God Foreknows What Will Be Because He Has Decreed What Shall Be

God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be. It is therefore a reversing of the order of Scripture, a putting of the cart before the horse, to affirm that God elects because He foreknows people. The truth is, He foreknows because He has elected. This removes the ground or cause of election from outside the creature, and places it in God’s own sovereign will. God purposed in Himself to elect a certain people, not because of anything good in them or from them, either actual or foreseen, but solely out of His own mere pleasure. As to why He chose the ones He did, we do not know, and can only say, ‘Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure’ [Luke 21:10]. The plain truth in Romans 8:29 is that God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (2 Thessalonians 2:13). This is clear from the concluding words of the verse: “Predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.’ God did not predestinate those whom He foreknew were conformed, but, on the contrary, those whom He ‘foreknew’ (that is, loved and elected) He predestinated ‘to be conformed.’ Their conformity to Christ is not the cause, but the effect of God’s foreknowledge and predestination.”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.19

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The Decrees of God

“The decrees of God relate to all future things without exception: whatever is done in time was foreordained before time began. God’s purpose was concerned with everything, whether great or small, whether good or evil, although with reference to the latter we must be careful to state that while God is the Orderer and Controller of sin, He is not the Author of it in the same way that He is the Author of good. Sin could not proceed from a holy God by positive and direct creation, but only by decretive permission and negative action. God’s decree is as comprehensive as His government, extending to all creatures and all events. It was concerned about our life and death; about our state in time, and our state in eternity. As God works all things after the counsel of His own will, we learn from His works what His counsel was, as we judge of an architect’s plan by inspecting the building which was erected under his directions.”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.8-9