Summary: In understanding the Salvation Story we can see: The People of Salvation (Romans 8:28), 2) The Purpose of Salvation (Romans 8:29c-d), and 3) The Process of Salvation (Romans 8:29a-b, 30)
There has been a common thread in listening to the survivors of the recent hurricanes and tropical storms. Although many are still without power, having their workplaces and homes destroyed with all their earthly possessions, many are still thankful for what remained. Through shelter and evacuation, many survived the hurricanes. Although losing so much was painful, they are thankful that they and their family members survived. They were delivered from the storm.
The most joyous reality that humanity can experience is the certainty of salvation. Genuine believers can never be in danger of losing the spiritual life given to us by God through Jesus Christ. If we fail to understand the Salvation Story, we can be weak, fearful, and despondent. But imagine what difference it can make in your life if you could be certain of your salvation. This certainty could help you overcome any difficulty, be instrumental in giving eternal life to another, guide you in your plans, and elevate your worship through all of life.
Romans 8:29–30 is perhaps the clearest and most explicit presentation of the certainty of salvation in all of God’s Word. In these two verses Paul reveals the unbroken pattern of God’s sovereign redemption, the Salvation Story, from His eternal foreknowledge of a believer’s salvation to its ultimate completion in glorification. In understanding the Salvation Story we can see: The People of Salvation (Romans 8:28), 2) The Purpose of Salvation (Romans 8:29c-d), and 3) The Process of Salvation (Romans 8:29a-b, 30)
In understanding the Salvation Story we can see:
1) The People of Salvation (Romans 8:28)
Romans 8:28 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)
Tragically, many Christians throughout the history of the church, including many in our own day, refuse to believe that God guarantees the believer’s eternal security. Such denial is tied to the false understanding that salvation is a cooperative effort between people and God, and although God will not fail on His side, people might-thus the sense of insecurity Belief in salvation by a sovereign God alone, however, leads to the confidence that salvation is secure, because God, who alone is responsible, cannot fail. God’s child need never fear being cast out of his heavenly Father’s house or fear losing his citizenship in His eternal kingdom of righteousness. Beyond that theological consideration Paul is saying that the truth of eternal security is clearly revealed by God to us, so that all believers are able with certainty to know the comfort and hope of that reality if they simply take God at His word. As the object shows, “we know” means to know by means of the knowledge of faith and not by mere intellectual investigation.( Lenski, R. C. H. (1936). The interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (p. 550). Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern.)
• He does not say that we “feel” all things to be good. Often we do not feel that God is doing good at all. We feel exactly the opposite. We feel that we are being ground down or destroyed. And it is not even that we “see” the good. Most of the time we do not perceive the good things God is doing or how he might be bringing good out of the evil. The text simply says, “we know” it. (Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: The Reign of Grace (Vol. 2, p. 906). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.)
The extent of the believer’s security is as limitless as its certainty is absolute. As with every other element of the believer’s security, God is the Guarantor. It is He who causes everything in the believers life to eventuate in blessing. Paul emphasizes that God Himself brings about the good that comes to His people. God’s decree of security is actually carried out by the direct, personal, and gracious work of His divine Son and His Holy Spirit. “Hence, also, [Christ] is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). And as Paul has just proclaimed, “The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26–27).
The only qualification in the marvelous promise of this verse has to do with the recipients. It is solely for His children. Those who love God and those who are called are two of the many titles or descriptions the New Testament uses of Christians. From the human perspective we are those who love God, whereas from God’s perspective we are those who are called.