Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Peter 1:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Who verily was foreordained - Προεγνωσμενου· Foreknown; appointed in the Divine purpose to be sent into the world, because infinitely approved by the Divine justice.

Before the foundation of the world - Before the law was given, or any sacrifice prescribed by it. Its whole sacrificial system was appointed in reference to this foreappointed Lamb, and consequently from him derived all its significance and virtue. The phrase καταβολη κοσμου, foundation of the world, occurs often in the New Testament, and is supposed by some learned men and good critics to signify the commencement of the Jewish state. Perhaps it may have this meaning in Matthew 13:35; Luke 11:50; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 9:26. But if we take it here in its common signification, the creation of universal nature, then it shows that God, foreseeing the fall and ruin of man, appointed the remedy that was to cure the disease. It may here have a reference to the opinion of the Jewish doctors, who maintain that seven things existed before the creation of the world, one of which was the Messiah.

Last times - The Gospel dispensation, called the last times, as we have often seen, because never to be succeeded by any other.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world - That is, it was foreordained, or predetermined, that he should be the great stoning Sacrifice for sin. On the meaning of the word “foreordained,” ( προγινώσκω proginōskōsee Romans 8:29. The word is rendered which knew, Acts 26:5; foreknew and foreknow, Romans 8:29; Romans 11:2; foreordained, 1 Peter 1:20; and know before, 2 Peter 2:17. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. The sense is, that the plan was formed, and the arrangements made for the atonement, before the world was created.

Before the foundation of the world - That is, from eternity. It was before man was formed; before the earth was made; before any of the material universe was brought into being; before the angels were created. Compare the Matthew 25:34 note; John 17:24 note; Ephesians 1:4 note.

But was manifest - Was revealed. See the notes at 1 Timothy 3:16.

In these last times - In this, the last dispensation of things on the earth. See the notes at Hebrews 1:2.

For you - For your benefit or advantage. See the notes at 1 Peter 1:12. It follows from what is said in this verse:

(1)that the atonement was not an afterthought on the part of God. It entered into his plan when he made the world, and was revolved in his purposes from eternity.

(2)it was not a device to supply a defect in the system; that is, it was not adopted because the system did not work well, or because God had been disappointed. It was arranged before man was created, and when none but God could know whether he would stand or fall.

(3)the creation of the earth must have had some reference to this plan of redemption, and that plan must have been regarded as in itself so glorious, and so desirable, that it was deemed best to bring the world into existence that the plan might be developed, though it would involve the certainty that the race would fall, and that many would perish. It was, on the whole, more wise and benevolent that the race should be created with a certainty that they would apostatize, than it would be that the race should not he created, and the plan of salvation be unknown to distant worlds. See the notes at 1 Peter 1:12.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Holy confidence in God as a Father, and awful fear of him as a Judge, agree together; and to regard God always as a Judge, makes him dear to us as a Father. If believers do evil, God will visit them with corrections. Then, let Christians not doubt God's faithfulness to his promises, nor give way to enslaving dread of his wrath, but let them reverence his holiness. The fearless professor is defenceless, and Satan takes him captive at his will; the desponding professor has no heart to avail himself of his advantages, and is easily brought to surrender. The price paid for man's redemption was the precious blood of Christ. Not only openly wicked, but unprofitable conversation is highly dangerous, though it may plead custom. It is folly to resolve, I will live and die in such a way, because my forefathers did so. God had purposes of special favour toward his people, long before he made manifest such grace unto them. But the clearness of light, the supports of faith, the power of ordinances, are all much greater since Christ came upon earth, than they were before. The comfort is, that being by faith made one with Christ, his present glory is an assurance that where he is we shall be also, Joh 14:3. The soul must be purified, before it can give up its own desires and indulgences. And the word of God planted in the heart by the Holy Ghost, is a means of spiritual life, stirring up to our duty, working a total change in the dispositions and affections of the soul, till it brings to eternal life. In contrast with the excellence of the renewed spiritual man, as born again, observe the vanity of the natural man. In his life, and in his fall, he is like grass, the flower of grass, which soon withers and dies away. We should hear, and thus receive and love, the holy, living word, and rather hazard all than lose it; and we must banish all other things from the place due to it. We should lodge it in our hearts as our only treasures here, and the certain pledge of the treasure of glory laid up for believers in heaven.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1082
Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 291.2

God is love, God is life. It is the prerogative of God to redeem, reconstruct, and restore. Before the foundation of the world the Son of God was given to die, and redemption is the mystery that was “kept in silence through times eternal” (Romans 16:25, R.V.). Yet sin is unexplainable, and no reason can be found for its existence. No soul knows what God is until he sees himself a sinner in the light from the cross of Calvary; but when in his great need he cries out for a sin-pardoning Saviour, God is revealed to him as gracious and merciful, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. The work of Christ is to redeem, to restore, to seek and to save that which was lost. If we are connected with Christ, we also are partakers of the divine nature and are to be laborers together with God. We are to bind up the bruised and wounded soul; and if a brother or a sister has erred, we are not to join with the enemy in destroying and ruining, but to work with Christ to restore such a one in the spirit of meekness. HP 291.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 264

None but a wholehearted Christian can be a perfect gentleman; but if Christ is abiding in the soul His spirit will be revealed in the manner, the words, and the actions. Gentleness and love cherished in the heart will appear in self-denial, in true courtesy. Such workers will be the light of the world. TM 264.1


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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 149

Moses wrote these judgments and statutes from the mouth of God while he was with Him in the mount. If the people of God had obeyed the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the specific directions given to Moses, which he wrote in a book, relative to their duty to God and to one another. The definite directions which the Lord gave to Moses in regard to the duty of His people to one another, and to the stranger, are the principles of the Ten Commandments simplified and given in a definite manner, that they need not err. SR 149.1

The Lord instructed Moses definitely in regard to the ceremonial sacrifices which were to cease at the death of Christ. The system of sacrifices foreshadowed the offering of Christ as a Lamb without blemish. SR 149.2

The Lord first established the system of sacrificial offerings with Adam after his fall, which he taught to his descendants. This system was corrupted before the Flood, and by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God and engaged in the building of the tower of Babel. They sacrificed to gods of their own [making] instead of the God of heaven. They offered sacrifices not because they had faith in the Redeemer to come but because they thought they should please their gods by offering a great many beasts upon polluted idol altars. Their superstition led them to great extravagances. They taught the people that the more valuable the sacrifice the greater pleasure would it give their idol gods, and the greater would be the prosperity and riches of their nation. Hence, human beings were often sacrificed to these senseless idols. Those nations had laws and regulations to control the actions of the people, which were cruel in the extreme. Their laws were made by those whose hearts were not softened by grace; and while they would pass over the most debasing crimes, a small offense would call forth the most cruel punishment from those in authority. SR 149.3

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