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 within a large family.*
The LEB and ESV translate the last part, ‘in order that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.’
Again, paradigm-shifting for modern-day Christianity! Who are Jesus’ brothers and sisters? Who are his family?
Who are they to be conformed to the image of the Son? We are! He says ‘for those whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son…
He foreknew his brothers and sisters… he foreknew us! We are his brothers and sisters, born of our Heavenly Father!
…that they all may be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, that they also may be in us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me.
What are the implications of this? What does this say about the godhead? If Jesus and God the Father are one ontological being, does this imply that we will be one ontological being with them, or have we got the wrong idea? Jesus and God the Father are one in spirit, one in purpose, one in mind, not one and the same ontological person. Jesus pleads that we may also be one in spirit, one in purpose, one in mind with them.
The Spirit himself confirms to our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer together with him so that we may also be glorified together with him.
We cannot be heirs unto ourselves (in other words, Christ cannot be an heir unto himself if he is also God the Father)! Heirship is traditionally passed onto children. Christ is an heir of God the Father (his Father!), and because we are Christ’s brothers and sisters, we can be heirs WITH him – heirs also of our mutual Father.
Christianity has developed a culture of their own over the centuries, and it is NOT God’s culture! It is the result of making sense of things through the filters that we know and understand from the presumptions and false traditions of our modern minds. When we step back and remove our filters, we can read the text for what it is and not make everything hyper-mystical. Our context is not the same as the biblical writers context. We’ve got to demand that creeds and traditions get in line behind biblical text!
What a rich and beautiful understanding we can obtain when we understand the Nature of the Godhead, and our relationship to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father!