This glorification has not happened yet, but as far as God is concerned, it is a done deal. It is evident from His Word what His will is. We alone hold in our hands the power to stop God in this purpose, and it consists in His willingness to give us free moral agency. We choose what we will do with our life.
His will is that we be conformed to the image of His Son. His will is that we be glorified. His will is that we allow Him to prepare us to do a job, to do a work in the Kingdom of God, and to reign under and with Jesus Christ as kings and priests. It is His will to take us through any difficulty to attain the salvation that He offers us.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Don't Be a Prudent Agnostic
Paul actually left one step out here; he could have added sanctified. Sanctification is the period between justification and glorification during which we become holy, when the growth takes place.
Everything in regard to this issue exposes a process. We are to consider ourselves pilgrims heading toward the Kingdom of God, gradually being transformed into the image of God along the way. The qualities of character, whether human or godly, are not produced instantaneously but through the everyday gathering of information, weighing it, making the necessary choices, setting our wills, and watching to see the results.
Even as Israel had to walk out of Egypt and across the wilderness to the Promised Land—or there never would have been a change in their situation—so must we live this process to grow to become like God and be in His Kingdom. The laws of God are written on our hearts (Hebrews 8:10; Jeremiah 31:33) by life's experiences while we have a relationship with God. Like everything else in life, it is a process that has a beginning and end.
Like every educational system, it moves from simple to complex. It moves from that which is clearly stated in the letter of the law to what is less apparent and depends upon a background of instruction, experience, and results. It depends on faith in and love for God and love for man that have grown in a person to aid him in properly understanding, applying, and practicing the spirit of the law.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Nineteen)
With such positive statements about our salvation, why should we be hopeless and fearfully doubt that God will supply all our needs? Does He ever fail to succeed in whatever He undertakes? These verses flatly and dogmatically state that, if we want to cooperate in faith to bring God's purpose for us to its intended conclusion, we must, I repeat, must, believe that His watchfulness over us involves every circumstance of our lives.
Verses 31 and 32 put a cap on this issue: "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
In verse 30, note that the term "sanctified" is missing from the list of the general stages of God's purpose. Sanctification is the only part of the salvation process in which our cooperation plays a major, consistent, and daily role. Why does Paul exclude it? This was not an oversight; he deliberately leaves "sanctified" out because he wants, for the remainder of this section of this epistle, to focus entirely on the absolute certainty of God's providence, not on any works we may perform in cooperation with Him during the sanctification process.
Paul is not saying that God will always do what we might want Him to do; he is reminding us that He will always do what is right according to His purpose. God has the necessary powers to do as He sees fit for His purpose and us. He is watching, which is even more reason for us to draw on that power.
Nobody can successfully stand in the way of His completing that purpose in each of us, but based on our knowledge of those powers, are we willing to accept His providence? Do we accept what He provides in any given circumstance, even though what He provides might not be what we would like to have?
All of the things Paul writes here are wonderful, but the key to this particular subject is the answer to the question he asks in verse 31: "If God be for us who can be against us?" God has the power and the will, and He does not make mistakes or empty promises. Paul then lists what God has already done for all concerned. Our responsibility is to choose to put these facts to work in our specific circumstances.
The handwriting on the wall for us is this: Terribly difficult times are coming, and they will affect all of us to varying degrees. The only successful way to complete our minute part in God's purpose is to choose to draw on His power. We must begin at once to cultivate the habit of cooperating by faith, accepting whatever He chooses to provide in our circumstances. If this habit is in place through long practice, we will be ready when the pressure really mounts.
Because He is the Source of our deliverance in every circumstance, it is crucial for us to know God as well as we can. Our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ is the key that gives us access to the deliverance He provides. He has the power, and it is His will to meet our every need. It is incumbent upon us, therefore, to use our time now to build on our present relationship with Him, making it stronger and more intimate.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Power Belongs to God (Part Two)
No one has been glorified yet but Jesus Christ. God is so confident that He can finish what He has started that He states the promise as though it is already completed.
Verse 29 says, "For whom He foreknew." "Foreknew" applies to that period before His calling of us. Before He caused us to turn to Him, before He actually extended the invitation, He knew us. He was watching over our lives. Who knows how many times He intervened to alter the course of our lives in order to bring something critical about, whether it was our education or saving us from injury or death or disease? Who knows how He may have intervened because He "foreknew" us?
My study Bible comments about the word "foreknew":
This is not simple prescience or advanced knowledge. This knowledge should also not be understood in the sense of being acquainted with, but in the sense of bringing into a special relationship with, as Adam knew Eve his wife.
In other words, foreknew does not merely mean "to be acquainted with" or "to have advanced knowledge" of us. When God foreknew us, He was so close to us that He was sticking right by our side. He had clear insight and attended closely to what was happening in our lives.
God said to Israel, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2). Jesus said, "I know My sheep" (John 10:27). In Matthew 7:23, He said to another group of people, "I never knew you."
Foreknowledge is God's determination to bring certain ones into a special relationship with Himself. Since it is foreknowledge, He determined to bring us to glory long before He called us, long before He caused us to turn to Him. He has been personally involved with us. We were not just personally selected, but also personally sought out. Why? We could say "for glory," that is, to be admitted into His Kingdom. This is certainly true, but it was also so that, first, He could have a relationship with us, that we would seek Him.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part Seven)
Here is God's purpose plainly stated. Those He calls are to be conformed to the image of His Son, clearly tied to the theme of creation where God says in Genesis 1:26, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." We have a small part in this greatest of God's creative works. We must yield to that purpose. We must surrender to it and allow its power to carry us along to perfection. But it requires faith, conviction of its rightness, and devotion to its requirements. This creative process requires sacrificing our former lives with their sinful desires in submission to the details of God's purpose for us. This is our small part in this vast operation ongoing already for about 6,000 years.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part One): Introduction
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Romans 8:30:
1 Corinthians 9:19-22
1 John 5:19-20