Q. Re: Romans 8:28-30
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Would you please explain this verse in light of the answer you gave on your site in “Ask a Bible Teacher.” Thanks!
A. The key to this passage lies in understanding the order of the steps and the meanings of the words involved.
First God foreknew (knew ahead of time who would choose Him)
Then He predestined (appointed or ordained. In effect He reserved a place for those who would choose Him)
Then He called (at the appointed time in our lives He creates the circumstances for us to choose Him)
Then He Justified (once we choose Him he regards us as though innocent)
Then He glorified (He will render us glorious)
God doesn’t make us do anything, but He does know in advance that we’re going to do. Many people overlook the fact that predestination is the 2nd step in the process. The first step is that before He created the first man, he looked down across the span of time and saw everyone who would choose Him. Knowing this, He then set about to make a place for them in His Kingdom.
The resolution of the free will vs. predestination issue is to understand that God isn’t someone with a lot of time. He’s outside of time altogether and can see the whole spectrum of time all at once. We make our own choices and are responsible for them. He knows what choices we’ll make and has prepared for them.