For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.Romans 8:29-30
Wow there are some heavy concepts here .
Foreknown > Predestined > Called > Justified > Glorified – all pointing to the final purpose – TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON.
Notice that God is the subject (the doer) of all these five actions. It is God who foreknows, God who predestines, God who calls, God who justifies and God who glorifies.
Προγινώσκω [proginōskō] is made up of pro meaning “fore” and ginōskō meaning “to know” – signifying God’s knowledge before the event. Some understand this to mean God knows everything beforehand and so He knows beforehand who will believe and who will not. Therefore he predestines those who He already foreknows will respond.
But there can be another spin on this scenario: the word also means “to unite oneself before with someone”. To foreknow someone is to seek a personal relationship with the purpose of bestowing special favour on them. That is the usage in many parts of the Old Testament. Gen 18:19, Jer 1:5, Amos 3:2. You only have I known, You only have I chosen.
It is certainly not a universalist notion that everyone will be saved. Salvation has its origin in God, not based on human desire or decision or deeds. Do you remember John’s take on this? (John 1:12) Paul is saying it is on the basis of God’s loving kindness that people are chosen to be conformed to the image of his Son and therefore conformed to the character of Christ.
Predestination is not fatalism, meaning all events are predetermined by fate and therefore inevitable and .unavoidable. Predestination comes from the word προορίζω [proorizō] meaning to limit or set in advance, that is predetermine, pre-ordain, set the destiny beforehand. God appoints us or foreordains us to be conformed to Christ’s likeness. It is hugely important to realise this originates with God and not with us. It is not for us to delay or put off a decision for a more convenient time which would be presume upon God’s grace being offered at a subsequent time.
I dealt briefly with this concept yesterday in the sense of the General calling to all. The church is known as the ekklēsia “called out” (Greek ek, “out,” and kaleı́n, “to call”). The called out ones. We can be called to salvation. We can be called to repent. We can be called to be saints. All are called to that. Then there are more specific callings: called to be an apostle, called to be a pastor, called to be a missionary. These are specific and personal callings.
But in focus here are those who are called to salvation, something that applies to all human kind but only God knows those who are His.
We have dealt with this concept at length earlier. (Bible Gems 154–157 & 159) I won’t go into it again here. To access all three Gems mentioned above and the series between them simply click on the number and then navigate between them.
This is the process by which God after taking our unrighteousness gives to us Christ’s imputed perfect pure righteousness. Now that is incredible. Interesting that it comes after Calling. The calling is the moment that all this is released to us when we respond in faith, believe and trust. Remember John, these three concepts all come from the one Greek word. It is at that moment that the pre-knowledge, predestination notion is actualised in our reality. Before that it is part of God and He stands outside time. Our faith response is the moment it enters our time frame. Go ponder that some more; it’s deep and needs time to sink in.
Remember the weighty word we dealt with in Bible Gem 195.
We share in the glory of God when He sees us clean and pure, standing clothed in Christ’s imputed righteousness. It is assured. So assured that Paul puts it in the past tense. It is “glorified”. Not will be glorified, will glorify or even is being glorified. But glorified. Past tense. That moment when Jesus said, “Now’s the time for the Son to enter His glory “(John 12:23). [Bible Gem 89] Israel had recognised the moment that all Scripture was pointing to. Now the Son was ready to be glorified. God stands outside of time. So at the moment we were seen in Christ and glorified too. Just as we were in Adam when he sinned. Weird but true. Hence Paul uses the prophetic perfected sense in the use of the past tense. It is written in the past because it is as good as already having been written in the history books. It is as good as done from God’s point of view. Prophetic yet already history.
That’s enough heavy stuff for today.
Golf was invented as a “game” by the same people who invented bagpipes for “music.”Anon
The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.Ian Vail
THE SENILITY PRAYER : Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.Anon