“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
God “predestinates” all whom He has foreknown. The Greek term is proorizo. It is similar to proginosko (the word used for “foreknowledge”). The basic meaning is “to predetermine, decide beforehand” as opposed to having had knowledge about beforehand.
It is used in five other Scriptures in the New Testament. Acts 4:28 indicates that the crucifixion happened as “thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” Paul told the Corinthian church that “the wisdom of God” was “ordained before the world” (1 Corinthians 2:7).
Although God’s omniscience would indicate that He is aware of all “the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12), His predestination seems to be more specifically focused. Our text insists that the predestination (decision made ahead of time) is “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Paul also confirms this in his letter to the Ephesian church, where we are told we are predestinated to adoption as children (Ephesians 1:5) and that this adoption is “according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11).
God surely knows the details of our lives (Matthew 10:30; Luke 12:7), but the “liberty” God has granted to His children on Earth is not predestined (Galatians 5:1, 11). God grants us choice in much (Exodus 17:9; 1 Chronicles 21:10; Proverbs 1:29; Philippians 1:22)—at least as it seems to be so to us. HMM III
From Days of Praise