God’s Foreknowledge and Predestination

Paul concluded his letter to the Romans, “according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (16:25). This mystery from the beginning is the message hidden within the events of the creation and fall of man, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (16:20), “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen 3:15). Paul revealed the mystery of Adam as a type of Christ to come, “Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come” (5:14).

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow [proginōskō 4267], he also did predestinate [proorizō 4309] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (8:28-30). This passage is about God’s chosen people, “them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exo 20:6), shown figuratively in Adam’s wife.

The Greek verb proginōskō rendered “foreknow” simply means to know someone prior as Paul used it of himself, “Which knew [proginōskō 4267] me from the beginning” (Act 26:5). Likewise, the verb proorizō is to determine something prior. Paul was alluding to the dominion God determined for the man and the woman prior to creating them, “let them have dominionmale and female created he them” (Gen 1:26,27). Since God created the man before the woman, therefore He knew him prior to knowing her. However, He determined to make her for him prior to giving him dominion, “I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” (Gen 2:18-19). Adam and his wife were types of God’s Son and His chosen people. And the dominion given to Adam prior to their fall was determined for them both.

Adam naming every name foretold of Christ at God’s right hand with dominion over every name, “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psa 8:6), “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet” (Eph 1:20-22).

To “them he also called” is that although He called to Adam after they sinned, “And the LORD God called unto Adam” (Gen 3:9), His call was to them both, “Unto the woman he said … And unto Adam he said” (Gen 3:16,17).

To “them he also justified [dikaioō 1344]” is that the dominion over “every beast of the field” (Gen 2:19,20) He gave to them both, “let them have dominion” (Gen 1:26), included dominion over the serpent, “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field” (Gen 3:14). The serpent accuses God’s people before Him, “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan … the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night” (Rev 12:9,10). But his charges against them are cast down. God justifies them from all accusations by His Son’s intercession for them at His right hand, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth [dikaioō 1344] … who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (8:33,34).

To “them he also glorified” is that He clothed them both, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). This woman “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet” (Rev 12:1), is God’s people clothed by God in His Son, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14), “put on the new man, which after God is created” (Eph 4:24), “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col 3:10). Being made after the Son’s image, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen 1:26,27), signified that they would be “conformed to the image of his Son” in glory.

God foreshowing His plan of salvation from the beginning—in whom He foreknew and what He determined prior—assures His people that He will bring it all to its fulfillment through His Son Jesus Christ.

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