The Holy Spirit’s use of words:Example 4
Many suppose when they read of the “foreknowledge” of God (Acts 2:23; 1 Peter 1:2) that the expression simply means His cognizing beforehand. It imports very much more, expressing infallible certainty because based upon His eternal decree. God foreknows what will be because He has purposed what shall be. In its verbal form the word is actually rendered “foreordained” rather than “foreknown” in 1 Peter 1:20. Some Arminians, in their inveterate opposition to the Truth, have insisted that the word “elect” means a choice or excellent person, rather than a selected one, appealing to Christ’s being termed God’s “elect” in Isaiah 42:1. But the Holy Spirit has anticipated and refuted that wretched shift by defining the term in Matthew 12:18 (where He cites Isaiah 42:1), “Behold My servant, whom I have chosen.” Mark 13:20, settles the meaning of “elect” once for all: “the elect’s sake, whom He hath chosen.” In common speech “prince” signifies one who is inferior to the king, but not when Christ is called “the Prince of peace” and “the Prince of life,” as is clear from His being “Prince of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5). Many have been puzzled over mustard being called “the greatest among herbs” (Matthew 13:22), and love being greater than faith (1 Corinthians 13:13), when in fact faith is its root: but “greatest” does not mean largest in the former, or superior in the latter, but the most useful—the “best gifts” of 1 Corinthians 12:31, and “greater” in 1 Corinthians 14:5, signify more useful.
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures