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“The Firstborn Among Many Brethren”

Romans 8:29


God’s great design in predestination is the glory and honor of his dear Son as our Mediator and Savior. ― “That he might be the firstborn among many brethren!” In predestination, as in all other things, Christ has the pre-eminence. He is the Firstborn Son in the family of God.

      The firstborn is the first to be born. Christ is the firstborn both as God and as man. He is God, the eternal Son, eternally begotten of the Father. And he is the Man of Redemption, brought forth by the divine decree in the covenant of grace (Proverbs 8:22-26, 30). The firstborn son is the one in whom the whole family is dedicated to God (Exodus 13:2). The firstborn son is the head of the family after the father (Deuteronomy 21:17). The firstborn son holds and manages all the property of the family in the name of the father. It is “the right of the firstborn.” (See Hebrews 6:20). It is in the firstborn son that the name and family of the dead is raised up and lives (Deuteronomy 25:5-6).

The Scriptures, when speaking of “the firstborn that openeth the womb,” were prophetic of the virgin birth of our Savior. None but the Lord Jesus ever opened the womb in birth. In every other instance, the womb is opened at the time of conception, not at the time of birth. Our blessed Savior, “the Firstborn,” was conceived in Mary’s virgin womb by the overshadowing power of God the Holy Ghost. He opened Mary’s virgin womb when he came forth from it to accomplish our redemption. Thus, throughout the Levitical dispensation, the firstborn of man and beast directed the eye of faith to him whom the triune God appointed to have everlasting preeminence as “the Firstborn.” In all things it is, was, and forever shall be the will of the eternal God that Christ have preeminence as the God-man, our Mediator and Redeemer. Our all-glorious Christ shall be “the Firstborn among many brethren.” When they are all gathered into heaven, God’s saints shall be a vast multitude that no man can number (Revelation 5:11; 7:9).

      That is predestination. ― God has determined from eternity to save a great multitude of sinners for the glory of Christ. Let us never cease to be amazed at God’s grace toward us. It is amazing that he should save any, more amazing that he should save many, and infinitely amazing that you and I should be numbered among that many!







Don Fortner








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