Thoughts on Romans 8:31-39 and Predestination:
“We should not reason in our thoughts, draw conclusions, nor inquire curiously into these matters [ie, who is elect? Who is chosen? Who is predestined?], but should adhere to His revealed Word, to which He points us…Thus the entire Holy Trinity, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, directs all men to Christ, as to the Book of Life, in whom they should seek the eternal election of the Father. For this has been decided by the Father from all eternity, that whom He would save He would save through Christ.” -St. Augustine.
“Consider how practical Paul is being. He is saying, ‘Friend, have you been called? Have you found the gospel coming home to your soul with power? Have you asked God to justify you? Fine! Now realize this—that would not and could not have happened unless the great God of heaven had set His love upon you in the depths of eternity before time, and is now infallibly working out His plan to live with you forever in His family.’ The purpose of the questions is to almost beat us out of our disbelief that we are saved totally by grace and are therefore completely safe to face life without fear. It is incredible, relentless, intense logic…Paul is saying, ‘Think! Are you afraid (8:31)? You aren’t thinking! Are you worried (v32)? You aren’t thinking! Are you feeling guilty (v33)? You aren’t thinking! See the logic of free grace and justification! These aren’t dry doctrines; they are life itself. And if you are not living with overwhelming assurance and power, you haven’t really understood them.’ The remedy is to read, re-read, deeply ponder and learn to live out of the truths of verses 18-30! -Rev. Tim Keller
“But one day, as I was passing in the field, and that too with some dashes on my conscience, fearing lest yet all was not right, suddenly this sentence fell upon my soul, “Thy righteousness is in heaven”; and methought withal, I saw, with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God’s right hand; there, I say, is my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was a-doing, God could not say of me, He wants my righteousness, for that was just before Him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
-John Bunyan, Grace Abounding