Your trial is no accident!
Westminster Shorter Catechism on the word 'Decree:
“His eternal purpose according to the
counsel of His will, whereby, for His own glory, He hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.”
God has a purpose in everything that He does!
Genesis 50:20 "you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
John Piper: "God is always doing 1000 things in ever thing that He does, most of which you and I know nothing about."
Your trial is designed specifically for you!
Matthew 10:30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
Jeremiah 29:11 “'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for
welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
God is transforming you into the image of Christ!
Romans 8:29 “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to
become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;"
God Foreknew Believers!
Romans 8:29 “For those whom He foreknew,"
What does “foreknow” mean?
Prior Knowledge …
Arminian / Calvinist divide
Arminian: God knew beforehand because He looked down corridors of time and
foresaw something …
1Peter 1:19-20 "19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, "
Does this mean simply that Father looked down corridors of time and saw
Jesus? NO! Jesus is eternal!
Foreknowledge means not simply “foreseeing” something beforehand (which of course
God did anyways) but it means foreknowing someone – an intimate knowledge!
LXX of Genesis 4:1 “Now the man had relations [Septuagint uses same Greek word for
foreknowledge as Paul uses in Romans 8:29] with his wife Eve, and she conceived
and gave birth to Cain"
The ones the Father foreknew He foreknew intimately because He chose to give them salvation!
Rom 8:28-29 " 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those
who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those
whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His
God foreknew you/me as people before time …
God had intimate knowledge of you/me before time
Before time, He chose to SAVE us …
That is our security in life and salvation!
Our salvation is an unbreakable plan of God!
Unbreakable Golden chain of salvation, where it was only God accomplishing the
Romans 8:28-30 " 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."
Jeremiah 1:5 " 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.""
Ephesians 1:4-5 "4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,"
Romans 11:2 " 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew"
2 Timothy 2:19 "19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His,"
1Peter 1:1-2 "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure."
God foreknew us intimately before all time …
He knew how many hairs He would give us (Matthew. 10:30)
He knew if we would struggle with worry …
He knew if we would love flowers or not
He knew everything about us, not in a basic simple factual way, but in an intimate
knowledge where He really really loved us for who He made us to be!
And He still loves you that way RIGHT NOW!!
That’s why Paul could finish this section:
Romans 8:31-39 " 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
God Predestined Our Conformation to Image of Christ!
Romans 8:29 “… He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,"
To mark out, to decide upon beforehand, to predestine
Based on that intimate knowledge He predetermined to conform us into the image of His Son…
Ephesians 1:5 " 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the kind intention of His will,"
Ephesians 1:11 " 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined
according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,"
“To be conformed into the image of His Son”
The goal of God’s predestined purpose was that we would be made like Jesus Christ!
Romans 13:14 " 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in
regard to its lusts."
2 Corinthians 3:18 " 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of
the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as
from the Lord, the Spirit."
CHRISTLIKENESS! This was Paul’s goal!
Philippians 3:8-14 " 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing
value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all
things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ … 12 Not that I
have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
God foreknew us … fore-loved us
God predetermined to make us into the image of His Son …
Christ Will Be Firstborn of Many Brethren!
Romans 8:29 “… so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;"
Greek "prototikos" …
First in RANK!
Colossians 1:15 " 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all
Revelation 7:9 " 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no
one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and
palm branches were in their hands;"
Christ is the preeminent One!
We will stand before Him!
So ask yourself:
Is godliness really my main goal in life? Is becoming more like Jesus the main
satisfaction to me, or are lesser things?
1 John 3:2 "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we
will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see
Him just as He is."
Love to all ... :)