“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.”
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father
Each person of the trinity has a part in our election. The Father is the source, the Spirit is the sphere, and the Son is the sign.
The words “according to” mean norm or standard. What is the norm or standard of God’s provision for us? It is the foreknowledge of God the Father. God has the good sense to know of any problem we might face in life. He knew this billion of years before we were born. This comes out of his omniscience.
People often confuse predestination with foreknowledge. Foreknowledge is simply the knowledge that something will take place. God sees all things at once from the beginning to the end. However, this pre-knowledge does not mean that he is the cause of all things he foresees will come to pass.
The word “foreknowledge” comes from two Greek words: “before” and “know.” So, God knows beforehand that the elect will come to him (Acts 2:23; Romans 8:29, 11:2; 1 Peter 1:20).
Foreknowledge can mean counsel or appointment as in Acts 2:23 — “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.” Jesus’ death was not only foreseen; it was foreordained (1 Peter 1:20). This is the meaning here. We are elect according to the ordination of God.
The word “foreknowledge” only occurs seven times in the Bible. Two of those seven times occur in this chapter (cf. v. 20, Jesus as the lamb of God was foreordained before the foundation of the world).
“God the Father” is the first person of the trinity. The Father is the one who plans in the trinity. The Bible attributes the plan of our redemption to the Father. The Word ascribes reconciliation to the Son. Scripture ascribes sanctification to the Holy Spirit. Each person of the trinity has their role. God chose us on the substructure of his omniscience. Election is in His eternal will and purpose.
God does not call upon us to understand everything in the Bible. When we get to heaven, we will have a greater capacity to understand these things. Our times are in God’s hands at present (Psalm. 31:15).
God knows everything beforehand that will happen to us.
It is incredible to know that our Father knows everything beforehand. We can leave everything secure in his hands.
Election looks at the place from which God took us – sin and the world. Predestination looks at our future – sanctification and heaven.
Some people are dumb enough to think that God is caught short or flatfooted by something we do or others might do to us. God knew everything that has happened or will happen to us. That may mean millions of things over our lifetime. Yet he knew every one of them before they ever occurred. There never was a time when he did not know. He knew all adversity we would ever face. He made provisions for them in eternity. He makes provision for everything in life.