Romans 8:28–39 (ESV): “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. God’s Everlasting Love What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This section of Scripture is one of the most blessed and comforting sections in the Bible. We see that God has a plan and purpose for those who are His and love Him. We see an amazing promise for us in our salvation. Not only this but we see the glory and majesty of our Holy and awesome God.
As to our salvation we see that once you are saved you are immediately, and completely forever, freed from your sin and set free in Christ. This of course leads to glorification in heaven. In verse 30, Paul speaks of glorification as if it has already happened. Well, if you are a Christian it has already happened because you are guaranteed glory in heaven as soon as you believe that what Christ has done was enough (vv. 31-39). This is salvation: freedom from the old and wicked life you once lived. Even if you were to be as upright a person who has ever walked this earth, you are still wicked and evil in the eyes of God. That is until you accept Jesus as your savior and all sins are forgiven then and there. Even though this is true, with salvation comes a need for sanctification.
The sanctification process is a life long process. It does not just happen to you at salvation. Yes, you get set apart upon salvation, but maintaining that setting apart is the hard part. To continue to live set apart and in holiness, we must always learn and study the Scriptures. We must be in constant communion with the Lord. We must not live for the world but for God who has called us and saved us. Living for Christ is the most awesome experience you will ever have. It is the absolute most fulfilling, satisfying action that one can ever take. We are set apart as holy so be holy, it is written: “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16).
For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. (Leviticus 11:44).
Living a holy life unto God and being set apart from the world is what sanctification is and means. Be in the world, but be not of the world.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).
The Lord has blessed all who believe with the ability to live for Him. We can live a life that is pleasing to Him if we will just seek to be confirmed to the image of Christ.