The Glory of God in Foreknowledge (September 22, 2011)

Clarification: What Foreknowledge Doesn’t Mean

  1. It doesn’t mean that God looked down the corridors of time and saw all the people who would accept him and chose or predestined them to salvation. That is not what the word means in this passage, and in addition, no other passage says anything like that.
    1. This passage says that God knows a certain people, not that he knows what a certain people will do. While he does know what people have done, are doing and will do, this passage is talking about God’s knowledge of people in a salvific or saving way. Grudem: “Those whom he long ago thought of in saving relationship to himself.”
    2. If that were the right view, then salvation would ultimately be up to man and God would be dependent upon man, and nothing in Scripture says that God is in any way dependent upon man for him to save man.
      1. John 6:37-45
      2. Ephesians 2:8-10 Even if that view was true, God is the one who creates and gives faith to his children to believe in him, so God would have only seen himself giving faith to his children to believe. The faith he sees is the faith he creates.
      3. Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.”
  2. God isn’t passive, but active. Salvation is not God’s response to a human decision. Human decision always follows divine action. The word for foreknowledge could be expanded to mean to know before within the context of God’s covenantal affection for his people. God decides to set his affections on his people and he knows those who are his and they know him. John 10:25-30; As an illustration, think of the fact that Abrahamic Covenant was initiated by God and ratified by God, not Abraham, the “father of faith”.



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