I first started studying Predestination after being asked about it by a friend from my CU Bible Study group who was confused with what was being taught during the studies of Ephesians in the main meetings. The studies went over five weeks and covered Ephesians 1-2. The confusion was over the way the speaker, John Diacos,taught the subject of election in regards to our salvation. He taught what Biblical Calvinism says quite well, but back then I was confused over the issue, so what he said confused me even more. (My possition was the contradictory view that God was in control, yet we had free will [I recognised it was contradictory, and thus was confused]).
Here are my notes from the studies typed up. The four studies were:
What really made me think was when he came back for the fifth time to answer
questions we had. The main question was over us being dead in sin and unable
to turn to God. It took the form of an analogy of a swimmer in the sea. The
classic analogy which I knew was basically an arminian one, and I thought it
was totally correct:
"We are like a swimmer in the sea. We are drowning in the huge, vast, deep Pacific Ocean. We are gasping for breath, quickly growing weak. God comes along in His huge cruise-liner and chucks us a life ring attahced to a rope, with Him holding the other end of the rope. God offers us the chance to be saved, we just have to take the initiative and reach out for Him and grasp His life-line. Once we do, He will carry us to safety."
The analogy which John used was noticably different, and left me confused and not sure whether I should agree or disagree with him. (I now know it is a correct analogy):
"We are like a swimmer in the sea. But we have drowned. We are dead, lifeless, not breathing, can't see or move. Not only are we dead at the bottom of the ocean, we are in the deapest trench in the Pacific with an unmeasurable amount of water holding us down. We cannot do anything. God sees us down there, and in His mercy comes down to us, to our level. He breathes life into us, and carries up to the surface to safety."
A few of us didn't like his analogy, prefering the first one. He explained it a little further and used another analogy. He reminded us of the 'Footprints' poem (the famous, and reassuring poem about our walk with Christ). He said that it was incorrect to say that some of walk towards heaven was us walking and other parts God carrying us. He said that actually, when we look back on our life we will only see one set of footprints - for the believer is carried by God to heaven. (Despite that I still think the poem is a very good one, and very reassuring [you could say it is really us looking back on our lives before we die - so it's hard to see that God carries us all the way]).
The analogy of the dead swimmer is explained in my note on Chapter 2.
None of these studies are copyrighted, so use them as you wish.
Browse through in a logical order:
Perseverance Universal Reconciliation
Browse through the order I made them:
What is Faith? Universal Reconciliation