Romans 8:29-30 Commentary

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: hoti ous proegno, (3SAAI) kai proorisen (3SAAI) summorphous tes eikonos tou huiou autou, eis to einai (PAN) auton prototokon en pollois adelphois

Amplified: For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: God, in his foreknowledge, chose them to bear the family likeness of his Son, that he might be the eldest of a family of many brothers. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: Because, those whom He foreordained He also marked out beforehand as those who were to be conformed to the derived image of His Son, with the result that He is firstborn among many brethren. (Eerdmans)

Young's Literal: For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;

Romans — 3:21-5:21 Romans — 6:1-8:39 Romans — 9:1-11:36 Romans — 12:1-16:27
God's Holiness
God's Grace
God's Power
God's Sovereignty
Jew and Gentile
Gods Glory
Object of
of Sin
of Grace
Demonstration of Salvation
Power Given Promises Fulfilled Paths Pursued
Restored to Israel
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
Slaves to Sin Slaves to God Slaves Serving God
Doctrine Duty
Life by Faith Service by Faith

Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's Survey of the NT"

FOR WHOM HE FOREKNEW: hoti ous proegno (3SAAI): (Ro 11:2; Ex 33:12,17; Ps 1:6; Jer 1:5; Mt 7:23; 2Ti 2:19; 1Pe 1:2; Rev 13:8)

For (hoti) introduces the argument to which the preceding words refer. See importance of querying terms of explanation.

As Denny explains "These verses (Ro 8:29ff) give the proof that God in all tings co-operates for good with the called. They show how His gracious purpose, beginning with foreknowledge and foreordination perfects all that concerns them on to the final glory. (Romans 8 Commentary - Expositor's Greek Testament)

Foreknew (4267) (proginosko [word study] from pró = before + ginosko = know) know about something prior to some temporal reference point. For example, to know about an event before it happens, to know beforehand, or to have foreknowledge. Proginosko describes God’s eternal counsel and includes all that He has considered and purposed to do prior to human history. In the language of Scripture, something foreknown is not simply that which God was aware of prior to a certain point, but also includes the idea of that which God gave prior consent to or which received His favorable or special recognition. Hence, proginosko is reserved for those matters which God favorably, deliberately and freely chose and ordained.

Proginosko - 5x in 5v - Acts 26:5; Rom 8:29; 11:2; 1 Pet 1:20; 2 Pet 3:17. NAS - foreknew(2), foreknown(1), knowing… beforehand(1), known(1).

Related Resource: Foreknowledge- Attributes of God

Foreknowledge - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Foreknowledge - Holman Bible Dictionary

Foreknow, Foreknowledge - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Foreknowledge - Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

God's foreknowledge is much more than just having prescience of what will happen in the future, but its full meaning is beyond our finite comprehension. [Acts 2:23] speaks of Christ as being delivered to be crucified "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God."" His works surely were not planned merely by His foreknowledge of what they would be for that would place the power in the hands of man -- some say because it seems "logical" from our perspective that God looked into the future, saw what men would do and then He predestined them to salvation. That's not what Scripture says. That would put the initiative and impetus for salvation in the hands of depraved God hating men. We simply have to acknowledge that we don't have to explain this -- what we do have to do is rest in whatever He says for His ways are higher than our ways. By the way no where in Scripture does it say God foreknew or predestined anyone to hell.

God foreknew that Israel would be His people (Ro 11:2-note), yet He later chose them by His own will. It clearly suggests planning ahead of time, not just knowing ahead of time. Nothing takes God by surprise; His decisions are not determined by our decisions. Yet in every case where God's planning and predestinating are involved (Acts 2:23), it is also true that those who acted according to His foreknowledge carried out those acts of their own volition.

God promises

Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved (see note Romans 10:13).

And yet God also says that

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (see note Ephesians 1:4).

Our finite minds cannot fully apprehend both truths concurrently, yet we can rejoice in both with our hearts. God understands, because His understanding is infinite, and we rest in that.

Before I loved Him, He loved me

Before I found Him, He found me

Before I sought Him, He sought for me

Yes, Jesus cares for me

-- Ron Hamilton

HE ALSO PREDESTINED CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON:kai proorisen (3SAAI) summorphous tes eikonos tou huiou autou: (Eph 1:5,11; 1Pe 1:20) (Ro 13:14; Jn 17:16,19,22,23,26; 1Cor 15:49; 2Cor 3:18; Eph 1:4; 4:24; Php 3:21; 1Jn 3:2) (Spurgeon's sermon: Predestination and Calling)

When Paul assures the Roman saints that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Ro 8:28-note), he then follows in this verse with God’s work of predestination as a reason why we can be assured of this truth. In short, predestination, far from being given to cause division, is given that it might bring comfort and assurance. The next verse looks at predestination from a futuristic perspective. That is to say, that if one looks to the future when Christ returns, he sees Paul's clear affirmation that God has determined to give believers in Christ perfect, glorified bodies. From eternity to eternity God has acted with the good of his people in mind. But if God has always acted for our good and will in the future act for our good, Paul reasons, then will he not also in our present circumstances work every circumstance together for our good as well? In this way predestination is seen as a comfort for believers in the everyday events of life.

Predestined (4309) (proorizo from pró = before + horízo = to determine, as by a boundary or limit in turn from horos = boundary, limit <> Source of our English word "horizon" = God's boundary between heaven and earth) literally means to mark out beforehand or set the the limits or boundaries in advance of any place or thing. When used of persons, proorizo means to put limitations upon that person thus conveys the idea of to determine his destiny. Though proorizo meant simply to plan in advance, in the New Testament it attracted a special meaning. Here the idea is a divine decree of God, whereby He determined in advance that something should happen.

Here in Romans 8:29 Paul is saying that God has predetermined the destiny or the future of each believer, a glorious future in which he or she will be like Christ, conformed to the image of His Son! And so we see that predestination need not be a frightful word for the believer but in fact a wonderful doctrine which should bring comfort , encouragement and thankfulness to our heart. God is in control. He has a plan for your life and mine! Note carefully that it was not the fact of our faith as foreknown by God that moved Him to "foreordain" us. The blessings and mercies recounted in this section are the result of His eternal purpose in Christ.

Proorizo reminds us that God is the supreme historian who wrote all history before it ever began and it is therefore not surprising that proorizo is used only of God in the NT.

Note that the Scripture never uses predestination to mean that God has predestined certain people to eternal condemnation. A person is condemned because he or she refuses to trust Christ. Stated another way the truth of predestination applies only to saved people. Peter explains the heart of the Father…

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (see note 2 Peter 3:9)

Proorizo is used 6 times in the NAS (Acts; Romans 2x; 1 Corinthians; Ephesians 2x) each use translated as predestined. In the KJV, proorizo is translated determine before, 1; ordain, 1; predestinate, 4. These 6 occurrences in the NT, all refer to the predestination of events and peoples by God before all time or before their concrete historical time. In each case proorizo speaks of God's plan for man or events and the inescapable implication is that God's plan will be fulfilled.

Here are the 4 other uses of proorizo (not counting the uses in Ro 8:29-30)…

Acts 4:27-28 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, (4:28) to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur."

Comment: The Jews and Gentiles did what and only what God had planned beforehand. God did not force Jesus’ adversaries to engage in acts of violence against their will, for the evidence shows that they took full responsibility. Instead, God allowed them to conspire against Him that He might accomplish salvation for his people. Having done their worst, they merely succeeded in fulfilling God’s eternal plan. These verses contain another striking example of the conjoining of human responsibility and God's sovereignty in the same context, with no hint of this being a problem.

In a parallel passage (although not using proorizo) Luke records that Jesus…

Acts 2:22-23 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--the Man delivered up by the predetermined (Greek = horizo = marked out) plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

Comment: Again observe the juxtaposition of divine predestination and human responsibility. That these two truths exist in harmony that is beyond human comprehension is clearly taught in Scripture and must be received on faith in the infinitely wise, omniscient Creator God. He is the Potter and we are but clay!

1Cor 2:7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 2:8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory

Comment: The meaning is that God’s wisdom in relation to the Gospel of His grace was predetermined by Him before any periods of time began. It was not an afterthought, not a plan contingent upon changed conditions or circumstances. Before time began, our heavenly Father determined to give us His saving wisdom that would lead ultimately to our eternal glorification.

Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, (see note)

Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, (see note)

Comment: Morris writing on predestination in Ephesians 1 says that…

Its over-all purpose is to be "to the praise of his glory" (Ep 1:6, 12, 14, 3:21-notes Ep 1:6, 12, 14; 3:21)… Since our minds are finite, we are unable to comprehend the infinite character of the plan and purpose of God, which is exactly the situation with regard to the clearly Biblical truth of predestination. In no way does this preclude the ability of God to plan also the paradoxical truth of human freedom and responsibility, which also are clearly Biblical (remember God's ability is infinite). We cannot fully comprehend with our minds, but can believe and rejoice with our hearts that God has known and chosen us believers for Himself even before the world began. (Morris, Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)

Believer's Study Bible has the following note explaining that..

Predestination and election have always been the subject of theological inquiry. Several truths about election should be noticed in this passage. Here, as in 1Pe 1:2 (see note), God's foreknowledge logically precedes the elective or predestinative act of God.

Another truth to be affirmed is that the Scriptures present salvation as viewed in two very different spheres. The earthly sphere sees man as totally responsible for his actions and faced with the necessity of choosing either to reject or to accept the atonement of Christ. The heavenly perspective in no sense contradicts the earthly, but it does add a new and infinitely more profound dimension. This new dimension declares that God has an elective purpose and that all which ultimately transpires conforms to His purpose, including the salvation of the elect.

Difficulty arises in man's seemingly unending efforts to reconcile the heavenly insight with the earthly perspective. Wrong answers are not infrequently the result of erroneous questions. Instead of attempting harmonization of those truths which are ultimately understood only by God (Ro 11:34-note), one ought to ask the question,

"Why is the doctrine of election present in the Scripture?"

Four distinct answers emerge from this passage:

(1) As long as the doctrine of election is in the Bible, salvation must be the gift of God alone. Predestination framed in God's foreknowledge assures us that salvation is from start to finish the work of God.

(2) The doctrine of God's elective purpose guarantees the perpetuity of salvation. Unthinkable is the idea that one of God's elect could forfeit his salvation. Those whom He has justified He will glorify. So certain is that sequence that "glorified" is an aorist tense in Greek, meaning that glorification is already a settled issue in the mind of God (Ro 8:30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39). How could God lose one of His elect?

(3) The doctrine of election assures a peculiar providence which attends the way of every believer. If God's heart is set on us in His elective purpose, we may be sure of His concern and providential intervention in our behalf (Ro 8:28).

(4) Finally, that same personal providence bound up in election extends throughout the entire course of history. There is no runaway world. God's hand is systematically guiding the age to its intended consummation (Ro 8:21, 22). (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

Wuest commenting on proorizo writes that " The genius of the word is that of placing limitations upon someone or something beforehand, these limitations bringing that person or thing within the sphere of a certain future or destiny. These meanings are carried over into the New Testament usage of the word. Thus, the “chosen-out” ones, have had limitations put around them which bring them within the sphere of becoming God’s children by adoption (Eph 1:5-note), and of being conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus (Ro 8:29). (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

Someone explained predestination with this simple picture. When we came to Christ, it was like walking through a gate. On the outside were inscribed these words: "Whosoever will, may come." Once we passed through the gate into the Saviour's arms, we could look back and see these words inscribed on the inside: "Chosen from the foundation of the world." We can praise Him for His sovereign and saving grace.

Jesus Himself taught that…

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. (John 3:18-21).

Conformed (4832) (summorphos from sún = together with + morphe = form) refers to the conformity of children of God "to the image of His Son".

Here Paul explains the goal of predestination - that believers would "be conformed to the image of His Son"!

As Denny puts it…

The Son of God is the Lord Who appeared to Paul by Damascus: to be conformed to His image is to share His glory as well as His holiness. The Pauline Gospel is hopelessly distorted when this is forgotten. (Ibid)

In Philippians 3 Paul describes the physical conformity to the body of Christ's glory writing that in the future the Lord Jesus Christ

will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with (summorphos) the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (see note Philippians 3:21)

Howard Hendricks writes that "The Bible was not written to satisfy your curiosity, but to make you conform to Christ’s image. Not to make you a smarter sinner, but to make you like the Saviour. Not to fill your head with a collection of biblical facts, but to transform your life.

On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription:“ James Butler Bonham—no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom.” No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of the Son who makes us free can be seen in the lives of His true followers.

Romans 8:28 is an easy verse to believe when the sun is shining, but it's something else entirely in the darkness of human tragedy. We doubt this verse for two reasons. First, Paul says "we know" when most of us don't feel like we know. Second, Paul says "all things" when most of us would rather say "some things." Surely the key word is the word "good." For us, "good" usually means happiness, health, prosperity, and good fortune. Those things are indeed good, but God's good far exceeds our limited vision. (Ro 8:29) tells us that God's good is that we should be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Anything that makes us like Jesus is good. This gives an entirely new perspective to heartaches and tragedies. They are part of God's plan to chip away little by little at our character until Jesus is fully formed in us.

THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FIRST BORN (reflecting His priority & supremacy) AMONG MANY BRETHREN: eis to einai (PAN) auton prototokon en pollois adelphois: (Ps 89:27; Mt 12:50; 25:40; Jn 20:17; Col 1:15, 16, 17, 18; Heb 1:5,6; Heb 2:11, 12, 13, 14, 15; Rev 1:5,6)

That He might be the First Born - The end in this process of our being conformed to the Son's image is the exaltation of Christ.

First born (4416) (prototokos [word study] from protos = first, + tikto = to bear, bring forth) can mean first-born chronologically (Luke 2:7) but as used by Paul refers primarily to position, or rank. In both Greek and Jewish culture, the first-born was the son who had the right of inheritance. He was not necessarily the first one born. Although Esau was born first chronologically, it was Jacob who was the “first-born” and received the inheritance. Jesus is the One with the right to the inheritance of all creation (cf. He 1:2-note; Re 5:1f-note, Re 5:13-note). Israel was called God’s first-born in Exodus 4:22 and Jeremiah 31:9. Though not the first people born, they held first place in God’s sight among all the nations. In Psalm 89:27 (note), God says of the Messiah,

“I also shall make Him My first-born” (Spurgeon's note)

Then the psalmist defines what He means "the highest of the kings of the earth.”

Prototokos - 8x in 8v - Luke 2:7; Rom 8:29; Col 1:15, 18; Heb 1:6; 11:28; 12:23; Rev 1:5

Prototokos - 103x in the Septuagint - Gen 4:4; 10:15; 22:21; 25:13, 25; 27:19, 32; 35:23; 36:15; 38:6f; 41:51; 43:33; 46:8; 48:18; 49:3; Exod 4:22f; 6:14; 11:5; 12:12, 29; 13:2, 13, 15; 22:29; 34:19f; Lev 27:26; Num 1:20; 3:2, 12f, 40ff, 45f, 50; 8:16ff; 18:15, 17; 26:5; 33:4; Deut 12:6, 17; 14:23; 15:19; 21:15ff; 33:17; Josh 6:26; 17:1; Judg 8:20; 1 Sam 8:2; 14:49; 2 Sam 3:2; 13:21; 19:43; 1 Kgs 16:34; 2 Kgs 3:27; 1 Chr 1:29; 2:3, 13, 25, 27, 42, 50; 3:1, 15; 4:4; 5:1, 3, 12; 6:28; 8:1, 30, 38f; 9:5, 31, 36, 44; 26:2, 4, 6, 10; 2 Chr 21:3; Neh 10:36; Ps 78:51; 89:27; 105:36; 135:8; 136:10; Jer 31:9; Ezek 44:30; Mic 6:7; Zech 12:10

In Rev 1:5-note, Jesus is called “the first-born of the dead,” even though He was not the first person to be resurrected chronologically. Of all ever raised, He is the preeminent One. Here in Romans 8:29 Jesus is the first-born in relation to the church. In all these uses, the first-born clearly means highest in rank, not first created.

Romans 8:30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: ous de proorisen, (3SAAI) toutous kai ekalesen; (3SAAI) kai ous ekalesen, (3SAAI) toutous kai edikaiosen; (3SAAI) ous de edikaiosen, (3SAAI) toutous kai edoxasen (3SAAI)

Amplified: And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: He chose them long ago; when the time came he called them, he made them righteous in his sight, and then lifted them to the splendour of life as his own sons. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: Moreover, those whom He thus marked out beforehand, these He also summoned. And those whom He summoned, these He also justified. Moreover, those whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Eerdmans)

Young's Literal: and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

AND WHOM HE PREDESTINED THESE HE ALSO CALLED: ous de proorisen (3SAAI), toutous kai ekalesen (3SAAI): (Ro 8:28; 1:6; 9:23,24; Isa 41:9; 1Co 1:2,9; Ep 4:4; Heb 9:15; 1Pe 2:9; 2Pe1:10; Rev 17:14; 19:9)

whom He predestined… He also glorified.

Spurgeon - "Notice that personal pronoun “he” — how it comes at the beginning, and goes on to the end. “Salvation is of the Lord.” This is so often forgotten that, trite as it may appear, we cannot repeat it too often: “Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate Whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” You might suppose, from the talk of some men, that, salvation is all of the man himself; — that is free agency pushed into a falsehood, a plain truth puffed into a lie. There is such a thing as free agency, and we should make a great mistake if we forgot it; but there is also such a thing as free grace, and we shall make a still greater mistake if we limit that to the agency of man; it is God who works our salvation from the beginning to the end."

Called (2564) (kaleo) (see study of the called) can refer to an invitation, but as discussed below in this context conveys the idea of an effectual call and emphasizes God's sovereign work. God has invited us to join Him in eternity in incorruptible, sinless, glorified bodies. The aorist tense points to the fact that God effectively had called them into His kingdom and service in the past.

Kaleo - 148x in 140v - Matt 1:21, 23, 25; 2:7, 15, 23; 4:21; 5:9, 19; 9:13; 20:8; 21:13; 22:3f, 8f, 43, 45; 23:7ff; 25:14; 27:8; Mark 1:20; 2:17; 3:31; 11:17; Luke 1:13, 31f, 35f, 59ff, 76; 2:4, 21, 23; 5:32; 6:15, 46; 7:11, 39; 8:2; 9:10; 10:39; 14:7ff, 12f, 16f, 24; 15:19, 21; 19:2, 13, 29; 20:44; 21:37; 22:3, 25; 23:33; John 1:42; 2:2; Acts 1:12, 19, 23; 3:11; 4:18; 7:58; 8:10; 9:11; 10:1; 13:1; 14:12; 15:22, 37; 24:2; 27:8, 14, 16; 28:1; Rom 4:17; 8:30; 9:7, 12, 24ff; 1 Cor 1:9; 7:15, 17f, 20ff, 24; 10:27; 15:9; Gal 1:6, 15; 5:8, 13; Eph 4:1, 4; Col 3:15; 1 Thess 2:12; 4:7; 5:24; 2 Thess 2:14; 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 1:9; Heb 2:11; 3:13; 5:4; 9:15; 11:8, 18; Jas 2:23; 1 Pet 1:15; 2:9, 21; 3:6, 9; 5:10; 2 Pet 1:3; 1 John 3:1; Rev 1:9; 11:8; 12:9; 16:16; 19:9, 11, 13. NAS = call(13), called(99), calling(2), calls(7), give(1), invite(2), invited(15), invited guests(1), invites(1), name given(1), named(2), so-called(1), summoned(2).

AND WHOM HE CALLED THESE HE ALSO JUSTIFIED: kai ous ekalesen (3SAAI), toutous kai edikaiosen (3SAAI): (Ro 3:22, 23, 24, 25, 26; 1Co 6:11; Titus 3:4, 5, 6, 7)

Justified (1344) (dikaioo [word study] from díkaios = just, righteous) means to be declared righteous (dikaios). In simple terms, dikaios describes what is right, what conforms to what is right, the standard of what is right being defined by God not man. The moment one believes he or she is justified instantaneously as a forensic act by God in which He forgives our sins, imputes to us the righteousness of Christ and declares we are now in righteous standing before Him.

Dikaioo - 36x in 39v - Matt 11:19; 12:37; Luke 7:29, 35; 10:29; 16:15; 18:14; Acts 13:38f; Rom 2:13; 3:4, 20, 24, 26, 28, 30; 4:2, 5; 5:1, 9; 6:7; 8:30, 33; 1 Cor 4:4; 6:11; Gal 2:16f; 3:8, 11, 24; 5:4; 1 Tim 3:16; Titus 3:7; Jas 2:21, 24f. NAS = acknowledged… justice(1), acquitted(1), freed(3), justified(24), justifier(1), justifies(2), justify(4), vindicated(3).

Justified is in Christ and so is a truth of position. When we were justified by faith we were pronounced righteous in Christ. We are not made righteous. Stated another way, what is imputed is not, imparted. To be justified means that the believer is viewed in Christ as righteous, and is treated as such by God.

Denny explains that in justifying us…

God in Jesus Christ forgave our sins, and accepted us as righteous in His sight; ungodly as we had been, He put us right with Himself. In that, everything else is included. The whole argument of Romans 6-8 has been that justification and the new life of holiness in the Spirit are inseparable experiences. (Romans 8 - The Expositor's Greek Testament)

John Murray makes the important distinction between regeneration and justification writing that…

Regeneration is an act of God in us; justification is a judgment of God with respect to us. The distinction is like that of the distinction between the act of a surgeon and the act of a judge. The surgeon, when he removes an inward cancer, does something in us. That is not what a judge does—he gives a verdict regarding our judicial status. If we are innocent he declares accordingly. The purity of the gospel is bound up with the recognition of this distinction. If justification is confused with regeneration or sanctification, then the door is opened for the perversion of the gospel at its center. (See study on Relationship of Justified, Sanctified, Glorified) Justification is still the article of the standing or falling of the Church. (John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied p. 121)

AND WHOM HE JUSTIFIED THESE HE ALSO GLORIFIED: ous de edikaiosen (3SAAI), toutous kai edoxasen (3SAAI): (Ro 1:1,17,18,33, 34, 35; 5:8, 9, 10; Jn 5:24; 6:39,40; 17:22,24; 2Co 4:17; Ep 2:6; Col 3:4; 1Th 2:12; 2Th 1:10, 11, 12; 2:13,14; 2Ti 2:11; He 9:15; 1Pe 3:9; 4:13,14; 5:10)

Glorified (1392) (doxazo from doxa = glory) means to render glorious, to cause to have splendid greatness, to clothe in splendor, to invest with dignity, to give anyone esteem or honor by putting him into an honorable position.

The aorist tense of glorified speaks of God Who sees the end from the beginning and in whose decree and purpose all future events are comprehended and fixed. Once God's marvelous sequence begins with His foreknowledge of those He would call, it is carried through so inevitably that Paul in this verse speaks of us as "glorified" in the past tense. It is already an accomplished fact in the mind and purpose of God. Note that those who were foreknown will all be glorified without loss of a single one.

Doxazo - 61x in 53v - Matt 5:16; 6:2; 9:8; 15:31; Mark 2:12; Luke 2:20; 4:15; 5:25f; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43; 23:47; John 7:39; 8:54; 11:4; 12:16, 23, 28; 13:31f; 14:13; 15:8; 16:14; 17:1, 4f, 10; 21:19; Acts 3:13; 4:21; 11:18; 13:48; 21:20; Rom 1:21; 8:30; 11:13; 15:6, 9; 1 Cor 6:20; 12:26; 2 Cor 3:10; 9:13; Gal 1:24; 2 Thess 3:1; Heb 5:5; 1 Pet 1:8; 2:12; 4:11, 16; Rev 15:4; 18:7. NAS = full of glory(1), glorified(20), glorifies(1), glorify(19), glorifying(12), had glory(1), has… glory(1), honor(1), honored(2), magnify(1), praised(1), praising(1).

Denny remarking on the aorist tense says it well…

The tense in the last word (doxazo) is amazing. It is the most daring anticipation of faith that even the NT contains: the life is not to take out of it by the philosophical consideration that with God there is neither before or after. (Romans 8 - The Expositor's Greek Testament)

'The Best Is Yet To Be' - Oswald Chambers loved the poetry of Robert Browning and often quoted a phrase from the poem Rabbi Ben Ezra: "The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in His hand."

As principal of the Bible Training College in London from 1911 to 1915, Chambers often said that the school's initials, B.T.C., also stood for "Better To Come." He believed that the future was always bright with possibility because of Christ. In a letter to former students written during the dark days of World War I, Chambers said, "Whatever transpires, it is ever 'the best is yet to be.'"

For the Christian, this is certainly true when we think about going to heaven. But can we believe that our remaining days on earth will be better than the past? If our hope is centered in Christ, the answer is a resounding yes!

The apostle Paul concluded the stirring 8th chapter of Romans with the assurance that nothing in the present or the future can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (vv.38-39). Because we are held in God's unchanging love, we can experience deeper fellowship with Him, no matter what difficulties come our way.

In Christ, "the best is yet to be." —David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When we are walking with the Lord,

The future's always bright;

It matters not what comes our way

When faith replaces sight.


You can be confident about tomorrow

if you walk with God today.