Romans Bible Study Lesson 29

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The Believer’s Security

Romans 8:29—30

These verses give the believer the assurance of a future with Christ in eternity. God has given us a glimpse into some of God’s plans for the believer as part of His great plan of redemption. Paul expands on the phrase “called according to His purpose” used at the end of verse 28 while setting the stage for the material in chapter 9.

Called according to His purpose

This statement from the end of verse 28 sets up the next two verses. We have been called in accordance with God’s plan for members of the Church, the Body of Christ. I believe this particular call actually references us being called saints and expands on the phrase those who love God. Being called saints is in accordance with God’s purpose and plan in all things. Ephesians shows this expanded view of God’s all-encompassing purpose.

Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

We who are called have been called because we play a part in God’s master plan. We somehow are usable to God to help Him accomplish His purpose. This shouldn’t make us proud that God seemingly thought we were important enough for us to play a part in His plans. It should cause us to fall on our face in humility realizing it is God who not only redeemed us but also energized us to be able to complete our mission, whatever that may be. God works out all things in spite of us not because of us.

God’s workings in redemption

Verses 29—30 don’t so much show us God’s plan of redemption but the destiny of those who come to God in faith. I believe the Body of Christ is in view here and not individual believers. Anyone who believes will become a member of the Body of Christ. Think in terms of a container with individuals as the contents. The destiny of the container is absolutely known but individuals are free to step into the container if they would like to. There are some very specific steps that God took to secure those who are believers. By adding 1 Corinthians 6:11 to the list we get something like this:

Foreknown -> Predestined -> Called -> (Washed -> Sanctified ->) Justified -> Glorified

The order of events; washed, sanctified and justified are probably not too important since they probably happened simultaneously.  1 Corinthians 6:11


Foreknowledge is simply knowing before. All of us have a limited ability to foreknow. I knew before today that I would be teaching on foreknowledge. I know before Christmas comes that I will be decorating the house. Some people limit God by saying that He foreknew that we would be saved because He looked ahead in time to see that I would believe. This is like God needing to read a newspaper so He will foreknow when His favorite show will be on. Here is an example of man’s foreknowledge:

2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand (foreknowledge), be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness.

True foreknowledge actually carries the idea of being active in the process. God knows what will happen because He is involved in the planning and purpose of all that does occur. Even though we “foreknow” that we will celebrate Christmas, we really can’t be absolutely sure that we will even be alive to do so. We are incapable of causing events to happen according to our plan and purpose. If God’s foreknowledge is based upon what man would do then events would be according to man’s plans and purpose instead of God’s (See Ephesians 1:11 above).

A proper definition is critical for understanding what biblical foreknowledge is. In each usage concerning God (Acts 26:5; Romans 8:29; Romans 11:2; 1 Peter 1:20) foreknowledge revolves around God causing things to happen. In other words, foreknowledge is not God passively looking at what will happen and then adjusting what He does. Rather, God is actively involved in the process and therefore knows what will transpire. When God foreknew the Body of Christ he knew its destiny because He planned it all out.


God foreknew the Body of Christ and also predestined it to be conformed to the image of His Son. All who believe are sitting in the Body of Christ container and are assured that they eventually will be conformed to the Son. When God predestinates He decrees, appoints or determines beforehand that something will happen. God did not set a path that the individual believer could not deviate from. God cannot be blamed for the individual believer’s sin or causing the Holy Spirit to grieve. We all have an area of free will so God obviously did not decree every action in a believer’s life. Ephesians 1:4—5, 11; 2:10

Predestination is not about whether or not a person gets saved or not, but about a believer becoming conformed to Christ through the process of sanctification with the assurance of completely conforming to the Son when we see Christ face to face.


The called in this passage seems to be referencing our name as saints and not a call by the Lord. Verse 28 says “to those who are called according to His purpose.” This agrees with Romans 1:7 that says those in Rome are called saints. Verse 28 would apply then to all who are called saints—believers. Verse 30 is a continuation of the thought and says that whom God foreknew, He predestined and whom He predestined He called saints.


We shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time of this one since we covered it well in Lesson 12. First Adam’s sin was imputed to us. When we believe, our sin is imputed to Christ and His righteousness is imputed to us. We are then declared just and are now justified. When God looks at my record, He sees that I have been perfect. Christ has taken my sin(s) and erased my record.


Meaning to make glorious, to be rendered excellent. When we are glorified, we will be made as God intends us to be for all eternity. These weak, frail bodies will be transformed into eternal bodies suitable for service to God forever. The final destiny of the Body of Christ is glorification. All who are in the Body have the assurance that they will be glorified because God has planned out the destiny for the Body.


All of these five activities are in the aorist tense and active voice. The aorist tense indicates the action has already been done and the active voice means the subject (God) is doing the action. In this case God is acting upon the “container” called the Body of Christ. The person who is in the Body is assured that he will be glorified. We can rest in this and not continually worry about our eternal destiny. This should enable us to give ourselves fully to the work that God has laid out before us in serving Him and edifying the Body.

The interesting thing about these actions is that God sees those in the Body of Christ as already having been glorified. Our glorification is so sure from God’s standpoint that He sees it as already accomplished even though from our frame of reference we have yet to experience it. This should give us great confidence in our eternal security.

NOTE: See lesson 34 for teaching on election