Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Predestination: A Doctrine of Radical Comfort 2.
Romans 8 is one of the most assuring passages in scripture. It starts out with no condemnation for those who are in Jesus with no strings attached. Then ends with assurance of God’s never ending love from which nothing can separate us. Towards the end of the chapter, while working up to the climax we see:
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. ESV
Radical! Promised Spirit is aiding us in our prayers and that all things that happen God will work together for our good no matter what happens. The reason for all this is that he knew us beforehand and has predestined those in Christ Jesus to be like him. This causes suffering. Jesus when on earth suffered and told his disciples then and us by extension we will be hated and rejected as well. However, all these God works together for our good. He is also faithful in calling those foreknown and predestined. In addition he justified those whom he foreknew, predestined and called. And has glorified all whom he foreknew, predestined, called and justified. Radically comforting!
What is missing in this chapter is any mention of those outside of Jesus. Some would argue that because of necessary inference we know that those outside of Jesus were predestined to be damned. There again we see where the double predestination idea is forced on scripture. All this will do is rip the sweetness out of the text for a believing sinner either wondering about him or herself or a loved one. We have, therefore, the radical comfort of looking at the crucifixion of Jesus as for us. No need to examine our works or shakiness of our trust at times of being attacked by false and erring brothers, our sinful flesh or the devil.
What also is missing is anything that those in Jesus have decided, exercised anything or did any other work we have done. This further shows the radically comforting knowledge that Jesus is 100% Savior and we have nothing to do with it. Christians under the false impression that it has something to do with them are forever questioning whether they were sincere or if anything they have done measures up. The answer to the former is probably not and the latter definitely not. Let me repeat myself. You have absolutely nothing to do with your salvation. Radical!
In the Name of Jesus. †