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Ephesians; 1:4 – Election of church age believer, part 16. Foreknowledge: Explanations are not the real thing

length: 81:31 - taught on Dec, 2 2018
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Class Outline:

3f. The believer is elected according to the foreknowledge of God. 


ACT 2:23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.


The word "foreknowledge" therefore refers to that counsel of God in which after deliberative judgment, the Lord Jesus was to be delivered into human hands to be crucified.


The fact that the crucifixion of the Son of Man was planned and foreknown by the Father, made its occurrence a certainty, yet Jesus wasn’t under compunction to do it. He clearly said that He was laying down His body by His own choice. When the event had finally arrived, just hours before He would be nailed to the cross, forsaken by His Father, and judged for every sin of mankind, He prayed for another way, knowing full well that there wasn’t one.


We still might ask why He did it. We’ll have to wait until we see Him in order to ask Him, because He says, “In the beginning I created, and I didn’t tell you why.”


Therefore, Christ must be God and He must come voluntarily and He must lay down His life voluntarily. He had a choice, which is profound in itself. Even His choice is dualized since it is not understood and made to sound rather smart in Latin: non posse peccare (not able to sin) and posse non peccare (able not to sin).


Man had a choice in the Garden of Eden and he chose wrong and doomed the rest of us, but the choice of Christ gave us another choice.


Though fallen, we can choose for Him. And for those who have done so, God says that I predetermined and foreknew you. In My own counsel I chose you, and yet I did not force you.


No one knows how this works any more than anyone really knows how an atom works and therefore our entire universe works.


carbon atom. Take this carbon atom for example. Does anyone think it actually looks like this?


combustion of wood.

This is only a representation. Anyone can light a fire without knowing anything about it. But what would we call a person who was freezing to death and had wood, kindling, a fire-starter, and matches, but refused to make his fire until he understood how it all worked, and he froze to death.


Let’s say that someone is witnessing a fire start in his home and he runs to the fire extinguisher, but he won’t use it until he understands why the chemicals inside put out the fire.


I’m just having a little fun here, but we get the point.


We make designs that attempt to help us, but they are not real. And therefore, all attempts at lapsarianism (ordering the divine decrees) and all other explanations on how it all works are not real either. We could no more know the hows and the whys of it all than we can see inside an atom.


I have colleagues who attempt small explanations and I guess I understand why they want to, but any explanation is fruitless. 


It helps us to know that God is not in time, not limited to chronological events, and so the infinite and transcendent aspect of these wonderful things cannot be fully understood.


Yet, as God does reveal the words elect and foreknowledge to us, we should come to know all that He reveals and not shy away from it because of any fear. And when God stops revealing, we also stop.


Foreknowledge used as a verb, ROM 8:29; 11:2; 1PE 1:20.


ROM 8:29For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;


ROM 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew [Israel].


Foreknowledge used as a noun, 1PE 1:2; ACT 2:23.


Arminianism: salvation is based upon foreseen faith.

Problem: foreknowledge is always connected with God planning.





So many of God’s creation have rejected Him, fought Him, been enraged at Him, and sought to release themselves from accountability to Him. This was and is being done in vain. Yet God did not fight them with His omnipotence, which would have been no contest. Instead, He fought them with His love. The sin that man used against God, He took upon Himself and stood in their place by judging Himself for them.


PSA 2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar,

And the peoples devising a vain thing?


PSA 2:2 The kings of the earth take their stand,

And the rulers take counsel together

Against the Lord and against His



PSA 2:3 "Let us tear their fetters apart,

And cast away their cords from us!"


PSA 2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,

The Lord scoffs at them.


PSA 2:5 Then He will speak to them in His anger

And terrify them in His fury:


PSA 2:6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King

Upon Zion, My holy mountain."


PSA 76:10 For the wrath of man shall praise Thee;

With a remnant of wrath Thou shalt gird Thyself.


ISA 46:8 "Remember this, and be assured;

Recall it to mind, you transgressors.


ISA 46:9 "Remember the former things long past,

For I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is no one like Me,


ISA 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning

And from ancient times things which have not been done,

Saying, 'My purpose will be established,

And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';


God planned all things, and somehow allowed free-will in man into those plans. If man is forced to do what he does because God planned it, then man cannot be judged by God. In fact, God would have to judge Himself as the creator of sin. It is a wonderful unknown that God has accomplished, and He has done it so well that it is to His good pleasure.


As we have seen in our study, in what is actually the election of the Son of God to become the Son of Man, He was foreknown and predetermined to be judged for the sin of all mankind on the cross.


The young humanity of Jesus would have come to know this at some point, something as equally difficult for us to understand. He would have come to know that He would have to be judged for the sins of those who would receive no benefit from His death on their behalf. As a boy, when He read about Pharaoh, those sins would fall upon Him. When He read about every evil king in Samuel, Chronicles, and Kings, He would know that their sins were going to be judged upon Him. And, at the same time, He would realize that these men, and millions more like them, went to their graves rejecting Yavah Elohim as their Redeemer, leaving them to benefit nothing from His infinitely painful atonement.


Maybe He could just die for the elect. (Strict Calvinists would have helped Him make His case) But this was not determined by the Father.


1JO 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.


It was determined and He knew it. At His weakest, He pleaded with the Father to show Him if there was another way, truly showing the limitations of His humanity, which humanity and limitation He freely took upon Himself. But He knew the answer. Perhaps He found some little comfort in knowing that He was free to ask the Father this question, even though He knew the answer was no. It is not sinful to do so.


LUK 22:22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"


Let’s use Luke’s account as our guide in this so Holy Communion.


LUK 22:14 And when the hour had come He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him.


LUK 22:15 And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;


LUK 22:16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. " 


LUK 22:17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves;


LUK 22:18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes." 


LUK 22:19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 


LUK 22:20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.


LUK 22:21 "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Me on the table.


LUK 22:22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"


The more I study this doctrine of election, the more questions I have that I know cannot be answered for us in this life. I will never try to answer them. I will only proclaim Jesus as the Savior and glory in His unimaginable suffering and death, and His victory in resurrection. Salvation is through faith in Him as the only One who could do these things.


Rejoice believer. He has done it. No more sacrifice is needed. He does not have to ever do what He did again. It is once, and for all. I pray that we all strive to see ourselves as His elect, chosen to be holy and blameless, rejoicing no matter what may come upon us, for we are free and saved.


Pray …

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