Why Redemption? Why PLAN B
PLAN A – The Glory of God - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. PLAN B - The Gospel of Christ - In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: PLAN B2 –Back on Track - That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph. 1:3-12 emphasis added)
In the last section we looked at the original eternal purpose which could be summarised in the words of Watchman Nee:
“The glory of God” (Romans 3:23); and “The glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).
In our analogy of this eternal purpose, we have looked at PLAN A as described in Ephesians 1:3-6; we will now, in this post take a look at the consequences of Adam’s original sin that brought about, if I may say “a temporary deviation” on this plan A as stated in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.
Now, I had a very valid question asked about the last post with regards to the use of the phrases Plan A or Plan B. I will quickly address this question phrased as: “What Plan B!? It was always plan A from the get go!”
Yes the questioner is right. It was always Plan A from the beginning and so it will be for eternity. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified”. Rom. 8:29,30
I have used the term plan to indicate the different stage of this journey of "the children of God" having the image of the "first begotten Son"– it is not in any way aimed to imply that God changed His mind along the way or anything to that effect. Looking at the title we have given to this early part of Romans 1 - FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER, I will like to confirm as in our last post, the omniscience of this great God of ours. Now the dictionary gives us the meaning of the three key words in this phrase as
• A person with the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of something.
• Eminently skilled in.
• Carrying on one's trade independently, rather than a worker employed by another.
“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4-5).
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof “ (Psalms 19:1-6).
The heavens declare His Glory and the firmament exhibit His mastery. Imagine the mastery He displays daily with the workings within the firmament; the sun and the moon know the exact time for each one to appear and withdraw itself at any point on earth; they are never late nor too early or call in sick for work except on an occasions when the Lord wants to show his omnipotence .
“Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day” (Joshua 10:12-13).
When He spoke in the beginning and man came to being He meant exactly what He said –
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26-28).
Yes! He spoke and it was done NOT that “it can” or “it could” or even “it shall be done” BUT “it was done”. All provisions made for all eventualities.
"Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast". (Psalms 33:8-9)
• Care or provision for the future; provident care; prudence.
• The act or power of foreseeing; prevision; prescience.
• An act of looking forward.
• Knowledge or insight gained by or as by looking forward; a view of the future.
• Surveying - a sight or reading taken on a forward point.
When God brought Adam into the Garden of Eden, and put before him the “tree of life” of which he (Adam) was permitted to eat from; and “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” of which he (Adam) was not permitted to eat from. God being omniscient would have known that Adam in his human nature had the propensity to eat of the restricted tree. It is possible to have created Adam with the full capacity to obey God’s instruction to the letter; but then there is no true obedience without the freedom to disobey.
So our God in His infinite foresight (encompassing all that the definition of the word can be), had already made a provision for Adam’s possible choice and the consequences that may follow -
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world “ (Rev. 13:8).
“Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).
• A scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc: developed in advance: battle plans.
• A design or scheme of arrangement: an elaborate plan for seating guests.
• A specific project or definite purpose: plans for the future.
• To arrange a method or scheme beforehand for (any work, enterprise, or proceeding).
God’s perception of Adam’s propensity to disobey, as I said earlier, made it necessary to provide for corrections so that the ultimate plan, PLAN A, the eternal purpose is achieved -
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure (Isa. 46:9,10).
This He did through His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour -
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? (Heb. 1:1-5)
So that through Him the temporary deviation caused by Adam’s disobedience can be rectified; and the original plan of having many sons through the “only begotten Son” Who has now become the “first begotten Son” can be achieved –
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Just like Peter said of Jesus, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, have been taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed (Acts 2:23) -
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Rom. 8:29,30).
This contingency plan He had already made before He put Adam in the Garden of Eden -
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph. 1:3-4).
So the use of the phrases PLAN A or B only illustrates the provision that the Lord had made form the very beginning.
God’s Kingdom is the domain, the realm where due to His attributes as we touched on in the last post, He exerts or exercises His power so that He may manifest, express or display His glory.
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord". (Eph. 3:912).
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave us a hint on the importance of why we need to “walk worthy” of God in other to dwell in this domain or realm; when He urged us to vehemently seek the Father to help us fight against the one thing that can render us unfit for this realm - sin.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matt. 6:13).
If God has deliberately in His own infinite wisdom and mercy (1 Cor. 2:7-9), made us who He foreknew and had pre-destined and called to believe in (John 3:16) and be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ; And even from the beginning had also made provisions for any eventualities by justifying us through the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8); just so that we can be partakers of this mystery of exercising or exerting His glory (Rom. 8:29-30): Then the word OBEDIENCE shows it’s prevalence again.
Sin is the bane of this call to walk with God; just as obedience is what keeps us on track. Imagine taking a dog that will not obey you for a walk in the park or even more so a dog competition or horse race with a dog or horse who will not obey your instructions. C.H. Spurgeon said:
“You are God’s creature, and yet you have rendered to Him no obedience! You would not keep a horse or a dog that did not do you some service, or follow at your whistle”.
Sin, brought about by disobedience is the cause of deviation from the eternal purpose. This original sin by Adam caused the deviation from PLAN A as described in Ephesians 1:3-6. Adams choice to eat of the forbidden “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, when sin came in it found expression in an act of disobedience to God.
“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous”. (Romans 5:19)
So the first man’s disobedience to God’s instructions brought about a change in the rules of the game if I may use that terminology -
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. (Romans 3:23)
In our next post we will continue our look at The travails of Adam and the solution provided by the second Adam, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Meanwhile we pray: