Some Definitions

Here are some terms I constantly use in preaching the gospel. They are terms by which the works of God’s grace are presented to us in Holy Scripture, either verbally or by unmistakable examples or illustrations. They are Bible words, words that every confessing believer ought to know.

Did you know they were in the Bible?

Election – Predestination – Redemption – Regeneration – Providence


Election is God’s sovereign, eternal choice and determination to save some, a great multitude of Adam’s fallen race. It is a free, unconditional, irreversible act of God’s sovereign grace, by which the everlasting salvation of all the chosen was secured from eternity (Psalm 65:4; John 15:16; Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).


Predestination is God’s sovereign, eternal arrangement of all the affairs of the universe to secure the object of his electing love; to secure the everlasting salvation of his adopted sons and daughters. It is God’s plan, the blueprint by which he created the universe and rules it in providence. This great, blessed work of God’s grace includes all things and can never be altered. This, too, is a matter of such unmistakable, clear revelation that ignorance of it is inexcusable (Acts 13:48; Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 1:11; Romans 8:29).


Redemption is the ransom of chosen sinners out from under the curse of God’s broken law and offended justice by the sacrificial, substitutionary, sin-atoning death of our Lord Jesus. Redemption is the satisfaction of justice by the blood of Christ and the deliverance of God’s elect from all possibility of condemnation (Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 3:13; Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18-20). The redemption of our souls by Christ’s shed blood also includes and guaranteed the redemption (deliverance) of our souls from the bondage and dominion of sin (Isaiah 53:10-11), and the redemption of our bodies from the grave at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:14, Ephesians 4:30). All who were redeemed by the blood of Christ must and shall be saved by God’s grace in him.


Regeneration is the new birth, the actual deliverance of chosen, redeemed sinners from spiritual death into spiritual life by the effectual power and irresistible grace of God the Holy Spirit (John 3:8; Ephesians 2:1-4; Colossians 2:10-13). It is a resurrection from spiritual death, to spiritual eternal life in Christ by the Spirit of God.


Providence is the glorious, though mysterious, sovereign rule of the universe by God for the salvation of his people and the praise, honor, and glory of his own great name (Romans 8:28, Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:11). Providence is God working out in time what he purposed in eternity.

Nothing is more comforting, nothing inspires boldness, and nothing gives peace like a good understanding of and a confident faith in God’s election, predestination, redemption, regeneration, and providence.

I exhort you to read your Bibles to see if these things are so.

By Donald Bell

One Comment on “Some Definitions

  1. Election also covers reprobation, that some are elected to reprobation such as Pharoah and Judas, to name but two.

    Regeneration is indeed being raised from the grave, spiritual death, and hence making for the first resurrection, the second being that of the body.

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