An Eternal Plan
“To me, the least significant of all the saints, this grace was given to declare to the nations the incomprehensible riches of Christ and to give light for all of the plan of the mystery hidden from the ages in God who created all things, in order that the manifold wisdom of God through the church may now also be made known to the rulers and to the authorities in heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord in whom the boldness and freedom to enter with confidence through faith in him.”
“According to the eternal purpose that is realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Herein lies one of those great and profound statements of the Bible. The revealing of the Gospel took place because it was purposed (or planned) by God. Was this something that God decided upon as he watched human behavior? No. Was the revealing of the Gospel a reaction to the Jews’ rejection of Jesus? No. This is the eternal plan of God. Thus, before God created, when it was just God that existed in eternity prior to creation, this plan existed in His mind.
The implications of this truth should be apparent in that they reject the theology of Open Theism, much of Dispensationalism, and much of Wesleyanism. It rejects the notion that Adam and Eve could have remained sinless and chosen not to disobey. God had all of these things planned before he even began to create because he had planned the way the Gospel would be revealed from eternity. As Election is a part of how God laid out and worked out his plan, it also clearly rejects the notion that election was a result of the Fall, even in terms of the question of theological priority. That plan was then realized in Christ and in the work that Christ did (and exactly the way He did it). And notice, it does not say that God realized it with Jesus and it is up to us to choose him…
How easy it is to fall into the trap of making God’s plan out to be something like we would want it imagined rather than what God has clearly set forth in His word. How simple it is for us to be attracted to those ideas that we like rather than to what is true and plainly taught in the Bible. God sovereignly saves his Elect and that plan was part of God’s eternal design, worked out in Christ Jesus.