Q. I have been taught that predestination, mentioned in Romans 8:29, has to do with our sanctification, i.e. that our lives would show forth Christ, the fruit of the Spirit. Could you tell me what you would teach about this?
A. Romans 8:29-30 says,
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
The Greek word translated predestined means to be appointed. It’s similar to a reservation that can’t be canceled. God’s foreknowledge that we would choose Him caused Him to reserve a place for us in His Kingdom. These two things happened before Adam was created.
Then at the proper time in our life He called us to do what He already knew we would do, and when we did He justified us, meaning He applied the blood of Jesus to our sins and washed us clean. This happened when we asked Him to save us. At the resurrection/rapture He will glorify us. That’s when we will be conformed to the image of His son.
To be sanctified is to be set apart, or made holy. Synonyms are consecration and purification. When we became born again, we were no longer intended for profane or common use, but were set apart by God for a holy purpose. Throughout the New Testament we’re admonished to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and avoid allowing ourselves to be used in a way that’s inconsistent with this purpose. When we fail in that, confessing our sins will bring immediate forgiveness and purification, restoring us to sanctification (1 John 1:9).
As you can see predestination and sanctification are not the same.