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29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.


He also predestined

There is a distinction between decree and human freedom. God concurs with some things the believer chooses, and other things we attribute to the immediate agency of God.

It is important to distinguish between different viewpoints of decree. There are those who deny the efficiency of secondary causes; others admit the reality of human choice. One view makes no distinction between free and necessary events; the other admits the validity and unspeakable importance of this distinction. The one asserts and the other denies that the agency of God is the same in sinful acts as it is in good acts. One admits that God is the author of sin; the other repudiates that.

Thus, free agency means that we have the natural authority to act freely, which in turn implies we originate our own acts.

God’s decree is not inconsistent with man’s personal liberty. Through concursus God both influences our thoughts and actions and, at the same time, permits us to make decisions. He controls everything about the process. Therefore, we know that:

God can hinder an action or decision of man.

God can determine an action in man.

God decreed free agency within the two qualifications above.

Note the relation of providence to freedom:

God sometimes allows man to do as he pleases—puts no restraints in his way. 

God sometimes keeps a man from doing what in his freedom he would otherwise do. God uses circumstances, influence of friends, and inner restraints to accomplish His purpose. 

God sometimes overrules what man does to his own ends. He even makes the wrath of man to praise him.


Some things operate under the direct or immediate agency of God; others do not.


Prayer is an example whereby God operates directly and indirectly with believers:

God does some things only in answer to prayer.

God does some things without prayer.

God does some things contrary to prayer.