So if any of you are like me, you have struggled with the whole argument of "predestination vs mans will to choose." I wrestled with this most of my Christian walk. How can our Wonderful, Amazing and Loving God choose only a certain number of human beings to come to heaven, and by that choice hold those He did NOT choose accountable for that decision. That seems fair right? Yeah, didn't think so. Hopefully I can clear up this confusion and set some of you free!
Rom 8:28 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.
Rom 8:29 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Let's get dirty. Ok so when we first read these verses, and when we are first taught these verses, we come to the conclusion that Paul is speaking only to believers about their being hand picked by a God since before they were even a thought. This never sat right with me as stated above. But there it is nonetheless right? If we break down these words and define them for what they are, I think it reveals so much more than that!
First lets look at the word foreknew. This word means to know beforehand, that is, foresee. That's pretty straightforward. Ok let's move on to the big daddy, Predestined which means to limit in advance, that is, (figuratively) predetermine: - determine before, ordain, predestinate. Hmm. That word in parenthesis has me a bit confused. See I've been taught that God literally chose certain people to go to Heaven, but that word there says figuratively. Let's get really technical. What word is used figuratively? The Greek word, which is προορίζω: proorizō (pro-or-id'-zo) this word is being used figuratively. What does figuratively mean? According to Websters dictionary figuratively means By a figure; in a manner to exhibit ideas by resemblance; in a sense different from that which words originally imply. Words are used figuratively, when they express something different from their usual meaning. So what does all of this mean? We can conclude here that the word we translated "predestined" from, did not mean that God literally chose each individual person that would be saved. So who did He pick? We'll get into that a bit later on. Let's continue unpacking verse 29. Ok so we have the first 2 big theological words broken down, let's look at conformed. Conformed means jointly formed, that is, (figuratively) similar: conformed to, fashioned like unto. So again we run into this "figuratively" statement in the definition. So what word is being used here, the Greek word being used is συμμορφός: summorphos (soom-mor-fos') So again, God did not literally choose each individual person that would be saved and He did not literally conform them to the image of His son! Man this is getting deep. The rest of the verse is pretty well understood and defined.
Let's move on to verse 30. We again see the word predestined and we have already defined that. But let's look at the word called. Called in this verse comes from the Greek word καλέω: kaleō (kal-eh'-o), which means to “call” (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise): - bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-) name (was [called]). Well what does that mean? Could it mean called by the surname? So if that were the case, we could say those who were predestined were called by their surname. Well what is a surname? Surname means a hereditary name common to all members of a family, as distinct from a given name. Ok, we can come back to this in a minute. Let's look at the word justified. Justified in this verse comes from the Greek word δικαιόω: dikaioō (dik-ah-yo'-o) which means to render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent: - free, justify (-ier), be righteous. So those who He predestined He also called, and those He called He also rendered just, regarded as innocent. Stuff is starting to make sense here. Let's keep going!! Let's look at glorified. Glorified in this verse comes from the Greek word δοξάζω: doxazō (dox-ad'-zo) which means to render (or esteem) glorious (in a wide application): - (make) glorify (-ious), full of (have) glory, honour, magnify. So let's plug that in. Those who He predestined He also called, those He called He also justified, those He justified He also regarded as glorious, made full of glory. HOLY COW!! Are you serious? Have I been experiencing these verses wrong my entire life? Have I been taught these verses incorrectly my entire life? Well what do they mean?
So I left some unanswered questions in the previous paragraphs on purpose, for us to see it all laid out. So here comes the answers.
For those whom God knew before creation, those whom He foresaw, He also predetermined to be jointly formed in the image of His Son, in order that His Son might be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those whom He predetermined to be jointly formed in the image of His Son, He also called them by the name of their heritage, their surname. And those whom He called by their surname, he also regarded them as innocent and full of glory.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! Praise God!! We are all called by God because of our heritage! we are sons and daughters of the Living God! We are all full of glory and thought of by god as being completely innocent! "So we are all going to heaven?" No, we are all chosen by God to be sons and daughters, but it is up to each person to believe in Jesus Christ, to believe our true heritage..to change our mind about God! Thank you God for loving us so much!
You are accepted no matter what you think about yourself. You can never do no nothing that will drive God away from you. He is passionately pursuing you. He is patient, not wanting any to perish! Come back to your true origin, your heritage!
Thank you for reading.
The Other Guy
I am married to the most beautiful woman on the face of this planet, Ashley, and have had the privilege of having a daughter, Haniah. I love them with all that I am!
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