Summary of passage: Christians are conformed to the likeness of Jesus. They are predestined, called, justified, and glorified.
6a) Foreknew: God knows who will come to Him and who won’t and He chose believers as well.
Predestined: Christians are chosen ahead of time. (Also called election).
[Foreknowledge in Biblical terms is also called election and predestination and are frequently lumped together. For God to predestine is for him to decree or foreordain the circumstances and destiny of people according to His perfect will. For God to elect if for Him to choose for salvation and/or service a people or a person; the choice is based not on merit but on His free, sovereign love. Taken from Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary].
Called: We are called by God to be believers.
Justified: Through Christ’s blood we are able to stand before God.
[We’ve already defined this previously: Justification is the judicial act of God by which on the basis of the meritorious work of Christ, imputed to the sinner and received through faith, God declares the sinner absolved from sin, released from its penalty, and restored as righteous. Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary.]
Glorified: Through Christ as well we are glorified.
[We’ve discussed this previously as well: The glory of God is the worthiness of God, more particularly, the presence of God in the fullness of his attributes in some place or everywhere. We participate in God’s glory (are able to be worthy) through the sanctifying blood of Jesus Christ. Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary.]
b) God knows everything. He’s in control. He called and chose all believers to be like His Son and justified us. It’s good news because we are like Jesus and we can be with God forever.
7) Through our sufferings, persecution, and through the Holy Spirit. Through His Word which teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains us and teaches us obedience. There’s one main reason: sin. Temptation, fleshly desires, selfishness, “it’s too hard”, the excuse of “God will forgive us so what’s the point” that Paul refutes. Jesus’s life was hard. We don’t want a hard life. We want an easy life. The easy life is sin. The hard life is following Jesus despite yourself. A Christian life is and supposed to be uncomfortable and painful. Man by nature hates this.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: Every day is a challenge to be more Christlike and some days I fail miserably. We are challenged every day to love others, be kind and compassionate, be sympathetic and helpful, be God’s light, and sacrifice for God. All these little moments in my day are challenges God puts there so little by little I can be more like Christ. The devil keeps throwing obstacles in my way and God is seeing how much I rely on Him to pull me through.
Conclusions: Question 6 we’ve seen before and answered before.
End Notes: Paul explains that God has always planned to save us from beginning to end (predestination). We work to become more like Christ because that is why God saves us–so that Christ will be of highest honor in the family of God.
God knew us before we knew Him and He knew us before the beginning of the world.