"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers" (Romans 8:29)
It is amazing to me that God chose us. His desire has always been to be in relationship with you. Peter said, that God is "not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" ( II Peter 3:9 ). The Amplified Bible says that he is hoping that all should turn to repentance, denoting that this is a choice of free will. God does not force you to choose him. However, he has made it possible to be reconciled to him through the death and resurrection of His son Jesus. He did everything possible to restore you to the state mankind was in before the fall and then he left you with a choice. Deuteronomy 30 says, "...choose life, so that you and your children may live" ( Deuteronomy 30:19 ). He has even given us a choice, but in His mercy He has also given us the answer to the question... choose life so that you may live.
Many people get hung up on the predestination election debate, struggling to reconcile in their own minds this idea that God only chooses certain people. But the Bible clearly teaches that God's desire is for everyone to come to him and said yes to his calling. John said, speaking of Jesus, "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" ( I John 2:2 ). He has offered this gift to the entire world even knowing that not everyone would choose him. However even with this knowledge, he still chose to be the propitiation for all sins, for all time, for everyone. Hebrews speaks of this when it says, "And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin" ( Hebrews 10:18 ). He took care of the sin problem for all time, so that we could be reconciled to God the Father through the gift of his grace. Understanding how this gift extends to everyone even when people do not choose him, will settle this question in your heart and mind. God's desire is for everyone to come to him, but he leaves the decision to us.
In today's passage Paul gives us an encouraging word, he tells us that "for those God foreknew he also predestined..." ( Romans 8:29 ). It is amazing to know that God thought about me in the beginning of all time. He knew who I would be and what it would take to bring me unto himself. This is part of the Holy Spirits function before salvation. Jesus said in John 16, "When he [Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned" ( John 16:8-11 ). This is a powerful statement. The Holy Spirit convicts and convinces the world of its guilt before God in hope that mankind will come to Jesus and receive grace and mercy. Once we have done that, he speaks righteousness to our hearts because we have an advocate with the Father through Jesus ( Hebrews 9:24 ), so we will never stand in condemnation ( Romans 8:1 ). And lastly he speaks of judgment, but this judgment is against his defeated foe, which already stands condemned. So before Salvation, the Holy Spirit was given to show the way to Jesus. He shows, convicts and drives the desire to know God. Even in children this is evident from the earliest of ages. God not only choose us but sent the Holy Spirit to show us the way, "for those God foreknew he also predestined...", what an amazing blessing this is.
He chose us to be conformed and molded into the likeness of his son Jesus. This is an amazing product of salvation. We have been given the Holy Spirit as a deposit living inside of us so that we would inwardly have his likeness. Paul said in Ephesians, "to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" ( Ephesians 4:24 ). We have been made completely righteous and holy through Jesus. Everything God is, he has placed inside of our new born again spirit so that we would experience the victory that Jesus accomplished. Not only did God choose us, not only did God bring us to the point of choosing him, but once we did, he has given us an amazing gift so that our physical present realm would be transformed in the likeness of our born again spirits, the likeness of Jesus.
Through Jesus we can be confident in all of these things. We also know that since he is the firstborn among the dead, we too will experience a bodily resurrection and this is cause to rejoice ( Romans 8:11 ). Today, I praise God the father through Jesus that we have been called, sanctified and redeemed. I am blessed to know this encouraging word and to let it penetrate deep into my heart. Today, I pray that the eyes of your spirit are opened to receive this wonderful truth. Knowing how God has called and set you apart for his precious kingdom, amen!