Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Paul states something very interesting here, Those whom He-God did foreknow, this is a place of contention for many. Foreknowledge what does it mean?
Those He did proginōskō that is, (Strong's) to know beforehand, to be previously acquainted with and Vine's states, "the foreknowledge" of God is the basis of His foreordaining counsels.
Albert Barnes a Presbyterian states this:
For whom he did foreknow - The word used here προέγνω proegnō has been the subject of almost endless disputes in regard to its meaning in this place. The literal meaning of the word cannot be a matter of dispute. It denotes properly to "know beforehand;" to be acquainted with future events. But whether it means here simply to know that certain persons would become Christians; or to ordain, and constitute them to be Christians, and to be saved, has been a subject of almost endless discussion. Without entering at large into an investigation of the word, perhaps the following remarks may throw light on it.
(1) it does not here have reference to all the human family; for all are not, and have not, been conformed to the image of his Son. It has reference therefore only to those who would become Christians, and be saved.
(2) it implies "certain knowledge." It was certainly foreseen, in some way, that they would believe, and be saved. There is nothing, therefore, in regard to them that is contingent, or subject to doubt in the divine Mind, since it was certainly foreknown.
(3) the event which was thus foreknown must have been, for some cause, certain and fixed; since an uncertain event could not be possibly foreknown. To talk of a foreknowing a contingent event, that is, of foreknowing an event as certain which may or may not exist, is an absurdity.
(4) in what way such an event became certain is not determined by the use of this word. But it must have been somehow in connection with a divine appointment or arrangement, since in no other way can it be conceived to be certain. While the word used here, therefore, does not of necessity mean to decree, yet its use supposes that there was a purpose or plan; and the phrase is an explanation of what the apostle had just said, that it was "according to the purpose of God" that they were called. This passage does not affirm why, or how, or, "on what grounds" God foreknew that some of the human family would be saved. It simply affirms the fact; and the mode in which those who will believe were designated, must be determined from other sources. This passage simply teaches that he knew them; that his eye was fixed on them; that he regarded them as to be conformed to his Son; and that, thus knowing them, he designated them to eternal life. The Syriac renders it in accordance with this interpretation: "And from the beginning he knew them, and sealed them with the image of his Son," etc. As, however, none would believe but by the influences of his Spirit, it follows that they were not foreknown on account of any faith which they would themselves exercise, or any goodworks which they would themselves perform, but according to the purpose or plan of God himself.
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
What does Paul say here? Those who confess with their mouths and believe in their Heart that God raised Christ from the dead shall be saved. Those who call upon the Lord Shall be saved. So who will be saved, is it only those who God chose to be saved? Or is those who live a righteous life too?
Paul says those who confess, believe and call upon the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. He also states here that with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and confession comes through the mouth. With the heart unregenerate men believe, because believing makes on in right relationship with God!
We see then verses:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Paul ask and answers several questions here, first how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed. This is similar to the Calvanist question how can they call if they haven't been regenerated? How shall they believe in whom they have not heard? The so called unreached peoples o the world question we see here as well as all who are not believers. How shall they hear without a preacher?
Then we see:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
How shall they preach except they be sent? The preacher, evangelist and missionary must be called and answer that call to go and preach. But notice something Paul says in verse 16 "they have not all obeyed the Gospel" who hasn't obeyed the Gospel? Paul uses Isaiah as an example, who has believed our report, in other words who has obeyed the gospel call to salvation? Faith comes by hearing the gospel, not before thus regeneration comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God. Paul says have not they all heard, the world has all heard the sound of the gospel for it has gone out into all the earth! All the words have gone unto the ends of the earth. All have heard, gospel.
Paul states God knew beforehand those whom He Predestined, therefore what did Paul say? Those who God Predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ became that way by an Omniscient God who knew them Beforehand. Like Jacob and Esau were foreknown by God and one he Loved, the other it is said he hated. God knew them before they were born and He knew them before they were conceived, He based their being conformed to the image of His on that knowledge. We are saved by Grace, given the free choice to choose for or to reject Christ, while God already knows us and what choice we will make. He still let's all hear as Paul says to the ends of the World!
Pauline Doctrine not Calvanism nor Arminianism
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God's foreknowledge is an indication of His relationship with the elect, not His knowledge of their future actions. It is a term of intimacy.
To Foreknow: To decree or to love, absolutely nothing to do with knowing before.
First, God foreknows His people (v. 29). This does not mean that the Lord looks down “the corridors of time” and foreknows something about us such as the decision we will make when we hear the gospel. He does, of course, know these things, but these things are in a sense incidental. When Paul says God foreknew us, he is speaking of God’s knowledge of us as persons. He is speaking of His decision to enter into a relationship with us, to set His love on us (9:13). It is because He chose to love us that we will believe. Only those whom God chooses to love in this special way can be saved, and all those whom He has chosen to love in this way will be saved. Dr. R.C. Sproul comments in his book Romans, “We could reasonably translate this text [Rom. 8:29], ‘Those whom he foreloved [those whom he knew in a personal, intimate, redemptive sense from all eternity] he predestined.’”
The Lord’s predestination of us ensures His call and justification of us, and that in turn ensures our final glorification (v. 30). We are entirely in God’s hands from eternity past. He chose to love us, to declare us righteous in Christ, and to adopt us. All those whom God justifies will be glorified. If we are in Christ now, we are in Him forever.
The most important of these five terms is the first, but surprisingly (or not surprisingly, since our ways are not God's ways nor his thoughts our thoughts), it is the most misunderstood. It is composed of two separate words: "fore," which means beforehand, and "knowledge." So it has been taken to mean that, since God knows all things, God knows beforehand who will believe on him and who will not, as a result of which he has predestined to salvation those whom he foresees will believe on him. In other words, what he foreknows or foresees is their faith.
Foreknowledge is such an important idea that we are going to come back to it again in the next study and carefully examine the way it is actually used in the Bible. But even here we can see that such an explanation can never do justice to this passage.
For one thing, the verse does not say that God foreknew what certain of his creatures would do. It is not talking about human actions at all. On the contrary, it is speaking entirely of God and of what God does. Each of these five terms is like that: God foreknew, God predestined, God called, God justified, God glorified. Besides, the object of the divine foreknowledge is not the actions of certain people but the people themselves. In this sense it can only mean that God has fixed a special attention upon them or loved them savingly.
This is the way the word is frequently used in the Old Testament, Amos 3:2, for example. The King James Version translates God's words here literally, using the verb "know" (Hebrew, yada): "You only have I known of all the families of the earth...." But so obvious is the idea of election in this context that the New International Version sharpens the meaning by translating: "You only have I chosen...."
And there is another problem. If all the word means is that God knows beforehand what people will do in response to him or to the preaching of the gospel and then determines their destiny on that basis, what, pray tell, could God possibly see or foreknow except a fixed opposition to him on the part of all people? If the hearts of men and women are as depraved as Paul has been teaching they are擁f indeed "'There is no one righteous, not even one ... no one who understands, no one who seeks God"' (Rom. 3:10-11)-what could God possibly foresee in any human heart but unbelief?
John Murray puts it in a complementary but slightly different way: "Even if it were granted that 'foreknew' means the foresight of faith, the biblical doctrine of sovereign election is not thereby eliminated or disproven. For it is certainly true that God foresees faith; he foresees all that comes to pass. The question would then simply be: whence proceeds this faith, which God foresees? And the only biblical answer is that the faith which God foresees is the faith he himself creates (cf. John 3:3-8; 6:44, 45, 65; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; 2 Peter 1:2). Hence his eternal foresight of faith is preconditioned by his decree to generate this faith in those whom he foresees as believing."2
Foreknowledge means that salvation has its origin in the mind or eternal counsels of God, not in man. It focuses our attention on the distinguishing love of God, according to which some persons are elected to be conformed to the character of Jesus Christ, which is what Paul has already been saying.
That fact alone argues for the Calvinist's understanding of election.
I never cease to be amazed at how Synergists will butcher Romans 8:29 and come up with conclusions that scripture does not teach. The passage is not that difficult to interpret.
"For those whom He foreknew" = this phrase is used in the salvific sense to refer to the Elect. This is the same group that Paul refers to in Ephesians 1:4, "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him." The modifying phrase "before the foundation of the world" reveals that those chosen were chosen from eternity past. They were chosen from eternity past because God foreknew them. Neither passage teaches that God foreknew them because of some future action they would take; He foreknew them because He is omniscient.
"He also predestined" = God predestined the Elect (whom He foreknew), "to be come conformed to the image of His Son". One cannot be confirmed to the image of Christ unless they are born again. Paul continues this theme in Ephesians 1:5, "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself". Predestined means to determine or decree beforehand. God did not decree that those whom He foreknew would be adopted as sons because of their future belief. That actually is a ridiculous assertion. God is not dependent on human action. How can I say this? Because Ephesians 1:11 states, "also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will". God works out all things after the counsel of His will. God does what God wants to do for the reason God wants to do them. Synergists will take the square peg of free will and try and bash into the round hole of God's sovereignty. Try as they might they come up lacking.
Synergists proudly proclaim they are literalists when interpreting scripture. You cannot tell that when they play hermeneutical gymnastics with Romans 8.
Genesis 4:1 isn't speaking about Adam intellectually knowing Eve. It's speaking of intimacy, and this demonstrates that God's electing choice was not just a mechanical action. It was rooted in His deep love for the those He chose for His Son.
Psalm 33:13 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
I don't see where God divides men into "elect" and "non-elect" groups.
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