NORMAN H. WELLS
Pastor, Central Baptist Church
The thoughts contained in this booklet were first
assembled for use in the Theology class of the Cin-
cinnati Baptist Bible School. Later they were used as
lessons for one quarter of the Three Year Bible Study
taught to the Young People and Adults of the Central
Baptist Sunday School.
So many have expressed the desire that these
thoughts should be placed in booklet form that we
decided to once again rewrite these lessons and put
them in the form contained in this booklet.
May God bless this booklet for its intended use is
The Eternal Purpose_ _ _ _ 5
The Creation of Man_ _ _ _ 11
Man's Choice of Sin_ _ _ _ 15
Total Depravity_ _ _ _ 18
Predestination_ _ _ _ 22
Election_ _ _ _ 28
Chosen_ _ _ _ 32
Ordain_ _ _ _ 35
Foreknowledge_ _ _ _ 39
Atonement_ _ _ _ 41
"I Have Created Him for My Glory"_ _ _ _ 45
THE ETERNAL PURPOSE"According to the eternal purpose which he pur-
posed in Christ Jesus our Lord". (Ephesians 3:11)
What is an "eternal purpose"?
The dictionary defines "eternal" as, "Having neither
beginning nor end of existence."
The word "purpose" is defined as, "To have or place
before oneself, as an aim or intent; determine, resolve, or
intend; having a fixed design or determination."
An "eternal purpose[,]" then could be defined as an "ever-
lasting fixed design."
We are thinking of God's "eternal purpose". In all eter-
nity God has had a definite plan and design for all this crea-
tion. God had, in all eternity, the determination as to what
this creation would accomplish."In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being pre-
destinated according to the purpose of him who
worketh all things after the counsel of his
own will". (Eph. 1:11)
From this verse we see that God's "eternal purpose" is
carried out by the exercise of His own will. This purpose of
God is based upon His sovereignty, and is the expression of
the good pleasure of His will.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN
God possesses supreme rulership. This sovereignty is
absolute. God in no way, under no condition, can be brought
under external restraint, or influence."Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his coun-
seller hath taught him?
"With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and
taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowl-
6 GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSEedge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?" (Isa-
iah 40:13, 14)
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient
times the things that are not yet done, saying, My coun-
sel shall stand, and I will do all my pleas-
"Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that execut-
eth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken
it, I will also bring it to pass; I have pur-
posed it, I will also do it." (Isa. 46:10, 11)
"And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing:
and he doeth according to his will in the
army of heaven, and among the inhabitants
of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or
say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:35)
"For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul
it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it
back?" (Isa. 14:27)
These verses, with many others, emphasize the fact that
God is sovereign. HE WILL DO ALL HE HAS PURPOSED
TO DO! NONE CAN STAY HIS HAND!
GOD, IN ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY, CARRIES OUT
HIS "eternal purpose". All things are "according to
his purpose.""I will do all my pleasure". (Isa. 46:10)
"I have purposed it, I will also do it." (Isa. 46:11)
"he doeth according to his will". (Dan. 4:35)
"...called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
"...predestinated according to the purpose". (Eph. 1:11)
"...saved us...according to his own purpose". (II Timothy 1:9)
GOD DOES NOT SUFFER DEFEAT! God's purpose in
creation will be carried out."For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God him-
self that formed the earth and made it; he hath established
it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be
inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else." (Isa.
God did not create this world in vain. It will accomplish
His "eternal purpose".
GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE 7
WHAT IS GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE?
It would be presumptuous for any mortal to suppose he
could understand entirely the purpose God has in all crea-
tion. We can, however, examine as much of this eternal pur-
pose as has been revealed in God's Word.
There is one theme that runs through the entire Bible
concerning God and all this creation. Perhaps from this we
can see something of God's "eternal purpose". This theme
that receives such great emphasis is the fact of the glory
WHAT IS GOD'S "ETERNAL PURPOSE" IN CREATION?"The heavens declare the glory of God; and
the firmament sheweth his handywork." (Psalm 19:1)
"The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the
people see his glory." (Psalm 97:6)
"...His glory covered the heavens, and the
earth was full of his praise." (Habakkuk 3:3)
The glory of God is emphasized in all creation. All of
creation sings forth the glory of God. The heavens declare
His glory and the earth is full of His praise. Perhaps this
was God's "eternal purpose" in all creation.
WHAT IS GOD'S "ETERNAL PURPOSE" IN MAN?
God has determined that He will be glorified in mankind.
He created man for His glory."Even every one that is called by my name: for I have
created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea,
I have made him." (Isa. 43:7)
"for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure
they are and were created." (Revelation 4:11)
God, in the expression of His own will, created man for
His own glory."And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians
God's purpose is that every tongue shall shout forth
praises to His glory.
8 GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted
among the heathen, I will be exalted in the
earth." (Psalm 46:10)
God has declared that His glory will be exalted in all the
earth. He will carry out this purpose."Declare his glory among the heathen, his
wonders among all people." (Psalm 96:3)
These verses reveal something of God's "eternal pur-
pose" in man. He will be exalted in all earth. His glory
will be declared among all the people.
WHAT IS GOD'S "ETERNAL PURPOSE" IN ISRAEL?
The nation of Israel was to be to the praise and glory
of God."...for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified
himself in Israel." (Isaiah 44:23)
"And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in
whom I will be glorified." (Isaiah 49:3)
"...that they might be unto me for a people, and
for a name, and for a praise, and for a
glory: ..." (Jeremiah 13:11).
God called Israel to be unto Him a people that would
bring praise and glory to His name. This was His purpose
as revealed in His Word.
WHAT WAS GOD'S "ETERNAL PURPOSE" IN CHRIST?"Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from
heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glo-
rify it again." (John 12:28)
God states that He had glorified His name in the life of
Christ. This was the desire of Christ as expressed in this
prayer."Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the
Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in
him." (John 13:31)
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven,
and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son,
that thy Son also may glorify thee". (John
GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE 9
In these verses it is revealed that God's "eternal pur-
pose" in Christ was accomplished in the glorifying of His
WHAT IS GOD'S "ETERNAL PURPOSE" IN SALVATION?
God's purpose in salvation is clearly revealed in many
verses of Scripture."But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew
forth the praises of him who hath called
you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" (I Peter 2:9)
Each individual that God saves is to show the world the
praises of God."And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in
heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
"That in the ages to come he might shew the exceed-
ing riches of his grace in his kindness toward us
through Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:6, 7)
God raises up the lost sinner that the exceeding riches
of God's grace might be shown."Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by
Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good
pleasure of his will,
"To the praise of the glory of his grace,
wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Eph. 1:5, 6)
God has determined that those who trust in Christ shall
be to the praise of His glory."That we should be to the praise of his glory,
who first trusted in Christ." (Eph. 1:12)
Many times it is stated in God's Word that those who
trust in Christ are to the praise of God's glory. Certainly,
in this, we see something of God's "eternal purpose" in
salvation."...ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
"Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption
of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his
glory." (Eph. 1:13, 14)
10 GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE
Those who are saved are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto
the praise of God's glory.
WHAT IS GOD'S "ETERNAL PURPOSE"
IN EACH CHRISTIAN?
Everything in the Christian's life is to be to the praise
of the glory of God."Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye
do, do all to the glory of God." (I Corinthians
WHAT IS GOD'S "ETERNAL PURPOSE" IN THE [LOCAL] CHURCH?"Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Eph. 3:21)
God's "eternal purpose" calls for being glorified in each
From all these Scriptures it is evident that God's "eter-
nal purpose" is realized in the glorifying of His name. This
is His revealed purpose in creation, in man, in Israel, in
Christ, in salvation, in each Christian and in each church.
A SOVEREIGN, OMNIPOTENT GOD DOES NOT
FAIL! HIS PURPOSE WILL BE FULFILLED!
THE CREATION OF MAN
A sovereign, omnipotent God has determined that He
will be glorified in all that He has done. This is God's "eter-
nal purpose". In the light of this fact let us look at the
creation of man.
As we have already determined, man was created for
God's glory."Even everyone that is called by my name: FOR I HAVE
CREATED HIM FOR MY GLORY, I have formed him; yea,
I have made him." (Isa. 43:7)
GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE"And God said, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE,
AFTER OUR LIKENESS:" (Genesis 1:26)
Notice the language that is used in this verse. . . . "let
US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness." The
plural pronoun emphasizes that the Trinity, God the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit made man.
Being created in the image of God does not denote a
physical likeness to God the Father. According to the teach-
ings of Col. 1:15, John 4:24, John 1:18, Luke 24:39, I Sam.
15:29, etc. God is not a man. He is rather, a spirit, and as
such He has no physical parts or substance, but is invisible.
Christ is spoken of as "being in the form of God." (Phil.
2:6) Jesus Christ was, "made flesh and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the
Father,)" . . . . Jesus Christ was the invisible manifestation of
God. When the Scripture says, "let US make man in OUR
image" it could be saying that man was created according
to the model and pattern set forth in Christ.
The end result of salvation is that we will be, "conformed
to the image of his Son." (Rom. 8:29.)
12 GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE
MAN IS FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE
MAN WAS CREATED FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH
MAN WAS CREATED A LIVING SOUL
MAN'S CHOICE OF SIN
TOTAL DEPRAVITY [EVERY MERE MAN]
"I HAVE CREATED HIM FOR
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