The book of Romans has been driving me crazy (in a good way) for the past couple of months, and one verse in particular has stuck in my mind.
“Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)
These words are so fancy. Like what on earth does it mean to be predestined? And not only that, but also to be called and justified and even glorified?
I’ve been coming humbly before God and begging for Him to show me what this means.
I know there’s a powerful meaning here.
After soaking it in for a couple days, I feel like I’m a few steps closer to understanding the implications of this verse and I figured someone could benefit from this too.
I’m sure I’m far from fully uncovering the truth, but this seems like a good start.
Predetermined: to be chosen, to be decreed from eternity by God
You and I are predetermined. We are chosen by God for a purpose. The scary thing about that is we don’t know what the full purpose is. Some people have been given insight into God’s plan for their life, but even then they don’t know it to the full. We are so clueless. Yet despite our cluelessness, the plan prevails. God set something into motion involving us since before we even came into this world. Just think about that for a second.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Repeat this after me: I am predestined.
Called: to be beckoned and invited, to be given a name or title
You and I are called. We are invited to something greater. We are invited to God himself. When Jesus gave his life up for us, the veil was torn and we no longer had to have that separation between us and Him. Not only that, but we are called a new name. We have been given a new title. I’m not just Jessie anymore, and you’re not just you. We are now His children. Ladies, you are his precious daughter, his beloved. Men, you are his son, his warrior. He is so proud of you.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
Repeat after me: I am called.
Justified: to be declared righteous and just, to be accepted and allowed
You and I are justified. We are declared righteous in His sight. We are accepted. The word “justified” can be confusing and I have stumbled over it for some time. How could I possibly be righteous in God’s sight when it’s clear I’m so… NOT? But here’s the shame-shattering truth: from the moment you received the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, you were washed clean. You’re not some sinner. You’re not some lost soul. You are redeemed and righteous.
What does that mean for our lives? That means that despite our confusion, our wandering, our mistakes and weaknesses, we are protected by the blood of Jesus. We WILL mess up. I definitely mess up daily. But I am still just as accepted and pure and perfect. In my imperfection, I am still perfect because Jesus was perfect enough to bestow that perfection upon me. And the same is completely true for you. Once you are a new creation in Christ, you are NEW.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
Repeat after me: I am justified.
Glorified: to be made glorious (like Jesus), to impart glory to something, to be celebrated, to be radiant
You and I are glorified. We are radiant. We are celebrated and exude the glory of God. And because of our gloriousness (bestowed upon us by Jesus), we can in return bestow glory upon Him. It’s such a beautiful cycle!
The more we look upon Jesus, the more we are made to be like him. And the more we are made to be like him, the more glory we bring to the Father. This is mind-blowing and yet I feel like we pay it so little attention. We forget about this constant sanctification that we are undergoing. We forget that everything is used by God. We forget that everything comes FROM Him and is FOR Him.
We are from God and for God.
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36)
Repeat after me: I am glorified.
I’m still learning what all of these things mean and I’m sure I’ll never fully understand. How amazing God’s truth is! It’s so amazing that we can’t even fully fathom it. Why would we serve and worship a God who we can fully comprehend and understand? No, it’s because of His mystery that we continue to come hungry and thirsty before Him.
I am so hungry for truth.
And if you’re hungry too, then start in God’s Word. Chew on what these things mean. Read the stories, the testimonies, the letters and exhortations.
I feel like we’re so darn busy sometimes, way too busy to let God fully do His work us. We’re too busy to hear Him out or really digest the wisdom and truth he’s wanting us to have. He needs us to just stop for a second and find rest in Him. We have to stop being such a “Martha” (poor Martha just can’t catch a break). We have to learn the art of being still.
And being still means that we cease striving.
It means that we cease striving to fill ourselves up with things that are not God himself.
Even in seeking truth, we can end up taking our eyes off of the truth, off of the main point. The main point and focus should always be God. The truth is found in Jesus. The wisdom is given to us by the Spirit. God wants us to know Him and He gives us all we need to do just that. But being still is a vital component of that.
I know this concept of being still doesn’t relate to Romans 8:30 directly, but if we are to understand the Word of God such as this verse, we do have to start with rest. We have to quiet down long enough. His voice is there, but sometimes we’re so busy that we miss it.
Be still and know that He is God.
We are predestined, called, justified, and glorified for Him.
I pray that we begin to understand more of what that means.