How do you respond to 2 Timothy 1:9–10?

“…this grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus…”

Those who hold that the future is eternally settled and that God knows it as such sometimes argue that God had to foreknow who would believe in order to give them grace in Christ before the ages began. Such speculation goes far beyond the text, however. A much easier interpretation is to recognize the corporate nature of Jewish thinking about election and thus understand that the “us” who receive grace before the ages refers to the cooperate body of all who will freely align themselves with Christ.

God foreknew (because he foreordained) that there would be a class of people (believers) who would keep covenant with him, and he ordained that they would be showered with grace “before the ages.” But this doesn’t mean God foreknew or predetermined that you or I in particular would be among that class. The corporate body is foreknown, is given grace, and has many wonderful things predestined for them (Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:4–5, 11). But it is up to each of us individually to respond to God’s beckoning and align ourselves with this body.

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