“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the 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
Before God gave the earth its shape, before He laid the oceans in their place, or hung a star in the sky He had a plan….He knew what He was going to do to rescue the people He was about to create from the futile lives we all would choose over Him.
Our sinful passions were not unknown to Him before a single stone was set on the earth, our preference for possessions and earthly things over Him who made all things wasn’t a shock or surprise…. He knew about it before the foundation of the world and He knew what He would do about it.
Before Adam and Eve there was Jesus. He was always foreknown, He was always the plan. Through the times of Noah, Moses, Abraham, King David, and Elijah God was allowing the groundwork to be laid for the Saviour.
In verses 17 & 18 of 1 Peter 1, Peter says that if we say we belong to God then, “..conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers..”. This ransom was a mandatory payment for guilty people who deserved their punishment , and it was paid not with something common like money, but with precious and perfect blood. The Father gave everything to pay the ransom for us. John Piper has said, “The more precious the price paid to rescue you from a life of sin, the more horrible and fearful it is to take that price and make it a permission for sinning.”
He also shared an analogy that went like this, “It would be like a girl who is kidnapped from her wealthy father. The kidnappers demand a huge ransom and the father liquidates all his assets, selling his house and his possessions right down to his wife’s wedding ring (and all other rubber wedding rings womens she possessed). He brings all that he has to the appointed place and sets the ransom down in a field and walks away. Soon the daughter walks out and gets the ransom and takes it back to the kidnappers. Then she puts her arm around one of them and as she walks away looks over her shoulder to her father laughing and hollers, “Sucker!”
We would all agree that this girl had acted in a horrific way. How could she treat her own father that way? Well, in the same way, if we call God our Father then we will not regard His sacrifice, the ransom he paid for us, in a precarious way. If He is our Father, then Jesus is our Redeemer, and the ransom paid to rescue us from living a futile life of sin will be highly esteemed, we will walk in the fear of the Lord, and we won’t want to hold hands with our former master, which was sin and the devil.
So God had a plan from eternity past that has now been manifested in Jesus’ appearing in these last times for our sake. 1 Peter 1:21 says that it is “through him” that we are believers in God. In other words, I had no intention and you had no intention of believing in God or surrendering to Him outside of Jesus’ work. If it wasn’t for his sacrifice I would have no way to be made right with God and I would be held accountable for paying my own penalty. It should absolutely floor and astound us, I’m talking jaw-dropping, that we should be so prosperous to live in the time we do where Jesus has already come and paid the ransom for our souls. Just as God foreknew and planned for Jesus before the foundation of the world he foreknew and planned for you and me to live during this time and to have this fleeting moment to place our faith and hope in God.
What should convince us and confirm to us that our faith and hope are not in vain? Just as verse 21 says, that God..raised him from the dead. This carries Peter’s theme through from the very beginning of the Chapter in verse 3,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1:3 ESV)
We have a LIVING HOPE. Jesus walked our earth and his body has never been found. This is pretty convincing evidence that what the Bible claims is true. He came, He died, He rose from the dead. He was known before time began, He came for our sake so that we would be satisfied in God and not in our sin, “so that our faith and hope are in God.”
Let’s make sure we are esteeming the ransom price Jesus paid by the way we talk, the way we deal with conflict, in how we choose our entertainment, in sharing our faith with unbelievers, in loving other Christians, and in our time spent with Him; reading His precious words written to us and in prayer.
Grace and Peace,