We ended the last part of our study with a question that must be addressed before we move forward.

“If God knew what would happen before it happened and could have done something else, why didn’t He do something else? If He wanted to create  time and space with a perfect universe and earth and living beings who would always be perfect and never disobey Him, why didn’t God do that?

My thought is that the answer is obvious, but we may not want to hear it. Here’s why I say that.

We’ve already established that God determined “before the beginning of time” that He would send His Son from Heaven to earth to bleed and die for the sins of those whom He chose “before the foundation of the world.”

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Ephesians 1:3-5

“… who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” 2 Timothy 1:9

“… in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” Titus 1:2

“… knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:18-21

Lots of great theological points to make from these portions of God’s Word, but let’s focus for now on the primary question before us –

“If God knew what would happen before it happened and could have done something else, why didn’t He do something else? If He wanted to create  time and space with a perfect universe and earth and living beings who would always be perfect and never disobey Him, why didn’t God do that?”

The obvious answer is that God knew what He was doing and did it!

Did God struggle with the decision to create the world in a way that would require the death of Christ on the Cross? Did God second guess Himself after He made the decision? Did He re-think it, start over again and come up with something different? Did God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit disagree about the great plan? Did they hold several council meetings to hash out the details? I doubt it, and here’s why.

The All-Wise God

 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” Romans 16:27

The Greek text reads – μόνῳ σοφῷ Θεῷ – monō sophō Theō – [to the] only wise God.

These are some of the last words the Apostle Paul wrote in his great epistle to the Romans. He brought the letter to a great crescendo about the “revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began.”

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” Romans 16:25-27

That “revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began” is the revelation of God’s eternal plan – which is the “gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ.” The Great Reveal is how the “mystery kept secret since the world began” was “made manifest,” which means “made known clearly” (phanerōthentos – make clear, visible, open to view).

How did God make His eternal plan of the “gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ” known to all people?

“… but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God.”

There’s the communication vehicle to announce God’s eternal plan to all nations – “the prophetic Scriptures.” The writer of Hebrews covered the same information in explaining God’s eternal plan and how He would communicate His plan to all the nations –

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4

God spoke first “by the prophets,” then “by His Son.” What was the grand eternal plan that God communicated through prophets and His Son? “… who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” That’s the “gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ”!

What was God’s purpose for revealing His eternal plan of the “gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ”?

“… for obedience to the faith.”

We’ll unpack a lot of this as we move forward in the study, but let’s sit back for a few minutes and let this information sink in.

The “alone wise God” designed a grand plan – the “gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ” – that He would make clear to all nations through His Word (the prophetic Scriptures) “for obedience to the faith.”

James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote this about God’s wisdom –

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17

As we read those words about the wisdom that is from above (from God), we learn several important things about how God would have approached designing a plan in eternity that would impact every human being in time and space. It would be –

  • first pure
  • then peaceable
  • gentle
  • willing to yield
  • full of mercy and good fruits
  • without partiality
  • without hypocrisy

The deliberations among God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit would be all of that because God is all that. God is pure and peaceable and gentle and willing to yield and full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, without hypocrisy. Those are some of the primary attributes of the all-wise eternal God who designed a great plan in eternity to  love the world.

We know from Paul’s letter to the Galatians (5:22-23) that God the Holy Spirit is filled with –

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • longsuffering
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control.

That means God’s eternal plan is all of that because God is all of that. It’s part of God’s Great Reveal, but more on that later in our study.

The Guiding Principle

The “fruit” (singular) of the Spirit begins with love and everything else (joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) flows from that love.

The Apostle John wrote – “God is love” (1 John 4:8). ‘Love’ is at the forefront of God’s eternal plan as THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE.

All that God determined to do before time began, before the foundation of the world, was guided by His great LOVE!

The word “love” is found about 500 times in the Bible. 500 times! Much of that referring to God’s love. Jesus pulled the covers off the entire eternal plan when He told a religious leader of Israel – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16 is the Great Reveal! God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son “before time began,” “before the foundation of the world.” To what end? “… for obedience to the faith” so that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 

Look at John 3:16 again – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

  • God so loved the world
  • that He gave His only Begotten Son
  • that whoever believes in Him
  • should not perish
  • but have everlasting life

God in eternity loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son! Does that mean God the Father loved the world more than He loved His Son and that’s why Jesus died on the cross? Not at all. Here’s what Jesus said to His Heavenly Father –

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24

Jesus, the Son of God, said that God the Father loved Him “before the foundation of the world.” So, in eternity (before the foundation of the world) God the Father loved God the Son.

[Another interesting point from John 17:24 is this statement – “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am.” .. where I am .. A possible view of a time-space event from eternity?]

We also have these testimonies of the Father’s love for His One and Only Son as witnessed by John the Baptist and the apostles Peter, James and John –

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!’ When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.” Luke 9:34-36

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18

Next Time

I wrote earlier in this article that we may not want to hear the answer to the question about why God would create a world that functions like ours does now. We live in a world that includes pain, suffering and death. Why would God want to create a world that would become like that?

My answer that God knew what He was doing and did it may not sit well with many people, so in the next part of our study we’ll look at an important negative idea in God’s plan that will help us understand the world in which we live.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

GraceLife

 

 

 

 

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