The following article is an excerpt from "A Book of Bible Study"
by Joseph F. Harwood.
To download the entire book in PDF format, visit our home page at https://www.abookofbiblestudy.net/
In his epistle to the Romans, Paul wrote: “ 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 8:29-30).
In these verses Paul spoke of God’s foreknowledge of those who would receive the gift of eternal life. Paul taught that those whom God “foreknew” are the ones who are “predestined” to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ, which means that those whom God foreknew are the ones who are predestined to be the recipients of eternal life. Further, Paul taught that those whom God predestined; He also called, and those whom He called; He also justified, and those whom He justified; He also glorified.
Romans 8:29-30 describes the chain of events by which each of us as believers comes to faith in Christ, and ultimately spends eternity with Him in Heaven. Notice that action by God is involved in every event in the chain. Paul said that God foreknew, God predestined, God called, God then justified, and God finally glorified. In every case action by God is mentioned, and action by man is not mentioned.
All who come to faith in Christ come to faith in Him and ultimate glory by the order given in Romans 8:29-30. Each of these events happens in succession, and once again, each of the actions involved in these events is brought about by God Himself; there is no action or cooperation by man mentioned at all.
First, God foreknew these individuals, meaning that He chose them from before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight (Ephesians 1:4-5). And these whom He foreknew are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. In God’s time, these individuals are born into the world. And again in God’s time, He calls these chosen individuals to faith in His Son. Paul then taught that God justifies those whom He calls. And finally in this chain of events, we see that those whom God justifies, He also glorifies.
Let us now look very carefully at the “link” in this chain of events where Paul said that those whom God called, He also justified. Paul did not say that “some of those” whom God called are also justified, if they decide to heed that call of God and accept Christ. Rather, Paul taught very succinctly in this passage, and with no added conditions or cooperation by man mentioned whatsoever, that all of those whom God calls to faith in His Son are also justified by Him.
This calling that Paul wrote about in Romans 8:30 is the same effectual calling of God that Jesus taught about in John 6:44 and 6:63-65. The lesson from all three of these passages is that all of those who are called to faith in Christ with this inward, effectual calling of God will come to Christ, and none will refuse.
In Romans 8:29-30 where Paul describes the order of salvation, and also in John 6:37, we find stated very concisely the teachings of both predestination and the eternal security of the believer. Every step in the salvation of an individual is brought about by God Himself, and the decision to bring that individual to faith in Christ was made by God before the foundation of the world. Further, that salvation is eternally secure and certain, as Paul also taught elsewhere in the book of Romans when he wrote: “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).