8 August 1999

"According as 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 According to the Bible, a lot went on before this world was spoken into existence. Before man; before creation; before God manifested himself to man; God was involved in His mighty plan of redemption. According to Paul, God marked out a people to dwell with Him in glory "before the foundation of the world." They were known and loved long before their faces marked the sands of time. And were it not for God's former preparation, where would the Saints be today? Adam failed; Noah's generation failed; Israel crucified the Lord; and we too, have come short of the rigid demands of the law. The Saints should rejoice to know that God loved them and chose them, "Before the foundation of the world." Certainly, if the Saints were chosen before the foundation of the world, Christ knew who He came for. Isaiah prophesies of His perfect knowledge and His perfect redemption, "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities"- Isaiah 53:11. According to Isaiah, Christ went to the cross with "Knowledge". He knew both HOW to redeem and WHO to redeem. How could Isaiah make such a statement 700 years before Christ? Because it was planned and purposed "before the foundation of the world." John's theology agrees with Paul's. According to John, the Lamb's book was written and completed before the foundation of the world(Rev. 5:1-5, 13:8, 17:8). When Adam fell, His people were not forgotten. God is a better record keeper than the I.R.S. It was for those names that Christ came. The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David(our Jesus), was the only one "worthy" to open that book and release the captives.(Rev. 5:1-5). This He did at Calvary. Peter agrees as well. Peter tells us that Christ was "Foreordained before the foundation of the world". This means that it was known of God before the foundation of the world that Christ would die for the sins of His people. Again, this was represented in types and shadows as the high priest placed his hand upon the forehead of the sin offering just before it was slain. This was to identify the chosen sacrifice for the sins of the people. Before our legal representative fell in the garden, the plan of redemption was secure. The sacrifice was chosen "before the foundation of the world." But let Jesus tell us about the love that God had for those that He chose "before the foundation of the world." After all, He was there. In His priestly prayer, Jesus tells us that the Father loved His people in the same way that He loved His only begotten Son: "and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."-John 17:23. And how was that? "for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." –v24. Since God's love is eternal, we can not travel far enough into the halls of eternity and find the fountain head of God's love for His people. And this is the well spring of our love for Him. We love Him because He first loved us "before the foundation of the world." Though some things are hard to understand in the Bible, language has never been plainer. According to Paul; according to John; according to Peter; according to Jesus; the Saints will dwell with God in glory because He ordained it to be so "before the foundation of the world." Knowing this, we are expected to come to some logical conclusions. As the old prophet said, "Come, let us reason together." Could one that He divinely chose be forgotten, left out, or overlooked? Could He fail in bringing the lest to glory? Could Satan pluck one or two out of His hand? We must answer negative to our cadence of questions. Surely, it would never make a child unhappy to discover that their father loved them before they were born. Nor to discover that their inheritance was abundant and secure. Let us enjoy the "earnest" of our inheritance and experience the security that is found in the finished work of redemption: Loved by the Father, chosen in the Son, redeemed by His blood, and quickened by the Spirit. All of this was planned "before the foundation of the world." Father, it is by faith that we lay hold upon thy finished works and find a peace that passeth understanding! Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor