1pe 01v02 According To The Foreknowledge Of God
"ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD"
I Peter 1:2
Many try to avoid the biblical doctrine of election and the sovereignty of God's electing grace by telling us that election was based upon God's eternal knowledge that some sinners would, of their own freewill, repent and believe on Christ. But we reject such doctrine for two reasons: (1) It is contrary to the plain statements of Holy Scripture (Deut. 7:7-9; Jer. 31:3; Rom. 9:11-18); and (2) It makes God's electing grace dependent upon foreseen merit in the sinner, attributing salvation to the works of man rather than the grace of God. If the word "foreknowledge" does not mean "foreseen repentance and faith in men", what does it mean?
Divine foreknowledge certainly includes THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD. God, knowing all things, had a thorough knowledge of all his elect and all that would concern them from eternity. He knew the depths of sin and rebellion, disobedience and ungodliness, guilt and depravity into which we would fall before he called us by his grace. And he knew grievous sins and falls of which we have all been guilty since he saved us by his grace. Nevertheless, he set his heart upon us and chose us (Jer. 1:5).
The foreknowledge of God is nothing less than DIVINE FOREORDINATION. In I Peter the very same word is translated "foreordained". Omniscience, the fact that God knows all things, is an attribute of God, essential to his Being. But foreknowledge is a voluntary, deliberate act of God, an eternal act of his grace. God knows all things that come to pass before they come to pass, because he sovereignly predestinated and sovereignly controls all things. All that God foreknew, he foreordained, or predestinated, and he sovereignly brings to pass (Is. 46:9-11; Rom. ).
Primarily, the word "foreknowledge" signifies THE EVERLASTING LOVE OF GOD THE FATHER FOR HIS OWN ELECT. "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Rom. ). In this sense God knew some, but not others (Matt. ). Foreknowledge is God's eternal love and unalterable delight in his elect, as he viewed us in his dear Son.
Election is not a dry, arbitrary choice of some eternal life. ELECTION IS GOD'S ETERNAL, DETERMINATE CHOICE OF HIS PEOPLE, BASED UPON HIS LOVING KNOWLEDGE AND APPROVAL OF EACH AND ALL OF THEM IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD WAS. If we can realize this in our souls, it will be truly sweet and precious. None of us knows himself. We may have seen little into our fallen nature, we may know some small bit of the evil and depravity of our hearts, and we may be aware of some hideous deeds we have committed, but none of us truly knows himself. But God does know us. He knows the depth of iniquity in our hearts. He knows the base deeds we have performed, both the evil deeds themselves and the even greater evi1 that caused us to act so vilely. God knows what you and I are by nature! He knows us thoroughly! Yet, a higher, greater sense God knows us in Christ. He not only knows about us by omniscience, HE KNOWS US BY ETERNAL, UNCHANGEABLE, UNENDING ACT OF LOVE IN CHRIST! God knows his elect only in his Son; and knowing us in his Son, he smiles upon us, approves of us, accepts us, and delights in us through the merits his Son, our eternal Surety, the Lord Jesus Christ. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; but I do rejoice in it. I rejoice in God's electing love!