Summary: Explains and Offers Personal Questions to the phrases: 'God causes'... 'all things to work together'.... 'to those who love Him'....'and those called according to His purpose.' Our intellectual understanding that God causes all things to work together sh
More Than Conquerors
Scripture Text: Romans 8:28
Scripture Reading: Phil. 3:9-11; 14-15
Introduction: Video: Opening with a Humorous Look at How Life Might Be Going for some of us: Its entitled ‘Alls Well that Ends Well’ (after video) While I am not sure I fully agree with the conclusion that ‘Alls well that ends well’; the video does kind of reflect how we size up life and our purpose.
Read Romans 8:28
Mention Wuest’s Word Studies translation: “And we know with an absolute knowledge that for those who are loving God, all things are working together resulting in good, for those who are called ones according to His purpose.”
Because of the state of our world, we really need things to ‘work together’. So much of our time is spent dealing with things ‘falling apart’ instead of ‘working together.’ While “Jacob cried, all these things are against me. Paul, all things are working together for good.”
John MacArthur summarizes the verse in his commentary: “as believers in Jesus Christ, we know beyond all doubt that every aspect of our lives is in God’s hands and will be divinely used by the Lord not only to manifest His own glory but also to work out our own ultimate blessing.”
The Outline Bible simplifies the understanding of this verse. It organizes it into two parts: What it involves and whom it involves. The ‘what’ is, “God causing everything to work together for good” and the ‘whom’ is, “Those who love God and are called according to his purpose”
Propositional Statement: We need to check in with ourselves and determine whether we really believe that God causes all things to work together. It’s not as simple as saying, “well, it says that right there in Romans 8:28; so it must be right” We all intuitively believe in our heads that ‘God causes all things to work together for good;’ but do we actually express that belief. Does our belief go beyond our intellectual assent? What I am addressing today, is an examination of what we really accept and believe about what God says in His Word.
A. God Meaning It For Good or For What We Don’t Understand
We find many examples in Scripture of God confirming His Comfort and Love to his people. As we read Genesis, we see that he took very good care of Joseph despite the circumstances that he found himself in. (thrown into a hole, sold into slavery, accused of rape, forgotton about, etc….) And how does Joseph respond to the people who persecuted him in Genesis 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. “So therefore, do not be afraid….”
I am certain that there are things that we do not understand in our lives. We may question God, or even become angry at God because of current circumstances. But, we can rest assured knowing that God wants the very best for us. Not our best, or what we expect to be the best; but primarily what we really need.
In a message entitled Christ and Cancer by John Piper, he wrote,
“Satan may be sly but on some things he is stupid because he fails to see that all his attempts to despoil the godly are simply turned by God's providence into occasions for the purifying and strengthening of faith God's goal for His people in this age is not primarily to rid them of sickness and pain but to purge us of all the remnants of sin and cause us in our weakness to cleave to Him as our only hope”
Part of the problem appears to be concerning how we define 'GOOD' in Romans 8:28. If we were to consider goodness; how could we ever think to have the same or greater understanding than God? Paul does not explain what he means by the good, but we must clearly understand it in the sense “final good” or “true good” Romans 8:29 seems to indicate that the meaning of GOOD implies becoming conformed to God’s image. When Paul speaks of them who are called according to His purpose; he means an “effectual call”; and is making a distinction between those who have not only heard the calling, but have also responded to God’s calling.
DA Carson writes, “Nothing that can touch us lies outside the scope of our Father’s providential care: here, indeed, is cause for joy and a rock-solid foundation for hope. We must, however, define the good that God is working to produce for us in his terms and not in ours. God knows that our greatest good is to know him and to enjoy his presence forever.
John MacArthur writes, “No matter what our situation, our suffering, our persecution, our sinful failure, our pain, our lack of faith-in those things, as well as in all other things, our heavenly Father will work to produce our ultimate victory and blessing. The corollary of that truth is that nothing can ultimately work against us. Any temporary harm we suffer will be used by God for our benefit….”