What does Romans 8:30 mean?
ESV: And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
NIV: And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
NASB: and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
CSB: And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
NLT: And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
KJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
In the previous verse, Paul wrote that God predestined those who are now in Christ to be conformed to Christ's image. He made this choice about us before the world was formed (Ephesians 1:4). God's purpose for our lives has ever and always been that we will become like Jesus. In some way, God both knew and chose those who would be saved, long before we even existed to make such a choice. The subtle details of what this means, and how God accomplished it, are part of a much larger debate. In the context of this specific passage, however, those debates are beside the point.

Now Paul writes that those God predestined for this purpose, He also called. Stated in reverse, God called every single person he predestined. As Paul uses the word in Romans, being "called" by God is about His breaking into our awareness of Him and drawing us toward Himself.

Next, God justified every single person He called. The first four chapters of Romans deal with the issues of God's justification. To be "justified" by God is to be made right with Him. We can never justify ourselves because of our sin, not even by following the law, since we can't keep the law (Romans 3:10, 23). We can only be justified through faith in Christ (Romans 5:1).

Finally, every person God justified, by faith in Christ, He then glorified. Paul writes this in the past tense, indicating that our glorification is as good as completed in God's eyes. However, Paul began this section in verses 18–19 by saying that all of creation is waiting for the children of God to be glorified. We are waiting for that, too, though our sure and confident hope is that it is coming in God's perfect timing.
Verse Context:
Romans 8:18–30 talks about the participation of Christians in the everyday suffering experienced by all of creation. We all groan together as a woman in labor while we wait for God to reveal His children. As His children, we are waiting for the Father to complete our adoption by redeeming our bodies so that we can be with Him. God's Spirit helps us in the season of waiting by taking our unformed prayers to God. We trust that God uses every circumstance in our lives for His purposes and that He has chosen us long ago to be His children.
Chapter Summary:
Romans 8 begins and ends with declarations of the Christian's absolute security before God. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love. Having believed the gospel, we now live in the Spirit of God. That allows us to call God Abba Father. We suffer with Christ, and we suffer along with all creation while we wait for God to reveal us as His sons. With the help of the Spirit, we are confident that God is for us and loves us in Christ.
Chapter Context:
In Romans 7, Paul revealed his frustration of trying to do good only to be thwarted by his sin. He begins Romans 8, though, with the triumphant statement that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. We live in the Spirit, and we relate to God as a child does to a father. The Spirit helps us in this season of suffering along with all of creation while we wait for our adoption to be complete with the redemption of our bodies. We are confident, though, that God is for us and nothing can separate us from His love.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
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