- For those whom He foreknew (proginṓskō), He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; - Romans 8:29
The term foreknew (proginṓskō) means to know something beforehand. It implies something fixed or certain — a decree. Thus, foreknowledge is knowledge of a plan that is fixed or certain. In other words, God foresaw creation because He decreed creation. God foresaw causes and consequences because He decreed those causes and consequences. God foresaw the redeemed because He decreed that He would redeem individuals.
There are various views as to how the plan of redemption was laid out in the decree. These views are known as lapsarianism. Lapsarian refers to the point at which man lapsed into sin. As a doctrine, lapsarianism determines the arrangement or order of the redemption plan within the decree. There are four orders, only one is Biblical.
Supralapsarianism teaches that God elected some to salvation and reprobated all others, created humanity, permitted the fall, and provide salvation for the elect.
Sublapsarianism teaches that God created all humanity, permitted the fall, elected some to salvation while leaving the others condemned, and provided salvation to the elect.
Infralapsarianism teaches that God created all humanity, permitted the fall, provided salvation for humanity, elected some to salvation while leaving the other condemned, and applied salvation to those who believe.
Biblical lapsarianism teaches that God created all humanity, permitted humanity a free will with its consequences, provided salvation to humanity, save and secure every sinner who responds to the call, foreknow all who believe, predestinate them to adoption and conformity to the image of His Son, and elect them to be holy in His presence.