"The Plan of God" (Part 3)

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  53:25
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In Romans 8:30 Paul assures believers that the goal of God's plan and all of the essential parts is the glorification of believers.

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In Romans 8:30 Paul assures believers that the goal of God's plan and all of the essential parts is the glorification of believers.

The Guarantee

Why is this so important?
This is the believer assurance.
What God predestines, God accomplishes. If it is all up to God, there’s no chance of failure.

The Final Goal (v. 30)

And the essential parts (vv. 29-30)...
Of God’s plan (v. 28, “purpose” - God’s plan of operation)...
Which is the “good” (v. 28).
This is the encouragement that Paul is giving to those who are justified by faith and not by works.
This is what those believers have to look forward to despite the current struggle with sin (Romans 7:24–25).
The work of the Holy Spirit in believers assures them that they are believers (Romans 8:1–17).
And those believers can look forward to what’s to come (Romans 8:18–30).
Today we have to take a step back, so that we can take 3 steps forward (4 total steps/questions).

All those who are foreknown are also what? (v. 29)

“Predestined” (reviewing) - determine beforehand, decide in advance
“foreknew” (pre-chosen) is the WHO, “predestined” (pre-determine) is the WHAT (Acts 4:28; Ephesians 1:5; Ephesians 1:11).
“conformed to the image of his Son” - Believers will be like Christ, in contrast to what they are like now in the sufferings, groanings, and weakness of the present time (vv. 18-27).
This is a sinless perfection like Christ, that is implicit in this, which I failed to make explicit last week. This is what Paul was longing for (Romans 7:24–25; 1 Thessalonians 3:13 “so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 24 “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,”).
“Foreknew” (reviewing) - to ordain beforehand (in advance), to choose beforehand, to love beforehand
It is not knowing beforehand (in advance) something about them or foreseeing beforehand something about them.
This adds to scripture.
This introduces merit.
It is not true of everyone. Only those who the rest of it is true of. This is special. It is limited.
It is relational - “to befriend… ahead of time… ; implying an exclusivity of choice…” (Lexham Research Lexicon). As it it used in the OT…
Genesis 18:17–19 “The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have chosen [footnote - “known”; ] him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.””
Amos 3:2 ““You only have I known [NASB has “chosen” with a footnote of “known”; NIV has “chosen”] of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
It is the same as Ephesians 1:4-5 “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,”

All those who are predestined are also what? (v. 30)

“Called” (review) (v. 28)
The special, unique, summoning of God. It is the wake-up call that creates faith. Internal as opposed to external.
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13–14 “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:23–24 “but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
Hebrews 9:15 “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.”
2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Not all are called in this way. Only those who receive the “good”… and only “those who love God” (v. 28).
But all who are called in this way, believe (“justified”). WHY?…

All those who are called are also what? (v. 30)

Justified - rendered righteous
This is salvation. Justification is guaranteed for all who are foreknown, predestined, and called. No one who is foreknown, predestined, and called, will fail to be justified. All of this is limited to only some.
How does God justify them? This is what the majority of this letter has been about. God justifies them by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21–30).
God does it ALL… even the faith part (our part) is a the work of God. So that faith is not a work or act or part that the believer can boast about. Even IT is a gift from God.
Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,”
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:14 “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
Luke 17:5 “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!””
John 6:63–65 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.””
Faith is not even mentioned here, but it is included in God’s work of justification. It is included in WHAT GOD DOES.
This is why we thank God for salvation. This is why we ask God for others’ salvation in prayer. If God can’t give them faith, then why ask Him. Which would be a big problem, because if God can’t give them faith, then all are doomed, because no one is capable of faith.
Romans 3:10–12 “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.””
“throughout the New Testament it is recognized that human beings are by nature blind, deaf and dead, so that their conversion is impossible unless God gives them sight, hearing and life” (John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 250.)

All those who are justified are also what? (v. 30)

“Glorified” - from “glory” meaning brightness, splendor, or a state of high honor when referring to a person
This is the overarching theme of this section (vv. 17, 18).
This is future (vv. 17, 18, 21; Romans 5:2 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”). It is the character of all that is included in the believer’s future and final salvation linked with the future and final exaltation (glorification) of Christ.
If it is future, then why is it past tense here? Because from God’s point of view, the One who accomplishes this plan… from His point of view it is settled, it is finalized; it has been determined, therefore in essence, it has been accomplished. It is a done deal, it is certain, it is guaranteed. Paul is a prophet, and he sees the future as God has revealed it to him, in the same way as the OT prophets saw what God had revealed to them. So sure and certain that it was settled. So pre-determined and decided, that it was done. Prophets therefore sometimes spoke of future events as already accomplished (past tense, likely how it was revealed to them from God’s perspective). This is how Paul portrays the plan of God and each of the parts, including future glorification.
There is a sense in which this future and certain glorification has already begun.
2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Colossians 3:10 “and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 John 3:2 “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
We have been given a new position; we have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit; Ephesians 2:6 “and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” God is changing us, He is growing us, He is sanctifying us.
We have been glorified, we are being glorified, and we will be glorified. This is all in tune with the fact that God has glorified those he foreknew. It is as if the war has been won even though there are some battles still being won.

Glorification Guaranteed

This is guaranteed because of all that goes before it. This is security.
Eternal security for the believer is most certainly guaranteed in God’s predestination. That is why this is so important.
If you minimize this doctrine of predestination from the clear statements of it in God’s Word, then you open the door for possible failure. If my salvation is in anyway dependent on me, then there will always be the possibility of failure. If it is solely dependent on God, there is no possibility of failure.
This is the assurance Paul offers to his readers. Let us also, as his readers today, take heed to it.
Benediction: Romans 11:33–36 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Scripture Reading: John 6:35–44
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