I hope the title of this first study doesn't give you concern.  This is not about the organization called "Planned Parenthood", nor is it a study about the sanctity of life, the wonders of child birth and the virtues of the family.  Instead, we're going to look at the subject of Planned Parenthood" from an entire new perspective.

Preparation for parenthood today is truly a remarkable experience.  A prospective mother can find out if she's pregnant with an inexpensive kit purchased from the corner drugstore.  Then, a quick trip to the OBGYN can confirm the sex of the fetus and, through minimally invasive tests, even determine genetic defects.  What's even more marvelous is the new technology called CRISPR, which promises to correct those defects in utero, thus insuring a healthy life for the new born.  Of course, some futurists also predict that those same techniques will also allow engineers to design a baby to specifications, but that's a ways off as yet.  But wouldn't it be interesting to know in advance, even before the baby is born, just what he or she will turn out to be like, right down to personality and hair color?

That shouldn't sound too far fetched because, in a very real way, that is exactly what happened when you were born into the family of God!  Let me explain.  The following narrative, based on Scripture, describes one of those fundamental yet complex truths of the Bible.  For the time being, I'll just share the "fundamental" part with you and leave the "complex" to a later date.  You won't find these events chronicled as a running narrative in Scripture but, as with many subjects in systematic theology, we can recreate an accurate scenario using related verses on the subject.  The Bible references will appear in the study section.  Now, here's the story.

You may not have known this before, but even before you were born... even before your parents were born... even before the world came into existence, God peered down through the eons of time and saw YOU!  Yes, He saw you just as you are today, with all the sinful imperfections, warts and wrinkles, and in spite of your imperfections, He loved you and chose you to be part of His family.  That's amazing, right?  But even more awesome is the fact that He also foresaw all the unique obstacles that stood in the way of this becoming reality.  Of course, I refer to the catastrophic events that took place at the time of creation when Adam and Eve's disobedience plunged all mankind into spiritual death and separation from God.

We've all heard the familiar story about the fall of man.  But, even though it takes up a but single chapter in Genesis, it contains some of the most important truths of Scripture.  For example, although the story simple enough for a child to understand, there's something so unique about the events that took place, on closer examination, they create an untenable predicament for God.   Recall that God did, after all, create Adam and Eve for life and fellowship but their disobedience demanded a consequence: death and separation.  For all intents and purposes, it looked like Satan would turn his temptation and Adam's subsequent disobedience into a huge victory for himself.  Satan would not only deprive God the enjoyment of his creation, but he would also, quite cunningly, manipulate the circumstances so that God's character would demand execution of the death sentence.  This was the perfect catch 22: man was created for life and fellowship with God but man disobeyed and had to die!  If God carried out His promise "thou shalt surely die", it would ruin the very purpose of His creation.  If God did not carry out His promise and arbitrarily nullified His word, He would not be righteous.  Thus, this marvelous act of creation, intended for God's glory and praise would be transformed into ruin and shame.  This was a huge dilemma, or so it seemed!

Now, let's take a step back again, into eternity past and take a closer look into the wondrous complexity of all this.  Pay close attention now because the time element might be confusing.  Remember now, we're talking about what God foresaw before time began.  From that perspective, God looked ahead and, even before He created mankind, foresaw the disobedience and resulting spiritual separation from Adam and Eve.  However, He also looked a little further down the time line and also saw a vast multitude of the first Adam's descendants gathered around Him in heaven.  Each of these fallen creatures stood before Him, holy and without blame, enjoying an intimate spiritual relationship as children of the Heavenly Father.  How could this be?  Somehow, in spite of the spiritual catastrophe brought on by Adam's disobedience, God managed not only to save throngs of Adam's progeny, but He did it in such a manner as to bring even more honor and glory to Himself in the process.  How did He do it?  Planned parenthood!

It all began with a plan worked out between God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit, before time began.  They devised a strategy so innovative and so unthinkable that it would be kept hidden in secrecy until the precise time appointed for its implementation.   Although this hidden plan, which the Bible calls a "mystery", was alluded to throughout Old Testament prophecy, it would not be revealed, even in part, until the fullness of time when God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world.  Then, mere decades later, when the crucified Christ called out "it is finished", the secret plan was finally implemented.   It was at that precise moment, God's audacious plan of salvation, in all of its profound simplicity, was revealed to mankind.   Now, for the first time in human history, a new and marvelous way had been opened for all mankind to move from the death, brought about by the first Adam, into eternal life as graciously provided by the last Adam, Christ. 

Just as through the birth and death of God's only begotten Son, both Jew and Gentile could now be transformed from death through a new birth unto life eternal by a simple act of faith.  The last Adam, Christ, had undone the curse and consequence of the first Adam by dying in place of the sinner.  A holy God could now accept the expiatory death of the sinless Christ to atone for sinful man, thus commuting man's sentence of death by transference to a substitute.  Now, this new plan of redemption was new to the Gentile mind but very familiar to Israel.  Jews fully understood this concept of substitutionary sacrifice, for they had been practicing it throughout the Old Testament for thousands of years. 

However, as the Scriptures make clear, the blood of bulls and goats could not atone for man's sins neither could one sinner die for the sins of another.  How, then, could a righteous God, whose holy character demanded death for all mankind, save for Himself the very humanity destined to die?   Enter Jesus Christ, the only sinless man legally qualified to step in, take upon Himself the sin of all mankind, and pay the price for all.  Thus, from the shadowy animal sacrifices of the Old Testament emerges the substantive "lamb of God" that takes away the sin of the world.  Only He who did not require salvation, the one who did not need redemption, the only man who had not sinned, could then step up an take the sin of the world upon Himself and die for the sins of others. 

This, then, was the audacious plan conceived by the Godhead before the world began.  Who could imagine that a holy God would, out of unfathomable love for both His Son and His creation, contrived to be both Judge and Savior at the same time.  For by carrying out His sentence of death for man's sin, His justice was satisfied and, by making redemption available to all mankind, His desire for a family was satisfied.  Now that's what I call, Planned Parenthood!

One final point before we leave this lesson.  There is an important theme seen recurring throughout Scripture which, for lack of a better word, let's call the "glory principle".  Briefly described, it is God's tendency to create something "good" and eventually replace it with something undeserving yet better.  This process inevitably reflects back on His goodness and, in consequence, redounds to His greater glory.  This precept is mirrored in the great mystery describe in today's lesson.  God created this world and all that is in it and called it "good".  Genesis 1:31.  After it was ruined by man's disobedience, God's great plan, that Mystery hidden from before the foundation of the world, provided a means though which sinful man could not only walk with God in a beautiful garden, but now could actually become a child of the Heavenly Father.  No longer just part of God's Edenic creation, man could now, by faith, become an heir to an incorruptible inheritance reserved in heaven for eternity. I Peter 1:1-4

Well, that's enough for the first step into this series on "The Facts of Life" which, of course, refers to the Christian life. In the next lesson, we'll explore a bit more of what's involved in this great plan of God's for your individual life, but for now, let's conclude this study by answering the questions below:


1.  What, in your own words, was the mystery hidden from before the foundation of the world.  Colossians 1:25-27

2. What did John mean when he said "before the foundation of the world". John 1:29

3. How does the Apostle Paul describe the hidden mystery in Ephesians 3:7-12

4. Describe in your own words, what the "mystery God" is: I Corinthians 2:6-10

5. Why was it necessary to keep this plan hidden from the rulers of this world? I Corinthians 2:8

6. When and for what purpose did God choose you?  Ephesians 1:4

7. When did God finally reveal His mystery to the world.  Galatians 4:4

8. Contrast and compare the two "Adam's" as found in I Corinthians 15:45-49

9. Who is the "one man" referred to in Romans 5:17

10. Why couldn't the sacrifices of the Old Testament atone for man's sin?  Hebrews 10:4-7

11. Why did the Old Testament sacrifices need repetition every year?  Hebrews 10:1-4

12. In which of these verses do we see the "glory principle" expressed?  Ephesians 1:6, Romans 5:15-17, Colossians 1:26

13. How does God make His great mystery known to all men? Col 1:23

In the next lesson we'll take a closer look at the marvels of the new birth.  What, exactly, happens to a person at the very moment of salvation.