For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29)
Paul nests this verse between one which declares that God shall use not only hardship, but all things to the Good of those who love God (Rom. 8:28), and another which promises the sanctification and glorification of his saints (Rom. 8:30). What is its meaning?
It is not a reaffirmation of the historical Christ, that Jesus who was the first good and perfect fruit of God–having fulfilled the law and loved unto the end.
Rather it is the promise that the fruits of the spirit which God manifests in and among his people are nothing other than that very Christ born again remarkably amidst God’s people. This gift of Christ is twice, no, infinitely given to the saints, who not only come to obtain him by faith, but to see him born in their own lives and the lives of their brothers and sisters.
Do we make little of love, of joy, of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? What power have these fruits in this world? They have the power of the Christ-child being mysteriously born once again among us as the first fruits of God’s labor in us. To taste of this fruit is to taste the joy of setting a new born child in our midst and seeing in that child’s shining eyes the delight and presence of our savior himself.