Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Predestined, Justified, Glorified (Romans 8:30)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Let's hear God's word now from Romans Chapter Eight. I'm going to be preaching again on this passage, from Verse Twenty Eight Through Verse Thirty, Twenty Eight, twenty nine and thirty, but focusing a little bit more on those last two verses today. So let's hear God's word from Romans Eight, Verses Twenty Eight, twenty nine and thirty. And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those 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 firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. The consolations that are given to us in the last couple verses of this hymn from Psalm Ninety eight are reminders of the consolations that God has been giving to us in Romans Chapter Eight, that we are safe within the fold of God, that he is keeping us, that he is protecting us. These are there here in this chapter and in numerous ways, and as I've said several times, pointing us to the earlier part in Chapter Eight. This is for a very good reason. It's because in this present time, we suffer, we endure, we are called even on to or endure these sufferings mentioned...

...in verse eighteen and called and couldn't we're called to them in verse seventeen. We are called to suffer with Christ in order that we may also be glorified with him. This calling to suffering and the consolations that God is giving to us in this chapter are consistent with the calling that Jesus gives in Matthew Sixteen, Verse Twenty Four. Remember, he says, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. You See, this is the calling of our Lord. This is what it means to be a disciple. It's what it means to be a Christian. It's to follow after our Lord, to be conformed to him, to follow his pattern or, as Peter says, I'm to follow his steps. In First Peter, to twenty one through twenty four, we are to follow after our Lord, we are to follow his pattern, and that includes his sufferings. But this is difficult and God wants us to understand. I'm not only that we have been called to this, but as a good and loving father, he sits us down and he talks to us. He puts us at the kitchen table. He says, look, I want to explain why. I want to tell you why this is necessary, why this is important, how I want you to understand. Whatever it is you may be going through in your life right now, whether it's internal sufferings and battles within the soul or external ones within relationships or work or your neighbor, neighborhood or community, these sufferings that we endure are for a particular purpose. God takes even the most evil things of this world, we read in Verse Twenty Eight, and works all things together for good. This is what we are called to do. I wonder if you've ever tried to follow someone and you didn't know...

...where they were going? It's kind of a stressful thing, isn't it? Maybe a boss at work who's called you to do something and you're not really sure what you're expected to do, or even just a party game where you're blindfolded and told to go here or go there. It it's not a comfortable feeling is it? You're off balance, your wavering, you bump into things. The God doesn't call us to follow him blindly, does he? He tells us to press on his sufferings, knowing exactly where we are going, exactly how we are getting there and how good it is. And that's one of the reasons we have these three verses in Romans Chapter Eight. It's one of the reasons these three verses are some of the most precious verses to Christians all over the world and throughout history, for those whom, for though, and we know that those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose, for those whom he for knew he also predestined to be conformed. That's the goal, to be conformed to the image of his son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers, those whom he for knew, he also called, those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. In these verses, God gives us insight into his goal, his desire for your sufferings, the objective that he's trying to meet. That's going to be our first point. This morning, God's goal. The second is that it beat. This goal becomes a guarantee for us experience and Stan what will thirdly, call a golden chain of salvation, a phrase that I'm borrowing from...

William Perkins, the father of puritanism. He's called, and all of this knowledge, this goal is guarantee, this golden chain is given for it these two purposes to save those, to call to salvation those who do not walk, to Cry Rock with Christ, and to strengthen us who do walk in him, who know what it means to suffer and suffer as a Christian. So let's think about those. First, the goal, as I mentioned. God tells it to us here. He's working all things together for good, for a very particular purpose. What's that purpose? It's that we may be conformed to the image of his son, and that is to achieve an even higher purpose in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. That's the thing God wants us to have in mind when we are facing our sufferings. But what does that mean? How are we to think about that, that Jesus is to be the firstborn among many brothers? Well, Paul says something similar. Similarly, back at the beginning of Romans. He opens up chapter one in this way. I'm going to read sort of jumping into the middle of the sentence ver three, concerning his son, who was descended from David according to the flesh, and was declared to be the son of God in power, according to the spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Lord. There was something that happened in Jesus's resurrection where he was declared to be the son of God. Now Jesus, of course, is the son of God eternally, but there's another way in which he's the son of God, this firstborn sense, in which he enters into God's presence as one who has entering into a position. It's a this...

...title of firstborn as a kind of status. We still have vestiges of this in our world, but it's especially true in the ancient world. The to be a firstborn son was to have a very high position of privilege. You were going to receive the wealth of the father. Many sons who weren't firstborn would often take other kinds of professions and things like that in order to maintain their nobility because they weren't going to have any wealth. There was a difficult position to not be a firstborn son or, even worse, to be a daughter. Difficult, difficult, difficult. But to be a firstborn son, well, that's great. Means you get all this inheritance, all this honor. It means you get to continue on, in a sense, this family dynasty, this work. Now Jesus Has Been Eternally The begotten Son of God, but Romans tells us that there is this aim in his humanity that he receives this status, that he receives according to the righteousness that he earns. He says that he is to be the first born again, and that's in Romans twenty nine, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. But we remember that that firstborn among the many brothers is not something in isolation. That second phrase is so important. He's not just firstborn, but God wants him to be firstborn among many brothers. This means that God's plan for his son, the father's plan for the son, the son's obedience to the father, is not an isolated event within the trinity. It involves, you, to put it another way, God's plan in making Christ super pre...

...eminent above all things would not make any sense if it weren't for the fact of you. He is super pre eminent. He is pre eminent over us. He has firstborn among many brothers. The fact that we are here allows or doesn't allow, but it makes sense of who he is as this pre eminent son. But it has this other effect. This goal that God has for Christ means that there is a goal for us. Under him, we glorify him as pre eminent and under him he is a pre eminent over us. It establishes who we are in him and this goal that he has. Well, all this is to say this simple thing that God has this particular goal to raise Christ to this status of Pre Eminence. But it involves you and me, it involves us, and that's why he starts that way. He says that those whom he for knew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Well, how is this helpful and suffering? How does knowing God's goal for Christ, that the Messiah would be lifted up and would raise and would be seated at the right hand of the father, help us in our suffering. Well, it helps us because it guarantees for us certain things. It means that our salvation is not, is not just something that God is sort of working without us individually. It's something that's established in the trinity itself. Health. It means that God has purposed this thing in and of himself and he won't let that go. God's goal guarantees your salvation. It means that...

...your salvation, past, present and future depends not on anything in you, but on everything in him. It's a guarantee that our heart, in our hearts, that we are caught up in something greater, that this Pre Eminence which the father gives to the son is something that we are caught up in in Christ's ascension, in Christ's resurrection, where it's like we're pulled along in his train. We are is is not an accident, in other words, and God is the God. The father is not going to drop God the Sun, because God is one. God would not be God if he was falling apart within himself. But he doesn't, he doesn't change, he never moves. He's eternal from beginning to end and passed both points. That's how secure your salvation is. It's secure in the very trinitarian nature of God himself. If that isn't a guarantee of your salvation, I don't know what could be. But it also means that we are forever in God's hands. You remember what Jesus says in John Ten, that no one whom the father gives him will be lost, that nothing can snatch us out of the father's hands. Do you remember why he says that? He says it's because of the unity that he and the father have, because of the love they have, because of the fellowship they that they that they share. That's how secure our salvation is. God has a plan, a plan to accomplish, and it will not be lost. Now, with this guarantee, there is this certain...

...what we might call, or what William Perkins called, this golden chain of salvation that can be inferred. In other words, if God has this plan at the end of this goal that he will achieve, and if God is the one who is capable of working all things together for good, then that means only one thing, that your salvation, beginning, middle and end, is all the work of God. It's this beautiful chain God binds together each and every aspect of your salvation and into this interlocking, beautiful and, because of who he is, unbreakable chain. Each and every portion of God's intended salvation for you is locked together by his will, by his love for you, by his love and glory for himself, a chain that is infinitely beautiful and entirely unbreakable. With this goal declared, found it on himself, we can assume that nothing is left to chance, that all things work together for good. But you know what, we don't need to inferth this, even though we can, because it says it right here very plainly. He speaks to our hearts and he says, and those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Every single step of the way, from before you were...

...even conceived, God says he chose you in love, he predestined you for salvation. He willed to pluck you out of the sin and misery into which you would be born, the sin which you would you would commit, and he chose, before the foundation of the world, Paul says, to save you from it. He predestined you, before you were born, to reach the end. But God doesn't merely predestine you according to his will, but he actually actuates that will, he causes it to come about. When God desired to create the world, he willed it and he said, let there be light. And you know what, there was light. He called the world into existence. And he does the same thing for you. He wills this and then he effectually calls you. He changes every aspect of your being, every sinful, perverted, destroyed aspect of you. Your Heart in its corruption and wickedness, your will and the way that it has bent towards sinful things, your mind in its darkness, in its cloudiness, in its misunderstandings and willful, sinful conclusions. God comes to you and all of this depravity, in all of this sinfulness, and says, let there be light. And the light which was coming into the world shined in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. And each of these aspects of us, our heart, our mind and our will, were changed by God in such a...

...way that we are enabled and persuaded to embrace Jesus Christ. Something changes on us, something so dramatic that Jesus says to Nicodemus that it's called a new birth or being born again. It's as if there is a new creature that is made, a new creation that God wills and speaks into existence. He doesn't just predestine us for this, but he calls us to it, and then he justifies us. Through this faith in which we are now enabled to have, through this repentance in which we turn away from our sins, God begins to work in us and through faith in particular, we receive something from God, namely our justification. What is justification? It's the pardoning of all of our sins. It's the accepting us as righteous in his sight. It's taking all of Christ's merit and giving it to you, so that you stand before God not in your own sins anymore, but as one who is justified, as one who stands clothed in Christ's righteousness. In this justification, your legal standing changes and from that point on you walk before God not as one who is perpetually moving between I'm innocent, I'm guilty, I'm innocent, I'm guilty, I'm redeemed. I'm not redeemed, I'm forgiven. I'm not forgiven, but as one who is eternally and forever and ever by the unchangeable decree of God, justified, forgiven, innocent, righteous one who walks with the...

...name of Jesus on them. Well, that justification that we have in this life, that we believe that God has given us, is not always very apparent for many reasons. One of them is that there is still corruption and sin inside of us. There are things which the devil brings to our minds and says you are not forgiven, you still have sin. And this is where, in our glorification, that justification of God that is promised to you now, that justification that you have now through faith in Jesus, will be vindicat hated, will be made visible that which you now see and believe, or see by faith, believed by faith, God will make openly known, visible to all, God, man, beast, Angel, devil. All will see you in your glorified body and say, Yep, that one was justified. There won't be any question, there won't be any doubt, because you will shine with the radiance of God. You will be made perfect in body, mind, soul, in every aspect of you, shining with the glory of God through the grace that was given to you in Jesus. Here in your life now, in the past. If you are believer now, but made open, you will be acquitted and acknowledged as a son of God. You will be perfectly conformed, no longer to the image of fallen Adam, depraved, be steal perverted, an enemy of God, a child of Wrath, but conformed to the image of the resurrected son of God, glorious, Shining, holy, fully enjoying the perfect blessings and community. And that,...

...all of all that he has earned for you, that he gives to you. Those froom God predestined, he also called, and those whom he called he justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. This glorification is put in the past tense for two reasons, I think. One is that we enjoy this glorification now. We have been raised with Christ, Paul says in Romans six, you have been buried with him and therefore also raised with him. Colossians three tells us that we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. Hebrews twelve says, that is, that we have now come to the heavenly Jerusalem Mountain, Z I, in the city of the Living God, in Jesus Christ, the glory that Jesus has as a glory that we have now. But there's also a way in which there's this kind of prophetic past tense being used here, I think, in which the glorification that is to come is so certain that it is put in this past tense, a sense in which we now anticipate and will be revealed on the last day. This too shall come. Now, you may ask yourself, she link these chains together and your mind, predestined called justified glorified. What about the middle part? What about the Saint tification part? Why doesn't Paul Mention that? The answer is because that's what this passage is about. Remember, it's about our sufferings, it's about our sanctification. This whole passage is about. How do we understand our sanctification? How do we understand our present trials, and Paul says, you understand them in this way, seeing them as a...

...part of this golden chain, as sons of God, as those who have been adopted. You see them in this way because of the guarantee of God in Jesus Christ, because of this goal that he is determined before all time. That's how we see things. In this life, and that's how those things connect. The Jesus Christ would be firstborn among many brothers, that you would be called sons of God and enjoy with him this inheritance as co errs. This is God's goal and it changes our sufferings now, it changes the way we perceive them. Think about what life was like before you were Christian, or think about those whom you know who are not Christians. Do all things work together for good for them? Are they able to see things in that way? Are they able to say, because of what God has done in Christ, I know that I will be glorified. I know that I've been predestined and called. I've been justified and glorified and glorified as well. Do they have that kind of confidence? Do they know that they will enjoy the eternal blessing of God and because of that, do they know that all things work together for their good? Of course they don't, and you didn't either when you were not a Christian. You don't see things as working all together for good. you see them perhaps as faded but meaningless, random or maybe just evil and cursed. How do you deal with that? Well, you can pretend it away until it pushes its face in you again, or in your face. You can try to be stock about it, you can...

...have a kind of detachment from life and say, well, it's all faded and it's more or less meaningless, but here we go, I'll just try to do the best I can. But again there's no joy in that, no real hope, no ultimate hope. And then there's those who see things, see the events of this life is not working together for good, because they're working together for evil. They're cursing it's cursed, that it's ending in death, and so they try to counteract them, perhaps by their own power, moral or religious, to go out into the world and conquer the world and make it this utopia. But all the time is staring them in the face their own death, the death of the world, the corruption of our societies, of our bodies, the continual falling apart of humanity. Over and over again. How many times as Utopia been tried? How many books have been written that say, if we would only do x, Y and Z, we can achieve these ends? But none of them ever account for sin, none of them ever take human depravity really seriously. And when they do, you end up with depression and meaninglessness and lostness and nihilism, because it's all vanity and it all ends and death. That's what it's like to live in a world and efface the events of the world and the events of our lives as unbelievers. That's before. But what happens when God speaks in our hearts according to his will and says let there be light? Well, as I said, it's the Bible says the light shines in the darkness and that which was meaningless, that which was evil, is overcome and is given a...

...sense of purpose. Not just a sense of purpose, not just an idea or a thing that you might chew yourself up with a little bit, but the very plan of the try and God who says to you this is what I am doing, this is what I have done and this is what I will do. And so when we face our sufferings and our trials in light of this, we don't enter into them with detachment, just trying to cope. We don't enter into them trying to counteract them or go against them. We enter into our trials, even our trials, even our sufferings, with joy and love and confidence, because what God has promised to do, to overcome sin, to overcome death. You know, in a funny way it means that we don't even it's not that we not. I am sorry. Let me put it this way. We not only endure our sufferings as Christians, but when we are really acting in faith, we press on in them, and not just through them in a sense, but even in them. You, I imagine something of like a warrior who wakes up in the morning and says bring it right. He doesn't just say, well, here I am and I'm I'll go through the battle as best I can and and I'll see the I'll try to endure, but he says instead, where's the fight? I'm a warrior, this is who I'm made to be. I'm here to win the battle and I have already begun a been given victory. This is the attitude of someone who is not defeated but who knows him or herself to be a conqueror. He goes forward, as she goes forward into the...

...world with this kind of confidence, looking for the battles. Bring it, they say. When it comes to trials and suffering, it's not that we rush in foolishly or that we bring evil upon ourselves. We pray that God would take these things away. We asked that he would give us our daily bread. But when they come and he says they're coming, when God says to us, provided that we suffer with him in order that we may be glorified him, we don't drop our heads and say, all right, well, I guess I'll try now. We say I'm in Jesus Christ, this is secured for me. Bring it on, bring on the fires, bring on the suffering, bring on the trials. I know I belong to Jesus Christ. Our confidence comes not from US finding some sort of well of strength that was once dry. We find our confidence in God, who promises these things. Notice that this is again his will. He predestines us, he calls us, he justifies us, he glorifies us. You don't put on the armor of pastor or the armor of yourself or your father or your mother or some hero of the faith. What does Paul tell us to put the armor on as we go into battle? The armor of God. We are equipped not with our own strength, but with his, his plan, his will, his work, his glory. We don't live and die, or rather die and live according to us, but according to him. It's his sword, it's his shield, it's his helmet. This is how we fight,...

...this is how we live, this is how we see and press on in our sufferings, even against our own sins, because we are his, we belong to him. We are his sons to be glorified with the first pre eminent son. This is guaranteed from us from the beginning and to the end, even to eternity itself. Let us pray.

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