Monday, April 10, 2006

Biblical Foreknowledge Defined


Paul declares, "For whom God foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son . . . and whom he foreordained, these he also called; and whom he called, these he also justified; and whom he justified, these he also glorified."

NOTE: If ever a verse would seem to support the view of based on God looking down the halls of history to see what man would do this would be it. However for God to “know” or to “foreknow” is used many times in the Bible as an idiom meaning “to love beforehand." Please not the following Biblical situations where the term “know” is used:

Adam and Eve:

When the Bible says that Adam "knew" Eve, it does not mean for a moment that Adam knew how tall she was and what kind of a temperament she had. No, it means that Adam loved Eve.

God Knowing the Righteous:

When David says that God "knows the way of the righteous, but that the way of the wicked will perish" (Ps. 1), he is not saying that God knows the righteous and does not know the wicked. God knows everything and everyone, including the wicked. David obviously means that God loves the way of the righteous and hates the way of the wicked, whom He will punish.

Also Mat 7:22-23: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, we prophesied in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and did many miraculous works in Your name, did we not? "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you*; be departing from Me, the ones practicing lawlessness!' (Mat 7:22-23)

God’s Love for Israel:

A similar use of the word is understood, when God says through Amos, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth" (3:2), He is not denying His omniscience, and saying that He does not know anybody else intellectually. We know clearly that this is a figure of speech for saying, "You only have I loved of all the families of the earth."

Paul Uses The Term Foreknew In The First Chain Of His Order Of Salvation:

In the same manner, when Paul says in Romans 8:29, "whom God foreknew, he also foreordained," Paul is using the Biblical idiom of "know" for "love," and he means, "whom God loved beforehand, he foreordained."

What Paul is saying here in Romans 8 is that the golden chain of salvation begins with the eternal, electing love of God and goes on in beautifully unbreakable links through foreordination, effectual calling, justification, to final glorification in heaven.

This passage leads to the conclusion that in a most powerful way with the rest of Scripture foreordination of the believer is based on God's eternal love. Therefore thank we our God that there is that unbroken chain of salvation. Anyone who believes on Christ can know that he is in it.


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