Friday, December 20, 2013
Victory in Christ - Part 22
This is the next installment of a series I am writing concerning what Romans 6-8 teaches about our sin problem and God's plan for victory. To find previous installments do a search for the title: Victory In Christ. You can find the first installment here.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Paul goes on to explain who those called ones are. He starts out with God's foreknowledge. He is saying that those He foreknew, those are the ones He predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. The language makes it clear that all those He foreknew He predestined. That is a comforting thought because it means that God won't fail in His plan and effort to conform His people to the image of Christ. If you have trusted Christ as your savior, you can be assured that the conformation process will be successful. God wants Christ to be the firstborn among many brethren. There is to be a family of sons of God-- Christ and all believers.
In addition, all of those He predestined, those He called. Notice the tense of all of this. He called – past tense. Nobody can come to Christ unless God calls them and so to be certain that His will is accomplished, He specifically calls those whom He intends to conform to the image of His son.
Wait, there's more. He goes on to tell us that those He has called He has justified. He has declared them righteous. When someone comes to Christ by faith, God justifies them; He gives them His own righteousness in place of their sin. If that is true of you, then you are one of these people He is talking about here. The final step is that He has glorified us. Notice again the tense. There is a sense in which our glorification is so certain that in God's eyes it's already accomplished!
So think about it. If you are a believer, God foreknew you. “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,” (Ephesians 1:4). If He foreknew you, He predestined, predetermined and provided everything needed so that you would ultimately be conformed to the image of Christ. Having planned all this, He then called you to come to Himself. As Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). Notice the success which Jesus promised. “I will raise him up at the last day.” If God calls, He also justifies. That means He declares us righteous, under no condemnation whatsoever. And the final step is the ultimate and certain glorification of everyone God has called to Himself. There is great peace and joy in this truth.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
With these glowing words from Scripture we end this short study of Romans chapters 6-8. If God has done all of the things described in these chapters, who is going to be able to bring any charges against us? The answer is, “nobody”. Jesus Christ makes intercession for us, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, we've been adopted into His family, we've been given a new spirit and His Spirit. No matter what our struggles and no matter how many times we fall, if we've trusted in Christ, we've been redeemed and rescued from the law of sin and death. With Paul we should be persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities no powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor anything else in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Principle 30: Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God in Christ!