Predestination

This word is properly used only with reference to God's plan or
purpose of salvation. The Greek word rendered "predestinate" is
found only in these six passages, Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29, 30; 1
Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11; and in all of them it has the same
meaning. They teach that the eternal, sovereign, immutable, and
unconditional decree or "determinate purpose" of God governs all
events.

This doctrine of predestination or election is beset with many
difficulties. It belongs to the "secret things" of God. But if
we take the revealed word of God as our guide, we must accept
this doctrine with all its mysteriousness, and settle all our
questionings in the humble, devout acknowledgment, "Even so,
Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."

For the teaching of Scripture on this subject let the
following passages be examined in addition to those referred to
above; Gen. 21:12; Ex. 9:16; 33:19; Deut. 10:15; 32:8; Josh.
11:20; 1 Sam. 12:22; 2 Chr. 6:6; Ps. 33:12; 65:4; 78:68; 135:4;
Isa. 41:1-10; Jer. 1:5; Mark 13:20; Luke 22:22; John 6:37;
15:16; 17:2, 6, 9; Acts 2:28; 3:18; 4:28; 13:48; 17:26; Rom.
9:11, 18, 21; 11:5; Eph. 3:11; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2
Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:2. (See DECREES OF GOD T0001002;
ELECTION T0001149.)

Hodge has well remarked that, "rightly understood, this
doctrine (1) exalts the majesty and absolute sovereignty of God,
while it illustrates the riches of his free grace and his just
displeasure with sin. (2.) It enforces upon us the essential
truth that salvation is entirely of grace. That no one can
either complain if passed over, or boast himself if saved. (3.)
It brings the inquirer to absolute self-despair and the cordial
embrace of the free offer of Christ. (4.) In the case of the
believer who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once
deepens his humility and elevates his confidence to the full
assurance of hope" (Outlines).