Romans 8:29-30 is called ‘The Order of Salvation’, as well as the ‘Golden Chain of Redemption’ (terms not specifically in Scripture). Textually, these two verses are Paul’s logical explanation of why ‘all things work together for those who are called according to His purpose’ (Rom 8:28). Let’s take a look:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” – Romans 8:28-30
Why does everything that happens to us work together for our good? Because God designed it that way! It’s in the text. The specifics of God’s design are then provided to us:
For those He foreknew would become His children, those whom he ‘called according to His purpose’:
- He predestined.
- He called.
- He justified.
- He glorified.
Without getting into a debate about links in a chain (not the intent here), we know from the text, that God (He) did four things . All four things are in the text in the past tense. Looking at the ‘fabulous four’ things that God did, it is quite reasonable to say that ‘calling’ and ‘justification’ occur in ‘our time’ in the sense that something happens inside of us (the drawing in John 6:44), and we are responsible to believe in Christ while we are living (John 3:18). We can also say that by definition predestination occurred in the past and glorification occurs in the future.
The fact that all are in the text in the past tense, yet they contain aspects of past, present, and future in terms of ‘our time’, has to mean something. . .