All Things Given for a Good Life
Romans 8: 28-30
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Suffering as Children of God and citizens of the Kingdom of God. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, and His followers still experience suffering! What is God doing? Paul is uniquely situated to comment on this topic. He tells us that our lives are not defined by suffering!! They are defined by the goodness of our great God!!!
The promise of Resurrection from the dead in verse 11,
the Holy Spirit’s ministry of life in us v.13,15,26-27,
and now the resurrection of all terrible circumstances! God is good!
- The Great Promise of Good v.28
- It is not a promise of new creation today
- We share in Christ’s inheritance, glory and suffering! 8:17
- But the sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.
- The example of healing. Is healing a promise in the Bible? Is everyone healed? Should we pray for healing? Should we believe that God will heal the one that we pray for? Will healing today be like it will be in heaven?
- Move your focus to the good
We have the choice in life to focus on what is painful, on suffering, or to focus on what is good. Both are there. And it makes a huge difference in the quality of our lives which we choose to focus on.
Phil 4: 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
How? 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I Thes 5: 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
Example from Paul:
Phil 1: 12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
Example from my life: My truck.
- Complex good is better than the world
Complex good is a term coined by CS Lewis
What is good in any painful experience is for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God, and for the spectators, the compassion aroused and the acts of mercy to which it leads.
We are made for simple good. Our sin natures make things complicated. Things are complicated because of our sin. And things are complicated because we live in a sinful world. These are the facts. We can live apart from God’s good work in our lives. Is this what we would prefer? It’s like we are sitting at the dinner table complaining about the food that we have to eat that we did not buy, prepare etc.
To whom are the promises of God made? The answer is very consistent throughout Scripture.
- The People of Promise
To whom are the promises of God made? The answer is very consistent throughout Scripture.
- Those who love God
If you don’t love God, you won’t see the good!
To love God is to obey God. To love God is to desire to please God more than experience pleasant circumstances.
John 14: 15 “If you love me, keep my commands.
I John 5:3-5 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Loving God means loving Him AS HE IS! It means that we accept that He is God, that we are living in His world and His purposes and acclaim are the most important things in this world!
- Those who are called according to His purpose
This is actually a “proof of love.” It’s a restatement in a way. Believe, love and obey all go together, John teaches us that in I John. The quote from First John above highlights this.
The Lord’s Prayer: God’s name, God’s kingdom, God’s will, God’s provision for my life, these are all primary.
Maintaining relationships God’s way: forgiveness, and dealing with my sinful self constructively: God’s path to personal holiness.
What are God’s purposes in your life?
The next verse. His purpose is that you would be conformed to the image of His son. Is this what we expect for today? Is this what we want? Is this where God is at work in our lives?
Did Jesus suffer? Was His suffering good?
- Is this us?
How can I love God and invest in His purposes?
Greatness in God’s kingdom is found in being the servant of all.
Investing in the fruit of the Spirit attitudes and actions in my life and yours.
Seeing myself as a priest of God, one who acts as a go between between God and others. Revelation 5:9c-10
With your blood you purchased for God!
Persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
III. What is True of the People of Promise?
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
- The impact of God’s purposes
We are called according to His purpose. What is His purpose for you? It is imperative that every person know the answer to this question.
Foreknowledge, predestination, Called, Justified, Glorified
Notice verse 29 is a statement in itself. Then Paul goes back to foreknowledge and predestination in verse 30, emphasizing the other tenses of salvation.
Justification and Glorification are two parts of salvation, the third is sanctification. Where is it mentioned, because that is the context of our passage of Scripture?
Sanctification is what Paul starts with in this passage. We are predestined by God to be conformed to the image of his Son. That is sanctification in this passage. It also includes justification and glorification, both of those things are events. Sanctification is a process! And here we find ourselves in the process. And in language so comprehensive as to exclude any possible sense of chance or luck or accident!
Is this how we see God? And is this how we see our lives?
- Behold your king
(This is a famous irony, but in our own lives we have the opportunity to see Jesus as king or not!) For example:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me!
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
John 19 disaster! Religious people disappointed with what God is doing in their lives who do not trust in Jesus as Messiah and Lord:
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
When we do not recognize and embrace the working of God in our lives, we can find ourselves in this kind of situation.
- How great a salvation
Hebrews 2: We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
A great salvation that comes with some trouble, more for some people than others, but some for all.