FOREORDAIN; FORORDINATION [isbe]
- for-or-dan', for-or-di-na'-shun: The word "foreordain" is uniformly used in the Revised Version (British and American) to render the Greek proorizo, in the passages where this verb occurs (Acts 4:28
; Rom 8:29,30
; 1 Cor 2:7
; Eph 15,11). In the passages in Romans and Ephesians it takes the place of the King James Version word "predestinate," a return to the usage of the older English versions The word has simply the sense of determining beforehand. It is thus kindred in meaning with a number of other New Testament words expressing the idea of Divine purpose, as "foreknow" (in pregnant sense, Acts 2:23
; Rom 8:29
, etc.); "determine" (Acts 17:26
); "appoint" (1 Pet 2:8
). Foreordination, in the widest sense, is coextensive with the sphere of God's universal providence, being but another name for that Divine plan, purpose or counsel which embraces all things, great and small (Mt 10:29,30
), that happen in Nature, or fall out in human life. Man's free actions are not regarded in Scripture as excluded from it (Acts 2:28
). Foreordination, at the same time, is not to be conceived of as in any way overriding, or doing violence to, human freedom. Man acts freely, as Nature acts necessarily, but it is God who appoints the time, place and circumstances of the free act, permits its happening, and overrules it and its issues for the furthering of His own wise and holy ends. See PROVIDENCE. Foreordination in the sphere of grace has respect to the choice, calling and blessing of those who, through faith, are made partakers of eternal life (Rom 8:29,30
; Eph 1:5,11
). In this, its soteriological aspect, the subject is considered in special articles.
See CHOOSE; ELECTION; PREDESTINATION.