Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 8:29-30
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 8:29
v29: God had a special goal in mind when He created the human race. It was no accident that we were made “in His image” (Ge 1:26, 27), rational spiritual beings who exist forever after being conceived, persons who share enough of His personhood to interact with Him as friends. His great loving heart wanted a bigger family—not because He needed us, as though somehow He were incomplete without us, but simply because He desired to share His love more broadly. After all, the fellowship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one of perfect unity and love, so He wasn’t lonely. Yet His most essential characteristic is love and love rejoices to love more, to delight in the unique beauty of each person and to let them delight in Him.

Monday: Romans 8:29
v29 (continued): God determined that these human creatures would not relate to Him like the rest of creation. They would have the capacity to become like Him, or more precisely, like His Son who, in turn, is exactly like His Father. Not only would they be like Him in that they were spiritual and immortal but they could become like Him in the essential goodness of their character. For such goodness and love to exist there must be freedom of moral choice, for true goodness is rooted in the decision to do what is good, not just in performing right behavior. A person can be made to do the right thing, but they become good when they choose to do the right thing, especially in the face of temptation.

Tuesday: Romans 8:29
v29 (continued): In order to love God a person must be able not to love Him. Love, by its nature, must be freely given. It cannot be forced upon someone. True love arises when we recognize the value in another person and decide to put their needs ahead of our own. This is what love is when all other feelings are stripped away. It’s how we love God and people, and amazingly, it’s how He has loved us. To have made us without this capacity for moral choice would have merely produced a race of slaves who worship and obey because they have no choice. But that sort of human would have been of no special value to God, only one more species of animal. Yet His desire was for children, not animals or slaves, children who would see His loveliness and worship Him from a sincere heart, children who would discover the rightness of His ways and long to be holy as He is.

Wednesday: Romans 8:29
v29 (continued): When He was forming this great plan, before creating the world, God foresaw that it would be necessary for His only-begotten Son to become a man, and that He would choose to go to the cross to make it possible for this plan to be fulfilled, so He determined then that He would reward Him. He would place Him in the position of “firstborn” over this family of adopted humans. Like the “firstborn” or eldest son in a Hebrew family, His incarnated, crucified and resurrected Son would be honored by the humans He had rescued. They would become His spiritual siblings and He would exercise leadership over them on behalf of their Father (Ps 110:1; Ac 2:33-36; 1Co 15:24-28; Php 2:8-11; Heb 1:3-14).

Thursday: Romans 8:30
v30: In order to produce this great family made up of members who become like His Son in both character (holy) and body (resurrected), the Father devised a plan. Paul summarizes it this way, “…but whom He foreordained (marked out with a boundary beforehand) these He also called (summoned, invited), and whom He called these He also justified (declared to be sinless), and whom He justified these He also glorified (resurrected their bodies).” In this statement he uses four verbs to describe the four principle actions God has decided to do to bring about the family He desires: foreordained, called, justified and glorified.

Friday: Romans 8:30
v30 (continued): There are at least two widely differing interpretations of who God’s plan includes. Some believe that the phrase “those whom God foreordained” (literally: “marked out with a boundary beforehand”) refers to specific individuals who He decided to save before they were born or the world was made. If that were true then it would mean He also decided who He would not save. In practice the plan works like this: as the years flow by He selects those individuals out of each generation whom He foreordained to salvation, calls them to Himself with a calling they cannot resist, forgives their sins, and then will someday resurrect them. Those He has not foreordained remain under judgment during their lifetimes and then suffer forever after they die. It is felt that this view of God honors Him by affirming His complete and sovereign control over His creation.

Saturday: Romans 8:30
v30 (continued): Another way of understanding who will be included among “those whom God foreordained” (marked out with a boundary beforehand) is that before He made the world God decided what kind of people He would save. He didn’t determine person by person which individuals would be saved, but what a person must do in order to be saved and that decision severely limited who would be willing to come to Him. This second way of understanding God’s plan would see His calling as a genuine invitation to all humans, but in order to come to Him we must do so on His terms not ours, and His way greatly conflicts with human pride, for He requires repentance and faith. 

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