"ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD"
1. In Rom. 8:28-39, Paul has much greater things in his mind than the ability of God to turn all of our adversities into advantages. Note: 28-39.
2. Actually, it is the things of God -- His plan and its elements -- that He so beautifully brings together on our behalf.
3. There are five components specified in our text that we want to consider in this study.
A. To foreknow is simply to know before.
1. The Greek word is "prognosis".
a. A doctor's prognosis is his forecast of what course a disease will take.
b. Admittedly, his forecast is based upon his prior experience with such cases.
1) Such forecast or prognosis is subject to error.
2) But God's foreknowledge is perfect.
c, When God reveals to us what will happen before the event, we can have the foreknowledge. 2 Pet. 3:10-18.
B. In the case under consideration, God's foreknowledge involves certain people.
1. He knew beforehand what group of people would be saved.
a. How? Because He chose the group and He does the saving. The group He chose is those in Christ, Eph. 1:3-14.
A. Predestination means to decide or determine beforehand. To do so in advance.
1. We predestine a vacation when we decide what attractions we will see and what roads we will take; when we make motel reservations or buy airline tickets.
B. God predetermined many things regarding salvation. 1. The crucifixion of Jesus as the atonement. Acts 2:22-33; Isa. 53:4-11.
2. Adoption as sons, with full right of inheritance, as the status of the saved. Eph. 1:5,11.
3. Eternal life as the reward. Titus 1:1-4.
4. "Conformed to the image of His Son" as the character of the saved. Jesus is our example. 1 Pet. 2:21.
a. Being a Christian is not simply belonging to a church or having completed certain requirements.
1) It is molding our lives to conform to Jesus' pattern, becoming partakers of the divine nature. 2 Pet. 1:2-11.
a) It is said that a young boy lived close to a mountain that had a sculpture of a very noble looking face carved on the side of it. He looked at that face so many times during the course of his growing up until he himself began to take on the features of the face in his own face. So, it is with us, we too need to look upon and use the example of the life of Christ in our lives to the extent that we too will become like Him.
2) Then, at the resurrection, we will know Him because we will be like Him. 1 Jno. 3:1-3.
3) We glorify Jesus by changing our lives to be like Him. We often sing: "More and more like Jesus, I would ever be">
A. The calling is an invitation, through His Word, to come to Him and do His will. Mt. 11:28-30.
1. To come at His calling, means to enter into His fold, the church, to live as He requires.
B. As we have already noted, this calling is made through His gospel. 2 Thes. 2:13-17.
1. Paul described it as an upward call, and an invitation to something better. Phil. 3:13-16.
C. God's calling can be rejected. Mk. 16:15,16.
1. In the text above, Jesus told His disciples to preach the gospel to all creation.
a. So, everyone is invited in one sense. But He knew that not all would accept.
b. Those who do accept will be saved. Those who reject will be lost. Mt. 7:13,14.
2. So, in another sense, the called are those who accept the invitation, enter the narrow gate and walk in the strait way. These are the foreknown and predestined. These are the called.
A. Justification has to do with acquittal or removal of guilt.
B. God is calling sinners to be in Christ.
C. The required change is so radical it is termed "conversion", the process of turning one thing into another. Becoming a new creature in Christ.
1. Some of this change is left up to us.
a. We must repent or turn from our sin. Acts 17:30.
b. We must replace sinful practices with Godly ones. Eph. 4:17-24; 25-5:21.
D. We can never deserve all that we receive through the love of God. Lk. 17:7-10.
1. But the mercy of God, through the sacrifice of His Son, fills in the void that we cannot. Titus 3:3-8; 2:11-14.
A. Earlier, in the 8th chapter of Romans, Paul had written of our glorification. 8:18-25.
B. Now let us take time to note what he says in Phil. 3:20,21.
1. Having noted the elements or "things that work together for good", Paul says, "What shall we say to these things?" Why not say: "That's for me!"? Rom. 8:31.
2. Yes, these five things: foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification are the things that work together for good for those who love the Lord and are those who are called according to His purpose.
3. Do you truly love Him?
By Jim Sasser
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