“To God’s elect… who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” 1 Peter 1:1-2 NIV
WHAT IS MEANT BY FOREKNOWLEDGE? I’m quite certain that if you are to be asked, you can immediately respond, “to know beforehand” — and you are correct. That’s exactly how dictionaries define it.
However, to define FOREKNOWLEDGE as an Attribute of God, we must not solely rely on dictionary meanings. For it is not just a matter of its basic definition and etymology; what matters more is the way it is used in the Holy Scriptures.
THE MISCONCEPTION BASED ON THE BASIC DEFINITION. In theology, one of the many topics that raises so much discussions and even controversies is the one that tackles divine predestination or preordination — God’s eternal choice of certain ones to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Some argue that this ‘election’ is based upon God’s foreknowledge; and this ‘foreknowledge’ is interpreted to mean that certain ones would be more ready to respond to the strivings of the Holy Spirit than others, that they would be more capable of being ‘changed’ compared to the rest, and that God foreknew they would believe so He predestined them unto salvation. Such arguments are just wrong.
THE TRUTH BASED ON THE SCRIPTURES’ DEFINITION. The word ‘foreknowledge’ is found a few times in the New Testament. If carefully read and studied, we can learn that the word is never used in the Scriptures in connection with events or actions — it always has reference to persons. God is said to foreknow people, not the actions of those people.
THE OBJECT OF GOD’S FOREKNOWLEDGE. The Scriptures never speak of faith and repentance as being foreseen or foreknown by God. He does know that certain ones would believe and repent, but this is not exactly the object of His prescience. God’s foreknowledge uniformly refers to God foreknowing people.
THE GROUND OF GOD’S FOREKNOWLEDGE. God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be. His decree or counsel is the ground of His foreknowledge. He purposed in Himself to elect certain people, not because of anything good in them or from them, either actual or foreseen, but solely out of His own mere pleasure.
BY GRACE AND THROUGH GRACE. Christians are people who have believed through grace. Grace means unmerited favor – something which we had no claim upon God whatsoever. If we have believed through grace, then there is absolutely nothing meritorious about us believing, hence, it could never be the ground or cause for God to choose us.
Fellow Christians, even before the foundation of the world, the Lord chose us in Christ, not because of anything in us or from us, or not because God foresaw we would believe — He chose us because it pleased Him to do so.
Therefore, all glory, honor, and praise must belong to Him alone. We have no right for taking any credit to ourselves, for we have believed through grace, and our very election was of grace. ❤️
“Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith.” Romans 3:27 NLT
Next Saturday: THE WISDOM OF GOD 😊