The Plan of Salvation
NOW in the history of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, God reveals this plan of future salvation. In this plan are four important steps. I believe that the Apostle Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gave them to us in Romans chapter 8. In verse 28 Paul tells us:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28.
God has a purpose in view in the salvation of every believer, and everything which happens to a believer is part of a definite plan to bring His final purpose to pass.
In the next verse Paul tells us what this purpose is:
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. – Romans 8:29.
God’s purpose is ultimately to make every child of God just like His Son, our Lord Jesus. Before God is through with His children, every one of them will be in character and nature, just like the Savior Himself. Paul here is thinking of those who are already saved, and says that God has predestinated them to become like His Son, and that all things which He sends into or permits in their lives are His own work and way of accomplishing His will toward this one great end. Through all of their trials and testings God is molding and conforming His children to His own image; this in itself should be a comforting truth to know. As a Christian walks through life with its inevitable situations and circumstances that lead to suffering, and as they pass through the trials, the experiences of loss, pain and sorrow, God knows about every bit of it and will make all of it, good and bad, a means of making that child of His more like Jesus.
Now, in the very next verse, we come to the steps in this process. In Romans 8:28 we learn that God has a purpose with and for believers. In Romans 8:29 we learn what that purpose is and that believers are predestinated for it, He orders their steps, in other words (Psalm 37:23). Then in this verse we read:
Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. – Romans 8:30.
Notice in this passage four words, four steps in salvation:
According to this passage, salvation begins in God with predestination, He chooses us, and ends in Christ in glorification. Between these there is calling and justification.