“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30 NASB)
That’s a mouthful! It needs to be swallowed a little at a time. God “foreknew” and “predestined” those who are saved. How that could be is a secret in God’s heart. We can only guess according to our understanding of our Father’s heart. Scholarly saints argue. Some will say, “God knew who He was going to create to live with Him forever. You and a few others are His sovereign choices.” It seems the rest were not created for that purpose.
Others are quick to answer, “The gospel is the power of Life speaking to the dead. The lost are illuminated by truth. The love of evil will cause many to retreat into the darkness. Those willing to practice the truth will come into Christ’s Light and be changed.” (John 3:16-21)
The debate goes on about the intent of God’s heart. What is certain is that the one who is saved has been “predestined to become conformed to the image of God’s Son.”
It’s true. God knew who and why He would choose from before the beginning, and still allowed for free will.
“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (1John 4:20-21 NASB) God knows if we love Him, as imperfect as our love may be. He knows. That’s enough for me to be at peace. He knows.
Salvation is more than God’s grace allowing us to someday escape the consuming fires of hell and damnation. Our relationship to and with our Creator has changed since He called us. We have been born again, justified and glorified. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27 NASB) God is calling us His sons and daughters. That is being glorified! God’s gift of grace is salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus.
Now that that is settled …..