Predestination and Free Will – The True Meaning of Romans 1.2

Paul goes on to say in Romans 1.2 that the gospel concerning Jesus was “promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures.” It echoes the comment at Luke 1.70: “as (Jesus) spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.”

This is a recognition of predestination. The son of God was predestined to come to earth and die as a sacrifice for all sinners. It adds to the debate in general concerning the destiny of man. If there is such a thing as pre-destiny, how can we have free will?

The verses in Isaiah are most often quoted as being the ones closest to prophesying accurately the arrival of a messiah. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9.6)

If you think about the power of these words, it is perhaps not surprising that many in Jesus´time were slow to accept the plain man from Nazareth who claimed to be the fulfillment of this prophecy. They must have been expecting someone who looked like an Emperor and fought like a God. Instead they saw a young man in simple clothes, followed by fishermen, who spoke not in the Temple to the religious faithful, but on the hillsides to the sinners and the dispossessed.

To top it all, this young man had the nerve to criticize the powerful Sanhedrin and the ways of the Jews and their long held adherence to the laws of Moses.

Jesus shows by his behaviour that he was guided by his own will and not by the will of those who professed religious expertise. His own will, moreover, coincided with the will of God, as of course God knew it would. This “future knowledge”, the course of Jesus´ life, was revealed to the prophets years before the events actually took place. This was so that they would be a testament to the validity of Jesus´s claims to be the son of God.

It was left to the disciples, their testimony, their suffering, their faith, to form the early church which would become the bedrock of truth. Here, the apostle Paul lays his own claim on that process, spreading the word through his epistles and his travels, so that the multitudes can begin to comprehend the true wisdom and might of the “ordinary man” from Nazareth.

Source by Milton Johanides

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