Strangely, many Christians think redemption has a start-date, and that the ‘plan of redemption’ began in early history – Genesis 3:16 is mentioned, though it has no relevance. A ‘plan of redemption’ might sound feasible and right, but it has no real theological sense to it, or Biblical truth.
To imply a ‘plan’ is to also imply that God works things out in His mind, weighs up options and then comes up with a solution. This is very similar to thinking that God hears prayers and then alters what happens in answer to the prayers. Both ideas are inappropriate, and do not show an understanding of Who God is and how He works. God does not work things out, nor does He devise ‘plans’. Something either is, or it is not. It either exists, or it does not. Plans and devices and working things out are all for human beings using finite human minds. They are not for God!
God does not ‘plan’ anything because everything that is to be was known in God’s mind in eternity, including redemption, salvation, and everything else you can think of. Nothing can alter God’s mind or purposes, not even prayer! (See articles on this subject for details). Once we suggest something of God has a start date and a ‘plan’ we immediately denigrate God and make Him less than divine.
For example, as an human being I was born into this world on say, 1st January 1945. As an human I did not exist before this, except for the nine months it took to develop in the womb. To be pedantic, though the makings of me existed in my parents, even before they met each other, I was ‘present’ in Adam and Eve from the beginning of the world. But, as a distinct human being in my own right I did not exist until nine months before I was born. Then, at birth, I became my own person and soon had my own name. At a certain time on earth I will no longer live and will no longer be around. That all sounds familiar and true, because it is.
At some time in my life (and the same goes for everyone else who is saved) the Holy Spirit regenerated me and my spirit was made alive, though it was completely dead. Before regeneration I had no communication with God whatever. As soon as my spirit was made alive, God spoke to me and, at a later date (in my case about six months), He drew me to repent and seek forgiveness. Once I did that and I was forgiven, I was ‘saved’. Thus, I was ‘saved’ at a single moment in my own history.
But, that is not the whole story, for though I did not exist as a person until I was conceived and born, and though I was unsaved until that specific moment in time known as my salvation, I was known to God even before the world was made! He named me as one who would be saved in my lifetime, and so my salvation was ‘locked in’ to heaven before Creation took place. My name was stored in God’s eternity. Being in eternity, it has always been – it never had a beginning or an end. My earthly moment of salvation was only the outworking of what God had decreed in eternity, and the exact time was also known. At no moment could I have avoided salvation or rejected it, because God had already elected me. There was no ‘plan’, because God determined it. Whatever is God’s will, simply ‘is’.
In the same way, redemption is part of God’s will, and has always existed. We might be able to point to a moment in earth’s history when we think it began, but we would be mistaken, for God determined redemption in eternity; it has always been.
In Psalm 111:9, David said: “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend (is) his name.” Note that – “he hath commanded his covenant for ever”. That means redemption of Israel was a command, and that the command was ‘for ever’, or, in eternity!
Hebrews 9:12 says: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption (for us).” This does not just mean our salvation is eternal; logically, it means Christ’s redemption is also eternal. Salvation and the means of obtaining it, must, of necessity, be co-existent. One cannot exist without the other, or be predated. Jesus Christ is God, and He is the redeemer, therefore whatever He does is eternal.
And, of course, if redemption and salvation are eternal, then so is election and predestination, because all are of the same stock and in the will of God. “And they remembered that God (was) their rock, and the high God their redeemer.” If God is the redeemer, and God is eternal, along with His will, then so is redemption! There can be no break in Biblical logic, no matter what denomination or personal theory is applied! Everything is interlinked and interdependent.
“For I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25) means that God is alive and, because He is eternal, His redemption is also eternal: “he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4). What God chooses cannot ever be taken away. It is forever chosen.
There was never a time when redemption did not exist, because there was never a time when God did not exist. Of course, the term ”never a time” is not correct, because time does not apply to God, Who is eternal. It is used merely for human understanding.
Christians who refer to God must ever be watchful to use the right phrases and descriptions; they must make sure that all their theological assumptions speak of God and everything He says and does as eternal. Human beings might first hear or see His words and actions in history, but it does not mean they began at that time. Time is only for human beings – it has no relevance for God. The whole of creation, time, and eternity, are known to God continually. He has never thought as we do and come up with ideas, because He knows everything at once. Everything He ever says or does, though witnessed in our historical time-span, is just an outworking of His eternal will.
© April 2010
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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