1 Peter 1:17-21
And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man's work…
I. THE PURPOSE FOREKNOWN; but it is well rendered foreordained, for this knowing is decreeing, and there is little profit in distinguishing them. We say usually that where there is little wisdom there is much chance, and, amongst men, some are far more foresighted than others; yet the wisest and most provident men, wanting skill to design all things aright and power to act as they contrive, meet with many unexpected casualties and frequent disappointments in their undertakings. But with God, where both wisdom and power are infinite, there can be neither any chance nor resistance from without nor any imperfection at all in the contrivance of things within Himself that can give cause to add, or abate, or alter any thing in the frame of His purposes. The model of the whole world and of all the course of time was with Him one and the same from all eternity, and whatsoever is brought to pass is exactly answerable to that pattern. Before man had made himself miserable, yea, before either he or the world was made, this thought of boundless love was in the bosom of God, to send His Son forth from thence, to bring fallen man out of misery and restore him to happiness, and to do this, not only by taking on his nature, but the curse, to shift it off from us that were sunk under it, and to bear it Himself, and by bearing it to take it away.
II. THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS PURPOSE. "Was manifest in these last times for you." He was manifested by His incarnation, manifested in the flesh, and manifested by His marvellous works and doctrine, by His sufferings and death, resurrection and ascension, by the sending down of the Holy Ghost according to His promise, and by the preaching of the gospel.
III. THE APPLICATION OF THIS MANIFESTATION. "For you." The apostle represents these things to those he writes to particularly for their use. Therefore he applies it to them, but without prejudice to the believers who went before or of those who were to follow in after ages. He who is here said to be foreordained before the foundation of the world is therefore called "A Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." And as the virtue of His death looks backward to all preceding ages, whose faith and sacrifices looked forward to it, so the same death is of force and perpetual value to the end of the world.
Parallel VersesKJV: And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: