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June 12, 2012

“…whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified…” -Romans 8:30

What does it mean to be ‘predestinated’? What does it mean to be called? What does it mean to be justified? These are questions many ask themselves; questions I’ve asked myself, especially when I was younger – and still quite often, even as I grow older. The difficulty in answering these questions lies in the natural human tendency to question one’s own worth.
In a world populated by billions of people, the significance of a single man or woman doesn’t seem to amount to much; especially average, everyday people like you and me. We live in a universe with over 200 billion stars in just our single galaxy alone; stand under a clear night sky sometime and look up at the stars and ponder that number: nothing makes you feel smaller than the thought of such infinite immensity…it’s like being the smallest molecule making up the smallest grain of sand.
And yet, the very Son of the Creator of this wide, limitless universe tells us that “the very hairs of your head are all numbered,”    (Matt. 10:30) To the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations,” (Jer. 1:5).

And in that last verse, I believe, is the answer to those questions above. The God of all there is, was, and ever will be knows you, loves you, and has predestined you for a single, specific purpose; He has chosen you as a member of the Body, and has set apart a place for you, and for you alone.

Some people try to say then that everything we do is predetermined: that we are all merely playing out the part that was assigned to us, and that who lives, dies, who goes to Heaven or Hell, has already been decided. But they don’t calculate free-will – God’s gift to us – into their thinking. Because our God is greater than that: He doesn’t just know what we’re going to do…He knows everything we could and might do; all the possible paths we can take, all the possible choices we can make…He knows it all. There are many roads that we can travel to either one of two destinations: Heaven or Hell…but how we get there and which we go to is decided by us.

See, we are all predestined, as we are all called. We must, however, choose to answer that call. From the richest aristocrat to the dirt-poor farmer, we all have an apportioned place in God’s kingdom: a task we must fulfill – and one that we are always perfectly suited to fulfill, since we were meant – or, predestined – to do so.

And that’s where being ‘justified’ comes in. ‘Justified’ was a legal term, its Greek word meaning to ‘declare righteous’, or even ‘to redeem’. Because wherever and whenever we decide to answer the call, God immediately begins to justify – and redeem – us for His purpose. I’m sure you’ve heard “He doesn’t call the justified, He justifies the called”; and that is precisely true. We are told “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose,” (Rom. 8:28). As I’ve pointed out before: it’s not all good things, but “all things for good“!! Because once you’ve answered the call, once you love God, He will begin to justify everything about you and your life: your mistakes, your transgressions, your pain…God has it in His power to redeem all these things and use them for His purpose, and to achieve His end. And once you’ve been justified, remade – your bad made good and your weakness made into new strength, then you will be glorified…both in this life and the next.

But you might ask: how can you be ‘glorified’ – a word in its past tense, for something that’s already happened – for a life yet to come? Because you’re predestined to, that’s how! Your glory in the next life is already set aside, already assured…all you have to do is claim it, for God is waiting on you, calling! You are not just a grain of sand in an infinite universe; you are another star waiting to shine with His eternal light. So today, if you haven’t already, answer that call: repent and confess Christ as your Savior and allow Him to transform, renew, and justify your life; don’t let doubt, guilt, or lack of self-worth stand in your way, for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,”(Rom. 8:23). But call on the Lord in turn, and be “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is Jesus Christ!” (Rom. 8:24).

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!” (Rom. 10:13) Amen, and amen.


Be blessed,



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  1. mark morrow permalink

    Good job josh.

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  1. What’s your stance on predestination? « Simple Theologian

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