Romans 1-8 Meditations No.30: On to More Than …
Rom 8:30 “those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
I love the flow, the order, here. Predestined – declared from the outset (from His viewpoint). Called – the work of His convicting Spirit when we’ve arrived on the scene that brings us to surrender on our knees. Justified – put right in the eyes of Justice. Glorified – made like Him when He gives us His Spirit. What a wonderful flow of mercy and grace, that started with scruffy sinners and opened the way and enabled them to become super saints. Incredible, wonderful, glorious.
Okay, let’s let it sink in a bit more. Yes, we are predestined, planned from before the start of Creation when God looked into the future of what He could create – human beings with free will – and saw the inevitability of Sin as they exercised that free will contrary to His design, the built-in risk behind that free will. Then and there the Godhead decided on the plan of redemption, of the Son leaving heaven and coming to earth to step into our place in the courts of heaven before justice and take the punishment for all sins.
Then through time, Israel were created and a God-aware environment created into which the Son could come. His death, resurrection and ascension opened the way for the Spirit to be poured out on every new believer from then on, starting with that Day of Pentecost.
From then on it was just a case of calling each open-hearted individual and when they responded to the call on their knees, they were justified by the prior work of Jesus on the cross and with that justification came the indwelling Spirit, glorifying each one, and carrying them in the flow of eternal life to eternal glory. What an incredible plan! But there is more.
Rom 8:37 “we are MORE than conquerors through him who loved us.”
We’ve just seen the outworking of those earlier chapters summarised, our earlier studies that focused on our need as guilty and helpless sinners, and shown God’s plan, prefigured by Abraham, of us being justified by faith. We saw the effects of sin and our helplessness to be good, and we ended up seeing the work of the Spirit to energize us so we could appropriate the work of Christ on the cross and take it into our lives and live them out in relationship with God.
This leaves him giving a new description of us – “MORE than conquerors”. Conquerors are those who have to fight to overcome. Receiving trumps conquering. It means siting there in the dirt and rubble as The Conqueror (Jesus) picked his way through the shambles of your life, reached down, lifted you up and said, “Come into my palace and let’s get you cleaned up, so you can sit beside me on my throne.” And so it began. Much of the time it feels like a dream, it seems surreal, but THIS IS the reality, this IS who YOU are! Okay, now you can sing and dance! Lord, how do I overcome? You don’t, I have. You’re more than an Overcomer, my child, you’re a Receiver. Hallelujah!