30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
God did more than foreknow and predestine; He did three more things that we find in this verse. Here we find that God’s counsels in eternity find expression in time.
whom He predestined, these He also called;
There is an added fact to God’s predestination of the believer—the believer is “called.” Predestination here goes back to God’s decision about believers exclusively.
Election, foreknowledge, and predestination flow from divine decree. These terms describe the act of the infinite, eternal omniscience of God who determined the certain futurition of events related to the believer. God’s decree never originates from His foreknowledge. All three—election, foreknowledge, and predestination—exist simultaneously in the mind of God. The separation is logical, not chronological.
God offers a general call to all men (Mt 16:24; Jn 7:37; 2 Pe 1:10). This call may be accepted or rejected. It is offered by a witness to the gospel. However, the election in our passage is from the standpoint of God’s decree of certainty. Everything in that decree will take place for sure. God’s plan of salvation anticipated those who would believe from eternity.
“Called” here looks at the calling from the viewpoint of God, who sees all things in one fell swoop. From His standpoint, all this occurred from eternity past; however, He foresaw man’s decision making along with His concurring with each choice man makes.
There are two callings, one from eternity past and a present calling that is part of His concurring or not concurring with every decision man makes (2 Th 2:14; Ga 1:16). In God’s counsel He knew the elect as already justified.
In predestination, those whom God saves He will see through to glory.
Only believers are elect from God’s viewpoint. Election is the plan of God for believers only. Election is God’s complete agreement with the foreknowledge of His concursus with each decision man makes (1 Pe 1:2).
God knew ahead of time those who would choose freely to believe in Christ. God decreed that such an act of faith would actually occur. God agreed not only that their positive volition about Christ would occur at a certain point in time but also that all the blessings of salvation plus certain unique blessings would be their eternal possessions (Ep 1:4; 2 Th 2:13). Election is declared through God’s foreknowledge; election is a function of predestination.
1. The believer shares in the destiny of Christ (2 Ti 1:9; Ep 1:5).
2. Believers also share in the election of Christ (Is 41:2; 1 Pe 2:6).
Election is that part of God’s decree that some would believe in His plan. It is His stamp of approval on His decree, foreknowledge, and predestination. God predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5) in accordance with His will (plan, decree). Christians thus share in the destiny of Christ. We also share in the election of Christ (1 Pe 2:4, 6). God’s decree in this is always efficacious and effective, guaranteeing certainty.
Since election is God’s plan for believers only, it is part of His decree that some would believe in His plan.
The general call to all men by the gospel may be accepted or rejected. Election, however, is from the standpoint of the decree of certainty that those who believe will indeed be glorified in the image of Christ in the eternal state. Taking concursus into view, God’s plan of salvation anticipates those who would believe from an eternal viewpoint.