by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 4 Study # 6 June 11, 2017 Humble, Texas
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
1901 ASV Translation:
30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
I. The Support For Romans 8:28 Continues...
A. He foreknew (Aorist; typically past tense).
B. He predestined (Aorist; typically past tense).
C. He called (Aorist; typically past tense)...
1. Paul refers to the concept of "calling" in Romans by use of the adjective form, the noun form, and the verb form and, additionally, uses an intensified form when he writes of men "calling" upon God to obtain a positive response from Him (only in 10:12-14).
2. In our current text, this is the first "active" action taken by God in that both "foreknowledge" and "predestination" are mental decisions, not actions taken.
3. This text is only the second in Romans that refers to "calling" by use of the primary verb so translated.
a. The first such text is Romans 4:17 where Paul lays out the essence of "faith" in The God by specifically tying The God's declaration to Abraham to the One who resurrects and calls.
1) In this first use of the verb, Paul declares that the Object of Abraham's "faith" was "the One Who quickens the dead"... . That Abraham "believed" in Him who quickens the dead is explained by Hebrews 11:12 (Abraham is described as "as good as dead", but empowered) and Hebrews 11:19 (if Isaac was to be put to death, God was "able to raise him up" again).
2) In this first use of the verb, Paul declares that the Object of Abraham's "faith" was the One Who "...calls those things that are not as though they are...". That God "calls the things that are not as though they are" is explained in the very text of Romans 4:17 by the words "I have made thee a father of many nations". The statement uses a perfect tense "I have made thee" in the historical setting of a man who had no legitimate sons by his wife. The "have made" is a declaration of something that "was not" being declared "as though" it was.
b. The second such text is the one before us presently.
c. The third such text is Romans 9:7 where Paul again ties "calling" to "faith" by saying that God's meaning for "in Isaac shall thy seed be called" is that the "seed" are those produced as a consequence of "promise" coupled to "faith". This excludes any and every connection to "genetic linkage" to Isaac. At issue is not genetic descendents, but those "of faith" without regard for genetics or behavior.
d. Then, in 9:11 he says that God's selection of Jacob over Esau was to deliberately separate the outcome(s) from any actions taken by either of those two men so that God's "purpose" might stand as a result of "calling", not "works". This reinforces the characterization of Paul's audience as "the called" in 1:6 and "called saints" in 1:7. This makes "calling" a major aspect of "grace"; the uncompelled choices of God Who acts according to purpose (2 Timothy 1:9).
e. Further, in 9:24 he says that "the called" are "vessels of mercy" as opposed to "vessels of wrath" and the difference exists in "calling".
f. And the last two references to "calling" in Romans (9:25-26) deliberately say that God declares He will call those who have not been formerly known at "My people".
4. By this focus, Paul is deliberately narrowing the issues of "calling". Jesus had declared that "many are called, but few chosen", thus making it known that God "calls" many who are not willing to hear and for whom God is unwilling to go any further than a "call" on their behalf. In our current text/context, those "called" are then "justified": this means that this calling was not only uttered by God, but also pursued by Him until those to whom He addressed Himself accepted His summons by faith to become His (called) people. And, at that time, the fact that God "called" men "righteous" when, in historical reality they were "sinners", simply zeroes in on the characteristic of The God that He "calls the things that are not as though they are".
a. Jesus is twice quoted by Matthew that "many are called, but few are chosen" (20:16 and 22:14). In both of these texts/contexts, Jesus is dealing with people who are "evil" because their own motivations are greedy, or worse. His point seems to be that, even though people have been extended grace by His invitation, there is no commitment on His part to follow through with "grace" if they reject the obligation that grace lays down (humble gratitude). Matthew is not bashful about telling his readers that "the Father" of Jesus will treat people according to how they respond to grace extended (Matthew 18:32-35). In these texts, the fact that they are "called", but not "chosen" is significant since Paul's order to the concepts is that one must be "pre-known" and "pre-destined" before they are "pre-called" (Paul's use of the aorist focuses upon an act accomplished in the past).
b. Revelation 17:14 calls those with the Lamb "called, and chosen, and faithful"; a progressive description that moves logically from being "called" to being "with the Lamb" through "election" and "faith". A person who is "called" and "elected" and "believing" ends up "with the Lamb". No shortcuts or omissions. It begins, as Paul said in Romans 9:11, with God's decision to "call" and make that "calling" the foundation for the outcomes.