Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bible Truth #4 - Romans 8:29-30

29  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.
30  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

First there is one thing that must be understood. Each of those 5 words; foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified - each of those words are verbs, and each of them is something that God does. Foreknew does not mean the same thing as having foreknowledge. Foreknowledge is a noun, foreknew is a verb. The Greek word used in Romans 8:29 is proginosko (Strong’s G4267) and the Greek word translated foreknowledge used in 1 Peter 1:2 is prognosis (Strong’s G4268) - two different words having two different meanings.

The word foreknew is used in the context of God knowing a man in an intimate, personal way - the same way a husband “knows” his wife. God foreknows a person, not the actions a person takes (like “accepting” Jesus). I can almost hear the Arminian’s rebuttal, "No that verse means God looked down through the corridors of time and saw that I would accept Jesus. In that way, He knew.” First, the premise of their argument is incorrect. The Arminian is treating foreknew as a noun, not the verb it is. Second, should I accept their premise (which I don’t), they correctly identify “accepting Jesus” as an action we take, something we must do before God saves us - and that is works! Anything we do, or are required to do, before God saves us is a work. (We are saved by grace through faith, NOT OF WORKS lest any man should boast.)

Now to the meat of the argument: There is a GENERAL command to all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30 - it’s a command, not a call) but there is a SPECIFIC call to salvation that God applies only to those He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). These 5 words; foreknew, predestined, CALLED, justified, and glorified, - these five words are known as the golden chain of redemption and each are fully applied to His Elect. ALL those He foreknew, He predestined; ALL those He predestined, He called; ALL those He called, He justified; ALL those He justified, He glorified. So anyone to whom the first verb (foreknew) is applied, each and every verb, including the last one (glorified) is also applied. The Truth is - ALL those He called, He glorified.

Paul did not write, nor did he imply the following: And of those He foreknew, some He predestined; and of those He predestined, some of them He called; and of those He called, some of them He justified; and of those He justified, some of them He glorified. In that group, the final number kept getting smaller and smaller. How can you be justified and not glorified? Is that like getting half saved or almost saved? Nope - Of those He foreknew, God predestined EVERY person; and EVERY person He predestined, He called; and EVERY person He called, He justified; and EVERY person He justified, He glorified.

Finally, please look at the tense of each verb. It is past tense. In God’s viewpoint, in eternity, this has already taken place.

The Arminian believes that foreknew means that God knew what decision a man will make. That is wrong for several reasons: 1) God knows what decision every man will make because He has foreordained it! God determines the steps (Life) of every man (Proverbs 16:9, 19:21, 20:24, Jeremiah 10:23), even the wicked for a day of disaster (Proverbs 16:4), 2) The context of these two verses does not allow foreknew to mean “have foreknowledge” of events, 3) even if I accepted the Arminian premise (which I do not), I could say, what kind of loving God would create a man KNOWING He would damn the man to Hell for rejecting Him?

Bottom Line - EVERY person God calls to salvation, He WILL glorify, and He calls ONLY His Elect. This is the I in TULIP - Irresistible Grace. Like Jesus said in John 6:37 - those the Father has given to the Son WILL come; no ifs, ands, buts, or excepts. HALLELUJAH!!!

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