Rabbi Schneider - You Were Chosen
I'm continuing today in a study through the book of Romans. And we are looking today in the eighth chapter at the 28th verse, which is perhaps the most well-known verse in the book of Romans. You've heard me teach on this before. I want to pick up here do a little bit of review, then continuing today in a we're going to push forward. Hear the word of God. The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord abides forever. Hear the word. "And we know," Paul says, "that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose".
So first of all, this verse right here it's just a philosophy that many people have, even if they don't say they believe in God. Many people that have no religious affiliation, express no faith in Yeshua Jesus or God, they'll say when something bad happens, "Oh, it's gonna work out for the good. Oh, there's a plan in this". So this philosophy that Paul has exclaimed in Romans 8:28 is a philosophy that much of the world holds, whether they're following Jesus or not. But what they miss is the next verse. Because the next verse, beloved one, explains what Paul means when he says, "All things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose".
Paul explains that what he is meaning is that God causes everything that you and I pass through in life, both circumstantially, emotionally, and in every other realm, God is using everything in our life to conform us to the image of Jesus. The good things that you experience, the pleasant things that you experience, as well as the hardships that you and I experience, God is using all of it somehow to transform us and to change us into the likeness of Jesus.
So now let me read Romans 8:28 and the next verse and you'll hear what I'm saying. Hear the word of God. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined..." I want you to just to hang for a minute on these two words: foreknew and predestined. So this concept of everything being used for good has to do with those whom God foreknew and predestined.
So I'm asking the question now, who does everything work for good towards? Those, Paul says in the next verse, whom the Father foreknew and He predestined. In other words, Paul says, "If Father God for knew you and predestined you," and Paul is going to continue, "To be conformed to the image of His Son," then everything that's happened in your life He's using for good. Let me read it one more time all together. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He," speaking of Yeshua Jesus, "would be the firstborn among many brethren".
Now, in the next verse, in the 30th verse, Paul is going to talk more about this concept of being foreknown and predestined. But I want you to hang with me for a second. I want us to stop and consider this. Because this is biblical language that few people have been taught on. What Paul is saying here is that there's a people, there are individuals whom the Father foreknew and predestined. Now to give a little bit more explanation of this, I want to go to the book of Ephesians 1. Because in the book of Ephesians, Paul uses some explanatory language that helps us to understand what Paul is talking about.
Now, remember the same one that wrote the book of Romans, Paul wrote Ephesians. Listen to what Paul said in Ephesians. He's speaking to the Father. "Just as He chose us, just as the Father chose us in Him, in Jesus before the foundation of the world..." And then Paul continues in the fifth verse, "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ". So you see, in Romans 8 and Ephesians 1, Paul was talking about the same thing. Paul is saying, in Ephesians, that God chose us before the foundation of the world, He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. And what did He choose us for? In the fifth verse, He predestined us to adoption as sons. So God chose us and predestined us to sonship in the book of Ephesians.
Now compare that to what Paul just got saying in Romans 8. "For those whom he for knew..." Who did God foreknow? He foreknew those whom He had chosen that we just read about in Ephesians 1. And when were we chosen? When were God's own, that were predestined chosen? Paul explains that we were chosen before the foundation of the world. So, beloved one, before you were born you were chosen. Just like Jeremiah said, that the Father knew him and appointed him a prophet to the nations before he was even born.
So God had a destiny for you and I before we were even born. Because remember in the Lord there is no time. And His choice of us, Paul's going to explain to the book of Romans, wasn't because He saw something better in us than other people. His choice of us was simply or the result of His own will. He simply decided, beloved one, to place His love upon you, through nothing that was better about you. Because the Bible says, you and I, in the book of Ephesians, we were by nature children of wrath even as the rest, indulging in the desires of the mind and of the flesh. Paul said we're no different than anybody else. But God, because of the great love with which He loved us, He chose us.
So let's continue on. We're in the book of Romans 8:29-30. "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son". Now, this should help you to understand what your destiny is. If you want to know what your purpose is, your purpose is declared right here. God's purpose for your life and my life is to be conformed to the image of His Son. So above everything else, your purpose and my purpose is to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Because God says, this is the banner over our life, because the Father said, "This is the destiny I have for you," you and I now should filter life through this lens.
In other words, when we face obstacles or difficulties, we can't just look at the temporary aspect of the difficulty. We have to understand that God uses difficulties to conform us to the image of Jesus. This is why the Bible says that the temporary trials that we go through aren't worthy to be compared with the eternal glory that they're working in us. God uses hardship to conform us to the image of the Son. Just like a diamond. A diamond becomes a diamond by being subjected to hardship.
He continues in the next verse, verse 30, "And these whom He predestined, He also predestined, He also called..." So because the Lord chose you, Paul got done saying, "Those whom He chose, He predestined," because the Lord chose you for His purpose, He then predestined you to be conformed to the image of His Son. "Those whom He predestined," in verse 30, "also called". So because you're chosen and predestined, you are called What does it mean to be called? It means that God called you. He summoned you and I to Himself. Did you ever look around and wonder, why do I believe? Why is Jesus so important to me? And most of the people around me that I know they don't really seem to care that much about Jesus.
Even those that call themselves Christians, it doesn't seem like they think much about Jesus. They don't talk much about Jesus. It doesn't seem like they're spending much time seeking Jesus. It doesn't seem like they spend much time reading Christian literature, taking in the word of God. They don't really seem to have a great passion or a hunger for the Lord. Did you ever ask yourself why you have that hunger and that passion and why many others that you know don't? It's because, beloved, you are chosen. And because you are chosen, you are predestined and called. God called you to Himself. This is why Jesus said in John 6, "No man comes to me unless the Father draws him".
John 6, Jesus looked at all the people that weren't believing in Him, that were mocking Him, that were looking at Him with a condescending attitude. And Jesus response to the multitudes that looked at Him in a negative way, His response to that was, "You know what, no man comes to me unless the Father draws him. All the Father calls will come to Me. Everyone that hears and learns from the Father," Jesus said in John 6, "comes to me". This is what Paul is talking about here in Romans 8. Those whom the Father chose and predestined, He called. Because He had a destiny for you before you were born, there was a time in your life where the Spirit of the Lord drew you to Jesus. And in drawing you to Jesus, the spirit was drawing you, beloved one, into relationship with Father God. Because this is why Jesus came, to bring us into relationship with Father.
This is what Paul is talking about here. We've been adopted. We've been given the Spirit of adoption. Jesus said, "No man comes to the Father but through me". So God's destiny for you is to be His son or His daughter. So once again, "These whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified". You were predestined, chosen before the foundation of the world, called-the Spirit of God drew you to Jesus. It was a sovereign, personal act of the Father drawing you to Himself through Jesus. And when you entered into relationship with Yeshua, beloved, you became, listen now, justified. What does it mean to be justified? Listen again. Paul said, "Those whom He called," verse 30, "He also justified".
What does it mean when the Lord says to us, through His Word, that you and I are justified? It means, beloved, that you and I are standing holy and blameless before the Father, justified right now. Why? We don't look at ourselves. Because if we look at ourselves, we say, How can I be justified? I mean, we know the accusatory thoughts we have about people sometimes, the thoughts of judgment, ill will, criticism. We know our selfishness. We know our jealousy, our ambition, our pride. So we look at ourselves, we think, "Well, how can I be justified". But the point is, beloved, we're not justified because of who we are in and of ourselves. We're justified because we're in Jesus. That's what Paul was talking about.
He said he gave up everything in life, that he would be found in Christ. Not being justified by the works of the law, or by his own effort at righteousness, but be justified by the one, beloved, that died in our place. This is what Paul was also speaking about in the passage that I just referred to earlier in the book of Romans. It says that we have been chosen, in verse 4 of Ephesians 1, before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless. You and I stand today, presently, right now, right where we're at, Ephesians 1:4, holy and blameless before the Father in love. I want you to take that in.
God will never love you and I more than He loves us right now. We're called to perfection because we're called to be conformed to the image of Jesus. We're on the journey to perfection. But even now, you and I that are not yet perfect, although we're on the journey to perfection, but we all recognize that we're not perfect yet. The scripture says, He that says he has no sin is a liar and the truth is not in him. So even though we're not yet perfect, still the Father looks at us and loves us as though we are perfect already because of Jesus, because we're in Him. In Him we're complete.
So this is what Romans 8 is talking аbout: God's using everything in our life to continue to conform to the purpose of His which is to conform us to the image of His Son. And that right now you and I stand before Him perfect in His love. And Paul continues. "Those whom He justified, He also glorified". If you want to know if you're a winner or not, read this verse for yourself, Romans 8:30. You're chosen, predestined, justified, called, listen now, and you are going to experience what it means to be glorified.
Beloved, you and I, we are so much more than we realize that we are. You and I sometimes we look at ourselves, we look at ourselves in the mirror, some of the men that are looking in the mirror today, you look in the mirror, your hair was falling out. Some of us looked in the mirror, we had our bellies, we don't look glorified. We look at our face, we see new wrinkles coming every year. We experience things in our bodies, pains in our bodies, and we think, "Wow, if I'm glorified I don't really feel glorified. I don't really look like I'm glorify when I look in the mirror".
But beloved, this is the mystery. This is the great hope. This is the culmination of our calling. You are going, listen to me, to be glorified. Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, never has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those that love Him. You have a destiny and a future beyond your wildest imagination. Let's hear what Paul said again. Romans 8:30, "Those whom He justified, these He also glorified".
Think about it. When we were young in life, many of us, we experienced so many memorable things that we look back on. We were so much caught up into the beautiful drama of life, experiencing life and the newness of life for the first time. You remember, for example, nature when you were little. I know when I was growing up, I used to play a lot in my backyard. And my backyard, it seemed huge to me. I remember going in my backyard and looking under rocks and picking the mint leaves in my backyard. And it seemed like a huge universe to me. And then we moved. And about three years after we moved, I went back one day to visit my old house.
And I looked at my backyard that I had a memory of as if it was this huge universe. And when I looked at my backyard after being gone from it for three years, now that I was a bit older, it was like about 40 foot long by 40 foot deep. And it was like this little chunk of grass. And yet it seemed like a whole world to me when I was a little boy. And the point that I'm making is when we're young and we experience things for the first time, life is so big and so grand. And we feel such emotions.
Do you remember your first kiss? Do you remember your first date? Do you remember going to school for the first time? I mean, we have these memories. But the older we get, we kind of come to a place when it comes to the things of the world, been there, done that. The things that world don't really entice us like they used to. It's like they don't hold the same allure that they used to. We've been there, we've done that. It gets old. So by the time you get to be 80 years old, many people are not able even to taste food anymore. Their taste buds no longer work the way they did. Their hearing no longer works the way they could work.
If they have ambitions of getting a great job with a huge vocational history going forward, tough to do that when you're 80. What's left in life when you're 80? The good news, beloved, is there's a lot more left in life. Because we have a destiny that's bound up in God, that's bound up in heavenly places. We're going to be glorified and we're going to experience things that are inexpressible, so full of life, so full of beauty, so full of power, so full of drama, so full of goodness. I mean, it takes our breath away. God has a plan and a future and a destiny for us, beloved.
So I want to encourage you today to keep on hoping, to keep on believing, to keep on praising, to keep on giving glory to God. Keep your faith fresh, keep the oil burning because soon, beloved, life on this earth is going to be over. You're going to meet your Creator, and you're going to be glorified in Him forever and ever and ever and ever. God bless you and Shalom.