Romans 8:29-30, “29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
A question that I have heard asked, “Is God unjust in saving some and not others?” So far most lean on the side of God would be considered unjust for saving some and not others. Paul extensively addresses this in the next chapter especially using the metaphor of a potter and the clay.
Romans 9:21-23, “21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.” If the potter makes the vessels out of clay and chooses to keep some and not others, does that make him unjust? Does that mean some are worthier than others to be saved? The bible declares that He shows mercy to whoever He wants to show mercy, (paraphrased) Exodus 33:19. David who knew how unworthy man is pondered on these words Psalm 8:4-5, “4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor”
All that God designed for glory and happiness as the end, He decreed to grace and holiness as the way. The whole human race deserved destruction; but for reasons not perfectly known to us, God determined to recover SOME by regeneration and the power of His grace. He foreknew us, He also predestined (predetermined, foreordained) to be conformed to the image of His Son. Jesus is our big brother who we imitate. How God does it is mind boggling, our finite minds cannot comprehend it.
Here is what David says, Psalm 37:39, “But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD” Who are the righteous but those He makes righteous, and how does He make them righteous but by drawing them, John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day”. How does He draw but by the preaching of the gospel. Our work is to faithfully preach the whole counsel of God, live a sample of grace and pray for the lost. The outcome is in His hands for salvation is of the Lord.
“The word “called” (as Hodge and others truly observe) is NEVER in the Epistles of the New Testament applied to those who have only the outward invitation of the Gospel (as in Matthew 20:16; 22:14). It always means “internally, effectually, savingly called.” It denotes the first great step in personal salvation and answers to “conversion.” Only the word conversion expresses the change of character which then takes place, whereas this “calling” expresses the divine authorship of the change, and the sovereign power by which we are summoned, Matthew-like, Zaccheus-like, out of our old, wretched, perishing condition, into a new, safe, blessed life”, Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown. It’s by His gospel and His Spirit are we called.
“…whom He called, these He also justified …”, this is the state of being brought into the definite state of reconciliation already so fully described. Justification is not what we do but what God does for us, declaring us not guilty. Our sins are blotted out because the demands of the law were satisfied by Christ on the cross when He said it is finished.
“…and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” This is the final stage of our salvation, when Christ glorifies believers in heaven. “Christ in us, the hope of glory”, Colossians 1:27. These are made heirs of eternal glory. As stated by a writer Godet, “the purpose of the whole passage may be expressed as follows: “I see thou dost love God; art a believer; I therefore decree of thee that thou shalt become like my Son and be glorified with him.” The steps by which this is accomplished are calling, justification, and final glorification by the Holy Spirit actively in operation. Blessings, Ev