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God's Foreknowledge Part 2

Salvation is of the Lord  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Romans 8:29–30 AV
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. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Introduction:
Video of Ravi Zacharias
I. God’s Faithfulness (vs. 28)
Romans 8:28 AV
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We did not really spend a whole lot of time here last time together, but just as a springboard to carry us on, I want to make just a couple of comments.
Of course, we recognize the fact from our last study that in this section of the Word of God, verse 28-29, in one main clause with the main idea of the clause being the verb phrase in verse 28, “we know”.
Paul argument here is about things that we know to be true; namely, about God.
After Paul lays out the main verb, “we know”, then he begins to discuss things that we know.
First, we know of God’s Faithfulness in verse 28.
And, again, I just want to comment on this a starting place for the remainder of what I want to say to you.
We know, because God is absolutely Sovereign, that He causes all things to work together for the good of those love him.
And we saw last time that the phrase “those that love Him” is a modifier of the phrase “the called”, and of course Paul mentions that phrase again in our text.
This is probably one of the greatest passage in the Scripture regarding the Sovereignty of God.
God is so Sovereign that He cause everything to work together for the good of the called, the elect.
We see later in the text that the only ones that could be in reference to here are the elect, because of the relationship in the text between the called and the ones justified.
So, first, God’s Faithfulness in that He causes all things to work for the good of the elect.
II. God’s Foreknowledge (vs. 29)
Romans 8:29 AV
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.
Just a couple of things that I want to remind you of what we said last time and then we will go on from there.
First, and this is vital that we understand this so that we get a proper picture of the Foreknowledge of God.
“Foreknow” is the Greek word “προγινώσκω” and it is an active voice verb; over against a verb that is in the passive or the middle voice.
This act of foreknowing is something that God actively does Himself.
It is not something that that is perpetrated on Him.
He is the active doer of the verb.
In fact, all of the links is the “golden chain of redemption”, as it has been called, are active voice verbs, pointing back to God.
He Actively foreknows, He actively predestinated, He actively calls, He actively justifies, He actively Glorifies.
All things that God actively does, He is a recipient of none of those actions; He is the doer.
But in reference to God having foreknowledge, because that is where the chain starts and so that is where we must start, what exactly does the Apostle Paul mean by that?
We looked last time of differing view among the Church on the foreknowledge of God.
One of the views that we saw last time is the popular view in the Roman Catholic Church, Arminians, Methodists and Lutherans.
And that view is called:
The Prescient View of Foreknowledge.
The Gospel of God: Romans God’s Sovereignty and the Christian Response (8:28–39)

The view goes something like this. From all eternity God has prior knowledge of the actions and responses of humans. This is part of God’s omniscience, since he knows everything from an eternal perspective. Since God knows in advance with respect to time what we will do as human creatures, he knows in advance who will and who will not respond to the gospel. So the idea is this: God looks down the corridors of time from his vantage point in eternity and he sees the different responses people make to the gospel of Christ. On the basis of his prior knowledge of how we will respond freely to the invitation of the gospel, God then predestines those whom he knows will say yes to salvation.

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Predestination, by this view, is not an actual foreordaining that people will believe, but only a foreordaining that those who do believe will be saved.
God does not work faith into their hearts, this is something that they do by their response,. by their will, by their choice.
Let me just say that this view of foreknowledge is not an explanation of predestination, but a denial of predestination.
The word has been explained away because in this view the destiny of people is, in effect, determined by the choices that they make and not by any choice that God would make in advance.
That is an important distinction because when you look in the NT and see the words predestinate, elect, chosen; those are all actions that God does, not people.
People, in the salvific sense, in the Scriptures do not predestinate anything.
So that is why I say that the Prescient View of foreknowledge does not explain predestination, by denies it.
Also, I want to point out to yo something else form the text that is very important.
The text says in verse 29, “those WHOM he foreknew”.
That, again, is contrary to the Prescient View, because the text clearly states that God foreknows PEOPLE, not the actions of people.
The text does not say “what God foreknew”, it says that “Whom God Foreknew”.
So, putting together from the text what we have seen so far; foreknowledge is an Active voice verb that God is performing.
He is not receiving the action (passively reacting to the decision of fallen creature), He is doing the action and He is doing the action in relation to persons…not decisions those persons make, but to the person themselves. The text could not clearer.
Now, understand, Paul is saying that all of these categories in verses 29-30 are all-inclusive.
In other words; all the ones that are foreknown are predestinated, all the ones that are predestinated are called, all the ones that are called are justified, all the ones that are justified are glorified.
All of the people in one category are in the other categories.
There is, theologically and Biblically, no such things as someone being called (the call of the Gospel) and then ultimately dying and going to Hell.
That is completely contrary to what this passage teaches.
But the chain begins with foreknowledge.
The Prescient Advocate says that God foreknows who will choose, and based on who will choose, he predestinates.
But one of the problems with that view is that they are putting something into the text that is simply not there and to add such an addition or qualification is utterly gratuitous or done without reason.
The Gospel of God: Romans God’s Sovereignty and the Christian Response (8:28–39)

All the apostle says is that everybody God foreknows in some sense, he predestines in some sense, and everyone that he predestines in some sense, he calls in some sense, and everyone that he calls in some sense, he justifies in some sense, and everyone he justifies he glorifies.

So what does the Apostle mean when he says that God has foreknowledge.
Let me start by referencing some lexical works (Greek Definitions) and then give some Biblical insights.
Then hopefully will be able to see the meaning of what it means when the Bible says WHOM God foreknows.
Let me say first of all, that it is probably understood without saying that God predestines people that He knew ahead of time.
In other words, since God predestines people, it is obvious of necessity that He knew about them.
He does not predestinate people that He does not know.
The question is, “What is the basis of that knowledge”?
And again, He knows People (whom), not the actions of those people.
We are looked at that and I hope that you see that important grammatical distinction.
Some say, “Well, God knows everyone”.
Yes, He does.
But is everyone predestinated?
No, because there is a Hell and people will go there ().
In fact, Jesus said more people will go to Hell then will go to heaven.
Everyone that is pre
Not everyone is predestinated according to Paul; look at the text.
Everyone that is predestined, is called (that is the inward call of the gospel, not the outward or general call. And we know that because of the rest of the verse); everyone that is called, is justified; everyone that is justified, is glorified.
Lets look at that backwards.
Who are the ones that are glorified (that will go to heaven)?
The ones that are justified.
Who are the ones that are justified?
The ones that are called.
Who are the ones that are called?
The ones that are Predestinated.
Who are the ones that are Predestinated?
The ones that God Foreknew.
So this chain comes back to defining foreknowledge correctly.
So. let’s do that.
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 28.6 προγινώσκω; πρόγνωσις, εως; προοράω

chosen beforehand

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 30.100 προβλέπομαι; προγινώσκω

to choose or select in advance of some other event—‘to choose beforehand, to select in advance.’

select in advance, choose or appoint beforehand (RO 8.29)

forethought, pre-arrangement
forethought, pre-arrangement
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New Yo
forethought, pre-arrangement
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New York: Harper & Brothers.
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 30.100 προβλέπομαι; προγινώσκω

to choose or select in advance of some other event—‘to choose beforehand, to select in advance.

select in advance, choose or appoint beforehand (RO 8.29)

foreknow (ordain)
forethought, pre-arrangement
foreknow (ordain),
forethought, pre-arrangement
forethought, pre-arrangement
forethought, pre-arrangement
forethought, pre-arrangement
Sproul, R. C. (1994). The Gospel of God: An Exposition of Romans (p. 150). Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications.
forethought, pre-arrangement

foreknow (ordain),

forethought, pre-arrangement

“designate before” to a position or function.

So, the overwhelming thought among scholars of the language is that “whom He foreknew” has to do with a pre-arrangement or a determination by God.
Nothing to do with God looking through the corridors of time and seeing the decisions that people will make.
It is God that is performing the action and the action that He is performing is the foreordaining of people, not their decisions, but them.
Now, that we have lexical information as to the meaning of the word, let’s look at the way the word “foreknow” is used elsewhere in the Bible.
Acts 2:23 AV
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Please note the word “determinate” or it could be translation “definite” or “definite plan”.
It is the Greek word “ὁρίζω” and it means “to appoint or determine”, it is also a Perfect Tense verb.

This verb tells us that these deliberations were for the purpose of determining something, and the fact that it is in the perfect tense shows that these deliberations had reached a successful conclusion and the counsel of the council was fixed and unchangeable.

Both the words “counsel” and “foreknowledge” are in a construction in the Greek called “The Granville Sharps Construction”, where you have two nouns that are in the same case, connected by the Greek word “kai” or English word “and”, and the first noun is preceded by the article (the) and the second noun is without the article. The rule states that in this construction the second noun (foreknowledge) refers to the same ting to which the first noun does and is a further description of it.
That means that the word counsel (in ) and the word “foreknowledge () refer to the same thing, the act of selecting the One out of the Persons of the God-head who would be the Lamb slain as the Sacrifice of Sin.

The word prognōsis (προγνωσις) therefore means more here than mere previous knowledge, even though that knowledge be part of the omniscience of God. It partakes of the nature of boulē (βουλη) and is part and parcel of the same act. It means “foreordination.”

Now, take that definition and usage back to our text in .
Romans 8:29 AV
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.
1 Peter 1:20 AV
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
This is another example.
The word is the same Greek word “προγινώσκω” (same Greek word in for foreknowledge) and I think that the AV nails it here in its translation; foreordained.
This word in these contexts have nothing to do with God looking into the future and seeing what man will do and then acting based on what He sees they will do; it means to foreordain.
1 Peter 1:2 AV
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
“Foreknowledge” there is the same Greek root.
So by definition Peter states that we are elect by the “foreordination” of God.
Romans 11:2 AV
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
The Greek word there is “προγινώσκω” same as in .
Do we really believe that what the Apostle had in mind here was the fact that God looked into the corridors of time and saw Israel?
Or does it means something more? That God foreordained Israel; therefore, all Israel will be saved.
Amos 3:2 AV
You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
Now, while this verse does not have the “fore” in front of “known”, the idea is the same.
Was the nation of Israel the only nation that God knew anything about?
Obviously not!
The idea is that God had an intimate relationship with Israel that He had with no one else.
Take that understanding into and you get the big picture.
“Whom He foreknew”......Whom (people) that He foreordained, or fore loved (), that is the understanding of the first link in the “Golden Chain of Redemption”.
Video of Sproul
forethought, pre-arrangement,
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538). New York: Harper & Brothers.
Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 538).
h ; []
8 Some manuscripts God works all things together for good, or God works in all things for the good
i ch. 9:24; ; , ; ; ; , ;
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

something characteristic of or resulting from a particular human institution, period, trend, or individual 〈self-consciousness … turns out to be an artifact of our education system—Times Lit. Supp.〉

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