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The Bible Teacher's Commentary
God Overall Designs Things for Our Good (Romans 8:28-30) is the second of three parts to the BFF Romans 8:26-39 Living Commentary: Conquerors through Christ mini series. There is also a Bible Study Question page on these verses. The question answered here is "Is God really in control?"
Romans 8:18-26 Suffering | Romans 8:26-27 Prayer
Romans 8:28-30 All things | Romans 8:31-39 God's love
Video Podcast | mp3 (on NT Library)
Bible Study Questions | Predestination & Election
Temptation #2 - Satan's voice: "God is not doing a very good job taking care of things is He?" "He doesn't involve Himself in such matters."
"28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;
30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified" (Romans 8:28-30).
• His design for our lives confirms He is fully involved in our lives.
• His plan assures us that He perfectly oversees all that happens in our lives.
• His design reminds us of His great work already done on our behalf.
• His plan reminds us of where we are headed, our goal.
Strength through Spirit's understanding and help
God has not only begun a great work in us before the creation of the world, He has also purposed to work it out until our full glorification.
Personal ~ Powerful ~ Prepared ~ Purposeful
What a comfort knowing nothing can go wrong!
Many people mistakenly think that the meaning of 'foreknew' is that God knew what man would decide before he did it. Foreknew (see Romans 11:2; I Pe 1:2) is to be understood in light of the use of 'know' as in Ge 18:19; Jer 1:5; Amos 3:2. Ziesler says the 'fore' not only shows that God's choice preceded the knowledge of it by the Christian but also shows that it was done before the world was created (see Eph 1:4, 2; II Ti 1:9).
Things in our lives are not happening by accident. We can easily see the thread of God's grace weaving the history of man into the history of His Son. We see this undeniable design in our salvation, in Christ's sacrifice and in the experience of every saint. If one of these aspects are true of you, they all are.
We should clearly note that predestination is not associated with a select few, but a great many. Instead of an uncaring God, before us is presented a most merciful and compassionate God is portrayed.
Notice how similar Romans 8:28-30 are to Psalm 103:17-19, an Old Testament passage.
17 But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, 18 To those who keep His covenant, And who remember His precepts to do them. 20 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens; And His sovereignty rules over all (Psalms 103:17-19).
Predestination is not associated with a select few but a great many.
Predestination is focused positively on what great blessings God is bringing into the lives of people rather than some negative impulse.
Predestination is part of a whole, eternal and deliberate process rather than some spontaneous decision.
Predestination came at a great cost rather than from some cheap and whimsical decision.
Predestination came from love rather than some cold calculation.
Predestination leads to great, high and lofty purposes rather than some nihilistic design.
God is working things out not just with this world in view but also in light of His eternal and good purpose. We can have full confidence in God even in times of suffering. As we ponder this eternal plan, we as God's children will be surprised to find that we have been purposely adopted. God wanted us. The Lord has intervened in our lives and benefitted us. Do notice, however, in the spirit of Romans 6-8, Paul notes that this confidence is only for those that persevere in their faith, to those who love and fear Him. Remember the context for these lofty teaches is to bring comfort and stronger trust in God's plan during times of suffering and distress.
Check out another, much more thorough treatment, on predestination and election. In that article Paul personally shares how he understands how predestination, election and all such teachings fit together in what he considers a consistent manner.
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