1 Peter – Chapter One XLVIII

by Ed Urzi

“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:20).

We can draw comfort from our text in 1 Peter 1:20, for it tells us that Jesus’ sacrificial death did not serve as God’s contingency plan in response to human sin. Instead, God foreordained a plan for human redemption before the world began.

You see, God knew how the first human couple would respond when they were tempted with the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil- and He addressed their response “before the foundation of the world.” In addition to what we read here in 1 Peter 1:20, several other Biblical passages touch upon the subject of God’s foreordination as well…

“this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23 ESV).

“Here in Jerusalem, Herod and Pontius Pilate got together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel. Then they turned against your holy Servant Jesus, your chosen Messiah. They did what you in your power and wisdom had already decided would happen” (Acts 4:27-28 CEV).

“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:9 NLT).

Thus, in the words of one commentator, 1 Peter 1:10 presents us with a God who served as the Redeemer before He was the Creator. (1) That truth has now been made visible (or “manifest”) to those who are living in “these last times.” That period began with the Apostle Peter’s generation and continues into this day. In light of this, we should take care to distinguish between the “last times” and the “end times.”

The phrase “end times” generally refers to the events that will occur just prior to the close of the current chapter of human history. In contrast, “these last times” began with Jesus’ ascension and will conclude upon His return. One source illustrates the relationship between these ideas with the imagery of a roadway that runs alongside a mountainous cliff….

“History is not, and has not, been rushing towards a distant brink that would end this current order; even in apostolic times, history had reached that brink – and has run parallel to it since.” (2)

(1) See Barclay, William. William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible, “The Christless Life And The Christ-Filled Life (1Pe_1:14-25).”

(2) Guzik, Dave, 1 Timothy 4 – God’s Man Of Truth And Integrity (4:1) https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-timothy-4/