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MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell -

MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell
Part II: Examining Scripture On The Will-Related Doctrines
Chapter II: Examining God's Predestination Throughout Scripture
B. Old Testament Aramaic AND SOME New Testament Greek Words
  1. Our view that God's election does not result in justification would lead some to ask how we would handle a verse like Acts 13:48 KJV that says: " . . . as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."
  2. We answer this and many other questions like it by viewing divine predestination in Scripture, and CONTINUE by studying Old Testament Aramaic AND New Testament Greek Words on the subject.
    1. The Old Testament Aramaic word, Gedzarah
      1. Gedzarah is used in Dan. 4:17(14), 24 (21) to mean "decree," B.D.B., Heb. & Eng. Lex. of O.T., 1086.
      2. It appears in the context of God's giving Nebuchadnezzar a mind of an animal until he repented of his pride, and this fact might seem to credit faith's authorship to God.
      3. Yet, that God went to such lengths to teach humility could also argue for a human authorship of faith!
      4. The verses using gedzarah of God's "decree" thus can not prove God's decree authors human will.
    2. New Testament Greek Words
      1. Boulay
        1. This noun is used to picture God's purpose or decreed counsel, cf. Arndt & Ging., A Grk.-Engl. Lex. of the N.T. and Other Early Christian Lit., 4th rev. ed., p. 145.
        2. Though God's decree is shown to be immutable and sovereign in passages like Heb. 6:17, Acts 2:23; 4:28 and 13:36, none of these verses prove God authors human will in their various contexts.
        3. Eph. 1:11 claims God's boulay controls "all things;" yet, lest we presume this means God authors man's will, the "all things" (panta with the article, ta) signals the "all" exists in a relative sense set by the context, cf. U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966 ed., p. 665. Thus, God's works named in this context belong to the "all things" about which Paul wrote with no reference to God's role in will authorship!
        4. Thus, verses using boulay do not prove the divine authorship of human decisions.
      2. Boulomai
        1. Scholars have long debated if this verb means either a mere "wish" or "determinative will," Liddell & Scott, Greek-English Lexicon, 9th rev. ed., p. 325-326.
        2. Walvoord argues its use in 2 Peter 3:9 where God is not willing that any should perish shows the verb at least there can not mean determinative divine decree, for not all will be saved, Walvoord, Matthew - Thy Kingdom Come, p. 84, 136; cf. also Revelation 20:15.
        3. Regardless of the debate, no verse with this verb can be used to prove God authors human choices.
      3. Eudokia
        1. This word means "good will, favor, desire, wish, contentment," , Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 319f.
        2. It is used to describe God's will to predestine believers unto glorification in Eph. 1:5, 9 and 2 Thess. 1:11, and of His influencing believers to do His good will in their earthly lives in Philippians 2:13.
        3. Yet, believers sin (1 Jn. 1:8-10), so the use of eudokia can not prove God authors a believer's will.
      4. Thelo
        1. Thelo means either to "wish" or "resolve," Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 355-356.
        2. No verse using this word of God's will specifically proves God authors human volition.
        3. Yet, Romans 9:18, 22 might be used by some to argue God controls man's will in justification as God is said sovereignly to harden Pharaoh unto judgment. Yet, Ex. 3:19-20; 5:1-2 can show Pharaoh chose his own path with God allowing his magicians to duplicate Moses' miracles up to a point to give room for Pharaoh externally to harden his own rebellious heart! (Ex. 7:8-13; 8:16-19)
        4. Thus, verses using this word of God's will can not be used to prove God authors man's choices.
      5. Prooridzo
        1. This word means "predestine," Arndt & Ging., Grk.-Engl. Lex. of the N.T., p. 716.
        2. Its use in Rom. 8:28-29 may seem to make God author faith by establishing a cause-effect relation between God's works. C. Wordsworth argued Paul only listed God's works with no cause-effect relation (Grk. N.T. With Notes: Romans as cited in S. Fisk, Div. Sov. & Hum. Freedom, p. 64, 117.
        3. As for Eph. 1:5,11, our inductive study showed the context addresses those already perceived by God to be believers rather than addressing who is to become a beliver in Christ.
        4. Thus, verses using prooridzo of God's predestination do not prove God authors man's decisions.