Foreknowledge (πρόγνωσις)

The English word “Prognosis” comes from this Greek word and still carries its basic meaning. A prediction of an outcome based upon prior knowledge. Typically used in the medical field, where the prior knowledge of the physician is called upon to determine the best course of action to heal a sickness, injury, or disease.

Paul uses prognosis in his defense before Agrippa, calling upon the Jews who all have a previous knowledge of Paul’s lifestyle as a Pharisee (Acts 26:5). After Peter discusses the new heavens and new earth, he encourages us to be on our guard because we have a prior knowledge that what is now will be totally destroyed (2 Peter 3:17).

When it comes to God and His prior knowledge, this same word is used. God marked off the bounds to be conformed to the image of His son, those He foreknew (Romans 8:29). The foreknowledge goes back to the plan God determined before the creation of the universe, in which He determined to set a specific group aside to be conformed to His Son. This foreknowledge is not looking at the individual, but the council that the Godhead determined to fulfill.

Speaking concerning Israel, Paul explains that God has not rejected the people that He foreknew. Israel was set aside to God as a nation and God will not cast them off but will fulfill His Word to them. Elijah learned this while thinking he was the only one left. No, God had seven thousand men who had not bowed the knee to Baal, even though it appeared that all others had. (Romans 11:2-4).

Prior to the foundations of the universe, God the Father determined that God the Son would be wrapped in flesh and […]