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Five Golden Links of Salvation

Romans 8:29-30



Foreknow, predestinate, called, justified, glorified.


v. 28 is easy to wax eloquent on...just like v. 31, but how about those verses in between?


The Bible presents salvation often from the human perspective, using words like repent, believe, whosoever, etc.  But when presented from God's perspective, it uses different words, like in our text.  It's the same salvation, but being viewed from different angles.  You can shine light on an object from different angles, and it appears somewhat differently.


These five words are the five links in the golden chain from which God has extended salvation down to our level.


Many disagree today on whether one can lose their salvation or not.  When someone believes they can lose it, you can mark it down that they are looking at salvation from a human perspective, and not from God's.  Because as God sees it, the salvation chain cannot be broken.  And by the way, the only perspective that matters is God's.  "Well, I don't see it that way."  You don't have to for it to be so!


If we are open minded and honest about these words and their definitions, we'll see that this very text which is often used to belie uncertainty about salvation is one of the strongest in the Bible to disprove their very point!


No one whom God foreknows will fail to be predestined.  And no one whom God predestines will fail to be called.  And no one whom God calls will fail to be justified.  And no one whom God justifies will fail to be glorified!


Notice that 'He also' links all 5 words in this chain.  It's all about Him!  And if He takes one step, 'He also' takes the next, and the next!


And it's all stated in the past tense.  It's true for all believers at all times, because in the mind of God it has all already happened.  God is timeless, and He saw us before we were born.  He had to step into time in order to come to earth.  When He was on the cross, we were on His mind...and that mind knew all of mankind before we fell in the Garden of Eden.  He knew of our sins before we committed them, and which of us would believe, long before we did.  He knows things as stupendous as when our sun will burn itself out, and the trivial like which of my jokes will fall flat.  [I wish He would tell me in advance!]


This is a blessing because this means that my security in Christ is so absolute and unalterable that even my future glorification can be expressed in the past tense!  It's as though it has already occurred. 


How do I know I'm going to heaven when I die?  Because in God's mind, it's as though I've been there already thru eternity past!


We see the 5 elements in this chain from a humanly, time bound perspective...sequentially we think them to occur.  But we must understand that in God's mind they are simultaneous.


In order for this chain of events to be broken, God would have to break a covenant with Himself, which He made before the foundations of the world!  Some think a Christian can lose their salvation based on their character...I'm happy to report, my salvation isn't about my character...but God's...that's what's at stake!  Is God capable of finishing what He starts?  Am I truly capable of doing anything to halt His salvation plan, once the chain commences?


Let's look at all 5 words in sequence:

Foreknowledge and predestination:  eternity past.

Calling and justification:  present.

Glorification:  future.



v. 29        "God's wisdom", and it's the first link, and we are being linked to His wisdom at this point.

In the Greek it is progonozco = prognosis.  A diagnosis is what has already happened. [sin]  A prognosis is what is going to happen. [salvation]

God knows in advance who is going to get saved.  It's true!  But we don't!


Other foreknowledge references:

Amos 3:2
You only have I known of all the families of the earth:

He said this to Israel.  Does that mean He didn't know who the Philistines were?  No.  He knew Israel in a special relationship.


Matthew 1:25
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Joseph knew who Mary was, but not intimately.


Matthew 7:23
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Same thing.


2 Timothy 2:19
The Lord knoweth them that are his.

1 Corinthians 8:3
But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

God not only knew us ahead of time, He knew we would choose Him, and He loves us for it, intimately.


Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;

Foreknowledge is God's Wisdom...



v. 29        "God's Will", and this bothers and upsets people, as if God wasn't willing to save some.  We know He is willing to save anyone, but only those who choose to be saved WILL be saved, and will follow His will.


You see, predestination only applies to the saved.  No one is 'predestined' to go to hell.  They have a choice.


Predestination = "to make or mark the boundaries ahead of time"

In eternity past God made the decision that all who get saved would become 'like' the Lord Jesus.  Not becoming Gods, but sons, and joint heirs.  God is redeeming for Himself a Christlike race of people to be citizens in His divine kingdom, children in His divine family.  If you're saved, it is God's will that you be conformed to the image of Christ...and you will be someday...but why wait, He'll start the process now with sanctification, and someday it will culminate w/ glorification.


ill.--sculptor simply chisels cuts away everything that doesn't look like the finished product he desires.  And God can conform us to be like Jesus, but it will take a lot of chiseling! 


You say, I don't feel like Christ.  True!  But you're not what you used to be and praise God, you're not like you're GOING to be!


God's plan will not be thwarted.  In God's wisdom he had the foreknowledge to know you WOULD be saved, and in His will, you are predestined to be like Him!


This is why vv. 38-39 say what they do...nothing can separate us from this chain of events!  He'll spank us where necessary, retrieve us from the gutters when He has to!



v. 30        Now we are in the present, and in the present God does not manipulate us like puppets...He woos us, beseeches us, and calls us.  He calls us thru His Word and His Spirit.

2 Thessalonians 2:14
Whereunto he called you by our gospel,

When we respond to this call, we become a part of 'the called.'

2 Timothy 1:9
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,


Now it takes some nerve to assert that we could ever undo what He has divinely done from before the world began!


Just because our finite minds cannot understand how both predestination and our free will can work together, doesn't mean they don't.  God is bigger than my understanding, and that's partly why He's my God!


When a person goes to hell, it is because he has rejected God, and not been saved...not because it was predetermined for him to make that choice.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not ... willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.



v. 30b      We've studied this in great detail already.  It's is God making us right w/ Him.  We were condemned, but He trades our sin for His righteousness.


If any link in this chain is broken, it is all for naught, and God's throne would topple, He would cease to be God!  His plan would have been thwarted.  You can't become de-justified...what God justifies, He glorifies!



Romans 5:2
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Thessalonians 2:14
Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No wonder Paul said I'm confident that He who began a good work in you will perform it fully.

No wonder John wrote:

1 John 3:1-2
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.


D.L. Moody:  Salvation is like a door.  On one side it says, whosoever will may come.  The sinner walks thru, turns around, and the other side of the door says, Whom He did foreknow, He did predestinate, call, justify, and now will glorify!




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