God’s goodness and love overcome life’s difficulties.

God’s goodness and love overcome life’s difficulties.

God’s Promise of Victory
Week of October 4, 2015
Bible Verses: Romans 8:28-39.
The Point: God’s goodness and love overcome life’s difficulties.
God’s Everlasting Love: Romans 8:28-39.

[28] And we know that for those who love (ἀγαπάω) God all things work together for good (ἀγαθόν), for those who are called according to his purpose. [29] 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. [31] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? [32] He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? [33] Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. [34] Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? [36] As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” [37] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. [ESV]

Verse 28
What Paul is saying here is that “we” (referring to believers) know (from the readings of the Old Testament and from the witnessed suffering of Christ crucifixion) that those who love God (those who have faith in Christ Jesus and who die to self and rise to newness of life) that in “all” things (all means all), God works these things for good.

If you think about it you can think of many instances in life where it seems almost impossible for God to bring any good. Our inability to understand how God brings about good does not negate the fact that He brings about good; It only highlights our finite understanding. As it turns out our finite minds can only perceive “good” in a particular sense. Contrast that with God’s understanding of good which is a universal understanding. He has absolute understanding of good.

Verses 29-31
So the natural question is “why”? Why would God do all this for us? Paul gives the answer in verses 29 – 31.

This passage, along with others like Ephesians 1:3-14 and I Corinthians 6:11, appear to lay out a basic “order of salvation” (Ltn. ordo salutis). The way these passages get interpreted and applied can cause many Church riffs so its important that we are careful to understand this passage properly.

These five verbs (foreknow, predestine, call, justify, and glorify) make up what is sometimes called the “Golden Chain of Salvation”. We are foreloved by God before creation, called according to God’s purpose, and now predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ until that final day at Christ’s return when we will be glorified. To all of this Paul says-somewhat rhetorically- “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” This is how we know that all things work for the good for those who are in Christ.

Verses 31-39
If verses 29 – 30 are referred to as the “Golden Chain of Salvation” then it only makes sense that these final verses are referred to as the “Triumph Song”. This is a “doxology” or if you will a call to praise. As Christians we seek to praise God for what He has done for us. This is counter intuitive to most world religions who praise man for his own accomplishments. However, because of what God has done for us there can be no objection made against our right standing before God. The consequences of sin, the sting and death have been conquered and we who are recipients of the blessings of God’s grace are what Paul calls “more than conquerors”.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This truly is a glorious doxology who’s purpose is very significant. In our current day to day struggles God has not abandoned us. Rather our suffering has reason and purpose behind it which is a glory that we can hardly perceive. In spite of the fact that we are guilty sinners God in Christ is for us and therefore nothing can be against us or separate us from God’s love.

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