Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

That Other Predestination

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.     Romans 8:29

The word predestined always brings to mind one thing—predestination to salvation. This verse, though, says that we are predestined “to be conformed to the image of His Son.” God predestinated His children to be like Jesus.

In Matthew 11:29, Jesus says. “I am gentle and lowly in heart.” The Greek word translated “gentle” means available. It is used for a horse trained by its owner to follow the directions given by the owner. With the words “lowly in heart” Jesus must mean that He was dependent on the Father. Many statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John make it clear that He was totally dependent on His Father.

All believers have been predestined to be available to and dependent on our heavenly Father.

Romans 8:29 is in the context of a passage on suffering that begins in 8:17 and ends in Romans 8:30. The statement of our being predestined to be like Jesus follows immediately Romans 8:28—“all things work together for good to those who love God.” This verse is often quoted to someone who is suffering.

The entire context of Romans 8:17 to 8:30 indicates that through suffering we are conformed to the image of Jesus. Many would testify that suffering has made them available to and dependent on their heavenly Father—which is living by grace. This result is why the “all things” work together for good.

Both suffering and experiencing our oneness with Christ result in a life of grace.