Zion Baptist Church
Thursday, June 22, 2017
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The Book of Romans
 
God’s Plan - Part 2
Romans 8:29-31
 
Introduction:
     In the salvation of fallen mankind, God has a foreordained plan.  The necessity of this foreordained plan lies in mankind’s lack of spiritual life and nature to change his sphere of living.  Salvation is a sovereign act of power by God.  God sovereignty interposes or something is infused.  In the salvation of every person there is an actual putting forth of Divine power whereby the unwilling sinner is made willing.  The sinner who previously rejected God now responds to God’s invitation and is brought to cast himself down at the feet of Jesus.  James 1:17-18, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. John 1:12-13, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 3:5, Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Titus 3:5, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
     God has predestinated that believers shall be saved; the Gospel calls them, for before they believed they were Divinely invited or called.  Titus 2:11, For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.  Divine predestination is not independent of the calling by the Gospel because predestination is not effective apart from belief or faith in Christ as Savior, as it assures that the believer shall be saved, as no one believes in Christ who has not been called.  Romans 10:12-17, 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. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 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? 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! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
     The prerequisite of God’s plan of salvation includes the preaching and hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mark 16:15-16, And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
     The text contains three controversial words foreknow, predestinate, and called.  Because all three words relate to the decision making of God there is much controversy as it relates to how much control God has and how does man’s freewill interact or influence God’s decision making.  This study of Romans 8:29-31 is not a detail study and does not attempt to answer all the questions related to this subject but it does endeavor to stimulate confidence in the certainty that God has a plan and He is working that plan in the lives of all mankind today.  My prayer is that when we are finished with this study that the words foreknow, predestinate, and called have a positive influence on the believer’s life.  It is a wonderful blessing to be able to live in the confidents that God has a plan. 
 
I.      God’s Foreknowledge
  1. V 29, For whom he did foreknow.  Foreknowledge is linked with the will of God.  1 Peter 1:2, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.  The elect are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God.  Christ death for fallen humanity was foreknown from before the foundation of the world. I Peter 1:18-20, Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
  2. Foreknowledge is more than God responding to the freewill choices of humanity.  God had a plan for the salvation of sinful man in place before the freewill choice of Adam and Eve to sin.  Foreknowledge starts with God not the freewill actions of humanity. Acts 2:21-23, And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
  3. Based upon His foreknowledge, God decreed that Christ should come into the world to give Himself a ransom for all; foreknowing that all mankind would need redemption from sin. He further decreed that all who would voluntarily believe in Christ would be eternally saved, but all who voluntarily reject Christ would be eternally damned. Salvation through Christ is offered to Adam’s entire fallen race without respect of person, each person must choose for himself life in Christ or death without Him. 2 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Romans 10:10-13, For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 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. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 
II.      God’s Predestination
  1. V 29, he also did predestinate. Means to decide from the beginning or beforehand, set apart from the beginning are beforehand.
  2. The will of God permits rather than causes sin.  God never says, “Commit this sin!” James 1:13-15, Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. There are several ways in which God can and does relate to sin.  1) God can prevent sin.  At times He deters or precludes people from performing certain sinful acts. 2) God does not always prevent sin.  At times, He simply wills to permit it. 3) God can also direct sin.  That is, while permitting some sin to occur, God nonetheless direct them in such a way that good comes out of them.  4) God can limit sin.  There are times when He does not prevent evil deeds, but nonetheless restrains the extent or effect of what evil humans and the devil and his demons can do.
  3. Divine foreknowledge and predestination are not the cause of one’s salvation; neither do they destroy man’s will of freedom of choice.  The use of the word predestination as used in this verse is that believers should be conformed to the image of Christ, which is their glorious destiny, a blessed assurance of preservation.  God foreknows that not all people will be conformed to the image of Christ because not all people will trust in Christ for salvation.
  4. V 29, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  The firstborn include all the redeemed among both Jews and Gentiles.  Ephesians 3:2-9, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  God foreknew that the Gentiles would turn to the Gospel of Christ.  Paul does not mean that all Gentiles become fellowheirs of Christ, but it does mean that all Gentiles have been given the invitation.
 
III.     God’s Called
  1. V 30, them he also called, refers to invited or summoned. Matthew 22:14, For many are called, but few are chosen.  The ones chosen are those who accepted the invitation, as related in the parable of the marriage feast. This cannot mean that only those who are saved were called for Jesus commissioned His church to preach the Gospel to the entire world.   Mark 16:14-15, Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  We should not expect that “all the world” should be saved, although the whole world should be invited.  Titus 2:11, For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.  As God has predestined that believers shall be saved, the Gospel calls all believers, for before they believed, they were Divinely invited or called by the preaching of the Gospel.
  2. Divine predestination is not independent of the calling by the Gospel, for predestination is not effective apart from belief, or faith in Christ as Saviour, as it assures that the believer shall be saved, as no one believes in Christ who has not been called. Romans 10:17, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
  3. Predestination assures salvation to all believers in Christ, but it does not signify in advance which ones shall believe and which ones are doomed to eternal reprobation. 
  4. V 30, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  Those called by God have been foreknown, predestined, and justified by the internal work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of individuals to bring them to belief in Christ.  They are declared righteous and glorified.  Though glorification is in the future, it is stated here in the past tense.  Everyone then, who was foreknown by God in eternity past, has such a certain future that the apostle speaks of their glorification as already accomplished.
  5. V 31, What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  God has done everything from foreknowledge to glorification for the believer therefore all adversaries are powerless.
 
Conclusion:
     Regardless of one’s position on the matter of foreknowledge, predestination, and call this much is clear.  God is infinitely wise, powerful, and good.  We cannot accuse Him of being unfair in His dealings with humanity.  It is our own sinfulness that has entrapped us and condemned us.  Yet God, out of His infinite mercy, chooses to save.
     The text contains three controversial words foreknow, predestinate, and called.  Because all three words relate to the decision making of God there is much controversy as it relates to how much control God has and how does man’s freewill interact or influence God’s decision making.  This study of Romans 8:29-31 is not a detail study and does not attempt to answer all the questions related to this subject but it does endeavor to stimulate confidence in the certainty that God has a plan and He is working that plan in the lives of all mankind today.  My prayer is that when we are finished with this study that the words foreknow, predestinate, and called have a positive influence on the believer’s life.  It is a wonderful blessing to be able to live in the confidence that God has a plan. 
     The prerequisite of God’s plan of salvation includes the preaching and hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mark 16:15-16, And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
 
 
 
 
Created and Researched by Pastor Dennis Baker
Zion Baptist Church
3485 New Baumgartner Rd. - St. Louis, MO 63129 - Phone: 314-846-1867