Summary: God is interested in making a whole family of people like Jesus. That is our destiny our destination and God has already predetermined to make us that way. So that’s God’s purpose. He chose us and then he changes us.
Last Sunday as we were reading Romans, 8:28, I told you it was like the spiritual Mount Everest. It is the pinnacle of biblical revelation to me. We’re going to stay on the top for a little bit today and admire the view from this great pinnacle of biblical truth. If you happen to be here for the first time today, I’m just one of those old-fashioned Bible preachers. I just preach the Bible verse after verse after verse and this is how far we have traveled in the book of Romans and I’m going to keep preaching until I get to the end of Romans, but today we’re going to look at Romans, 8:28-30.
“And we know that all things” it doesn’t say some things or most things or many things. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 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. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
When I first started witnessing to other people when I was in high school, I used the Four Spiritual Laws tract by Campus Crusade for Christ and Law number one is this. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” and I still believe that. But when we start asking, “Well, what is God’s plan for my life?” I think God’s plan for our lives is revealed right here in this passage of scripture. God has a plan for me and he has a plan for you. That plan does not have as much to do with where we are going to go to college who we’re going to marry what kind of job we’re going to have. His plan for us has to do with a spiritual goal.
C. S. Lewis, that brilliant apologist, says every morning we make a choice between whether we’re going to follow our plan or God’s plan. He writes this: “The moment you wake up each morning all your wishes and plans for the day rush at you like wild animals and the first job each day consists of shoving it all back in and instead listening to that other voice taking that other point of view letting that other, larger, stronger life come flowing in. You know every day and in every way we have a choice whether we are going to get in on God’s plan or we’re going to try to do our own plans. Well, here in this passage of scripture you can discover what God’s Incredible Plan is. There are three verses here and I want us to notice three things:
I. GOD’S PROMISE
First of all–by review–God’s promise is verse 28. I preached a whole message on it last Sunday, but it says, “In all things God is working for the good of those that love him.” Now this promise only applies to those who truly love God. I want to ask you one more time. Can you honestly say you have a deep and abiding and a passionate love for God? Or when someone asks you about your spiritual condition do you answer in some impersonal manner like this “Well, I’m a Baptist,” or “I’m a Protestant,” or “I go to Mass,” or “I give money to the church,” or “I do good things,” or “I serve food to the hungry.” Those are such impersonal responses. When someone asks you about your spiritual condition, can you say with a smile on your face, “I know God and I love God?” Do you remember when Jesus was asked what the most important and greatest commandment of them all was? He didn’t hesitate. He said, “The greatest commandment is that you love God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength.” So, only those who love God can claim this promise. Also, you have to be “called according to his purpose” and that leads right on to the second point. Not only God’s promise, but
II. GOD’S PURPOSE
1. He chose us (“Foreknew” = pro-ginosko)
In verse 29 we see God’s purpose. I would like for you to look at two words in verse 29. First of all look at the word, “foreknew.” “Those that God foreknew” then, the second word I’d like for you to look at is that big old word, “predestined.” That’s God’s purpose for us. First of all, he chooses us. That’s what that word, “foreknew” means. He chooses us to be a part of his family.
Now prepare to have your mind blown! Prepare to be baffled a little bit–I have news for you. Before God ever created planet earth millions of centuries before you were even conceived. God knew you, and He chose you to be a part of his family. That’s the truth of the word of God. In fact look at Ephesians 1:4-5 it says it elsewhere. “For he that is God chose us in him” meaning in Jesus “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight In love he predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Now that word “foreknew” is a word in Greek that is “prognostikos”. I put that for you because we have an English word “prognosis” “prognosticator,” it’s what happens every week when you turn on the Weather Channel and they are trying to prognosticate what is going to happen toward the end of the week and they hardly ever get it right! We already know that. But when God makes a forecast, it always happens.