Door of Faith – Lesson One

Secret Wisdom of God Before Time Began

Introduction 

The intent of this lesson is to present scriptures revealing the mind of God before He created the world.  A very brief study of the original context for properly reading scriptures selected for study will be offered.  References will be made to lessons in other documents written by this author in which a more detailed study of the subject has been presented.  The references have been printed in a book and also posted on the website – www.whydidgodcreateyou.com.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  However, as it is written:

‘No eye has seen,   no ear has heard,  no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’ – but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.  I Cor. 2:6-10

All mature people, who have decided to love God, are included in His secret wisdom He planned to actualize by His creation of the physical universe and mankind.  This series of lessons has been developed for Christians who desire to enlarge the opening of our “door of faith” into the spiritual life of God’s kingdom (Col. 3:1-3).  The lessons will also be beneficial for people in darkness about why they were created.  They can be useful for all Christians who desire to share our hope with our friends and relatives (I Pet. 3:13-16).

In this lesson we will study other scriptures that reveal the mind of God before the beginning of time.  This is the first lesson in a sequence of faith building lessons designed for the purpose of making a sequential, or “step by step,” approach to a deeper personal Bible study. This series has been especially designed to free maturing Christians from their “dependency weakness” of relying on other people to tell them what to believe about God’s word (II Tim. 2:15; Heb. 5:12).  After we, individually, make a decision to believe these declarations in the scriptures we will be in a position to commit our lives to our own beliefs.  The principle: Hear and understand God’s word; decide to believe it; then commit ourselves to a life of faith (Rom. 4:20, 21).  The result for ourselves will be the life of the kingdom of God in us, even while we live on earth (Luke 17:20, 21; Acts 26:18).

Lesson

The Bible is God’s story about His creation of mankind for the purpose of adding children to His eternal kingdom.  This divine book contains different genre of literature written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The Apostle Paul said, “This is what we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.”  I Cor. 2:13.  See II Tim. 3:16, 17; II Pet. 1:20, 21.

God presented His story for mankind in literature written by men.  These men selected individual and complex narratives and arranged them in sequential order to present the story God wanted us to hear.  We find the individual narrative arrangement in Genesis through Esther in the Old Testament.  The historical stories in the New Testament are the four Gospels and Acts.  We read these individual narratives and ask: “What was God doing with Abraham, Joseph and the other characters like Peter, Paul and John?”  The story is not about Joseph or Paul, but what God was doing with these men.  We ask, what was God doing with Jesus Christ during His time on earth?  After we understand what God was doing in a particular individual narrative, we ask questions like: “What did this have to do with Paul’s declaration in I Cor. 2:6-10 about my own inherent need for glory?”  The Corinthian letters were written to Christians; therefore, we study the content of this scripture in its proper context.

It is not difficult to understand the content of what Paul wrote to the church of God in Corinth.  They were predominately Gentile background Christians who were struggling with their spiritual door of faith (Acts 14:27; I Cor. 3:1-4).  “Not many were wise by human standards.”  I Cor. 1:26.  After we read with understanding the content of this profound declaration Paul received from the Holy Spirit about what God had in mind for us, we can decide if we want to accept it as truth.  It is our choice to accept or reject, but not to change (II Cor. 13:8).  What God has done for Christians through Jesus Christ reveals the secret wisdom God had in His mind before His creation (I Cor. 1:30, 31).  His wisdom about people “in Christ” was destined for our glory before time began.  The English word “destined” has been translated from the Greek word proorizo.  It means to predetermine, determine before, or predestinate.

Growth in faith comes from our own individual hearing, understanding and believing the scriptures (Rom. 10:17).  Our faith must be mixed with God’s word in our minds and hearts before it will be manifested in our behavior (Heb. 4:2).  The process is sequential.  We learn, understand and believe in our minds.  This process motivates us to have faith in our hearts.  Faith is a matter of our own choosing; however, “without faith it is impossible to please God.”  Heb. 11:6.  As this is happening and developing by our deeper study of God’s word, what we believe in our minds from God’s word becomes a part of our spiritual environment.  This spiritual environment is tantamount to what was called a “box of life” in the Introduction of this series.

Principled Bible study, personal belief and faith is the way Christians, who have been entrapped in the “wisdom of man box of life,” are able to rise above our present spiritual level (II Cor. 3:18).  We push open the lid of this mundane box and move by faith into a “wisdom of God spiritual box.”  We do it by our own hearing, believing and putting our faith in God’s word.  Our faith will have “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  KJV. Heb. 11:1.  Our level of faith will determine our zeal for what we have learned about ourselves from God’s word.  Our level of zeal will determine the discipline we maintain over our behavior (John 2:17).  Thus, our righteous behavior is the proof of faith in times of testing (James 1:2-4; 2:21-23).  “For in the gospel the righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.”  Rom. 1:17.

The context for a study of I Cor. 2:6-10 is about the division in the church at Corinth the members of Chloe’s house reported to the Apostle Paul (I Cor. 1:10-12).  After acknowledging this information in his letter to the church, he plunged into a long discussion about the wisdom of men versus the wisdom of God.  Please read the first four chapters of I Corinthians.  He offered a comparison of two sources of wisdom for their consideration.  Faith in the wisdom of God will solve the “dependency sickness” of following the wisdom of men.  (The aim of this series of lessons is to offer a cure for dependency).  What we learn from this text is that we need to start our Bible study in the mind of God before creation.  This will help us read the Bible with God’s purpose in mind.  Some people appear to read the Bible with grace only in mind.  Paul wrote to Timothy about both God’s purpose and grace (II Tim. 1:9).  God’s story in the Bible will be about what He had in mind.  He had something in mind for mature people who love Him that “no eye has seen; no ear has heard and no mind has conceived.”  Paul did not elaborate on this mysterious divine program; however, we understand it was destined to satisfy our need for glory.  He was more specific in his letter to the Roman saints:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.    Rom. 8:28-30

The context for the foregoing declaration is found in the summary of the first section of Paul’s letter to the “saints in Rome.”  The intent of this section was to reveal God’s past and present relationship with Jews and Gentiles so Christians, who had a Jew or Gentile background, could be “devoted to one another in brotherly love” in the family of God (Rom. 11:13-21; 12:9-16).  God’s family was identified in Romans as churches of Christ and in the Corinthian letters as church of God (Rom. 16:16; I Cor. 1:2; II Cor. 1:1).  Paul arrived at a definitive statement about the inability of all mature people “in Adam” to do good in Romans 3:10-18.  Following this point he taught grace doctrines based on Jesus’ death on the cross up to our text in chapter eight.  Faith in these doctrines plus freedom from the Law of Moses provides Christians with the grace of a “no condemnation environment in Christ.”  Rom. 8:1, 2.  In this environment, the Holy Spirit leads sons and daughters of God in their sanctification He had in mind before creation (II Cor. 6:17, 18; II Thess. 2:13-15).  The Holy Spirit’s role is explained in Rom. 8:5-27.  This is the context in which we read Romans 8:28-30.

In this scripture we can learn God’s predestined purpose for creating all people.  It is a simple strait forward program.  Because “God works for the good of those who love Him,” Christians put our faith in His sanctification program.  The processes of our sanctification are also simple; we conform ourselves to the likeness of His Son.  “The law of the Spirit of life” offered in God’s new covenant has been manifested in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ (John 1:3, 4; I John 1:1-4; Rom. 8:1; Heb. 10:16).  This is the law God referred to in the new covenant (Heb. 10:16, 17).

Christians’ sanctification is simple; albeit, it starts the day we are born again and continues until our spirits leave our bodies (Rom. 6:22; Rev. 2:10).  God expects all Christians to read, understand and, by faith, identify ourselves with what was in His mind about us before we were created.  The Roman saints were expected to read Paul’s letter.  We can read it with understanding, decide to believe it in our minds and commit our hearts to it in faith.  Everything has been prepared through Jesus Christ for those who love God to be His eternal children.  God promised “His elect” eternal life before the beginning of time:

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at His appointed season He brought His word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior, to Titus, my true son in our common faith:  Titus 1:1-4

This scripture stands alone.  The context is established by understanding the writer was an apostle chosen and sent by Jesus Christ (Acts 26:14-18).  We learn the elects’ “faith and knowledge (is) resting on the hope of eternal life.”  The subject of eternal life and Christians’ sanctification as sons of God are one and the same.  A faithful Christian’s eternal life began when she or he surfaced from the waters of baptism (Rom. 6:8-10).  The graces provided by Jesus’ death on the cross were also in the mind of God before creation.  The reason grace became necessary will be studied in Lesson Three.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God.  I Pet. 1:18-21

The context for this scripture is understood by Peter’s stated purpose for writing both his letters.  He said, “I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.”  II Pet. 3:1.  Peter wrote to prepare the church for the onslaught of false teachers and atheists (II Pet. 2:1-4; 3:3, 4).  The graces of the new birth and justification by faith are enjoyed by Christians because Jesus sacrificed His physical life on the cross.  Faith in these graces allows faithful Christians the privilege of enjoying the leadership of, and fellowship with, the Holy Spirit at this very hour (Acts 5:32).  Because of the quality of the sacrifice of Jesus the Holy Spirit can do His sanctification work for Christians (John 7:37-39; II Thess. 2:13-15).  Grace is for all faithful born again Christians who decide to love God enough to place our faith in the sanctification exercises of the Holy Spirit.  His role is to assist us in our conforming to the likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:13, 14; I Pet. 1:2).  This will be the topic of another lesson.  Christians, in many cases, have been redeemed from the “empty way of life handed down to us from our forefathers.”  This is the “box of life” from which a multitude of people have never escaped.

Faithful members of the church are presently enjoying “every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly realms.”  This was also in the mind of God “before the creation of the world.”

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.  Eph. 1:3-6

This scripture is the beginning of an introduction of a letter to the saints in Ephesus; consequently, this is the context for understanding what was in the mind of God before the creation of the world for the church as a group and each member, individually.  Paul traveled to Ephesus and preached the kingdom of God (Acts 19:8).  The church in Ephesus was made up of people who had accepted the call to be transferred “into the kingdom of the Son He loves.”  Col. 1:13.  God pre-planned to offer the people in the world realm an opportunity to be born again.  He foreknew people who have faith in His predestined plan for our glory would need the grace of “all spiritual blessings in Christ” to conform “to the likeness of His Son.”

It is not difficult to read and understand the scriptures in this lesson about the mind of God for every human being before His work in creation.  We can decide to believe these scriptures as truth or we can reject the will of God.  God’s desire to add children to His kingdom demands choice on mankind’s part.  If we do not decide to believe these scriptures, a further study of God’s word will lead us in another direction.  It will be in a wrong direction for Bible study for three reasons:

One, sons of God identification is what the scriptures clearly set forth for us in the context they have been presented.

Two, God’s story in the Bible is about how He patiently tolerated mankind’s transgressions throughout the ages until the time was right to send Jesus Christ to reign as king and high priest to satisfy God’s desire for children (Gal. 4:4-6).  This is God’s will.

Three, what was in the mind of God before He created the world and mankind is what will happen at the end of His story in the Bible.  Please read Luke 6:35; Heb. 2:10-13; Rev. 3:21; 21:7.

Those of us who have put our faith in these scriptures have arrived at our true identity.  We know who we are because we are known as sons of God (Matt. 5:9).  We know we are sons of God with full rights (Rom. 8:16; Gal. 4:4-6).  Our door of faith has been opened into “heavenly realms.”  Eph. 2:6.  It has happened for us because we decided to have faith in the word of God.  This is the manner in which the Holy Spirit leads Christians to identify as sons of God.  “And by Him we cry ‘Abba Father!’  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  Rom. 8:15, 16.

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