» How does it feel to recognize that God knew you before the foundations of the world?
» What part of the work on your behalf is already accomplished, and finished, through Jesus? Make a list and thank God for that list.
» What part of the transforming work is ongoing, as you work hard with the Spirit, for real change in your life? Commit to give God your all in this process of sanctification.
» Practice the memory verse.
“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” - John Newton
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
- Romans 8:29-31
God decided some things about you long before you were a twinkle in your daddy’s eye. God knew before the foundations of the world that you would respond to His gift of forgiveness in Jesus. Knowing you would respond, He predestined you, called you, justified you, and glorified you - all works of God by His grace, which you cannot earn. It breaks down like this:
He predestined (came to a decision beforehand) that you would be conformed to the image of Jesus. Notice “be conformed” and not “conform yourself.” God decided beforehand to participate in your process of becoming “similar in form to the nature of” His Son. This way Jesus could be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, who take on His nature and join the family.
He also called you: called you to join Him in this process of sanctification, and to join Christ in His mission in the world. Having called you, Christ justified you through His sacrifice on the cross, so God could see you “just as if I’d” never sinned before. Having justified you, in Christ, He also glorified you, in Christ, to be seated with Jesus in victory over all evil and enemies. To share in the fruit and freedom of His victory.
All of the finished work, He has done for you. And the ongoing, transforming work, He is doing with you. You are justified before God and are being sanctified. It is an ongoing process, involving cooperative work between you and the Holy Spirit, helping you to be conformed into the image of Jesus. God removes the fear of judgment so you can get on with the refining process of becoming like Jesus, your older brother and Lord. “For it is God who works in you, both to desire and to do His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)