Romans 8:27-30 English Standard Version (ESV)
27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, 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.
1) To whom is this promise made?
2) What is included in the phrase “all things”?
3) What does it mean to be called according to his purpose?
4) How does the context of this verse inform our understanding?
A trip to www.studylight.org is in order here.
We will get super cozy with this site as we study Scripture together!
Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom!
It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse?
Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
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Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
The Findings for Original Intent
1) This promise of all things working together for good is for “those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose.” So we know that this promise does not apply to unbelievers, but rather to those who have chosen to give their whole-hearted love to Christ by accepting Him as their Savior
2) The Greek word translated “all things” here is pâs, which is means “all, any, every, the whole.” So the word itself doesn’t exclude anything. Good stuff, bad stuff, pain, sorrow, blessings, and abundance, God will use *all* of it to bring about good in our lives if we are submitting to Him with our hearts. What it doesn’t mean is that God will give you material goods, healthy bodies, and plenty of money in your bank account. We have to follow the sentence all the way through. The promise for making “all things good” is for those who are called according to His purpose, which the next verse goes into more detail about. God’s purpose in each of our lives is shape us into the image and character of Christ. Bottom Line: God promises to use all things to shape our hearts to be more like Christ, which is the best kind of “good” that exists!
3) Again, looking at the original language, we see that another way to translate “called” is “invited,” as in being invited to a feast. This speaks to the general calling to which all believers have responded in faith—the calling to salvation—as opposed to the calling to specific ministries that specific people receive. So, all believers are called according to His purpose of salvation and sanctification (which is a big word that means the process of making our hearts more and more like Christ). In Jesus, we have been “invited in” or “called” to safety in salvation and deep, eternal purpose!
4) If you haven’t yet, go back and read the entire chapter of Romans 8. It’s chock-full of powerful promises! Verse 16 speaks about how our present sufferings won’t compare with our future glory. Verse 26 describes how the Holy Spirit helps us when we are too weak to pray how we ought. And verse 29 tells us that we are being conformed to the image of Christ! God has done all of this in and for our good! Don’t miss the richness of “good” here by limiting it to material, earthly good. God has a much bigger, very good plan for us! We can have confidence that He is working all things together for our good—to conform us to the image of Christ, to work toward that future glory, and ultimately, to bring glory to Himself. Our goodness is not dependent on our works, but rather the very invitation and working of God in our lives!
Some Applications for Our Everyday Lives
1) When we go through trials or face difficult situations, we can face them with a confidence that those who don’t know Christ don’t have.
2) Is there anything in your life that you feel is beyond God’s redemption? Pray and ask God to help you believe He is working it together for your good.
3) Because we have trusted in Christ, we have a purpose in God’s story.
4) Praise God that He is the one working to bring about my good—it is not up to me, but through His power!
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Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Safe Week Three! Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!