一.在永恒中,上帝就按其至圣至智的旨意,自由不变地预定了将来所要发生的一切(弗1:11;罗11:33;来6:17;罗9:15,18);祂虽如此预定一切,并不因此就是罪恶的创始者(雅1:13,17;约壹1:5),也不强迫受造者的意志,而且诸次因的自由运行或因果关系也并未废去,反而得以确立(徒2:23;太17:12;徒4:27-28;约19:11;箴16:33)。

God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin; nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

二.虽然上帝预知在各种可能出现的条件下所能发生的一切(徒15:18;撒上23:11,12;太11:21,23),但祂预定某事,并非因祂预知将来此事如何,或预知此事在这些条件下必然发生(罗9:11,13,16,18)。

Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions; yet hath He not decreed any thing because He foresaw it as future, as that which would come to pass, upon such conditions.

三.按照上帝的预旨,为了彰显祂的荣耀,上帝预定有些人和天使得永生(提前5:21;太25:41),而其余的人或天使则受永死(罗9:22-23;弗1:5-6;箴16:4)。

By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.

四.那些如此被预定的天使和人,都有个别性的计划,并且是不变的;数目确定,无可增减(提后2:19;约13:18)。

These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it can not be either increased or diminished.

五.那些在创世以前被预定得永生的人,是上帝按其永恒、不变的目的,及其隐密的计划和祂自己的美意,在基督里拣选了他们,使他们得永远的荣耀(弗1:4,9,11;罗8:30;提后1:9;帖前5:9)。这预定惟独是由于上帝白白的恩典和慈爱,并非因为祂预见到他们的信心或善行,或是预见到他们在信心与善行上的坚忍,或是预见到人身上其它任何因素,这些都不是上帝预定他们的条件或原因(罗9:11,13,16;弗1:4,9);这一切都是为了使祂荣耀的恩典得着称赞(弗1:6,12)。

Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His free grace and love alone, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace.

六.上帝既预定选民得荣耀,便以其永恒的、完全自由的目的,预定了一切达此目的的途径(彼前1:2;弗1:4-5;2:10;帖后2:13)。所以凡被拣选的,虽在亚当里堕落了,却被基督救赎(帖前5:9-10;多2:14)。由祂的灵按时运行,有效地呼召他们归信基督;他们称义,得儿子的名分,成圣(罗8:30;弗1:5;帖后2:13),并藉着信,得蒙祂的权能保守,以致得救(彼前1:5)。除选民以外,无人被基督救赎,蒙有效的恩召,称义,得儿子的名分,成圣,并得救(约17:9; 罗8:28-39;约6:64-65;8:47;10:26;约壹2:19)。

As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

七.至于其余的人,上帝照着祂那不可测度的计划,施与或保留怜悯,为了使祂对受造者的主权,得着荣耀,祂随己意撇弃他们,并预定他们因自己的罪受羞辱,遭忿怒,使祂荣耀的公义得着称赞(太11:25-26;罗9:17-18,21-22;提后2:19-20;犹4;彼前2:8)。

The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

八.预定论是一崇高的奥秘,因此,对于这一教义我们要特别谨慎,并留心处理(罗9:20;11:33;申29:29),好叫那些听从上帝在圣经中所启示的旨意的人,可以从他们有效蒙召的确实性,得以确信自己在永世中蒙了拣选(彼后1:10)。如此,这教义就为那些真心顺服福音的人,提供了赞美、敬畏和爱慕上帝(弗1:6;罗11:33),谦卑自己、殷勤做工的根据,并使他们得着丰富的慰籍(罗11:5-6,20;彼后1:10;罗8:33;路10:20)。

The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending to the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.