Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Jesus told His disciples that, because of their faith in Him, they would experience persecution and tribulation from the world.  He said, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (Jn. 15:19).  Later, He said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16:33).  But simply knowing that Jesus knew ahead of time that we would be persecuted doesn't, in itself, give us peace.  We have peace because we know God will not allow us to bear more than we can stand (1 Cor. 10:13), and that the trials we must endure actually serve a purpose; they change us, more and more, into the likeness of Jesus. 

The Apostle Paul wrote:  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  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" (Rom. 8:28-30).

In this passage, there are two major points that need to be understood in the order they are given:  "did foreknow," and "did predestinate."  The word, "foreknow," is translated from the Greek προγινώσκω (proginōskō), which occurs 5 times in 5 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV (Acts 26:5; Rom. 8:29; 11:2; 1 Pet. 1:20; 2 Pet. 3:17).  1 Peter 1:20 is especially significant in that it reveals God's foreknowledge of our life's events existed before the foundation of the world!

The word, "predestinated," is translated from the Greek προορίζω (proorizō), which occurs 7 times in 6 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV (Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11).  Ephesians 1:11, coupled with verse 12, is key to understanding why God has predetermined what would occur in our lives as believers.  Verse 11 says, "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."  Verse 12 says, "  That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ."

It is not "all about us"; it is "all about Jesus!"

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