“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (John 17:5, N.K.J.V.)
Take your Bible and turn to its very first verse, Genesis 1:1. You’ll see that the verse begins with the word “In” (“In the beginning God created…”). Focus your eyes for a moment on that word “In,” and let your mind try to imagine the time of the beginning of creation. Got it?
Okay, now let your eyes drift to the left of “In” and focus on the whiteness of the page you find there. Do you know what you call that white space? Eternity past. And that’s the time that Jesus is referencing in our text verse. It’s a time before the creation of the heavens and the earth. It’s a time before the creation of Adam and Eve. At least some part of it is even a time before the creation of the angels. Way back there at some point in eternity past, it was only God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
I don’t know if you’ve ever studied the Bible passages that relate to eternity past, but it is absolutely amazing what all God did back there. So, I thought it would be good if I used this post to list the relevant passages and identify that work. Keep in mind that God did all of this before Genesis 1:1. Here goes:
- By way of His perfect foreknowledge of all history (Isaiah 46:9-10), He foreknew each person who would voluntarily place saving belief/faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:29) (It is important to understand that having foreknowledge of a decision does not imply causation of that decision. For example, God the Father had a foreknowledge that Jesus would be delivered to the cross, but He didn’t make the Jews and Romans perform the deed: Acts 2:23; 1 Peter 1:20.)
- He granted those foreknown believers grace, which refers to undeserved favor or unmerited blessing. (2 Timothy 1:8-9)
- He chose those foreknown believers to be “in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:4)
- He classified those foreknown believers as “the elect.” (1 Peter 1:1-2; Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 2 John 1,13; 1 Peter 5:13; 2 Peter 1:10; Matthew 24:24,31; Mark 13:22,27; Luke 18:7 )
- He blessed those foreknown believers with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm in Christ, including the blessing of a heavenly inheritance reserved for each of them (Ephesians 1:3; 2:4-7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
- He predestined those foreknown believers to be conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29)
- He wrote the names of those foreknown believers in a book called The Lamb’s (Christ’s) Book of Life. (Revelation 17:8; 13:8; 20:15; 21:27; Luke 10:20)
You see, Christian, your salvation is not some dicey, day-by-day, moment-by-moment, “hope so” standing you have with God. It is, instead, something that has been settled in eternity since before Genesis 1:1. As Acts 15:18 says: “Known to God from eternity are all His works.” And since those works include your salvation, you should rest in the scriptural promises of what God has already done for you, and live each day in the blessing, hope, and deep-settled peace those promises are meant to provide.