Before the beginning of time… I can hardly wrap my head around the beginning of time. God is not bound by time like I am. If time were a line, God can see it from beginning to end. God sees yesterday, today and tomorrow all at the same time; I cannot. I can only live in the here and now.
Paul teaches here that God had salvation in mind before the beginning of time. He says we didn’t do anything but God did. God is at the center of this verse, we are not. I think many become confused about God because they cannot fathom that they themselves are not the center. It’s not about me but about God. Yes, this brings us to a place of humility.
Grace was extended to us even before time through Jesus! Jesus Christ was there before time. How do I know this? Scripture teaches us Jesus was God in the flesh.
Genesis 1:26a says,”Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” Do You see the word “us” in that verse? God is singular and plural all at the same time. There is no perfect description or analogy for God so we resort to telling others how God saved us, how God has worked in our lives and in the lives of others. All these stories have God at the center and point others to God. I’m not the central figure, God is. Here’s two verses that support the concept mankind has created called the Trinity. The word trinity doesn’t appear in scripture. The concept of the Trinity is in many places and I’ve given you just two.
Lastly this verse gives us our purpose, our calling: to live a holy life. Once again this cannot be accomplished if I’m placing myself at the center. I do not have the ability to be holy without God. I’m not even close to holy but by surrendering to God I’m given a new purpose, a calling and grace. It’s God who saves and extends grace. I’m only something if I have accepted the gift of God’s grace. God had this in mind before time.
While I’m not totally certain about what I’m about to say, I believe when a believer dies they go to be with God and they can see as God sees. So, my loved ones could be seeing my life as God sees it: yesterday, today and tomorrow. Maybe the cloud of witnesses are the people of faith that came before us mentioned in Hebrews? Some say they’re angels. We aren’t sure really.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Let’s live holy lives that cause this cloud of witnesses to celebrate! Let’s run this race!