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Predestined To Be

Romans 8:28-30
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Ephesians 1:3-12
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

The word “predestine” means "determine beforehand, ordain, or to decide upon ahead of time.”

God had predetermined certain things to occur ahead of time. What had God predetermined ahead of time?

God had predestined that we should be conformed to the likeness of His Son - to be called, justified, and glorified.

Predestination is not about God choosing who to save or who not to save.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God loved the world so much that He gave us His only begotten Son. He desires that everyone believes in Jesus, may not die but has eternal life. Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

In all the verses concerning predestination, the Bible clearly teaches us that God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son so that we can become His sons. Why? Because God had created man in His own image, we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Our destiny is a Person. His name is Jesus Christ! Our destiny is not a position such as becoming a CEO, a president, a prime minister, a king, a managing director, a doctor, a lawyer, a pilot etc. God has predestined us to be like Jesus!

Our destiny is our eternal destination, and not a temporary stopover. Our eternal destination is becoming His sons! While on earth, we can be good CEOs, good presidents, good prime ministers, good kings and so on. This is just our earthly vocation - what we do. But our eternal destiny is who we are in Him, and what we are becoming to be like Him.

The Biblical teaching of predestination declares the sovereignty of God over sinful man in such a way that the freedom of the human will is being preserved.

There are two major issues involved in the Biblical understanding of predestination.

First, God is sovereign. He has foreknowledge and foresight. He has predestined the course of human history, and the lives of individuals. He is in complete control of all earthly and heavenly events as He is God Almighty. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. He has chosen us to be in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. He has adopted us and accepted us into His family. He has predestined us to be His sons.

Second, God's sovereignty does not completely eliminate human choice. God maintains His sovereignty while He allows man to exercise the freedom of choice. God has not created a robot, to do whatever He tells it to do. God has created a man, with a freedom of choice to do whatever he desires to do. However, God has also graciously given us His Holy Spirit and His divine power to do His will.

As God is the Creator of the whole universe, all of His creation is moving and working within His designed purpose. He has created the universe with a purpose. This purpose is to bring the world into complete conformity to His will (Romans 8:28).

From the very beginning of time, God predestined man to be His sons. Adam was called the son of God (Luke 3:38). But Adam chose otherwise. He sinned against the LORD by choosing to disobey His command. Despite the fall of man, God was still sovereign. He sent His Son to save mankind by paying the death penalty of sin. His blood had bought the forgiveness of sin! His resurrection had brought the new life in Him!

Man can therefore obtain salvation through receiving Christ as their Saviour and LORD. This salvation is for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Here again, man has the freedom of choice to believe or not to believe.

Man has the responsibility as God has the sovereignty. Our journey in Christ is from salvation to sanctification to glorification. It is only complete when we have become like Him! He has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings to achieve this eternal purpose!

God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son, and to be His sons. We have the freedom of choice to be or not to be. Many men still choose Fortune and Destiny, which are not of the LORD. They had forsaken God. It was not that the LORD had forsaken them, but it was the people themselves who had forsaken the LORD. Thus God gave this warning:

Isaiah 65:11-12 (NASB)
11 “But you who forsake the Lord,
Who forget My holy mountain,
Who set a table for Fortune,
And who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny,

12 I will destine you for the sword,
And all of you will bow down to the slaughter.
Because I called, but you did not answer;
I spoke, but you did not hear.
And you did evil in My sight
And chose that in which I did not delight.”

We had feasted on the table of Fortune, and we had drunk the mixed wine of Destiny! We have sought after other gods, and we had lusted after power and money. God called but we did not answer. God spoke but we did not listen. We did evil in His sight, and chose what displeased Him!

May we turn from our wicked ways. May we say, "We are sorry, LORD! Please forgive us!" May we draw nigh to God as He draws nigh to us. May we become more like Jesus every new day.

1 John 3:1-3
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

This is the divine love of our Heavenly Father that we should be called His children! We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. As we have this blessed hope, let's purify ourselves, just as He is pure!

Beloved, please remember we are predestined to be like Jesus! To be called the sons of God!

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Written on:
20 December 2004