“…who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,” – 2 Timothy 1:9 (ESV)
The very first words in the Bible are; “In the beginning God created…” An important truth from these words is that there was ‘a beginning’ of time. Before God created all the rest he created time. It was before the ages began. “Time, ‘like an ever-rolling stream,’ flows on and on and on. But before it even began we were already included in the gracious purpose of God.”* God purposed to give us grace ‘before times of the ages’ as the words are literally translated. That grace of God was hidden, and it is part of the “mystery” given to the Apostle Paul for him to reveal to the world. In Colossians 1:26 Paul also wrote, “the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations,” Grace from God for us, hidden from before the foundation of the world was in the Old Testament only dimly discerned by those who believed. But it in the New Testament it “has now been revealed or manifested.” When we think of grace, we think of Jesus our Savior, anointed by God for the purpose of saving his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
* William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 4:232–233.