Monday, March 24, 2008

Is EVERYONE Predestined To Be Conformed To The Likeness Of Christ?

The denomination that I was once a member was now teaching, “…those God ‘predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified’ (Rom. 8:30). This statement describes every human being through their inclusion in Jesus' incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension (glorification).”

I don’t think the leadership of the group want to distort the Scripture. But, is it right to interpret the verse that every human being is predestined, called, justified and also glorified “through their inclusion in Jesus’ incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension (glorification)”?

In Romans chapter 8, we find that there are those people who “are controlled by the sinful nature” and those who “are controlled by the Spirit” (verse 9).

When Paul wrote, “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified,” did he refer to “every human being” – those who are controlled by the sinful nature and those who controlled by the Spirit – or only those who are controlled by the Spirit?

Let’s read verse 9, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

Apparently, Paul was addressing to “you” – who are controlled NOT by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit. He was speaking to the “brothers” (verse 12) – who are “led by the Spirit of God” (verse 14) -- who “received the Spirit of sonship” (verse15).

He also wrote in verse 26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

When he stated, “…but the Spirit himself intercedes for US…” – he was not referring to every human being, for he clarified in the next verse, “…the Spirit intercedes FOR THE SAINTS in accordance with God's will” (verse 27).

And it is also clear in verse 28 that Paul was not referring to every human being, when he wrote: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those…”

Did he say, “…God works for the good of those ALL who are in the world”?

It didn’t.

Rather, Paul wrote: “… for the good of those WHO LOVE HIM…” And they were those “who have been called according to his purpose.”

Some are teaching that all “have been called” or will be called by God. In this verse, however, they are associated with those who love God. Those who love Him are those who are called. And NOT everyone is able to love God.

Paul was not, then, speaking to every human being in Romans 8. But to those who are controlled by the Spirit – to those who are led by the Spirit of God – to those who received the Spirit of sonship.

They are those who “are loved by God and called to be saints” (Rom. 1:7) -- enabled by the Spirit to come to Jesus, to believe in Him, and to love Him. They are “those God foreknew” and “predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (verse 29).

Not every human being will come, will believe, or will love Jesus Christ. For not all are predestined to be conformed to His likeness. But all “those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (verse 30).

No wonder, Paul also wrote in Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Do you have also the same confidence?

2 comments:

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