Chosen Before the Foundation of the World

The fact that God has chosen anyone from the lump that is made up of sinners is pure mercy. If you are elect in Christ, wherever you are, the following is hard to comprehend. A member of the Godhead would become a man and sacrifice his life and safety and suffer untold abuse that we few sinners could be saved.

It is without question beyond our grasp as to the reasons why God would make this sacrifice. We are told that it was to make His mercy known and show His character, and to make known His power towards those who are left in unbelief, who are not destined for salvation. Belief is God's gift, and is not an ordinary faith, but given only to the elect.

So, then, chosen before the foundation of the world is a deep and amazing subject. In Romans 8 we see:

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

In Ephesians 1 we see:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

So, we are chosen in him before the foundation, the creation of the world we live in! But can we look into that eternity that preceded the creation of our cosmos? We have hints but we do not grasp fully the understanding of eternity. How could a being, the triune God, the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit, be without beginning and yet arrived at the place where the world was created? That is of itself a mystery! 

How could such a magnificent eternal being exist for all eternity past? How can we comprehend it? We cannot. So, what about creation? The angels were created. We can understand that the angels and the creatures on earth had a beginning. Only God has no beginning. God is as the priest Melchizedek, with no beginning or end, a superior high priest who sacrificed his own blood as we see in Hebrews 7:

11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)

Christ was the perfect sacrifice and the high priest with no beginning or end. So, the angels and man had a beginning. Those chosen in him will have no end. But only God has no beginning. That is what is revealed in these passages. 

With a change of priesthood from Aaron to Melchizedek, there is a change of law, from the Law of Moses that was the law of sin and death, to the Law of Christ which is faith (God given) to the end. 

Some wonder when God decreed the creation of the angels and the souls in this creation. Some wonder if before the foundation of the world actually took place "later" in eternity or if God could have free will by making an eternal decree. To me, the answer to this eludes our grasp, in that we don't really understand eternity at all, we only understand that which takes place in time. 

Time is all we know.

Psalm 136 speaks over and over to the concept that the love of God to His people is eternal. Eternal appears to mean without beginning and without end. We know two things:

1. God has free will. He chose the elect. People don't choose to become Christian but God chose them before all this was created and he alone has free will! 

2. His love is eternal, everlasting both past and future, and eternal means without beginning and without end. 

Can these two truths be reconciled in the human mind? I don't think they can be. But neither can be denied. As the Psalmist said in 103:

  17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children

It is a mystery just like the concept of eternity is impossible to comprehend. Does God have our eternal lives mapped out for all eternity? Who can grasp that concept here on earth. The most brilliant scientist cannot do it, yet clearly we are told that God has determined all things on earth. How does that translate to all eternity? Could we even begin to grasp anything like this? We know God knows all things.  

The attributes of God are as follows:
God is love
God is sovereign (he has free will to do what he alone chooses)
God knows all (omniscient), 
God alone is righteous (righteousness can only be imputed to others but still belongs to God alone)
God is everywhere (omnipresent), 
God holds the world together (immanence Col 1:17), 
God is eternal, 
God does not change (immutable), 
God is outside the physical world (transcendent), 
God exists independently apart from other causes (self existent), 
God alone is holy and good,
God has unlimited power (omnipotence), 
God has perfect justice.

(So, God is both immanent and transcendent. There is no dichotomy.) 


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