And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (ESV)
In the previous verse we looked at the fact that God predestined us. Our discussion focused on foreknowledge. Unlike what many believe concerning this doctrinal truth foreknowledge does not mean that God makes a decision based upon our choice that he knows in the future. Rather, he chooses to set his love and affection on someone and "know" them long before they are born.
Ephesians will help us to understand more completely what predestination is based on. Ephesians 1:5 tells us: "He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will." What is the basis of foreknowledge and predestination? The purpose of his will. God's will is the basis of predestination. Can we understand that completely? No. But it is still true.
Now, Paul tells us the progression of what happens to those whom God predestines. Those whom he has set his eternal affection on he calls. There is an essential aspect of salvation that involves the calling of God on a person. True Christians are those who are "called ones" or as we see elsewhere in Scripture, "Elect."
The last two elements in this salvation progression are justification and glorification. Justification is the means by which we are declared righteous in our unrighteous state. This righteousness is a gift from God, completely unearned by works, and undeserved. We who are living all look forward to the last element; glorification. We will be given a new, perfect body and live eternally with God.
There is a lot in this verse. A few words contain key doctrinal truths. Take a few moments and meditate on these deep truths. Be encouraged by God's eternal love that compelled him to action on your behalf.