Wednesday, October 20, 2010

EMMDEV 2010-10-20 [Romans Ch.8] Upward Spiral #2

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans8:29-30

Human beings live broken lives in a broken world.
We are far from God in our sinfulness and selfishness.
It is a pretty hopeless picture...

BUT Paul describes a God who has been busy with us from the start. He foreknew us (and this doesn't just mean that He knew who was going to believe and who wouldn't) while we are in the womb, He "knits us together" and "ordains days for us in His book" (Ps139). He had plans for broken Jeremiah and He has plans for broken you and broken me. He has a destiny in store for us, and it is centred around becoming more and more like Jesus there is a life of good works prepared for us (Eph2).

And He calls us. And even in our response to that call we are assisted by the Holy Spirit. And what a call it is! Instead of being able to choose between shades of darkness, His call means we can step into the light.

Once we have responded to the call, God still keeps working: He justifies us (deals judiciously with our sin guilt) and He glorifies us. This does not only mean that we have eternal life when we die, but His Spirit of Life is at work in us, so that our lives don't only produce deadness but produce life. He predestined us to become like Jesus and in glorifying us, He unleashes His Spirit in us so that we can look a little more like Jesus every day...

Here's my simple analogy: Imagine that cake is delicious, nutritious and vital to our existence. (and non-fattening!!) Humanity didn't have cake, couldn't make cake and in fact we didn't even know what cake was. God created us and longed for us to have cake and benefit from it.

Not only did God make the cake for us, but He gave us the senses to see it and smell it. He gave us the taste-buds that we could "taste and see that the Lord is good." And He gave us the digestive systems that helps us get maximum benefit from the cake.

No wonder Paul says: "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."
(Words like "Predestination" often raise hackles. I have deliberately avoided the complex debate that tries to deal with meeting point of Divine Sovereignty and human free will, and have tried to celebrate the simple truths conveyed in these verses.)

Theo Groeneveld
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