“Predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Romans 8:29).
In our last visit we considered what Paul said in Romans 8 about man in his unsaved state. We concluded by pointing out that in spite of our sinful state God loves us enough to provide salvation for us.
If we by faith invite Jesus Christ into our lives He will enter and His Spirit will indwell us from that point on. His presence assures us that we are secure in Him. There is no condemnation hanging over our heads. We are safe.
Paul put it this way in Romans 8:29-30, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
Foreknowledge has the idea of not only knowing ahead of time, but also to foreordain something. Those so foreordained are then predestined to experience a specific outcome: to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. That is the process of sanctification that follows salvation.
Those thus predestined are then called. This calling is not a call that might be rejected. When I preach the gospel I extend a call or give an invitation. Those who hear my call have the option of receiving or rejecting. The call that Paul is referring to is an effectual call. It will result in a positive response from the one called. I say this because Paul makes it clear that those called in this way are justified. The only way to be justified is to respond positively to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Since this is the process and outcome of being saved by God it would be wise to heed Paul’s challenge to “examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith” (2nd Corinthians 13:5).