Romans 8:29 - Predestination.

Romans 8:29 states: "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." Many people have interpreted this verse as saying that God predestines certain people ("those God foreknew") to be saved. The idea being that God knows ahead of time who will become Christians and it is those people He predestines to be saved. But this interpretation is incorrect. Firstly, Romans 8:29 actually states that God predestines people "to be conformed to the likeness of his Son" - it doesn't say anything at all about salvation! God's eternal plan is for His people to be just like His Son - perfect! Secondly, "those" relates to "those" in v. 28, i.e.  "those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". Clearly, non-Christians are not in view here. Finally, since we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), we have a free will and we can make real choices. We can choose God or we can reject Him. God wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4) and His Spirit is desperately trying to draw people, but He will not make people turn to Him. But what about God's sovereignty? Isn't He in control? Doesn't He choose us? Some interpreters consider it a matter of perspective: from our perspective we choose God, but from God's perspective He chooses us. However, the logic behind this view is faulty. Considering God is infinite and we are finite, who has the true perspective? Obviously, God does, so our perspective is actually wrong. But this would then imply that God does indeed choose who will and won't be saved, resulting in a contradiction with 1 Timothy 2:3-4. Yes, God is sovereign - and He sovereignly declared that we were to be created in His image with a free will. We can make real choices and our choices have real consequences. We can turn to God or reject Him. We can obey His commands or disobey His commands, but whatever we do, we MUST face the consequences.


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