Once upon a time, before there was time, in a place far, far away, before there were places, God knew my name and wrote it down in a book.
There was no creation yet. There were no birds, no stars, no angels or demons, and certainly no humans. There was only God.
God, the three-in-one God, was going about the business of creating the first covenant, a covenant among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One little, but vitally important provision of the covenant to folks like you and me, was a promise from the Father to the Son to give him a people. The tough part for the Son was that he would volunteer to die for those people given to him by the Father. But that was part of the agreement. This covenant was made among the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in eternity and is held together by God’s covenant-faithfulness, his steadfast love.
One covenant I am not worried about being broken is the covenant that God made with himself. If the Father provided a people for the Son, then I can stake my soul on his keeping that promise from the Father to the Son…and I have.
Jesus made reference to this promise of a people in John 17 in his high priestly prayer.
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me…”1
Clearly, believers are a gift from the Father to the Son. But how do we know this was done before the beginning?
In that most difficult of all books of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, there is a section that speaks of the Beast having power over all the people of the earth…with one exception, those whose name has been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.2 Notice that this writing down of the names of people was done “before the foundation of the world.” Personally, I find this to be extremely encouraging.
Before God made anything, he named me.
Before God made anything, he made arrangements for my redemption.
Before he made anything, I was the object of his love in Christ.
Before he made anything, he called me, justified me, and glorified me.3
From God’s perspective, this is all a done deal. I don’t know what can be more encouraging to a beleaguered human being than that. That is what is referred to as to “the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”4
1. John 17:6
2. Revelation 13:8
3. Romans 8:30
4. Ephesians 1:6