Often translated as “predestined”, it is a word that means boundaries or region (Matthew 4:13), with a preposition added to express something that is done beforehand. It does not inherently imply a destination, but a boundary or area; therefore, using “predestine” to define it adds a meaning that does not exist in the original word.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of theological baggage that has been added to this word. It is used to imply that God predetermined who would be saved and therefore who would not. However, when we keep it in context, we find that this is not true. The first thing we need to do is remove the erroneous definition of “predestined” and use the proper definition, “marking off the bounds beforehand”. Then we need to pay attention to context, especially with the difference in singular and plural subjects.

We see a good example of the proper use of this word when Peter was defending himself and John before the leaders of Israel for preaching the resurrected Christ because he uses “marked off beforehand” when discussing what they were permitted to do to the Messiah concerning the plans of the leaders.

… to do as much as your hand and your determinate will marked off beforehand to come to be – Acts 4:28.

They had already set boundaries concerning what they were planning on doing with Christ before they sent the guards to arrest Him on the night in which He was betrayed.

In Romans, God’s plan is laid out for us in how, according to His purpose, He calls because those who He foreknew He marked off their bounds. They are not predestined to salvation, but according to His purpose, those that will be saved will have boundaries placed around them. And these boundaries have already been predetermined by God’s plan.

And we intuitively know that for the ones loving God all things work together unto good, the ones according to purpose being called. Because those whom He foreknew, also He marked off the bounds to be together conformed to the image of His Son, for the purpose that He should be a first fruit among many brethren. – Romans 8:28-29

Within God’s plan, He is offering salvation for humans. And within the offering for salvation, He has decided to take a specific group and mark off their bounds for a particular purpose. We see this marking off further expanded upon in Ephesians 1:5 where it states that those who would be in Christ would be marked off to the placement of sons. Therefore, based upon this plan, all who are saved during the Dispensation of Grace (Ephesians 3:2) will have their bounds marked off to be sons. That is, they will never be children and therefore under law; rather, as sons they will be under grace.

As for foreknowledge in Romans, we cannot in the context take foreknowledge back to an individual. We are discussing God’s plan; therefore, the foreknowledge would be of those within His plan who He will save during the Dispensation of Grace, because those of the Church will be conformed to the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:13; 1 John 3:2). To change this to an individual, saying “you” He foreknew, violates the context and adds in a subject that is not present. As with Ephesians 1:5, the individual is not in focus, but the group. Therefore, we, individually, were not predestined, but all those who would be in Christ will have their bounds marked off to the placement of sons, just as they will be called based upon the foreknowledge that God would take this group and mark off their bounds.

Therefore, as Paul goes on in Romans, those who God marked off the bounds to be conformed to the placement of sons He called. Again, not looking at an individual, but a group. All of these are plural, not singular. Not you, but all who will be in Christ. Today, unlike in other dispensations where they were to seek God (Hebrews 11:6), those of the Church are called by God. God is the one seeking us (Romans 3:11); therefore, as those who will be marked off to the placement of sons, according to this plan, God calls.

Moreover, those whom He marked off the bounds, these also He called, and those whom He called, these also He justified, and those whom He justified, these also He glorified. – Romans 8:30.

Προορίζω means to “mark off the bounds beforehand”. Within God’s plan for the universe and creation He determined that of those saved He would take a group and mark them off specifically to be conformed to the image of His Son. No one is predestined to salvation; rather, God predetermined that those who will be in Christ are marked off for a specific purpose. God desires that all are saved and therefore offers salvation to all (1 Timothy 2:4). Scripture does not support predestination. This is a theological error imposed on Scripture to blind the mind. The reality is anyone can accept the message of salvation, for salvation is offered to all humans. However, it is only offered according to God’s plan, not based upon how a person runs or desires (Romans 9:16). Therefore, today, we must believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) to be saved. This is how God purposed to save us today. This is God’s call. And all who are saved during this time are placed into the Christ and have their bounds marked off as sons, just as God determined He would do before He began creating.