Faithlife Sermons

The Golden Chain of Redemption (2)

Salvation is of the Lord  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 3 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Romans 8:28–30 AV
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Introduction:
Show Sproul Video
I. God’s Faithfulness (vs. 28)
Romans 8:28 AV
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Now, i do not think that we need to spend a lot of time here but just to reference it in passing as a springboard to take us farther.
We see God’s faithfulness in that He causes (that is the literal Greek rendering) all thing to work for the good of the called or as we saw last week, the elect.
We say that the called in verser 28 are the elect, because the called of verse 30 is obviously the elect, so there is no grammatical or linguistic reason to say that these are two different groups of people.
God causes all things in the life of the elect to work for their good.
II. God’s Foreknowledge (vs. 29)
Romans 8:29 AV
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
We saw last time together that Greek word to “foreknow” is “προγινώσκω” and it literally means (and we looked at several Greek lexicons on this word) “to foreordain or fore-chose”.
And we noted for you the fact of the “prescient” view of predestination and that is that “God looks down the corridor of time and sees those people that are going to response positively to the Gospel and that based on that foreknowledge God predestines those who He knows from all eternity past are going to chose Him”.
And we said to you that is not a definition of the doctrine of Predestination but that it is a denial of it.
Obviously God cannot chose people that He does not know.
And we said to you that those that have that view of foreknowledge are not getting that from the Scripture, but are adding it to the Scripture; and that they are doing it without reason.
Keep in mind something that we said to you last time, and that is the fact that the word “προγινώσκω” is an active tense verb.
It is an action that God is doing.
In fact, all of these words; “Foreknow”, “Predestinate”, “Called”, “Justified”, “Glorified” are all active tense verbs that God is doing.
Also, keep in mind that the text says: “Whom He foreknows”.
It does not say that God foreknew the decisions that people would make but that He foreknew people.
We have a usage of the word “foreknowledge” in relation to ourselves.
But that definition is useless in relation to God because is not a time being.
What I mean by that is that we exist in time; there was a specific in time in which we came into existence.
But that is not the case with God, He is a timeless being.
God does not know things before hand, He simply knows, He knows all things.
The only reason that God can even be said to have foreknowledge is because He predetermined them.
As one writer said, “God foreknows what will be, by determining what shall be”.
We looked a few verses where the word “foreknowledge” is one form or another is used and I just want to give you a couple of these.
Acts 2:23 AV
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Certainly, no one is going to say that the reason that the crucifixion of Jesus happen was because God looked down the corridors of time and saw what the Jews and the Romans were going to do and then determined the crucifixion of Christ based on that, would they?
Or would the definition of “foreordination” for the context better?
That is the way that it is meant in Peter’s context.
Amos 3:2 AV
You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
Does that mean that the Children of Israel were the only people that God knew anything about?
Certainly Not!
He knew about all the other nations.
It literally means that they are the only ones that God had “chosen”.
So, as you can see when the Bible speaks of God’s Foreknowledge, it is speaking of God “foreordaining”, “fore-loving” or “fore-choosing”.
III. God’s Formula (vs. 29b)
Romans 8:29 AV
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Some years back I was speaking with a person who denied the Biblical Doctrines of Predestination.
They could not denied the fact that the word “predestination” existed and; therefore, the Doctrine existed, but they denied the Biblical Doctrine of Election.
They did this by saying that the Doctrine of Predestination has to do with Sanctification and not Salvation.
That from all eternity past God predestined that Christians would be Sanctified.
was a proof text they used for that.
The thought generally goes that the Doctrines of Predestination and election do not have anything to do with Salvation but only has to do with the fact that God predestined our Christlikeness after we chose, of our free, will to be saved.
Because verse 29 says that God Predestined us to be conformed to image of Christ.
So the natural thinking is that Predestination is Predestination unto holiness not unto Salvation.
And, admittedly, that would make sense if you just read that verse out of the context here and the context of the rest of Scripture.
What is the context or theme of the rest of the Scripture?
Ephesians 1:5 AV
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
First of all the testimony of the rest of Scripture is we were Predestined unto the Adaption of Children.
Now, adoption is salvific language, not language having to do with Sanctification or Christlikeness.
And the text says that it was based on the good pleasure of the good will of God.
And then God’s will changes our wills.
So now that we understand that Predestination does; in fact, deal with Salvation and not just sanctification, how do we deal with this from the text of ?
We have, in fact, been Predestinated for Salvation, but that is the natural end result of our Predestination to Salvation.
Obviously, if God Predestined someone to Salvation, then that end result is going to be Sanctification.
So, it doe snot follow that we skip with salvation step and dismiss everything that the Bible says.
We must understand that what Paul argues here in verse 29 is the fact the goal and the end result of our being Predestined to Salvation is our Christlikeness.
Verse 29 is the goal of Predestination.
If our salvation has nothing to do with our own merit or good works and is entirely of His Grace, then why does God save me?
The only reason that God saved me is for the sake of Jesus Christ.
The ultimate reason for Predestination is for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.
The chain that follow in verse 30 is the why in which God achieves His purpose.
What is the purpose, again spoken about in verse 28?

Clearly, it is that from the mass of fallen and perishing humanity God might save a company of people who will be made like Jesus.

God loves Jesus so much that He determined to have many more people like Him.

In order to do that, God selects, predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies this people. That is, verses 29 and 30 tell how God accomplishes the purpose of verse 28.

Paul speaks about the purpose in verse 28.
What is that Purpose?
For the Glory of Jesus Christ, people from every tongue, tribe, people and nation will be Predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ.
Foreknowledge and Predestination are not the main goals here, the main goal is the glory of Christ, by bringing a people to be more like Him.
Foreknowledge and Predestination are ways in which that is accomplished; along with verse 30.
So, it is not that Predestination has nothing to do with Salvation but only with Sanctification; it is that the goal of God is that His love for Christ is so great that He wanted many more people like Him and that the process of accomplishing that is Foreknowledge, Predestination, Calling, Justification and ultimately Glorification.
That is why salvation totally points of Christ and not us.
We are loved, saved and sanctified because of the Fathers love for Christ and this is how that great love is displayed.
So that:
Romans 8:29 AV
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
What does it mean when the text says that “....he is the firstborn among many brethren?”
It is the Greek word “πρωτότοκος” and means:

existing before all creation or superior to all creation

It is the same word used in :
Colossians 1:15 AV
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
So, the goal in all of this, according to verse 29, is that Christ may be the preeminent one over all things.
That is how much God the Father loves God the Son.
And He accomplishes this preeminence of Christ by the process that mentioned in verse in verse 30.
IV. God’s Facilitation (vs. 30)
How does God bring all this together?
How does God bring about our Salvation and Sanctification?
Because we cannot be sanctified until we are first saved.
So the first step, in the ultimate goal of our sanctification that brings glory to Christ, is that God foreordained a people; and we have already seen that.
Out of the masses of fallen humanity, God foreordained a people
Then the process continues.
And this is the process, remember, of glorifying Christ.
Romans 8:30 AV
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
A. Predestination
“Predestinate” is the Greek word “προορίζω” and it means to: decide beforehand, to determine.
To use a illustration that we would understand.
If I were going to take a trip and I used a travel agent to plan that trip, I would tell them where I wanted to go.
They would make arrangements for my desired destination and they would do it before I got there.
So, by the same token when we speak regarding the Doctrine of Predestination we are talking about that fact the God has pre-arranged or Pre-determined or Pre-decided our destination.
He foreknew or Foreordained a people and then predetermined their destination.
In the plan of salvation God could do one of three things.
He can chose to save nobody, (everybody goes to Hell under the just wrath of God).
He can chose to save everybody (universalism, everybody goes to Heaven)
Or He can chose to save somebody.
Now, we know that it is not the first option; because God is gracious and people to go to Heaven.
Luke 19:10 AV
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
We know that the second option is not valid; because there is a Hell and people go there.
Matthew 7:13–14 AV
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Therefore, it has to be that God has chosen save somebody.
Of those that He has graciously, out of His great love for Christ, Foreordained, foreknew, fore-loved; He then sets their destination; Predestination.
Now, over the years, I have heard no small amount of objections to this; here are a few.
1). If you believe this, then you make salvation arbitrary and God a Tyrant.
What do you think would happen if we sought and received only a even-handed justice from God?
We would all go to Hell.
The justice of God condemns us and can only condemn us.
If we seek for God to be just, then we will find it in being cast into outer darkness forever.
In order to be saved, we need mercy and not justice; which is what Predestination is all about.
Tyranny, by very definition has to do with excessive power.
Is God perfectly just to cast everyone of us into Hell?
Yes!
So you cannot accuse God of being a Tyrant when justice is being welded.
We tend to lose sight of that.
We tend to think that since God gives heaven to group A, He is obligated to give Heaven to group B.
But if you think under those conditions, you are not talking about Mercy anymore; because Mercy is not obligatory, it cannot be demanded.
And if you think that God does it arbitrarily; notice what Paul says:
Ephesians 1:11 AV
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
The counsel of God’s will is anything but arbitrary.
2) If you believe this you must deny human freedom
What does the Bible teach about our freedom in spiritual matters?
It teaches that we are not free to choose God.
Romans 3:10–11 AV
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Romans 8:7 AV
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Romans 8:8 AV
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
We need to understand that Predestination does not take away our freedom, it restores it.
It is because God foreknows me and predestines me to be conformed to the image of His Son that I am delivered from sin’s bondage and set free to choose and serve Him.
3) If you believe this you will destroy motivation for evangelism.
The Theological answer is that God determines the means to His ends, as well as the ends themselves.
But let me answer this another way.

Suppose God does not elect to salvation and thus, because he has determined to save some, does not commit himself to create new life within them that will break down their hard hearts and enable them to respond in faith to the message of the cross when it is made known. I ask: If God does not commit himself to doing that, what hope do you and I as evangelists have of doing it?

If the hearts of men and women are as wicked as the Bible says that they are, how can you and I every have any hope of savingly presenting the Gospel to anyone?
Let’s put in in more frightening terms.
If salvation depends on our efforts and not the foreknowledge and predestination of God, what if I do something wrong?

What if I give a wrong answer to a question or do something that turns others away from Christ? In that case, either by my error or because of my sin, I will be responsible for their eternal damnation.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 873). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
I do not see how that would encourage evangelism.
On the contrary, it would make us afraid to say or do anything.

But look at it the other way. If God has elected some to salvation in order that Jesus might be glorified and that many might come to him in faith and be conformed to his image, then I can be both relaxed and bold in my witness. I can know that God will save those he has determined to save and will even use my witness, however feeble or imprecise it might be, if this is the means he has chosen.

Far from deterring evangelism, the Doctrine of Predestination (that God has predetermined the destination of those Foreordained), should encourage it.
Next time together, as we wrap up this link in the chain, we will address what has been called “Double Predestination”.
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 873). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 873). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Related Media
Related Sermons