Whom he did predestinate, etc. - The Gentiles, whom He determined to call into his Church with the Jewish people, He called - He invited by the preaching of the Gospel, to believe on his Son Jesus Christ. It is worthy of note, that all that is spoken here refers to what had already taken place; for the calling, justifying, and glorifying are here represented as having already taken place, as well as the foreknowing and the predestinating. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the apostle refers to what God had already done among the Jews and Gentiles: though he may also speak of the things that were not as though they were.
He also justified - Pardoned the sins of all those who with hearty repentance and true faith turned unto him.
He also glorified - He has honored and dignified the Gentiles with the highest privileges, and he has already taken many of them to the kingdom of glory, and many more are on their way thither; and all who love him, and continue faithful unto death, shall inherit that glory eternally. Hence it is added, them he also glorified; for all the honors which he confers on them have respect to and are intended to promote their endless felicity; and though the terms are here used in a more general sense, yet, if we take them more restrictedly, we must consider that in the work of justification sanctification is implied; justification being the foundation and beginning of that work. From all this we learn that none will be glorified who have not been sanctified and justified; that the justified are those who have been called or invited by the Gospel of Christ; that those who have had this calling are they to whom God determined to grant this privilege - they did not choose this salvation first, but God sent it to them when they knew him not - and therefore the salvation of the Gentile world, as well as that of the Jews, comes through the gratuitous mercy of God himself, was the result of infinite designs, and stands on the same ground as the calling, etc., of the Jewish people. The word δοξα, which we render glory, and δοξαζω, to glorify, both mean to render illustrious, eminent, etc., etc., in various parts of the New Testament; and in this sense the verb is used John 11:4; John 12:23, John 12:28; John 13:31, John 13:32; John 14:13; John 15:8; John 21:19; Acts 3:13; Acts 11:13; in none of which places eternal beatification can be intended. Here it seems to mean that those whom God had called into a state of justification he had rendered illustrious by innumerable gifts, graces, and privileges, in the same manner as he had done to the Israelites of old.
The whole of the preceding discourse will show that every thing here is conditional, as far as it relates to the ultimate salvation of any person professing the Gospel of Christ; for the promises are made to character, and not to persons, as some have most injudiciously affirmed. The apostle insists upon a character all along from the beginning of the chapter. Romans 8:1; : There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:13; : If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die, etc. The absolute necessity of holiness to salvation is the very subject of his discourse; this necessity he positively affirms, and establishes by the most solid arguments. At the very entrance of his argument here, he takes care to settle the connection between our calling and our love and obedience to God, on purpose to prevent that mistake into which so many have fallen, through their great inattention to the scope of his reasoning. Romans 8:28; : All things work together for good - To whom? To Them that Love God: to them that are the called according to his purpose. To them that love God, because they are called according to his purpose; for those only who love God can reap any benefit by this predestination, vocation, or any other instance of God's favor. See the observations at the end of this chapter, ( Romans 8:39; (note)).
Moreover - In this verse, in order to show to Christians the true consolation to be derived from the fact that they are predestinated, the apostle states the connection between that predestination and their certain salvation. The one implied the other.
Whom he did predestinate - All whom he did predestinate.
Them he also called - Called by his Spirit to become Christians. He called, not merely by an external invitation, but in such a way as that they in fact were justified. This cannot refer simply to an external call of the gospel, since those who are here said to be called are said also to be justified and glorified. The meaning is, that there is a certain connection between the predestination and the call, which will be manifested in due time. The connection is so certain that the one infallibly secures the other.
He justified - See the note at Romans 3:24. Not that he justified them from eternity, for this was not true; and if it were, it would also follow that he glorified them from eternity, which would be an absurdity. It means that there is a regular sequence of events - the predestination precedes and secures the calling; and the calling precedes and secures the justification. The one is connected in the purpose of God with the other; and the one, in fact, does not take place without the other. The purpose was in eternity. The calling and justifying in time.
Them he also glorified - This refers probably to heaven. It means that there is a connection between justification and glory. The one does not exist without the other in its own proper time; as the calling does not subsist without the act of justification. This proves, therefore, the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. There is a connection infallible and ever existing between the predestination and the final salvation. They who are subjects of the one are partakers of the other. That this is the sense is clear,
(1)Because it is the natural and obvious meaning of the passage.
(2)because this only would meet the design of the argument of the apostle. For how would it be a source of consolation to say to them that whom God foreknew he predestinated, and whom he predestinated he called, and whom he called he justified, and whom he justified “might fall away and be lost forever?”
Many are confused as to what constitutes the first steps in the work of salvation. Repentance is thought to be a work the sinner must do for himself in order that he may come to Christ. They think that the sinner must procure for himself a fitness in order to obtain the blessing of God's grace. But while it is true that repentance must precede forgiveness, for it is only the broken and contrite heart that is acceptable to God, yet the sinner cannot bring himself to repentance, or prepare himself to come to Christ. Except the sinner repent, he cannot be forgiven; but the question to be decided is as to whether repentance is the work of the sinner or the gift of Christ. Must the sinner wait until he is filled with remorse for his sin before he can come to Christ? The very first step to Christ is taken through the drawing of the Spirit of God; as man responds to this drawing, he advances toward Christ in order that he may repent. 1SM 390.1
The sinner is represented as a lost sheep, and a lost sheep never returns to the fold unless he is sought after and brought back to the fold by the shepherd. No man of himself can repent, and make himself worthy of the blessing of justification. The Lord Jesus is constantly seeking to impress the sinner's mind and attract him to behold Himself, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. We cannot take a step toward spiritual life save as Jesus draws and strengthens the soul, and leads us to experience that repentance which needeth not to be repented of. 1SM 390.2
When before the high priests and Sadducees, Peter clearly presented the fact that repentance is the gift of God. Speaking of Christ, he said, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). Repentance is no less the gift of God than are pardon and justification, and it cannot be experienced except as it is given to the soul by Christ. If we are drawn to Christ, it is through His power and virtue. The grace of contrition comes through Him, and from Him comes justification. 1SM 391.1Read in context »
“Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, ... Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and He shall choose thee.” Isaiah 49:7. COL 163.1
“For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” COL 163.2Read in context »
Let us not spare ourselves, but carry forward in earnest the work of reform that must be done in our lives. Let us crucify self. Unholy habits will clamor for the mastery, but in the name and through the power of Jesus we may conquer. To him who daily seeks to keep his heart with all diligence, the promise is given, “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39).... God Himself is “the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” And “whom he justified, them he also glorified” (verse 30). HP 148.4Read in context »