THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF ROMANS 8
In Romans 8:29, 30 we read of that Golden Chain of Redemption which stretches from the eternity that is past to the eternity that is to come, — For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.”
Foreknown, foreordained, called, justified, glorified, with always the SAME PEOPLE included in each group; and where one of these factors is present, all the others are in principle present with it. Paul has cast the verse in the PAST TENSE because with God the purpose is in principle executed when formed, so CERTAIN IS IT OF FULFILLMENT.
“These five golden links,” says Dr. Warfield, “are welded together in one UNBREAKABLE CHAIN, so that ALL who are set upon in God’s gracious distinguishing view are carried on by His grace, step by step, up to the great consummation of that glorification which realizes the promised conformity to the image of God’s own Son.
It is ‘ELECTION,’ you see, that does all this; for ‘whom He FOREKNEW, them He also GLORIFIED’!
The Scriptures represent election as occurring in past time, irrespective of personal merit, and altogether sovereign, — “The children BEING NOT YET BORN, NEITHER HAVING DONE ANYTHING GOOD OR BAD, THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND, NOT OF WORKS, BUT OF HIM THAT CALLETH, it was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger. Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated,” [Rom. 9:11, 12]
Now if the doctrine of election is not true, we may safely challenge any man to tell us what the apostle means by such language. “We are pointed illustratively to the sovereign acceptance of Isaac and rejection of Ishmael, and to the choice of Jacob and not of Esau before their birth and therefore before either had done good or bad; we are explicitly told that in the matter of salvation IT IS NOT OF HIM THAT WILLS, OR OF HIM THAT RUNS, BUT OF GOD THAT SHOWS MERCY!
And that He has mercy on WHOM HE WILL, AND WHOM HE WILL HE HARDENS; so we are pointedly directed to behold in God the potter who makes the vessels which proceed from His hand each for an end of His appointment, that He may work out His will upon them.
It is safe to say that language cannot be chosen better adapted to teach Predestination at its height!
[Paraphrased and quoted from Loraine Boettner’s ‘Unconditional Election’]