Don’t read this if don’t want my thoughts of Romans 8 and predestination but I was asked if I could put something I first voiced about 14 years ago in writing…and in case I’m actually brave enough to hit post here it is…
“Predestined” Manhattan/New York City/Inwood/190th Street 01-06-09 at 11:12 AM
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[I] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
I remember sitting in some friends’ living room doing a bible study on this passage when I spent my year in Norfolk and being the one brave/foolish/young enough to try and explain what this passage was saying and what I came up with was roughly the following but possibly tweaked as I’ve thought on it in the intervening 14 years…
Firstly you can only understand v30 in the context of 28-30 because it all hangs together. v28 He, God works for the good of those who love him (not that all is good but that it can be made good or good will come out of it…eventually) and are called according to his purpose – his purpose? That we love Him. He foreknew us because as Psalm 139 says he knit us together in our mother’s womb and before we were he knew us “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” And He created us, He made us in His image and predestined us to be like Him, to be in the image of His Son (Himself) so we are His sons and daughters, we were created to love Him and therefore are predestined to do so. And if we are predestined to be like Him, then we are called to love Him and therefore do His will, follow Him. If we chose (and that is where the free will bit comes in – He doesn’t force us to love Him, to serve Him, to follow Him – because where is the true love then?) to hear that call then we are justified (made clean, made one in grace and love through faith) and if we are justified through our faith and love how can we not be glorified?
Is that right, I don’t know but it works for me.