Chosen in Christ before the Foundation of the World
“Known to God from eternity are all His works.”1
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
There is nothing old or new to God, but all exists and is apparent before Him every moment. In the beginning was the word and the word was God; God in His being as Father and Son. Thus Christ the word existed in God from eternity. The Father gave forth the Son, i.e. Christ, to create the world and everything in it. The world, before its existence, was known ahead in the Son.
Man was also known to the Son, i.e. to Christ since eternity, which means before the foundation of the world. The new man did not come to exist in time through Christ’s incarnation, but those of us chosen were known and selected in Christ before the incarnation. Being chosen in Christ made us necessarily sanctified. Being sanctified and chosen in Christ was not a mere eternal choice but was due to the fact of the spiritual creation according to God’s previous knowledge. For we were created through the Spirit in Christ from eternity and before the foundation of the world in time.2
This creation in Christ made us in a state of fellowship and union through the Spirit. Our share in God was consequently the same as that of the Son, and our direct position in front of God was previous to any other heavenly being. This wonderful order the Apostle Paul explains in Ephesians saying: God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (i.e. previous to any other creation) in Christ, just as He chose us in Him (i.e. In Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him (i.e. before God) in love.”3 With his words “in love” the Apostle Paul through inspiration explained that God’s love flowed in our hearts with the same quantity with which He loved His Son Jesus. For that reason Christ, just before His ascension, reiterates and asks of the Father that God’s love in us be as the love for His Son.4 This love made us close to the Father as it made us close to Christ, till we had become as in Christ’s words as one: the Father in the Son and the Son in us!5 That is the end’s topmost in which our own beings unite with God and in which we enter the fellowship with the Father and with His Son6 as chosen and beloved. This separates us from the world as God’s words in the text: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”7 This joyful transfer exists in Christ and will be revealed when Christ will appear, as the Apostle Paul says: “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”8 The Apostle John says: “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”9 i.e. in accordance to the revelation we will see Him as one in the Father and will see ourselves in Him. It is a difficult equation that cannot be revealed here but is stored for us in Christ until He is revealed in glory. Yet all these matters are certain and we must now accept them only with faith and hope. It is as sure as the certainty of Christ’s incarnation and resurrection, because when He became incarnate he took on what was in us and gave us that which was His. When He resurrected we inevitably resurrected with Him and He made us sit with Him in the heavens. Thus we have now become strangers to this world awaiting the joyful transfer.
1 Acts 15: 18.
2 Eph 1: 4.
3 Eph 1: 3, 4.
4 note John 17: 26.
5 note John 17: 21.
6 1 John 1: 3.
7 John 17: 14.
8 Co 3: 4.
9 1 John 3: 2.
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