Monday: God’s Provision: Part 1
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The effects of sin did not wait for a “grace-period.”

Image © John Baker from GoodSalt.com

The results of sin were immediate and needed immediate attention. It was necessary, therefore, for some kind of provision to be in place when sin manifested itself. Ellen White expressed it so clearly: “As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. Christ knew that He would have to suffer, yet He became man’s substitute. As soon as Adam sinned, the Son of God presented Himself as surety for the human race, with just as much power to avert the doom pronounced upon the guilty as when He died upon the cross of Calvary.”-Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1084.

What do the following texts tell us about the plan of salvation and when it was established? What great hope and promise can we take from them the texts ourselves?

Titus 1:1-2

Eph. 1:3-5

2 Thess. 2:13-14

Rev. 13:8

Dwell on the implications of these texts. What are they saying? Basically, from eternity, provisions had been made by God for the problem of sin. Though God did not foreordain that sin would occur (if He had, He would be responsible for it, a horrific and blasphemous idea), He knew that it would, so back in eternity He made the provision to meet it.

This is biblical predestination, which is radically different from “predestination” as commonly understood. It was God’s plan, from eternity, that all human beings would have salvation in Jesus. The fact that some reject this salvation doesn’t annul the force or the broadness of the provision. It only adds to the tragedy of what it means to be lost in the face of what has been done for us.

Dwell on the amazing truth that, from eternity, God’s plan was for you, personally, to have salvation. Think about what that means. In what way should a truth like this impact your life?

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Monday: God’s Provision: Part 1 — 15 Comments

  1. This amazing truth of (my) salvation being planned 'from the foundation of the world' and 'before time began' screams that I have been predestined to make it to heaven. Praise be to God

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    • Good question, Francis. I have always believed that we all start out with our names in the Book of Life and then choose whether or not we are to remain there. I have never found a biblical reference to being added to the Book of Life, only references to being blotted out of it. Perhaps it is like the teacher telling the students at the beginning of the term that they all start out with an "A," and it is up to them whether or not they keep it.

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      • Regarding "I have never found a biblical reference...", please consider Revelation 13:8, which mentions those "whose names have not been written in the book of life" in the NKJ. This can also be translated as in the NAS, "whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain." In either case the names "have not been written", the verb being in the perfect tense, meaning in time past the names were not there and so they still are not.

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        • Thanks for your input, John. What you have written is absolutely correct when we limit ourselves to translations that support a peculiar viewpoint. However, there are other translations of the passage in question which link the "from the foundation of the world" to the death of Jesus and not to the writing of the names in the Book of Life. I tend to favor those translations as the translations you have referenced are more Calvinist in their approach and can possibly lead us down the road to predestination.

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      • Re: "I have always believed that we all start out with our names in the Book of Life", we need not speculate. In Philippians 4:3, Paul refers to "my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life." Jesus encouraged the seventy missionaries, after they returned, to "rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
        Please also read Ellen White's article in the Signs of the Times, August 6, 1885. Paragraph 17 (https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_ST.August.6.1885.par.17) has the most plain answer I could find in her writings.

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        • Thanks again for your input, John. I could not find in the two Bible references that you provided any mention of the parties being "added to" the Book of Life, only that they were in the Book, which of course they would be if all the names were there from the foundation of the world.

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        • From the Signs article, "When we become children of God, our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, and they remain there until the time of the investigative Judgment." When are the names written? They are written when we become children of God. When do we become children of God? At the new birth. As it is written, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13. Otherwise we are "children of the devil" 1 John 3:10.

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        • John, just one question. What do you make of these verses?
          Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
          4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
          5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Eph. 1:3-5 NKJV).

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        • Tyler, I thank God for His wonderful provision, expressed in these verses. Since reading your comment/question, I've done a little study on these verses and find enough material for a whole sermon. Where to start? (I'm sure there must also be a limit to the size of a post.)

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  2. Good question Francise. I think Stephen has it exactly right. Romans 5:19 tells us that Jesus totally undid all the damage Adam caused. When Adam was created He was in the book of life. Francise you asked, "Why?" well we have to remember that even before sin and the cross, life always has been and always will be a free gift. Adam was created and placed in paradise with eternal life with no merits of his own. Thats the way it always been and always will be. Now when Adam sinned his name was taken out of the book of life, and according to Romans 5:19 we all sinned in Adam. Jesus, the second Adam, changed all that . He lived a perfect life for us and as us. See Romans 5:10 He also died our death. Because of Adam many (or all) were made sinners. But because of Jesus, many (or all) were made righteous. That means everyone's name has been entered back into the book of life. This is partly why Seventh-day Adventists do not baptize infants. They do not need to be baptized. They are born saved, until they choose to reject God and sin.

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    • Re: "everyone’s name has been entered back into the book of life", please read the replies to Stephen Terry's post of October 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm (http://ssnet.org/blog/2012/10/gods-provision-part-1/comment-page-1/#comment-43255).
      Re: the baptism of infants, I'm sure you are aware that being baptized has in itself no merit but is an expression of faith, in God, by the believer. Babies are not baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist Church simply because they cannot be believers, not having the intellectual and volitional ability to choose to follow Christ in full knowledge of His last day message.

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  3. Thank you Stephen and William for your explaination to that question, Indeed, it is all up to us to choose life or death.

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  4. The following statement in our lesson study has acutely disturbed me. Obviously, I need some clarification. The statements are as follow; "Though God did not foreordain that sin would accur (if he had, He would be responsible for it---a horrific and blasphemous idea). He knew that it would"...not could?. I agree that He made the provision to meet it. If he did not ordain that sin would occur and He made us free to accept or reject Him,(we are not created to be robotic) why do you say that God created man knowing he would sin? Is that not robotic? I thought God put the plan of salvation in place should man sin.

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    • David, at first glance, your question seems profound, but while it is a good question, perhaps it is not so difficult in the end. If I am understanding you correctly, the basic premise behind the question is an assumption that foreknowledge by one party takes away the element of choice for the other party. Could it be that quantum mechanics might give us a clue? The well-known conundrum regarding Schrodinger's Cat could serve as an example. At the quantum level, physics theory holds that particles change state simply by being observed. For instance if Schrodinger's cat is enclosed in a box, we might want proof of that. The only way to prove it by scientific method is by observation, so we look in the box. However, because Schrodinger's cat is a quantum animal, the moment we observe him, he changes state and can no longer be observed as being in the box. This introduces an uncertainty principle even if we somehow initially placed the cat in the box. (Perhaps this could have been done by observing the cat elsewhere, and when he changed state then, he ended up in the box. Anyway, I'm sure you get my drift.) If Quantum Theory is correct, perhaps the entire universe has a chaotic foundation by design. Furthermore, if that is the case, then perhaps the linear logic that would result in us determining that God's foreknowledge would in any way result in control or predestination would not serve us well in that universe.

      This reminds me of the old schoolyard question "Could God make a rock so big He could not move it?" Well by definition, of course He could, but then by logical reasoning, He could not be God if He could not move the rock as his ability to move the rock would not be infinite. As you might see, logic could have its limits when we attempt to determine the nature of God and His relationship to man. Logic will not allow us to resolve the impass created by two conflicting infinite abilities.

      Søren Kierkegaard, the 19th century theologian and philosopher, determined that logic can only take us so far when it comes to understanding God. He posited that eventually one simply has to take a "leap of faith" to get from here to there. If the underlying elements of the universe are indeed as chaotic as they at first appear, maybe Kierkegaard was very close to the truth in this matter.

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