“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” This message will focus on this verse along with purpose and process of God in Salvation as seen in Romans 8:28-30.
Romans: The Glory of the Gospel Part 21
Purpose and Process – Romans 8:28-30
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – February 25th, 2018
- After Paul reveals the reasoning and rationale of God’s work in the world and redemption in Jesus Christ, he starts this chapter with these words, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” No one who is in Christ will be condemned. We are given life in the Spirit and instructed to “put the death the deeds of the flesh” and walk in “accordance to the Holy Spirit.”
- We have received the “Spirit of adoption” through whom we cry out “Abba Father” as children of God, with an inheritance that is given to us and waiting for us. Even still, there is suffering, pain and heartache that causes both the created and the creator to groan with anticipation of what is to come. But the pain and the suffering does not even compare with the Glory that is to come, which brings us to the verses that we are learning from this morning.
God works all things together for good
Rom 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
- Notice that we are to know that for those who love God, all things work together for good. Know these things and re-minding ourselves of them gives us hope and strength to endure knowing that God is working through them and in the end, will turn out “good.”
- Also note that there is a qualifier to this: for those who “love God”… and are called according to his purpose. This means that all things working together for good is reserved for just these people.
- How do we “love God” and why is “loving God” the qualifier? The book of 1st John tells us the answer.
1 John 5:3 ESV
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
- We show, express and prove that we love God by keeping His commandments. Talk is so very cheap. If you love God, then you will keep His commandments. Those who keep his commandments are the ones that love God, not those who merely say they love God. Love is evidenced by actions (its meaning is shown through actions), not merely words. What are His commandments?
1 John 3:23-24 ESV
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
- His commandment is to “believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ” (love the Lord your God…) and then to “love one another” (love your neighbor as yourself – all of the law and commandments hang on these two things). Those who love God obey His commandments by believing in Christ and loving other people.
- If someone says that they love God and don’t keep His commandments, he is a liar and the truth is not in him.
1 John 2:3-6 ESV
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
- If we love God, then we keep his commandments and walk the same way in which Jesus walked, which puts emphasis on us knowing him in order to be like him in what we say and do.
- If we love God, then all things will work together for good. James puts it this way:
James 1:12 ESV
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
- The crown of life is only promised to those who love Him. If we love Him, we will remain steadfast under trials and testing.
- This is how Peter addressed this:
1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
- Trials come to prove our faith is genuine. If we have genuine faith, we will obtain the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our soul, along will praise, glory, honor and an inheritance.
- In the end, all things will work together for good for those who love Him. All of these things point us to salvation where all things will be good again. God uses the bad and difficult things to turn us to Christ and transform us in Christ (to live is Christ and to die is gain [Phil. 1:21]).
- For those who don’t love God, all things don’t work together for good. If you don’t love God, then it will not turn out well for you in the end.
- And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. The question is, “What is the purpose that we are called to?” The answer comes in the next verses which lay out God’s process in salvation.
God’s process of salvation
Rom 8:29-30 ESV
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
- First, we must know who the active agent in salvation is – God. He is the one who initiates and governs the whole process. We don’t save ourselves, we don’t find Him and we don’t elect ourselves. He finds us, He chooses us, and He elects us. We do not and cannot do this on our own.
- Paul then goes on to describe for us the unbreakable process that God has put in place in salvation, centered in 5 main words.
- Foreknew – for those whom He foreknew. These are the ones that God “knew” beforehand, (before they even existed) people that God chose to love in terms of salvation. God has known us, chosen us and loved us from before the foundation of the world. Here are some other passages to support this.
- 1:4-5 ESV Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will
- 2 Tim 1:9 ESV Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began
- Rev 13:10 ESV And all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.
- Predestined – predetermined what we were to become. This is this goal and aim of God for all His children: that we would be conformed to the image of His son. This is God’s goal for you. This is what God is doing in you. He is conforming you to the image of His son, so you can be like Him and have the family resemblance. Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers. We have God’s DNA in us, given by the Holy Spirt, so that we look like Jesus. This is shaped and tested to prove genuinely who we are – the family characteristics and resemblance to our firstborn brother, Christ.
- Called – and those whom He predestined He also called. This is the call of the Gospel. This is a call to come to Him, to be conformed to Him. This is a call that creates what it commands – like in “Lazarus come forth.”
- Justified – and those whom He called He also justified. That is, “just as we have never sinned,” our dept is wiped out by the one who paid it for us and we are declared righteous in His sight and free from His wrath against sin.
- Glorified – and those whom He justified He also glorified. His glory, given to us, will be revealed in all its fullness at the resurrection, making all things new. Notice that it is past tense language for a future tense event (for us), but for God it has already been done because He is in the future and at the same time in the past.
- Because of this unbroken chain, Paul can declare through the Holy Spirit:
Phil 1:6 ESV
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ
- This is why Paul goes on in the next passage that we are focusing on next week that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Make sure you are in Christ and love Christ. Know and trust that He is working these things together for Good.
- Understand the ultimate goal of God is to “conform us into the image of His Son.” This is what He is doing and this is what He is looking for. Thank Him for this and trust Him in this.
- Rest assured that in the sovereign love of God, He will be faithful to complete the good work He began in you.
Questions for the week ahead:
- What was confirmed to you from the message today?
- What was challenging to you from the message today?
- What will you do in response to these things?