The Holy Spirit’s Ministry: God’s Fail-Safe Plan–Foreknowledge

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

God “foreknew” everyone who would become His children. The Greek term is proginosko and is used only four other times in the New Testament. It means precisely as conveyed: “to know ahead of time.”

Paul used it in Acts 26:5 when he told Agrippa that the Jews “knew [him] from the beginning.” In Romans 11:2, Paul spoke of Israel whom God “foreknew,” and Peter insisted that the Lord Jesus was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20).

The common use, however, is illustrated in 2 Peter 3:17, where the twice-born are told: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”

The foreknowledge of God is very specific of every living creature. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father” (Matthew 10:29).

“(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth), it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger” (Romans 9:11-12).

Is it not affirming to know that “he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4)? HMM III

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