Summary: Here is a careful, expository look at Romans 8:28 with a view to building up the believer.
How Believers Can Appropriate
A loved one is brutalized, a child is kidnaped or abused, a family is wiped out in a terrible accident, a marriage breaks apart, or perhaps a terrible disease has taken hold of someone and angry people cry out at God and ask, "Why did you do this to me?"
It is easy to feel betrayed and hard to reconcile what has happened with a God of love. That is especially true if you have been taught that God’’s love would protect you from any harm, keep you from every hurt and pain or protect you from every sickness.
How many of you have lost a child in death?
How many have lost a mate?
How many have ever had a serious accident?
How many have suffered a broken relationship?
How many have faced a devastating disappointment?
How many have cried out as did the prophet Habbakuk?
Hab 1:2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear?
Or as the Psalmist? Ps 89:46 How long , LORD? Will You hide Yourself forever?
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
NASB Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
And - the verse starts with a conjunction and that links it to what has been said before.
This will be expanded in six important prior truths in the Book of Romans
We Know = oidamen
We - that is , those who are “in Christ Jesus” (v.1) , , the saved; brethren (v.12); children, literally “born ones” (v.16); those who have the firstfruits of the Spirit (v.23), saints (v.27)
Know – Wuest’s transl. “we know with an absolute certainty
Rom 15:29 Oida is translated “I am sure”
God causes all things to work together-
The great secret of this passage is that God is the orchestrator, the designer, the architect, the conductor, the guide, the manager, the Lord, the omnipotent hand that directs our lives.
All things = any and every, of every kind (A.V. often, all manner of) – anything, everything, all manner of things,
Work together: sunergo =
The most authoritative Lexicon on the N.T. language
TDNT - In Rom 8:28 God must be supplied as the subject of sunergo. Many ancient MSS did in fact supply this subject. God is a helper for good in all things
ATR - mss. A & B have God (ho theos) as the subject; the idea is that it is God who makes "all things work together" in our lives
God coworking provides all things for good or so that it is well with them"
UBS Handbook “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him.
Modern translations, with the exception of the NEB and Phillips, follow this rendering.
NASB And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
NIV 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.
AMP We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
For Good - agathon -
Vine: that which is "good, being morally honorable, pleasing to God, and therefore beneficial.
for good to and for those who love God AMP
Those who love God -
it is affection, tender and passionate
attachment, a sentiment excited by qualities in a person or thing that command our affection;
Its absence invalidates all claim to the Christian
name. It is the antithesis of selfishness.
Spurgeon: True believers love God as their Father; they are willing to obey him; to walk in his commands is their delight; no path is so soft to their feet as the path of God’s precepts. They love God as their portion, for in h im they live and move and have their being; God is their all and without him they have nothing.
Called = kletois = invited (by God in the
proclamation of the gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God through Christ
Wuest - called is “divinely summoned
His purpose - prothesin - NT:4286
Thayer -the setting forth of a thing, placing of it in view 2. a purpose
Lexicon -that which is planned or purposed in advance
Spurgeon: No man having read chapters 8 & 9 attentively, and having understood them, can deny that the doctrines of sovereign, distin-guishing grace, are the sum and substance of the teaching of the Bible.