The “sovereignty of God” is a term which expresses the supreme rulership of God. It is God’s prerogative based upon the perfections of His Divine Being (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 1041). God is under no external restraint whatsoever. He is the Supreme Dispenser of all events.
“Predestinate” (Greek – “proorizo”) is to mark out or determine beforehand/ahead of time or to predetermine (W. Vine, M. Unger, and W. White, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, pp. 297, 875). In relationship to God, it means His sovereign predetermining that certain things shall come to pass (L. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 501).
Gen. 6:20; 7:8-9, 15 What did God say would happen, and what actually happened?
What do you think made two of each kind of animal come to Noah?
Gen. 20:1-6 What did God say is the reason why king Abimelech didn’t have sex with Sarah?
Before God spoke to Abimelech in this dream, what do you think Abimelech would have thought as to why he hadn’t had sexual relations with Sarah yet?
Why that reason?
Gen. 20:17-18 Why couldn’t Abimelech and his wife and his maids bear any children?
What do you think Abimelech thought as to why he couldn’t bear any children?
Gen. 27:19-20 What did Jacob say that showed his concept/understanding of God to include His sovereignty or predestining of events?
Does your concept of God include God being sovereign and that He predetermines certain things to come to pass apart from any external influences?
Gen. 29:31 – Gen. 30:2, 22-23 What does this passage teach about people’s ability to bear children?
Have you ever thought that people’s infertility was merely a physical problem?
Gen. 41:25-32, 47-49, 53-56 What does this passage teach about God’s predestination?
Had you ever thought that crop production was in God’s control rather than merely the result of weather and soil conditions?
Gen. 37:26-28; 45:5-8; 50:19-20 Who sent Joseph to Egypt: his brothers or God?
Do you think that God controlled the minds/wills of the brothers so that they came up with the idea and then made the decision to sell Joseph to the Midianite traders?
Gen. 41:39-44; 45:8 Who promoted Joseph to be the number two person in all of Egypt: Pharaoh or God?
Do you think God moved Pharaoh’s mind/will to promote Joseph?
Ex. 3:16, 18 What does God tell Moses that the elders of Israel will do?
Do they (Ex. 4:29-31)?
Do you think they heeded/believed Moses because God controlled their wills/minds?
Ex. 4:21; 7:3 What did God say He would do so that Pharaoh wouldn’t let Moses and the Israelites go out of Egypt?
Is this what happened (Ex. 7:13, 22; 8:19; 9:12, 35; 10:1, 20, 27)?
Was it Pharaoh’s “free” will to not let the Israelites go? Why?
What does this tell you about God’s control over people’s ability to make decisions?
Ex. 14:4, 17 What does God say He will do so that Pharaoh chases after the Israelites?
Does it happen (Ex. 14:8, 23)?
Why does God control people’s decisions/wills (Ex. 14:4, 17, 31; 15:1-2)?
Ex. 9:3-5 What does God say He will do?
What happens (Ex. 9:6-7)?
Does this show that God controls disease, when and where He wants?
Ex. 9:18-26; 8:16-17; 10:4-6, 12-15; 10:21-23; 11:1, 4-7; 12:13, 29-30 What is God sovereign over in these passages?
Were you aware that God can/does control all these things?
Ex. 16:12-15; Num. 11:31 Name at least three things that God is sovereign over.
How does knowing that God is sovereign affect you, and why?
Ex. 23:28; 33:2; Deut. 7:1, 20 What does God predestine to happen?
Did God accomplish what He’d predestined, and if so how (Josh. 24:12, 18)?
Ex. 34:23-24 What does God say that no man will do when all the male Israelites go up three times a year before the Lord to celebrate three national feasts?
How could God guarantee that no man would covet the Israelite’s land?
Num. 22:38; 23:12, 16 What does God put in Balaam’s mouth?
When God says He’s going to do something, what will happen (Num. 23:19)?
Can anyone change what God decrees or blesses (Num. 23:20; Deut. 23:5)?
What must Balaam do (Num. 23:26)?
Who or what is the source of Balaam’s words (Num. 24:2-4)?
Who or what held Balaam back from being honored by king Balak (Num. 24:11)?
What couldn’t Balaam do of his own accord/mind (Num. 24:13)?
What did you learn about God’s sovereignty and man’s will from all these passages?
Deut. 2:30, 33 Could king Sihon of Heshbon have chosen to let the Israelites pass through his land if he wanted, and why?
What does this tell you about man’s will (Prov. 21:1)?
What did God sovereignly do in Deuteronomy 2:33?
Deut. 8:18 What does God give the Israelites power/ability to make/produce?
What does this tell you about God’s sovereignty?
Deut. 8:20 What did the Lord sovereignly make to perish/destroy before Israel?
How do you feel about God’s sovereignty? Why?
Deut. 11:24-25 What did God predestine to happen to the people of the land that Israel was going to occupy?
Is this what happened (e.g., Josh. 2:1, 9)?
What does this tell you about God’s sovereign influence on the minds/hearts of people?
Deut. 28:8, 11-12 What would God sovereignly do to the Israelites?
Name at least three things that God would sovereignly control for Israel’s benefit.
Deut. 29:4 What didn’t God give these Israelites?
Since this is the case, could they have understood the meaning of their miraculous history, if they wanted?
Josh. 11:19-20 Why didn’t the people living in the promised land (except the Gibeonites) make peace with Israel?
Does this show that God controls people’s minds/wills/decisions so as to fulfill His promises/predictions/predestinations (e.g., Deut. 31:3-6)?
Judges 7:22 What did the Lord cause the men in the whole Midian army to do to each other?
Does this, once again, show that God controlled the minds/decisions/wills of people?
Judges 9:1-6, 22-24, 45, 49, 55-57 In accomplishing His sovereign will, who/what does God sometimes use (Judg. 9:23)?
Does this imply that evil spirits/demons can also be used of God to influence people’s wills/minds/decisions?
1 Sam. 16:14-16, 21-23 Again, what/who does God use to influence people’s minds?
What does this tell you about God’s sovereignty?
1 Ki. 22:19-23; 2 Chron. 18:18-22 How does God get king Ahab to go to war at Ramoth-gilead, so He could have him killed?
So, how does God sometimes insure that His predestined plans will be accomplished?
Does the fact that God tells the deceiving spirit/demon that he will prevail (vs. 22) imply that God through demons can control people’s decisions/wills/minds?
Judges 13:25 – Judges 14:4 Samson’s decision to marry a Philistine was from/of whom, and why?
Was Samson’s marriage to a Philistine a sin (Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3)?
Because God Himself can never tempt anyone to sin (Jas. 1:13), how do you think God probably influenced Samson’s decision?
How does knowing this about God make you feel, and why?
1 Sam. 2:22-25 Why didn’t Eli’s sons listen to their father?
Does this imply that God controlled the son’s decisions/minds/wills to not obey their father?
1 Sam. 10:1, 5-6 What did Samuel say would happen to Saul?
Is this what happened (1 Sam. 10:9-12)?
Who changed Saul’s heart (character, thinking, values, attitude, perspective, desires, feelings, will) – 1 Samuel 10:9-12?
1 Sam. 10:25-27 Who went home with the new king (Saul), and why?
Does this show how God influences/controls a person’s allegiance/devotion to someone else?
1 Sam. 11:2, 6-7 How did God’s Spirit influence Saul’s emotions and actions?
Is anger always wrong (e.g., Eph. 4:26; Mk. 3:5)?
1 Sam. 19:19-24 Instead of taking David captive, what happened to king Saul and his messengers?
What does this tell you about how God can/does control people’s wills against their wills?
How does this affect you? Why?
1 Sam. 26:12 Why were David and his men able to escape with king Saul’s spear and jug that were right next to Saul?
What does this tell you even about God’s control over a person’s sleep?
2 Sam. 12:9-11 What does God predestine to happen against David?
Is this what happened (2 Sam. 16:21-22)?
What does this tell you about God’s sovereign judgment?
Remember, God Himself never tempts anyone to sin (Jas. 1:13), but He can use demons to do it (e.g., 1 Sam. 19:9-10).
2 Sam. 15:31; 17:14 What had God ordained/determined/predestined to thwart (frustrate/stop)?
Does this imply that God controlled Absalom’s decision/mind so as to reject Ahithophel’s counsel?
1 Ki. 12:15-17, 20, 24 Because God had predestined for Jeroboam to lead 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel (1 Ki. 11:30-37), what did Rehoboam do in 1 Kings 12:15?
Why did Rehoboam fail to listen to the counsel of the elders?
Does this imply that God controlled Rehoboam’s decision/will to reject the elder’s advice?
1 Ki. 18:37-39 Who turned the people of Israel’s hearts (devotion; allegiance) back again to God?
Does this show that God controls people’s wills/decisions/feelings?
2 Ki. 7:1 What does God predestine to happen in Samaria?
Does it happen (2 Ki. 7:18)?
What did the Lord cause so that this would happen (2 Ki. 7:5-7)?
Did you know that the Lord controls what a person hears?
2 Ki. 19:7; Isa. 37:7 What does God say He’d put in the king of Assyria that would cause him to decide to return home?
Besides putting a spirit (compulsion/disposition/influence – maybe demonic) in the king of Assyria, what else does God cause/predestine to happen?
Is this what happened (2 Ki. 19:36-37)?
What does this teach you about what God controls?
2 Ki. 19:23-26 From when had God planned/ordained/predestined all the accomplishments of the king of Assyria that have now been brought to pass?
Does God predict future events merely because He knows what is going to happen in the future or because He knows that He will cause those future events?
1 Chron. 5:26 What did God do to the king of Assyria, so that he carried away the 2½ tribes of Israel into captivity?
Does this imply that God moved/influenced/caused the king to take action against these tribes of Israel?
[To “stir up the spirit” means “to move the heart of” (Walvoord, Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 654).].
1 Chron. 12:18 As a result of what, did Amasai pledge his loyalty to David?
Does this imply that God caused Amasai to make this decision? Why?
1 Chron. 28:4-6 Whom did God choose/predestine to be king over Israel?
Does this mean that God is the One who sovereignly puts people in positions?
2 Chron. 14:6; 20:30 Why was no one at war with either king Asa or Jehoshaphat during a certain period of years?
Does this imply that God influenced/caused the wills of all people to choose to not fight against Israel?
2 Chron. 18:30-31 Why/how did king Jehoshaphat escape death?
Have you ever considered God’s sovereignty being involved in your safety?
2 Chron. 21:16-17 Why did the Philistines and Arabs invade Judah?
How does knowing that God influences/causes people’s spirits to do something affect you?
2 Chron. 25:17-22 Why wouldn’t king Amaziah of Judah listen to king Joash of Israel?
Does this show that God was controlling Amaziah’s will/decision? How?
2 Chron. 30:12 What did God do to the people of Judah so that they did what the king and princes commanded by the word of the Lord?
Would God have had to control all the hearts/minds of the people of Judah in order for them to have one heart/unity of mind/united purpose and commitment?
What does this tell you about God’s control over people’s wills/minds?
2 Chron. 36:17, 20-21 Because God had predestined the people of Judah to be in Babylonian captivity for 70 years (Jer. 25:1, 11), what did God do?
Because God predestined the people of Judah to return back to their land after their 70 year captivity (Jer. 29:10) and to punish the king of Babylon (Jer. 25:12), what did God do (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Isa. 44:28)?
Do you see God’s sovereign control over people’s spirits/hearts/wills and events?
Ezra 1:5 Why did everyone who arose to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem do so?
[Again, God’s stirring of people’s spirits (moving their hearts/wills) shows God’s sovereign control over people and events to fulfill His will and purposes.].
Ezra 6:22 What had the Lord caused/filled the Jews to do during the Passover observance?
And what had the Lord done to the king of Assyria?
Do both of these incidents: causing the Jews to rejoice and turning/changing the heart/attitude of the king show God’s sovereignty (that He controls man’s will/mind/emotions/decisions) so that mankind doesn’t really have a “free” will?
Ezra 7:21, 27 Why did king Artaxerxes adorn the house of the Lord?
Again, does this show God influencing/controlling the desires of man’s heart/will?
Job 42:2 What can’t be thwarted, and what can God do?
So, if you want to do something, but it’s against God’s purpose, will you be able to do it (also see Prov. 16:9)?
Psa. 33:10 What does the Lord do?
What does this tell you about God’s control over people’s ability to carry out their plans, if God is not for them?
How does this make you feel?
Psa. 104:14 What are some things that people take for granted that God causes/makes?
Psa. 105:25 Why did the Egyptians hate God’s people?
Does this clearly show that God controls people’s hearts/minds/emotions/wills?
If so, how do you feel about it? Why?
Psa. 106:46 What did God make/cause the Israelites to be in the presence of all their captors?
Does this demonstrate God’s sovereign control over the lives of people?
Psa. 127:1 How does this verse show God’s sovereignty?
Can we really accomplish anything if God is not involved in our activities?
Psa. 135:6 What does the Lord do, and where?
What does this tell you about God?
Prov. 16:1 Though a person may have plans in his heart/mind to say something, what does he actually say/answer?
Why is this?
How does God’s controlling what you actually say, even though you had planned to say something differently, make you feel?
Prov. 16:4 For what has the Lord made everything?
And for what has the Lord made even the wicked?
How does the fact that God even made the wicked for the day of evil/punishment/disaster show His sovereignty?
Prov. 16:9 Though the mind of man plans his way/course, what does the Lord do/determine?
How does the Lord’s controlling/determining your steps/actions (what you do, where you go, etc.), even though you had planned to do something else, make you feel?
Prov. 16:33 The lot [small piece(s) of wood or stone, sometimes inscribed with the name(s) of people, number(s), months, yes/no, etc. – used to determine answers to questions by shaking lot(s) up and throwing it/them down] is cast into the lap, but is its decision from: chance/luck/accident or the Lord?
Is there any such thing as luck, in light of all the passages on God’s sovereignty?
Prov. 19:21 Though people have plans to do certain things, what will stand/prevail?
Have you ever experienced this, where you planned one thing but actually did another?
Give an example.
Prov. 21:1 What is in the hand of the Lord, and what does He do with it?
Does this show that in fact mankind does not have a “free” will? How?
Isa. 14:24-27; 46:10-11 When God intends or plans something, what will happen?
Can anyone alter or change God’s plans?
How does this show that man cannot have a “free” will?
Isa. 29:10-12 What did the Lord pour/bring over the people of Jerusalem?
Why couldn’t prophets/seers see and understand God’s revelation about His judgment on the Assyrians that Isaiah recorded on a scroll?
What does this tell you about God’s sovereign control over the minds of people?
Isa. 44:28 – Isa. 45:3 What did God say that He’d do 150+ years before the actual event (Walvoord, Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 1099)?
Did God raise up Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem’s temple (Ezra 1:1-3; 6:14)?
Jer. 1:5 What did God do before Jeremiah was born?
Did Jeremiah really have any choice in the matter, other than to comply (Isa. 55:11)?
Jer. 1:7 What would Jeremiah do when God sent him somewhere or commanded him to speak?
Does this show Jeremiah having any “free” will/choice in the matter?
How could God be so confident that everything He said would actually be so (Jer. 1:12)?
Jer. 24:7 What would the Lord give the Israelites in the future?
Does this state that God sovereignly controls people’s hearts/desires?
Lam. 3:37-38 Unless the Lord commands/decrees something to happen, what will come to pass or happen when someone speaks something?
What goes forth from the mouth of the Most High?
Is God in control over calamities, such as: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fire, wars, etc. (also see Amos 3:6; Isa. 45:6-7)?
Ezek. 2:2; 3:24 What happened when the Holy Spirit entered Ezekiel?
Does this sound like Ezekiel had any choice other than to stand?
Haggai 1:14 What did the Lord stir up the spirit of (move the heart of; cause) the remnant of Jews to do?
Did they exercise their “free” will, or did God cause their wills to choose to build?
Lk. 1:13, 15 At what point was John the Baptist filled/controlled by the Holy Spirit?
What does this tell you about God’s control over people?
Could John have drunk wine at any time during his life if he wanted?
Or, could Zacharias have named their son anything else if he wanted?
Or, could Mary (Lk. 1:31) have named her son anything other than Jesus if she wanted?
Why (Lk. 1:45)?
Lk. 1:41-44 What does the fact that John leaped for joy in his mother’s womb when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting imply?
Who else was filled/controlled by the Holy Spirit?
How was this demonstrated right away?
Lk. 24:15-16 Why couldn’t two of Jesus’ followers recognize Jesus after His resurrection?
What does this tell you about God’s control over people’s comprehension?
Jn. 3:26-27 What was Jesus’ growing ministry the result of?
Did you realize that even the growth of a person’s ministry is controlled by God?
Jn. 6:36-37 What was Jesus’ explanation as to why these Jews didn’t believe Him?
What will happen to all those people whom God the Father gives to Jesus?
Can people that God gives to Jesus, therefore, not come to Jesus?
From this then, who has to initiate the process before someone will come and believe in Christ as Savior?
Jn. 6:44 Who are the only people that can come in faith to Jesus for salvation?
Does this mean that unless God draws a person to Jesus, no one would come and believe in Him as Savior?
Or, does this mean that I could have ever chosen to come to Jesus as an act of my “free” will, if God never granted me to come to Jesus (Jn. 6:65)?
Since faith in Jesus as Savior doesn’t come from a person’s own choice, where does it come from (Eph. 2:8)?
[So, even the faith a person has in Jesus is a gift from God (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 1284; Kent, Ephesians – The Glory of the Church, p. 39; W. Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary – Ephesians, p. 122).].
Jn. 7:30; 8:20 Why didn’t the people who hated Jesus seize/arrest Him?
How does this show that God controls people’s wills/decisions and actions?
Acts 2:22-23 Why was Jesus delivered up/arrested?
[The words “predetermined plan” (set purpose, determinate counsel) and “foreknowledge” are in a construction in Greek which shows that the word “foreknowledge” refers to the same act that the words “predetermined plan” refer to, and is a further description of that act. The word “predetermined” refers to determining someone’s destiny ahead of time. The word “plan” refers to a decision. So it means that a person’s destiny was decided upon ahead of time. And “foreknowledge”, here, means to foreordain (appoint in advance/predestine and so know something beforehand) – Dr. K. Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, vol. 3, “Vocabulary”, p. 35 & vol. 1, “Romans”, p. 143. Dr. Wuest was a professor at Moody Bible Institute.
God didn’t predestine Jesus to be arrested because He merely knew ahead of time what people would choose to do with Jesus, but rather God knew ahead of time what people would do because He would cause it to happen, even if He used Satan to do it (Jn. 13:2, 27).].
Acts 4:27-28 Why were Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles, and Jews gathered together against Jesus?
Could all these people have chosen as an act of their “free” will to do anything other than what they did – crucify Christ?
Jn. 8:43, 47 Why couldn’t these Jews understand what Jesus was saying? How does a person get to be of/belong to God (Jn. 1:12-13)?
Who doesn’t belong to God (Rom. 8:9)?
When or how does a person get the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-45; 11:17; Eph. 1:13-14)?
Who are the only ones who can/will believe in Jesus (Acts 13:48)?
So, who controls people’s salvation: people’s “free” will or God’s sovereignty?
Jn. 10:26-29 Why do some/most people not believe in Jesus as their Savior?
Who gives Jesus His sheep (converts/followers/believers)?
So, if God the Father does not give some/most people to Jesus as His sheep, what won’t/can’t they do?
1 Cor. 2:14 What two things can’t a non-Christian/natural man do?
Since salvation is of the Spirit (Titus 3:5; 2 Thes. 2:13), therefore, what can’t a non-Christian do apart from God drawing/enabling him (Jn. 6:44, 65) and giving him the faith (Eph. 2:8) to believe?
Since accepting Christ as Savior, the gospel of salvation, is good, and since a non-Christian can do no good or choose no good (Rom. 3:12), therefore, what can’t a non-Christian do apart from God drawing/enabling him and giving him the faith to believe?
Jn. 12:37-40 Why were the Jews not believing in Jesus?
If God blinds and hardens people spiritually so that they cannot believe and be converted, what does this tell you about mankind’s having a “free” will to choose Christ and salvation, if they want?
Why do you think most churches teach that mankind has a “free” will?
Does God draw/enable (Jn. 6:44, 65) everyone to come to Christ, or does He give everyone the gift of faith (Eph. 2:8) to put in Christ for salvation?
How do you know (Jn. 6:37, 44; 10:16; Rom. 8:29-30)?
Rom. 11:5-10 How did a remnant of Jews become believers (Rom. 11:5)?
Even though Israel was seeking God’s acceptance/salvation, what happened, and why?
Who did obtain salvation?
Is everyone chosen/elected by God for salvation (Rom. 11:7, 25)?
What did God do (Rom. 11:25) so that He might show mercy to all (i.e., both Gentiles and Jews) – Romans 11:32?
Because God has shut up all in disobedience (bound over to disobedience; enclosed completely in a state of unbelief and disobedience), could/does man really have a “free” will to believe if he wanted?
[As Greek professor and scholar, Kenneth Wuest says in his Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, vol. 1, “Romans”, p. 201, “there is a divine necessity … controlling all the freedom of all men, a divine purpose mastering all the random activity of human wills.”].
Jn. 15:5 Apart from Christ abiding in/remaining in (controlling) a believer, what can he do (spiritually, in terms of bearing fruit – i.e., godly character qualities, as in Gal. 5:22-23 and winning converts, as in Jn. 4:35-36; Rom. 1:13)?
So, could a believer choose to love, be kind, patient, joyful, peaceable, etc. of his own “free” will, apart from Christ controlling/enabling him?
Jn. 15:24-25 Why did the Jews directly (by having seen His authenticating miracles) reject Jesus as Messiah (sin) and hate Him?
Does God control the wills/decisions of people in order to fulfill His prophesies or plans, or does God simply know ahead of time what man’s “free” will choices will be and then makes His predictions based on such advanced knowledge (e.g., Acts 4:27-28)?
Jn. 17:1-2, 6 To whom did Jesus give eternal life?
Does God give everybody to Jesus to have eternal life (Jn. 10:26-29; 12:37-40; Rom. 11:7-8)?
Jn. 17:12 Who was “the son of” (destined/doomed to) perdition (destruction/eternal damnation/hell), John 6:70-71?
Why (Psa. 41:9)?
Since it had been prophesied that this would happen, could Judas have done or been anything different, and why (Acts 1:16)?
Acts 2:39 Which Jews (“you and your children”) and Gentiles (those “far off” – Eph. 2:11, 13, 17) would receive the promise (i.e., the Holy Spirit – Isa. 44:3; Acts 2:33)?
If God doesn’t call (i.e. summon/demand to come – here, it refers to salvation, which is God’s choice uninfluenced by human preconditions – J. Douglas, Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 1, pp. 275, 276) someone to Himself (for salvation), could that person receive the promise (of the Holy Spirit) even if he wanted (Jn. 6:44, 65; 10:26)?
Acts 10:40-41 Whom did Jesus appear to after His resurrection?
Acts 11:18 What had God granted/given to the Gentiles?
If God hadn’t granted/given the Gentiles this repentance (change of mind/thinking/believing – about their sinfulness and need of Christ for salvation), could they have ever repented (see Acts 16:14; 13:48; Rom. 3:11; 1 Cor. 2:14; Jn. 10:26)?
Or, could people respond to the gospel, if God didn’t open up people’s hearts/minds?
Acts 17:26 What did God determine?
In what way does this show that God controls people (their decisions/actions)?
Rom. 8:28-29 What does God do to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose?
How does knowing this make you feel?
What did God do to those whom He foreknew (sovereignly foreordained/appointed in advance to be saved and so knew ahead of time – Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, vol. 1, “Romans”, p. 144)?
And what did God do to those whom He predestined (determined/appointed beforehand) to be like Jesus Christ in character (e.g., holiness) – Romans 8:30?
[Again, we see that God’s choosing some for salvation is based on His own decision and not on His knowledge of what man would choose to do in the future.].
Rom. 9:10-24 Was God going to have the older child serve the younger because the older child was bad or the younger child good?
Why would Rebekah’s older child serve the younger child?
[So we see that the older was to serve the younger because of Him/God who calls (i.e., summons to partake of the blessings of salvation/redemption – Vine, Unger, and White’s, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, p. 155) and not because of foreseen works done by the children.].
Is this unfair of God (Rom. 9:14)?
What doesn’t depend on the man who wills/desires or the man who runs/gives effort?
Did you ever think that experiencing God’s mercy was based on a person’s desire for it or his effort to earn/deserve it?
For what purpose did God raise up (bring onto the scene of history) Pharaoh?
How did God accomplish this demonstration of His power by raising up Pharaoh?
Even though God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, did God still hold Pharaoh responsible for his actions?
Is it unfair of God to harden someone’s heart and then hold him/her responsible for his/her actions (Rom. 9:20-21)?
How do you feel about all this, and why?
Who were prepared (a perfect participle denoting that they have been and still are) for destruction (eternal judgment in hell)?
And who did God prepare beforehand for glory (salvation in heaven)?
Why did God do this?
Specifically, who were some of these vessels/objects of mercy (Rom. 9:24)?
Can those who are called (i.e., summoned/demanded to come to salvation by God) not come (Rom. 11:29; Jn. 6:37; 10:16)?
How do you feel about the fact that God prepared some people for hell/destruction and others for heaven/glory (1 Pet. 2:7-8 – where it states that unbelievers were appointed/destined to stumble, which leads to eternal condemnation)?
2 Cor. 3:14-15 What happened and was still happening to the minds of the Jews/Israelites so that they couldn’t recognize the temporary and inadequate character of the old covenant?
[The verb “were hardened” (“were made dull”) is in the passive voice, thereby showing that an outside agent was acting upon their minds to harden/dull/blind them.].
Who or what was this agent (Rom. 11:8; Jn. 12:37-40)?
2 Cor. 4:3-4 Who does it say has blinded the minds of the unbelieving?
Who is the god of this world (Eph. 6:11-12; 2:2; Jn. 12:30-31; 14:30)?
Why is Satan blinding the eyes of the unbelieving?
Since some verses say that God blinds the minds/eyes/hearts of some people and this passage says the devil does, who is actually doing it (clue – Job 1:9-12; 2:3)?
Eph. 1:4-12 When did God choose (Gk. “eklegomai” – means to pick or single out from a number; “ekletos” – means “election” or the act of God in which He chooses out certain from among mankind for salvation – Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek NT, vol. 3, “Vocabulary”, p. 34; “chose”, here, suggests that God selects freely from His options rather than being compelled by some circumstance, such as some supposed human merit or inherited right – L. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 160) Paul and these Ephesians in Christ (i.e., in connection with Christ as the source of their acceptance – Dr. Homer Kent, Ephesians, p. 20)?
To what did God predestine (Gk. “proorizo” – means to determine/appoint beforehand; here, to put limits around a person so as to bring them within the sphere of becoming something – Wuest, p. 34) Paul and these Ephesians through Jesus Christ?
On what basis or according to what were they predestined to become children of God (Eph. 1:5, 11)?
And to what ultimate goal did God pick them out to become His children (Eph. 1:6)?
Did you know, if you’re a Christian, that the reason you are one is on the basis of God’s will alone and not because of any human merit, goodness, or choices on your part, so that you would praise God for who He is (a God of grace, giving sinners what they don’t deserve, which is salvation, an eternal relationship with Him)?
Do you now see that your sonship, redemption, forgiveness, and salvation are a result of God’s sovereign choice of you based on His own good pleasure, plan, and will and not on your “free” will choice of Him or His knowing ahead of time your choice of Him?
Phil. 2:12-13 Why did Paul expect the Philippian Christians to work out (put into practice in daily living) their salvation (deliverance from sin unto holiness)?
If it wasn’t for God the Holy Spirit giving/putting in you both the will/desire and the actual carrying out of His good pleasure/purpose, would or could you?
Why (also see Rom. 3:12; 7:15-23; Jn. 15:5)?
2 Thes. 2:13-14 For what did God choose these Thessalonians from the beginning (i.e., before the creation of the world/eternity past)?
How does God effect or carry out our predetermined salvation?
How do you feel about the Holy Spirit setting aside for God (sanctification) His chosen ones and then giving them the faith (Eph. 2:8) to believe in the truth, so that salvation is actually experienced?
Gal. 1:13-17 From what point was the apostle Paul set apart by God to do God’s work?
How or on what basis was Paul called to his ministry of apostleship?
And for what purpose?
Was it Paul’s “free” will that motivated him to switch from being a persecutor of Christians to being a Christian missionary, or was it God’s sovereign intervention in revealing Christ to/in Paul that caused this (also see 2 Tim. 1:1)?
2 Tim. 1:9 On what basis were Paul and Timothy saved and called to a holy life by God?
From when was God’s purpose and grace for their salvation granted?
Since “grace” is unmerited/undeserved favor, could people have even chosen God’s salvation if He hadn’t granted it to them first?
Why (Jn. 6:44, 65; 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:11-12)?
2 Tim. 2:8-10 For what reason does Paul endure all things (e.g., hardships, imprisonment, etc.)?
Would you be willing to suffer hardship and imprisonment for preaching the gospel so that those who are chosen/elect will yet believe? Why?
If those whom God predestines, chooses, elects, or calls to salvation are going to be saved regardless of whether we witness/evangelize or not, then why should we Christians bother sharing our faith (see Matt. 28:19-20 with Acts 10:42; 2 Tim. 4:5 with Eph. 4:11-12; Phil. 2:2 with Phil. 1:27)?
2 Tim. 2:24-26 Why should the Lord’s servant correct those (Christians who fell into false teaching) who are in opposition?
If God didn’t grant these Christians, who had fallen into false teaching, repentance (a change of heart and conduct), could they have come to their senses and escaped the snare/trap of the devil?
Why (2 Tim. 2:26; Phil. 2:13; Jn. 15:5)?
Rev. 17:16-17 What did God put into the hearts/minds of the 10 horns (10 kings who are heads of the countries which will form the original alliance in the Middle East that will support the world ruler – “beast”) and the beast (Antichrist, world ruler) so that they would execute His purpose?
Did the 10 kings and world ruler (beast) have any choice but to hate the harlot/prostitute (the religious system of Babylon or the world church – Drs. Walvoord and Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, pp. 970, 972) and bring her to ruin, and why?