March 2 I Wednesday
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” —Romans 8:29-30
The biblical use of the word “predestined” is not about our pasts or where we came from, but about our futures and where we are headed. It is related to “destination,” and as Christians, our destination is assured. We are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, which will not reach fruition here on earth, but will come to perfection once we are in heaven.
Predestination has nothing to do with how we became a Christian, but everything to do with the Christian we have become. We have first been called according to God’s purpose, which is to be conformed to the likeness of Christ, and that is made possible by the fact we are justified. This means that in the eyes of God we are declared righteous to the point where Paul says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...” (Romans 8:1). Our pasts have been dealt with, our sins forgiven, and we are reconciled to God and have peace with God. We are then glorified, which is the end product, and to be glorified is to be fully conformed to the moral character of Christ.
There is also an area that Paul does not mention, which is sanctification. This means to be made holy, and holy is to be set apart for God. This is a process whereby we are progressively being conformed to the image of Christ. We speak of being justified in the past tense, and of being glorified in the future tense, but being sanctified is a present tense work of God. This could be implicitly included in Paul’s statement in the opening verse, because once we have been justified, God now sees us as His workshop in which He is going to mold us into the image of His Son. To be justified is to begin the process of sanctification and to be glorified is to complete the process of sanctification.
This is the journey whereby God is going to work out His good purposes, and His good purposes involve taking ordinary people, guilty and fallen as we are, indwelling us with His Spirit, and putting us on the road to being glorified. Everything that hits us in this life will then become an instrument by which God will work towards the purpose for which He has called us. And He has called us to be like Jesus. Irrespective of our circumstances, of opposition or any obstacle we may encounter, it is going to come. Every Christian is predestined by God to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for setting me apart to be conformed to the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray for a deep work of Your Holy Spirit to be like Him in every aspect of my life. Amen!