GOLDEN CHAIN OF SALVATION

Here’s my sermon outline for Romans 8:29-30 “The GOLDEN CHAIN OF SALVATION” preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville. You can listen to the audio here

Romans 8:29-30 “The GOLDEN CHAIN of Salvation”

INTRO: I love writing songs. I feel inspired, I get an idea or chord progression, or lyrics and put it all together
        -But I’ve had a lot songs I never finished. For different reasons (time, inspiration, motivation).
                    -You also have projects that do not get completed (projects around the home, finishing book, exercise routine,
                    healthy eating, home improvement, etc).
QUESTION: How do we know that we will be saved to the end?
                    -Today’s passage answers this: From start to finish, God brings about our salvation
       
-Because God is the one who rules over and orders our salvation—from start to finish—we can have confidence that
        He will finish what he began. Our salvation is in His hands, and that is the best place it can be.

CONTEXT: Gospel
        -Paul is celebrating the results of the gospel and all the reasons we have for assurance.
                    -Last week: “All things work together for the good of those who love God.”
                                -This week is support for why we know this is true. We solid ground for confidence in this:
                                            From start to finish, God brings about our salvation
*GOLDEN CHAIN OF SALVATION: 5 Aspects of our salvation that unbreakably linked together.

        -Key word is “ALSO.”
                    What God does to those in one part of the chain he continues in next until completion
                                It is an UNBREAKABLE chain from start to finish.

LINK 1: FOREKNOWNFor those whom he foreknew
First link goes back before we existed.
 –GOD Foreknew us.
        -Not meaning he knew what decisions we would make.
                    -But, He choose to set his love and affection upon us: Deut 7:6-8
                                -God FIRST chose us, and here we see His love.
APP: Because God first set his love on us, we ought to be humbled by His grace.
        -He did not choose us because we deserved it.
                    -He chose us in His grace.
                                -Our Salvation began with God taking the initiative, NOT us.

LINK 2: PREDESTINED: “he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers”
This link of the chain has the largest description here. We see for what he chose us and where this leads.
-Predestined: He choose to do something beforehand.
        -Here we learn God’s design and intention in our salvation. We see the “good” God designed in Rom 8:28.
                    *For what were we predestined?
-PREDESTINED TO BE CONFORMED to Jesus:
predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son
       
-God’s purpose is make us and shape to be like Jesus Christ
                    -Jesus is picture of true humanity and God is making us more like Him: holy, loving God, walking in God’s ways
                                -God’s purpose is not to have an easy life, but to be more like Jesus.
JERRY BRIDGES: “The good that God works for in our lives is conformity to the likeness of His Son. It is not necessarily comfort or happiness but conformity to Christ in ever-increasing measure in this life and in its fulness in eternity.”
                    *SOBERING FACT: God OFTEN uses hardships and trials to bring this about:
        –
BRIDGES: “If you stop and think about it, you will realize that most godly character traits can only be developed through adversity.”
                   
-Haven’t you seen this in your life? Through the hardest things you grew the most?
                                -I see that in me: in the hardest situations I see the most visible growth
                                            -It is often harder to grow in easy/comfortable situations. We forget God!

QUESTIONS: How is God conforming you to be more like Jesus? How is He making you more holy?
        -How is he leading you to love God above the things of the world?
        -How is He calling you to grow in holiness? 
                    –HUSBANDS: Are you spiritually leading your families? Sacrificially loving your wife?
                    –WIVES: Are you respecting your husband and submitting to his leadership?
                    –PARENTS: Are you training up your children in the love and discipline of the Lord?
                    –SINGLES: Are you honoring God in this season of singleness?
                    –CHURCH: Are we bearing each other’s burdens and being on mission together?
        *Where is God taking us as he makes us more like Jesus?
-THE DESTINATION IN GOD’S PREDESTINATION: in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers”
       
-God is making a people who are the family of God,
                    -When you become a Christian you are brought into the family of God (John 1:12-13)
                                -Not everyone is a child of God, only those adopted in
       
-Jesus is the FIRSTBORN
                    -“firstborn” here does not mean first created—The Son of God was NOT created, but is eternal God
                                -Firstborn here= position of preeminence. Jesus is greatest over all.
         -Firstborn among “many brothers” as Christians we are brought into the family of God
                                            -We are CREATED for community.
                                                        -Wasn’t last night a beautiful glimpse of community and family of God?

APP: This challenges us to sacrificially love others in the church. Gal 6:10
        -Look after these college students: bring them into your homes and lives, take them out for meals
        -Look after Aynsley and Joanna as they get ready to have another baby
        -Help out the young moms, just come over and do chores with them, babysit, give them date nights
        -Pray everyday for each other and see each other through this lens: brother and sister in Christ.

LINK 3: CALLED: “And those whom he predestined he also called
The 3rd link is “calling.” We saw this last week in Romans 8:28.
Calling refers to “effectual calling”
        -See 1689 definition
-God is the one who called us.
        -We preach the gospel to all and those who are called will believe (John 10:27-30)
APP: Preach the gospel but know that God must call the unbeliever to Himself. Rest in God’s power to save.

LINK 4: JUSTIFIEDand those whom he called he also justified
The foreknown, predestined, called one is ALSO justified.
        “Justified” is to be declared legally righteous before God.
                    -Rom 3:21-26 explains this.
                                -Justified by FAITH! Not by any works—even the work of baptism.
APP: Justification is an ESSENTIAL element of our salvation and God is the one who graciously brings it about.

LINK 5: GLORIFIED, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
The foreknown, predestined, called, justified one is ALSO is ‘Glorified’
“Glorified” is a future reality, it happened to Jesus at his resurrection
        -It will happen to us when we are resurrected.
-Why the past tense then?
        -Commentators say it because of the great confidence we have it will happen
                    -Think of far superior football team speaking of victory that already took place before it happens.

IMPLICATIONS:
Because God brings about our salvation from start to finish….
        -We can trust God in our trials.
        -We can trust God as we see how much we struggle with sin
        -We have another reason to worship and delight in God: from start to finish He brings about our salvation.

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