own, for the second statement nullifies the first:

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:


Those who refuse to believe these clear statements of the Word of God eagerly accept statements repeated over and over, such as:

"You must realize that you are a sinner,  you need a Savior, come to Jesus, confess your sins, accept Him as your personal Savior, believe on Him and you will be born again, and He will redeem you and give you eternal life."

Statements which, in themselves, are not Biblically true.  Not only are they not true, they would be acceptable to Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's  Witnesses and most Muslims. 

What passes as the gospel today sounds good to the carnal ear, exalts man, is filled with more emotion than intellect, diminishes God, does not understand His grace and gives no reason for the religious system to hate those whom Christ has chosen.

Joh 15:18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

Joh 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Joh 16:2  They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.


The Lord is identifying the world systems as a religious system, one that has a synagogue and thinks it does God service.  The one Biblical reason given for the hatred of the religious system is the fact that we have been chosen by God.  Since much of professing Christianity no longer proclaims this message of grace there is little hatred from the system and little concern for serious Bible doctrine.

There are more passages of Scripture that deal with God's sovereignty and election than any other theological subject, such as, creation, man's fall, the law, Christ's birth, His life, His  death, His resurrection, His coming again, or the responsibility of the Christian, and yet sovereignty and election are seldom taught.

We are told that great harm can come from declaring the truth of predestination and election by God's grace since some who hear may not as yet have come to the truth or may be young in the faith and thus may be offended by the doctrine.  The church fathers of the re-formation considered this and said:

"Is this a Christian simplicity  - to avoid as noxious what God makes known?  We are told that we may be ignorant of God's election without loss.  As if our heavenly Teacher were not the best judge of what and how much it were well to know."   Pastors of the Church of Geneva 1552

That which distinguishes Christianity from all other religions in the world is God's sovereignty and His election and predestination of His own by His grace alone.  A Protestant is one who accepts the total depravity of man and the pure grace of God and "protests" the human merit system.

When man fell in Adam he fell completely and became totally depraved, see the chapter on Free Will, and thus unable to believe, receive, accept, etc., until he has been born again.  That the new birth precedes belief, acceptance, repentance, confession, etc. is the consistent declaration of the Scriptures.  For example, review again what the natural man cannot do, he:

Joh 3:3       

 cannot enter kingdom of God

Joh 6:44,65   

 cannot come to Christ

Joh 8:43    

 cannot hear the Word of God

Joh 14:17  

 cannot receive the Spirit of truth

Rom 8:7     

 cannot be subject to the law of God

Rom 8:8     

 cannot please God

1Co 2:14  

 cannot know the things of Spirit of God

2Pe 2:14  

 cannot cease sinning

and thus could not possibly respond to any appeal to accept Christ which is  addressed to the carnal mind, the mind of the old man which cannot please God, Rom 8:7-8.


If man is not totally depraved then man is not saved by grace.  If one does not believe that God predestinated and elected all of those who would be saved one does not believe in the grace of God.  The two are inseparable.  It is impossible to say that God saves those who would come to Him by their own will and to say that God saves by grace.

The grand good news of the gospel is that God sovereignly predetermined and chose by His pure grace those who are His own and gave them new life based on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ so that the new man, thus born, could do what the old man could not do - believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and have fellowship with God.  That is why  it is, why it must be, grace, grace alone, by which we are saved.

All Scripture that exhorts man to believe is addressed to those who have been redeemed by the Lamb of God slain from before the foundation of the world and thus are His sheep and able to believe.  John 10:26-27

The Lord gives us a beautiful illustration of this in the passover.  The first born son, who was always a son but who was under condemnation, did nothing.  He did not have to believe, receive, work, in fact, do anything to be delivered from death.  It was his father who must put the blood on the door post and the lintel.


It mattered not what the son did nor what he believed but only what the father did and, in the same way, it was our loving Father who by grace placed the blood for us.  After the father had placed the blood he could exhort his son to believe that his redemption had been taken care of.  If the son believed he could rest in peace because of what his father had done, if he did not believe, he would not rest in peace, but he still was redeemed and would not, could not,  die.   That is the wonder of God's great grace bestowed on us.

The reason God chose "born again" or "birth from above" to describe this work of grace is because surely all must realize that in birth the child is the passive recipient of life.   Although "Ye must be born again" has come to be the most common phrase in modern evangelism it was never used by the chief of all Evangelist, Paul, or by any of the other apostles or New Testament writers as well.  They knew full well that this was not an offer nor a command to the natural man and they knew that birth was the activity of the parents, not the child.   The doctor does not say to the baby, "PUSH."  

The Law of Non-Contradiction states that two statements that contradict each other can not both be true.  Of course it is possible that neither one is true so the student must carefully study the matter to settle the difficulty.

Consider the following two statements:

  1. One becomes one of God's sheep by believing and accepting Christ as his personal savior.

  2. One believes and accepts Christ because he is already one of God's sheep.

These statements are contradictory and therefore either one or both cannot be true.

Although statement Numbers 1 has become common in much preaching today, it is not Biblically true.  There are no Scriptures to support it, it is, in fact,  the Pelagian teaching of synergistic redemption that denies the grace of God, the total depravity of man and makes redemption a reward rather than by grace alone.

On the other hand, statement Numbers 2 has Scriptural support, John 10:26-27, and has no conflict with the Biblical statements on total depravity.  This alone should settle the question of predestination and election in grace for any one who highly esteems the Word of God.


First;  His sovereignty in election and redemption:

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Pro 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

The Lord made all things for Himself and the "whole disposing thereof is of the Lord."  The god of man today is "chance" and though he may think it is chance we praise Him that we were not left to chance but are constantly under the love and direction of our heavenly Father.

John 1:13  Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

It was not because of our nationality, nor of our own will, nor of any man's will, but only by the will of God that we were born anew.  That is grace.

John 10:26  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

John 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Contrary to much "evangelistic preaching" the sheep do not become sheep by believing but the truth is, they believe because they are already sheep, redeemed by the finished work of Christ and able to please God by believing.

John 17:2,6,9,11,12,24 all make it clear that we are a gift from God the Father to God the Son.   In fact, this is the one truth that the Lord repeated over and over agin in His last communication with His disciples.  A vast difference from that which is repeated over and over again today. 

Rom 5:19  For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous.


The definite article before the word "many" in the Greek makes it absolutely clear that the first "many" and the second "many" are both a definite group and the same group.

It should be apparent, even to the casual reader that "the many" who were made sinners by Adam's disobedience were made sinners in Adam and not by anything they did, there was no synergism, no Pelagian human part in being made sinners.  They had no choice, no voice, no part is being made sinners in Adam and in exactly the same way with no choice, no voice, no part, no synergism, they, the same many, were made righteous in Christ by the grace of God.

It would do violence to the Word of God and destroy the doctrine of grace to suggest that Christ made His own only partially righteous, or that He only offered righteousness to "the many" leaving it up to them to make the final decision.  This surely was not true in their being made sinners and is just as surely not true in their being made righteous. 

The Holy Spirit points out the same truth in 2 Corinthians 5:21, that because He was made sin for us, a definite us as the definite "the many" in Romans 5, we are made the righteousness of God in Him.  Not partial righteousness, nor an offer of righteousness, but the righteousness of God.  There could not be a better righteousness.

Isa 53:6 tells us that we, as sheep, went astray and God laid on Him the iniquity of us all, while we were astray.  Again it is a definite "us" and a definite "we" as well as all of our iniquity.  Since our iniquity was laid on Christ when we were astray, we no longer have iniquity, we have been purchased, redeemed, made righteous and are His own.

In Romans 9:8 we are children of promise, and in Romans 9:23 we were "afore prepared" to glory.  In the same way Galatians 4:8 tells us that as Isaac was, so we also are children of promise.  Isaac was promised to Abraham more that 14 years before he was born and we, in the same way, were promised to Christ before we were born.  The grace of that promise is seen in the fact that not only was Isaac the passive recipient of life, but Abraham and Sarah could not have a son by natural means, only by an act of God. 


The sovereignty of God is also shown in the bestowal of His mercy;

Rom 9:18  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Rom 9:19  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

Rom 9:20  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

and always causes the same response, "why doth He yet find fault?"

Jonathan Edwards, considered to be America's greatest evangelist, said:

"But I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced, and fully satisfied, as to this sovereignty of God, and His justice in thus eternally disposing of men, according to His sovereign pleasure . . . . But I have often, since that first conviction, had quite another kind of sense of God's sovereignty than I had then.  I have often since had not only a conviction, but a delightful conviction.  The doctrine has very often appeared exceedingly pleasant, bright, and sweet.  Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God . . . ."

and it was his strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God in predestination, putting election before and above man's faith, that resulted in the great New England revivals.


Second; God's Predestination of His elect:

The fact that God by grace predestinated and chose His own before the foundation of the world is the consistent testimony of Scripture.  They are known to Him from eternity and will be with Him for eternity.  It is this assurance that gives peace and rest to the believer.

The word predestined means pre-determined, ordained and it should fill the heart with wonder that the God of all glory chose us as His own and has known us from before the beginning of time.

Acts 13:48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.


Not as many as heard, accepted, received, etc. but as many as were ordained.  It is because they were ordained and already His sheep that they believed.  John 10:26-27.  In the same way He said to His disciples:

John 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

It was not their choice of Him but His choice of them, not only as disciples, but also what had been determined for them to do.

Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Those whom He pre-determined, He called, chose, and made righteous.

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.


Here again is the clear statement that God pre-determined us unto adoption.  It was the good pleasure of His will, not ours, to make us accepted in Christ by grace.  Unless we can not take God at His word, we must believe that we were pre-determined in Christ before the foundation of the world.  This had to be true because we were totally depraved and unable to remedy our condition thus it is by grace, and not by our doing, that we are His.

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Th 5:10  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

We have been appointed, ordained, to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ because we, by appointment and new birth are His sheep and thus are able to believe unto salvation.  Again we can not ignore the Scriptures that tell us we must already be sheep in order to believe.


The appointment is so certain that whether we wake, are faithful, or sleep, are unfaithful, we live together with Him because, and only because He died for us.

The "for" in the Greek, is uper, and means "in our place", He died in our place.  The word "wake" is grhgorewand means to watch on guard duty, to be watchful or faithful, and the word "sleep" is kaqeudw and means to sleep on guard duty, to be indifferent or unfaithful.  It is not the same word "sleep", koimaw, "to sleep in the bedroom, to sleep in peace" which is used in chapter 4.  This should be oblivious by referring to verse 6, "therefore let us not sleep as do the others", which can not be a command not to die but rather "to watch and be sober."   What a wonderful truth, that our security in Him is not dependent on us or on anything we may do. 

2 Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

1 Peter 1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

In these passages the foreordination of God and His election are in the same context.  In Timothy we were called according to His purpose and in Peter we were elect according to His foreordination.

The word "foreknowledge" is the Greek word prognwsij which does not mean to know a fact before hand but rather to know intimately as a man knows his wife.  God's foreknowledge of us was an intimate personal knowledge not an intellectual knowledge of what we might or might not do.  If it is the foreknowledge of an act of our will then we are not redeemed by grace.     


And finally, His Election -

The preceding passages point out that we were chosen or called by God according to His will and purpose.  We were not designated His elect because we chose Him, but we are His elect because He elected us.

Psa 65:4  Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.


Here both the election and sovereignty of God results in the "approach unto thee."  In the Hebrew the forms of the verb "to be" are required when there is a change of condition and omitted when there is no change in condition.  For example, the statement  "the dog is a collie" in Hebrew would not have the verb "is" because the dog always was a collie, never was anything else, that is, there has been no change of condition.  On the other hand, the statement "the dog is sick" would require the verb "is" since this is a change of condition.  The dog has not always been sick.

In Psa 65:4 the verb "is" is not there in the Hebrew indicating that the man was always blessed, there has been no change in his condition, he has always been  "chosen ..in Christ before the foundation of the world."

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Eph 1:8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Eph 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:


This passage of Scripture is sufficient, for those who believe His Word, to establish beyond question His:

 "who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will"

"having predestinated us"

"according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world"

as well as the " redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" which made us His sheep so that we could believe and trust Him. 

In John 13:18 the Lord says He knows whom He has chosen and in John 15:16 He tells His disciples that they did not choose Him.  In John 15:19 He tells them that He chose them out of the world and in John 17 He points out that what is true of His disciples is true of us.

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Here again we are told that we were chosen to salvation "from the beginning" which agrees with "before the foundation of the world."

Some passages that mention His calling us are:

Rom 1:6  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 

Rom 9:24  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

1Co 1:9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1Co 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

2Pe 1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:   

Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

The relationship of the Lord's call in His predestination and election of His own is consistent with all the Scriptures mentioned thus far and succinctly stated in:

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


Here also the "foreknow" is proginoskw, He knew them in intimate relationship before the foundation of the world.  It was those whom He predestinated, and those whom He called, and those whom He justified, and those whom He glorified.  This He did, no Pelagian synergism, no human choice, His sovereign grace alone in the redemption of His own.  This is what the reformers meant by  sola gratia "grace alone."

If God only knew ahead of time what they would do when presented with the opportunity to chose, then their redemption is a reward for their doing what others did not do rather than by His grace alone.

What a heritage has been left us by our forefathers who stood unflinchingly for the grace of God and the total depravity of man against the Roman system of human merit.  Many paid with their lives as they rejoiced in the finished work of Christ.  No one can honestly study their lives and their testimony without realizing that what made them Protestants and separated them from the Roman church was their strong stand on the sovereignty of God and His predestination and election of His own by His grace.


John Calvin

"no one who wishes to be thought pious will dare to deny .. the predestination by which God adopts some into the hope of life and adjudicates others to eternal death."

"Although it is by faith that the elect obtain the grace of adoption, election nevertheless does not hang on faith, but is prior to it in time and in order."


Dr. Philip Schaff

"All the Reformers ...sincerely believed, in full harmony not only with the greatest of the fathers, but also with the inspired St. Paul, came to the same doctrine of a double predestination which decides the eternal destiny of all men.   Nor is it possible to evade this conclusion."


Zwingli's Fidei Ratio 1530 -

"The election of God, however, stands firm.... It is of His goodness that He has elected whom He will; but it is His justice that He has adopted His elect to Himself"


The Tetrapolitan Confession 1530 -

"But we are unwilling that these things should be so understood as if we placed salvation and righteousness in the slothful thoughts of the mind ... for whom He foreknew, the same He also predestinated to become conformed to the image of His Son ... for we are His workmanship"


Zwingli's Expositio Chr. Fidei 1531 -

"the election of God is free and gratuitous; for He elected us before the constitution of the world, before we were born.  God therefore did not elect us on account of works, be He elected us before the creation of the world."


First Basle or Muhlhausen Confession 1534 -

"Hereupon we confess that God, before He had created the world, had elected all those to whom He would give the inheritance of eternal salvation."


First Bohemian Confession 1535 -

The Scriptures ..."teach that there belong to this one God, supreme power, wisdom and goodness.  There also belong to Him alone those most excellent works, suitable to no other than Him.  These are the works of creation, redemption, conservation or sanctification....They likewise teach that no one can have this faith by his own power, will or choice;"


Second Basle Confession 1536 -

"we are able indeed of our own motion to do the evil, but are unable to embrace and pursue the good, except as illuminated by the grace of Christ and impelled by His Holy Spirit.  For God it is who works in us both the willing and the doing, according to His good pleasure."

Genevan Confession 1537 -


"for the seed of God's Word takes root and fructifies in those alone whom the Lord, by His eternal election, has predestined to be His children and heirs of the heavenly kingdom."


Genevan Catechism 1545 -

"the church is the body and society of believers whom God has predestinated to eternal life."


Consensus Tigurinus 1549 -

"we sedulously teach that God does not exert His power promiscuously in all who receive the sacraments, but only in the elect.  For just as He enlightens unto faith no others than those whom He has foreordained to life, so by the hidden power of His Spirit He brings it about that the elect receive.."


Consensus Genevensis 1552 -

"The free election of God, by which He adopts to Himself out of the lost and condemned race of men whom He will.."


The English Articles 1553 -

"Predestination to life, is the euerlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundacions of the worlde were laied) he hath constantlie decreed by his owne judgemente secrete to vs, to deliuer from curse, and damnation those whom he hat chosen in Christ out of mankinde, and to bring them to euerlasting saluation by Christ.."


The Hungarian Confession 1557-1558 -

"Then, too, that He might make satisfaction for the life-giving mercy of God by the omnipotence of the same Word and only begotten Son of God, according to the eternal election made from eternity in Christ."


Confession for the Church at Paris 1557 -

"We believe that it is of the mercy of God alone that the elect are delivered from the common perdition into which all men are plunged.."


Confession of the English Congregation at Geneva 1558 -

"..our selves, who are Gods elect...which Church is not seene to mans eye, but only knowne to God, who of the lost sonnes of Adam hath ordeined some as vessels of wrath to damnation; and hath chosen others as vessels of his mercy to bee saved."


Genevan Students Confession 1559 -

"we are made sharers in Jesus Christ and all His benefits by faith in the Gospel .... that we are not able to attain it except by the Spirit of God; and so, that it is a special gift, which is not communicated except to the elect, who have been predestinated before the creation of the world to the inheritance of salvation, without any regard to their worthiness or virtue."


The French Confession 1559 -

"We believe that out of this universal corruption and condemnation wherein all men are plunged God withdraws those whom, in His eternal and immutable counsel, He has chosen, of His own goodness and mercy alone, in our Lord Jesus Christ, without respect to their works...which He has determined in Christ Jesus before the creation of the world"


The Scotch Confession 1560 -

"We acknawledge and confesse, that his maist wonderous conjunction betwixt the God-head and the man-head in Christ Jesus, did proceed from the eternall and immutable decree of God, from quhilk al our salvatioun springs and depends.  For that same eternall God and father, who of meere grace elected us in Christ Jesus his Sonne, befoir the foundation of the warld was laid,"


The Belgic Confession 1561 -

"God hath manifested Himself such an one as He is, that is to say merciful and righteous: merciful in delivering and saving from this perdition those whom in His eternal and immutable counsel He has elected and chosen by His pure goodness, in Jesus Christ our Lord, without any regard to their works; ...according to His eternal and immutable counsel which was established in Jesus Christ before the world was created."


Confession for the French Churches 1562 -

Presented to the Emperor

"Accordingly we hold that this kindness which He displays toward us proceeds solely from His having chosen us before the creation of the world, and we seek no reason for His having so done outside of Himself and His good pleasure."


Second Helvetic Confession 1562, 1566 -

"God has from eternity freely and of His mere grace, with no respect of men, predestinated or elected the saints whom He will save in Christ."


Heidelberg Catechism 1563 -

"The Son of God from the beginning of the world to its end, by His Spirit and Word, out of the whole human race, gathers, protects, and preservers for Himself unto eternal life, in the unity of the true faith, and elected communion;"


Second Bohemian Confession 1575 -

"that is, the elect children of God and true and faithful Christians, all of whom as a whole and without exception are holy with a holiness imputed in Christ and begun in them by the Holy Spirit; and these only God deigns to call His sheep"


Craig's Catechism 1581 -

Q. What is the Church which we confess here?

A. The whole company of Gods elect called and sanctified.

Q. Out of what fountaine doth this our stabilitie flow?

A. Out of God's eternall and constant election in Christ.


The Lambeth Articles 1595 -

"God from eternity hath predestinated some unto life, and reprobated some unto death.  There is a predefined and certain number of the predestinated, which can neither be increased nor diminished."


The Confession of Sigismund 1614 -

"that, to wit, God the Almighty, out of His pure grace and mercy, without any respect to man's worthiness, merit or works, before the foundations of the world were laid, ordained and elected to eternal life all who constantly believe in Christ, knows also and acknowledges them as His, and as He has loved them from eternity, so endows them also out of pure grace with justifying faith and strong endurance to the end, so that no one shall pluck them out of the hand of Christ and no one separate them from His love,"


The Irish Articles 1615 -

"By the same eternal counsel God hath predestinated some unto life, and reprobated some unto death; of both which there is a certain number known only to God, which can neither be increased nor diminished.  Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, he hath constantly decreed in his secret counsel to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ .."


The Canons of Dort 1618-1619 -

"Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, He hath, out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom He from eternity appointed the Mediator and head of the elect, and the foundation of salvation.

This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality or disposition in man, as the prerequisite, cause, or condition on which it depended; but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness ... and the other gifts of salvation..

And as God Himself is most wise, unchangeable, omniscient, and omnipotent, so the election made by Him can neither be interrupted nor changed, recalled nor annulled; neither can the elect be cast away, nor their number diminished."


The Leipzig Colloquy 1631 -

"That God chose from eternity in Jesus Christ out of the lost race of man, not all, but some men, whose number and names are known to Him alone, whom He in His own time, through the power and operation of His Word and Spirit, illuminates and renews to faith in Christ; and also enlightens in the same faith to the end and finally makes eternally blessed through faith."


The Declaration of Thorn 1645 -

"Even as He has from eternity elected us in Christ, not out of any foreseen faith or merit or works or disposition, but out of mere and undeserved grace,  as well to that same grace of redemption, vocation, justification, adoption and persevering sanctification which He has given in time,....that moreover the number of the elect and of the saved is certain with God."


The Westminster Confession 1647 -

"God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeable ordain whatsoever comes to pass..

By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.

These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works.."


Formula Consensus Helvetica 1675 -

"God, before the foundations of the world were laid, formed in Christ Jesus, our Lord, and eternal purpose (Eph 3:11), in which, from the mere good pleasure of His will, without any foresight of the merit of works or of faith, to the praise of His glorious grace He elected a certain and definite number of men lying in the same mass of corruption and in common blood and therefore corrupted by sin, to be led in time to salvation by Christ,"