Summary: God is at work in you, helping you become all He wants you to be, as one of His people! God’s work in us is so much greater than our work in us could ever be!
God at Work in Us
Romans 8:28-30 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Intro: Paul is writing to believers in Rome, both Jew and Gentile. Sometimes when we get to these verses we seem to forget where Paul was going in His teaching and encouragement to the Christians at Rome. We get off on the idea of the saints and the aints, as if God was playing eeny-meeny-miny-mo one day and randomly chose some people and rejected others. But Paul is affirming believers here who have trusted in Christ and are facing hard times, and are working out their cultural differences. He has already told them that nobody is good enough for God or for His heaven. But now in chapter 8, he wants to encourage them: There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! You are not controlled by the flesh or natural earthly desires because you have the Holy Spirit living in you! And the HS confirms that you are a child of God and through Him you cry out, “My Father” or “Daddy.” And as God’s kids you are heirs of God with Christ, sharing His sufferings and one day His glory. The groans from your suffering are heard by God. Even the HS groans in prayers for you that there are no words for.
-What is Paul getting at here? God is at work in you, helping you become all He wants you to be, as His people! So as we look at 5 basic words from vv.29-30, realize that they describe the work that God is doing in His people. It should encourage us to know that God’s work in us is so much greater than our work in us could ever be! A few verses later Paul will indicate that God is for us! He’s working in us. Even when we don’t know how to pray, both the HS and Jesus Himself are praying for us! So let’s look at God’s work on our behalf.
1. God knew you before you ever took your first breath!
-God sees and knows everything before it happens. He designed you to do life with Him! He saw your failures and weaknesses way before you ever knowingly messed up. Yet He loved you anyway.
Psalm 139:1-17 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in-- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
-God noticed you long before you had any self-awareness or desires or dreams or goals! More than that, He knew you closely. To be known by God is to be loved by God! Remember how Jesus responded to those who made a claim to know God, but didn’t do anything He said?