The Process of
You’ve heard the saying,
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, in the case of man and God,
it’s true. We please and honor the Lord when we try to be like Him. In Romans
chapter eight, the apostle Paul lays out the process God uses to transform
believers into reflections of Himself.
Starting in verse 29, Paul
writes about those the Lord foreknew. Foreknowledge involves more than simply
seeing events in advance. It also includes bringing to pass whatever the Lord
desires for His children’s lives. Foreknowledge specifically involves
conforming believers to His image. God has a plan for which He sees the
beginning, middle, and end.
Paul also wrote that all
believers are predestined. God knew before Creation who would choose to receive
salvation and who would reject it. All those who are saved are predestined to be
formed in His image.
Verse 30 tells us that
believers are also called. God places on the heart a desire to know Him. The
call goes out to every person because it is not the Lord’s will that any should
perish. However, few will act upon His offer and seek salvation. (John 3:16; Matthew 7:14)
Paul also explains that
Christians are justified. Whoever hears God’s call and receives salvation is
declared no longer guilty. The stain of sin is wiped away.
And finally, we learn that
those made holy by the blood of Christ are glorified. Living believers regard
themselves as becoming like Jesus. But the Father sees them in their future
imperishable bodies—as perfect reflections of Himself.
Humans think of time in
segments. But God doesn’t operate that way. That’s why He can foreknow His
children in their glory. And everything He allows into a Christian’s life is
designed to shape him or her into a glorious reflection of Himself.
Dr. Charles Stanley