Summary: Continuing Study of the Book of Romans chapter 8:29-8:39
Book of Romans
Lesson # 20
By Rev. James May
Romans Chapter 8:29 – 39
At the end of our last lesson we talked about Romans 8:28 where Paul writes, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
This is one of the most comforting verses in the Bible for every Child of God, for in this verse we find hope even in the most adverse of life’s circumstances. We know that somehow, the present situation will pass; that God has all things in his hands; and that he will never let us go down in defeat as long as we are faithful to his purposes in our lives and we allow the love of God, and for God, within us to grow.
Even so, it often takes a lot of faith and patience to wait for the “good” to come out of your circumstances. Things that happen often do not appear to be for our good while we are in the middle of the battle. It takes faith to believe that all will be well in the end. It takes perseverance in the hard times to continue to hold on to God’s hand and trust him.
Even though we are promised that all will work out for our good in the end, we are never promised that we won’t face some hard times in life; even times when everything just seems so hopeless. That’s when we must remember that the God on the Mountain is still God in the valley. He’s an “On Time God”, though to us it may seem like he is four days late, He’s still God and still able to work it all for our good. This is the absolute will of God for every one of his own children!
Paul wrote another letter to the Church at Philippi and in Philippians 2:13 Paul said, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
It gives God much pleasure to bless and take care of his children. He is a loving Father, and he will never forsake you or allow your feet to stumble. He will always make a way – even where the way seems impossible!
The Bible itself says that we should establish every word by hearing it out of the mouth of two or three witnesses. Of course, if the Bible says it even once, that’s enough. But God gave us a number of witnesses in his own Word to let us know how he loves to bless his people.
Luke 12:32, Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Ephesians 1:5, Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
God chose you! He knew you when you were still far from him. He loved you when you didn’t love him. But he also knew that your heart would be inclined to hear his word, so he made a way that you could become his own child. And now that you have chosen to hear him and live for him, your life is in his hands and he has a desired result to fulfill in your life.
Now we will continue with this thought of God foreknowledge of you and the condition of your heart as we look at Romans 8:29.
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
In reading this verse we see the doctrine of predestination set before us. Predestination is a subject, which we will find, creates considerable differences of opinions among Bible scholars as to what it means and how it works. Depending upon what you believe about predestination, your whole belief system on who can or who cannot be saved will be different. Your view upon God’s fairness and justice will also come into question. Perhaps we should pause for a moment and talk about that.
The questions that we must answer pertaining to predestination are these:
Did God, before the foundation of the world was laid, unconditionally predetermine who would be saved and who would not?
Has the eternal destiny of all men already been set?
Does any action of man really make a difference if God has already decided who will, or who won’t be saved in the end?
In order to understand what we are going to be discussing here, we must first understand, that in the Christian Church there are two basic opinions that are taught in the different denominations.
These two schools of thought, or interpretations of predestination are known as Calvinism and Arminianism.