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Chapter 23.—Those Who are Called According to the Purpose Alone are Predestinated.

For this reason the apostle, when he had said, “We know that to those who love God He work481eth all things together for good,”—knowing that some love God, and do not continue in that good way unto the end,—immediately added, “to them who are the called according to His purpose.”33223322     Rom. viii. 28. For these in their love for God continue even to the end; and they who for a season wander from the way return, that they may continue unto the end what they had begun to be in good. Showing, however, what it is to be called according to His purpose, he presently added what I have already quoted above, “Because whom He did before foreknow, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called,” to wit, according to His purpose; “and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.”33233323     Rom. viii. 29. All those things are already done: He foreknew, He predestinated, He called, He justified; because both all are already foreknown and predestinated, and many are already called and justified; but that which he placed at the end, “them He also glorified” (if, indeed, that glory is here to be understood of which the same apostle says, “When Christ your life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory”33243324     Col. iii. 4. ), this is not yet accomplished. Although, also, those two things—that is, He called, and He justified—have not been effected in all of whom they are said,—for still, even until the end of the world, there remain many to be called and justified,—nevertheless, He used verbs of the past tense, even concerning things future, as if God had already arranged from eternity that they should come to pass. For this reason, also, the prophet Isaiah says concerning Him, “Who has made the things that shall be.”33253325     Isa. xlv. 11. Whosoever, therefore, in God’s most providential ordering, are foreknown, predestinated, called, justified, glorified,—I say not, even although not yet born again, but even although not yet born at all, are already children of God, and absolutely cannot perish. These truly come to Christ, because they come in such wise as He Himself says, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will not cast out;”33263326     John vi. 37. and a little after He says, “This is the will of the Father who hath sent me, that of all that He hath given me I shall lose nothing.”33273327     John vi. 39. From Him, therefore, is given also perseverance in good even to the end; for it is not given save to those who shall not perish, since they who do not persevere shall perish.


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