SGA Romans Lesson 24

Lesson 24
Romans 8:28-31

(Vs. 28) "And we know." This is not a matter of opinion or uncertainty, but we know this as surely as we know that we are redeemed by the blood of Christ.

"That all things." (1) God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, (2) all good angels, rulers, and ministers, (3) all evil beings such as Satan, (4) all good events such as peace, prosperity, health, and happiness, and (5) all bad events such as war, famine, sorrow, sickness, and death.

"Work together." All of these things not only are present and operate in us and toward us, but they all cooperate under God's direction and control to fulfill His purpose for us. (Illustration: Joseph's route to the throne in Egypt–Gen. 45:3-8).

"For good." Eternal good is meant here, not necessarily present comfort, ease, and joy. Our ultimate goal is to be with Christ and to be like Christ, and this is what "all things" are working together to accomplish (Psalm 17:15; Eph. 1:10-12).

"To them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose." This promise of eternal good and well-being is not a blanket promise to all men but only to those who have received Christ, who love Christ, and who have been effectually called by His grace to saving faith, There is no mercy or grace outside of Christ (Col. 2:9-10; I Cor. 1:30).

(Vs. 29) The word "foreknew" has been translated by some to mean that God foresaw who would believe; but the word (as in I Peter 1:2) is fore-ordained, fore-appointed by God from all eternity (Acts 13:48; II Thess. 2:13; Eph. 1: 3-4). There is a sense in which God knows all men. He knows all about them (their birth, life, death, and destiny); but in eternal love and grace, He KNOWS only His sheep (John 10:14-16; Matt. 7:23).

God has predestinated or predetermined in His eternal purpose that all whom He saves shall one day be just like His Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:4-5; I John 3:1-3), that He (Christ) might be the firstborn among many brethren. Under the law the firstborn was the Lord's choice (Exod. 13:2), had authority over all the sons, and acted as the Lord's priest. Christ is the firstborn of the Father with regard to all creatures. Christ is the firstborn of all God's sons (they are chosen in Him). Christ is the firstborn from the dead to die no more. His is the chief glory, for all are to be in Him and like Him.

(Vs. 30) "He called," Men by nature do not love God and will not come to Christ, but rather love darkness, evil, and sin (John 3:19; John 5:40; John 6:44). If men are to come to Christ in repentance and faith, they must be effectually called, convicted, and made willing to believe (Psalm 110:3; Gal. 1:15; II Tim. 1:9-10).

"He justified." That is, God forgives their sin, blots out their iniquity, and makes them perfectly holy and righteous in His sight by the obedience and sacrifice of Christ (Rom. 5:19; Rom. 3:19-22; II Cor. 5:21; Col. 1:21-23).

"He glorified." Eternal glory is meant. This is what the apostle has been speaking of in these verses–eternal good, eternal inheritance, and eternal glory. Our union with Christ gives us the right and title to all things (John 1:12; Rom. 8:16-18; I Cor. 3:21-23). Actually, in the purpose and view of God, we are already glorified in our Head and Representative–Christ (Eph. 2:6; Isa. 46:9-11).

(Vs. 31) This question reaches back to all that has been said in the preceding verse. What shall we say in ADDITION to these things? Nothing can be added! What shall we say AGAINST these things? Nothing! What shall be INFERRED from these things? "If God be for us in eternal love, in eternal grace, in divine calling, in substitution, and in justification–if God has already accepted and glorified us in Christ and is determined to glorify us personally with Christ, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?" Not the law; it is honored! Not divine justice; it is satisfied! Not Satan; he is judged and cast out!

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.