Many weeks ago we began a series called The Glory of God in the Order of Salvation. Romans 8:29-30 is referred to by theologians as “the golden chain” because it describes in glorious detail the process of our salvation as begun by God, carried out by God and completed by God. I have said this for a while, but I have to keep repeating it so we don’t forget. The central actor in this passage and the subject of this and every biblical passage is God. The glory of God is the point of the entire Bible and therefore, the point of every sermon, every worship service, every Sunday School class, every program, strategy and purpose of our church. God is the point. God is the goal. The sooner you recognize that, the sooner you will find joy in salvation. The more you think that you are the point, the more miserable you will be.
The doctrine of justification is the big one. This doctrine is the most critical of the chain. This is the center of a God-centered theology. Martin Luther said of this doctrine, “This article is the head and cornerstone of the church, which alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves and protects the church; without it, the church of God cannot subsist one hour.” Sinclair Ferguson then adds, “Not only is it the article of the standing or falling church, but also of the standing or falling Christian. If we can gain a solid grounding here, we have the foundation for a life of peace and joy.”
Two things about this passage need consideration as we build a foundation for a life of peace and joy. First, you need to see the exclusivity of justification, that only those who are foreknown, predestined and called are justified. Secondly, you need to see the excellence of justification, which is a fully orbed, detailed description of this glorious doctrine. I pray that this week will be an encouraging journey into the depths of justification for you.