Wednesday, January 18, 2017

God’s Plan Hasn’t Changed (1 Peter 1:20-21)

“For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:20–21, NASB95)

As we are looking to swear in a new President, and the old one is taking his last actions before leaving, there has been a lot of focus on health care. The President on his way out was behind a plan that was unpopular to a significant percentage of our population, and now that costs seem to be rising and other issues remain on the surface, the intensity of the objection has grown. Now, the new President has promised to put in place a new plan, but many of the details are yet to be seen. Regardless of the plan, it is highly likely that just as the previous plan was not approved by the minority in place at the time, so will the new plan likely not receive approval from the new minority as roles have changed. All of this seems to emphasize just how temporary the plans and ideas of man really can be. When our plans are subject to things beyond our control, or are in conflict with the plans of others, we realize just how powerless we are in so many areas of our lives.

Eternally speaking we have already been reminded that our salvation is not a plan of our own making, nor was it a means something that we could provide. We are saved by the grace of God through the action of the Son by the work of the Spirit. Our salvation is from God and no one else.

Our salvation is also according to God’s perfect plan. It is not a result of God going back to the drawing board after realizing that a first one might have failed. We are reminded from this passage that our salvation, which is the focus of the previous verses, is according to the foreknowledge or foreordination of God. God knew our eventual condition before the condition ever developed, and He knew exactly what He was going to do about it. He knew all of this perfectly before the foundation of the earth, which means before man was ever created, placed in the garden, and sinned.

We looked at the Greek work “proginosko” earlier in this chapter. It encompasses not only the knowledge of all that will happen, but the perfect control over how it will all play out. He knew absolutely every detail before there was ever a detail, and He had the perfect answer before there was ever a need. In the passage it says “He was foreknown.” This is not speaking of Jesus as someone apart from God that God knew of, but it is speaking of God the Son’s incarnation to complete the plan for our salvation. Jesus was present in creation, and we read that all things were created by Him. But until His incarnation, leading to His death, burial, and resurrection we did not know Him in a personal way. It was in Jesus being fully God becoming fully man for us that we came to know Him and to then to know the Father more deeply.

We are in “these last times.” We are in the period between His birth and His coming again. We are in the time when Jesus has been shown to us and when we await being with Him for eternity. We are in the time when God’s plan was revealed in His Son and recorded for us in His Spirit-breathed Word. We know what He has done, and we are told to look forward with hope and even a level of understanding to what He will do.

And, as we read in these verses, He did this for us. He did it for our sake—for all who believe in His Son and who have the great hope of eternity set before us. The Father sent the Son to die, paying the price for our sins, and He raised Him from the dead for our sake. Now the Son has returned to glory and is glorified in His obedience to the will of the Father. Because of this we have a certain hope that God will keep His promise and bring us to Him.

In the midst of all of the turmoil surrounding us in our country this week, we have great hope because our future lies not in the hands of our President and our leadership, but in the perfectly known and carried out plan of our God. At the same time, we are instructed to pray for those in authority over us, submitting to them according to the authority given them by God.

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1–2, NASB95)

We can do this always remembering, “For in Him [Christ] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him {Christ] you have been made complete, and He [Christ] is the head over all rule and authority;” (Colossians 2:9–10, NASB95)

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