Whom He Predestinated, He Also Called!
Romans 8: 30
Verses 28 and 29 deal with the eternal counsel of God which we see working out in time.
The purpose of verse 28 is further explained in verse 29 in terms of foreknowledge and predestination.
Verse 30 introduces us to the actions by which the eternal counsel is brought to actual fruition
in the children of God.
There are five terms mentioned here.
Three actions are mentioned: calling, justification, and glorification.
And there is an unbreakable bond between these three actions themselves,
and the two elements of the eternal counsel on the other.
Now it is evident that their cannot be one element without the others.
The three elements which take place in time flow by way of consequence from the eternal counsel.
"But whom he predestinated, these he also called:
and whom he called, these also he justified:
whom he justified, he also glorified."
Verse 30: "And those whom he predestinated, he also called."
Let's review the word, predestinated.
Predestination is the summary of the good news of Jesus Christ -- it is always good news.
Predestination to life and freedom in Christ is sheer grace.
God destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1: 5)
And the destiny of those who abide in Christ have His destiny.
He is destiny is our destiny.
He is the predestinated One, and we, as believers are predestinated in Him. (cf. Acts 2: 23, 4:28)
And so, we, who are in Christ are called to, and chosen to this end, to be destined to share
the same destiny of Christ.
It is in Christ we become aware of the predestinating love of God.
Predestination is repeated from the preceding verse, but calling, predestination,
and glorification are added.
Calling, which belongs especially to the beginning of the Christian life, has already been noted
in Romans 1: 1, 6-7; 8: 28.
And this 29th verse gives to us as Christians, true consolation, derived from the fact
that we are predestinated, and Paul states the connection between that predestination
and our certain salvation.
"For whom He predestinated, these He also called."
Called by His precious Spirit to become Christians -- to become His children.
The connection between the two is so certain that the one infallibly secures the other.
"But whom he predestinated, these he also called:
and whom he called, these also he justified:
and whom he justified, these he also glorified."
Now, let us consider the process by which the soul was dead in trespasses and sins
hears the voice of God and passes from death into life.
In the Scriptures this is set forth as God's call.
The call of our text is a particular, personal call.
This call is by grace, and it is not a mere outward call or invitation.
It is an inward calling made effectual by the Holy Spirit.
The verb used here for "called" is the very common Greek word, "kaleo".
Godet says that this call embraces the outward invitation by preaching,
and the inward drawing by the Spirit of grace.
As we did earlier with predestination, let us do here with calling.
Let us look at calling generally.
Let us began by looking at Revelation 22:19: "And the Spirit and the Bride say,
'Come, and let him that is athirst come.
And whomsoever will, let him take the water of life freely.' "
Whosoever is athirst may drink.
Whosoever is hungry may eat.
Whosoever is in need may ask, and He will receive.
Whosoever is weary and burdened may come to Jesus for rest:
"Whosoever will may come...
Send the proclamation over vale and hill;
'Tis a loving Father calls
The wand'rer home:
Whosoever will may come."
The words, "whosoever will," are almost literally taken from Scripture.
Therefore, there should not be any objection to them provided they are properly understood
and interpreted in connection with the rest of the Biblical teaching of salvation by grace.
Remember also that calling, justification and glorification are set forth as acts of God.
It is contrary to this emphasis to define any of these elements of the application of redemption
in any other terms than those of divine action.
It is true that all three affect us.
They draw us within their scope, and are of the deepest practical importance to us
in the actual experience of salvation.
As we are taught in Ephesians 2: 8-10, salvation from its beginning to its end is a mighty work of God.
And it is no less marvelous and no less divine than the work of creation.
It is that wonder working of the Almighty by which God calls light out of darkness,
righteousness out of unrighteousness, everlasting glory out of the deepest shame,
immortality out of death, heaven out of hell.
Salvation is the wonder of grace, whereby God lifts an accursed world out of the depth
of its misery into the glory of His heavenly kingdom and covenant.
That work from beginning to end is divine.
In no sense of the word, and at no stage of the work, does salvation depend upon the will
or work of man, or does it wait for the determination of his will.
In fact, the sinner is of himself neither capable nor willing to receive that salvation. (John 6:44)
it is God who calls the dead to life.
It is God who reconciles the sinner unto Himself.
He justifies us and gives us faith in Christ.
He delivers us from the power and dominion of sin.
He sanctifies us, and keeps us and confirms us.
All this belongs to the wonder of salvation and the miracle of the new birth
which is accomplished through sovereign grace alone.
As we look further into calling, we will see that "call" in verse 28 and in verse 30
is not a mere outward calling, but an inward calling, made effectual by the Holy Spirit of God.
Someone has said that the outward call often brings people into the profession of Christ,
but the inward call always brings people into the possession of Christ.
The call of God is a call from sin to holiness.
It is a call from the world to Christ.
It is a call from death to life and glory.
The calling is an holy calling.
2 Timothy 1: 9: "Who hath saved us with an holy calling."
"An holy calling," is not according to our works, the according to His own purpose and grace
which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
It is a high calling.
Philippians 3: 13, 14: "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth
unto those which are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus."
This high calling will lift up our hearts, and set them upon heavenly things (spiritual things).
It will lift up our desires so that they are no longer lusting for earthly things,
but for the things that are eternal.
Hebrews 3: 1 declares that it is also a heavenly calling.
"Holy brethren partakers of the heavenly calling."
It is a call from heaven.
It is a call from God, not of men.
It is not a call to the righteous, but a call to sinners to repentance.
He has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2: 9)
He has called us into liberty.
Galatians 5: 15: "Brethren, ye have been called into liberty."
It is a call into fellowship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
1 Corrinthians 1: 9: "He is faithful by whom ye were called into the fellowship
of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
To have fellowship with Christ, to converse with Him, to commune with Him,
to suffer with Him and for Him, to love as He loves, and to reign with Him
-- this is our call!
Thank Him for His grace, and pray for even greater grace.
He has given us hope.
He has given us faith.
He has given us assurance.
He has given us blessed assurance.
Such wonderful blessings come from our calling.
Let us close by looking at the call that Jesus extended and the results of that call.
"Lazarus, come forth!"
That cry, that call is directed to a body that has been dead for four days.
But when Jesus calls, something miraculous happens.
From that tomb comes a living man; that mass of corruption has been quickened into life.
He comes out wrapped about with grave clothes.
"Loose him and let him go," said the Lord of life; and then Lazarus is alive
and now enjoys the liberty of life.
The call of grace is the same.
The sinner is dead in sin, and he is not only in sin, but dead in sin.
He is without any power whatever to give to himself the life of grace.
The sinner is not only dead, but he is corrupt.
And the Lord of life cries through the preached word, and through the taught word...
and even directly by the Spirit of God: "Come forth!" And that person lives!
Did Lazarus contribute anything to his new life? Not at all!
His life and our life in Christ is given solely and completely by God.
He was dead -- I was dead -- absolutely dead -- and rotten with sin.
New life is given when the call comes, and in obedience to the call, the sinner comes forth
from the grave of his death, and begins to live a new life -- life eternal.
Look at the results of the call of Christ.
Look at a proud Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus.
This proud Pharisee hates Jesus and the Christians.
He has captured and persecuted every follower of Jesus who comes within his grasp.
He has hauled many Christian men and women to prison from the city of Jerusalem,
and now he seeks warrants against those Christians of Damascus.
So, off he goes to Damascus to carry out the same bloody mission.
While he is on his way, a bright light shines out of heaven, and he falls to the ground.
And he hears a voice crying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me... to kick
against the pricks."
Saul's eyes are filled with tears, and he cries out, "Who art thou?"
The result of this call to Saul of Tarsus is history...
Jesus saw him up in the tree, and called to Zaccheus to come down because Jesus
was going home with him.
Later, after hearing the Lord's call, Zaccheus said: "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods
I give unto the poor, and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation,
I restore unto him fourfold."
And Jesus said, "This day is salvation come unto thy house."
"Jesus is calling the weary to rest --
Calling today, calling today;
Bring Him thy burden and thou shalt be blest;
He will not turn thee away."
"Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world's golden shore,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, 'Christian, love Me more."
Jesus calls us; by Thy mercies,
Savior, may we hear thy call,
Give our hearts to Thy obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all."