Q&A: Divine Foreknowledge

Divine Foreknowledge

What is divine foreknowledge?

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Answer

Part of the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is God's foreknowledge, his knowledge of things in advance before they even happen. And this is one of the great mysteries of the character of God. To me this is one of the things that really causes us to worship God for who he is, to realize here's a God who knows the end from the beginning. But when we use the term foreknowledge in its biblical sense, it's not just that God knows in advance what's going to happen, but he actually has an intention and a purpose. And foreknowledge typically in the Bible is used in the context of our salvation; who are the people that God foreknows? It's the people that he has a saving plan that he would redeem us in Jesus Christ. And so, the doctrine of the foreknowledge of God I think is a doctrine that leads to worship just because it shows how amazing the mind of God is, but it's also a doctrine that leads to humility and gratitude, that God has a loving purpose for us in Jesus Christ that goes back before the beginning of time.

Answer by Dr. Philip Ryken

Dr. Philip Ryken is President of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.