Dead or Alive? The Ordo Salutis

A summary statement of the Ordo Salutis: Foreknowledge

The standard theologies usually categorize “foreknowledge” under the topic of “omniscience”, the statement that the LORD knows all things (but not as acquired knowledge, that is, learned over time). Rather, the LORD has always known all things and that knowledge neither grows nor shrinks throughout eternity.

Stated in the simplest terms, the LORD can never be surprised.

Heb 4.13
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

There are many, many texts in the Scripture which detail, assume and/or imply the omniscience of the LORD. The following texts are merely a small sample.

We begin with the direct statements of the general truth: the LORD knows everything:

Rom 11.33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Psa 147.5
Great is our Lord and abundant in strength;
His understanding is infinite.

Isa 40.12-14
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?

Isa 40.28
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

Isa 42.8-9
“I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.

Deu 29.29
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Just as prominent is the LORD’s knowledge of both the thoughts and actions of all mankind:

Deu 31.21
Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.”

Psa 139.1-4
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

Job 31.4
Does He not see my ways
And number all my steps?

Psa 33.13-15
The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.

Act 2.22-23
Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

Rom 9.9-13
For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Eph 1.8b-11
In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Jer 16.17
For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.

Isa 46.8-10
“Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors.
“Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

[In the following section on Predestination, the truth revealed by the Lord Christ in Mat 11.20-27 also shows the foreknowledge of the LORD.]

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