Rom.8:29,30 – For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
One of those hard to understand things about God is this; part of His creation is time and space. If God created time and space He lives outside of them. The implications of that may speak to why He calls Himself “I am”. He has always been, He is eternal. In today’s verse Paul mentions the foreknowledge of God. Before time was created the Lord knew those who were His. I didn’t say He knew about them, He knew them. He knew them intimately, you could say He loved them personally before they were brought into existence. Paul’s point was that those whom He foreknew He predestined to be conformed to His image.
Some folks think this foreknowledge thing is just the Lord knowing what I would do which would determine what He would do. God knowing me is much stronger than that, He knew me, He knows me, and He will know me. I have always been His before I knew it and before I existed. Here is how R. C. Sproul describes this passage.
“Now, why labor this when we are talking about a particular text in Romans 8? We do so because it is the root of the term that starts the Golden Chain: “For whom He foreknew [prŏginō], He also predestined.” The full import of the word includes not mere cognition on God’s part but a redemptive knowledge that is spiritual and affective (affective – dealing with the emotions)—not effective in this case, but affective. Therefore, we could reasonably translate this text, “Those whom he fore- loved [those whom he knew in a personal, intimate, redemptive sense from all eternity] he predestined.”
I really, really love that. “Those whom He fore-loved, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…” Sooooo, I am fore-loved by the Lord before the foundation of the world. He loved me not because of anything I had to offer Him, He loved me despite by ungodly behavior, He loved me with my faults and determined to call and pursue me. Today He is working on the conformed part, He is chiseling away the flaws, making me more and more like His Son.